At what point in my training will I be able to fly with a safety pilot?

Discussion in 'Cleared for the Approach' started by MarcoDA40, Jun 27, 2019.

  1. MarcoDA40

    MarcoDA40 Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2015
    Messages:
    137
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Marco
    Im aroun 10 hours into my training and all is going well. I feel like another 5-8 hours with an instructor would get me comfortable enough to fly with a safety pilot.. but how or who decides when I can start flying with a safety pilot ?
    I have someone that is willing to help me out.. I just don’t know if I’m the one that decides when I need one or if I need my instructors blessing.
    Ideally I’d like to fly with a safety pilot and every 3-4 hours , fly with my instructor, then again with safety pilot etc etc.

    Tips? Thoughts? Help?
     
  2. Rgbeard

    Rgbeard Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2017
    Messages:
    724
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ and Ensenada, Mexico
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    rgbeard
    AFAIK, As a VFR pilot, you're allowed to fly vision-restricted, in VFR conditions, with a qualified safety pilot any time you want.

    The trouble is, you need to develop your own curriculum, and tasks/goals for the flight. The person in the right seat should not be giving any advice or criticism. His goal is to simply keep the two of you from becoming a smoking hole.

    With this approach, you have the potential to "teach yourself" some bad ways, and you may find your instructor un-doing more than teaching.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2019
    Terry M - 3CK (Chicago) and SToL like this.
  3. Caramon13

    Caramon13 Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    May 18, 2015
    Messages:
    2,001
    Location:
    Sarasota, FL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Romeo
    Yeppers, a safety pilot is really only there as a lookout. They aren't there to train you, help you fly the plane or really anything else except keep an eye out for aircraft while you are under the hood. I wouldn't even use a safety pilot until you've mastered the basics with an instructor. Too many opportunities to learn bad habits. Unless the person is a CFII, wait until you have your ticket before you do that.

    A safety pilot by himself/herself has virtually no use to you in instrument training, but will be invaluable after you have it :).
     
  4. Salty

    Salty En-Route PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2016
    Messages:
    3,736
    Location:
    FL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Salty
    Stupid question for you. Are you a private pilot or a student pilot?

    You have to be at least a private pilot to log time flown with a safety pilot. (I’m simplifying here) I suppose you could still fly with a safety pilot as a student, but you wouldn’t be able to log the time.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2019
  5. MarcoDA40

    MarcoDA40 Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2015
    Messages:
    137
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Marco
    I’m a private pilot with about 10hrs under the hood, working towards IR.
    I know a safety pilot is there to be a lookout and not to instruct in any way shape or form.
    I just wanted to know if I could just fly with a safety pilot whenever I wanted or if I needed some kind of endorsement or blessing or a certain amount of hours under the hood.
    I will still fly with the instructor but our schedules collide a lot so when he’s not available for lessons I would like to continue progressing in my training.
    I have 32.6 hours imc in xplane using pilot edge and my instructor has commented how he can see that using the sim has “put me way ahead” on my training despite having 10 hours logged IRL. So what I’m teying to say is I feel like I’m getting real close and feel confident that at this point in my training, a safety pilot would be ideal when my instructor can’t fly..
     
  6. Salty

    Salty En-Route PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2016
    Messages:
    3,736
    Location:
    FL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Salty
    Don’t need anything but an eligible, willing, victim, er partner. Only downside to doing it early anyway would be learning bad habits.
     
  7. MarcoDA40

    MarcoDA40 Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2015
    Messages:
    137
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Marco
    Thank y’all!
     
  8. SToL

    SToL Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2016
    Messages:
    474
    Location:
    Bush Alaska and the Valley of the Sun
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    SToL
    You can fly with a safety pilot anytime you want. As you know the safety pilot is a rated pilot, current in the aircraft, who watches for other traffic while you're flying under the hood. If you feel comfortable with this and your choice of safety pilot, you can do it anytime you want.
     
