May 19, 2005


So it finally turned up today -- that little piece of plastic that officially says that the FAA really thinks I'm OK to fly IFR in single engine light planes. I'm impressed by the new license (sorry, certificate): the old one was just a pathetic bit of cardboard that wouldn't impress anyone and that you had to laminate if you wanted it to last more than six months; the new one's a plastic card the same size as my driver's license with some rather nice-looking artwork on it. Cool. Maybe people will start believing I really am a pilot when I wave this one around :-).

It was illegal to laminate the old one. I know someone who got a big fine for laminating his US licence.

And congrats.

As to the lamination, there's been a lot of arguing about it, but as the FAA says (8400.10 CHG 7, somewhere on their website):

"NOTE: Airmen may either use clear laminating sheets to protect permanent FAA-issued certificates or have the certificates professionally laminated as long as the airman’s signature is placed on the
certificate before lamination. Without the signature, the certificate is not valid."

In fact, it was my local FSDO that suggested I laminate it...
I know what you mean about the old certificates. It reminded me of something I'd do on PowerPoint about 10 years ago. :)

Congrats on the upgraded cert! It's quite a feeling to pop out of the clouds and find the runway sitting right where it's supposed to. Another cool feeling for me is when I'm "floating" just above a layer...
John -- thanks! My old certificate looked more like something I'd done in crayon. I don't think it ever convinced anyone that I was a pilot :-).

And yes, there's not much that's cooler than descending slowly into a benign cloud bank on the approach, especially around sunset...
Nice going on the new certificate and rating!

Since I don't have a new rating in the near future I just did the *lost the old one* upgrade. (Did do the hi perf/complex sign off though, becoming addicted to Mooney speeds now)
Hamish - Congratulations! It's official now, no turning back!

I think I already mentioned this to you, but look closely at the illustrations on the new certificate you'll see strings of tiny words that tell a brief story of the Wright Brothers. I'm not kidding! You'll need a magnifying lens to read it.

When I first received one of the new certificates, my wife looked at the pictures on the back and said "That doesn't look anything like you ..." ;-)
Dave -- thanks! I guess when I grow up I'll probably drive a Mooney too (better than pottering around in 45H, eh?!).

John -- wow, you're right. There's this *tiny* (and I mean about 2 points high) type around the edges of the portraits on the back. I don't have a magnifying glass to decode it yet... and hell, those photos don't look anything like me, either...
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