No-one said it would be easy. But, I still thought it’d be easier than this. My time in California was full of many disappointments. There weather was poor, the aircraft had some maintenance issues, and I wasn’t as prepared as I wanted to be. This meant that I couldn’t get my Commercial when I thought, and had to dig deeper and work harder.
After my first week in California we left to Utah where we had already planned on visiting. What was once supposed to be a vacation now turned into another push to stay proficient and get ready for the Commercial Checkride.
I lucked out and found a flight school called Axiom Aviation that had a Piper Arrow, almost the same year model I was flying in California. For the first time I could solo the airplane and do as much work as I needed to in order to get things down and become familiar with the airplane.
On one flight I’d do 25+ Power-Off 180 Accuracy Landings, a required maneuver for the Commercial Pilot Checkride. This was such a great way to learn the flying characteristics of the airplane, and I became quite good at it.
In other flights I’d practice the remaining maneuvers like chandelles, steep turns, lazy eights, eights on pylons, short and soft takeoffs and landings, stalls, and so much more. I really was getting a grip on the aircraft.
Then, I went to Logan, Utah, home of Utah State University. As an 18 year old I attended Utah State and count myself a true Aggie. There I gained my PPL and fell in love with the place. Now, all these years later, the aviation program at Utah State has changed a lot. There are newer airplanes, nice facilities, and the same professional attitude. I was a joy to see a Cessna 152 there that I used to fly.
Overall, flying in Utah went very well and would prepare me well for the next step, finishing my commercial rating in California.