  9. BrianNC

    BrianNC Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    Messages:
    2,207
    Location:
    Atlanta
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    BrianATL
    I have to disagree, unless I'm misunderstanding what you're saying. In building hours working toward the instrument, getting that cross country time in, safety pilot and under the hood is how we built those hours. So it allowed me to fly under the hood and practice approaches, etc, before I actually started my formal training.

    I have no idea how much cross country time you need now for the instrument rating since I got mine a few decades ago and haven't kept up with the regs. Maybe that under the hood time with a safety pilot before instrument is not needed any more.
     
    SToL likes this.
  10. jesse

    jesse Administrator Management Council Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2005
    Messages:
    15,742
    Location:
    Lincoln, NE
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Jesse
    Airplanes and gas are expensive. Instructors are cheap.

    If you think you’re going to save money while trying to train without an instructor...trust me...you’re fooling yourself.

    It will cost you considerably more money and you’ll spend even more time with your instructor while he tries to fix all the bad things you’ve developed in his absence.
     
    Caramon13 and Rgbeard like this.
  11. SToL

    SToL Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2016
    Messages:
    474
    Location:
    Bush Alaska and the Valley of the Sun
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    SToL
    I disagree. No one here suggested and even the OP himself iterated no instruction. He just needs someone to watch for aircraft so he can practice flying on instruments.

    Lighten up Francis.
     
    Doug Reid likes this.
  12. Pugs

    Pugs Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2018
    Messages:
    94
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Pugs
    Disagree. Sure, I flew the vast majority of my time with my instructor but the couple times I flew with a safety pilot it allowed me to start to mature my thought processes that I was learning with the instructor. By the time I flew with a safety pilot I KNEW what I was supposed to do so and to not have constant feedback from the right seat allowed me to flex my mental and motor control on my own and advance.
     
    mcdewey and SToL like this.
  13. SToL

    SToL Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2016
    Messages:
    474
    Location:
    Bush Alaska and the Valley of the Sun
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    SToL
    Salty, I know you know the answer to this. Can a student pilot fly with passengers?
     
  14. Salty

    Salty En-Route PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2016
    Messages:
    3,736
    Location:
    FL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Salty
    No. But what I’m describing is the student is the passenger and the “safety pilot” is PIC.

    Nothing illegal about sitting on the right side and letting a passenger control the plane with a hood on.

    That’s why the student pilot can’t log the flight. He’s in no way eligible to do so - he’s technically just a passenger.
     
    SToL likes this.
  15. JScarry

    JScarry Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2008
    Messages:
    168
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    JScarry
    You have lots of hours in the sim, presumably without an instructor, and it helped you with your training. Why would it be any different with a safety pilot. After 10 hours you have already learned the speeds and power settings for each type of approach, how to make radio calls, tune the nav, and read the charts. At this point, your instructor should just be acting as a safety pilot anyway on your approaches.

    The new ForeFlight log tracking feature is great for tracking altitude deviations and it already does a good job of tracking your path. I have heard that Cloud Ahoy is another app that is good for monitoring your approaches. Put a GoPro in the cabin and you can review your flight to catch mistakes that you didn’t notice when flying. I say, Go for it.
     
  16. Caramon13

    Caramon13 Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    May 18, 2015
    Messages:
    2,001
    Location:
    Sarasota, FL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Romeo
    If you already have enough experience or are brushing up on techniques prior to a checkride and need a break from an instructor, sure if you want to blow time and money. 10 hours in, you don't have that, 15 hours in you don't have that. A safety pilot is a pair of eyes, that's it. So you're basically training yourself.

    The only possible benefit from someone in the right seat who ISN'T a CFII would be someone who is a safety pilot with a current instrument ticket who might be willing to impart some advice if asked. But even that isn't instruction, it's more of a "tips and tricks" session.

    Familiar with the law of primacy? It takes double the amount of time to retrain someone out of a bad habit then it does to train them to do it right the first time because they have to teach the person to unlearn the bad behavior and then teach them all over again how to do it right. Going up with someone who's just there to look out the window does you no good if you are trying to LEARN. It's a waste of both time and money. By the time you get back in the plane with a CFII as @jesse mentioned, you'll waste time fixing all the things you trained yourself to do wrong because no one was there to correct you when you were doing it.

