Sunday, January 15, 2006

JAA PPL training at NAC Florida


My name is Phil Whitten and I live in Surrey, England.

I want to learn to fly small aircraft. I started in June 2005 by going to a local flying school at Blackbushe where I commenced my lessons in a Cessna 152. After a couple of months I realised that with my weekly lessons being regularly cancelled due to bad weather that it could take 18 months or more to get a basic PPL license. As I am 60 years of age I felt the need to get on with this process so that I could get some flying in before the medicals become difficult. Flying is something I have wanted to do since I was a teenager.

I decided to solve the problem by going on an intensive flying course in Florida. Here they have schools that specialise in these intensive courses as they have the benefit of excellent flying weather for most of the year. It is possible to go to one of these schools as a complete novice and in 3 to 4 weeks complete the training and come back to the UK with a PPL that is recognised throughout most of the world. However this can be extremely hard work because there are seven written examinations that must be taken and passed as part of the training. I decided to do three things :-
1) Continue with some lessons here in order to confirm that flying small private aircraft was for me.
2) Carry out home study and complete all the written exams.
3) Book up to go on an intensive course but where I could enjoy the flying more having already completed the written examinations.

In three weeks time I am setting off for the Naples Air Center in Florida to carry out my PPL training. I am hoping to be able to keep this blog running whilst I am there. I will be taking my laptop and a PDA so as long as I can get web access and have some energy left after each day of flying I should be able to keep posting. My plan is to include photos where possible.

In later postings but before I leave for Florida I will provide more background in terms of the events that have happened so far eg. getting a suitable US visa, doing the exams, choosing a school in Florida, etc.

I know that there are many wannabe pilots like myself of all age groups and I hope this blog will prove to be of interest to them.

Bye for now Phil

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