Getting Checked out at Owen Sound Flight Services means becoming part of the OSFS family. Not to worry, there’s no membership fee to be in this charismatic circle of pilots, but we do want to get to know you! We also want to help you grow as a pilot…it’s kind of what we do as Flight Instructors; you remember those training days well and probably have many great memories.
Perhaps the thought of a checkout stirs up anxious thoughts of being evaluated…maybe it brings you back to the day of the Flight Test when your nerves were at an all time high as your every move was being watched, and the fate of your flying freedom was in the hands of that seasoned aviator in the right seat.
Or maybe you are the kind of pilot that looks forward to putting your skills to the test; you take constructive criticism as an opportunity to grow and you enjoy being back in the training environment as a good balance to your recreational flying! It is flying after all, should it not be both enjoyable and educational? Maybe a little bit challenging too at times, but that’s when we grow the most…if you’re not learning something every time you fly, you’re probably not doing it right. You want to get checked out because you love flying, and you probably want to share that passion with others, trust us, we understand!
At OSFS we’re interested in building long term relationships with pilots, growing our pilot family with like minded aviators to improve the aviation industry, focusing on bettering each other so we can better ourselves. We want to know more than just your name, we want to know who you are as a pilot, and we want you to know that we’re here when you need us for advancement or recurrent training in aviation. Together we can improve safety in aviation through proficiency in flying skills…let’s set the standard for ourselves at the level we want to see in the industry.
To get checked out, there are a few things we need to talk about first, including Documents, Dispatch, Policies, Aircraft, Checkout and Bookings. It sounds like a lot, but don’t worry, you’re a pilot, you can handle complexity…it’s what you do best. Take your time and go through all of the links below, and let’s get you in the air!
Complete steps 1-3, then call us to schedule your Checkout!
1. Documents and Dispatch
We need to get copies of your pilot licence, medical and radio licence in addition to the information contained in those documents. We are using a really great online platform called Airbooks that looks after storing these documents and notifies you when they come due. Airbooks is also our approved dispatch system, which replaces the traditional paper sign out sheet so when it comes time to dispatch your flight, you will be signing out digitally! The first step is to get registered on the Airbooks system and upload your information including images so we can validate your documents.
Airbooks Sign Up – Registration is free, please sign up.
Airbooks – Documents Required – Please read through this training file to understand what it is we need from you.
2. Policies and Procedures
Student & Renter Handbook & Handbook Quiz – Over the years we have developed many policies and procedures and we have compiled them into a handbook so you can get to know how things work at OSFS. Please read through the handbook, and then complete the open book quiz so that we know that you have a good understanding of how we operate!
OSFS operates 3 Cessna 172 M model aircraft. They are all the same Make, Model and Year, however despite having mostly identical flight characteristics, there are many differences throughout. We have a separate web page dedicated to each aircraft. On those pages you will find links to documents specific to that aircraft. We have provided you with all the tools you need to understand the systems of those airplanes, so please visit each page and spend some time understanding what is unique to each aircraft.
One document that is highly recommended within each aircraft page is the Speeds and Procedures file. That will be a good refresher of the critical speeds as well as the weight and balance information specific to that aircraft. The other document of great importance is the Avionics Guide for each aircraft, which will give you great insight into how the radios work. Of course spending some time looking at the Cockpit Poster will help familiarize yourself with where everything is located.
Avionics Quiz – Despite all 3 aircraft being identical in Make, Model and Year, each aircraft has a unique set of radio equipment known as the avionics suite, and it can be confusing when transitioning from one airplane to the next. Understanding exactly how each system works is essential to safety, and obviously key to proficiency. Because a checkout allows you to fly any of the 3 Cessna 172’s in the fleet, we have developed some training documentation for each avionics suite. You will find those documents on the respective web pages of each aircraft.
It’s important that you become proficient in operating the radios, and that starts with a bit of ground study. To try and make things as consistent as possible, we have installed an identical Comm radio in each aircraft in the Comm 2 position, but there is still more to learn. To test what you have learned by reviewing the Avionics Guides, we have created an Avionics Quiz for you. Completing this quiz will allow you to rent any of the 3 aircraft in the fleet.
