Have you ever wanted to quit your training?

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by 555Juliet, Nov 18, 2009.

  1. nddons

    nddons Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I started flying in 1982, and then got married and ran out of money, time, and permission. Not necessarily in that order.

    I started again in 2004 in North Carolina, and while money was no longer a real problem, time was. It took me 22 months for my Private, but the point that I became discouraged was not when I lost my first CFI (who brought me nearly up to my solo, and left for a corporate flying job), but when my second CFI quit - as in quit instructing all together, to join a construction company.

    Up until that point, I was a passenger in my pilot journey, simply following the lead of the flight school. But instead of quitting, I specifically requested one particular CFI, Bruce, to help finish my ticket. Bruce was not building time in order to move on to something better (he owned his own non-aviation business) but was instructing for the love of flying. Of course we had to duplicate much of what I did with CFI #2, which was expensive and time consuming, but Bruce brought me to a much higher level of proficiency. I passed my checkride on December 7, 2005.
     
  2. DutchessFlier

    DutchessFlier Line Up and Wait

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    You all have seen my many posts about my PPL training and now into my IR with the same instructor. I must be one of the luckiest SOB's here. My CFI kicks my ass royally...out of respect for each other and his insistence on me moving my performance to a higher level every time we fly. We are at the place where I tell him when I am screwing up before he has to tell me. He also knows that when this happens, I look for his input as we discuss any changes necessary in the plane to improve. We are more like a partnership in the plane, maybe because we do a bunch of no-lesson flying and work on CRM and sharing responsibilities in the cockpit. The recreational time together adds to my experience and gives him hours he needs to move on someday..which brings up a point: in the go-go days of CFI's moving in, up and out of flight training rapidly, alot of students had to go through many instructors, which could be a big factor in the success rate of any given student. Nowadays, with the job market so bad for entry level professional pilots, seems that if they can afford it, alot of CFI's are staying in their training jobs, and thats gotta be a positive thing for students who are lucky enough to have an excellent instructor.
     
  3. OffCenter

    OffCenter Pre-takeoff checklist

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    From the time I was about 5 years old I knew I wanted to fly. I grew up watching Sky King and Whirlybirds on tv. Unfortunately it took waaaay too long to achieve my dream.
    I started in 1971 and accumulated 55 hours. I wasn't far from getting my license. Being a kid working in a grocery store, I ran out of money so I quit. Dumbest thing I ever did. In the early 80s I got into ultralights. But had to quit again when other things in life changed. Finally in 2003 a friend offered the use of his Piper if I would find an instructor and finish my license.
    ....and there the trouble started. The guy I got was a good instructor and very knowledgeable, but his style of teaching and my way of learning didn't mesh at all....Plus, he was deathly afraid of LAWYERS. Unfortunately I didn't recognize what was wrong til I'd spent way too much time and money.
    Finally after a big blowup between us, I was about ready to quit. Luckily I had met another instructor who I became friendly with. He came out one day and flew with me. After only 20 minutes in the air he said, "I don't understand why you don't have your license already!" We got along perfectly. After two more flights together he signed my book and said, "Take the plane out any time you want and go fly!" And thanks to him I recieved my long coveted license a short time later.
    ....and now I'm building my own plane in my backyard!
    ....and to think that I almost quit...

    There is a lot more detail to my story. If you are interested let me know and I'll tell you "The rest of the story", as Paul Harvey would say!
     
  4. Everskyward

    Everskyward Experimenter

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    I'm wondering about this statement.

    Are you saying that he was overly cautious for fear of getting in trouble, or are you saying you are a lawyer and were intimidating to him? Or was it something else?

    Congratulations on finishing!
     
  5. murphey

    murphey Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Oh, I understand entirely about the lawyers. I flew for a couple months with a CFII that insisted to be put on my insurance by name, not just the generic "anyone with over xxx hours in type". This CFII had been burned by another student, the FAA and the insurance company in the past. I don't know the entire story, and frankly, don't want to know.

