152.3h – Conversion FAA-EASA Complete

I have passed the practical test – the final piece to complete my conversion! =) =) =) My grin will not disappear for the next days. I am so happy now… All the hassle is over. I finally hold two stand-alone pilot certificates.

Winter went on into the first week of April. We had low visibility and ceilings for a long time. I feared to get out of shape and the deadline to complete this skills test came closer. Finally temperatures of 24°C with unlimited visibility arrived. After a bit of hesitation I called a flight examiner. I chose the last of three beautiful days to get the test done. I figured I could need a bit of a brush up. The two days before the test I flew to Berne and further on to Lausanne where I spent a night in a hostel. I booked a room in French and – imagine! – they understood what I was talking about. 🙂 The flight to Berne was a difficult one. I chose the navigation-wise most difficult inbound route just to challenge myself. In the air I wished I chose the easy one that followed a highway. After a bit of circling I found my way. VFR isn’t an easy task if all the hills and villages look the same.

But this challenge paid off. I flew the same route on the skills test and was perfectly oriented during the whole approach. I felt well prepared and didn’t worry too much. I liked that the examiner asked for a flapless landing in the end. I never did this before in this aircraft but it all went smooth. There are a few more things I learnt during the test. For example I didn’t know exactly how to use a carburetor temperature gauge. I believed to pull the carb heat full out would never hurt. And then he gave me the advice to remember power settings for certain speeds. Flying would be a lot easier for me if I would just know 18″ of manifold pressure is 100mph in level flight. I will go up once and write down all the settings between 120 and 70mph.

I’m happy. The test was a full success and I learnt quite a bit during this long afternoon. The examiner advised on our good-bye: Focus on something on every flight and never stop to practice. Well, then…. rooooger wilco! 🙂

Even if it is over now; I would still call the conversion from FAA to EASA a never ending story. A progress that would take a few days in America took 10 months in Switzerland. After three months of hassle I received a certificate of validation. It would be valid for one year and only once in a livetime. For unknown reasons mine was valid only for nine months. Due to all this government-things I sometimes lost interest in flying for months. Without all this hassle, dear BAZL and EASA, I would have flown a lot more often and thus would be a safer and more current pilot today. Just sayin’…

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