Monday, August 3, 2009

CFI Renewed

*It's been reported to me that Google's Chrome browser is having problems displaying I've tested the site with Safari, Internet Explorer and Firefox. Will have to see what's up with Google Chrome.

CFI Renewal is done. Took me a little more than a month to complete the process. I used American Flyers to renew my CFI. They have a "pay once, use it for life" plan.

Since I sit at the airport....A LOT...I used all of that time to study and take the online courses. I learned a bit. I was surprised at home much I *forgot*.

I finished the course on Saturday. I called the local FAA FSDO this morning and made an appointment for 1PM. Previously I really thought I would have to make an appointment weeks in advance. Nope.

So more of the morning I relaxed and watched episodes of Diggnation. Around Noon I figured I should print out my 8710 form and my Flight Instructor Refresher Course completion certificate. Both were saved in PDF format.

For 20+ years I have been a Microsoft guy. Starting April 2008 I started using Mac OS X. I have come to love this Operating System....till today. For some reason every time I printed out my 8710 form about 1/2 inch of the left hand side was cut off. Hmm. I tried shrinking and luck. I tried a different printer. Same issue. It was now 12:20PM. I turned on a backup computer (I'm a geek...I live with 6 computers). The backup computer runs Windows XP and has minimal software installed (it's a gaming computer). I plugged a printer in. Needed a driver. I downloaded the driver. The HP driver took forever to install. Time was 12:25PM. Crap. Hmmm I could reboot my Macbook Pro into Windows 7.

Once booted into Windows 7 I plugged in the HP printer. The Windows 7 Operating System immediately installed the drivers (it's an all in one printer!) without me doing a thing. I didn't download any software...Windows 7 did it all. I then opened the 8710 PDF again and hit print. It came out perfectly. I flipped it over and printed the back. Done. At 12:29PM I was walking out he door.

This was my first time to actually meet with the FAA. All of my previous ratings were done with a designated examiner.

The FAA representative was very nice, but had zero sense of humor.

The meeting was very straight forward. He made sure everything was correct on my 8710. I forgot to include the fact that I was a Gold Seal CFI, so he added it for me. He asked if I was currently instructing. I told him no, that I worked so hard earning my CFI that I never wanted to let it lapse. He then asked about the plane I fly and if we fly to his hometown. In fact my plane does fly there. Then I attempted humor.

"If I ever get a chance to go home I will look and see if you are flying that flight." he said. "Well if I am you better run, my landings have been pretty rough lately!" I replied. Nothing. Not a smile. Not a chuckle. Nothing.

During my drive home I thought back at how much fun I had at ATP earning my ratings. I took the self paced course and finished the entire program (zero to CFI) in 10 months. Not really fast...but a pretty good pace. I miss flying for fun and actually being able to see the world up close and personal. My airline flies to a few smaller airports. Each time I see a general aviation plane I am quite jealous of the pilots. They are having way more fun than me (even though I am often having a blast).

Below are a few photos of my time at ATP.

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