CPL done!

Despite the day’s mischievous nature, I passed my CPL skill test on April Fools’ Day. It was a nice day for a change. The weather has caused us some delays during CPL training, because we’ve flown in VFR. Finally after three weeks of trying everyone has flown their skill tests and we’ve all gone commercial now!

The CPL (Commercial Pilot License) is in short a license to make money by flying. It allows you to act as co-pilot in commercial air transport (CAT). CAT is defined as the carriage of passengers, mail or cargo for remuneration. CPL also allows you to act as pilot-in-command in single-pilot aircraft or in other than CAT operations, often referred to as aerial work. Examples of aerial work are aerial photography, crop dusting (aerial application of pesticides), aerial advertising or reindeer counting flights (sounds exotic right?). To act as pilot-in-command, that is the captain, in CAT operations, you need the ATPL. This is why we studied the ATPL theory. We will graduate with a frozen ATPL and earn the full ATPL once we gather 1500 hours of specified experience. As you can see, CPL is a pretty big step regarding one’s flying career.

Since the last blog post, we have flown the CPL cross-country flights and one more general airwork flight before the skill test. All the cross-country flights were flown in VFR and the navigation was done mostly with a help of a map. This is what we had practiced before during those 100 hours of PIC flights. So in that respect there was nothing new. Of course by now we have to show a different level of professionalism and to take into consideration the customer we’re transporting. This includes passenger briefing and travelling comfort.

We flew most of the flights at minimum altitudes to make navigation a little harder. We did some diversions and practiced single-engine operation during cruise as well as approach, go-around and landing. We were allowed to plan all the flights by ourselves and we did manage to visit some nice airports. Also added a new one in my list, Lappeenranta (EFLP) in Eastern Finland. All in all the CPL flights have been very enjoyable and it’s been great to fly after the loooong ATPL theory period. Also I liked the DA42 very much.

The CPL skill test was flown in two parts. The cross-country part and general airwork was done in the real aircraft and the engine failures and other failures were done in the Frasca trainer. And there were a lot of failures. An engine was shut down three times, there was a landing gear malfunction, an alternator failure and finally both engines failed. Fortunately at that point we were by the airport already and managed to land on the runway. A sweaty hour once again, but fun in its’ own way!

Here’s a ton of pictures from the CPL flights. I hope you enjoy them too.

The very first cross-country. the weather had us waiting for a while for it. It was quite turbulent and windy that day. So a nice start!

The very first cross-country. The weather had us waiting for a while for it. It was quite turbulent and windy that day. So a nice start!

We flew to Turku and back. Here’s Ville piloting back to Pori as the sun sets.

Night falls in Pori.

Night falls in Pori.

Landed.

Landed.

Ready to leave for Kuopio.

Ready to leave for Kuopio.

Next we left for Kuopio. Here's Pori in morning sunshine at take-off.

Here’s Pori in morning sunshine at take-off.

Everything was frozen outside Pori.

Everything (lakes) was frozen outside Pori.

The actual view from the backseat.

The actual view from the backseat.

City of Kuopio.

City of Kuopio.

An ice road on a lake in Kuopio.

An ice road on a lake in Kuopio.

Kuopio airport is in a pretty place by a lake. This is where we acquired our night rating in 2013.

Kuopio airport is in a pretty place by a lake. This is where we acquired our night rating in 2013.

Turning to final runway 33. Here Mikko also has simulated engine failure and this approach leads to a go-around.

Turning to final runway 33. Here Mikko also has simulated engine failure and this approach leads to a go-around.

After a go-around making another attempt for landing.

 

This time approaching runway 15.

This time approaching runway 15.

Final runway 15. Landing with simulated engine failure.

“Three green.” Final runway 15. Landing with simulated engine failure.

Mikko supervising fuelling at EFKU.

Mikko supervising fuelling at EFKU.

Ready to go back.

OH-DAD ready to go back.

When in Kuopio.. the F18 Hornets!

