USA (UKFT) Flight training

USA (UKFT) Flight training

2 Oct - 29 Nov 2001

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2 Oct 2001

I left Schiphol at 12:30 and due to the security issues there are since the New York terrorist attacks by the Taliban it took some time to get through customs. But I got a nice surprise before as due to the fact that the flight was fully booked (they joined two flights) they upgraded me to business class which by itself is not too bad. So here we went in luxury for 10 hours 30 minutes. Flying to LA is good that way. Good food and service so I would like to say thank you KLM (the fact that I have a silver wing frequent flyer card helped quite a bit I guess). Landed in LA at around 14:00 hours and was picked up by a courtesy bus, after calling the hotel, that took me to the hotel. Met a German pilot and chatted with him on the way. Here again it was clear that many layoffs are going on the flying industry as well. The hotel was ok and as I needed some sleep after being up for such a long time I hit the deck straight away. The weather was about 22 degrees and not that bad.

3 Oct 2001

Woke up at around 24:00 and needed to adjust to the hours here so stayed in bed until about 08:00. It was quite clouded and about 20 degrees but they promised the temperatures raising quickly and indeed around 13:00 the sun was back again. Got me my last sandwiches for breakfast and asked for the courtesy bus to take me back to the airport to get another bus to the guesthouse. This guy almost left me behind as we had to wait a while for him and I was walking a bit around. From LA airport I got a van (1 800 red vans) and this is a shared bus service so it took a lonnnnng time before he actually left the airport after making three round to get his bus full he started driving. Than he did not know where to go and actually he did not think it was good to take his bus as it was too far away. Also the other people where a bit amazed. Finally he took every one where they wanted to go and I was the last to be dropped of. I was surprised that he took me on a small detour and he showed me Long Beach a bit. Very nice houses and channels they have here. We went even to houses for sale to have a look... at 12:00 o'clock arrived at the guest house... here to find that the price was increased to $48 (only $8 extra but still) Na this is only for one night and than we have to see where we will get. First lets look around the area.... Just walked up to the beach here but to see not a real swimming area but a lot of oil islands in front of the Ocean Boulevard. It was about an hours walk and the streets look great here with many palm trees on both sides. Kind of neat though. On the beach I already noticed a high amount of airplanes flying over and even seeing some Dakotas so that was pretty cool. Called the school and tomorrow at 10:00 will be meeting up with them.

4 Oct 2001

Got up quite early due to some noisy people in the apartment upstairs. Anyway need to get breakfast so got up and looked where to go. After breakfast (read small table with some sandwiches you need to pick up) ordered the ride to the Long Beach airport. Arriving there I was introduced to Ajay who again introduced me to my flying instructor Ram Pal. We went over what I needed extra and went to the pilot shop and got some stuff like a flight computer kneepads some manuals (POH Cessna 152) and charts of the area. In total spend some extra $120 for the training excluding the headset that I might have to buy also. These headsets are about $135 and range from $100 upto about $500 (professional) as I got one I can use I did not buy one yet. We planned the first flight but this was cancelled as I needed some more introductions. Got my first payment arranged and asked the second to be spited up and that was ok. In the afternoon went to the main terminal to get lunch and they have a great restaurant with some good food and salads for about $10 and being a UKFT student you get about 10% off. The first day attended ground school for about 2 hours so fell in the rhythm straight away. In the evening I was getting a ride to the apartment that is about 40 minutes walk away but with my backpack it was good to get the ride. Arrived he showed me the shops and banks in the area. Later on met the guys in the flat and found that there where matrices available and I was lucky to find a pillow and some spare sheets that I confiscated. Later on bought some groceries as the flat has some fridges and a microwave. Even an airco but this does not seem to work that well. Luckily the temps are great now. About 18 at night and about 23 at daytime. Cold for the area but good for me.

5 Oct 2001

Today got up and Billy (one of the guys in the flat, Scottish) showed me where to find the bus to the airfield. The bus is a dollar every way so that's not that bad. After arriving talked to my instructor and went for my first flight. I was already introduced immediately to flying and seated at the left seat so that was cool. Basic instructions between Boeings and other commercial airliners..... way cool... After the debriefing I got some homework to follow an I see that doing the bookwork home would have been the best option. Quite some people come out to the US and already finished the exams. In the afternoon another flight was scheduled but due to the fact I miscalculated the ground school this flight was cancelled and I followed the ground chool on Airspace clarifications and weight and balance issues. Later on that day I did some pre-flight preparations and there was not enough time to do the flight lessons. Later on walked home with one of the flatmates, a Danish guy, and spend the evening with reading and learning a bit.

Hours flight : 1.5 Total 1.5

6 Oct 2001

Ok now we are talking today 2 lessons the first one in the morning for 2.5 hours and another one in the afternoon for 1.5 hours. The airspace was very busy and it was confusing a bit to fly in such a highly used airspace but it will give me a better feeling of flying than a quiet airspace such as in the Netherlands. Also the good thing is the flight lessons are counted from engine start only meaning the pre-flight instructions and debriefing are not calculated as flight lessons. Due to some other issues we left a bit late in the afternoon and came in at night. Man.... Long Beach at night is cool although finding the right runway at night is not that easy. But luckily made it. Still not fully at home in the plane and there are many things that I need to practice much more. But its great and I am happy I am doing this and I should have done it even before. As it was weekend I missed the restaurant at the terminal so had to feed myself with some real American junk food... but I will survive...... Going home saw the busses only ride once per hour and missed mine so walked home again. Its cool walking besides a Boeing factory and seeing some nice airplanes around.

