Flying Journal - A bad History Month - A good Flying Month
It's hard to believe it's been a year since our world changed through terrorist attacks on American soil.
A moment of silence for all those lost and suffering. . . . The survivors have survived and the future remains
unknown. I fear our hard-won freedoms are being eroded by well-meaning but misguided bureaucrats.
But we are still exercising the freedom to fly and it's also hard to believe it has been two years since I last renewed my flight instructor ratings. And would you believe the renewal process ended up being one of my aviation high points for the month?
I wasn't sure I could count on finding appropriate instructor and examiner before the end of September to get the gyroplane instructor rating, which would have also renewed the other ratings for another 24 months. I know there is an inexpensive renewal offered on the Internet, but knowing that I am a procrastinator, I wasn't sure if I'd finish it either, plus I think there is a lot to be gained by comparing notes with fellow instructors in a group.
Last time I had a satisfactory renewal course from a company that travels around the country. I had been getting mail for years from BJS Pilot Ground School in Kansas City. The timing and location were right, so I thought I'd give them a chance this year.
What a revelation. Turns out BJS stands for Betty Jean Stanford, owner and chief instructor for over 20 years. She also gives high quality and efficient simulator training. She was a fine teacher and the CFI renewal course was excellent, but I also enjoyed a great bonus because it was like instantly stepping into the middle of the lively KC aviation scene. Some of my fellow instructors had been renewing through her courses for 20 years!
We also had two excellent presentations by high FAA FSDO staff, including the Air Traffic Manager. I've never understood the complex airspace around KC so thoroughly. Plus, the FSDO manager, Rich Carlson, shared another hour with us on safety issues. Rich was the FAA Examiner who administered my initial CFI practical exam. It was a pleasure to renew our acquaintance and he was pleased to know I had continued successfully as a flight instructor.
Since Betty is also an Examiner, I was able to walk out of the class with my temporary certificate in hand. Last time, I had to wait for the company's California office to send paperwork to their FSDO and I had to call several times to get it straightened out.
[Copyright 2002 - Earl Holmer]