On a recent flight, we found ourselves trying to go west through a big wall of thunderstorms climbing to altitudes over FL400, definitely higher than we could fly in the Twin Cessna. So, the first plan was to go east and around, adding nearly an hour of flight to the distance. As we flew, we had ADS-B weather being delivered to the panel and our iPads, so it definitely helped the plan, and looked like the following.
Getting closer, we “thought we might have a hole” between some of the cells.
Working with ATC and some leniency to “deviate as necessary”, we found ourselves in VFR-on-top conditions between layers at FL200 looking at one of the coolest passages between weather I have seen and just had to share it.
The tunnel to clear weather ahead was welcoming, and welcome that it stayed open as we headed through!
In the end, this is how it looked on a FlightAware track after the fact. Not my most technical blog post, but I just through it was kind of a cool experience to share and an example of how sometimes with a little work you can make flights happen safely, well, with a little luck also.
So how many flight hours DOES it take to get a private pilot certificate? Or an instrument rating? Or even a commercial pilot certificate?
Well, the FAA does gather this data on the application forms that it collects when a practical test is conducted for a certificate or rating, but, to the best of my knowledge, it is not collected, collated, and reported in any way to the public as an aggregate.
But that doesn’t stop us from being curious, so I took the data from the FAA 8710-1 forms from the over 1000 practical tests I have given and collated it into a couple of data points that are now presented in this small, but highly intriguing chart.
The below chart collects data from practical tests I have given (primarily in Michigan) and helps create a general understanding of how many hours of flight and simulator time that applicants had accumulated at the time of granting of various pilot certificates and ratings. Specifically, we compiled the data for the initial private pilot certificate, instrument rating, and initial commercial multi-engine certificate events