All students are from al over the place although most from the UK. Some are going for their PPL or for CPL or IMC etc etc.. Also met some girls. One is from Switzerland and she even has her PLL and Swiss CPL.. They rented a plane for three weeks and flew through the US and now she is doing her IFR at the school. This sounds kind of cool.

Hours flight : 2.5 + 1.5 = 4 total 5.5

7 Oct 2001

As also our instructors might have a day of its not sure yet if we will fly. If not this will be a learning day as I still need to study some books and do some homework from Ram Pal for the next flight. Called my instructor in the morning and unfortunately we will not fly today so we will start on Wednesday again to proceed my training. Did some shopping and called home to find out that using this calling card I got is not as good as they mentioned. I got it from but I cannot advice it buying local cards are cheaper. Just heard that the US has launched the attack on Afghanistan to retaliate on them after the terrorism attack on the 11of September. I hope my return and flying will not be at risk.

8 Oct 2001

Today again quite some flying we did one block and we ended up lading later on in the night.

Hours flight : 2.5 = total 8

9 Oct 2001

This day was a day of practicing the touch and go's. Right traffic patterns and just making rounds. This was quite a lot and due to my miscalculation I missed a ground school so I need to see if there will be an option to redo that class if Jan (The guy that gives it) has time to do it. As my headset was not working well I bought a new one and the sound of this one was much better so it's good to have this new one as it will make the communications work better.

Hours flight : 1.9 + 2.6 = 4.5 total 12.5

10 Oct 2001

Today was scheduled for my FAA medical and this was done in the morning. Abe Paster drove me over to the office of Dr Herzog. This is close to the tower so not to far away. I was asked to fill in some info and Dr Herzog did some tests. It went all very quick and he had quite some stories. His whole office is filled with pictures on the wall about his life and people he knows. Pretty amazing he has seen the whole world. The medical is $60 and is cheaper here than in Europe. In the afternoon started to fly some manoeuvres such has slow flight, stalls etc etc... I need to pick up more on the procedures. So books books books.. In the evening I went with one of the guys from the apartment to an Internet cafe. More a copy shop where you can use computers. Unfortunately it was quite expensive so I tried to keep it short. In the evening did some more training on the manoeuvres. The new headset works great and it was a good choice to buy. Now at least I can hear the tower etc much better.

Hours flight : 2.8 = total 15.3

11 Oct 2001

Today flying at 10:00. Waking up noticed that there was a big haze and once checking ATIS found that feasibility was only 1.2 feet. As the fog was not burned of that quickly only could start flying at 12:00 the fog was still there but it improved to 2.5 feet so we went up. First tried some touch and go's and after about 5 we went to the practice area where we did some stalls and it went a bit better than last time. Later on in the afternoon did some more starts and go's. At the pilot shop they had the new charts so swapped mine back to new plastified one. The shop is a bit expensive so need to find another address to find things I need.

Hours flight : 2.1 + 1.1 = 3.2 total 18.5

12 Oct 2001

We will fly at around 12:00 so I have some time to study the info before we go up. Still need to hammer in the radio calls as I keep on messing them up in the air. But practice should be the key and also knowing all procedures will help. As of today I will need to practice the maps as we will go cross-country and I need to know the airports. The radio calls are going much better and it seems I do not have to worry too much about them.

Hours flight : 2.0 + 1.6 = 3.6 total 22.1

13 Oct 2001

In the mornings the weather was getting bad and mostly a haze prevents us from flying. So the only time we are able to go up is in the noon cq afternoon time.

Hours flight : 2.4 = total 24.5

14 Oct 2001

Today the weather does not look and we planned the flight at 14:00 hours but unfortunately due to some communications my flight instructor could not reach me and I could not reach him. Meaning no flying was done today unfortunately. The weather was bad anyway although later in the afternoon some went up and flew a bit. But not for me.

15 Oct 2001

Today a new student arrived and Ram Pal is going to train her also (Ana a Spanish girl living in Ireland) due to that I need to get my solo done soon and Ajay will test me tomorrow to see what is not going well with my landings. We went up with Ram Pal but I need to work more on the landings. All the rest goes well but the last part needs more improvement before I can go solo. In the morning attended another ground school and now only a few ones to go. I need to spend more time in the books to get the stuff into my head as days are counting down now. Ajay today gave the school and the topic was RT and UK airspace. Seems there are quite some different rules in the UK compared to the US. This night a new guy moves in Dave from the UK. He works in Paris and will stay two weeks in the apartment. After that probably a new person will arrive.

Hours flight : 1.0 = total 25.5

16 Oct 2001

Big day as Ajay will go up and see what is going on. After flying with him he found I have some issues with using the rudders and I need to be firmer on them. This means a bit more practice and I will go over the hours a bit. I hope it will not be too much so lets see and wait. Today also time to get my laundry done. Luckily at the apartment there is a place to get it done but I needed to get a chip card filled first and that I had done this morning.

Hours flight : 1.9 = total 27.4

17 Oct 2001

Today another flight with Ram Pal to be in the pattern and practice more on these landings of mine. It still not feels well and I need to get them right soon as hours are ticking away. Need to get some money soon again to pay the next part of the course. At night tried to access my web mail but could not access it so lets hope it's not a big issues if it is I loose my mail access. That would not be good. Maybe I can find a computer around to fix it. But anyways I do not go often to the Internet place as its expensive and the course is my main target.

