Flying: A dream come through with the help of passion or madness (or perhaps a bit of both)?-The proof that one should never give up!

January 16, 2007

Being me, this blog needs some sort of connection to aviation and I will try to bring up something related to the field as often as I can and here is entry number two

 

Quite often recently I have been asked by various friends (and foes) why I decided to start flying as I would never use it for professional purposes? The answer is simple, it has a dream for me since I was a child to once be able to be in command of an aircraft myself. I guess I was slightly brainwashed by having a father who was a pilot for 42 years of his life and a mother who was a flight attendant (cliché child). However I was told over and over again that chances of realizing this dream were slim as my eyesight was too bad and I had surgery on both eyes as a child reducing my chances even further.

 

However, on may 27th 2006 my good friend John rang me and told me to make my way to the flying club in Västerås as he wanted to meet me and grab a bit to eat when he arrived from Gothenburg. After much waiting he finally did arrive and to my delight, he offered me a trip up in the little flying machine (DV20). After a while of sightseeing over Lake Mälaren I was shocked when he said “now you try a bit”. Feeling like Bambi on Ice I took the controls and made VERY careful turns, climbs and descents.

 

 

 

 

 

Oooh! Look at the concentration in the eyes of this boy!

 


 

 

 

 

After landing (well physically anyway!), I realized I was hooked and in the car on my way home I decided to do everything in my power to get this through! Back to France I went, and started calculating coming to the conclusion that my low frequency of nights out on the French Riviera had actually saved me quite a lot of money compared to what I had budgeted (but I had three fun years anyway).

Next step was to call a doctor in Sweden certified to perform aviation medical exams. July 4th was to be D-day (or so I thought). Made my way through the examination all the way to the end where my eyes were to be tested. With a slight regret in his voice the doctor said that he wasn’t sure that the Swedish CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) would clear me but if I wanted to, I could visit a specialist and pay another 1600SEK (€170). As I had decided to fight it to the bitter end I called the specialist and described my situation and although sounding VERY doubtful (understatement of the year) he agreed to see me the next day for a proper examination. After the examination I received the proof that one shall NEVER give up until it is completely over and left a slightly surprised doctor behind with the test result in my containing a lot of hope. After having filled out the remaining forms I sent off the papers and hoped for the best.

 

 

Summer passed and after a while I almost stopped hoping to hear anything until one day when I received a notification that there was a registered letter waiting for me at the post-office. Rushed down and there it was, the envelope containing the two papers that I so badly needed to continue, my student permit and medical certificate.

 

 

 

 

Those valuable two pieces of paper!

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

The next step was to hoping that I could still sign up for a theory course to keep me occupied during the winter months. I ended up choosing Uppsala Flying Club due to the favorable price, distance from home and days on which the courses were held.

 

After having completed the theory course (only the official exams left) and accumulated 13.5 (out of 45) flying hours I look back at the what I had to do to get here and boy am I happy I never gave up! Some would call me passionate, others would call me mad but I’d say that I, and most of us who fly, either professionally or stay at a private level, are in fact madly passionate about what we do. If there is something I will keep telling people and use this as an example is to NEVER EVER give up. If you have a dream about doing something don’t listen to those who say you can’t do it. Instead, listen to those who say you CAN and don’t stop before you have tried all possibilities.

 

 

I have met a lot of great people during this time, I know some read this blog and look forward to a lot of fun with you guys once I get my license. Thanks for all the support and good luck with your flying or whatever you are doing!

 

Oh, by the way John, I need your address for invoicing you my flying hours :-p

 


 

 

 

 

Madly passionate about flying!


Stormy Weather

January 14, 2007

Well, here I am, all alone at the sport center in Sigtuna. Not much to do other than wait for another 30 minutes before I can go home. Had 5 power-outs here during the past hours due to a storm called “Per” that is messing up the lives for a couple of hundred thousand people in this country.

A sign of that I am getting old, well I know 22 is not really THAT old is that I managed to forget two very important people in my first blog entry.

1. CK Aviation guru! ask this guy about anything involving the admin part of running an airline, he’ll for sure have a pov. and often a very good one as well 😉 Enjoyed the Christmas get together he had in December. Good luck with your new job and house!

2. Daniel, a great friend, actually known him for just over 5 years now *cheers*! If I am the steamroller he’s the diplomat of us two. Glad to know you Daniel!

Otherwise, it looks like I have a challenging project ahead (not talking about my thesis) and a final move out of my parents apt. (not too bad, but I long for freedom). Hope to be able to tell you more about this soon!


The people we hear but never see

January 9, 2007

Being me, it is inevitable that some of these blog entries will be about aviation, some of you will just have to accept that while I know that others will enjoy it and here is the first one:
For a long time I had wanted to see the work that the air traffic controllers perform when they are guiding us in the, sometimes congested, airspace over Sweden and yesterday, together with five fellow aviation/technology freaks we were given the opportunity to visit Stockholm ATCC (Air Traffic Control Centre).

