After a long hiatus

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by MarkJeroplane, Dec 24, 2017.

  1. olasek

    olasek Pattern Altitude

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    No, I stand by all my statements, our experiences clearly differ.



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  2. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    We should get you some better experiences, then, sometime. LOL. Skyhawks are inherently boring.

    Most online videos of students saying they got Skyhawks into spins unintentionally with their instructors and the instructor recovering it, watch real carefully. The yoke is almost always moving.

    And it shouldn’t be. Lock it.

    But there’s almost always some pro-spin aileron added in those videos. Check it out. You’ll see it.

    It’s funny to watch once you’ve queued in on it.

    Transference from steering wheels is real. And of course most instructors will let you “go there” if you do it and the altitude is reasonable for it.

    Might as well see what it causes... :)

    Adverse yaw is almost always the key to getting a Skyhawk into a spin “quickly”. Otherwise it takes so long you can catch it with a tiny back pressure release and full rudder.

    It’ll wander off into a shallow slipping spiral dive until the rudder and dihedral can lift the wing if one was way too slow applying full rudder.

    Which admittedly does feel uncomfortable compared to straight and level. But it still takes a positive pro-spin input to make it spin from there and will fly like that all day.

    Losing altitude? Sure. Unstable? No. There’s stuff that’ll spin a LOT easier than that.

    You can even play around with stopping the initial rotation in a Skyhawk by applying aileron INTO the spin direction. It’ll actually stall the tip on the outside of the rotation and swing the nose back. Heh.

    They’re trainers from the days when spins were required. So they’re designed to spin if forced to.

    Obviously Cirri will spin too. The one that smacked the parking garage had rotation going.

    One of the demos I can do in the 182 (same wing as the 172) is just bear hug the yoke to my chest and it’ll fly power off like that in a “falling leaf” with a mild nose down and up porpoise for as long as you care to hold it there.

    I make it a point to bear hug it so it’s clear that I can’t manipulate the ailerons during the demo. Arms all the way around it and back against my chest.

    It’s an extremely docile airfoil.

    It’s rare but something may have been misrigged on the one you flew. Was it one, or multiple? Did it always want to fall off to only one side?
     
  3. olasek

    olasek Pattern Altitude

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    Fine, believe what you want, I found Cirrus even more ‘boring’ and I stick with it.



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  4. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    It’s not really a “belief”.

    Cessnas are clearly designed to be trainers from a day when the stuff you stepped up to behaved a lot less well than any of the trainers and had to be flown. That’s just historical fact.

    Cirrus isn’t exactly designed to be an aerodynamic trainer. That’s not what it was designed to be, or to do. It doesn’t demand much of the pilot which is not what you want in a primary trainer design, really.

    Cessna’s stuff further up their model line behaves quite a bit differently at low speeds. 210 for example. Or the Cardinal which wasn’t ever designed to be a trainer. Those would be better comparisons to a Cirrus, design-wise, than a Skyhawk.

    Complaining that something that was designed to be spun every day in the 70s to meet training requirements feels “less stable” because it requires control inputs vs something designed to stall straight ahead and if it ever truly spins, pull the chute, is a strange comparison.

    One is designed to teach pilots what to do with their feet (poorly, compared to a taildragger but at least somewhat), the Cirrus definitely isn’t.
     
  5. rodnpilot

    rodnpilot Filing Flight Plan

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    I never said he was afraid of stalls, that was someone else. But, I mean he told me he hates stalls, and refuses to do spins.
     
  6. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    He must have done at least one spin, or he wouldn’t have the required endorsement for getting his CFI.

    Sigh... Beat. Head. Here. An instructor who won’t do spins. I’m sad now.

    I could see “Won’t do spins in stuff not certified to do them”. I could see “won’t do spins in this clapped out rental POS airplane older than I am and poorly maintained”. I could see “won’t do spins at the wrong point in a student’s learning path and curriculum”. But ...

    Just “won’t do”. Wow. Ugh.

    This is what we’ve become as professional aviators teaching aviation? Ick. Gross.
     