Hours flight : 1.4 = total 28.8

18 Oct 2001

In the morning we had ground school. Planning and navigation (the one I missed earlier). It looks ok but I need to ensure I can make my routes and work my flight computer. This indeed will need some more practises. Today flew with Ajay in the afternoon to see if I can get my landings better. It seems I am still not doing something perfect and I land a bit of the track. Ajay showed me some things and in the end it seems to go better. Now I just need to see if I can get it more perfect and if all goes well I might go solo... (aiks).... As I reach 30 hours I am over the average to go solo. Normally this is around ca 20 hours. Ajay also asked about the next payment so need to get to a bank to get some American traveller cheques.

Hours flight : 2.3 + 0.7 = 3 total 31.8

19 Oct 2001

Eureka today my first solo done that was nice and as it was due at at least 25 hours I need to move on faster with the rest so I hope all goes well from now. Also had to arrange the payment for the UK ft school and need to sort out the housing payment so need MONEY ! Anyways it was a good day. In the morning there was the famous haze again but later it cleared up and at around 12:30 Ram Pal and me went up and after .8 hours he left the plane and I went on by myself. Way cool..... I was scheduled to do it again later that day but as the wind went up to 11 Knots it was decided not to do it today so tomorrow I will have to do more solo. When we went home we jumped in the wrong bus but we decided to stay and we ended up down town Long Beach where we went to a Greek Restaurant that had good food. So today was a good day ! Also arranged a car for tomorrow night as we are going to hit some beach areas to have some fun. Billy Gee and Dave my apartment mates are going to hit the night life as most of them will leave next week so this will be their last weekend. This means except from Billy 2 new people will move in the apartment. Lets see how that will work out.

Hours flight : 0.8 + 0.6 = 1.4 total 33.2

20 Oct 2001

Today it was solo time again. First I went up with Ram Pal to see how things are going and after that I was doing it again by myself. Now I like it more and more as doing it by your self is much more fun. In the evening hired a car and we went to Huntington Beach. This is a cool place all the things you miss in Long Beach are at Huntington Beach. Good bars and great views....... All the guys where pretty pissed and unfortunately I had to drive so had to keep sober but it was a fun experience and met some nice people. Tomorrow people will have to do their exams but in their current condition they will not be able to do that I guess. Also I changed my pick up of the rental car instead from LAX to LGB so that saves me some extra travel. Once I have the car I will do some tours in the area and later start my trip to Seattle.

Hours flight : 1.5 = total 34.7

21 Oct 2001

And yet again solo day. Indeed the guys could not do their exams and they where moved to Monday as also the weather was not that good. But for pattern work it was ok. So did some rounds and now we need to start doing the cross countries so that's going to be fun as we need to start to navigate etc. The flight will be from Long Beach to Redlands and it will take about 1 hour and 30 minutes to go there and back. While doing that I will need to learn to analyse the environment and read the map to know where I am.

Hours flight : 1.9 = total 36.6

22 Oct 2001

Today I did no flying and in stead started to see how the routes are planned. Tomorrow I will start with VOR navigation so that's going to be interesting. Ram Pal has given some 'ground school' on the subject together with Ana. At lunch he took us to an Indian 'fast' food place as the restaurant he wanted to take us to was closed unfortunately. After lunch I wanted to watch one of the videos but all players where in use so just spend some time on the books and the flight planning. I hope that we will go up tomorrow, as sitting on the ground is not that good.

23 Oct 2001

Now we are getting somewhere. Today it was VOR flight. We flew around and I was introduced in the usage of VOR by means of life tests. As we where flying Ram Pal got me lost and with the help of the VOR I was supposed to locate our position without using VFR. This was a bit of getting used to as you are also blind folded and you can only see the instruments. After a bit of playing around I think I got the hang of it. But I need more practise on this item and as of tomorrow we will go cross-country I am sure I will get used to it (I just have to).

Hours flight : 2.2 = total 38.8

24 Oct 2001

Now this is another challenge. We flew from Long Beach to Redlands and I will have to be able to locate us by using visual reference points and by using the VOR. The flight was a bit under hazy circumstances so it made it much more difficult for me but as we where on the way things where becoming more clear and I think I have things better in hand although some radio calls need to go smoother than as they are now. I need to practise them more but when you get in I am tired as hell. Never thought it would be such an attack on ones mind ! Needed to prepare two routes as the haze is getting bad and we need to make choices. The problem is I fell asleep during some reading so postponed it to the morning.

Hours flight : 2.5 = total 41.3

25 Oct 2001

Hm still tired but need to get the maps done its either going to be a cross country from Long Beach to Palm Springs and than to French Valley back to Long beach or from Long Beach to Paradise French Valley Dana Point and back to Long Beach. As the weather looked a bit better Ram Pal decided to go for Palm Springs and on the way to there flying through the mountains it looked great. I can fly around here a while. Palm Springs is cool but quite warm... On the way back the haze came back that made it more difficult for me again the find my locations but I did better than I thought. So that's good to hear. Tonight I will have to prepare the flight from LGB to F70 Dana Point back to LGB this means flying over the coast and flying through the mountains so I hope it will be good views all around although the weather predictions are not that good. So lets hope for the best. Laundry day tomorrow morning and at 13:00 it should be off for another fun day. Another exiting issue is that still I have to do the exams so that's going to be tight. Still 6 to go. Need to start doing the books and practise the exams more..

Hours flight : 3.5 = total 44.8

26 Oct 2001

Now it was time to do the cross country from Long Beach via Paradise to French Valley and from there to Dana point and back to Long Beach. I was not feeling so comfortable and this a couple of things went wrong and I missed some checks. On the way back to Long Beach I missed another view items. When we came back during the debriefing we decided not to go on Solo yet but to do the same cross-country again tomorrow.

