Best advice to prepare myself before/during Flight School?

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by Brandon Shinabarger, Aug 12, 2018.

  1. Brandon Shinabarger

    Brandon Shinabarger Filing Flight Plan

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    Hey all! As a 23 year old.. someone that loves aviation in general. I have never had the moment to sit down and think about getting my licence.. After the past 5 years of working my butt off getting my career in line I recently went up with a buddy in North Dakota for a fly around (first time in 15 years) and was absolutely in awe.. So after research I decided I wanted to get my Private Pilots licence. Not for a career, as I love what I do. But for an escape every now and then.


    My question is, I should be starting around the first of next spring.. Until then, what would best prepare me to put me ahead of the game to soar right through my Written test, Oral test, checkride etc? I know that the theory and logistics of flying is probably the hardest part from what I have researched. Learning to operate and understand everything about a plane's instruments, knowing the laws, regulations, and world of airspace and FAA guidlines, etc.

    What's your thoughts? :)
     
  2. murphey

    murphey Final Approach

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  3. easik

    easik Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Get the ACS from the FAA website and the Oral Blue Book. Use those 2 as your main guide for your flight training.
     
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  4. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Get or borrow the king video and start watching them.
     
  5. Sinistar

    Sinistar Cleared for Takeoff

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    Don't get overly attached to being a pilot until you have your medical behind you. And do not rush into the medical, instead read a few threads, become aware and get it done.

    To play it safe, add 10%..15% to your expected hours and corresponding costs.

    Spend this time finding an instructor you think is best for you. Maybe force yourself to interview 4-6 and then fly with at least 2.

    Know your financial plan. This is a big expense. Let's say you have the cash saved up, might as well research which new CC to apply for that gives you X for spending Y. Then pay it off each month and maybe you'll get a couple plane tickets. My wife and I both got the 60K miles for spending $2000 in 3months..which was easy given aggressive flight training.

    You can definitely do the ground school online or in a classroom now before the first actual flights.

    I found Stick & Rudder a good read prior to any other flight training.

    Figure out what type of plane you want to fly in. Comfort, high or low wing, etc.

    Have fun!!!
     
  6. G-force

    G-force Pre-Flight

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    Save up $10k.
     
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  7. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The biggest problem ,is usually having the funds to complete your training in a timely manner.
     
  8. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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  9. Half Fast

    Half Fast En-Route

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    Whiskey.

    For your CFI.
     
  10. benyflyguy

    benyflyguy Line Up and Wait

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    Get Uber app on your phone. That way you never get tempted to drive drunk once. While it is never good, few careers are more punishing for a DUI then Pilot. Most careers out there they effect rather insignificantly. Spend some time in the medical forum and lessons learned to get an idea of how damaging they can be.
     
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  11. Jamie Kirk

    Jamie Kirk Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Why do I always read about the medical? It seems very straight forward.
     
  12. Sinistar

    Sinistar Cleared for Takeoff

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    Because there's a huge list if things that can lead to an approved medical taking months or years. All the burden (cost) is on the pilot.

    Let's say (hypothetically) the OP has been diagnosed a psych issue and prescribed drugs...the FAA will never want him in the cockpit of an airplane. Sure would be a waste to finish ground school and take several $$$$ of lessons right up to solo (when the medical is officially first required).

    Or if the OP has had alcohol related arrests, he would need to prove through expensive counseling and monitoring that it was a one time occurance. Very expensive and the FAA determines when you've done enough. All on your dime.
     
  13. Jamie Kirk

    Jamie Kirk Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I get that but you know if you were issued mental meds, for a DUI, drug attic or a drink. It’s not like showing up for a medical any of this comes out as a surprise.
     
  14. Sinistar

    Sinistar Cleared for Takeoff

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    But some people put off the medical until after they've done some training.

    And even worse, the see those questions on the medical, say yes and go in for it anyways. If you have to say yes to something like that you need to stop, not go for the medical and see a specialist in the area of "difficult" medical who will advise a person through the process.

    The questions seem obvious. The FAA's response to those questions is what turns the medical into a dream killer ( and probably rightly so in many cases)
     
  15. TCABM

    TCABM Line Up and Wait

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    Never been in trouble with the law and never seen a doctor? Have experience navigating federal document submissions? Probably not a big deal.

    The medical has stopped more than it’s fair share of aspiring pilots. Take away the ADD/DUI, and it can still stop you.

    Most people don’t honor the threat, don’t research the AME guide first, and just have at it. Then, after it’s too late, the AME says “About those concussions you got playing football...”

    Or, something is omitted on the form either by omission or intentionally and it comes up in the conversation. You’ve just falsisfied a federal document.

    Or, an undiagnosed/misdiagnosed condition tears its ugly head.
     
  16. Sinistar

    Sinistar Cleared for Takeoff

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    Maybe there's a more simple answer to your question. Today, you need to show up for your medical knowing in advance there will be zero surprises. Just seeing the questions in advance is not enough.
     
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  17. Ryanb

    Ryanb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Atleast.
     
  18. Half Fast

    Half Fast En-Route

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    The pilot population is aging. As we get older, there is an increasing chance of developing a medical condition that will require special attention and exams to get FAA approval. High blood pressure, sleep apnea, thyroid trouble, a kidney stone, heart trouble, bad vision, a liver condition,..... A personal physician, non-AME, may prescribe a medication that is the best treatment for you but is nevertheless not approved by the FAA.

