Two things have come together:
- My TMG rating is about to expire and requires renewal
- I have discovered a proposal on StackExchange.com to create a Q&A site about aviation
So it’s maybe time to blog a bit about how I got my private pilot license (PPL).
But first of all – if you’re interested in aviation, I would like you to join this proposal on Stack Exchange:
When I was about 14 years old, my grandfather took me to the Deutsche Alpensegelflugschule Unterwössen and showed me the beauty of the gliders silently flying around above our heads. Unfortunately, the average 14 year old boy is more interested in the female part of this world’s population and less in planes, unless they have engines. So even when my grandfather offered me to pay my glider license, I refused. I wasn’t interested. Over the years, I forgot about the DASSU.
Then, there’s my father. He has always been flying sports planes. For some reason, I have never been on a flight with him. I think my mother was against it.
Meanwhile I had become 35 years old. Much has changed. My grandfather died, my mother died and my dad no longer is into flying. I myself had become father of a son. No thoughts about flying at all. But then, there was this one specific event: the Antersberg Flugplatzfest 2010. I visited it together with my son. Both of us were super excited and I made a promise: the next time – in 2012 – we will come to this festival on board our own plane and not by car. All these enthusiasts there and all these planes lit up a spark and suddenly I wanted to be a pilot. Better late than never.
I started looking for a flying school. And at some point I visited DASSU. I remembered the place and I had to smile: if grandfather would know!
My training started. From pedestrian to pilot. It took me one year of endless rounds in the aerodrome traffic circuit and an what seemed like an insane amount of landings to get the required forty hours of flying. In November 2011 I had my license. Plenty of time to practice until Antersberg 2012.
The first time alone as PIC (pilot in charge) was very exciting. I. Am. Flying.
In 2012 on a very, very hot day, I took my son and we flew from Unterwössen to Antersberg. Many planes were already waiting to land and we had to queue up quite some time. But finally the waiting was rewarded: coffee and a piece of cake for free.
Up there in the air, everything is so different. The view is of course spectacular. There’s this feeling of freedom that is alternating with the excitement of being responsible for this machine that is keeping me up there. The reassuring sound of the engine and the air traffic controller are my companions. Sometimes I wish I could just keep on flying into one direction and see how far the fuel will take me.
I can only recommend one thing: if you want to fly and you have the chance to do it, then go for it. There is only this one life and it’s too valuable to miss out on something you want to do.