At night we all went again to Huntington Beach but this time Jaimy was doing the driving and they hired a huge car so all of us (6) fit well. It was a great evening and it relaxes quite well. We met again many people and I can assure somewhere cool. It was not that late when we came back around 3 O'clock so I went to bed as in the morning I had to ensure the flight plan would be ready. Tomorrow some flatmates will leave if they will finish their exams.

Hours flight : 3.4 = total 48.2

27 Oct 2001

Same ride again the weather was a bit better but still quite some haze in the area that made orientation more complex for me. During the ride I still missed some items but it went better than yesterday. So it looks that if the weather will be clear tomorrow I will do my cross-country solo so that's going to be fun. I think I can do it but we will see. There is only one restriction and that is that the weather will be good and the haze will be cleared of otherwise I cannot go. I want to plan the next week some days free to be able to start studying and finish the exams. Still need 6 to go. Today also the clock was set 1 hour back so at 17:00 it will get dark already but hopefully meaning also that we can start earlier in the morning with flying.

Paid for the flat $15 a night so there goes another $300. Also the hours will be a bit more than planned so this will also add up a bit but if I make it all its worth while. Flying here is really cool and this I never could have done home in such a short period.

Hours flight : 3.0 = total 51.2

28 Oct 2001

The first time since I have been here there where clouds all day long so the Solo cross country did not go ahead. It also looks that tomorrow will be a cloudy rain and they even predicted RAIN ! Aiks...another day that the cross country will not take place. In stead we might do the prechecks for my test flight to see if I still can do the right stuff at the right time. Today did another exam Human Performance but as Ajay left the office I do not know the result yet but it should be ok (I hope) now another view to go. Next one I guess I will take Air law. Today Gee and Dave left the apartment to go home. Dave (the more than lucky guy) finished his PPL and Gee unfortunately did not pass one exam so he will try to do that back home and finish there. This means only Billy and I will be left but it seems a guy from Ireland will join us tomorrow again so it will be three. Another man arrived today that will be here also for some additional flight training. So airplane availability will go up as more people left than came.

29 Oct 2001

Yep made the exam so that's good news. Also Ajay wanted me to do my cross country to Palm Springs. It was a cool flight and took about 3.5 hours in total. I also stayed a bit on the airports to get fuel and have a bit of a rest as its kind of intense. The weather was a bit hazy all the way so the views where not that good. Maybe if all goes well I will do this again but it will be extra charged so need to spend a bit more than if I do that.

Hours flight : 1.4 + 1.1 + 1.2 = total 54.9

30 Oct 2001

Today I did my French Valley cross country that actually should be done before Palm Springs but hey they wanted to do this so I just followed it. They predicted rain today at 14:00 so I left at 11:00 for French Valley and I could make it al the way although SoCal diverted me when trying to fly over the coast. This was kind of cool but I could not do the coastline again as I did earlier on the dual flight. When I arrived I did another exam and as Ajay was gone I need to wait until tomorrow before I know. I will not do any flying tomorrow, as I want to use days a bit more on the study and hopefully finish the exams quickly.

Hours flight : 2.2 = total 57.1

31 Oct 2001

I luckily passed the air law exam so now another 4 to go. I did not go to the airfield today so no flying but just hitting the books. I will try to see if I can do two exams tomorrow Aircraft General and flight performance. Than its another two to go before I can do the practical exam so I hope I can make it. I will also have to pick up the car tomorrow so I have some transportation. This will make it a bit harder to learn as the temptation is high to go somewhere instead of learning. But I did not wanted to cancel that to have all options open. Wonder what I will get as car ? At least it gives me mobility, as without a car it's nothing here. Tonight is Halloween and the kids should be running through the streets shouting trick or treat and the houses are nicely decorated so maybe I will have to take some pictures tomorrow. Lets see ... O yea by the way today another earth quake south at Palm Springs it was about 5.1 but not noticeable in Long Beach (by me). The earthquake earlier this week I also did not notice but others felt it. Yep this is the earthquake part of the world.

1 Nov 2001

Hm Halloween was not that heavy in this area. Just heard a few kids early in the evening but that was it. The main parties are being held in downtown LA and Hollywood. On TV it looked good but as I still need to study I hit the books. Today I did two other exams and passed both. Now it's 'only' three left and two before I can do my practical exam. Navigation and Meteorology. Today I flew around with my instructor to do some practise on short field take of and short field landings. The weather was quite hazy but it was only in the pattern so all by all it was ok. Later on at around 18:00 I collected my car and it's a nice one so lets see what that brings us. The milas was at 17955 so lets keep track on what I will drive on distances here. In the evening I hit the books again and maybe I will try my luck with meteorology tomorrow. Lets see.

Hours flight : 1.2 = total 58.3

2 Nov 2001

Hm forgot to get something to buy for breakfast. Na good excuse to hit the books again. Dam I am really happy when that is finished as learning that much in such a short of time is a bit painful but lets see I made 5 so far so a few more should be ok I hope. If all goes well maybe I can finish next week. That would keep me about 3 weeks for cruising. Today tried my luck with meteorology so lets see if I can finish that one.

Hours flight : 1.8 = total 60.1

3 Nov 2001

I made also the Meteorology exam so that's good news. Only 2 to go (Nav and Radio pract) today the weather was not good again and in the morning no flying was possible. In the afternoon I was supposed to fly but as another student arrived later than planned after a cross country (Ana) it was not possible to go up again so unfortunately no flying today. I spend the time at the UKFT and tried to study the last exam theoretical exam Navigation. This is a bit of a hard core one and need to see if this will go well.