In 2021, we installed new advanced engine monitors in two of our aircraft. The JPI EDM 830 is a very powerful avionics upgrade that gives unparalleled insight into the engine performance. These units are truly amazing, they do everything from telling us the engine temperatures for each cylinder, to showing us how much fuel we are burning in gallons per hour, battery health, carburetor temperature and a lot, lot more!. This type of technology is seldom seen in a small single engine aircraft, let alone a 40 year old training airplane, but we are a flight school in search of constant higher education, and we know you are in search or advancing your pilot skills too so we’re all excited to tech you this new technology in the cockpit!
The EDM Training Programs are required knowledge, as the systems are now installed in the aircraft you fly, and everyone needs to understand how to use them. We have put together 6 Modules that will cover all the fundamentals of this new engine management system (actually there is a Module 7 coming soon where we will teach the fundamentals of advanced mixture leaning techniques to take your education even further!). We have taken each of the 6 slideshows we made, and we have recorded a video presentation of each module for you to watch at home, for free! If you can put the time into advancing your flying education by coming prepared with having watched the videos, bringing with you some great questions, then you can save money while you learn new skills! During your checkout we will spend some time on the ground and in the aircraft to ensure you understand how to operate this cool new equipment.
Hey finally, we’re talking about flying! Here’s some things you will want to know:
General Policies – Aside from being outlined in greater detail in the Student and Renter Handbook, you will also find a summary of the checkout policies on this web page. We have a 45 day currency for all pilots, as well as an Annual Checkout Requirement each year. If we are meeting you for the first time, you can expect to conduct an Annual Checkout.
Annual Checkout – The Annual Checkout is for first time and recurring rental pilots. This is an opportunity to get some constructive feedback about your flying. We are passionate about flight training, and so we want you to get the most out of this checkout. We have created a really great Google Sheet where we will evaluate your checkout flight and give you marks similar to a flight test. Every time you do a checkout, annual or not, we will input the data into this form and we will write comments on the exercises that were assessed to provide you with valuable insights into things you are doing well, and those items where there is room for more improvement.
This form continues year after year, where you can see your performance from one checkout to the next. With a history, we can then see trends and patterns emerge, and we can put in place training to help you gain more proficiency in those exercises to get you a little closer to that ace pilot you were when you passed your flight test. It’s not about being perfect, but about always learning, and striving for perfection…it’s okay to land short a little…as long as you’re on the runway…isn’t there a saying somewhere about “any good landing…”. The checkout is very personalized, and could be as short as 1 flight, or as many as a few, it depends on what drives you as a pilot and where you strive to be in your flying.
Flight Schedule Pro – Bookings for Aircraft Rental and Checkout Flights are made online through a web base program called Flight Schedule Pro. This is separate from our dispatch software. This is where you can schedule an airplane and/or an instructor for some flying time. You will need to register with FSP if you don’t already have a free account so that we can get you into our booking system. Once you are set up, you will be able to view our schedule and make bookings from the internet, or a mobile device.
6. The Big Picture
Well one of two things has occurred by the time you’ve made it this far down the page, either you’re excited, or you’re asleep…if it’s the latter, wake up, this isn’t Air Law Groundschool! The big picture is, we’re interested in building great relationships with great pilots, which includes constantly evolving ourselves as instructors. To do that requires a comprehensive approach, after all, beyond the beauty that is outside the window, is that precious cargo in the back seat; our friends, our families, and everything we’ve worked for waiting for our safe arrival back on the ground.
If you’re looking for the 0.5 checkout at a new place to rent, that’s just not really something we offer here. If however we have developed a relationship with you over time, and you’re currency is only requiring a circuit check, than we would all certainly expect a shorter flight to demonstrate proficiency. Owen Sound Flight Services is a place of learning and constant advancement of pilot skills. If that is something that get’s you excited as a licenced pilot, than we’re really looking forward to flying with you!
Hope to see you in the friendly skies!,
The OSFS Team