Monthly Archives: August 2015

Taking – And Passing – The Instrument Practical Check Ride


When I did my initial EMT training (basic) I always had the goal in mind that one day I would move to the next level and do my paramedic training. Basic EMT stuff is cool, but there are very few drugs they let you touch. Being a newly minted private pilot is basically the same  thing — you can go fly around, but the limitations of that certificate make it impossible to do many of the cool cross country flights that you’d want to take.  With my EMT training, I figured there would be time for that P later and working as an EMT-B would be rewarding enough in the meantime. I never made it, and I was determined that I wouldn’t let my flying career take the same path. So as soon as I had paid off my private pilot debts I signed up for a Part 141 instrument school, and six months later I took and passed my check ride.

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Turn and Holding Timing Made Easy with Geometry, No Math Required


I was an EMT long before I started my private pilot training. In that field, just like in an airplane, time is a critical tool. Understanding a patient’s heart rate and respiratory rate is an essential diagnostic tool, and therefore one of the very first things an EMT will check with any patient. The problem facing every single newly minted EMT is learning how to properly take a patient’s pulse while flying down the highway in the back of an ambulance and also trying to juggle a bunch of other numbers in your head at the same time. I eventually mastered that skill, and years later when I was working on my instrument rating I realized that the exact same time related tricks I learned as an EMT are useful in the cockpit as well.

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