4 Nov 2001

Amazing it was raining when I came out of bed and it rained all morning until about 13:00. At about 14:00 it cleared up but as all instructors did stay home so another day I could not fly. This is a bit of a pain as now its two days without going up. This should not last to long as it will get rusty if I stay on the ground too long. I hope it will clear up tomorrow as otherwise I will get bored. A good thing is that it gave me time to look into the navigation exam that I plan to take on Monday. It's a bit of hard core, as this will involve the UK airspace instead of the US that I have been planning for the last few weeks. Na lets see...

5 Nov 2001

This was a very foggy morning visibility about 1 (and less) and I could not even see the other side of the street. So no flying this morning but as I planned my exam (nav) it should be good. Unfortunately when arriving at UKFT no one had a key and Ajay called Hans (from Paster Aviations) and I started my exam. After about one hour I finished and as Ajay was busy I had to wait a bit but after he checked it I found I made it so that means that this week I will do my practical exam... Auch... In the afternoon we flew and did the stalls and other emergency procedures. Ram Pal guesses I need a few more hours 1 a 2 and I should be ok. So we went up IMC as the visibility was bad. At night we all (Billy Andy and me) drove up to the Greek restaurant where we went earlier with Dave Gee Billy and me. It was a good meal !

Hours flight : 2.4 = total 62.5

6 Nov 2001

I am now over 4 hours planning and as it looks I will go over by about 5 a 10 hours as its dual it will cost a bit more but as long as I make it .......Lets see. The check ride is planned at Wednesday afternoon. After that I only need the radio practical done. Today there was no flying being done.

7 Nov 2001

The check ride for today has been cancelled and in stead we did some more revision on the manoeuvres and made some more preparations for the check ride that will be done tomorrow by Ajay. Hopefully all goes well but that we will see tomorrow. In the evening went to Huntington Beach with Andy the new Irish guy in the apartment. The owner recognised me luckily, as I did not bring my passport and on top of that even a free round from him. Billy now left the apartment and went flying to Las Vegas so its now three again in the apartment as another UK bloke joined.

Hours flight : 2.7 = total 65.2

8 Nov 2001

Check ride day today unfortunately no flying before. It was still kind of hazy but we have to try, as the weather predictions are not that well for the days to come. The check ride was to Redlands one of the airfields I went in the beginning so that was ok. After making the plan we went up I made a few small errors but until the Paradise VOR all went quite well. At Paradise I got a diversion to Lake Mathews and there I had to do some exercises. Unfortunately I made some errors and 2 of the test that went all fine the day before. But as I was a bit more nervous I guess that was the problem. From here we flew back and the haze was quite high. Visibility was 3 but it was hard to see where I was as only direct under us we could see what we where passing. So I did not pass the exam now and Ajay want me to do the exercises tomorrow again. The rest was all ok luckily. Ram Pal will take me up again to go over the exercises again.

Hours flight : 1.7 = total 66.9

9 Nov 2001

The weather today is good so Ram Pal took me up in the morning and we went to Lake Mathews to do some extensive training at the area and we perfected the exercises. We did it from all kind of altitudes so that was good practising. The trip took about 3.5 hours so that was quite tiresome but it was a good trip and also we did some more chart reading exercises. When we came back I had to go straight up again with Ajay for the test that was planned not at Lake Mathews but at Fullerton and the exercises in the practise area. Once we went up Ajay wanted to fly direct to Fullerton to do the engine failure test that went quite ok although the nose was a bit low when touching down. After that I did a touch and go and at that time Long Beach did not accept any VFR flights anymore so we went back to Long Beach via IMC. Ajay explained how and what and I flew to Long Beach and landed via ILS on 30 that was really cool so IMC will be on my list to do also I guess next time. Once back in the office I heard I passed the test so now only the radio practical to go... as Ajay is going to go to Las Vegas I can do the test earliest on Tuesday.

Hours flight : 3.5 + 1.0 = total 71.49

10 Nov 2001

Strange feeling as when arriving at the airport there was no flying for me so I just planned myself another solo flight. Although the crosswinds where quite variable I did some touch and go's today but as traffic was quite high and the tower was getting really busy I stopped after about one hour. If the weather clears as they predicted much rain the next weekend I am not sure if I can do a lot more flying as its getting time to start moving on towards Seattle. At night I went out with Ana to (hm getting a habit) Huntington Beach this was a good change and should be done more but unfortunately she has still quite some things to do before she is finished with her PPL so this will not be done again I am afraid. Anyway it was a very nice evening indeed.

Hours flight : 0.9 = total 72.3

11 Nov 2001

Yep RAIN outside. Hm my stay has not been that lucky here and according to others it was quite rare to have this kind of weather at this time of the year. Need to practise the radio exam more to get it right the first time. Not much done this day just tried the exam again to ensure it should be ok.

12 Nov 2001

Today again a dark day. Thinking about getting a 172 ride or even doing a trip to some where with the 172. Maybe Las Vegas or Santa Barbara and Catalina or so. Did the presolo for the 172 and now its just waiting for the weather. Ram Pal was still working with another student so it was too late to fly when he came back. Maybe tomorrow. In the afternoon Billy and his mate Hugh came back from their trips and at night we went into Downtown Long Beach and had some Italian food and popped down to an Irish bar but as I had to finish the last exam we went back earlier (23:00).

13 Nov 2001

Last exam today. The weather cleared and the visibility was awesome so these coming days should be great to fly in. But first I have to get the exam out of the way before I will go on with other things. Started the exam at about 12 and past it quite quick. The prestudy was good and I missed almost nothing during the exam so all is done now and I am finished with my PPL training. Now only the paper works needs to be done and hours to be calculated. Now I want to try out a 172 to see how this will be. As another student was late in I delayed it to tomorrow as in a new plane I rather fly in daytime. I heard the 172 should be great.

