Today I finally passed my checkride and became a licensed private pilot. I started flight training for my 12th birthday and after an introductory flight in a Piper Archer, I was hooked. Then, the training began. I started training in an old C150. So old that there was duct tape on the cowling! Eventually the flight school got rid of that and I transitioned to the DA-20. After a few months in the DA-20 I had a knee surgery which grounded me for a few months. Once I came back, I switched to a G1000 C172.
I flew my first solo on my 16th birthday (the youngest possible age) and since then have been slowly working towards this day. Here’s my first solo post: My First Solo
One of the requirements to get the license is that I must be at least 17 years old. Today is my 17th birthday so I was finally able to accomplish my goal.
My practical today was at my home airport of KHPN and started at 7am local time, so I was obviously at the airport by 6. DPE showed up and we got started. He did a great job of calming me down and making sure I understood he was not looking for perfection. He clearly laid out the rules and everything went well. The next section was the oral, or the “conversation” as he called it, which went pretty well. All the questions were based on categories in the ACS and there were no trick questions. They were typically scenario based. I made sure to answer with brief responses in order to not dig myself into a hole. I only messed up about 4-5 questions out of the many and I passed. It lasted about 1.5 hours.
After the oral we went out to the plane and got started. After a very thorough preflight, I taxied out to runway 11 and departed. I flew the first few points on my planned cross country, then came a few simulated failures and a diversion. At my diversion airport we did some patterns with short and soft field landings and then continued on to do some maneuvers.
I did well and we headed back. The only real issue on the flight was that I came in a bit fast for my no flaps landing near the end. Luckily we had plenty of runway and I was able to float and bleed off that speed. After shutdown my DPE congratulated me and then went inside for all the paperwork stuff and that was it!
Luckily, weather held up long enough for me to take my father flying later in the afternoon. We did some patterns and some basic maneuvers and just enjoyed the view!
Here were some photos he took:
On final at KOXC
Just after departure from KHPN
On the upwind at OXC
So yeah, after 120 hours of flight I am now finally old enough/certified to be a private pilot! Please let me know if you have any questions at all.