First Flight Lesson and Questions

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by Amsirahc, Oct 2, 2019.

  1. Amsirahc

    Amsirahc Filing Flight Plan

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    Howdy everyone! New student pilot here, and I just wanted to share my first-time experience with others and ask some questions (see the end for the questions). Since this is something I've wait my entire 34 years of existence for, I'm going to be treating it with the utmost respect and the same level of admiration I had for it when I was a young child.

    Let me preface this next bit by saying that I've been following along and quizzing with the "2019 FREE Private Pilot Ground School" course on the Fly8ma website (can't post links yet). I had already completed the first 10 lessons before my first flight and feel like I had at least a little bit of knowledge going into it. I've also been flying PC flight simulators for a long time, but didn't think for a second that I would be ready to fly in the real world.

    I will be taking lessons under Part 61 instruction since I have a full-time job and that's what works for my schedule. I live in an area of Ohio that's surrounded by small airports (10-30 minutes any direction). Unfortunate part is where I live there aren't many CFIs that can teach new pilots (one grounded for health, another for insurance, etc.), and my chosen CFI works full-time flying freight which puts him out of town more often than not. I had the opportunity to take my first flight lesson in a rather rugged Piper PA-28-140 this past Sunday, and it's safe to say that was probably the best day of my life yet.

    I had been in contact with him a couple of times over the phone, and our personalities pretty much clicked. Out of the many CFIs and flight schools I spoke with, I knew this was the guy I wanted teaching me (over 20k hours of flight time and teaching since I was a 3y/o). I was originally just driving out to the airport to meet him in person for the first time, but after about 45 minutes of chatting, he asked that silly question, "You want to go up today?" Of course I said, "Absolutely!" We left the FBO's office and headed straight to the plane. We walked around the plane talking about all the different control surfaces, external sensors, engine compartment and components, etc. while completing the pre-flight inspection. He then said something that surprised the crap out of me, "Go ahead and climb in. Pilots sit on the left, so I'll sit on the right."

    Reminder: first flight with the instructor on day 1 of meeting him! This is when I started sweating (OK, it was also 90F outside and clear skies, so there's that). I climbed up, crawled in (6' tall), and sat in the left seat. We spent a good 20 minutes or so just talking about each instrument and making sure I knew what I was getting myself into and gauging my knowledge. Shortly thereafter, he had me take out the checklist and go through before start and startup (Holy crap, I started a real plane!). We then put the headsets on, performed mic checks, and talked about taxiing. It took a second to sink in that he was actually having me operate an aircraft, but how far? "Now then, use a little power and use your rudder peddals to steer. Go ahead and taxi left behind the other parked aircraft and we'll head out taxiway alpha to takeoff on runway two five."

    I was dumbfounded & super focused at the same time. He had me taxi, perform the run-up, announce to traffic we were back-taxiing to the runway, taxi down the runway and turn around to lineup, then... takeoff. "What you're going to do..." He actually had me takeoff, climb, navigate headings, follow landmarks, fly around my house, return to the airport, and only when we were about 300' from the runway did he touch the yoke to help me flare! Needless to say, the blaring heat didn't mean a thing to me other than the bumpiness at 2000' agl.

    After we taxied to the fuel box, I performed the shutdown and we headed back inside. We had a good long talk, I wrote a check (way cheaper than I thought it would have been, but he did say he wasn't in it for the money), did some simple paperwork, and he said that he wanted me to look into a "Private Pilot Kit". He gave me a King Schools catalog, and said the kits ran around $300ish and that there were other options out there as well from Sporty's, Gleim, ASA, etc. I was so excited and exhausted (stinkin' heat) that I completely forgot to ask him about the kits before he left for San Juan for a week! So, I got online to lookup kits, ran across this little gem of a forum and thought I'd join up and ask!

    Questions: What all do I need out of a Private Pilot Kit, and which companies should I be looking at? Do I need an electronic E6B, or is the mechanical plotter good enough to get started? Should I buy it as a bundle or a la carte? Should I stick with the free Fly8ma ground school and use the myriad of free practice tests, or is there value in one of the others that I won't get otherwise?