14 Nov 2001

Looked in the POH for the 172 to fill in the questionnaire before I can fly in the 172. Ram Pal has to go with me as otherwise I need to be checked out and that's another $300 so lets first get used to the plane. As route I will fly to Santa Barbara that is along the coast and the good thing is we will fly almost over LAX so I am looking forward for this flight. The 172 is a bit bigger and I was amazed by the space in the aircraft. It flies much more stable than the 152 and it handles great. The weather was good and visibility was nice. We flew over the coastline and had something to eat in Santa Barbara. As Ram Pal was expecting a student in he needed to go back to LGB so we stopped only for a short time. Next time when I am back in LGB I need to stay here a bit longer and make a nice flying trip out of it. When we went back we passed LAX at night and that was an awesome view. Many planes where queued up to land while we passed the runways. Somewhere taking of under us. Cool site......

Hours flight : 2.8 = total 75.1

15 Nov 2001

It was time to sort out all the paper work with Ajay as I made more hours so my next planned flight to Catalina was delayed a bit due to the time it took us to sort out the hours etc. Now I should be set and the only thing left is to sent the papers to the CAA in the UK (and pay them a fee) to obtain the license so that should be it. At about two we started the next trip. This time in another plane as the radios in the previous one where quite bad. This plane was a bit newer and the radios sounded much better though one was so now and than unusable (it froze). Today I wanted to do my last flight and I selected Catalina it's a small island out of the coast of LA. It's only a short flight but still a nice one. On the island there is a way small-uncontrolled airfield that slopes up so it is good to have that experience also. After a Buffalo burger we took of again and I circled the island before we climbed to take of to Dana Point and form there we flew to LGB again and this was cool as we flew at about 500 feet over the coast. During this flight I tried to get some pictures done and also I logged it with the Garmin receiver so lets see if that works out.

This was the last flight and from now my travels will start up to Seattle. I called Peer to join him on Monday and this weekend I will stay in San Louis Obispo. This Sunday there should be a big Meteor shower so I hope I can see that it will be at 02:00 on Sunday (auch).

Hours flight : 2.2 = total 77.3

16 Nov 2001

Last day at LGB. I wanted to see San Diego so I left in the morning to hit the 101 and along the coast it started to get a bit foggy but after Huntington Beach it cleared up more. San Diego was quite nice and crossing the bridge brought me to an awesome place that had a great view on the city. Here I stayed a few hours and enjoyed the scenery and had something to eat. On the way back I took the inland site to drive back to LGB the way as we often flew to see the area from the ground also. From San Diego I took the 5 than the 76 east and via the 15 and 19 and 605 back to Lakewood via Del Ano Blv. On the way back there was some fog but it was cool to see the pass and the roads I flew over quite some time from a bit closer. Now I have seen the area from ground and air. Next is seeing LA and Santa Monica etc and drive up the 101 to San Louis Obispo.

17 Nov 2001

After visiting the flight school to say bye to the boys and girls and my instructor it was time to start moving and so I did. I drove through LA and was thinking of visiting the famous streets but that would take me too long and traffic jams where not the thing I was looking forward to. Although I was still stuck in traffic I went to the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway 1) and went to Santa Monica beach. This was a nice area so stayed here a little while. The sun came through quickly as in down town LA it was quite bad when I left there. Here although it was sunny and warm. From here I drove up to San Luis Obispo via the highway 101 as via the 1 there would not be much visibility due to the coastal fog. At SLO I met some nice people and with another guy I went out to get some Chinese food. Later at night met up with some others. This night there would be a major meteor shower but it was so fogy that I did not even set the clock. Later on I heard that indeed there was nothing to see here due to the fog. Only further land inward it was possible to see it properly.

18 Nov 2001

In the hostel we got some free pancakes in the morning so that was good. I met Tom again whom I met also last time I was here. At breakfast also met some Belgian girls but after some chatting I went to the coast to visit a park along the coastline. This park was great and I walked quite a bit along the coastline before I drove of to the north and here I found my old route again so I explored it and this time went also up onto the rock into the ocean. The weather was better than yesterday and it even got warm so that's good. After that I drove up to the Airport just to see what was going on here. I visited one of the companies and asked about flying in the area. Via via I met some people from a flying club and as I do not have my PPL yet (paper work) I needed an instructor to join me. I called one from a list I got and he was ok to fly on a short notice. At 14:30 we met again at the club and he was quite cool. I took a Cessna 152 for $56 and the instructor was $25 an hour so quite ok. We went flying and he was just sitting and explaining the area more as a tour guide so I really enjoyed flying this way. We flew over Hearst Castle and over some lakes in the mountains. After 1.7 hours I landed again at SLO airport it was kind of foggy at that time and there was a lot of traffic at the airport so I even had to circle around before I got clearance to land. Flying here is cool as there is not much radio work in this area. Once you leave the tower for about 5 Nm radio is not used as there is no radar services out here. In the evening I was quite tired so did not do much than writing the log. Tomorrow it's of to SF on highway one. Here I will stay with Peer for maybe some days. Hopefully the weather will be good as the coast will be good to drive onto.

Hours flight : 1.7 = total 79

19 Nov 2001

Today its up to Scotts Valley to visit Peer. I guessed it would be about 6 hours drive over the highway 1. The weather was clear until about 100 miles before I reached Santa Cruz. Luckily the best part of the route was in sunshine but I guess from now on it will be more clouds and haze again. Scotts Valley was quite easy to find and even the address I was looking for was with the help of a gas station attendant easy to locate. At 17:00 hours I was there and Peer arrived a few minutes later so that was good planning. It helped that I had called him... By the way gas is much more expensive in this area. In LA its about $ 1.10 here its about $1.60 so that's quite a difference. At night we went to a Mexican restaurant and after that some drinks at Peers Place. The house is nice and as he already send some pictures it made it easier to locate for me. Tonight I am sure to sleep well as it's a quiet environment here and no snores around me as it happens in hostels.

