December 2011 Issue

Midnight Special

A fresh private pilot launches a Skyhawk into nighttime IFR, with predictable results.

The private pilot certificate is often referred to as a license to learn. In many ways, it is: Suddenly, that piece of plastic allows you to go pretty much where you want, when you want. Ideally, the private is a rung in the ladder of experience, leading to other ratings and certificates. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with remaining a VFR-only private pilot, as long as one recognizes and stays within its obvious limitations.

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