Our entire group of pilots has now arrived and yesterday morning we all gathered for an ATC briefing. Here is a pic of our group:
The briefing was conducted by Andre (standing in the picture), who is the head of the local ATC facility. While everyone in the room was a seasoned pilot, most more experienced than me, we really needed this briefing to learn the nuances of the local airspace and the local radio protocol.
Later in the afternoon, several of us (myself included) had our validation checkrides and we all "passed"!
Luckily the winds were much more tame than my first flight!
Today, I had another unusual experience. I sat in the back seat as Paul took his validation checkride. I think it was the first time I ever sat in the back seat, which gave me plenty of time to take pictures and sightsee.
I got lots of gr8 pix, like this one, which is a dam that the locals use as a landmark in the traffic pattern.
Part of Paul's checkride was a landing on a little dirt strip that wasn't even on the map! You can see the strip below:
After he did a great landing, we took a coffee break before heading back. Here we are in front of our plane on the dirt strip:
Pual made the dirt strip landing look easy (at least from the back seat). So next time, I will try it from the left seat!