The Long-Sought Ticket Is Earned At Last!
It took a lot of hard work from ANN's Rob Finfrock, a fair
amount of NOT-normally available spare time, a dedicated
instructor, a good LSA (the Gobosh 700S), and some wheeling and
dealing from ANN, but we're happy to present the welcome details of
Rob Finfrock's successful pursuit of a Sport Pilot's License.
Last May, Rob noted that "'Coming Next Week -- Emergency
Procedures, And Dealing With Strong Winds.' Those words, written in
March 2007, were the last I posted on the pages of ANN, until now,
regarding my efforts to earn my sport pilot license. As regular
readers might recall, I had just soloed an Evektor Sportstar at
Grand Prairie Municipal (GPM) and was looking forward to moving on
to my dual and solo cross country flights, taking the written
exam... and finally, the checkride."
"Alas, things didn't work out as intended... certainly not
the first time that's happened in my life, but still a bummer.
First of all, I knew I was coming up against a hard deadline for my
training to be completed -- I planned to move back to New Mexico in
July. That wasn't much of a concern in March, however... I still
had plenty of time!"
"As the weeks went on, however, time became increasingly
compressed. The Evektor suffered a landing mishap in early April
(with another student at the controls) which resulted in a scraped
wing that put the plane out of service for three weeks. I was able
to take the SportStar up solo a couple times after that, complete
with its new, freshly-painted aileron... but that was it. In late
June, 'my little SportStar' departed the side of the runway on
takeoff, went into a ditch and wound up battered on the taxiway...
fortunately resulting in no injuries to the pilot and his female
passenger, but pretty much scrapping the plane in the
Folks, it went downhill form there... with a number of ponderous
obstacles placed in the way of Rob getting what he wanted -- a fair
shake at earning a coveted Sport Pilot's License.
Well... if you've read the multi-part series that described his
adventures this past spring, you'll see that he did eventually
succeed... and darned well, we think. Let's take a look at some of
his thoughtsand experiences, in concert with CFI Jim Crone, about
the process and practices that made Rob what he always wanted to be
(and in his heart of hearts, always was)... a pilot.