    Any help would be most appreciated! :)
     
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  2. Will Kumley

    Will Kumley Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I'm still fairly new to this but can give you my experience so far. I'm only at 28 hours of flight time and have completed ground school as well as passed the written test. My flight kit (Jeppesen) was a bag, with my textbook, a plotter, an E6B, and study guides. Could I get it cheaper online, maybe but my school seemed to have a fair price and I would have only saved a couple dollars so I got it. Ground school was another fee on top of the kit but well worth it. A sit down school with a person I could ask questions with helped me a lot when it came to understanding everything. My recommendation if you get a sit down ground school is to read the upcoming chapter before you walk in the door. There were quite a few students in my ground school that didn't read a single page of the book and thought all they needed was the sit down time with the instructor in class. Those students still haven't taken their written test and likely won't be ready for a while. The choice is really yours so if an online course works for you then there could be some cost savings in the whole thing but I was and am a huge fan of the classroom setting of a local ground school.
     
  3. ktup-flyer

    ktup-flyer En-Route

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    8 paragraphs... That’s a Nate length post. It’s only up from here! Make sure you keep it fun and go to some cool places during your training
     
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  4. 1RTK1

    1RTK1 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Make sure you can get a 3rd class medical before going to far. Talk to someone before blindly answering the questionnaire or seeing the doctor.
     
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  5. Amsirahc

    Amsirahc Filing Flight Plan

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    Yeah, I'm also a big proponent of sit down classrooms. However, time is my biggest constraint, because the only time I could do a sit down is in the evenings or weekends, and the nearest sit down school is an hour away. Will probably stick with the online route, but thanks for the advice!

    Not sure who Nate is, but I'll probably figure that out! I definitely hope to fly around some fun places. Any recommendations for the Ohio, West Virginia, & Kentucky area? Sorry for the TL:DR ;)

    Thanks for the advice!
     
  6. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    King videos
    Download a FAR/AIM
    Paper chart and protractor and paper e6b
    Pen and paper
    MAYBE a headset if they don’t have a loaner you can use till you’re ready to buy one
    Headlight style flashlight with red flip down filter.

    Done.
     
  7. Mike Smith

    Mike Smith En-Route

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    GET YOUR MEDICAL BEFORE YOU SPEND MUCH MONEY! After that, just have fun and enjoy the ride.
     
  8. ktup-flyer

    ktup-flyer En-Route

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    Nate (@denverpilot) is our resident novel poster. 1A6-Middlesboro, KY is an awesome approach/departure. The whole city is inside of a crater and you fly up a valley departing rwy 28 until you get to the crest of the crater a couple thousand feet up.

    I have a spreadsheet with all/most of the airports in the US with restaurants on field if you want it.
     
  9. alfadog

    alfadog Final Approach

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    Congratulations on getting started and welcome to the board!
     
  10. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    Nate = @denverpilot. A generally good soul who is known to be very verbose in his replies

    Regarding your first FAA medical certification exam and getting it done correctly on the first throw, the best way to do this is: do not go into the "live" medical examination until you know beyond 100% that you will walk out with your medical certificate in hand.

    Alternatively, if you already know that you have have something in your history that might cause a deferral, you are already aware what condition in your history will cause the deferral to happen,
    then in advance of your actual exam, you must educate yourself appropriately on the "what and the why" the condition caused the FAA to want to know more about you and this condition. This includes educating yourself not just what the standards are, but what documentation items must you obtain and bring to the Aviation Medical Examiner (AME). In addition to the "what" of the documentation, learn about the "how it needs to be organized". This latter item will help both the AME and the reviewers quickly determine that you satisfy the standards and issue the medical with minimal delay.

