Making Peace with European Air Law

Europe’s Air law is transforming at such a fast pace, it challenges even experienced pilots. As a result, there is insecurity among pilots about which rules apply. EASA tackles this issue with the new Easy Access Rules for Air Operations, a document similar to the FAR/AIM in America. The new Air Operations Regulation is applicable law for all non-commercial non-complex…

How to Comment on an EASA NPA

EASA seems to be working at wide open throttle in order to change its approach towards general aviation. You can help shape the regulation with the comment response tool (CRT).

IFR Minimum Equipment

EU Nr. 800/2013 will supercede national regulations (if they existed before) and this is  a big step towards simpler and better rules for General Aviation. It will become effective by 25.08.2016 in Switzerland. The important parts concerning IFR minimum equipment of EU Nr. 800/2013 for airplanes are as follows: NCO.IDE.A.125, IFR minimum equipment in Switzerland: magnetic compass clock*…

Que Sera, Sera – IFR Minimum Equipment in Switzerland

Que Sera, Sera. –  It isn’t just a popular song from 1956. It also isn’t just a great remix by French Hip Hop producer Wax Tailor. “Whatever will be, will be”, so the translation of the title, is the answer to a girl’s question to her mother about her future life. When she becomes mother herself, she tells…

330h CPL – Cessna Turbo 210

I flew a few hours in a Cessna Turbo 210. This plane asked for all my skills. To be honest, it felt as if I flew the first time all over again. The learning curve was steep and the airplane a thrill to fly. At first sight, the aeroplane looks like the usual Cessna. But look…

344.5h – Routine and Night Flying

Flying every day this month really got me in the routine of making decisions, and decisions is all flying is about. Especially interesting were the flights during night time. Night flying is so smooth – much smoother than driving a car – that it gives me a very comforting feeling in an environment that seems…

Commercial Pilot Certificate

Compared to the instrument rating, the commercial was simple. It is basically the proof that you can put your airplane where you want it and you understand its systems in depth. You also need to master a few legal terms – surprisingly no more than a few. The first question of an oral usually is:…

Headsetinc ANR Kit In-Flight Test

I had two flight lessons today for my commercial pilot license and took my upgraded headset along, a David Clark H10-13.4 with ANR set from Headsetinc. Honestly, despite the successful tests yesterday. I still had doubts if it would actually work in the cockpit. After all, the last time I soldered it was my guitar’s pickups…

Headsetinc ANR Retrofit

With up to five hours flight time per day and my first pilot job starting within the next months, I thought, I should take care of my ears. Every evening I have a light headache – I hope I can change that. I purchased an active noise reduction (ANR) set from Headsetinc for my David…

2.5h CPL – Maneuvers

Can you point out design maneuvering speed (Va) on this airspeed indicator? This airspeed is important to know if you are flying maneuvers or flying into turbulence; it is the airspeed at which the airplane stalls at its G-limit. In other words, it is the speed at which the stall protects your airplane from structural…

1.2h CPL – Complex Airplane

The past three weeks I had been studying intensively for the commercial written exam. It turned out that nearly all knowledge was already covered by previous courses for the private pilot license and instrument rating. Still, I wanted to work through the entire online class and immerse myself in my new goal: the commercial pilot…

45h IR – Instrument Rating, done!

So there it was, finally in my hands, the temporary airman certificate. I am an instrument pilot now, it says. But as always, it is just a license to learn and I stand at the very beginning. This spring was quite eventful, as I tried to get the flight training done before I got married….

39.8h IR – I Follow Roads

“Cessna 43L, cleared into Class Bravo airspace at 7’500, follow interstate I-25 to Centennial”, Denver Center told me while flying in simulated instrument conditions. The sky was blue but I had to wear foggles, glasses which restrict the view outside. While trying to fly IFR, with vectors from my instructor, I had to follow a…

38.3h IR – Phase Check

My flight instructor scheduled the examiner for next Wednesday and I was on the final stretch. I arrived at the flight school for a phase check with a senior instructor. First thing I heard when I arrived was: There was a regulation change by the FAA. Regulation Change On December 3rd the FAA changed its…

37.3h IR – Partial Panel

Today we had another standard session of ILS, localizer and GPS approaches at Front Range and Centennial. This time only the ILS with full panel and during the latter two approaches I had a simulated vacuum pump failure. Or to make it sound less dramatic, my instructor put sticky-notes on some important instruments. On the…

36.3h IR – When it doesn’t Feel Right

Knowing that my concentration wasn’t at its best I headed to the airport. There was no reason for it but even driving the car over the pass needed more attention, my focus simply wasn’t there. It happens very seldom but today was one of the days I possibly wouldn’t have flown solo. Because it simply…

35.5h IR – Getting back on Course

The last weeks have thrown me a bit off my plans. I had in mind to finish up my instrument training as soon as I could and then my car broke down and my new roommate’s new used car wasn’t driveable as well. We ended up having no car at all, instead of two. Now…

34.2h IR – Written Exam and Long X-Country

“We don’t have an instrument test scheduled for today,”, the lady at the test center said, “but in that case we schedule one for 15 minutes from now.” At 10.0015 my written test began, thanks to the American can-do attitude, and I noticed there was a whole book with figures I had never seen before….

26.8h IR – Unexpected Clouds

I flew the first time through clouds! Even if it was only for a moment, I am happy about it. I already believed I would go through instrument training without ever seeing a cloud from the inside. Since the last blog entry I had two flights and there is a lot to de-brief on the…

21.8h IR – Half Way Through

The 20 hour sim-time regulation came just in time and now I am half way through the training. I am looking forward to fly the airplane starting with the next lesson until I am at the 40 hours of simulated instrument time required for the test. I like it how the pieces come together –…