As a child, I was always fascinated with planes and the idea of flying was thrilling and adventurous. I was so excited when I first sat in the cockpit of a cessna 172 for my discovery flight on 27th February, 2020 at PTC-Lantana in Florida. After that, my actual training to fly this beautiful bird began.
STAGE 1: PRE SOLO
Here, I learned about the fundamentals of aerodynamics, how to communicate with the tower, basic weather, preflight preparation, and landings. As a final reward in this process, I got the unforgettable experience of taking the airplane out on my own for 3 landings!
My instructor, Joe, gave me the Cowboy vibes, lol! We had a lot of fun flying together. One day, he took me to our practice area (The Everglades) and asked me to hold up a pen in my palm. Then, he dropped the plane, and I instantly remember the pen began floating in front of me and I couldn’t stop laughing. Thanks to Joe, I experienced zero gravity in a plane for the first time - it was scary but fun!
STAGE 2: CROSS COUNTRY
After my solo stage began my preparations for cross country flights where the use of Navigational aids such as VORs were taught to me. I was also familiarized with more advanced meteorology and weather systems.
STAGE 3: CHECKRIDE
The final and the crucial stage was the Checkride preparation where they tested everything I’d learned so far - from my capability to performing the maneuvers correctly, to smooth soft field landings. Then, they allowed me to give my PPL Checkride to a Designated Pilot Examiner. The Examiner helped calm my nerves to make me feel more comfortable, then began taking my exam. Once he was satisfied with my theoretical knowledge, we headed out for my flight check and finally, after clearing that, my temporary airmen certificate was printed out and handed to me.
STAGE 4: HOUR BUILDING
An AMAZING journey of 100 hours of solo began thereafter - from buddy flights, to talking to each other on the inter-pilot frequency (it’s 123.45 Mhz ), these flights built my experience and my confidence to land at various airports in different weather conditions. My favorite memory was when I had hot chocolate with my friends at F45 (North Palm Beach County airport) after a successful flight, while waiting to get our fuel topped up.
STAGE 5: INSTRUMENT TRAINING
My Instrument training began with a Turkish ex-Navy Instructor - Mr. Ozan Oguz. He was strict and particular about procedures and systems, which I honestly admired about him. Though my instrument training was hard for me, it challenged me to improve my multi tasking skills, quick reflexes, and overall situational awareness. My pilot skills grew the most in this stage and after clearing my Instrument Checkride, he continued to be my instructor for my Commercial Pilot’s License.
STAGE 6: CPL TRAINING
By this time, I was set in his ways and comfortable with him. I was able to complete my commercial license training the fastest of the three licenses with ease. Apart from flying, I learned a lot under his wings - his work ethics, his discipline, and his dedication.
During the last landing of my final checkride, it hit me - how cool the entire experience was and all the great people I had the privilege to meet along the way.
I can’t wait to see what I learn as I begin my type rating!