    To see what items are being asked for, Google for the FAA Form 8500-5 and read the sections on doctor visits, medications, medical history, and interactions with law enforcement that included controlled substances and/or alcohol.
    • Most doctor visits are benign, but if you were to say "visited ER because my chest hurt and I thought I was having heart attack", then that is going to ring a bell to require much more information.
    • Most medications, again, are benign, but some are very significant and are going to catch the medical reviewers attention. Then the FAA is going to want to know more detail about what, how much, how frequent, and why are you taking them. Some medications can lead to more questions, especially if you have not adequately explained.
      • Something to be aware of here is the "blow your leg off" landmines of "off label" use. This is where your treating physician uses a medication to treat you for something that ins't what the med was originally designed for, but does work for your situation.
      • Some examples here are well known SSRI's being prescribed not to treat depression or anxiety, but for weight loss or quitting smoking, or some other "sideline use". The FAA will see the name of the medication and might toss you under the bus unless you can come to them ready to comply with the protocol to manage the situation.
    • Medical History is questions 18a through 18w. Read through all of those. If any of them are a yes to the "HAVE YOU EVER IN YOUR LIFE..." preamble, be ready to provide additional information, doctor reports, and lab reports as needed.
    • Interactions with law enforcement require the right type of documentation to explain things and hopefully show you've matured and not the wild party animal that "enjoyed" the LEO's hospitality. But however, if there is a pattern or frequency of events, this raises the bar on what is needed to "tell your story" to the FAA
      • If you have such interactions in your history, but were told by your legal counsel or the judge/magistrate that your record can or will be expunged if you follow a certain course of action, be wary of the "expunged" landmine. While the incident might be expunged from a local or state criminal activity perspective, it can still be a significant "whammy" from a Federal Administrative law perspective, which applies to the FAA. Take ownership of the original action that got you into trouble, and seek the appropriate aviation attorney counsel to find out how you are to report the expunged event.
      • Know that if you choose not to report it, you might be running a high risk of getting into big bad poodoo with the FAA should they have cause to go diving into your background. Not declaring when you should is considered lying on a Federal form, which is a felony. Again, seek the appropriate aviation attorney counsel to find out how you are to report the expunged event.

    If after reading this post, the information asked for in the 8500-5 form (aka www.MedXpress.gov), and the Guide for Aviation Medical Examiners, you still have doubts you will be issued a medical certificate, then your instructions are this:
    1. Do not present yourself to a live examination. This is where you complete MedXpress and once at the AME's office, surrender the confirmation code.

    2. Do ask the AME to provide a consultation. This is where you can supply a draft of your medical history, medications, doctor visits, etc, and then discuss with the AME your ability to successfully apply for medical certification.

      1. If after reviewing your situation, the AME says, "I see there may be a problem here....", then discuss what is needed to make that a non-problem.

      2. If after reviewing your situation, the AME says, "I don't see any issues, you have provided me with what I need to issue you right away." then and only then do you proceed to a live exam. Including surrendering the confirmation code if you had already completed the FAA Form 8500-8, Application for Airman Medical on MedXpress.gov.

    If for some reason the AME you have selected says, "Sorry, I don't do consultations," thank him and seek out one who does. Unfortunately not all AME's do consultations, but many will. Ask around to your local aviation community to find one who will.

    Finally, if there is anything really gnarly, thorny, and knotty in your medical past and you believe that speaking to a Senior Aviation Medical Examiner who will provide you the right information the first time, allow me to suggest two of the best:

    Dr. Bruce Chien, Bolingbrook, IL, http://www.aeromedicaldoc.com/how-to-start.html
    Dr. Lou Fowler, Pensacola Florida, who doesn't have a website to link to, but can be googled​

    If you still have questions about the medical certification process, and/or your ability to obtain an FAA medical, feel free to ask questions in this thread or start a new one.
     
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  11. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    One of the better ones is https://onlinegroundschool.com. One of the principles of that outfit, @write-stuff (known to his flying buddies as Russ) is a member of PoA.
     