    The only situation (and I wouldn't recommend it) that would even be worth it would be doing all your required training (with a CFII), learning the system COLD, getting your written done, all of that and THEN going up maybe one time with a safety pilot for fun. Even then, it's still (in my opinion) a waste of time and money. I'd rather spend the time and the money on a mock checkride from a qualified instructor right at the end as opposed to going up on my own and signing myself off with a safety pilot.

    The OP wants a safety pilot to help out, but that's not what a safety pilot is there to do. The best "someone to help out" would be a CFII this early on in the training.
     
  17. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2018
    Messages:
    2,099
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Kenny Phillips
    Interesting. I finished all of my required training and then went flying with a lookout only to burn off the remaining hours. Then I stopped flying, so I have to do most of that all over again.
     
  18. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2013
    Messages:
    8,929
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Jordan
    What have you accomplished in your 10 hours of training so far? If you haven’t touched approaches yet, I wouldn’t recommend going up with a safety pilot and banging out approaches. I assume you’ve covered basic attitude flying, unusual attitudes, pattern A/B? I’d recommend doing those with a safety
     
  19. Pugs

    Pugs Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2018
    Messages:
    94
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Pugs
    Maybe. But I was also an instructor in the Navy (EA-6B NFO) and received formal training in how to instruct. One of the first things you learn is that not everyone learns the same way. Student skills and experience vary a lot.

    When I went to do my instrument I had about 150 hours of PPL time spread over two centuries. Still did the instrument checkride with 41 hours of simulated time and 2 hours of actual. Somehow 2500 hours in the right and back seat of a Prowler sunk in despite not having a stick in my hand.

    The biggest part of instruction IMO is understanding that every student is unique. Setting absolutes about how they will learn is an inhibitor to good training and highly detrimental to your student/instructor relationship. Personally? I learn very well on my own. Perhaps it's the honest self-assessment skills of coming up through military aviation that makes me that way. I also routinely call myself dumbass in the cockpit even alone. :rolleyes:
     
  20. Caramon13

    Caramon13 Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    May 18, 2015
    Messages:
    2,001
    Location:
    Sarasota, FL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Romeo
    Agree that each student is unique and in your situation you had more experience then the typical 40-60 PPL student going after an instrument rating. Consider that those students have now just barely mastered controlling the aircraft to an acceptable level of proficiency. Now they are expected to take on the much more complicated task of flying without visual references, learning new procedures with a brand new set of rules that until then was completely unknown and foreign. Not to mention understanding different ways of communicating on the radio, flight planning, etc.

    Someone who is brand new is going to teach themselves all that and not make a mistake? Or even worse, they are going to put a "body" in the right seat to do nothing more than look out the window and expect that safety pilot to teach them how to do things? That's just a recipe for failure. Safety pilots are not instructors. If you are an instrument student you are also not an instructor and you have to accept that you know nothing about proper techniques. That is what an instructor is for.

    Given the proper training, do I think someone could go up with a safety pilot and practice stuff? Sure, but again, I wouldn't recommend it because its not a safety pilot's job to teach you, and you are a student who is learning. If you go up for a solo flight during your PPL and you botch a landing but you say, hey I landed great because I read on the intrawebs that any landing you can walk away from is a good one, what does that teach you? If you have an instructor to call you on it and correct the failure, you know what is right and what is wrong.
     
  21. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2018
    Messages:
    1,141
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Juliet Hotel
    Only downside could be learning bad habits. Its not guaranteed that bad habits would be picked up. Its also not guaranteed that bad habits wouldn't be picked up. Really depends on the student, the CFII and safety pilot involved. A CFII who has minimal hours flying IFR outside of getting their own certs and teaching a few students vs a safety pilot who has hundreds of hours flying real world IFR? I think you'd be crazy not to fly with the safety pilot as much as possible.
     
