Groundschool all day today. I studied the books last night, so it was mainly a question of going over a few things again. I think I understand things like the factors affecting VMC pretty well, so I'm looking forward to seeing how it works out in the flight lesson. There was a 'new' Duchess in the maintenence hangar which had been stripped and was being prepared for painting, so my instructor could show me over the airframe. It was seeing where everything was, but having read through RV Project it was pretty easy for me to understand the aircraft systems.
This afternoon was Instrument Class. I'm joining a group of about ten other students, and it looks like some heavy going. Instrument makes up a huge amount of the totally new stuff I have to learn, so that's going to take a while. Hopefully I can have most of it studied in advance so I can progress through the flight lessons with my instructor, as I don't think the class will go quickly enough.
My first flight lesson is at 7 am tomorrow morning.
I've arrived safely in Fort Pierce. I've spent the weekend getting moved in, buying food and such, and this morning I'm moving again to a bigger apartment. This afternoon I'll be hitching a ride with a couple of other students down to Key West, which is about a two hour flight. Hopefully I'll be able to pick up a few things, especially about the RT procedures.
My interview at the US Embassy was much quicker this time, possibly because I had an expired visa from my last trip and I came home then! I now have a very nice shiny (and expensive!) J1 Visa. I am a little disappointed about how the picture came out!
One of the conditions of the Visa is to have a certain amount of medical insurance. Normal travel insurance, even for a long trip, doesn't cover you for employment. I found that expatriate medical insurance from a UK company was very expensive, around £1000. Then I found 'Visit USA-Healthcare' at http://www.nriol.net which worked out at only £300 even with hazardous activity coverage for my flying.
I have enrolled at Ari-Ben Aviator in Ft Pierce, Florida, for their Professional Pilot Program. The course includes Multi-Engine, Instrument, Commercial and Flight Instructor Training. The total flight time included with the course is 222 hours, of which 200 hours will be in the BE-76 Duchess. I've added this aircraft to the flight time block on the right.
Next step it to get my Visa organised. I have an appointment at the embassy next week!
New readers should begin by reading about my flight training at Crystal Aero Group. I came away with a Private Pilots certificate and a desire to pursue a career in aviation. The full account can be found in this forum post.
This Weblog will follow my commercial training as and when it happens!