Pilot Earns Five New Certificates in a Month

Preston Allen and Dan Gryder

In the past month, Preston Allen, a 24-year-old pilot dreaming of a professional pilot career, has done something most people in the aviation would consider improbable. Atlanta-based flight instructor Dan Gryder found a way to get Allen a whole slew of ratings, including a Cessna Citation CE-550S second-in-command (SIC) type rating, all within the span of about a month.

When Allen's ambitious training journey began on September 2, he was already quite an accomplished pilot, having logged a total of about 1,250 hours. He had also completed the required written tests, Gryder said. However, he was a non-instrument-rated pilot with very little instrument experience.

Allen and Gryder put their noses to the grindstone in various single- and multi-engine airplanes and simulators, and Allen racked up around 100 hours in just over a month. While he did much of the instrument training in a single-engine airplane to keep the cost low, the instrument checkride was done in a twin. This automatically qualified Allen to also fly IFR in a single. However, had the checkride been conducted in a single-engine airplane, Allen would have had to do another checkride to fly twins IFR.

Additionally, doing the initial commercial checkride in a twin allowed Allen to do a quick test with few maneuvers in a single to add the single-engine commercial certificate.

Since the training began just over a month ago, Allen has completed his initial instrument and commercial multi-engine, commercial single, Cessna Citation CE-550S SIC type rating and Douglas DC-3 SIC type rating. That's a lot of fresh ink to be added to the back of his pilot certificate.

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Pia Bergqvist joined FLYING in December 2010. A passionate aviator, Pia started flying in 1999 and quickly obtained her single- and multi-engine commercial, instrument and instructor ratings. After a decade of working in general aviation, Pia has accumulated almost 3,000 hours of flight time in nearly 40 different types of aircraft.

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