  12. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    You will need the following items, in no particular order
    1. PHAK - Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge (downloadable PDF. Softcover version available on Amazon or local Pilot Shop)
    2. AFM - Airplane Flying Handbook (downloadable PDF. Softcover version available on Amazon or local Pilot Shop)
    3. Current copy of the FAR/AIM (Federal Air Regulations / Airmen's Information Manual)
    4. Headset - Purchase a "budget" one with active noise reduction to start. Expensive bells and whistles can be acquired later.
    5. Current Sectional
    6. Plotter
    7. Metal E6B. Start with this to learn the computations and logics behind them. The electronic ones can help, but are pricey.
    8. Fuel Collection Jar -- Used when you sump the fuel tanks to check for water contamination.
    9. Computer backpack -- Find a $30-35 pack to carry your stuff. Does same job as the flight bags, but half the cost.
    10. Ginger candy or gum.... helps with airsickness if you're prone to that.
    11. Simple kneeboard and scratch pad paper. This helps develop the habit of writing down key bits of info when operating the airplane.
    All of this is more than enough to get you started.

    There are 50 more catalogs worth of items you could purchase, but you only need the basics right now.

    When you get close to doing your cross country and navigation work, then a tablet such as iPad and a subscription to an electronic flight bag app (EFB app) such as ForeFlight or Garmin Pilot can be considered.

    For the iPad, you want one that has the cellular data chipset as this also provides the GPS receiver chips. And the storage should be at least 64 GB. For most pilots, the Mini is a very popular form factor as it fits on the yoke just right. There are many mounting solutions to put the tablet on either the yoke or suction cupped to the windscreen.
     
  13. Dana

    Dana Pattern Altitude

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    One thing to add to the medical advice others have posted: You don't say what your interest in flying is, whether you're looking at a flying career or just flying for fun. If the latter, and you have any concerns about the medical, a Sport (instead of Private) certificate may be an option. No medical is required for Sport, as long as you have a state issued drivers license, with one caveat: If you take and fail the medical exam, you can't even fly as a sport pilot, so if you think you would fail, don't do it. But you can't do the SP training in a Cherokee, it has to be a light-sport aircraft.
     
  14. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    @Amsirahc -- regarding the medical certification and your level of aviation interest.... here is some additional thoughts.....

    You say you are under 40 years of age.... A positive thing about this is that, unless you have a medical condition that requires more frequent AME visits, your third class medical certificate is good for 5 years. Upon reaching 40, this shortens to 2 years. So during the month before your birthday, go back to your AME and renew your medical certificate. This allows you to have another 5 years, so you won't have to renew until age 44-11/12ths.

    First, Second, or Third Class?
    • If you are just going to fly recreationally (for yourself and family), then a third class medical is just fine
    • If you are going to want to make a career out of flying, then a second class medical will be needed. But you can start with third class and upgrade later.
    • If you are considering to one day go to the airlines, corporate aviation, or charters, the a first class medical will be needed. But you can start with a third class and upgrade later.
    • If you ever train with a Part 141 school, many ask that you possess a First Class medical right out of the gate. This is due to their agreements with their partner airlines that their students will be ready for hire immediate upon completion of the program... no medical delay shenanigans allowed.
     
  15. Ryan F.

    Ryan F. Cleared for Takeoff

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    A sincere "welcome" from me and many others, I'm sure. Always pleased to see another passionate aviator join our fold.

    Best of luck to you.
     
  16. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    LOL. You just wrote three pages.

    And thanks for the reminder to pay my PR person if you think I’m a good soul. I knew hiring Elon Musk’s PR firm would be a win. LOL!
     
  17. chemgeek

    chemgeek Pattern Altitude

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    Congrats on your first foray. Lots of good advice here. I think paper maps, a plastic plotter and a good old fashioned mechanical E6B will get you started. A small clipboard you can use for note taking works just fine instead of a fancy kneeboard. (Eventually you will graduate to tablet based mapping, but you can't always do the necessary pilot training stuff on a tablet.) If you are going for the gusto, a headset is a good idea to protect your hearing. Buy what you can afford if you can't borrow. When I first started nobody wore headsets. That changed rapidly over a period of a few years, and explained my instructor's poor hearing.

    Whether or not you take a formal ground school or just do self study depends on your learning habits. Since I was a professional educator and spent a lot of time in self study throughout my professional education and career, I figured I could learn on my own. That worked out fine for both the PPL and instrument rating. YMMV.
     