    Welcome to the litigious society. Mom told me to go to law school, I didn't listen.
     
  6. gismo

    gismo Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The local FBO I buy gas from would require me to add them as a named insured to my policy if I want to use one of their CFIs for a BFR or IPC, even if their CFI didn't need to act as PIC. Needless to say I went elsewhere for those services. No way I'm getting them on my policy and/or sharing my liability coverage with them.
     
  7. KSCessnaDriver

    KSCessnaDriver Pattern Altitude

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    I wanted to quit about halfway through my instrument training. The point right before you start flying approaches regularly, where you are still just basically wrapping up the flight in instrument conditions. Couple that with the fact that the course syllabus had it set up as the following schedule. 1 oral session, 2 simulator sessions and then 1 flight session. So, on a good week I got 3 sessions in. So, I would go about a week and a half between actual airplane flights. I wanted to quit so badly at that point, but knew I needed to find away to tough it out.

    Long story short, I ended up taking a weekend to go get my seaplane rating, which was a blast. Best decision I've made to date. Got me out of the instrument training funk, and was a blast.
     
  8. dmccormack

    dmccormack Touchdown! Greaser!

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    You bring up an excellent point -- head down all training all the time gets old (especially IR training).

    Instructors have to be attuned to student burn out, and toss in fun scenarios.

    I took my PP checkride at 43 hours, and still had a trip to NY, a night flight to BWI, and a full ILS approach to KLNS and KMDT in rain and low ceilings already -- all "just for fun."

    Sure, each had a training purpose, but it made training worthwhile and gave a hint of what was to come.
     
  9. Dudley Henriques

    Dudley Henriques Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The issue is quite common on the learning curve and handling it is 101 for any good CFI. Formally it's a personal plateau and/or a wall for many students and how it's handled differs greatly among the CFI community.
    Informally it should be expected by the instructor. Students can easily be guided through these plateaus by instructors who have taken the time to handle each student as an individual, helping them through these "walls" by building confidence and patience.
    I'll be glad to exchange correspondence with you on the issue by back channel email if you desire assistance.
    Dudley Henriques
    dhenriques@rcn.com
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2009
  10. OffCenter

    OffCenter Pre-takeoff checklist

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    No, I'm not a lawyer. I'm a carpenter. LOL!!!
    Yes, he was overly cautious alright! When he FINALLY let me go solo, he would stand by the runway worrying 'til I got back. He would tell me to fly to other airports "BUT DON'T LAND", just make a U turn and return. Or he would tell me to only make a low approach and then break it off and return home. When I asked why he'd say "What if something happens? They could take my license and my house!". One day I landed at a nearby airport anyway and told him so when I returned. He nearly bit my head off!
    And when we flew together, nothing was ever quite good enough. He wanted perfection. All I wanted was to fly for fun. To him, flying was SERIOUS business! One day we were just talking and I mentioned how much fun it would be to just go out on a sunday and follow the Delaware river and look at the scenery, stopping to circle whatever looked interesting on the ground. He said, AND I QUOTE, "You can't DO that anymore, George. Those days are GONE, George!!!"...spoken with much agitation in his vioce!!
    Finally, one BEAUTIFUL Sunday morning when he had a family function to go to and couldn't come to the airport, I called him on the phone and asked to take the plane out alone. He absolutely refused to allow it because he couldn't be there by the runway wringing his hands and worrying. I said a few choice words and hung up. We never flew together again.
    I was REALLY ready to quit. After stewing for a couple of days, I called another guy I had met who was also a CFI. He agreed to fly with me the next weekend. After only 20 minutes in the air he said, "I don't understand why you don't have your license already!".
    When we landed we sat talking about flying in general. He told me that the greatest fun he ever had flying was learning to fly a Cub on floats at Jack's Seaplane Base in Florida. Suddenly the light bulb lit above my head and I realized what the differnce was between him and the first guy! He actually
    LIKED flying for fun! The first guy was always talking about Learjets and Gulstreams and instruments and flight plans! He was a frustrated commercial pilot!!!!! I really wish I had seen that earlier.
    So.....After three flights together this fellow signs my book and says, "You're good at this. You take that plane out anytime you want." Well, I took him at his word. The following Sunday was GORGEOUS! ....and I had a PLANE! I took off and headed from central New Jersey to Cooperstown NY and landed on their nice grass field. From there I headed to Fulton County airport, near Albany for breakfast. Looking at my chart I saw that I wasn't far from Lake George. Well, I wasn't going home without seeing THAT! So I headed for Lake George and took some pictures over the lake to prove I was there. Then I followed the Hudson river back towards home with a stop at Columbia County for a soda. Total flying time, about 5 hours.
    When I got home I emailed the pictures of Lake George to my new flight instructor with a brief description of my trip. He called on the phone a few minutes later laughing like crazy!!! (The first guy would have been FURIOUS!) He said, "I know people who have LICENSES who are afraid to go too far from the airport 'cause they'll get lost...and YOU fly to Lake George!" When he stopped laughing he told me to drive to his house so he could sign my log book and make that flight legal.
    A few weeks later I had my license. I now have about 340 hours in my log book. Still a lot to learn, I know. But at least I have what I always wanted.
     
