One needs a US medical examination to fly legally, so it was my first priority for me after I arrived. Yesterday I was not able to visit the doctor, therefore I could not fly as well. So I was sleeping for almost the entire day. Probably that’s just jet lag?
This morning I came to the doctor. The examination was really quick, less than an hour. I got a second class since it’s cheaper and I don’t need the 1st class until my ATP which is still in the far far future.
Now I know my weight in pounds and my height in feet and inches 🙂
The second important procedure is a fingerprint take, which is required for all foreign students. Everything was quick and professional too.
I got my syllabus, maps and books. Nothing really new except for the maps. I was really happy that I had started learning the material in Moscow: the schedule is tight here, and it’s better to know what to do at least in theory. Even now and again I am thinking about studying CPL books during my free time so that I can be better prepared before practical lessons.
As I probably mentioned, I want to continue my flight training in the US for various reasons: native English ATC, easy CPL written test compared to the EASA one, and, of course, cheap flight hours compared to Europe… The main reason is that I don’t want to stay on the ground while I’m studying my EASA subjects, so I can obtain a FAA IR, and those hours will count towards my total flight time. Moreover, due to less expensive prices I can make it entirely in the airplane, which looks beneficial compared to a simulator.
Today I got a verification letter from the FAA. It is valid for 6 months, so I am applying for the US visa. After than I will be able to do nothing but wait.
At a first glance it looks better to study the EASA theory in Moscow now if I want to obtain the EASA license. But the simplest way is not always the best one: I believe that with a Russian passport I need both EASA and FAA licenses since I don’t want to miss any opportunity. If some door opens for me, I want to be prepared before it will close.
Anyway, it looks like a great adventure, probably the greatest one in my life so far. We should do whatever we want to do. I love flying, so I should go flying again 🙂
Today I got my first class medical certificate. For pilots there are two classes in Europe: the first one is the highest, and without it one cannot work as pilot. Before that I had the second one because it is cheaper and totally enough for a private pilot certificate (which one I have now).
Initial first class medical usually should be taken only in a hospital. Then it’s possible to go to aeromedical examiner (some doctor approved by the CAA). I’ve never had that certificate, so the only option was a hospital.
There is only one approved hospital for that in Czech Republic. I made a call, and it turned out that the earliest date when I can do that is August, 14. I supposed to be in Moscow that time, so I started my small research where I else I can get my medical. The closest options were Austria, Poland and Hungary.
I chose Poland. They were ready to make the examination without booking in advance, the price was about 150 euros, and Warsaw is on my way home. For example, in Austria you should pay around 500 euros.
There were no queues, the doctors are nice and professional, and the whole thing took about 4 hours. The result was ready at the same day.
Almost all doctors were not speaking neither English nor Russian. The only doctors who spoke English were the ophthalmologist and the therapist, but anyone else spoke slow and clear in Polish so I could understand them pretty well. For all procedures they also provided instructions in English, so I did not have any problem at all. Now I have an impression that I could learn Polish with a very little effort if I want, it seems very familiar to Russian.
So now I know that I am fit, and it’s really great: I can continue my studies to achieve a higher level!
Today I picked up my freshly-issued license. Everything was OK, except for one small mistake in my home address, and it took some more time because of that. The interior of the building seemed very similar to the Russian Traffic Inspection office (or any other legal department), but there were no queues at the CAA 🙂
At least I found a proper parking space near the CAA. When I had come to take my exam two months ago, I found only P13 “reserved” places. I did not know whether the spots were reserved for the CAA or not, and whether it was legal to park there. In any case, I decided not to take chances, and found another parking area in a mall, in about a 15-minute walk. Today I came just to finish some paperwork, and that’s why I wanted to park somewhere near the building, and I found it. It is P11, which has a barrier and tickets.
Strictly speaking, I am done here, and I can return home, but I drove more than 2000 km, and I’d like to do more than just obtain my papers. That’s why I decided to stay a bit longer, and fly some additional hours.