  18. RingLaserGyroSandwich

    RingLaserGyroSandwich Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I got an E6B, but aside from tinkering with it a bit for fun, I never really used it. I then got a CX-2 electronic flight computer and didn't look back. It is a good idea to learn how to do most of the calculations with a basic calculator before you start using the CX-2 to do them. It's better to use your CX-2 (or E6B) to do your calculations until you get your private, then transition to using a tablet afterward to perform most of the calculations using your flight software like Foreflight.

    I'm of the opinion that you are better off not using an ipad or on-board GPS until you have your private. No need to be dependent on GPS or other technology until you've proven you can fly without it. (edit: if you are going to need to demonstrate onboard GPS usage during your checkride then you'll have to train on it, though)
     
  19. Deelee

    Deelee Cleared for Takeoff

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    Congrats!! I used the king schools private pilot kit... the one aimed at Cessna training. It was dated, but really good. Great ground lessons and if your CFI couples your instruction in the air with what you are learning on the ground - even better.

    As others suggested, get your medical very soon. I got mine after a few lessons. In terms of things to buy - the FAR/AIM, a copy of the ACS for private pilot, download a copy of the pilot's handbook of aeronautical knowledge (PHAK) and download the airplane flying handbook. (get hard copies of the first two since you will need them for your practical when you take it). Also download the FAA pub on weather... I forget which one since I'm not at my iPad where I have it. Just search for it. It really helps understand weather and what you need to know about it as a pilot.

    I picked up a cheap kneeboard from sporty's - the asa one, I think. Same with fuel tester if your aircraft doesn't have one. In terms of headset... I bought a pair of Dave Clark 13.4's. I replaced these immediately with LIghtspeed Zulu's after getting my private cert a couple of months ago. But just borrow a set for the time being until you are really sure you are going all in on this....

    Anyway, good luck and enjoy the journey! I am finding it really doesn't end after getting your private...
     
  20. Amsirahc

    Amsirahc Filing Flight Plan

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    Wow, this is way better of a response than I expected. You all are awesome, and I'm thrilled to be a part of it! Thank you all for the kind welcomes and all the information.

    @AggieMike88 -- I'll definitely take your advice into consideration. On the medical aspect, I've been to the ER once for chest pains before only to find out that it was a pulled rib, but they did an EKG and all sorts of tests. My family doctor does have me on blood pressure medication since I was rocking 140/90 at one point (mostly was in the upper 120s/80s but is controlled well within the norm now), and I have taken anxiety medication in the past (haven't for quite a while), but don't know if I was actually diagnosed with anxiety. Scans of sinuses (could have optional surgery for deviated septum, but haven't), and an ultrasound of my abdomen (was dehydrated and unable to keep fluids down and the ER wanted to cover all the bases). If anything in my history, these would be the only things I can think of. No law enforcement encounters, no substance abuse, or anything of the sort.

    @Dana -- I would love to make a career out of it flying corporate/charter/private/freight, so I'd want to shoot for at least a second class medical. Part of the reason I'm doing this is because I'm burnt out on my current career (IT Network & Systems Administration), and have wanted to do this forever. Dealing with other people's computer problems doesn't make me smile, if that makes sense. I've only ever been told how hard becoming a pilot was, how expensive it is, etc. and just never bit the bullet to see if I even could. After my first flight though, I know I can! (Barring no medical hold backs) Not sure about the airlines at this point, but that would be years out anyway. I don't have a ton of interest in the light sport aspect (always dreamed of flying my family around and making a living doing something I love), but if that becomes my limitation then I'll still see it through for the dream.

    @ktup-flyer -- That sounds like a blast! Would love the list! I'm flying out of Mason County (3i2) in West Virginia. Middlesboro is around 159nm away, so might be a while before getting down that way.

    @denverpilot -- Hi Nate! LOL ;)

    @James331 & @chemgeek -- That's kind of what I was leaning towards. They have a headset I can freely borrow without needing to buy, so I'll probably stick with that route for now.
     
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  21. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    Something else about headsets.... there is such a large variety on the market these days, it is in your best interest to try many makes, models, and designs to see which one suits you the best. And all before you plop down the cash. You needs something that is comfortable, has good noise attenuation, is comfortable for several hours of wear, makes it easy to hear your instructor and the radio, and is very comfortable... pretty much in that order.

