Ground School Almost Complete…

Well today Wednesday 11, January 2012 was the dreaded day. I had been studying hard for the past two days for this final practice test, so much so that the last few hours before class I just couldn’t cram anymore information. I arrived early for class as usual and looked outside the class window which looks over the Twin Cities Aviation Airport runway. It was about 5.10 pm or so and already dark in the Minnesota winter. It was however a clear and cold night but quite windy which made it even colder. I looked at my cell phone and saw that the local temperature was 22 F. As I looked out over the runway it looked quite beautiful with all the lights and stars, then I saw a couple of private jets fly in. Just then I could hear Mr. Whipple talking to someone as he climbed the stairs toward the class room. I returned to my seat and as Mr. Whipple walked in he said, “There he is!” He put his laptop bag on the table and his pilot’s bag on the floor, and said, “I better get the coffee ready”. I then told him about the private jets and that I didn’t know that this airport accepted private jets. “Oh yes, we have a number of private jets flying in here quite frequently”, he replied. He then began looking for the cookies and said, “Well this will be the last batch I think as we may not have a class next Monday”. I then immediately said, “Well aren’t we going to have a review before the actual FAA test?”, “Oh we’ll have that tonight” said Mr. Whipple. I was a little disappointed as I wanted a more detailed review, with an entire class specifically dedicated to it. Then Mr. Whipple said, “Well let’s see how everyone performs tonight and then we could have a review class next week I suppose”. I felt a little better, but at the same time that meant that we would have to perform poorly in the practice test, at least most of us would have to, which of course I didn’t want.

Another student walked in and he quickly sat down and began reviewing the material. Then in a matter of a few moments the remaining students walked in. At 6.00 pm sharp Mr. Whipple gave us our Navigation quiz. Once this was complete we began going through the quiz as a review before the final practice test consisting of 50 questions in 2 hours. The actual final FAA test has 60 questions to be answered in 2 hours and 30 minutes. Once the review was complete we began our test at 7.00 pm and one of the students was finished in about an hour. Mr. Whipple quickly marked his paper and he got a whopping 98%! He got one wrong and Mr. Whipple asked him if he wanted to go through it and the student said no and prepared to go home. One by one students began handing their answer sheets in and getting their results. I was the penultimate student to hand my answer sheet in and my result was 82%. It was a pass mark and considering my cramming it wasn’t too bad. 😀 Mr. Whipple began individually going through the questions with each student that they had gotten wrong.

I said to Mr. Whipple that I would like to come to class next week and take another practice test before the final. He then asked other students if  they wanted to come next Monday to take another practice test, and everyone declined, even those that were borderline. Mr. Whipple laughingly said, “Great! I’m down to one student!” He then began handing out our graduation certificates because we had all passed and completed the class in its entirety. He also gave us the phone number to call to register and make the payment of $150.00 for the FAA test, and the sign off sheet which we have to present at the time of the test. The sign off sheet is a signed sheet of paper from the instructor telling the proctor that the concerned student has satisfactorily completed the course, and is ready to take the test. So anyway, next Monday it will be just Mr. Whipple and myself.

While I was waiting for class to begin, I recorded these night landings of a couple of private jets at Twin Cities Aviation Airport. Sorry about the shaky picture, and the fact that you can’t really see the planes as such nor that they’re private jets. 😀 You really had to be there to see it, and I thought I was capturing the moment to share with you.




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