  11. AsjaL

    AsjaL Filing Flight Plan

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    First post, here goes:

    I started taking flying lessons in 1988, age 17. I quit because the instructor I had at that time was a sexist *******. I was too young, and too insecure, and he made me miserable, it wasn't worth it to me. About ten years ago I thought about it again, but didn't have much money or time, until now. I started again six months ago, found a great instructor, and am getting ready for a checkride. In hindsight, I'm just angry I let that happen to me, I didn't know enough to find another instructor. I'm angry I lost so much time, because I love flying and wish I hadn't given up years ago. I would never put up with sexist crap now. The people where I fly now have been very encouraging and helpful to me.
     
  12. dmccormack

    dmccormack Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Welcome to the board!

    Many of us started then stopped due to a poor first instructor. Mine had me doing incipient spins and slipping in with the door open "for more drag" in a C-150 in my second hour. I decided flying wasn't for me. That was 1979.

    I tried again in 2002 and earned the PP in 43 hours over 3 months.
     
  13. gismo

    gismo Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Too bad the FAA, EAA, and/or AOPA doesn't have an online course titled something like "How to choose a flight instructor" chocked full of information on what to look for in a CFI, how to find one that matches your personality and goals, plus something to give every potential student the strong impression that they should shop for a CFI like they would for any multi thousand dollar purchase.

    Like almost every pilot I know, I just walked into an FBO and signed up for "flight training" with the expectation that one CFI was as good and compatible as the next. It's amazing to me that most of the time this actually works out OK.
     
  14. kevin7500

    kevin7500 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Short answer, nope.

    I have been obsessed with airplanes for as long as I can remember. I interupted my wife during declarations of love to make observations about the airplane we were boarding for our honeymoon. I quietly hope for turbulence when ever we fly commercial. Cross wind landing?.....please, please, please! I love sitting just behind the wing because that is where you get to watch all of the engineering in motion. Apparently not every other passenger is interested in how much wings flex. My twelve year old daughter now points out planes that are flying over, just in case I missed it.

    I procrastinated for one reason or another for nearly twenty years. Investigated during the spring this year. Started in the beginning of August and took my check ride on October 10. Started IFR training on October 20 and hope to finish by the end of April 2010.
     
  15. Geico266

    Geico266 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Welcome to POA!

    You are one determined person!

    There is an old saying in aviation, even older than me. There are three things when flying that are worthless to you as a pilot (in your case 4)
    1. The runway behind you.
    2. The altitude above you.
    3. The fuel below you. (on the ground)
    4. Worrying about shouldacouldawoulda.