Our guide, Johan, started by giving us an overview and brief history of the ATCC and what we would be seeing during the visit

Christian, Fredrik, Patrik & Leif waiting with excitement for what is to come

 

After a quick cup of coffee we walked through the office premises towards the flight planning center (FPC). For almost all pilots in Sweden the people working here are the first point of contact we have before flying as the supply us with weather, NOTAMs and other information we might need for our flight. They also take care of the flight plans we submit and make sure that they are in order before sending them to air traffic control and returning a confirmation to us by SMS (if submitted by internet).

 

The”magical” flight planning desk, where all the information is available at the touch of the button
to provide to pilots and OPS offices around the world. Almost all the information can also be found online.

 

We then moved on to the observer terrace above the control center where we were give a more detailed overview of how the “room” was divided.

 

The group getting their final overview before entering the world of screens and “chatter”

The next halt was the actual control room where we divided in two groups (3 for the ACC and 3 for TMC) and assigned a controller each who we were allowed to survey for 30 minutes and ask any questions that came up.

 

The controller position “Stockholm 6” a.k.a. 132.475

 

After a round-up session marking the end of our visit we were 6 smiling faces who left the building with a lot of new knowledge on our hands.

 

Thanks to everyone involved in this visit and hopefully, this visit will result in a surprise for you Swedish speakers at a later date, but that remains to be seem.


Looking forward…and back

January 6, 2007

HAPPY(?) NEW YEAR!

 

Another year over, another year started. Many people would do it the logical way of looking back at what has just been, I will do the opposite and look at what I want to be achieving during 2007 (not in any particular order of importance).

* Complete my thesis
* Graduate from IUM
* Get a job I am happy with (I can’t work at the sports centre all my life)
* Get my pilots license
* Get the hell out of my parents apt. to something of my own (however, it requires me getting a job first).
* Travel (even shorter day/weekend trips will do the trick)
* Meet new interesting people
* etc………….

Going back to 2006 some things didn’t turn out quite as planned and others did

* Didn’t complete my thesis as I hoped I would
* Found a job (and left it)
* Started my PPL
* Moved back to Sweden (and enjoying it despite all my previous claims to hate this country)
* Traveled around Europe to see friends
* Made new friends
* Lost some old ones

I think that sums it up quite well

To further develop the list of new people I met in 2006 here are some of them (don’t feel offended if you’re not on the list)

* Anders W —> Fellow flying friend from Sigtuna, always cheery and get’s you in a good mood
* Anna R —–> Former colleague and now friend…. full of energy and a warm personality.
* Erica N —–> A nice LSE graduate who I ran in to during the 2006 NGEF
* Fredrik N –> Hahaha, what can I say about this “young lad”, this guy is completely insane, a good aviator and a person who always speaks what he thinks (I like people who can be as blunt as him) and I am glad I met him (at least I make myself believe I am). I will miss thy drunken calls
* Joanne S–> My internship supervisor… She made me enjoy the art of personal coaching (Including her husband and Jimbeau in this line).
* Lukas Is for Anna B what sliced bread is to the Americans… treat her please…otherwise you’ll have to deal with me 🙂 Read his Swedish blog at http://grimfors.mine.nu/lukas_blog.php
* Maggie –> Knew her before but got to know her better this year. Enjoyed ending 2006 and starting 2007 with her.
* Mateusz –> Hahah, another of those people I miss from my short time at Studentum.
* Mats L —> Now here is a guy with a heart. Mats is always there to crack a joke as well as being a good listener and coach for his team
* Patrik –> I met this guy before but didn’t get to know him as well as this year… more follows later
* Viktor W –> You’re calling me diffuse!? …. You’re forgiven as you gave me the idea to do this!

-That sort of sums it up

 

Here are some of the people I’d like to thank for being a big part of my life in good as well as bad times

* Adam W –> My oldest friend. Tack kompis
* Anna B —> Bed and “breakfast” at Kungsholmen and Monaco will be remembered
* Anna M —> If I stay in Sweden, I am joining Kårsdraget 🙂
* Annabel –> Need I say anything 😉
* Ben –> Cheers mate and get your a** over here soon!
* Bella –> Glad to know you and even happier you decided what you wanted to study and that you LIKE it!
* Damgaards
–> THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!
* Lotta –> Love those truffles
* Christian A —> Good luck with the girls
* Fredrik N —> Sauna, KS, KUZ, GON, IBX, etc….
* Bella —-> Always listening even if I know you sometimes want to hang up 😉
* Lisa & Sanna —-> Your coffee is the best!
* Hinatea ––> Let’s forget NGEF shall we and party on June 16th!
* Kangas —> Good luck with whatever you do in 2007… You deserve it!
* Jordan —> Founding associate of “We love the Damgaards”, good luck with your vagabonding
* Lisen —> I am coming to LUX in 2007… That is CERTAIN!!
* Mathilde—> Dog!
* Nance —-> 🙂
* Nadine –
–> See “Damgaards”
* Patrik —> Thanks mate for a lot of things…. make sure to have a big cup of coffee ready when I come visit you by air and I will make sure my parents feed you again 😉
* Peter—-> Right up there on the list of my absolute best friends… together we shall make 07 good…OK!?

Again to anyone who feels that they should have been on here and those of you mentioned above…… THANK YOU for 06 and all the best for 2007″