One year ago this week a dream of over 12 years came true. I had tried several times to get my license in Ireland but life got in the way. My dream became reality in early 2011 when I started my FAA PPL training in Arizona. On June 27th 2012, I passed my checkride and became a Private Pilot.
One year on, I realize that I will be a student for the rest of my flying career. My last flight three weeks ago didn't go so well. Lack of a sterile cockpit led to me departing my home base in Oregon without completing finishing all items on the pre take-off checklist. Flight was uneventful, but it was my first real miss in terms of checklist execution. This knocked me back for a few days, but I am now ready to get back into the air again. Lesson learnt, I can't strive for perfection, but I might never fly that perfect flight.
I've been on so many small adventures since getting my ticket. Some of the highlights are as follows;
1. Two weeks after passing, I found myself transitioning SFO's class bravo airspace. Amazing flight with Marc.
2. Flew an overnight trip to Luke Air Force base in a C172 and spent two days with F-16 pilots and other Arizona GA pilots.
3. Flew a C172 into Sky Harbor International (PDX).
4. Landed parallel to a F-16 at KTUS.
5. Seen the joy on my kids face when they are up flying with me.
6. Flew with Marty in San Diego.
7. Expored the airspace around Phoenix enjoying every second talking with ATC.
8. Met some amazing people who I can now call friends thanks to social media and flying out of CHD.
GA is amazing in the US. I hope everyone can fight to keep it affordable. I will leave the US in 2014 back to Ireland knowing that I made the most of my time here in the US.
Over the next month I will be passing through the 100hr PiC mark. I'm planning a trip from Oregon to Boeing/King Field in Washington State.