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Flying is a great experience but it requires a lot of good training, instruction, and lots of responsibility. I am learning how to fly with a local flying club named T & G Flying Club. They have locations and Clevelands Burke Lakefront airport (KBKL) and Cuyahoga County Airport (KCGF) located in Richmond Heights, Ohio. This is the location that I use. You can learn more about KCGF at my local airports link on the left side of this page.
T&G has a variety of single engine planes from Cessna 152's, 172's, Piper Archer's, and Piper Warriors. I'm training in the Cessna 172. I realized after a few lessons in the Cessna 152 that I just couldn't fit in it. So I upgraded to tthe 172. Plenty of legroom and more avionics to work with, like GPS. My favorite plane at T&G is the Skyhawk 204BE. I solo'd in this plane and it has become my go-to plane. Here is a picture of the plane.
Here is a video that an instructor took while I was making an approach to Cleveland Burke Lakefront Airport KBKL. It's best viewed in full screen mode:
On May 28th, I took my written exam after 5 months of studying. I passed the test with a 90%! The test has 60 questions and you need at least a 70% to pass. Guess all the studying paid off!
I did not attend a local Ground School even though T&G offers classes. My instructor suggested that I use the Sporty's Pilot Shop Private Pilot training program. This was a great program. Ths package has over 15 hours of HD video and animations explain everything you need to know to earn your Private Pilot certificate. The package also includes very powerful test prep tools, a comprehensive document library, and convenient app options. I used every bit of the package and definitely got my monies worth.
On November 28th, I took the Private Pilot practical test (Oral and Checkride) with an FAA examiner at Youngstown Elser AIrport (4G4). The examiner was John Dye. He owns a company called BadAttitude LLC. This company specializes in aircraft Upset Recovery Training and offer aerobatic, tailwheel training and CFI spin endorsements. They have three really nice Catabria planes. My experience with John was absolutely fabulous. No surprise why. John has 38+ years teaching experience, he's on the facultly at Kent State University's aeronatuical program, has 27,000+ hours in over 50 different aircraft including the B727, B737, B757, B767, A319, A320, and BA3100. John is also a Designated Pilot Examiner CLE-25, which is why I selected him. Maybe in 2021, I'll fly down to 4G4 to take an aerobatic lesson from John!
The end result of the day was that I PASSED the test. I can't thank John enough for the great day! I learned some new things as well from his advice. Like they say. The Private Pilot's License is "license to learn".
Oh, and if DPE asks you what makes an airplane fly. Make sure you answer "MONEY".
I also want to give a big shout-out and a very big thanks to my Instructor, Dan Curtin of T&G. I couldn't have asked for a better instructor. He taught me very well and was very patient with me. Thanks Dan!
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METARs for my local airports:
Cuyahoga County Airport (KCGF)
Cleveland Hopkins International (KCLE)
Lake County Executive Airport (KLNN)
Burke Lakefront Airport (KBKL)
Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport (KYNG)
Akron-Canton Regional Airport (KCAK)