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From the Desk of the Chief

From the Desk of the Chief

Jesse Gamueda, Chief Pilot WVFC


One of the biggest issues that I face at West Valley Flying Club is the checkout process and the rules that govern them.  And I believe for the first time I have finally figured it out!

So for most of you it comes as no surprise that when you get checked out at the club you can possibly have the right to fly any of the aircraft in that line or lower.  Let me give you an example.  If you come to the flight club, get checked out in a Cessna 182, then you are checked out in the 172, 162, 152, etc…

And if you ask most of the flight instructors, they in turn may give you a different story based on the information provided in the checkout.  Let me try and make this issue as clear as mud.

I’ve been taught the secret!  Given the keys to the kingdom!  Alas, Clarity!

It all has to do with time in the model of aircraft.  I’ll give two examples of pilots with different experience.  Both have 50 hours of flight time in Cessna 182’s. 

Pilot A:  30 hours experience in a 172, 22 hours in a 152 and 250 total time.

Pilot B:  Type rated in a 747 with 1500 hours of PIC in the 747 and 25,000 hours total time.

In the example of Pilot A, when you fill out your Aircraft Checkout form, your instructor will check off in each box the aircraft that you have experience in. If you show your instructor your logbook noting the 172 and 152 time, the instructor now has the opportunity to fill out the boxes next to 172 and 152 without you needing to get anymore flight time in the aircraft, providing you’ve filled out the ground review form and had the discussion about specifics on both a/c with your instructor, and your instructor deems you “qualified.”

If pilot B shows up at WVFC and only has Cessna 182 experience; he may not get checked out in the 172, 162, or 152.  Even though he has Captain Experience on a 747 and 10 times the amount of total time, without the experience in the 172, 162 or 152 he will most likely be unable fly these aircraft, because of the fact that he has no prior experience in the aircraft.  What reasonable instructor is going to want to put their signature on a form that doesn’t support that experience?

This is easily understandable if one takes into account that an administrator only enters into the computer what an individual has filled out on a form.

Moving forward, there will be no more confusion for me regarding this topic.  I will simply look into our members records.  See what the instructor checked the member out for and if that member has the appropriate supporting documentation.  I.E. GRF’s, and experience that meet our minimums, then I will inform them of what aircraft they are checked out in! 

I hope that this doesn’t add any confusion to the process with what you already know to be “true” here at West Valley Flying Club.  My only desire is to make it simpler to understand and easier for the member to figure out which aircraft they are checked out in.

In closing, if you feel at any time you’re unsure of what the requirements are, please bring it to our attention and we’ll do our best to “clarify”!

Thank you once again for enduring this article and my door is always open!