  7. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach

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    My $.02 on Medicals. Get an 'evaluation' physical from a medical examiner first, before making the application. They give you the same physical. If there is a problem you can deal with it, get it resolved and then apply and get another 'official' physical. Yeah, you pay twice, but if something comes up and you've already made the application, it's now a matter of record with the FAA and getting it resolved may get very time consuming and expensive.
     
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  8. Stan Cooper

    Stan Cooper Line Up and Wait

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  9. azure

    azure Final Approach

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    An out-of-rig plane, maybe? I used to go up as a student pilot in a 172 and practice falling-leaf stalls until I was sick of them. I could break straight ahead, or to either side and was never anywhere close to a spin (except a couple of times we *did* spin that plane, intentionally, but as Nate said it took a bit of work).
     
  10. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I recall doing spins in 172s and having to add a "burst of power" to get the thing to go into a spin. Stalling it, flooring the rudder never seemed to be enough to get it into a spin, a spiral yes, but not a spin.
     
  11. Skip Miller

    Skip Miller En-Route

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    The biggest trap in the Medical process involves the use of SSRIs, a class of antidepressants. If you have ever been prescribed one of these, you do need a savvy AME to get you through. In many cases, using SSRIs is not a problem if you jump through the appropriate hoops. In others it is a show-stopper, no flying for you! The key is that if you have ever had a medical application denied, the sport pilot path (which does not require a medical) is no longer available to you.

    Be sure before you “go live” with the computer medical process.

    And remember, we are all counting on you!
     
  12. oregonboy109

    oregonboy109 Line Up and Wait

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    I did my spin training/teaching for CFI in both a 172 and Super Decathlon and I'd say the hardest part of the 172 spin flights was getting the thing to even resemble something close to a spin lol. Decathlon was way more fun, ended up doing some spins then doing acro the rest of the flight.
     
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  13. olasek

    olasek Pattern Altitude

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    Unlikely, flew too many different 172s, simply much more stable platform and much more tolerant for my imperfect rudder control. Actually the instructor admitted this is the case due to Cirrus’ anti-stall strip on the wing or whatever it is called.




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  14. HAPPYDAN

    HAPPYDAN Pre-Flight

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    Yeah, man, I whole heartedly endorse this. When I went for my first medical, I thought, "No problem". The AME kindly offered to treat it as a screening, owing to the fact I was 63 and had never had an AME medical. I laughed it off and proceeded to fail. 4 months later, a ton of paperwork, many $$ spent with a retired Navy Opthalmologist (none others would touch the forms FAA required), I qualified for a restricted 3rd class. Funny how old age can creep up.
     
  15. azure

    azure Final Approach

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    Just a small addition: if you call the AME to set up an appointment for a "screening", be sure you are both on the same page about what that means. I would ask for a "consultation", as that term seems to be universally understood to mean no MedXpress (at least, no confirmation number), no jeopardy, just a discussion of your medical history and possibly a cursory exam to determine if you would pass.
     
  16. Ken Whitson

    Ken Whitson Filing Flight Plan

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    To the OP: don't overthink it too much. Just go out with an instructor and see how you feel about it. For what it is worth, my flying history somewhat parallels what you and others that have posted. Maybe you will glean some useful information from my story. Or maybe not.

    My flight training started in 1965 in Millington, TN while I was a lowly Navy E-3. In the next 18 years, in spite of long overseas hiatuses, I acquired about 1800 hours of PIC time, along with a commercial certificate and instrument rating. My flying stopped abruptly in 1983. As of this year, I am flying again, after a 34-year layoff. The process started when I took the AOPA "Rusty Pilots" seminar (it counts as the ground school portion of your FR). In March of this year, I scheduled a demo flight with an instructor; my goal was to see if flying was too "alien" me after all of the time that had passed. The instructor threw out the surprising idea that if things appeared to be going well, we could turn it into an instructional flight with the possibility of my being signed off on a FR. We flew out to the practice area, did some turns (medium), turning descents and climbs, and did several dreaded stalls. Coming back into the pattern, we did a few touch-and-go's, a full-stop, then another full-stop. 1.1 hours logged, FR signed off! Legal? Yes! Ready for prime time? Not quite.
    As of September, I am the owner of an airplane, albeit a Light Sport. Light Sport will probably my continuing status. After 5 hours of dual to satisfy insurance (and myself), I flew the plane to Texas from Virginia.

