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Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by thorn, Nov 17, 2018.

  1. thorn

    thorn Filing Flight Plan

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    I just joined the forum. My 16 yo daughter wants to be a pilot. We have been going to air shows the last few years and she loves planes. I used to work for DOD on the P8 program and lived on base for a year and a half so the kids saw lots of planes there. We joined the EAA and have been helping (what we can do) a local chapter build a plane. She went up with the young eagles in the summer and they gave her an account for the Sportys ground school videos which she has watched all now a couple of times (my wife, son and I have also). She started flight lessons a couple of weeks ago and my son and my 12 yo son and I went up with her on her first lesson. She’s going to a ground school next year that’s mostly kids the flight school owner is teaching.

    In the late 50s, before I was born my dad got his license and flew about 90 hours, I have his log book. But he stopped after I was born. Many years ago my uncle had his license and would take me up when we would visit. I’ve been interested in planes but never though much about getting my license (time and $$).

    Long term if my daughter gets her license and stays interested I guess we could join a club so she can keep up flying. I mentioned to my wife it would be nice to at least to learn how to land a plane if my daughter gets her license and we all start going up with her. My wife said that I should start taking lessons or at least a discovery flight to see if I like it and learn while my daughter is learning. Is it hard for someone in their late 50s to get a license? I don’t have any health issues. There’s lots to learn.

    Also, long term I was wondering about building a kit plane, I built most of our house and work on my cars. I’ll be able to retire in a few years so I would have more time then.

    I have lots of questions but hate to take the time of her instructor. Is it OK to ask dumb questions here. :)

    We are trying to figure out what headsets to get her, seems like everyone has David Clark headsets, are the $300 ones OK?
     
  2. Cooter

    Cooter Pattern Altitude

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    There are lots of options for headsets. If you don’t want to spend much money, you can find DCs on EBay for less than $200. I’ve been flying for almost 30 years and that all I use. I still fly with my dad’s DC headset which was made in the 80’s. If money isn’t an issue, there are more comfortable options available.
     
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  3. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I used to say "there are no dumb questions". then I was going to take a coworker on a flight and he asked "can I wear my sunglasses in the plane?" so I changed my stance on dumb questions. however, ask away, that's how you learn.

    as for headsets, there are so many options and you're likely to get an assortment of replies. I've never used david clarks but they are very popular. they'll 1) be on your head for long periods of time and 2) protect your hearing, so it's hard to tell someone to just get a cheap set to begin with. but that's what I did. anyways, welcome and have fun.
     
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  4. alfadog

    alfadog En-Route

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    I'm 65, almost 66. For me, it is no harder to learn something new now than it was when I was young. Why should it be? I like the basic David Clark headset. They call them "David Clamps" but I guess I have a hard head so I like them. You can get a decent passive headset that might be more comfortable for a lot less than a DC, maybe around $150?
     
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  5. Ravioli

    Ravioli Final Approach

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    For passive clamps it is hard to beat a used pair of DC's. You'll likely be able to sell them for the same price in a year two (if you treat them well)

    For ~$400 you can go with QT Halos which are far more comfortable and have much better sound quality, OR $550 will get you Clarity Alofts (which I wear). After that you're getting into the ANR styles like Bose and Lightspeeds in the 850-1000+ range.

    Just don't bother with Blue Tooth for a student set. No need to bother with music and mobile phone at this point.
     
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  6. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    Is your daughter thinking of making a career as a pilot? This is a good time for young people to be considering that. The opportunities and options are greater than I've ever seen in the more than 40 years I have been flying (I am only a Private pilot).

    As for your learning to fly, there's nothing that can't be done if you put your mind to it. I am in my early 60's and just started to learn how to be really proficient as a tailwheel pilot. It might have been a bit easier if I had done this when I was younger, but that ain't gonna stop me. I love the challenge of trying and experiencing new things as a pilot. Go for it.

    Like some others responding above my first headset was David Clark. They are durable and reliable, and I still have that first headset (along with at least 7 other pairs of DCs). If money is no object, certainly try out the "designer headsets" made by Bose, Lightspeed, etc. But I have always suggested DCs to any new flight school student, and even lent some of mine out to the kids of friends who were beginning flying lessons.

