I Got My Wings!

While I usually keep this blog strictly ‘work related’ I am going to get a little personal. Yesterday evening I became an official FAA certified pilot. After a year and a half of training, almost 90 hours of flight time, passing an FAA knowledge test, and three hours with an authorized examiner, I was officially handed my temporary pilot certificate. (The real fancy one comes in the mail in a few weeks!)

I was bitten by the flying bug as a child, like many pilots, and no matter what I did it never seemed to go away. It was a horrible nagging feeling that just wouldn’t subside. Every time I saw a plane I would imagine flying it myself. About two years ago I thought to myself, “why haven’t I done anything about this!?” I went online, did some research, found an instructor, joined the flying club, and started my training. Many hours later (and unfortunately many dollars later) I finally got my pilot certificate.

Honestly, I couldn’t have done it without people like Vance Cochrane, my instructor, the advice of many other great instructors at West Valley Flying Club here in the San Francisco Bay Area, and Sherry Diamond, a very professional and fair examiner. I feel lucky to have done many things in my life, but nothing really comes close to the feeling of accomplishment I have right now. While there are many more ratings ahead of me and many more check rides, I am sure nothing will compare to this feeling.

So, my suggestion to you: if you have that same bug, that itching feeling to go flying when you see a plane fly over, do something about it! While it is a lot of work, it is also very rewarding. And quite honestly, would you rather be sitting at home this weekend watching TV, or be thousands of feet up in the air zooming across the country side? I’ve made my choice.

9 thoughts on “I Got My Wings!

  1. Daniel,

    Congratulations on this great milestone, I had finished my groundschool 2 years ago but then my wife convinced me that buying a single family home was more important then, so I had to put the rest out for a while. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    However my best friend is currently a learjet captain and used to be a flight instructor so we used to go flying often.
    One thing I definately recommend is that you get your Instrument Rating, during one flight around North of Richmond, VA we heard a guy West of us on the radio talking to Richmond International(RIC) scared out of his pants that he got caught by a decending cloud ceiling(not sure how it happened, but I think he was concerned about being near the mountains in that area). It got to a point where RIC asked him how many “souls” were on board, that’s when it hit me the seriousness of the situation. That day I told myself that I will not stop my flight training until I get at least my Instrument Rating!
    Anyways, congratulations and I hope you have tons of safe and fun flights!



  2. Congratulations! I’ve always wanted to learn to fly, only to fly one of those WW2 planes and feel the nostalgia from it. I don’t know if something that specific warrants getting a pilot’s license… where am I going to find a WW2 plane to fly? But you never know. Excellent story, thank you.

  3. Congratulations Danny!!!

    I knew you could get it done if you ever slowed down on your schedule a little bit!

    Good work!


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