When in Kuopio.. the F18 Hornets! I think they interrupted my flow.

Leaving Kuopio. Myself at the controls.

Leaving Kuopio. Myself at the controls. Finding my way to the CTR boundary.

Sun shades being useful.

 

Let's see...

Let’s see… Yes, we found our way back to Pori.

Then we went to Vaasa.

Then we went to Vaasa. Here I’m navigating at minimum altitude.

Then we went to Vaasa. Here lining up runway 16 via runway. For a pilot this is an awesome view.

Lining up runway 16 via runway at EFVA. For a pilot this is an awesome view.

Kalle about to take off.

Kalle about to take off.

Leaving Vaasa.

Leaving Vaasa. Landing light off.

Vaasa coast.

Vaasa coast.

Town of Ylistaro in South Ostrobothnia.

Town of Ylistaro in South Ostrobothnia.

Here passing Tampere at FL75 on our way to Lappeenranta.

Here passing Tampere at FL75 on our way to Lappeenranta.

Just a relaxing view from the backseat.

Just a relaxing view from the backseat.

Another..

Another..

Fueling service at EFLP. Ryanair is about to taxi fro departure.

Fueling service at EFLP. Ryanair is about to taxi for departure.

Our Diamonds have big souls.

Our Diamonds have big souls.

Checking the fuel amount.

I took us back to Pori. Checking the fuel amount here with a keen eye.

Another day leaving Lappeenranta. Here by the Southern coast of Finland.

Another day leaving Lappeenranta. Here by the Southern coast of Finland.

Passing city of Kotka.

Passing city of Kotka.

A glimpse of Russia in a form of an island.

A glimpse of Russia in a form of an island.

Looks like it's time for a diversion due to weather.

Looks like it’s time for a diversion due to weather.

Just a small snow shower.

Just a small snow shower, but you couldn’t see through it. So we went around it.

Another day, another flight. I took us to Mariehamn. It was very windy. Wind was about 20 kt straight from the side. Managed to get down.

Another day, another flight. I took us to Mariehamn. It was very windy. Wind was about 20 kt, straight from the side.

EFMA and its' peculiar red runway at take-off

EFMA and its’ red runway at take-off.

Jusa took us around the island of Åland before heading back to the mainland.

Jusa took us around the island of Åland before heading back to the mainland.

The views were nice despite the weather. Here a road that ends up at a ferry.

The views were nice despite the weather. Here a road that ends up at a ferry harbour.

Northern coast of Åland.

Northern coast of Åland.

A good view of the cockpit.

A good view of the cockpit.

Passing an uncontrolled airfield of Kumlinge (EFKG).

Passing an uncontrolled airfield of Kumlinge (EFKG).

Leaving Åland.

Leaving Åland.

Turku archipelago.

Turku archipelago.

Turku archipelago.

Turku archipelago.

Over Pyhäjärvi, approaching Pori.

Over Pyhäjärvi, approaching Pori.

Sometimes things line up.

Sometimes things line up. This was the last CPL cross-country flight.

Then we tried to fly one more flight. Sometimes it ended up in a cloud.

Then we tried to fly one more flight. Sometimes it ended up in a cloud. Cloud tops were at FL150. No luck that day.

Then we came back down.

So we came back down.

Sometimes there's traffic at EFPO too.

Sometimes there’s traffic at EFPO too.

Sorry guys for making you wait.

Sorry guys for making you wait.

Sometimes we got lucky and found tops at FL60.

Sometimes we got lucky and found tops at FL60.

At it's pretty up there. So peaceful.

And it’s pretty up there. So peaceful. A great place to practice stalls and whatnot.

Coming back from the last CPL flight.

Coming back from the last CPL flight, descending through the clouds.

All in all the training hours for CPL training for me were 15 h 55 min of which just over 10 h was cross-country. We also earned a multi-engine class rating with the DA42.

Right now we’re on a little break from school, but next up…

:)

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