Finally restarted my flying lessons.

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by Crashnburn, Aug 24, 2021.

  1. Crashnburn

    Crashnburn Cleared for Takeoff

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    TLDR: I took my first flying lesson in 13 years, not counting a familiarization flight 11 years ago. I don’t seem to have lost much ground.

    We flew out of AeroDynamic Aviation at Reid-Hillview Airport. Ironically, it’s the same building where I took my first flying lesson, but it was Amelia Reid Aviation. I never got a chance to meet her, but she essentially put KRHV on the map.

    My instructor flew an Evektor Sportstar Max. Actually, I did almost all of the flying. He managed the cockpit and radios, and took over on short final for the landing. I forgot to do the GUMPS check list.

    We did medium turns, steep turns, slow flight, and stalls, both approach and departure. I guess I did pretty well because next week will be ground reference maneuvers. He says I’ll be ready to land next week, too. I’ll be happy if that happens, but I’m trying to take that with a grain of salt.

    He said overall I did pretty well for any student, and extremely well for how long it’s been since my last lessons. And he said it probably wouldn’t be long before I solo.

    A problem I see with moving so fast is I’m going to have to really cram to be ready for the knowledge test before I’m ready for the check ride. Still, I’m sure there’s a plateau out there with my name on it.

    I noticed on landing the runway didn’t bloom nearly as much in real life as it does on my flight simulator. At first I spent too much time chasing the ASI, but after he reminded me, I flew pitch attitude and kept airspeed a lot easier.

    Trim worked very well. Of all the planes I’ve flown, this was the easiest plane to trim. My flight simulator’s HoneyComb Alpha yoke really taught me the value of trimming.

    When we did departure stalls, I couldn’t see over the nose, but I remembered someone on POA mentioning looking at the wing root- fuselage intersection when landing a tail dragger, and that worked for stalls, too. Thanks to whoever mentioned that.

    The plane was a lot bumpier than a Skyhawks in Kansas, but it didn’t bother me. The instructor didn’t say anything about over controlling, so I guess I was fine.

    I’m flying again, Saturday. I’m sure I have a lot of work to do before I’m check ride ready, but I’m very hopeful.

    Apologies for the long post, but I’m really excited!
     
  2. TCABM

    TCABM Pattern Altitude

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    Most excellent
     
  3. Salty

    Salty Final Approach

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    What are you trying to see when doing a departure stall?
     
  4. exncsurfer

    exncsurfer Pattern Altitude

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    Maybe yaw? I try to find a distant cloud texture straight ahead to watch for yaw.
     
  5. Daleandee

    Daleandee Pattern Altitude

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    Good deal! Enjoy the ride and you will be there soon enough.

    I remember the thing I was taught about chasing the ASI is that you cannot catch it. Once you learn the nose attitude of the plane for what you want to do (climbs. glides, straight & level) the ASI will only confirm what you already know.

    Keep us in the loop on your progress!
     
  6. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Perseverance. It's not all lollipops and unicorn farts, but it is worth it in the end. Congrats for getting back to it.
     
  7. Crashnburn

    Crashnburn Cleared for Takeoff

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    Thanks all. There were a lot of clouds up close and personal. I found one that looked like a triangle and used that as a reference.

    This is the third serious effort I’m making towards a pilot’s license and for me, it seems like the third time is almost always a charm.

    I agree about perseverance, and I have that in spades.
     
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  8. pfarber

    pfarber Pre-takeoff checklist

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    This alone would cause me to fire that CFI. GUMPS is garbage. Use the damn AC checklist and not some stupid acronym where half the letters don't apply.

    USE THE CHECKLIST. Fire your CFI.

    Also If your CFI is just chasing 1500 hours to get ATP FIRE THEM YESTERDAY. You have been warned.
     
  9. dmspilot

    dmspilot En-Route

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    You should fire whatever CFI taught you your interpretation of 91.215. Then sue them for providing misinformation.
     
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  10. somorris

    somorris Pattern Altitude

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    Well, here it is Saturday, Crash. I hope you are flying today.

    Continued good luck with handling stalls. Is the Sportster certified for spins, “just in case?” The airplane wants to fly, you just have to do your job and let the airplane do its job.

    Most important, maintain your enthusiasm and have fun!
     
  11. NightSkyReader

    NightSkyReader Filing Flight Plan

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    What motivated you to get back into flying?
     
