Monday, August 07, 2006

For my next trick

Well, as of noon on Saturday, I'm officially an instrument-rated private pilot. What does that mean, you ask? I suppose it all depends on who you talk to. I can legally punch holes in the clouds now, and the ability to fly through less-than-perfect weather gives me a bit more flexibility when flying long trips. More cynical individuals would say I now have the ability to cause abject terror for my flying passengers in new and exciting ways.

So now what? The Rev. claims that at some point I told her to put the brakes on if I tried to go any further than an instrument rating, but I've been giving thought to a commercial certificate, just to keep learning (and maybe become a flight instructor on the side - I've been told I'm a good teacher).

In the imaginary (aka geek) world, I'm about to graduate from the virtual air traffic control academy and will hopefully be controlling and talking to REAL virtual pilots on the internet (as opposed to SIMULATED virtual pilots on the internet). (The Rev here: 1st, he really did say to remind him to stop after IFR and now he has "conveniently" forgotten; must be the chemo brain at work. 2nd, he never asked my opinion on the virtual geek world stuff. Do any of you have any idea of how far back into my head my eyes have rolled at this??? A hint: I have had the opportunity to count the wrinkles in my gray matter. It's all very X-files: in order to finish his training he is waiting to be "contacted"--I'm expecting to see a big X in the clouds, or duct taped to our driveway or bedroom window...) I have to say though, real piloting and virtual controlling are very complementary - I've learned a lot to help me in the real world. (<--with this have NO complaints.)

Next week I plan to put my new instrument rating to use and fly the Rev. to Chicago for a conference. I've been told that it seems like once you get your instrument rating, you'll never get to use it flying in the soup. We'll see.