The best-laid plans…

Any good journey has to start with a plan. A road map per se. You’ll do the same for a successful cross-country flight. Look ahead, and anticipate the journey. What route do we take, what obstacles stand in our way, and what variables might we face? All good future, present or past pilots will agree, a well-planned trip goes much smoother than the fly by the seat of your pants trip. Yes, the seat of your pants might be more fun but can run into unanticipated issues.

This journey back into the right seat as a CFII is much the same way. One could simply toss money at the issue and make it happen but with the ever-increasing costs, this becomes harder and harder to do for those either trying to get in or re-enter aviation.

I thought I had a plan in place, or at least in my head, I’d had one. Obviously, I would need to get a medical completed, which has been accomplished. A bi-annual flight review (BFR) in accordance with 14 CFR 61.56 would be next. (Note: I’ll be doing another write-up of just this section. A thorough reading of this regulation is well worth the time) I feel as though a few hours of preparation prior to the BFR are in order. Yes, airplanes still fly the same way as they did in 2012, but fine motor skills need to be brushed up. Once the BFR was complete, I planned on an Instrument Proficiency Check (IPC) in accordance with 14 CFR 61.57(d). (And again, I’ll be doing a separate write-up of this regulation as well).

The next step in the process is where I received some much-needed advice. See, I wasn’t aware that a CFI could simply do a refresher clinic every two years and maintain his/her CFI status. No flight time is needed. Since I exceeded that time limit by a few years, I’ll need to do another CFII check ride with a Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE) or an FAA Inspector. My original plan was to do so in a twin-engine aircraft in order to encapsulate both Multi-Engine Land Instructor (MELI) and Single Engine Land Instructor (SELI).

One of my original DPEs that I did a number of my check rides with who is still flying today had called. We did some catching up, he asked what my plans were, and I explained. His response was to provide some of that wisdom I’m lacking. Dave asked why I was looking at the MELI since that would be quite a bit more expensive in both time and finances than the SELI. I already have over 250 hours of MEL in the books and unless I land something where I am specifically teaching MELI students, there would not be a need at this point. His advice was to just focus on the SELI. It can be done locally, less expensively, and I can be back in the right seat much sooner. Genius!

My journey has been rerouted.

A much more intense reboot

The journey mentioned above is missing a few key details that I think are very important for any airman, especially those wishing for a reboot. Learning. Learning more in the way of bookwork. More in-depth knowledge of the system. More of a breakdown of each part, a deep dive if you will absorb more knowledge.


This desire for more knowledge includes the Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs), the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM), all of the books. I’ve included in the free reference materials section, tapping the knowledge of experienced aviators and pilots (Yes, there is indeed a difference).

 When I initially learned to fly back in 2007 I rushed through every step of the process. I learned the right answers for the tests. The right maneuvers to pass the DPE’s examination. This time around will be much different. I want to get into the nitty-gritty of the hows, the whys, and the what about. No, I won’t know everything, but by gosh, if a student has a question I will know where to point them for the correct answer.


Where is the end?

Every journey has a noted end. Vacation is over, we are back home. My aviation journey’s end isn’t quite solidified in my head yet. I love to teach. I love taking young folks up and letting them feel the magic of aviation. I love taking people who have never been in an airplane before and handing the controls to them on their very first flight and watching their faces glow with amazement. I love helping people. Helping them get from point A to point B. Delivering goods or products they might need in a time of crisis, a continuation of my entire career of helping others in a time of need.

Is an ATP in my future? I don’t know. It’s not a set goal of mine, but maybe one in the future. There are so many possibilities in aviation in today’s age that I’d be a fool to have tunnel vision. So the end point for me is unknown. The only thing I know for certain is that I want to fly and be of assistance to others.

It is time to get this journey moving. A call to Justin at Flywell Aviation to get the first part of the plan rolling!

Wings Level, and safe flying!