    What might work for one pilot may not work for you, so try out several to see which you like the best.

    When you are ready to spend money, check in with @pigpenracing (one of our resident pilot supply dealers) to see what sort of killer deal he can arrange.
     
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  22. Half Fast

    Half Fast Final Approach

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    Your medical is going to get a little complicated. Do NOT apply before you’ve done a consultation visit with an AME. Proceed cautiously; a denial will lock you out of even the Sport Pilot option.
     
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  23. Dana

    Dana Pattern Altitude

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    The BP won't be an issue as long as your meds are on the approved list, but your primary doctor will need to fill out a form indicating what the meds are and that it's well controlled. The anxiety meds are more of a problem, you'll need very specific documentation that the condition no longer exists, but I'll leave that to others with more expertise.
     
  24. lancie00

    lancie00 Line Up and Wait

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    As others have said, get a medical CONSULTATION first. In a consultation you can find out if you'll pass before anything is set in stone. Blood pressure medicine isn't a big deal but the anxiety medicine may be. After the consultation, you'll apply to get your medical and set up an exam. Whatever you do, DON'T LIE ON YOUR MEDICAL APPLICATION!!! If you do and the FAA finds out, you'll lose any and all certificates and ratings that you've received.

    If I were doing it again, I'd get the king course. It's a standard and probably costs the most but you will learn what you need to know. Remember, if you have questions, ask your CFI. They will be more than happy to explain things that don't make sense. King teaches everything on a manual E6b so get one of those along with FAR/AIM. Other than that everything is available online for free from the FAA.

    Good luck!!!
     
  25. Amsirahc

    Amsirahc Filing Flight Plan

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    @AggieMike88 -- Thanks, but where would one go to try out headsets? Are there just aviation stores scattered across the US, or do I need to seek out specific dealers that handle them?

    @lancie00 -- I'll definitely be following that advice! Consultation & Honesty!
     
  26. Half Fast

    Half Fast Final Approach

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    Half Fast
    That's the concern.

    1) The diagnosis is critical. Also, if there were any related behavior issues (i.e., self-harm, threats to others, etc.) it becomes an even bigger deal.
    2) If you were on the med, then off, then on again, then off again,... it becomes a VERY big deal. A one-time use of the med, especially if related to some single provoking incident like a job loss or death of a family member, might not be too bad to get approved. But if it's been on again, off again, the FAA will tend to view it as a recurring condition that's presently untreated. VERY BAD. And very time and money consuming to resolve, though it is likely resolvable.

    As mentioned above, POA members Lou Fowler and Bruce Chien are both very senior and experienced AMEs who can help. Have a chat with one or both of them before starting down the medical path.
     
  27. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    Been in there a couple times. Yeah, some planes you gotta circle a bit before you can go anywhere.
     
  28. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    Ask your CFI about the really good brick and mortar pilot shops near you.

    make friends with other pilots at your home field and ask what set they use. Also ask if you can try them on.
     
  29. Amsirahc

    Amsirahc Filing Flight Plan

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    Nope, nothing of the sort. I just get overly agitated at idiocy/others yelling for no good reason/large crowds of people (mostly environmental between work and large stores). I've been working on it and getting better. I'm a percussionist in a symphony and play drums for some local high school musicals on my free time, and I'm super relaxed at both of those events (packed with people and bunches of kids running around).

    The med was prescribed on an "Only as needed" basis, and only prescribed and filled once. Honestly, I haven't needed to take the meds for at least a couple of months even though I am still in the same high-stress environment at work, same trigger exposure, etc. I just hope this doesn't prevent me from reaching my dreams. I'll be sure to reach out to both Fowler & Chien. Thanks!

    @AggieMike88 -- Will do, thanks!
     
  30. Half Fast

    Half Fast Final Approach

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    If your dream is to be a pilot, it won't. If your dream is to be a professional pilot, it might.

    That's why you do the consult. If these guys say it's going to take longer and cost more than you like, but you haven't applied for a med and don't have a denial, then you still have a good option as a Sport Pilot.

