PPL done!

I had my skill test for the private pilot’s license this week. It went very well and I passed! The actual private pilot’s license will reach me by mail very soon. Then I’m licensed to fly and take family and friends up into the sky!

My examiner for the skill test was a very nice retired Finnair pilot with over 18 000 hours. It was a pleasure flying with him. With so much experience he also gave me other life advice, which I’m grateful for! He also teaches at the Finnish Aviation Academy and I’m looking forward to flying with him again.

The flight time of my skill test was 1 h 52 min. We took off from Malmi and headed towards Mäntsälä airfield (EFMN). On the way a lot happened already. First an engine failure over the fields, then clouds forcing us to descend to 800 ft and after flying into a cloud, I had to make a 180-degree turn in simulated instrument conditions. After that I had to deviate to Hyvinkää airfield (EFHV) due to the bad weather. I had to estimate the flight time to the new destination and navigate there.

Once we got to EFHV it was time for a low approach, touch-and-go’s with full flaps and no flaps, a short field landing and a spot landing from final. I also had one engine failure right after a touch-and-go. I would’ve made the emergency landing on the remaining runway nicely, but the exercise ended in a go-around. I was glad there wasn’t too much traffic this time, just one autogyro and two other planes. There’s been times when everything that can possible fly has been there including skydivers. It can make things a little hectic.

After finishing the traffic circuit exercises at Hyvinkää, we headed towards the Porvoo shore. On the way there one more thing happened. Oil leak from the engine gave me 5 minutes to survive. I had to land on a field once again.

Safely in the training area over the Porvoo shore, it was time for the airplane handling exercises. I did eights, that’s two 360-degree turns back to back, in 30- and 45-degree turns, recoveries from a clean stall (with no flaps), an incipient stall with full flaps as well as a recovery from an incipient stall while making a descending 20-degree turn with flaps 10. I also recovered from a spiral and flew at critically slow speeds, 45 kt without flaps and 40 kt with full flaps. Pretty quickly it was all done and my examiner told me to head back to Malmi and said: “Unless you totally screw up going back to Malmi, this is a pass.” I told him that was a lot of pressure!

I followed the Porvoo motorway back to Malmi and landed on runway 18. Everything went well. Taxiing back to the apron, stopping and finally cutting off the engine, I started to feel relieved. I was now a private pilot!

Now that the PPL phase in Malmi is over, it’s time for a month’s holiday before school continues in Pori in August. In the meanwhile, it would be nice to hear from you in the comments. I’ve had visitors from nearly 90 countries so far and the blog has hundreds of monthly readers. Therefore it would be great to hear from you! What is your relation to aviation, are you a pilot or dreaming to become one, or are you just an aviation geek? Let me know your story, it would be nice to get to know you!

Now I’m going on a holiday, but stay tuned, two more years to go!

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25 responses to “PPL done!

  1. Well done Niina! Outstanding! Welcome to the community of pilots. It has been great to watch your progress!

  2. Congrats! That’s so exciting, I’m a PPL student in the states so enjoyed reading someone else in the process as well. Can’t wait to read more!

  3. So awesome. You have done great. Enjoy the holiday, re-charge the batteries so you can attack the next hurdle. In this business, the next hurdle is the most important one.

    I am so proud to be able to follow your journey. Thank You!

  4. One more for the chorus of congratulations. We always get a kick when someone achieves their PPL. Two when it’s a woman. Well done. Long may you fly.

  5. Congrats! And you write very well indeed. I’m a commercial pilot in India working for an airline. You remind me of those good old training days..Wish you best luck for your future endeavors!:)

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