    Pugs likes this.
  22. Caramon13

    Caramon13 Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    May 18, 2015
    Messages:
    2,001
    Location:
    Sarasota, FL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Romeo
    Well then question for you, is that a safety pilot,an instructor or a flying buddy? A safety pilot isn't there to teach. You guys keep saying flying with a safety pilot is fine, do you know what a safety pilot is?

    It's a person who sits in the seat next to you while you are under the hood. They don't teach, they don't train, they don't give advice. It sounds like the OP wants someone who teaches, who trains, who gives advice AND who is not an instructor. That sounds like a flying buddy who might be willing to act as a safety pilot.

    I see the benefit from flying with a buddy who has tons of IFR experience and can ALSO be the eyes for you while you are under the hood. Still doesn't replace formal instruction though, sorry. Flying with a buddy and flying with an instructor are two different things completely. And it also doesn't count towards any of the required dual hours that are needed for the cert. So, it's just for fun, which if you want to blow money flying VFR under the hood with a buddy who has tons of IFR experience, that's your choice. I don't see the benefit while doing training.

    Too many opportunities to let bad habits sneak in.
     
  23. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2018
    Messages:
    1,141
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Juliet Hotel
    Practice makes perfect. I don't see the downside of more practice.
     
    texasclouds likes this.
  24. Pugs

    Pugs Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2018
    Messages:
    94
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Pugs
    Pedantic. People I fly with are not binned so neatly and to expect another pilot to sit in the right seat and not even ask a question is silly. One of the flights I did with a safety pilot was a fellow club member who was wanting to start his instrument and had started studying the ground portion. I shot the ILS 23 at KFDK (I had about 30 hours of inst training at that point). As I proceeded outbound to the procedure turn he asked me about reverse sensing and I showed him how it worked. As I entered the turn, stabilized, started the clock I verbalized everything I was doing. It helped me not drop anything in my procedures and it
    straightened out some things in his mind that were not clear from reading it. I was also able to demonstrate my deeper understanding by putting it clearly enough he understood it where my CFII already knew what I was supposed to do.

    It's funny to me that people seem to think aviation is all cut and dry. This is an "ever learning" business. I'm going out in the am to shoot some T&Gs in a 182 as I'm just not happy with my technique. I have a pile of notes on my kneeboard already of different power settings and notes to remember to see if I can move my landings from safe to elegant. Would an instructor help? Maybe, but perhaps not any more than a fellow pilot who knows the 182.
     
  25. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Messages:
    11,190
    Location:
    DXO124009
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Light and Sporty Guy
    Practice makes persistent - not perfect.
     
  26. Salty

    Salty En-Route PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2016
    Messages:
    3,736
    Location:
    FL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Salty
    What if you practice being inconsistent?
     
  27. Caramon13

    Caramon13 Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    May 18, 2015
    Messages:
    2,001
    Location:
    Sarasota, FL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Romeo
    Thank you :), yes I am.

    Maybe point out where I said the person should not talk to the other person? I said "They don't teach, they don't train, they don't give advice". Nothing wrong with shooting the breeze, but if I as a student go up with a guy from the FBO and as him to sit right seat and be a safety pilot I'm not secretly saying "Teach me everything you know". Maybe they don't want to? Maybe they want a free flight or just to enjoy the scenery and watch for planes?

    In your situation you were sharing some of your experience and training. If you want to do a practice approach with no input, suggestions or further instruction with a buddy in the right seat with 30 hours of training (about double what the OP is talking about) go for it. Maybe at that point you would have learned to break any bad habits and would have more confidence in your techniques. Maybe read post #16 where I said if you are near the end of your training that's not necessarily a bad thing (techniques are learned and solid). Seems like a waste of time and money to me, but hey, its your time and money so that's your decision.

    For me, I was in it to be as precise as possible and if the situation came up where I could do some actual IMC I wanted a CFII right seat.
     
  28. Pugs

    Pugs Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2018
    Messages:
    94
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Pugs
    Perhaps I should have said overly pedantic ;)

    Agree on CFII in the right seat for any actual as an student but on the other hand to have a 1000's of hour instrument rated pilot next to you may be fine too.
     