  12. Rgbeard

    Rgbeard Pattern Altitude

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    Do you really call it "back into" when he's pre-Solo?
     
  13. Crashnburn

    Crashnburn Cleared for Takeoff

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    A few things. I flew again Saturday. I tried talking to ground and the tower and sucked at it. Knowing what to say and saying it are two different things. I’m sure it will come.

    I did an hour’s worth of ground reference maneuvers. Turns around a point, rectangular course, and S turns across a road. Not much wind, so didn’t get the full experience of using wid correction angles. We also practiced landing off field.

    I’ve never really left flying. My first job after the tech wreck was at Cessna, in a hangar, at KICT. Somehow, all the jobs I’ve had since were either under the flight path of an airport or my commute took me by one.

    I’ve used FSX:SE a lot and recently moved to Prepar3D. I wanted to see how flight simulation compared to the real thing. Prepar3D is closer than FSX. I want to have my own plane, and build one besides, and a dream is to live in a hangar home. A SPL or PPL seems to be a prerequisite, especially where the wife is concerned.

    Also, it seems like GA could be about as fast for medium distance travel, and at $1K per seat, round trip, the costs are somewhat comparable. Plus, you can log the time going somewhere interesting instead of just boring holes in the sky trying to build time for your next rating. And, you can usually land a lot closer to your destination than you could get on an aluminum bus with wings!

    I’m getting close to 70, which seems to be a hard limit for most insurance companies for initial coverage. I came into some inheritance money and I’m getting close to retirement. So, if not now, it’ll most likely be never!
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2021
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  14. Motor6

    Motor6 Filing Flight Plan

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    I decided to stop saying “what if” when I was 47. You waited a little longer than me. Make sure you can get past the medical, finish the PPL, and see where you’re at. One step at a time. Don’t buy the hanger house quite yet. Fly often. The more you fly , the quicker it will come. It took me less than 6 months start to finish, flying a couple of times a week. I had been studying for this my whole life. Flight sims, reading all the books, magazines, and forums on flying. I got a 98% on my written and smoked the check ride. You can do it.
     
  15. Crashnburn

    Crashnburn Cleared for Takeoff

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    Thanks for the encouraging words. I don’t need to worry about a medical for Light Sport. Also, I passed a third class medical in 2007 so I should be good for Basic Med.

    I had another lesson Saturday. More air work; this time I needed to worry about CHAPS. Clear the area, pick a Heading, select a Altitude, Pick a spot clear of development, and make sure Pilot, passenger, and cargo are Secure.

    We did practice emergency landings and go arounds, and a lot of steep turns. I was pulling back at the start of the turn - the Citabrias and Skyhawks I’ve flown needed that, but the Spot Star doesn’t need back pressure until the turn is established. Then, I just need enough pressure to maintain speed, and add enough throttle to maintain altitude. The last 360 I did, we flew through our prop wash. Can’t do much better than that!

    I think the limits are +/- 10 knots and +-100 feet but I’m trying to keep my excursions to half that.

    I guess I did pretty OK. I have a Stage One flight check after 3 lessons and 4 recent lesson hours. I’m not confident in my radio work but I’m learning.
     
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  16. pfarber

    pfarber Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I passed the test so it must be good.

    The CFI/DPE system is hot garbage.

    CFI primary flight lesson hours should not count to ATP. Only complex/multi/high perf etc.

    That way the garbage CFIs will stop making students quit.

    When poll after poll of CFIs show that 80+% hate the job, thats more then enough to prove that the system is garbage
     
  17. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Yeah. So how does this relate to your first post. I can’t see how it does.
     
  18. odie451

    odie451 Pre-Flight

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    Is a person able to get basic med if they didn't get a private pilot license?

    if so you may want to watch this video that shows how to apply your sport pilot training to private pilot training.

     
  19. Crashnburn

    Crashnburn Cleared for Takeoff

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    You need to have passed a 3rd class or better since sometime in 2006 to go Basic Med. I passed my last 3rd class in 2007.

    Thanks for the link. It’ll be useful once I get my SPL.

    I had another flying lesson Saturday. Talk about a humbling experience. I was in the pattern for the first time since 2001. I was OK with the pattern itself, but radio work has a lot of room for improvement. Also, I need to cut my pitch changes by 2/3rds, and I need to judge how high I am when I turn base to final. I wasn’t overshooting the center line like the instructor was doing. So, there’s that. We’re going back to ground reference maneuvers so I can do a better job of instinctually controlling pitch.

