I am a good pilot (so far). My instructor told me so.

Unfortunately, I still haven’t been able to solo. Why? Paperwork. You see, there are two sets of rules under which a person may become a pilot. Part 61 allows any Certified Flight Instructor to teach someone to fly. Part 141 is a more rigorous program under which schools become certified. One big advantage is that new pilots can be certified in less time under 141 rules. That is, if the the instructors know what the hell is going on and know how to deal with all of the paperwork.

Right now I’m stuck. My instructor says I’m ready to solo, but to do so requires a sign-off by the head instructor - the guy who’s never available. I spent the weekend burning very expensive holes in the sky just to be told at this afternoon that, although I’m ready, we wouldn’t be doing my solo flight. The paperwork isn’t complete.

We’re hoping to set up a time this week to meet and take care of the final paperwork. I may take an afternoon off just to solo.

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I wish the Piper 140 I’m flying had a paint job like this. I’m sure this is what my smile looked like when they gave me the news.