    So, what observations might I make about the process?
    1) I was concerned about all of the changes that took place over the decades. Mostly, I have found the changes consisted of terminology. The old "TCA's" and "Airport Traffic Area's" have been replaced by the Class B, C, D airspace. When you distill it down, not much else has fundamentally changed. If you will be flying into controlled fields, the airport markings seem to be much more codified (but still with a lot of variations from field to field)The moral: get yourself well-schooled in the changes. The AOPA website has great info. Also, there are several youtube videos that do a show/tell about today's airspace.

    2) I was concerned about the technology changes i.e. "glass panels". I am a technology guy, but a couple of demo flights in an all-glass paneled airplane was was daunting. I did not like it. I felt that trying to learn totally alien instrumentation at the same time that I was trying to re-capture flying expertise might be counter-productive. I felt that it was more crucial to re-gain basic flying skills than to have to figure out how to change the altimeter setting while in the air. QUESTION: How many button-pushes does it take to change the barometric setting with a Dynon panel? ANSWER: 9. I solved my dilemma by buying a plane with the familiar analog gauges (it even has a VOR w/ localizer!), and I bought a tablet computer with GPS and loaded up IFly onto it. In 2-3 days of practice with it, I felt I could handle it adequately. I used it on the flight back to Texas. But I always had a VOR frequency tuned in- just in case.In this way, I had the type of instrumentation with which I was familiar, and I had the new-fangled GPS nav on the seat beside me. I will say that having a ton of information such as airport data, nav data, and comm frequencies, and so much more made things so much easier. The moral: re-establish your flying skills, then decide how much technology to employ (and in what form) .

    3) I was surprised at how quickly long-dormant "muscle memory" returned. At one point in the A/C checkout, the instructor noted as to how I had automatically adjusted for the crosswind by going into a forward slip. I never told him that I had not even thought about it, nor realized that I was doing it. After several (bounce-in) touch-and-go's, he also noted that he could see my old training start to kick in. The other side of muscle-memory: in the AA5 that I was fortunate to own, the flap switch was located on the console between the seats. On this plane, it is on the panel. Still, after about 25 hours in it, my hand sometimes goes to the console first. Moral: skills will return, but you will have to actively correlate what you (think you) used to know with what you are experiencing/learning now.

    4) My biggest obstacle to date has been cockpit management. I am still conflicted by how I remember having done things versus what I find myself currently doing. I think that I used to rely on memory for various aspects of aviating, for instance stall speed at various bank angles; now I feel more comfortable with cue cards stuck to the panel as reminders. In planning the flight from Virginia, I did the old pencil and course line approach on the sectionals, but also using IFly as backup. But I had forgotten how tough it can be to re-fold a sectional while in bumpy air. That gps nav on the tablet mentioned above sure came in handy. I am still working on routinizing the common procedures, such as pre-flight, start-up checklists, shutdown, etc. I am also working on re-developing the "little" habits of flying, many of which I do not know I am missing- until I discover that I am missing them (the old habits).

    So, if you once had a solid compendium of flying knowledge, skills, habits, and capabilities, with time and focus most of those those abilities will probably return very quickly. Keep in mind the pace of your expectations and new learning. Initially, we all learned a few steps at a time, with slowly advancing knowledge and capabilities. Every flight (whether in training or as PIC) added incrementally to the body of expertise. Now, the tendency may be to try to re-acquire that same level of expertise without sufficient current experience. To a degree, we are re-learning how to be a competent aviator; but we still have a learning curve to go through.

    As others have indicated, be careful about your medical. Don't assume you are good to go just because you feel OK. There are all kinds of gotcha's that could cause you to not be approved for a 3rd class. If you become permanently not-approved, then your flying days are finished. Even Light Sport is not an option then.
     
  17. dillardrg

    dillardrg Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I am surprised that no one has mentioned the FAA WINGs program.

    Sign up for an account and browse through the many, many free online courses that they offer. A lot of good information about any subject you can name.
     
  18. somorris

    somorris Pattern Altitude

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    You may want to just try flying as a Sport Pilot and see if you still like flying. That route simplifies the medical process.