Three years ago today I had my first flight lesson, in the form of my discovery flight. One year later I had finished the training, got my PPL, and flown several hours. Today another year has passed, and a lot has happened! On this day, three years after I started flying, I want to look back at some of the highlights during the last year.
In addition to taking the entire family to a bunch of aviation museums on a US road trip, we’ve also done our first and second flights with a baby onboard.
Into the darkness
The night rating, which I completed right before the end of the nigh flying season during the spring of 2022, allowed me to fly more during the fall/winter. I did several night flights, both in LN-HOG and in LN-GJP. In the latter I did what we believe is Norway’s first night flight in a TMG.
And I have also managed to get reported for being a drone over Haugesund. Fortunately, this was easy to figure out, as the video footage that was reported shows quite clearly that we were flying an airplane and not a drone. On the same flight we also had a chuckle when listing to the other traffic on the radio, SAS received the message “For your information, there is a glider operating overhead Haugesund 1500 feet or below” - something they probably weren’t prepared to be told when approaching Karmøy at night…
Towards new heights
In December, I set what for me is a new altitude record, when I climbed to over 10,000 feet. It took me 20 minutes to get up there. When up there I turned off the engine, and flew for free for a while. As I have done quite a bit over the past year. When the hourly cost on one of the planes increase to such a level that it is prohibitive, it is very nice to simply be able to use the other one.
A very different rating
During the winter and spring I have started working hard towards my next goal, which I am almost done with. In April I traveled to Hungary to complete the practical part of the FI(A) training. Now I’m actively working to finish the CPL theory, which is a requirement to be able to teach PPL students.
But even though I’m not quite done yet, I’m already an instructor! Which to me is huge. Being allowed to share the joy of flying, and teaching others to fly, is something I’m really looking forward to getting started on.
I’ve mostly been flying in and around my local area, and between the three local airports here - Karmøy, Sola, and Sørstokken. But I also finally got to visit Sogndal, which has been on my wish list for quite a while now. I also made my third May 17th flight this year, making it a tradition.
We have also had a bit of winter in the last year, which makes flying more demanding. But the reward is also much greater. Completely calm and clear winter weather is without a doubt the best to fly in. After all, we have a heater on the plane, so we’ll be fine.
It is only after I became a pilot that I have learned to like all of the seasons. Each season has its advantages and disadvantages, it’s just a matter of learning to embrace the advantages and try to ignore the disadvantages.
I’ve been trying to get a ride on the LN-ELB electric plane for a while now, and this month I finally got to do it! I had my first trips during the Sola airshow. And today I completed both check-out and my first introductory tours as an instructor in LN-ELB!
Whether this is the future of passenger aircraft is hard to say, but I have no doubt that electric aircraft have a future in basic training and recreational flying! It is both environmentally friendly and comfortable to fly electric planes. And we probably have to go that way whether we want to or not if we are to continue flying for fun. I don’t know about you, but I definitely want to keep flying!
I’ve been active on the ground as well
During the past year, I have doubled the number of clubs in which I am deputy chairman, and I am now deputy chairman in both Haugaland Flyklubb and Haugaland Seilflyklubb. Furthermore, I have been active as a coordinator in OBSREG, started as an OBSREG developer, and will soon take a more active and even bigger role there.
Earlier this spring, I was also lucky enough to contribute feedback on the new “Elevhåndboken”, a new book that will help students prepare for the practical flight training lessons.
Thank you for the support
I can’t continue without thanking my wife for all her support. I’ve been flying a lot, studying hard both day and night, and traveled to Hungary all by my self for two weeks. Becoming an instructor is hard, as it should be, but it would have been immensely harder without the support I get at home. So, thank you!
I have to admit that coming home to this one actually left me a bit speechless:
I’ve written 144 posts on this blog since I started, I hope to be able to continue to share my experiences and provide helpful information. Lately I’ve started receiving more comments on posts, which I really appreciate! Knowing that someone reads this, make it much easier to write more.
My goal is still for this to be a source of inspiration for existing and future aviators. And hopefully help answer some of the millions of questions you might have (if you’re anything like me) when you start looking into this.
The year behind us
I have been in the air as much as I have been able to, which has turned out to be a lot more than I had dared to anticipate. I have a very understanding, patient and supportive family - they are the reason I’m able to do all of this.
I love taking pictures, and try to record most of my flights with one or several of my GoPros mounted in random places.
This video is a short summary of the year behind us (remember to watch in 4k):
I reached the goal I set myself last year, which was to reach 200 hours by the end of the summer. Since then, I have also surpassed 300 hours. On average, I fly well over 100 hours a year.
The year ahead
First priority now is to complete the CPL theory, and actually start instructing. Then I have a plan to continue building TMG hours so that in the next 1-1.5 years I can complete the training for FI(S).
Like last year, I hope I’m able to continue adding both airplanes and airports to the list, and that I’ll finally get to cross the border as pilot in command. It’s about time I do that now.
Otherwise, the plan is to continue flying as much as possible - because I’m having so much fun doing it! And then I hope to be able to continue taking people on trips with me, because that’s also a lot of fun! And I thoroughly enjoy sharing the joy of aviation.
Between June 22nd, 2022 amd June 21st, 2023 I’ve managed to fly a total of 143 hours and 50 minutes, the majority of them as pilot in command. In the same period I’ve logged 474 landings.
I’ve visited a total of 12 airports, and flown a total of 6 airplanes (LN-HOG, LN-GJP, D-EKJJ, HA-KLB, HA-BDM og LN-ELB) during the last year.