Snow does private...a FSA diary


'Not a new member'
Well hi there folks, I said I'd post a 'Flying Turkey like' diary of my experences here at the Academy, and so here it is!

DAY 1 - Wednesday 3rd October

I arrive in Melboune at 15:00 and 'Pavelump' was kind enough to give me a lift to the Academy. I picked up an visitor pass at the front desk and got my key for my room in the dorms. Took my stuff upto my room, had a quick bite out with Dave and then returned to hear a guest speaker, a pilot from NetJets talk at 17:30 for an hour or so. Afterwards I went back to my dorm room which is kinda a 3 bedroom apartment with shared kitchen, living room and bathroom. I unpacked and put all my posters up so I didn't feel like I was in a hotel.

Day 2 - Thursday 4th October

Today I get up and eat breakfast down at the cafe because I have absolutely nothing in the kitchen, a pretty good breakfast too for $3 I say! I then go down to admin and pick up my first key loan check for $20,000. I met a fellow student who was going to be in my class as well. He and his mother had just flown in from Guana that morning. We shared a 'shuttle' which for $6 and $2 per additional person you can be taken anywhere in town from door to door. I first went and setup a new account at Wachova (same bank as FSI uses, so no wait on transfers) then headed over to the local supermarket where I proceeded to buy everything, since only cookware and some plates and eating utinels are provided. Also checked out some local mobile phone companies but yet to find one my phone will work with.

That evening got to meet my first flatmate, I thought i had brought a lot of stuff until he shows up with a minivan full of stuff. We bought some more necesities and each bought a bookshelf for $20 from WalMart to store all the books we would be needing over the duration of the course. Had dinner out with my flatmate at the 'Atlantic Grill' which was good food and reasonably priced. Later retired to bed early in preperation for the 8am start tommarow.

Day 3 Friday 3rd October - Orentation Day

Today I woke up about 5am just due to the excitement, I had been waiting close to a year for this day. After shower and breakfast I headed down for the orentation proceedings. We were greeted by all the big wigs and got a little background info on the Academy and of FSI. We filled out paperwork, got measured for uniforms, had a rundown of our course givn to us, photo ID taken and took a drug test, which proved to be the most comical part of the day so far as everyone drank vast quanties of water and waited in line to 'pee on demand' which as we all know goes against natures ways lol
We also picked up all our books, maps, manuals, rulers, computers etc we would need which came to about $450.

We were treated to a free lunch and then proceeded onto the afternoon's activites which consited of getting a run down of basic regulations, an offer to sign up for a mentor program, found out who our personal flight instructor was and lastly getting to talk to one of the more advanced students for a student's prespective of the academy and also to find out where the good 'watering holes' are!
The whole orentaion took from 8am till about 3:30pm. Oh and we got some homework already, 3 chapters to read on areodynamics.

That afternoon I bought some folders from the pilot shop and also tried on some headsets, the ladies there are super nice and know me by name already. The bookshelf I had bought came in handy for storing the 15odd books I had recived.

Feeling a little bored I heading down to the flight line to check out the aircraft, an instructor who had just gotten back from a flight agreed to take me out and show me the planes, I got to sit in both a Cherokee Cadet and one of the new Seminole. Later I found out this instructor was actually an old buddy of Doug's from Embry Ridle! He told me they were farternity brothers, so that was pretty cool! Afterwards I went back to my room to read over some the Academy's regulations which after an very early start, had me falling asleep after a couple of pages.

To be continued...
I'd actually recommend the Atlantic Grill over Riverside (except on a Fri night). Cool place just to hang out, watch sports, play NTN trivia etc.

You think you're going to have time to write each day??? Best of luck, though.
Good luck....those are the "salad days"...what were the initials of the instructor you met...DH?
glad to hear you like the academy. Just reading your post brings back some great memories. I remember orientation like it was yesterday. Keep us updated and most importantly, have a great time...ILS
Thanks for taking the time to write the posts. I enjoyed the stories and info as I am considering FSI shortly.

Study hard, have fun mate!
Wow! I miss the place the more I read about. Made some great friends and a ton of memories! It was less than a year ago I finished and now I feel like a seasoned CFI/MEI. What a cool feeling it was to walk around FSI with nothing and seven months later have a Comm Multi and CFI. Good luck to all who are starting. Study hard and play harder. It'll be some of the best times you will ever have in aviation.
I am sure you said this somewhere so sorry to make you repeat...but how far a long are you? (Hours/ratings wise). And how is the October FL weather cause I could trade you for some Utah wind and hail if you'd like...;) And it sounds like you still are being treated just as well as they treat you before you give them your that very accomodating attitude is still there?
what were the initials of the instructor you met...DH?

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Um can't remember, I think he was working on his CFI or CFII rating.

How many people were in your orientation?

