Principles of Flight

When you have a goal, it’s better to make even a small step towards that goal regularly, ideally every day.

As you probably know, I am going to be a pilot. Currently I don’t have a possibility to fly due to my job, but I am using my free time to study the EASA ATPL subjects.

Currently I am working on Principles of Flight. This subject requires some thinking, but mainly it requires memorizing. I am not so good with that kind of subjects, so I decided to study them before those which require mainly calculations.

My personal top-3 of the most difficult subjects is the following: air law, operational procedures, meteorology; but ‘principles of flight’ just follows them.

I use question banks for evaluation, and when I start a new subject, my result is around 60-70%. I am reading the books, then I am taking tests, and then I am reviewing all wrong answers using the books, and soon enough the result becomes 90% and more.

I am moving much slower that I planned: initially I supposed to take exams this summer. Currently I am pretty good only in four subjects of fourteen. Actually it is not so bad considering the fact that some subjects are relatively easy (for example, VFR/IFR Communications), but it’s still way behind the initial schedule.

On the other hand, I am still working full-time, I have a valid FAA IR with the US flight experience and 150 hours total time, and I am ready for the FAA CPL written test.

It is still difficult to make progress. I heard that the EASA ATPL theory is the most difficult part of the EASA Commercial path, and I tend to agree with that. But my motivation is strong, and I was always good in studying, especially if I am interested in the subject. It’s moving slowly, but it’s still moving anyway, and it’s worth it. The reward will be one of the most exciting things in my life.

Priorities Update: FAA CPL

It looks like I have to change my priorities compared to my December plan.

Currently I have to stay in Moscow due to my job, so I am not flying now. Meanwhile, it is becoming some more difficult to obtain the US visas, and risks of not getting F1 at all are becoming pretty high. So it is safer to obtain my FAA CPL now, using my M1 visa, and postpone (or even abandon at all) CFI/CFII/MEI programs. Anyway FAA CFI(I) license is useless anywhere out of the US.

I need about 100 more flight hours total time for meeting CPL minimums, including about 15 complex hours (retractable gear, constant-speed prop, flaps) and 2 night hours. It is not so much, and with a proper dedication it’s doable in two months. I am pretty well prepared for a written test, so I can fully utilize my free time for flying.

I contacted some Polish flight school for the ATPL theory classes, and they have a program starting this October. That perfectly aligns with my current schedule!

So, my new plan is the following:

  • FAA CPL under M1-visa before the end of this summer;
  • EASA ATPL theory before spring 2019;
  • EASA IR after passing ATPL theory exams;
  • EASA CPL after obtaining the EASA IR.

Of course, I will try to find a job just after getting my FAA CPL, but it seems highly unlikely for a brand new pilot with a FAA license who is not a US resident. I knew that even before start. But currently it’s better to concentrate on getting my license than on thinking about far future: I will think about it later. Our life is challenging, and flying is fun just the way it is 🙂