As a refresher, I earned my private pilot certificate in a Cessna 152, and I was working on my Instrument Rating, for low-visibility flying, in a Cessna 172. I completed the checkride and completed the rating shortly after writing the blog.
Since then, I worked on my Commercial Pilot certificate, one level up from a private pilots certificate. I trained in, primarily, a Piper Warrior. This certificate took many more hours than the previous courses I had completed. The thing that stood out to me the most was how solo night flying is thrown at you very abruptly. Flying at night when you aren't used to it is kind of scary, and after 1-2 lessons with an instructor, I had to do some night flights by myself.
The cross country phase was definitely the most enjoyable. I would just pick an airport somewhere to fly to, fly there, maybe have lunch if they have facilities, and then fly back. The latter portions of the course were all practicing maneuvers I would need to demonstrate on the checkride. I completed the certificate a little over a year ago.
This year, I was working on learning to fly multi-engine airplanes. The airplane I trained in was a Piper Geronimo, a modification of the Piper Apache with slightly more powerful engines. Most of the training is basically practicing what you would do if one of your two engines died during various phases of flight. The most impressive thing I demonstrated on my checkride was flying a simulated instrument approach into an airport with one engine inoperative (planned). I passed the checkride last weekend.
I'm taking a short break right now before I decide what to do next. The obvious choice is to start working on a certified flight instructor certificate. If so, I'll need to choose which rating to work on first: single-engine, multi-engine, or instruments. The most common is single-engine, but there are pros and cons to all three.
In case you are wondering, as a commercial pilot I can fly for hire, but I cannot normally provide air taxi services or fly for an airline. My instructor took me along as a free copilot for an air taxi flight that he was flying, and it was a different experience. He had to provide a good customer experience as well as a safe flight. Although I was not a required crew member and was not paid, I did help with the flight and get to log the time in my logbook.
Perhaps I'll blog again when I decide what I want to do next (other than fun flights on the side). Please feel free to ask me anything about flying or flight training, if you are so inclined.