    Still, I feel I got my money’s worth. We flew for an hour, and I felt like I’d spent 2 hours flying.

    I’ll get it; from what I’ve read, it’s mainly a matter of persistence, and that could be my middle name.
     
  20. woodchucker

    woodchucker Pattern Altitude

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    This is how you introduce yourself to a student returning to learning? Jeebz. So my cfi's tend to say "gear welded down". Who cares? Most of us are enjoying the flight experience safely without worrying about what you are all hot and bothered about. Regardless your personal opinion on the FAA system, why not be positive to a person going flying? You also missed an apostrophe. Better check that before you claim your language arts education was garbage also.
     
  21. WDD

    WDD Pattern Altitude

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    You rock! - and yes, I guess I'm showing my age with that phrasing.

    I was going down the sport pilot path as well, but found the sport planes to be hard / impossible to rent. Finding a DPE to do a check ride is harder. So I got my 3rd class (and you can have Basic Med) and got the PPl for not much more than what the Sport needed. Now I can do either. BTW - the Skyhawks, etc. IMHO are easier to fly.
     
  22. Crashnburn

    Crashnburn Cleared for Takeoff

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    I like the Sportstar’s handling better, but that makes it easier to over control in the flare. My goal plane is a Cessna Cardinal, which I hear, is sensitive in pitch, so this is good experience for that plane. And, yes I know I can’t fly it on a Sport Pilot license. Once I get my SPL, I’ll train for my PPL. A lot of the SPL work will carry over.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2021
  23. Crashnburn

    Crashnburn Cleared for Takeoff

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    I had another lesson Saturday. We mostly did air work. I spent most of the time working on the sight pictures for 60 and 70 knots. He said I flew better with the ASI covered.

    We also did some radio communications role playing after the lesson. He said, in passing, at the end of the lesson that you just need to pick the right macro, then plug in the appropriate values.

    I flew my simulator for a while after I got home and practiced un towered airport pattern calls. When I have time, which is a precious commodity at home any more, I plan on installing VATSIM so I can practice with live (albeit amateur) controllers. That should help.
     
  24. jrhillma

    jrhillma Filing Flight Plan

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    FWIW, PilotEdge is superior to VATSIM in my experience. Yes, it costs money, but the ATC interaction is much more realistic. Limited coverage area, however, so you may not be able to practice/sim at your home field.
     
  25. Crashnburn

    Crashnburn Cleared for Takeoff

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    Thanks I’ll check out PilotEdge. I’m sure it’ll be less than an hour of flight instruction, and home field advantage is only worth 3 points.
     
  26. Crashnburn

    Crashnburn Cleared for Takeoff

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    I had another lesson Saturday. 1.1 hours of flight. Before that, the plane needed gas. One tank was completely dry, the other had 3 gallons, about 45 minutes of flight time. So, I learned how to gas up a plane, using the fuel truck. We dragged the plane over, so I didn't have to pay for taxiing to the truck, at least.

    We spent the whole time in the pattern. I only had one go-a-round, compared to two weeks ago. I'm lining up well on the runway, have my speed on final nailed (trim is my friend). I need to work on finer movements in pitch and roll, also holding the nose up instead of letting the control stick move forward after touchdown.

    Next lesson, we're flying over to the airport at Hollister. It's an old bomber base, with long, really long runways, and he'll have me fly just above the runway so I can get the right height picture, plus work on gentler pitch and roll control movements. I guess we'll do some slow flight, etc., on the way there, to satisfy some FAA requirements.

    I'd planned on driving to Prescott, AZ, to attend ERAU's homecoming there and do a little looky-looing at houses over the weekend, but my mother in law and wife need me at home more than I needed to go, so I stayed home, and am having a bus driver's holiday. I looked at scheduling a flight over the weekend, but no such luck. The plane's owner must be happy with all the use it gets over the weekends.
     
  27. cowtowner

    cowtowner Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The truck couldn't come to you?
     