    I trust you told them "No", of course. :D I never let anyone else wear sunglasses in my plane. We can't have them thinking they are as cool a dude as the pilot. ;)
     
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  7. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Welcome,you’ll get plenty of input on this forum,wish your family well in your flying endeavors.
     
  8. alfadog

    alfadog En-Route

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    Bit-O-Thread-drift but check out Brian Lansburgh. If you've got someone teaching you bush work and somewhere to fly that then great but I'm in Miami and practiced "landing in the turn" and "tailwheel slaloms" in the Luscombe at the local nontowered airport.

    https://www.tailwheelersjournal.com/

    Buy his book:

    https://www.tailwheelersjournal.com/products-page/product-category/brians-flying-book-v2/
     
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  9. sarangan

    sarangan Line Up and Wait

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    Diligence, more than age, is the foremost factor that will affect how you learn. Dexterity only plays a minor role. The primary reason I have seen older folks have difficulty is because of family and work commitments. They show up for lessons unprepared with minimal or no time invested since the last flight. Frequency of flying is also an issue. If you can only fly on Sundays between 2 and 4pm, that could become a major hurdle.

    As for kit planes, my recommendation would be to seriously weigh your commitments. I am an owner of a 20 year old airplane kit that is still collecting dust. It is not due to lack of skill or interest - like you, I do all my work on my car as well as the house. You can easily purchase an older airplane for the same cost as the kit, and fly it the next day. True, you won't be able to call it your own creation, but that is a separate issue.
     
  10. skier

    skier Line Up and Wait

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    When I started flying at 16 both my parents took a few lessons. My dad got up to solo, but by his own choice decided he wasn't comfortable doing it (the instructor thought he was ready). All of us took the ground school course together and helped each other study. We all had fun with it.

    I bought my David Clark 13.4 headsets almost 15 years ago and they're still going strong. The more expensive active noise cancelling headsets are really nice, but I haven't been able to justify the price yet.

    Enjoy the process and have fun. Make sure your kids are having fun too. I know that going up with my instructor once in a while to do something semi-unrelated to the curriculum was fun. We'd go to grass fields, fly to lunch, go up in actual IMC (during my ppl training), etc. We'd usually do those fun flights when I was getting frustrated or hit a plateau in learning. I know these fun flights were instrumental in getting me to finish the process.
     
  11. thorn

    thorn Filing Flight Plan

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    Thanks for all the comments, my daughter flew a RV12 the other day, she has been trying a couple other planes before deciding on which one to stick to for training. I signed up for a discovery ride in a 172s in a couple of weeks to see if I like flying.

    I know about the time and projects, building my house took ~2 years, that was almost 20 years ago, still living in the house :). I'm off a day during the weekdays which helps but the weather does not always cooperate. If you buy an older plane, can one work on it themselves, small stuff, like adding a amateur radio? I would think major structure work would not be allowed.
     
  12. alfadog

    alfadog En-Route

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    Don't know what you mean by "amateur radio" but no, you cannot do that. You are allowed to perform limited PM like change tires, oil/filter, bulbs, etc. IF you have a pilot's license and are the owner or operator.
     
  13. thorn

    thorn Filing Flight Plan

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    Or some people call it ham radio, VHF or UHF. The transceiver can be mounted in the back. Or one can use a portable handheld. I can't post links yet.
     
  14. GreatLakesFlying

    GreatLakesFlying Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Last year I was at the avionics shop at KRFD and I asked the guys there if they have ever installed any kind of ham gear in an airplane. The technicians at the shop had nearly 100 years of experience between them and they could only think of one instance when they added a 20M SSB transceiver in a Cessna 310.

    I always bring my IC92AD with me when I fly - I use it to monitor the AWOS/ATIS station before I start the engine. But I never use it on local repeaters while flying. It's a distraction. Occasionally I have fellow ham operators flying with me and once we are cruising they switch to their HTs and operate /MA using an adapter box I've built for aviation headsets.

    73
     
  15. Dana

    Dana Line Up and Wait

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    If it's a factory built plane (standard airworthiness certificate), then no, except for minor preventative maintenance. If it's an experimental (i.e. homebuilt, with a "special" airworthiness certificate), then yes, even including major structural changes.
     
