Barely Enough

I am a good pilot.  I am a safe pilot.  And, as of this past week, I am a commercial pilot.

So why aren’t I crowing and cheering?  This is, self admittedly, a big accomplishment.  But I don’t feel like celebrating.

I passed the written test and the oral test without much trouble.  The practical test… actually getting in the airplane with the examiner and flying specific maneuvers… was, to me, horrendous.  To the examiner?  I passed.  

Why horrendous?  Well, there was the obvious and expected nervousness.  But, then, the examiner was fussing at me about every little misstep.  It was not remotely a safety issue, those missteps.  Rather, it was a procedure issue.  How I was doing the maneuvers was, in the mind of that examiner, insufficient or wrong— “Why are you doing that?”, “Why are you doing that that way?”, “Why didn’t you do it this way?”

Now, the examiner’s guidelines do call for him to try and distract me; to see if he can take my mind off task and do something really stupid and unsafe.  While I didn’t do that, I did let his questions bother me.

I am not one of those people who have to be perfect all the time.  But, likewise, I’m also not the kind of person who thinks that it’s good enough getting a 71% when 70% is a passing score.  And, at the end of the flight, I felt like I had gotten a 71%.  On getting out of the airplane, the examiner compounded that already downtrodden opinion of myself by saying, “Good enough.”  Crap.

One year from now… one month from now… hell, next week… I can go apply for a job as a commercial pilot and they will not care how grandly or barely I passed my test.  They will look at my pilot certificate and note I have a commercial pilot license. 

And, like any license, it is actually a license to learn and improve.  I take solace… and a bit of pride… in recognizing that.  I know I still have to stay on top of my game, learning, practicing, improving… (and, an aside, it scares me that there are some of the pilot egos out there that DON’T recognize that).

I am a safe pilot.  I am a good pilot.  I am a commercial pilot.

…and soon I will feel up to celebrating this wonderful accomplishment…

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9 Responses to “Barely Enough”

  1. silverstar98121 Says:

    Good for you. Congrats. Pffft!!! to the examiner.

  2. leavingevangeline Says:

    I agree, good for you! But, umm…so, there are pilots out there that barely passed and I would never know the difference?

    Eek!

  3. daisyfae Says:

    reminds me of the old standard: What do you call the guy who finished last in medical school? “Doctor”… BUT, i know you are a good pilot, a safe pilot… and am not the least bit surprised that you are now a commercial pilot! Just like a drivers license, it truly is clearance to learn… Sky’s no longer even the limit! woo hoo!

  4. thegnukid Says:

    silverstar – i’m slowly coming to the same conclusion. i KNOW i can fly that plane. nerves and his cranky ol’ ass got the best of me that day, yet i still was good enough.

    leavingevangeline – actually, it’s the ones who think they are flying gods that you need to be more worried of. they pass tests too easily, so think they’re infallible. when something does go wrong, they’re just not prepared to accept it

    daisyfae – yep, i am slowly getting around to be excited about it. i like that– “Sky’s no longer even the limit!” yeah, that deserves a true WOO HOO!! thank you for helping get to that…

  5. Kym Says:

    I’m very impressed. I have a cousin who got his commercial license and I know how hard it is.

    Here’s lookin’ at GnuKid!

  6. Parenthesis Says:

    Let me know which airline you’re on, so I can take another 🙂 *tease* well done kid, you should be celebrating. And don’t be to hard on yourself, a pass is a pass, consider it a licence to practice and get even better 🙂

  7. Dolce Says:

    Fantastic. Congratulations.

  8. Rob Says:

    Celebrate away gnukid. Congratulations! You’ve succeeded!

  9. thegnukid Says:

    Kym – ‘grats to your cousin..and thanks!

    parenthesis – just listen for evil laughter coming from the cockpit…that and the Captain Kangaroo bouncy landings! 😉

    dolce – thank you thank you

    rob – yep, getting to the point of being happy about it. thanks!

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