    You can get a Sport Pilot license using a driver's license instead of a medical certificate. You'd be limited to light sport aircraft, but there are quite a few decent planes out there. You'd be able to carry a passenger and fly anywhere you like in the US and the Bahamas, as long as you constrain your flights to daylight and VFR conditions.

    BUT, if you apply for the medical and are denied, you can't do Sport Pilot.
     
  31. Amsirahc

    Amsirahc Filing Flight Plan

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    @Half Fast -- My true dream is to be a professional pilot, completely change careers from being an IT guy who is "over qualified" for positions that pay more than I'm making now and to do something that I love instead. If the consultation comes back and says I won't be able to become a professional with my current situation, I plan to ask if there's any way to overcome that (years of change, money, etc.). I don't mind making life changes to be able to do something better in the long run. Becoming a sport pilot could be a stepping stone option, but it's not the full dream (though I'd settle for that if it's my only option) and I'd probably have to find another trainer elsewhere (just because I don't think my current CFI has a light sport aircraft). I won't apply for the medical without certainty.
     
    Half Fast likes this.
  32. danhagan

    danhagan Pattern Altitude

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    I actually enjoyed the excitement that he conveyed in his post regarding his first flight.
     
  33. Amsirahc

    Amsirahc Filing Flight Plan

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    Hey, thanks! That really means a lot to me. Definitely a day I will NEVER forget. Hope to have many more like it! :)
     
  34. danhagan

    danhagan Pattern Altitude

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    My first flight with a CFI was nearly identical to yours. CFI talked me through everything. Mine was zero wind, and was so easy I thought," Piece of cake, how hard can this be?". Found out about crosswind landings and struggled on steep turns to the RIGHT for some reason. There'll be a few plateaus, but you'll power through them ....
     
    denverpilot likes this.
  35. Amsirahc

    Amsirahc Filing Flight Plan

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    Yep, mine was very similar. Near zero wind and clear skies. Was a beautiful (albeit hot) day!
     
  36. MrBon

    MrBon Filing Flight Plan

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    A-A-Ron
    I joined just to reply to this! (Longtime lurker, first time poster.)

    I'm a career counselor and psychotherapist who made a career pivot from a 25 year career in IT, and am about 10 hours into getting a PPL for fun. I've run into plenty of people who paid for a LOT of aviation school only to find they can't pass a 3rd class medical. If you go look at the Medical topic here on POA, there's plenty of info about how time, money, and effort *might* help push through a medical with even more significant past mental health concerns than you mentioned.
     
  37. iflyvfr

    iflyvfr Pattern Altitude

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    Do a cross country to Sportys at Clermont County, i69. They have a display stand with a bunch you can put on and listen to. And a store with pretty ladies behind the counter! :) Oh and go around noonish on a Saturday for free brats on the grill but you better hurry.
     
  38. iflyvfr

    iflyvfr Pattern Altitude

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    There's a bunch down your way in all directions. KPMH is breakfast or lunch and only 35 NMs to your West so you'll become familiar with that place. You can get the loaner car and go into town to see the flood-wall murals. Just 169 nauticals to your east is Luray, KLUA which has shuttles to town and the caverns - must do IMO. Oh, there's a fly-in that sounds pretty good tomorrow at KSYM, Morehead. I'm smack dab in the middle of Ohio and that's where I'm most likely headed. Good luck and please pay attention to the advice re: your medical.
     
  39. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Medical wise I’d seek expert advice first, sounds like you have a few bumps to deal with, these folks are pretty good and no nonsense / no drama

    https://www.leftseat.com/
     
  40. Amsirahc

    Amsirahc Filing Flight Plan

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    @MrBon -- Welcome, and thanks for the advice! Been career IT for 16+ years now, and no longer enjoy it. Definitely looking into the medical sooner than later, though even just the lessons are a dream come true at this point.

    @iflyvfr -- Hey, thanks for the recommendations! Already have plans tomorrow, but hope you have a great time there!

    @James331 -- Thanks, I'll look into them for sure.