Now that I’m close to obtaining my RA-Aus Pilot Certificate (at least, I think/hope I am!), I’ve been giving some thought to where I intend to progress to next in my flying training.
One option is to continue with RA-Aus and obtain a cross country (XC) endorsement, enabling me to fly around Australia in RA-Aus registered aircraft.
However, even since I began flying I’ve intended to move onto my PPL after I complete the RA-Aus training. So instead of doing navs in RA-Aus, obtaining the XC endorsement, then doing the conversion to PPL, I’ve decided to move to GA for my navs and get my PPL which (I think – I must check this sometime) will automatically give me the XC endorsement on my RA-Aus certificate.
Having decided that, I’ve been setting things rolling for beginning my GA training.
On Monday I completed the paperwork for the Student Pilot Licence and posted it off to CASA – hopefully in the next few weeks (it could take up to or over 6 weeks apparantly, but I’m hoping I’m lucky) I’ll receive my SPL and ASIC card. I also applied for an ARN which will hopefully be sent out to me soon and I can arrange to get a class 2 medical certificate from a DAME (aviation medical examiner).
I also had a chat to the CFI on Monday about my goals for PPL. I have set myself a time goal, but I’m not telling you in case I don’t meet it! Apparantly it might be a little optimistic but I pointed out that after exams in mid-October I’ll be able to fly practically every day, which should help things along a bit. I’m also planning to fly with some other instructors, to get more experience with different instructors – right now the plan is to probably fly with K and JL – although that isn’t certain yet, I’m not making any bookings or anything until I’ve completed my RA-Aus certificate (logically).
The other major change is that I’ll be switching over to a new aircraft – a Piper Warrior. These are low wing GA aircraft, a fair amount larger than the Jab! They’re also supposedly easier to fly than the Jab (well, anything seems to be really). So the first few hours of my PPL training will be conversion training onto the Warrior – going through basic handling and then first solo and first area solo etc. Hopefully that part won’t take too long, but either way it’ll be fun to move onto a new aircraft. Then it’ll be onto navs!
I also intend to get my passenger (PAX) endorsement for my RA-Aus certificate at some point, but I’m trying to decide between doing the last 2.7 solo in the Jab at the same time as starting the Warrior conversion, or waiting until I do some solo time on the Warrior and counting that for the 2.7. I’ll probably end up doing it in the Jab simply so that I can get it sooner.
So overall I’m very excited about it all – it feels a bit like a clean slate – not skills wise (hopefully!) – but new plane, new instructors and new challenges. And once I get my PPL, there’s lots of interesting endorsements to do! 🙂