  29. BrianNC

    BrianNC Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    Messages:
    2,207
    Location:
    Atlanta
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    BrianATL
    Perfect practice makes perfect. :)
     
    inspectorpacket and Juliet Hotel like this.
  30. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2015
    Messages:
    6,214
    Location:
    Vail, Arizona
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Timbeck2
    In Salty's defense, I too had the same question, if the OP was a student pilot. He never mentioned IFR training. There have been a lot of things asked on this forum that aren't very clear in the question. Hell, I've probably asked something similar.
     
  31. EdFred

    EdFred Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2005
    Messages:
    22,705
    Location:
    Michigan
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Ed Frederick
    Spend the extra $500 - $1200 for a CFII to be in the right seat for all 40 hours.
     
    Caramon13 likes this.
  32. SToL

    SToL Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2016
    Messages:
    474
    Location:
    Bush Alaska and the Valley of the Sun
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    SToL
    Agreed.
     
  33. benyflyguy

    benyflyguy Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2018
    Messages:
    1,761
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    benyflyguy
    I was fortunate to have a fair amount of IMC in my training. In fact my first day was IMC and had it not been for the CFI next to me I would have augured in within a few minutes of being IMC. I did most of mine with my instructor. But I did have the opportunity to have a friend available to go up with who is a seasoned IMC pilot who is part of our club and very familiar with our setup. The friend was good about not instructing but was a fanatic about how you made radio calls- which did help me. He wanted it sounding short and professional and always ready.
     
  34. chemgeek

    chemgeek Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2009
    Messages:
    847
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    chemgeek
    As long as you are practicing good technique. If you practice bad technique, it takes twice as long to relearn proper technique than if you learned from scratch. Athletes I coach do this all the time, with predictable results. Better to practice with an instructor until you can repeatably demonstrate proper technique. Then "solo" practice can be helpful.
     
  35. chemgeek

    chemgeek Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2009
    Messages:
    847
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    chemgeek
    I'll put in a plug for getting some actual IFR during your training instead of just droning around with your instructor doing some approaches. A good instructor can help you gain practical insight into in flight weather decision making in real IMC. This will be invaluable experience when you fly solo IFR for real. You can't legally get this kind of experience on your own with a VFR safety pilot.

    I spent all of my 40 hours flying with an instructor, getting as much actual as possible. It was a good investment. My first trip after getting the rating featured real IMC and and an ILS approach to the destination airport in a conga line of arrivals. Can of corn.
     
  36. lancie00

    lancie00 Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    May 12, 2016
    Messages:
    552
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    lancie00
    I did 10-15 hours of instrument training with my instructor. He told me that I had the knowledge and that I should go practice with a safety pilot. I did another 20 hours with a safety pilot and am just finishing up with the CFII. He says I'm doing great and just wants to tweak a couple things before the check ride.
     
    SToL likes this.
  37. SToL

    SToL Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2016
    Messages:
    474
    Location:
    Bush Alaska and the Valley of the Sun
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    SToL
    Awesome! Keep up the good work.
     
  38. lancie00

    lancie00 Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    May 12, 2016
    Messages:
    552
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    lancie00
    Thanks. I guess it sounds like I'm trying to toot my own horn but what I'm really trying to say is that I think safety pilots are very beneficial in some situations.
     
    benyflyguy and SToL like this.
  39. azure

    azure Final Approach

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2005
    Messages:
    7,835
    Location:
    Varmint Country
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    azure
    I don't disagree with your conclusion but I can pick a nit with your reasoning. There are situations where someone can be technically just a passenger but still in a position to log PIC time. Prime example: I am rated in my friend's airplane but my medical is expired. She is legal PIC, I'm sole manipulator. If she is instrument rated and we file IFR and encounter IMC, I can even log actual. In some cases, even without actual IMC being involved.

    This actually happened to me about a year after my PPL checkride. Medical expired, actual instrument conditions over Lake Michigan due to haze, but no IFR involved. 5.0 PIC that day, 0.5 actual.
     
  40. texasclouds

    texasclouds Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2018
    Messages:
    910
    Location:
    Bryan, Texas
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Mark
    This guy gets it.