A year ago, today (I started this post when it was still Saturday) I achieved something I had dreamed of for longer than I could remember. I successfully completed my Private Pilot checkride, and earned a pilot’s license.
Flying is expensive, and I haven’t been in an airplane since my checkride. Every day, I think about the 58.8 hours I spent as a pilot, especially the 9 hours as PIC (Pilot in Command), for 7.5 hours of which I was the sole occupant of an aircraft. It’s slightly surreal to be handed the keys to a $125,000 aircraft and sent on your way.
My experience as an aviator was incredible. Never have I worked so hard, or been rewarded so greatly. I learned and and perfected skills such as situational awareness, planning, risk management, crew resource management, and task management.
Perhaps it was a mistake to pursue the dream of flight without the financial means to see it through to the end. But I don’t think so. Flight was one of the greatest thing I’ve done. Even though it almost physically hurt to attend an airshow today, and see all the planes I am qualified to fly but can’t afford, I remember the peace I felt and my love of flight, driving me towards my next flight.
The photo was taken by my excellent flight instructor Joshua Smith, aka SMIJ. I’m holding my temporary license.