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Biennial Flight Review (BFR)

I became a licensed pilot in 2011, which means 2 years has passed and I needed to prove to a certified flight instructor I can still fly. That’s why I decided to go to Florida in January to get it done, with my best friend and awesome instructor Ryan.

I was actually scheduled to fly the day after I arrived, Monday January 14, but the plane I was scheduled to fly was down for maintenance. Actually, both of the flight school’s 172s were down for maintenance for various reasons. I then had to be checked out in the C152 that the school has and I did that Tuesday and Wednesday with one of the instructors at that school, and then proceed with my BFR.

All the flying was done out of KSFB – Orlando-Sanford International Airport.

Tuesday we did a flight to the local practice area where I practiced some maneuvers. Keep in mind it had been 11 months since I last flew and my skills were a bit rusty. But with some practice, I did the slow flights, stalls, steep turns and emergency procedures to an acceptable, proficient level. It was so good to be back in the air!

Coming back into Sanford can be a bit stressful, especially with Air Traffic Control and the busy airspace around the Orlando area. English, being a foreign language to me, though I feel very proficient, adds to the difficulty for me.

Sanford is a Class C airport, meaning it’s classified as the second busiest type of airport in the US. Class B airports are usually very busy airports such as Orlando-MCO, Newark-EWR and Los Angeles-LAX.
The aircraft operators at SFB have signed a document that makes ATC-clearances easier for both pilots and controllers. Coming in to the airport from the North, I obtained the current weather in Sanford and contacted Orlando Approach on the radio, requesting the Monroe Arrival. The Monroe/Jessup Arrivial are signatory arrival routes (it’s not an official published arrival route, but something you will be familiar with if you fly planes in and out of SFB frequently) So by requesting the Monroe arrival, you let the ATC-controller know that you are familiar with operating in to SFB in this manner, and they will give you a squawk code and (hopefully) clear you for the Monroe Arrival.

After that, Orlando App hands you over to Sanford Tower. Our intentions this afternoon was 3 laps in the traffic pattern, so we got to land at 09R the first two landings, then the final, full stop landing was done at 09L.

Airport Diagram of KSFB

Airport Diagram of KSFB

The first two landings over at 09R were very smooth, and the instructor was happy with them. After those two touch-and-go’s I did a full stop landing at 09L. Due to this runway being significantly wider than 09R, I fell victim of the wider runway illusion, thinking I was lower than actual and started the flare too early. The landing was perfectly safe, but not as smooth as the previous two.

The next day I planned a flight to Kissimmee (KISM) and Leesburg (KLEE) to practice radio communication with other frequencies some more. The C152 is incredibly slow, I cruised down to KISM at about 90 KIAS.


Wing view

Wing view

The Epcot Center

The Epcot Center

Best office view in the world (well, I don't mean the C152 in particular lol)

Best office view in the world (well, I don’t mean the C152 in particular lol)

The cockpit of the C152

The cockpit of the C152

Me flying! woop woop!

Me flying! woop woop!

Upon completion of this flight, I was officially checked out in the Cessna C152!

The next flight I did some traffic pattern work with Ryan in the C152, which was good practice!
We also flew to New Smyrna Beach Municipal Airport one day in the C172. Actually, it was more like a diversion, because the lid where you check the engine oil popped open in flight. Safely on the ground in New Smyrna we did what any pilot would do. Fixed it with duct tape and flew back to Sanford, in the most amazing sunsets!

IMG_0685 IMG_0688

We also did two flights up to DeLand which in an uncontrolled airfield with a lot of parachute activity. It is located north of Sanford and Lake Monroe. We went to the FBO to refuel after fighting the crosswinds that prevailed there, that day. With full tanks we headed back to Sanford via the Monroe Arrival, which I filmed and posted HERE


Oh, the sights you see while pre-flighting aircrafts on the north ramp in Sanford. This is a Thomson 757 departing 09L. In the background is the passenger terminal.


Thank you so much Ryan for giving me such a thorough flight review. I definitely learned a lot from you. You are a very talented instructor. I’m looking forward to fly with you again soon!

After putting 9,5 hrs in my log book, I was happy with what I got done in that week-and-a-half. Yes, I was supposed to go home Sunday January 20th, but didn’t leave until Wednesday January 23rd. Due to bad weather and the maintenance issues with the C172 which eventually was available for rental towards the end of the period I was there.

So with change of departure for going back to Norway, comes along a whole different route than the original MCO-IAH-AMS-CPH-KRS. Stay tuned and I will tell you about the comfortable ride I had across the Atlantic.

If you have any questions regarding biennial flight reviews (BFR) please refer to CFR 14 §61.56 in the FAR/AIM.
I am also open for questions of you have any with regards to aircrafts, rental, or anything in general.

– Cecilie

Girls with wings

So, I just want to put the word out there – if you’re a girl and you want to pursue a career as a pilot, you have to expect that some people have opinions against that, saying weird stuff like (and I’ve heard this myself, no imagination necessary) “You are going to pass your check rides easily because you’re a girl” “Check airmen will only look at your boobs, not your flying skills!” (WHAT?) and “Girls don’t have what it takes to become a pilot”

WRONG. WRONG. WRONG. Wrong, in all ways. I’m actually surprised there are opinions like these out there, still, in the 21st century. But then again, there are people out there who wants laws regulating how many percent women are on the ballot for the election, who many women in an executive board, etc.

I oppose those types of regulations. Those in favor of such legislation argue that in order to have women elected to the city board or even the Parliament, we need regulation that secures at least a certain percentage of spaces to the women. That is almost the same as saying “Women are not good enough, so we need to regulate how many have to be in an executive board (for example)”


Girl with wings..

Well, hey, let me tell you this. I want to be hired, not because I’m a girl, but because I am well-qualified. Putting quota regulations into effect will only lead to women not feeling sufficiently empowered by their own qualifications. Also in aviation. Not feeling empowered will lead to insecurity, and that’s one thing we don’t need on the flight deck.

I want female pilots to know that they can do just as good as their male counterparts.

I was recently interviewd by the regional newspaper arguing against a politician from the Labor Party, arguing against these quotas. I received immense support on the newspaper’s Facebook page. To summarize (for those of you not necessarily very proficient in the Norwegian language):

– The Labor party politician suggested we should remove one way to give extra votes in local elections, by giving personal votes by crossing in a box next to the name on the list. He suggested this, because half of the top-10 on the Labor party list during the past election in September 2011 were women, but only 2 of them were elected. His thought was that by removing the option to give extra votes (and this was apparently in favor of the men on the list) more women will be elected.

I argued against this, saying I want competent people in the city board, not girls at all cost, just because they are women. That’s saying women are not good enough, so we need regulation to get them elected.

I disagree. I know there are good female politicians out there. They will be elected if the voters think they’ll do a better job than the others on the list. Simple as that.

This also applies to the aviation industry. No, I will never pass a check ride with ease (unless I’m very well prepared lol) and especially not because I’m a girl. And women will do just as well on the flight deck as men.

I still find it personally disappointing though (but at the same time inspiring – I’ll prove them wrong) that there are still opinions against female pilots out there.

– Cecilie

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