  16. thorn

    thorn Filing Flight Plan

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    I was thinking of emergencies, if the main radio goes out, but it would be better to have another airband one instead of a ham radio.
     
  17. SethV

    SethV Pre-Flight

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    I think it would be awesome for you and your daughter to learn together. I wish my Dad would have still been alive when I started my training. Have fun and enjoy the time together!

    As for headsets, invest in some ANC. I would take a used Bose X over a new DC passive headset any day. About the same price.
     
  18. Rebel Lord

    Rebel Lord Line Up and Wait

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    Generally most planes already have a redundant dual radio stack in them. I do carry a handheld backup aviation radio in my flight bag. But honestly even having a cellphone handy is good enough. I know of several who lost power to their radios and just called tower and approach on their cellphones.
     
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  19. GreatLakesFlying

    GreatLakesFlying Pre-takeoff checklist

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    If you can modify an HT to transmit AM, it could be useful. Given the increasingly SDR architecture of most radios VHF and UHF radios, it would be one heck of a mod.

    Now, if you bring a fellow ham on the plane and s/he operates /MA while you are flying, you will have a helluva of a pile-up. You'll 100+ miles coverage if you are 3000-5000 feet above ground, on a 5W HT.
     
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  20. jsstevens

    jsstevens En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Handheld is fine of course. Anything permanently mounted in a certified aircraft requires an FAA certificated mechanic or FAA certificated avionics technician to sign off on the work.
     
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  21. Silvaire

    Silvaire En-Route

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    Learning to fly is an adventure rather than a task to get through so you enjoy every aspect of it throughout the process and there's no need to rush any of it. I started when I was 15 and I'll admit after going up and making a couple of turns I thought there was no way I could ever do it, I had no idea where we were or how to find the airport. But afterwards I was on an emotional high for days and couldn't wait to get back up again. Hard to believe it was 50 years ago, I still remember that day.

    So if you really want to do it the challenges and obstacles won't stop you and being 50? Sheesh, we need more youngsters like you in the sport.
     
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  22. DoubleD

    DoubleD Pre-takeoff checklist

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    When I started to fly in 1975 airplanes generally didn't have intercoms and no one used headsets. When I installed an intercom in my Debonair in 1983, it was a revelation. Many years later I upgraded to ANC (David Clark) and it was another step change in flying quality, though not as great as the first. My advice: spend some extra bucks for ANC if it appears your daughter is serious and will stick with flying.
     
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  23. thorn

    thorn Filing Flight Plan

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    I took the discovery flight the other day. The hardest for me was to taxi, the rudder/front wheel is sluggish from what I expected. I had to push hard to turn it onto the taxiway and runway. Then zooming down the runway, yikes. :eek: Once up, banking and maintaining alt. was not too bad, it was really calm and very little turbulence until we got to the local mountains. There's a lot to absorb, keeping an eye out for traffic, eye on instruments...landing and radio was up to the instructor. I'm not sure I could ever or want to fly alone! I know the area well and found our place up on the mountain. We are about 15 miles from the airport.

    My daughter is doing really well, she has about 8 hours now and is doing touch and gos, did tons of stalls. She is all smiles after a lesson. :) My son wants to take lessons, it will be a couple of years, he will be 13 soon. I'm wondering if it would be cheaper in the long run to get a 150 and once they are done, sell it. It costs about $110/hr for the 150 they rent and $150 for the 172s (they prefer the 172s). I guess there's the risk the plane you purchase would need an overhaul or other expensive repairs... And if they would like to get instrument ratings, can one upgrade the planes instruments? Or is it too expensive.
     
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  24. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    If there are multiple people in the family learning to fly, buying a plane makes absolutely great sense. I would however consider buying a 172 rather than a 150. That would allow for some backseat learning. Regardless, good luck to all of you. Flying is a lot of fun.
     
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  25. chemgeek

    chemgeek Line Up and Wait

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    Headsets: used H10-30s or new H10-13.4s would be affordable and durable.

    Kitplane: huge time and money investment you could spend on flying now. Must be meticulous and handy with lots of spare time.

    Buying a plane: A C150, C152 or C172 would make great trainers to own. I'm partial to the Grummans of course, but have to say the C15x is a great trainer, which is what I trained in.