    Get busy flyin, or get busy dyin.

    Congrats on your dedication and determination to get back in the air. It will serve you well as a pilot.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2009
  16. Dudley Henriques

    Dudley Henriques Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I've always advised new and prospective students to treat the choosing of a CFI as their first introduction to the term "preflight inspection".
    New students should invest the time and effort into actively seeking out the RIGHT instructor for THEM. This should be accomplished through an interview process with the student surreptitiously doing the interviewing.
    The process should begin with an active search for recommendations at local sources where that information is available. When an instructor looks promising from a recommendation, an interview should be scheduled at which time the recommendation's accuracy should be either verified or discounted by the student applicant.
    Picking the wrong CFI creates a mismatch with a student that can and often does seriously hamper and even damage the student's progress. The ultimate result from picking an incompatible instructor can be a student who can pass the test and become certificated but not nearly as good a finished product as the right instructor would have produced.
    I place so much importance on this single factor for a new student that I have openly discussed the issue as a possible cause for a human factor involvement in an accident down the line for the student.
    Dudley Henriques
     
  17. AuntPeggy

    AuntPeggy Final Approach

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    Very good idea. However, the worst instructor for me was the one I interviewed ahead of time and chose as the best for me. Sometimes you just don't know.

    Choosing to leave your instructor is the first lesson in becoming the pilot in COMMAND.
     
  18. gismo

    gismo Touchdown! Greaser!

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    But how is a non-pilot who's never been involved with aviation going to how to conduct such an interview even it they have the forethought to do so? Maybe we need to put together something like an online dating service for prospective students and active instructors.

    My recommendation for now is for anyone considering flight training to hook up with an active pilot, preferably one who's recently completed a PPL (or SP) program and getting their advice/help in selecting a school and instructor. It would be best if they could find such a "mentor" who has similar learning styles, motivation, and schedule, but now we're almost talking about interviewing potential "mentors".
     
  19. Everskyward

    Everskyward Experimenter

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    Those were my thoughts too. When I started taking flying lessons I didn't investigate much in advance but I was lucky to have ended up with an instructor who fit my needs and also my personality. We are still friends today.

    No kidding. I've had people try to give me advice when we were nowhere near being on the same page.
     
  20. Dudley Henriques

    Dudley Henriques Pre-takeoff checklist

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    If you re-read what I posted, it might become apparent that what you are recommending is EXACTLY what I suggested. The "hooking up with a pilot" is in effect the seeking out of a recommendation. :))

    As for "how to conduct such an interview";

    You interview a prospective CFI to discover whether or not that specific CFI is compatible with you as an individual; in other words, whether or not the two of you communicate and "connect". Naturally a new student doesn't have the knowledge to determine whether or not an instructor has good piloting skills, but an interview CAN disclose if the student and the instructor will create a "pair" that is conducive to meaningful learning.

    NO method of picking out a CFI is perfect. There are no "guarantees" that even if a new student goes to the trouble of searching out a compatible instructor that the instructor chosen will be the right one for the student.
    How good the process is and how good the result will depend in large part on just how good the STUDENT is at judging compatible personality.
    Basically, the criteria going in should be based on how well the two get along and whether the student LIKES the instructor. Not all that hard a judgment call really :)
    If the student makes a mistake, they should simply re-enter the interview process and find another instructor. NEVER stay with an incompatible CFI!
    As I said, there is no magic bullet for this procedure. Finding the right CFI is a hard process that many new students don't want to bother with.
    And if THAT is the issue, I suggest the STUDENT take a long hard look at their OWN judgment process, as it might need a slight "adjustment"
    :)
    Dudley Henriques
     
  21. Everskyward

    Everskyward Experimenter

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    But this is bit of a Catch 22 because if you are a new student with very little exposure to aviation and other pilots how are you going to know to do this? I guess some people might come on internet boards such as this one to read advice but I'm not sure how many people do that in advance.
     