    And if you’re a youngster who was ever diagnosed with ADD, or once got drunk and passed out at a frat party, only God and Dr. Bruce can save you.
     
  19. Jamie Kirk

    Jamie Kirk Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Yikes, that’s rough.

    Luckily I’m younger and in great health. No DUI, no ADD, no meds whatsoever and I maybe have a beer or two a month. And only if the are Redds Apple
     
  20. Eric Gleason

    Eric Gleason Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Here's what you can do:
    • Research flight schools and instructors near you. There are lots of instructors who aren't flight school employees, so be open to that. Look at airport bulletin boards, hang out at an airport and ask around, etc.
    • Take a discovery flight/intro lesson.
    • Save money or work your budget so you'll have a steady stream of funds for at least 2 hours a week of lessons.
    • Arrange your life so that you won't have major interruptions in your training. (I realize this can be tough and life happens)
    There are different options for ground school: Self-teach from books (cheapest) or videos/online courses, traditional group class training (becoming more rare), or intensive seminars where you go away for a few days and cram for the test. Figure out which method best suits your learning style and your goals, and then dive in.

    When it comes time to pick your instructor, try to find one who isn't trying to work further up their career path. A lot of flight instructors are building hours until they can pursue a transport pilot career, and they're going to move on from instructing as soon as they can. That may be in the middle of your progress towards your license, and starting over with a new instructor costs you some time. Flight schools and instructors will know about ground school options in your area too, if you prefer to have a classroom setting.

    Ignore what everyone else says about the medical. For a 23 year old with no history of medical conditions, it's little more than a warm body check. It is not going to find anything you didn't already know. It's about 1/2 of a normal physical exam.
     
  21. TCABM

    TCABM Line Up and Wait

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    Ever?

    There’s a question on the medical that says have you ever in your lifetime had any of these things, then it goes in to list a bunch of conditions and at the end there’s an option for ‘other’.

    This is what I was referring to as not honoring the threat of the medical.

    If you have ever in your lifetime seen a medical professional, you need to understand if that visit is now reportable to the FAA, why it is reportable, and what the impact of the visit is. Before you show up in the AMEs office with a Med Xpress app in your hands.
     
  22. Jamie Kirk

    Jamie Kirk Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Is this form FAA 8500-8?
     
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  23. Jamie Kirk

    Jamie Kirk Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Just filled out the form and scheduled with my AME for tomorrow. Only questions answered yes to were"
    18(i): Stomach, liver, or intestinal trouble. I have an ulcer, take no medication, never have and not bleeding
    18(u): Admission to hospital. I had food poisoning and dehydration 2 years ago.
    19: Visits to Health Professional Within Last 3 Years. 3 years ago for a yearly checkup and last year for an FBI position that required a thorough medical examination which I passed
     
  24. TCABM

    TCABM Line Up and Wait

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    The ulcer *may* result in deferral and require some additional documentation such as radiographic or endoscopic evidence it’s not a problem.

    https://www.faa.gov/about/office_or...exam_tech/item38/amd/conditions/peptic_ulcer/
     
  25. Jamie Kirk

    Jamie Kirk Pre-takeoff checklist

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    It has been over 10 years since I have had it looked at or diagnosed. According to the link you posted it says:
    An applicant with a history of an active ulcer within the past 3-months.

    The question was have you ever in your life. I would not call my ulcer active and not within the last 3 months.
     
  26. TCABM

    TCABM Line Up and Wait

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    Hence the *may*. :)
     
  27. Eric Gleason

    Eric Gleason Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The language in the protocol leaves some room for an overzealous AME to require proof that it's healed, and just saying "I feel fine so I haven't seen a doctor about it" isn't proof. Mine would give me a verbal caution about it, but wouldn't flag it. Others would. There's a small chance that the FAA in Oklahoma would flag it.

    The problem is that if you go in unarmed, getting cleared afterwards is a huge bureaucratic pain in the butt.

    Without knowing your AME, there is some risk here. It would be a good idea to ask your AME if you can make this an advisory session instead of an actual physical. You'll still pay, but he can give you a better idea of what to expect and won't submit any paperwork to the FAA.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  28. Jamie Kirk

    Jamie Kirk Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I was referred to an AME by a few pilots. She is also my wife's female parts doctor I found out. Find out tomorrow
     
  29. sourdough44

    sourdough44 Cleared for Takeoff

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    I feel like I’m at my elderly relative’s house, all they talk about are their latest medical issues. Let’s try to ‘assume’ the OP is fairly healthy and hasn’t run afoul of the law after a few PBRs.

    OBTW, the AOPA site should have a FREE subscription of Flight Training magazine for the student pilot. Most pilots like free stuff.
     
  30. Hippike

    Hippike Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Read the Airplane Flying Handbook (FAA-H-8083-3B) and the Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge (FAA-H-8083-25B). These are free to download.
    After you read them both and are ready to spend a little $, check out Boldmethod's National Airspace System and VFR Chart apps for your smartphone. These two will help you learn everything about the chart and its symbols, and teach you about various airspaces and their weather minimums.
    Check out King's free videos on YT on different subjects.
    Consider purchasing an online ground school study (Gleim, King, Sporty's etc.) and dive in.
     
  31. Jamie Kirk

    Jamie Kirk Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Medical done, took 15 minutes. Have my certificate.
     
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  32. Eric Gleason

    Eric Gleason Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Congratulations! Glad to hear it went smoothly.
     
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  33. TCABM

    TCABM Line Up and Wait

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    Congrats.