Thursday, September 6, 2012

Things Falling Into Place

Sometimes things just have a way of falling into place...  

For me, this has recently been the case as I prepared for my annual recurrent training.

Usually, I accomplish my recurrent training by attending a CPPP.  But this year I decided to do it with a twist.  Instead of attending the course in Lakeland or Atlanta, I decided to attend the European version of the course in Germany.

This may sound a bit crazy... But since finishing the 50 states, I have been striving to become proficient at international flying and I could think of no better way than combining my usual training with some real world flying in Germany.

Since I started planning this adventure, I have been amazed at  how things have just fallen into place at every step! Here is what I mean:

1. I was concerned if I was would legally be allowed to fly in Germany with my FAA US pilot certificate. It turns out that US pilot credentials are honored worldwide IF you fly a US registered plane ( meaning tail # starting with "N").  That didn't seem so hard... So I started planning for flight training @ Baden-Baden Airpark (EDSB), which is just outside of Stuttgart.

2. With the help of a couple of friends from COPA, I located an "N" registered Cirrus in Germany.  As you can see in the pic below, I found one that is quite similar to my own . 
Obviously, I will be flying the little plane in the foreground !
3. The next step was insurance.  With a little help from my friendly US based CSIP, this was nothing more than shuffling a little paper.

4. Now I needed to find a way to get there.  Thanks to my day job, I had a ton of air miles waiting to be redeemed and surprisingly it was even available for the dates I wanted!

So now it looks like the trip is really going to happen and I need to study!  European flying definitely has a few nuances and complexities.  But overall, it seems totally doable!

For example, here is the airspace map that I need to learn.  

Stay tuned for the pirep to find out how it goes...

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