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14 starting private groundschool
4 doing the private checkout (then comerical)
and 1 coming in for a instructor's rating

People were younger than I expected quite a few 18 yos, I was expecting mostly late 20's, oldest is a 35yo ex P3 Orion radar operator on GA benifits.

Day 4 - Saturday 4th October

Generally had a lazy day, had a look through some of the textbooks and was relieved to see the material inside wasn't as boring as the cover, nice book with lots of diagrams, pictures and easy to understand explinations. Just spent most of the evening watching tv and getting to know my room mates.

Day 5 - Sunday 5th October

Slept in after a rather late night before, spent most of today watching football and the Cubs and Braves game. Was suprised at the lack of aircraft flying today, I guess FSA really makes up most of the traffic around here, a little too much playstation ended up turning into another late night, thankfully class isn't until 1pm!
Day 6 - Monday 6th October

Well Today was the first day of ground school, fortunatly private ground school runs from 13:00 to 17:00 which allows time for a leasurely breakfast and such. We learned about aerodynamics today, fairly basic stuff. Spent that evening reading up on all the stuff I didn't read on the weekend.

Day 7 - Tuesday 7th October

Today we have more aerodynamics, stalls, load factors etc our instuctor is an ex-marine aircraft mechanic who also has his comerical rating. A few guys had some drinks after class and we all sat out on the balcony trying to see the DC-3 'Crop duster' that was due to fly around the county at 200f spraying for mosquitos as well as trying to figure out how to turn on the pilot activated rwy lights with a portable nav radio, never did figure it out. I finished all the reading we were sposed to do so finally caught up.

Day 8 - Wednesday 8th October

This morning I didn't have a lot to do since I had completed all the work and readings. Some of the other students have already met up with their instructors and are begining the 'Microsoft Lab' lessons this week, you do about 5 hrs on that but apartly it can be shortened to 2hrs if you already have some avation knowlege. I keep calling my instructor but he's never home / doesn't answer and I can't leave a number to call me back cause I don't have one yet, doh.

Finished up systems and aerodynamics this afternoon, the instructor I havefor systems is a retired Qantas 747 Captain so it's been cool to talk to him about his experences during the breaks.

That's all for now folkes, hopefully I'll get to meet my instructor soon and get started on the practical side of things as I probably have a bit too much free time which could be better spent flying instead of playing the PS2 lol
Tell that ex-marine (I assume it is MC -- mustache and tatooes?) that Kevin and Renee say hello. Ask him about the CFI Ground school class where Kevin told him there was no CHT gauge in the Seminole! He'll get a laugh out of it!
Go over to the flight line and look at the schedule, find your instructor's name, and hang around sometime between his/hers flights. That's how I tracked mine down. Enjoy it, after your done you'll miss it! And I've only been gone a little over a year.
Boy, you'd think instructors down there would be clammoring to get a hold of a student and get flying...after the waste of time in the microsoft lab of course.
Why, thank you Mr Chunk! You should see me now- white as a picket fence as its been raining all week. Oh yeah, all that free time and days off to go to the beach...hah!
Boy, you'd think instructors down there would be clammoring to get a hold of a student and get flying...after the waste of time in the microsoft lab of course.

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Ok I got that sorted out now, they had actually given me the wrong numbers for my instructor so I have no idea who I was calling lol I actually ran into him down at the flightline while trying to get my student pilot certificate. So it's all good now.

Day 9 - Thursday October 9th

Well today was the first day of learning FARs, it has been pretty intense but the ex-airforce ATC has been doing a good job in keeping it as light as possible. Also our photo IDs and pants came in today so as of tommorw I won't need this alkward temp student id or be wearing jeans (that's gotten a few strange looks)

Day 10 - Friday October 10th

Well today I decided to go down to the flight line to get the paper work done for getting my student pilot certificate. I happened to run into my instructor out there and found out the ph numbers I had were completely wrong so no wonder I couldn't reach him. We did most of the 1st 3hr bref which included going over the structure of the lessons, learning how to axcess weather information on the computer and the atis freq. Ran out of time cause I had to be at ground school so we setup to finish it tommaorw.

More FARS in ground school, thankfully we only have 2 days of this stuff cause it's like reading a law dictionary. Got back to the room that evening and after fixing dinner when over and had a few games of pool with a classmate and checked out the gym and rec facilties.

Day 11 - Saturday October 11th

Today at noon I met up with my instructor again where we finished off what we didn't finish yesterday, that included going out to an aircraft and showing me where everything is and how to do the pre-flight checklist and walk around checks. Didn't get to do the microsoft sim as planned but will be doing that on Monday night after the test, tonight and tommarow will be spent studying those darn FARs, the aerodymanic and systems stuff I pretty much knew already. Plus it's muli-choice so I'm not too worried.