  28. GaryM

    GaryM Cleared for Takeoff

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    It's good for a student to ask their instructor plenty of questions. Why the aircraft had one tank completely dry seems like an excellent one.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2021
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  29. Crashnburn

    Crashnburn Cleared for Takeoff

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    I another lesson Saturday. He was giving a simulated Phase 2 check, and the student paid no attention to the fuel gauges until the tank ran dry. Automatic fail. The goal was not to fail the student, but give him a lesson that could save his life(and the plane). I need to develop that discipline, too.

    Also,he was responding faster to the tower than I could so I asked him to give me a chance before he talked to the tower. That worked better.

    I had a two week gap since the previous lesson and the CFI said I hadn't lost anything. I don't know how much it helped, but I flew my simulator an hour or so Friday night, mostly to practice flying low along the runway at Hollister. The more I practiced, the closer I got to the runway, and wheels touched several times.

    They say you play like you practice. When we got there, he demoed what I was supposed to do. Next pass, I got it before the runway's end. Then, I tried it again. This time, I kept pulling the nose up while close to the ground and. feeding in power. Next thing I know, the wheels touch down and he says I just made a perfect landing. We did more touch and goes before heading back. I guess what happened is classic.

    I managed the landing energy by myself, but need to work on directional control. He says I'm good enough to practice at the home field now. Next up are soft field takeover and landings. Those will help with energy control on all of my landings.

    I noticed on all my landings that when I'm moving the stick, I want to pull back on it, even though I'm trimmed for 60 knots. Definitely something to work on. I think I might still have some ground fear. It's a lot better than it was. I think it was Bob Hoover who got air sick when he was just starting out. He would go behind the hangars and practice aerobatics. I'm not going to become the world's most famous airshow pilot; the moral is to work through whatever issue you might have.
     
  30. Crashnburn

    Crashnburn Cleared for Takeoff

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    Another Saturday, and another flying lesson. All week, I was hoping that I wouldn't lose anything during the week. Friday night, I loaded up Prepar3D V3 and my SportStar flight model, and practiced flying closed traffic. It's definitely not the same as the real thing, but close enough. I had problems in the simulator because I kept busting the TPA. Luckily, I did better in the real thing. I quit after one attempt turned into a go-around because I was way too high, and the next I landed next to the runway.

    We spent our time in the KRHV pattern, even though it was Young Eagles' Saturday, and have the FBO's airplanes were flying. I started out doing a low pass over the runway, trying to maintain the centerline w/o touching down. After that, we did some touch and goes. I started getting the hang of rounding out, to slow the rate of descent, and not zero it out. Next, was maintaining directional control.

    I think my CFI is psychic. After a good landing with his coaching, I was wondering how I would do on my own. I didn't say anything and he said, "OK, you can land on your own, and I'll keep quiet until after you've landed." I told him "If we both survive".

    The landing(s) turned out better than that. I did almost everything right, but flared a little late so we bounced in slow motion. When the main wheels came down the second time, I lowered the nose. He told on climb out that I could have just kept the nose up for the second landing and it would have been great. The very last landing was my best this decade. I had good directional control, floated a long way in ground effect, and kept the nose up until it came down on its own. He said it was a beautiful landing.

    When the lesson was over, he said my landings were too good for someone who's only been in the pattern for 2 days; but its been more like 4. Just try not to have a miserable lesson next week. He's going to have me do more radio work the next lesson.

    I was about as exhausted after this lesson as I was after my first time in the pattern, but that was a frustrated exhaustion, while this was a happy and excited exhaustion. I plan to simulate again Friday, but this time saturate the air with traffic, as there was a lot of ATC communications to deal with Saturday.

    I've been wondering where I'll get X-Wind traffic locally, but Hollister has a runway that's cross the on-shore breeze. The thing is, I'll have to schedule in the afternoons because there's not much on-shore breeze in the morning. Going back to PST will help some, as everything will be an hour later in the day.

    The plane I started my ab-into in Citabria 5032G is no longer at Aerodynamic Aviation. I looked it up, and I'm not sure, but it might have been totaled after a ground loop that collapsed a main gear and significantly damaged the wing in 2013.
     
  31. Randomskylane

    Randomskylane Pre-Flight

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    I’m enjoying your updates. Is it possible for you to fly twice a week?

    Is the flight sim work coordinated with your cfi?
     
  32. Crashnburn

    Crashnburn Cleared for Takeoff

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    No, to each.

    One thing about this particular simulation is the IP gauges are impossible to read, so I use the status lines, which are displayed outside the cockpit, so I still keep my eyes outside.