  22. Dudley Henriques

    Dudley Henriques Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Simply take a trip out to your local airport and engage pilots in conversation.
    Believe it or not, it's THIS simple. It ALL starts from there. You don't need to know ANYTHING. Just go talk to pilots. Trust me, you'll get a CFI recommendation from all of them.
    It's not a cure all. It's a BEGINNING STEP!
     
  23. gismo

    gismo Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I pretty much agree with all you wrote on this subject, but I still see a problem in that many prospective students (including myself when I started) are likely to assume that all instructors with the FAA stamp of approval are equivalent and don't realize that a selection process is needed, let alone have the skills and knowledge to implement one. When I "investigated" my options for flight training my primary concern was cost not instructor compatibility. I did have enough insight to drop one CFI and hook up with a different one (at the same school) when it became apparent to me that things weren't working as well as they could have, but I know of several instances where a student pilot never considered that their difficulties were in no small part due to the instructor.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2009
  24. jesse

    jesse Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Considering how locked down a lot of airports are now (Thanks to the TSA) and the fact that a lot of potential pilot's aren't the most social of people -- it is rather likely that many will never go to an airport and start randomly stumbling around while in search of someone to talk small airplanes with.

    I fit the group above pretty well. I'm not generally very social with those that I don't know. There is no way I would have went wondering around the airport asking a bunch of questions -- instead I walked into the FBO and took a lesson with the first instructor I saw. I was pretty young at the time (17) and he was in his early 20's so it worked for me.

    The only problem I had during flight training was the fact that my instructor was late for nearly every lesson (usually hung-over from some college party). The nice thing was that everytime he did that the dual was free. Considering my lack of money at the time I preferred he be late.
     
  25. Dudley Henriques

    Dudley Henriques Pre-takeoff checklist

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    It boils down to this;
    You have two choices when entering aviation as a student. You can walk in and take what's offered as an instructor or you can take charge of your own situation and choose the one you want by making the effort involved.
    You have a FAR better chance of success doing it with YOU in charge of the process.
    All this having been said, it's an individual decision. These are simply my opinions based on my 50 years of dealing with these issues. You are the best judge of how to proceed.
    DH
     
  26. dmccormack

    dmccormack Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Sadly, you're right -- try "wandering around" an airport these days and see how friendly the folks are.

    Most people at the airport are either getting ready to fly, working on an airplane, putting an airplane away, or trying to sell an airplane (that recently had a prop strike, but who needs to know about that?)

    The days of standing around hangar flying are past. Of the three airports I'm at frequently, only one has a place where people congregate, and even then the majority are retirees.

    :frown3:
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2009
  27. Dudley Henriques

    Dudley Henriques Pre-takeoff checklist

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    What you're saying is true. It's for this exact reason that I've spent 50 years attempting to educate new students on how to find a good instructor.
    :)
     
  28. Dudley Henriques

    Dudley Henriques Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I don't disagree with this at all. It's the unfortunate truth that the scenario has indeed changed at many airports, ESPECIALLY the light duty GA type fields where pilots used to gather on weekends just to chew the fat and hold up signs ranging from .01 to 1.0 on every landing made by their peers :)
    It's for this reason that it's all that much MORE important that new students make every effort to crack the code and get "inside" at what's left of their local pilot community and get some instructor recommendations.
    The alternative of course is obvious. Any new student thinking of taking up flying SHOULD have the native intelligence and good judgment to begin with that tells them without having to be told that even if they have to walk in cold and inquire about flight instruction, picking the right instructor for them is job 1.
     
  29. Dudley Henriques

    Dudley Henriques Pre-takeoff checklist

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    It happens, and unfortunately will continue to happen. This is why instructors like myself spend the time and effort to educate and inform. Hopefully the word will spread to those in need of it.
    Personally, I think that if more prospective students used more deductive reasoning, there would be less need for people like me to spend so much time and effort on these things :)))))))))
     
  30. Doggtyred

    Doggtyred En-Route

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    Its the same catch 22 you have in picking professors, or a school or a personal trainer.. They are the expert, and on paper are credentialed as minimally competent to train you.

