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Location: Massachusetts, United States

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Food, wine and good times at home

The instrument checkride and all of its intensity seems like it happened ages ago.
A decent night's sleep after the ride, I began studying for writtens. First in line was the Fundamentals of Instructing exam, which I took without any major problems on Friday of last week, the day after the instrument ride. With that done, the next three days were packed with intensive studying for the FIA (Flight Instructor Airplane) and AGI (Advanced Ground Instructor), which also went well.
My head hurt for a day or two after, however.
On Wednesday, thrilled with the idea of officially being an advanced ground instructor, I boarded a JetBlue flight home to see my wife and get some badly-needed rest. Hours after my return, we found ourselves sitting at a nearby Italian restaurant, sipping an awesome red Dolcetto, which greatly complemented the delicious polpette, and were once again a couple.
I'd missed that tremendously.
I also got back into other passions outside of flying, such as strumming my guitars and cooking. My schedule in Manassas all but eradicated those from my everyday life, hobbies which in my prior professional incarnation had sustained my mental sanity and will to avoid going postal.
Last night, for instance, my friend and Cape Air captain Ffloyd and I cooked for our wives, murdered way too many bottles of wine and traded flying stories on Cape Cod.
So with a belly constantly full of good food and wine and a heart soothed by the kind attentions of my better half, I'm a happy man. I've accomplished a lot in the past few weeks, in reasonably difficult conditions because of the forced separation from home and I feel proud.
The process, in many ways, feels like that of growing up. I'm more confident, more proficient and mature as a pilot and look forward to the growth ahead. With about six weeks to go in my training, including five checkrides and a ride on the Citation 525, I'm pumped.
And today was made a little more special by an hour spent in the windy skies of Massachusetts with Jen. My constant babbling on flying has obviously rubbed off on her and she told me a few weeks ago that she might go for her private. Of course, I greeted the news with great excitement and decided to take her up for a bit of an intro flight.
With admirable patience, she's been up with me many times before but never touched the controls in spite of my ongoing offer to do so. This afternoon, however, she described circles over the Wachuset Reservoir for about an hour, learning the basics and most of all having fun.
No words would do justice to how great it felt to see her fly that plane and have fun, so I'll keep that for myself. She did very well, slowly learning how to point the airplane's nose where she wanted it. After all that patience listening to my monologues about it, she was doing it herself. She was flying!!!
I couldn't think of a better prelude to my impending career as an instructor and while all we visited today were turns and straight and level flight, I feel like I've learned from it.
The word of the examiner I did my instrument ride with came back to me: "I didn't start learning until I began to instruct."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your de was exactly right. ive learned more teaching in the last 4 months than i had in all my training previously. students do some crazy things. have fun and congrats so far. i live in fairfax so if you ever wanan catch up shoot me an email at


1:32 PM  

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