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What do you do now that you’ve gotten your pilot certificate?
11 Things You Must Do With Your Pilot’s License – article from Air Facts Journal.
D.I.Y. Fueling – Now that you’re flying solo or with non-pilot passengers, don’t get into a situation where you’re at an airport away from home and in need of gas without knowing how to use the fuel pump! This article explains how to fill up at a self-serve station. Make sure you know what kind of gas your aircraft requires before you fill the tank(s)!
Fly to New Places…
Rampfee Database – It can be difficult to determine what airports charge for parking on the ramp (even for a short period of time). This database provides information about how much you may expect to pay by searching for your destination.
Fly Wisconsin Airport Passport Program – Our neighbor to the north has a passport program offering incentives to pilots who fly in to a number of Wisconsin’s general aviation airports as well as attend seminars or events. Participation is free, and you don’t have to live in Wisconsin to take part.
AC-U-KWIK – This website allows you to enter an airport code and obtain up-to-date information about the airport. Notable is that you can get phone numbers for ATC using this website, in case you want to call up a control tower for a tour.
Illinois Public Airports – Links to public airports in Illinois.
Learn Something New…
Tailwheel endorsement – consider getting your tailwheel endorsement. The additional training necessary is given in FAR §61.31(i). You can work on and obtain your tailwheel endorsement before completing your pilot certificate!
Aerobatic training – are you interested in unusual attitudes? Aerobatic training can make you a more comfortable, confident, and competent pilot, even if you only ever intend to fly straight-and-level flights. An aerobatic intro course can be exhilarating and might have you coming back for more. I can recommend instructors to contact if you are interested.
Mountain flying – take a mountain flying class if you think you may ever want to fly in mountainous regions such as the Rockies.
Mountain Flying Factsheet (PDF) – This PDF published by the FAA contains useful information (such as suggested weather minima) on mountain flying for those who haven’t done so before.
Fly A New (or your own) Airplane…
Transition to Unfamiliar Aircraft (AC 90-109) – This advisory circular contains information about what to do when you want to fly an aircraft that’s different from what you’re used to.
Plane Sense – This is a handbook published by the FAA and contains information for airplane owners and prospective airplane owners. As you have probably figured out by now, flying airplanes isn’t something you can do without an awareness of the related federal regulations. Owning an airplane is no different. Get an idea of what to expect before shelling out a lot of cash for some new wings.
Currency Requirements and Guidance for the Flight Review and Instrument Proficiency Check (AC 61-98) – FAR §61.56 states that a flight review must be conducted every 24 calendar months for a certificated pilot to act as pilot in command. This advisory circular contains information about the flight review process. Your flight review must be endorsed in your logbook.
Join an Aviation Organization…
EAA Chapter 579 – Join the EAA chapter based at the Aurora Airport. Meetings are held the 4th Thursday of every month (except for July) at 7:30 p.m. in the SimplyFly classroom. Chapter 579 is very active with the Young Eagles program, exposing young kids to aviation.
Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) National – known for hosting Airventure in Oshkosh, WI, every summer.
Sunday Morning Breakfast Club (SMBC) – These pilots meet up every Sunday morning and fly to different airports to get breakfast.
Airline Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) – becoming a student member is free for 6 months and comes with a subscription to the excellent Flight Training magazine.
Women in Aviation, International (WAI)
Go to an aviation museum…
Illinois Aviation Museum – At Bolingbrook Clow Airport.
Vintage Wings & Wheels – At Poplar Grove Airport.
Related & Recommended Books
- Beyond Flight Training: Adventures and Opportunities for the Newly Certificated Pilot by LeRoy Cook
- Aerobatics by Neil Williams
- Basic Aerobatics by Geza Szurovy and Mike Goulian
- The Basic Aerobatic Manual: With Spin and Upset Recovery Techniques by William K. Kershner
- Mountain Flying by Sparky Imeson
- A History of Chicago’s O’Hare Airport by Michael Branigan
- Forgotten Chicago Airfields by Nicholas C. Selig