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Reflections from a recent Commercial Student


I received my instrument rating in April 2017. There was no doubt in my mind that it would allow me to fly more often and further than ever without worrying about getting trapped. I started working on my commercial rating shortly after and never imagined I wouldn't be done in six months. In August of that year, a friend wanted to learn how to fly and we started thinking about buying a plane to lease back to a flight school. Those talks quickly turned into buying United Flight Systems. That distracted me from my training efforts and really "why train before we closed the transaction?", I was about to be able to fly for "FREE" (more on that in another post)! We closed in May 2018 and found out there was a lot of work to do. Long story short, my two years were up before I knew it and I had to complete a flight review to keep flying. Gio Handal, one of our assistant chiefs did a great job during my flight review! I was so frustrated that I lost sight of getting that commercial rating so, in June, I said to myself "This month, get that rating knocked out!" In July I said to myself "Okay, this month, let's get this thing done!" In August, something similar. In September, again, it was all talk! October was the month, I booked a dozen lessons with Travis Atchley, some ground work with Gio and Joe Nipp, and I started studying in the evening. With a check ride on the schedule, there was no turning back (we all know how challenging it can be to get on a DPE's schedule).


So a couple of weeks into training I realized the flying was good and I needed work in the books. What shocked me the most was how much instrument flying I had done over the past couple of years and didn't pay a lot of attention to the visual flight rules information I had learned in my private pilot training. Sectional charts and air space are a couple of items that I needed to dig back into again. I passed the written, nailed the check ride and would just recommend that pilots in training consider knocking out the commercial written shortly after they take the private written. There are a few new topics, but it was very similar to the private written just longer. You will thank me later for this advice!


Bobby Doss

Commercial Pilot


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