20 Nov 2001

Yep sleeping was good here. After some shopping to get some decent food and having a nice breakfast on the porch I started driving. The sun is out so that should be good. I drove up to head for Oakland but after getting close the traffic was that bad that I decided to-do another tour. I went in the direction of Sacramento and via ... I went into the north so I would go via the mountains to the Dam and lakes area. I did this before but I now wanted to extend the trip via the side of the lake. Doing so was a good choice but the road became smaller and smaller and after a while I even had to go through small rivers that was kind of cool but I needed to ensure I was out of this area once the sun would set. The scenery was way cool and at around 5 o'clock I came out of the lakes area and headed back to Scotts valley. I underestimated the distance so it took me quite a bit to get back. I drove through the Napa Valley and there where already big Xmas trees around here. Later on even got some rain. Back to SF via the 2 bridges one of them the SF Bridge. At about 22:00 I arrived at home again.

21 Nov 2001

Today I wanted to visit SF and via highway one I drove up to the Golden Gate Bridge. Doing so I found some nice routes and ended up right under the bridge. A bit further close to Fort Mason I parked the car and walked into town to hang our here for a while. As today is the last day traffic back was expected to be bad and indeed it was. I tried via the bay bridge that took me almost 45 minutes after that via the 80 back to Los ... and than via the 17 back to Scotts Valley. The 17 is cool as it goes up the hill quite steep and that is a fun highway to take. They made it safer the last years as they put a middle barrier on the street now as there where quite some accidents which I cam imagine well.

22 Nov 2001

The sun was out and I headed back south from here via highway one and 101 to Camel valley. This is a very nice area down south of SF and I took the mountain road. This took a long time but the drive was nice. I ended up near Pinnacle Park and here I hiked a bit for about two hours. This park is way cool and I should return here but than to stay longer and hike the longer paths. I was back home at about 19:00 but all shops where closed due to Thanks Giving so that meant tin canned food today. I also reserved the hostel at Point Reyes and Redwood forest for the next two days. I heard it still rains in Seattle as I also reserved the last night there so I am close to the airport when I go back.

23 Nov 2001

As I was planning to leave a bit later I slept in a bit and after taking some pictures of the house where I stayed the last days and doing some shopping I started to drive out to Santa Cruz and from there back to Highway One. The last time it was foggy but now it was sunny so I could enjoy the drive much better. I went up to San Francisco and there I took the Skyline Boulevard this brings you al the way besides SF and I ended in a nice area that also has a big park with great bridge views so I started walking in this area. It was kind of busy but still it was a great walk. After the walk 5 drove over the bridge and took the exit to the vista point but it was really crowded here so I drove on to Sausalito via the local roads. I was thinking of staying in the hostel here and after driving through it I regretted not have done so. As I planned my next stop at Point Reyes. From Sausalito I went back to Highway One and drove up to Point Reyes. Almost no rain today so that was good. Point Reyes is a great place. Its al the way out and not far from the ocean. No houses around it so very quiet. Even deer was running around the area. Although on the phone he told me it was not busy after 21:00 it started to get full. I went to the beach to do some walking here but it started to rain so I headed back earlier. In the hostel I met a guy that wanted to play Back Gammon as I never played it he thought me and we played a while.

24 Nov 2001

Sleeping here was good but at night there was a big storm and outside you could see that it must have been a big one as many branches where on the street. After having some breakfast we played a few games again to see if I still knew how it worked. I planned to start driving early as this day I had a long trip ahead. I wanted to go al the way up to Redwood Forrest and I thought it would be ok but it seemed further than I thought as people warned me. I started driving and the results of the storm became much more clear. Many branches on the street and people cleaning dirt and rocks from the road. Driving up the coast I found that there was a major power outage on the whole east coast so that's going to be fun..... as I needed gas. Finally the gas light came on and I stopped at a garage and they provide me with some fuel manually so I could drive up to Fort Brag to fuel up again as it seems they had the power restored. The drive was nice although I remembered the first part as I did it a few years back. But from Fort Brag it was all new territory. California is really great to drive through. At least the coastline. Finding Redwood Hostel was a bit difficult in the dark but the guide provided enough info to get there. The hostel was nice and it had an ocean view. But at night not that handy. The hostel was more quiet and some people hired a video so watched the movie also. I went to bed early as I have a long day again tomorrow going to Seaside in Oregon. The hostel was kind of fun as it was not allowed to wear shoes inside.

25 Nov 2001

And what a nice view it is. Now you could enjoy the ocean view at its best so during breakfast I enjoyed it a lot although some clouds and rain prevented to get some good pictures. At about 8 o'clock I started my drive again and again via Highway One that goes al the way up to Washington (although it merges with highway 101) The coast line here is also great although the mountains here are not as beautiful as the ones I drove by earlier. But still it was quite nice. I had sun to until 2/3 of the drive after that unfortunately it started to rain and some hail again. Oregon had nice scenery and it was as I expected it to be. Much greener than California but hey the rain helped a lot I guess. Before I came into Seaside I took a scenic drive along the coast that provided some awesome views it was called the three capes. I heard on the radio that that down south there where quite some storms. On my way I also found some nice bridges and the sun was shining clearly on them so I needed to get them on film. At a certain point, close to Seaside, on top of some mountains there where quite some people gathered and I saw they used parachutes to glide in the ocean wind and that must provided the guys with a great sunset. I tried to get them on film so maybe that worked out. We will find out later I guess. From here it was to Seaside and checking into the hostel I found out I was the only guy there. So a private room that's cool. I drove around town and had some dinner before I headed back to the hostel. Here I met a nice girl and we talked all night long about travelling etc etc... Tonight I must sleep well as it's so quiet in the area.