    The same answer applies to all. Ask your peers. Get objective feedback, and dont be afraid to fire your instructor and get someone else if its a compatibility issue.
     
  31. dmccormack

    dmccormack Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Experience is a comb life gives you after you lose your hair.

    So goes deductive reasoning -- gotta have solid premises, only acquired through exposure.
     
  32. Marcus Aurelius

    Marcus Aurelius Filing Flight Plan

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    No, I learned from a most excellent CFI who goes by the handle Jeffrey Bloss. Jeffrey made everything fun, enjoyable and thrillingly academic. It was not untypical that he would spend 2x or 3x the hours with me in pre/post flight not counting the hours of phone and email conversations (no charge btw).
     
  33. jesse

    jesse Touchdown! Greaser!

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    We know different groups of instructors apparently.
     
  34. Gucci Pilot

    Gucci Pilot Pattern Altitude

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    When I worked at a flight school the two biggest reasons I saw were money and time. Money was running dry and students were either taking to long and running the money dry, or they didn't have enough time and family matters got in the way. In the end learning to fly is a luxury and sometimes it has to sit on the back burner for family situations.
     
  35. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Just how does an instructor cancel an endorsement? Attack your logbook with Wite Out?

    Necropost.
     
  36. Bill

    Bill Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Late in instruction my instructor popped his door open right at the altitude where I would just *maybe* be able to get it on the ground again. I went around, he was pleased.

    During a BFR, I was on downwind in the Mooney when a pilot we both knew departed. So we chatted with the pilot for a few seconds, and when I was looking to see that departing airplane, my CFI pulled the gear breaker. Abeam the numbers, select gear down, um, hmmm.....

    Probably other sneaky stuff I've forgotten over the years...
     
  37. nddons

    nddons Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2007
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    Waukesha County, WI
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    Stan

    Care to describe this "discrimination"?
     
  38. jesse

    jesse Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2005
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    15,775
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    Lincoln, NE
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    Jesse
    Well, my solo endorsements state the student must receive my approval before each solo flight. So, in my case, if I need to "cancel" the endorsement I just quit giving them approval.
     
  39. Alexb2000

    Alexb2000 En-Route

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
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    Dallas, TX
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    Alexb2000
    I believe people quit training all the time, in part because they realize they are spending $10K or more to do…. pretty much nothing. It isn't like the day you get your ticket you will pilot your own Citation to Aspen with the family on board relaxing in style. Rather you will scratch around and try to find some outfit that will rent you a clapped out POS 172 that you can take the wife up in for what is possibly her one and only flight. After which she will likely prefer almost any other activity and your will have a ~$300 dollar bill to pay.

    Alternatively, go buy a four wheeler for $10K. You'll have one of the baddest out there and it will be brand new. You can go have fun anytime and ride all day for less than $20 in gas, it cost almost nothing to own, you can park it or sell it at anytime without a lot of drama. If your wife doesn't want to ride on it, no biggie your buddies might be talked into getting their own. MOST of all you can write a check and be riding by yourself that afternoon, NOT six months later.
     
  40. DesertNomad

    DesertNomad Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2013
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    Northern NV
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    DesertNomad
    Quitting was never even considered. Money was never an issue but I knew that at 40, I would be slower to learn that someone at age 20. I came home from some early lessons with a sore hand (death grip on the yoke) and after 1.5hrs flying around in 20-30 kt winds, landing in every direction I was pretty tired.

    I did get a bit frustrated a few times when my training seemed to be wandering and we would do things seemingly at random... a bit like "paint the fence, sand the floor... wax on wax off". It all worked out and I think it is one of the best things I have ever done.