    I think learning how to fly is a great activity for young people. It's a good way to get away from screen time and to gain the satisfaction of mastering something in the physical world, requiring both physical and mental skills.
     
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  26. thorn

    thorn Filing Flight Plan

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    My daughter just soloed the other day. She has about 55 hours so far, mostly in a 172. She also got a scholarship that will cover the rest of her training which is great. My son is doing a discovery flight next week but is still too young to start lessons. I took a couple of lessons but it's too expensive. Someone from the local EAA chapter was telling us about a 150 that is coming up for sale for $15,000. We have not looked at it yet. It's till in the back of my mind about buying a plane. It might be a good way after she gets her license to get up and fly to accumulate hours and if my son or I take lessons we could use it for training.
     
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  27. UUNetBill

    UUNetBill Filing Flight Plan

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    I'm a little late to the party; I'm assuming that your daughter already has a decent headset (what did she eventually get?). And yeah, lessons are expensive but worth every penny. I started ground school at 57, just turned 58 last week and I'm still building hours. Always puts a smile on my face.
     
  28. thorn

    thorn Filing Flight Plan

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    Hi, I got a couple of DC H10-13.4 headsets.
     
  29. Maxnr

    Maxnr Pre-Flight

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    I have a couple of David Clarks, they are just fine. I got the first one in 1982 at a discount at the company that I flew for. Still have it. Had to get a replacement on short notice. Got a cheap no-name that I still have. It has a "tinny" sound but is very clear. My first D/C has had about 7 or 8 replacement mikes and the ear speakers replaced twice. About a jillion ear pads. But its the same headset. Here's a free tip. You need a baseball cap of some kind to go with the head set. Take the cap and turn it inside out. Find the button in the middle and snip it off with wire cutters. The headset will then not bear down on your head and cause excruciating pain.
     
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  30. sourdough44

    sourdough44 Pattern Altitude

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    Glad to see the plans & flight training is progressing. Yeah, no need for a $1k headset starting out, flights are relatively short anyway.

    Depending on how far you live, consider Oshkosh, WI later in July for the big event. It can be a family affair. Nothing wrong with several pilots under one roof.

    With potentially two pilots in the pipeline, I would consider the(a) C-150 purchase, over building.
     
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  31. Fallsrider

    Fallsrider Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    It's good to hear that your daughter, and son, are so interested in learning to fly. I had that same interest when I was their age. No one in my family has ever gone that route, my parents couldn't afford to give me lessons, and I wasn't motivated enough to make that happen. I've tried to get started a couple of times over the years...I have about 1.8 hours of instruction, and I started ground school another time. Never could make the $$ happen.

    Now I'm looking to retire in 10 years or so, and the desire is coming back strong to finally get serious about getting a PPL. I'm still not ready financially, but I am starting to figure out how to make it happen during the next 10 years so I can enjoy flying during my retirement years.

    It's great that your kids are so interested, and great that you desire that for them. Having a supportive family definitely helps. It sounds like your family could spend years enjoying flying together.
     
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  32. Sazzy

    Sazzy Pre-Flight

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    Something I would definitely encourage you to to look into with your daughter is the "99s", an organization created by and for women pilots!
     
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  33. thorn

    thorn Filing Flight Plan

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    We looked at a couple of 150s. One is a 1965 150 is being sold by a A&P, inspector and CFI for his friend who is ill and can't fly anymore. My daughter flew it with him around the pattern. It has been kept up but not flown too much the last few years. He said he could work with me on maintenance and repair, I could do most of the work that I have the skills for. We took out the spark plugs, I took out the battery I changed the air filter and he tuned it. There's a few more things he wants to do before we take it for a pre-buy inspection. He loaned me the log books (back to 1965). From what I found and he told me is that they just had a bad landing where they had to replace the front gear that got bent and the engine mount a few years ago. Eventually it will need to be painted. It has fairly new cylinders, the prop is in good shape and the inside has been well maintained. It has an older GPS, transponder, and a new radio & steam gauges. It has the older auto fuses instead of push button ones. There's not much room in it, I'm 6 ft and it is hard to get in and the yoke is kind of close to my leg. :eek:

    My daughter did join the 99s.

    We plan to go to Oshkosh this July, via ground.