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Home About Me PPL Renewal
PPL Renewal PDF Print E-mail
Written by Arthur D Piercy   
Friday, 25 September 2009 16:25

It was time to prove to myself that I can still fly an aircraft. I managed to find an aircraft with hand controls in down in Port Alfred at 43 Air School.Getting In

I jumped into my car and set off for the Air School. Access into the cockpit was the major hurdle as I was required to get in and out unaided. The brave instructor assigned to help me through this challenge was Robin Gout - a good old (well not so old) British aviator.

Robin was an absolute pleasure to fly with. He put me through my paces for just on 4 hours of GF and Handcontrolscircuit work. Flying the aircraft was not the problem. Getting used to the hand controls was where the work was required. Another area that I had to adapt was that of judgment. The approach attitudes and speed vary a little from that of a Mirage and Robin had his hands full trying to get me to approach steeper and land further in on the runway.

Anyway finally on the 13 August 2001 at Grahamstown airfield Robin decided he had had enough of me and ask another brave instructor Michael Stringer to do my solo check.First solo

All I had to do was 3 decent circuits and landings and I was on my own again. The first landing was great. The second was an absolute disaster. I tried to stretch the glide - something I knew I must never do but forgot - and we were all over the airfield. Mowing the lawn next to the runway I call it. 

I thought I had just blown my chance of flying solo. As I said earlier the brave instructor just said "OK The Big Smilelets try that again". After another 2 successful circuits Michael got out and sent me SOLO!!!

The feeling of flying solo again after 13 years of being grounded rated up there with my first solo in a Harvard - mind blowningly enjoyable.

A few more hours of training, a couple of routine navigational exercises and I was ready for my PPL test. Once again Michael Stringer occupied the co-pilot's seat and flew as testing officer.

Once again I can say that I am now a pilot again!!

Last Updated on Thursday, 06 January 2011 06:12


Extracts from a testimonial recieved from the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA)

"I would like to thank Arthur Piercy for inspiring us. We need to always have driven and positive human beings like him, who don't constantly dwell on the ills of the past but on the possibilties of the future" (Zola)

"To me the important points that he made were that one's life is very important and it is that indiviual's responsibility to take care of it no matter what; and that determination can conquerany obstacle" (David)

"I was humbled by his humility, determination and passion for life. Nothing can and will stand in his way and I admire it about him. He just opened my eyes to the fact that if you want to you can, all you need is determination" (Ntombi) 

"Indeed your response to a life changing circumstance certainly places you in a special class, somewhere above the rest of us. But your incredible sense of humour, your humaness - those form the bridge that allows ordinary human beings to rub shoulders with you and face their own, smaller situations, encouraged. Thank you for that." Nadia Coetzee : Director: Foreign Qualifications Evaluation and Advisory Services.

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