26 Nov 2001

Yep very quiet. As I thought today was not going to be that a long drive I started slowly and after visiting the town again I started driving up to Washington via Estonia. There is a great bridge connecting Oregon and Washington but as the weather was bad I hope it will stick well on the film. I also bought some stuff for a colleague back home as it was hard to get in Europe. Washington surprised me with a great lake area and driving through it took a long time. Me also stopping and taking pictures and enjoying the scenery might also delay it a bit. Highway 101 (yep merged) was not along the coast al the time so this drive was most of all through the woods and hilly terrains. The colours of the woods surprised me as the green had so many different shades. The first part upto almost the north part was in sun shine so it was a very nice drive. Now at least I have a better understanding of Washington. As I stopped a bit to often I was delayed a bit and again I arrived at my next place at dark. This time the hostel was very hard to find and it was clearly in the guide but as this was an historical environment there where no clear signs to show you where to go to so it took a while but finally found it. After checking in I needed to get some groceries so guess what. yep lost again. Na tomorrow lets see how this area looks like. I will stay here two nights and than of to Seattle down town. Tomorrow I might score the ferry to Seattle and than drive back via the south. Lets see. Ok this is quiet again only one guy in the dorm. I met a girl that recognised me from Seaside although I did not recognise her. It's a small world sometimes.

27 Nov 2001

Sleeping here was again nice it's a quiet surrounding with the sound of the ocean on the back so that's good for sleeping. After having some breakfast, I did not bother making the pancakes that where offered, went to Seattle via the 104 and the 3 via the 16 and the 5 to downtown Seattle. On this way is also the house of a friend of mine. I knew he probably would be in California due to thanksgiving but I wanted to see his new house so I tried finding it, which was kind of hard, but in the end I found it. I tried my luck and to my surprise someone was home. I stayed a bit and heard they came back last Sunday evening and they thought I would be gone home already. We agreed I would come by tomorrow so I cancelled the hostel stay in Seattle, as I will be going from them to the Airport. From them it's about one hour if there are no traffic jams. When I left I continued driving to Seattle and I was a bit disappointed by the skyline of the city as it was smaller as I thought and the Seattle needle is small. After dropping my car in town, I was lucky to find a spot, I started walking. In a pond shop I found some nice stuff that I bought and after that I tried my luck at the Bank of America. The guy showed me the observatory deck that is at floor 78 that gives a great view over the city and Mount Rainier and the mountain range. As it was cloudy it was a bit difficult to see but all tops where covered in snow kind of cool. It was already dark when I start driving home and to avoid some major traffic issues due to a major accident that involved a fire I drove along the water front to the airport and from there the same way back as I came. In the evening walked around the fort where the hostel is located. Maybe if the weather is nice (yeah right) I will see more of the fort tomorrow. The dorm was a bit fuller again now it was busy 4 beds occupied.

28 Nov 2001

Surprise surprise. I heard on the radio that there would be a storm but I did not expect this. Snow and all was white. This was a cool site although it was cold windy and it rained quit hard so I stayed in the hostel for a bit and enjoyed the scenery. Also tried making the pancakes as offered and that was a good breakfast. At around noon the weather cleared a bit and I decided to go on my way. I first dropped of someone in the village and from there I went back to the 101 to complete the last section. The more I drove into the mountains the more snow there was and the roads at the passes where very slippery as snow kept on falling down from the trees. The drive was very nice as the sun also popped up so not bad al together. The route passed along a big lake and from here I tried going land inward but most roads ended up as dead ends. It looked like Xmas cards and I walked a bit around in the snow. I wanted to see how the city of Olympic was so I drove to that city but arriving there did not show me any nice surroundings so I did not stay to long here. From here it was up north to Bremerton. This is a city with a big naval base and quite a few carriers in the harbour. Anyway the whole area is covered with naval bases and nuclear areas. As the weather was getting bad again I skipped the tour on one of the carriers ships and drove back up to Dave's house, as with the snow I did not wanted to get stuck in traffic or get lost. Up the house there was much snow on the driveway so to avoid being stuck in the morning I parked my car down the hill of Dave's house. At night stayed in and just chatted with Dave. I needed to get my stuff sorted so that was done before going to bed.

29 Nov 2001

Hm all snow was gone so that's good as driving up to Sea Tac Airport should be ok. There was not really much traffic except just before the bridge that slowed me down about 30 minutes. The night was a bit short as we went to bed at 11 o'clock and woke up again at 5 in the morning. This time I was not that lucky when I checked in and I got the cattle class again. As I was a bit early tried my luck in the launch and that went fine although my card was expired by now. The launch here was not that big but still it was ok. The plane back was just a DC-10 so I guess they are trying to save money still. Unfortunately service with North West is not as good as with KLM.

Flying back home at 13:05 so need to be at the airport at around 10:00 and drop the car of etc... When I returned the car the milage was set at 21765 so I have been doing some driving here. 3810 Miles to be precise which is 6130.29 Km.

More weather info of Long Beach where the UK flight school is located can be found here this is only of the last 12 months and can be a little of in average as the time periode gets longer. Long Beach airport has its own website to be found at A cool picture of the runways can be located here the runway I used most of the time was 25R sometimes to cross the field it was on 25L and one ILS landing on 30.

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