Last year, I wrote on the Reporting Points Blog about how several flight schools were taking advantage of the ease with which they can position their LSAs to park them in venues where you don’t normally see airplanes–like malls. Black Friday saw CTs, Remoses, and Tecnams in malls in Texas, Maryland, and Florida. Darren Hook wrote in February that he saw a Remos at a mall in Lewisville, Texas, and decided to get going on a sport pilot certificate. His 18-year-old son signed up too, and father and son have been learning to fly together (although Darren’s a little farther along).
Darren e-mailed me this morning to say that he had taken and passed the oral portion of his sport pilot checkride. The practical test portion was delayed because of weather. He was all set to complete his checkride when he got a call from the flight school: the school’s LSA had been involved in a landing accident. CFI and student were not injured, thankfully. Now Darren has to wait until another LSA can be obtained to complete his checkride.
My heart aches for Darren–so close, and yet so far! But while he’s disappointed, he’s also not taking this as a sign from the heavens that it wasn’t meant to be. He’s full of plans for when he does get his sport pilot certificate. “Once I get the sport pilot done, I plan to enjoy the Summer flying and taking in the accomplishment. I plan to go for PPL this fall.” Darren’s flight instructor is a CFI, so that means all of his dual hours can be applied toward getting his private pilot certificate. Eventually, Darren says he would like to get his flight instructor certificate and/or a commercial certificate so that he could give rides at museums.
“First things first, though,” he says, “need to keep learning and get certified.”
Hang in there, Darren, it will happen. In the meantime, what should Darren do to keep sharp? We know he can take dual instruction in any airplane, but do you think it would help or hinder him to fly something like a Cessna 172 while he waits for another LSA to be put on the line? Please share your suggestions in the comments section.