Private Pilots Licence

Chapter Three:

Potentially most expensive Christmas gift one could ever receive, Catherine got me a PPL starter pack with all the books and stuff I would need. We’d finally reached the point where I could do my Private Pilots Licence and stand a chance of completing the course with a reasonable probability of being able to continue flying afterwards.

The first week in the New Year I went to see Manx Flyers, and had my first lesson the following week. My first training flight was 14th of January 2006. The aircraft was G-SUKI, a Piper PA-38 Tomahawk and my instructor was Phil Baker.

Just under 4 months later, with 9h 25m of power flying training in my logbook I was taxying out to runway 08 at Ronaldsway in G-RVRL by myself for my first powered solo.

The training continued throughout 2006 and 2007:

  • A quick stop in Carlisle, then back along the Solway coast at 6000 feet. Outside air temperature -9 Celcius.
  • Routing along the Solway coast, approaching Annan before turning towards Carlisle
  • Halfway across, tracking IOM and DCS VORs
  • Overhead Point of Ayre, Burrow Head and Wigton Bay in the distance.
  • 5500ft over Ramsey
  • Overhead Laxey with North Barrule and Ramsey beyond
  • 30th September 2006: First Solo Navigation Exercise – I was flying G-BTJK out of Carlisle.
  • 25th January 2007: First Solo Landway – This time I was in G-BTND and flew from Ronaldsway to Carlisle and back.
  • 17th March 2007: Exams Complete – Average of 91.64% overall. Best subject “Flight Planning and Performance” – 100%. Poorest Subject “Air Law and Operational Procedures” – 82.5%
  • 24th March 2007: Qualifying Cross Country – G-RVRO from Ronaldsway to Carlisle then Prestwick and back to Ronaldsway. 4 hours 10 minutes flying time.
  • 27th April 2007: Skills Test – Flying G-BTJK with Craig Padfield. Passed with a total of 45h 15m including the test. 103 takeoffs and landings.
  • 24th May 2007: License Arrives

The training took 1 year and 4 months, with hardly any flying between September and January. As well as Phil Baker, I was taught by David Allan, Paul Keeley and Ian Robinson. I flew 9 different aircraft during my training. 8 PA38s and 1 C172H. I spent most time with G-BTJK – 18h 10m and felt most comfortable with her. I was relieved to see Juliet Kilo on the apron for my skills test, as I’d missed her on my First Solo, First Landaway and Qualifying Cross Country.