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Yesterday, I successfully passed my FAA Multi-Engine Land Instrument Airplane Oral exam and Check Ride in a DA62, perhaps the most exacting test I have ever taken in my life!! I trained at Angel City Flyers based at KLGB and the instruction has been nothing short of fantastic. Cary Jones, ACF’s CFI is simply the best – cool, calm and collective.

For those interested, around 4 months ago, I started my theory preparation in Europe using King Schools IRA course, comprising of some 13 hours of video. This course was invaluable as it provided all the background knowledge I needed. John Becker, also a DA62 Owner, was very helpful in advising me to test my knowledge using the Sheppard Air Q&A software program, which I did. The structured learning process enabled me to attain 95% pass mark in the FAA Knowledge test. The least number of wrong answers you get the better as these are then followed up during the FAA oral exam. I would strongly recommend to anyone to get the knowledge test out of the way before starting the practical flying part, as you are more than preoccupied with the latter once you get started.

KLGB and the surrounding area is a very busy airspace with a lot of traffic, fast speaking ATC, all within a relatively small concentrated area. This really kept me on my toes and if you can handle this then you are pretty well set up for anywhere else in the world. The DA62 performed brilliantly and, after a lot of hand flying, more and more Autopilot was gradually introduced. I now know the Garmin G1000 NXi intimately and really feel comfortable with all its features. Night flying was also a great experience, where I logged 7.5 hours including 13 take-off/landings.

Angel City Flyers, one of only two Diamond Brilliance Flight Training Centers in the U.S., has a very good team in place who afford every assistance and I have no hesitation in recommending them for training, be it SEL, MEL or IRA.

For those based in the U.S., you are very fortunate to have such a pro-G.A. environment and it has been an absolute privilege flying in your airspace!! My cross country IFR exercise took me from KLGB to Hayward Executive KHWD, to Monterey Regional KMRY and back to KLGB using exactly 70 U.S. gallons – amazing! I also visited Henderson Executive KHND, Yuma KNYL, as well as 12 other airports in between.

Happy Landings!

AUTHOR: Nigel Cleave, Student, Angel City Flyers