Airplanes and Flying

How I got Started Flying

In August last year, my family and I were visiting her relatives up in the Napa/Sonoma/Sacramento area and we remarked how nice it would be to visit more often, but how it was such a long drive from SoCal. Well, on the long drive home, I turned to my wife and said: "maybe I should get a pilot's license and we could fly up". She didn't freak out and in fact was rather enthusiastic (the quid pro quo is that she gets to schedule more visits to her family). Well, I called my cousin's 24 year old son, Bob (he and his dad are both private pilots and his dad lets Bob fly his 1993 Bonanza F33), when we got back and asked him about the local FBO's and flight schools. Before you knew it I had taken a couple of introductory flights in a Katana DA-20 and a Cessna 152 at a couple of flight schools at EMT.

I settled on an FBO in late August and signed up for their 50 hour private pilot package. I succumbed to emotion and paid extra for training in a Piper Warrior, rather than a Cessna 152. The Cessna's are fine planes, but I just like low-wings better esthetically; and after all, what is a private pilot's license really about, except the triumph of emotion over rationality within a rational framework? Well, after the usual student pilot stories about trying to get the plane to be a pogo stick during landing practice, near mid-airs in the traffic pattern, tower controller confusion, and so on. I took my private checkride at the beginning of November and passed.

My Airplane

1982 Mooney 231

  • N1163W
  • 4 seat, single engine turbo-charged
  • Cruise speed - 168 Kts, Max speed - 200 Kts
  • Service ceiling - 24,000 feet


    Private Pilots License

    How to get a PP-ASEL
  • Student Experiences - Under construction
  • Private Pilot Checkride

    Instrument Rating

    How to get an instrument rating in 10 days
  • PIC Intro
  • PIC Day #1
  • PIC Day #2
  • PIC Day #3
  • PIC Day #4
  • PIC Day #5
  • PIC Day #6
  • PIC Day #7
  • PIC Day #8
  • PIC Day #9
  • PIC Day #10
  • Instrument Checkride
  • PIC Summary and Impressions

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    Last Modified: March 10, 1996