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Thursday, 4 October 2012

Passed my Medical :)

The only potential show-stopper for my flying adventures was my medical. "Was", because yesterday I got my Class II Certificate! :)
Passed! :)
All happy, because now I'm sure that all the investments already done, and especially those that I am about to do, are not in vain.
If I don't get my license now (in due time, of course), then it's only me to blame. Dedication, devotion, motivation, time, and, yes, some money, is all that's needed as of now. Time and money are the most uncertain factors, but I have them all planed out. If my plan comes through, I'll have my pilot's license in a couple of years.
De medical examination is in fact a sports medical examination, with emphasis on heart, lungs, eyes, and ear-nose-throat. The intake form was full of questions if I had ever in my entire life received treatment for anything, ranging from eczema to cardiac arrest. And the second half were the same questions, but applicable to any of my family. So filling that out was quite a bit of a puzzle. During the initial interview, all these questions were asked in surprising detail. After the interview bit, it was time for the actual physical examination. I appear to have a bit more play in my left knee joint than in my right one. But the hinder I get from that is no reason for rejection. As I wear glasses, the Eye exam was extra intensive. Under the new EASA rules, any visual impairment that can be corrected, shall be judged in it's corrected state. Meaning as much as, no matter how strong your glasses are, your vision is judged while wearing your glasses. Same goes for contact lenses, even laser treatment. It used to be that -6 dioptry was the limit, also if corrected by laser surgery. Seeing sharply is one thing, any cylindrical deviation is another, but also eye pressure, the condition of the retina, the condition of the cornea, the exterior eye, ... all gets checked. Evern periferal vision is tested by looking at a center dot, and pressing a button when you see an extra light. The extra light appears randomly at close and far range from the centre dot, and in random strenghts. That way all your limits get tested, one eye for the other. Another extensive test can be the heart. The ECG looked fine, with all the peaks where they should be :)

The next things to do will be to become a member of KLM AeroClub (about time, eh, Emile?), receiving the airplane, and getting myself a headset. The order of the last two is not set in stone. It would be nice to have my own headset if I can get along with the ferry flight from Berlin to Lelystad. For such a long flight, I would certainly like to wear a quality headset. The Lightspeed Zulu I borrowed from Emile would do the trick.
Maybe if he does not tag along himself, I can borrow it again (or better phrased: keep it in my possession until then), otherwise I just might buy one myself first.
"My" Aquila, ready to fly, at the factory

While I'm typing this, I realise it's the 4th of October. That's not only World Animal Day, but also the day the worst aviation tragedy in the Netherland took place. Today exactly 20 years ago, a Boeig 747F, El Al flight 1862, crashed in to two flats in Amsterdam South-East. 20 Years ago, ..., and I still remember it like it was yesterday. I drove near the crash site (some 10 km west), on my way to a birthday (congratulations, Fred), when I noticed this unusual orangey glow to my left. I looked over, and saw two strings of blue lights at the A2 and A9 highways, leading to that orangy glow. I only heared later what had exactly happened. I still get goosebumps thinking of that moment. As it was a freighter plane, all casualties next to the 3-headed crew were on the ground. The official number is 43, but it is unknown how many people actually lived in the flats, because they were renowned for illegal occupation.

News fragment (in Dutch)

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