Seeking sanity check on my training status

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by Doug F, Sep 23, 2017.

  1. exncsurfer

    exncsurfer Pattern Altitude

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    Try and simplify as much as possible, the lateral alignment is just staying on center line, having the left and right corners of the runway angles match, fix that with aileron. Now the yaw axis was the trickiest for me, the car does it for you, in the airplane its arbitrary and you have to control it manually. I'd feel like i was perfectly aligned and the instructor would say the nose was left or right. I tried getting behind the airplane on the ground to see what in the distance it was pointing at then sitting in it to see where that distant point was from the pilot seat. That didn't seem to help much, I guess I just eventually got it or close enough. If your mains touch first and you're pretty close it'll straighten out and not feel jerky.(I think Ercoups have to land this way every time anyway). Another problem I had was not staying fluid, what worked at 40 ft might not work at 20, what worked at 20 may not work at 10. I would set my inputs and want to keep them fixed. At any instant you have to adjust to keep it centered with aileron, aligned with rudder. The wind will shift or change speeds on you so you have to react constantly. Good luck, we're all counting on you.

    disclaimer: low time private pilot, trained in a 172
     
  2. Doug F

    Doug F Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Yeah, this ain't like driving a car. Always tweaking based on new inputs makes this part of flying a challenge. Since my 'Perceive, Process, Plan' cycle tends to be longer than it used to be, it makes staying ahead of the plane while landing difficult. I have learned to stay out of the plane if crosswinds are at or above 4 knots. As a student I'm allowed 5 knots and the plane will allow much higher but my personal minimum is 4.

    Thanks for the suggestions.
     
  3. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yeah he exhales no doubt!

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. Clip4

    Clip4 En-Route

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    I am a CFI, Training can be frustrating for both the CFI and the student. Here is my 2 cents.

    Age is a factor in your progression. Like it or not, the older one is the slower a student learns flying. During the landing process, increase the number of evaluations and decisions you are making for distance, speed, altitude, wind drift/correction, and descent angle.

    The old saying a good approach makes a good landing applies.
     
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  5. Doug F

    Doug F Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Maybe after I am on the ground and all of my various sphincters have relaxed...
     
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  6. Doug F

    Doug F Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Definitely something I am going for when I get back into the plane. Thank you.
     
  7. Salty

    Salty Pattern Altitude

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    I took the skycatcher for a dawn flight this morning. Air was still as death. That let me realize something new. Power changes make a huge impact on both pitch and YAW in that plane. I was a bit low so I put the tiny-est bit of power in on short final with full flaps and the damn nose swung like crazy and pitched up. With zero wind it was very obvious, and I was amazed at how much effect it had.

    Moral of the story is try to do a good approach so you don't have to touch the throttle on final, and if you do, expect to have to get the nose pointed forward again after it settles in.
     
  8. Doug F

    Doug F Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Air Power changes make a huge impact on both pitch and YAW in that plane. I was a bit low so I put the tiny-est bit of power in on short final with full flaps and the damn nose swung like crazy and pitched up. With zero wind it was very obvious, and I was amazed at how much effect it had.

    Good input!

    After about a zillion landings that is one thing that my brain did notice. As I am abeam the numbers, cutting the throttle swings the nose and adding flaps pitches up...roller coaster in in the air!
     
  9. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Anticipation come to mind...

     
  10. rtk11

    rtk11 Cleared for Takeoff

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    You should have the plane trimmed well while downwind, anticipate the change in attitude by pushing forward on the yoke, and re-trimming the plane. Trim removes some of your workload, and you shouldn't be experiencing any roller coaster motions, especially on final.

    *EDIT*. Darn - MSCard88 beat me to the "anticipation" phrase!
     
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  11. Salty

    Salty Pattern Altitude

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    I'm no instructor, but for learning, I would suggest putting in third flap as soon as you turn final and then you can be stabilized without changing anything from then on.
     
  12. Doug F

    Doug F Pre-takeoff checklist

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  13. Doug F

    Doug F Pre-takeoff checklist

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    We only use full flaps for short or soft field. First flap abeam the numbers. Second flap on base below 70 knots, then slow to 65. 60 on final.
     
  14. Doug F

    Doug F Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Now that I recognize what happens as I drop rpm (edit- not tom...I tossed him out just after take off) and add flaps I am doing better not flopping around. And I shiver with...well, the vid says it better than I can.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2017
  15. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Being tight works against being fluid... when I started flying my shoulders would scrunch up and nearly touch my ears when I was working too hard at it. My instructor once mildly "karate chopped" me between the shoulder and neck one time and said, "Relax!"

    Nowadays an instructor doing that would probably end up with some sort of lawsuit for touching the student. Ha. But for me, it was the right thing. I never let my shoulders climb that high ever again... forced myself to push them down and relax on long final.

    On really tough landings even today I'll feel the shoulders start to creep up and have to take one second to consciously relax them. You can't fly the airplane as well when you're scrunched up in a stiff board position. :)

    Trust the instructor has your back (even solo... they wouldn't have signed you off if they didn't...) and relax. :)

    Also get a laugh out of this... no matter how bad a landing you've made, the instructor has probably seen worse! :)
     
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  16. Doug F

    Doug F Pre-takeoff checklist

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    ...no matter how bad a landing you've made, the instructor has probably seen worse!...

    I know that is true for a fact.
     
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  17. Doug F

    Doug F Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Status Update:
    As planned, I spent two weeks doing nothing but landings. The first week was normal landings, week 2 was short and soft field. I don't have my log book handy but it was probably 50 or 60 landings total. Winds were mostly light so I didn't have to fight cross winds.
    By the end of week 2, landings were more often good than bad so that's a 'Good Thing (tm)'.

    I think taking a month off to decompress and stop obsessing about flying was a help. I came back with a renewed sense of purpose and by focusing on one thing only, I got better.

    I just finished my solo cross-country (after nearly 3 weeks of weather delays) and the flight felt good...almost like being a pilot! I made a ton of small stupid mistakes so I'm going to do one or more mini-XCs (one leg of the 'official' XC) so I can work on the tasks I didn't do as well as I'd like. The errors were mostly 'failure to follow a checklist' and I'm writing it off the the fact I made my own from the POH and the thing was 20+ pages long so finding the right one was stupid hard...I'm going back to the smaller ones the school provides.

    FAA exam scheduled for the Monday after Dinosaur Dissection Day and my check-ride will likely be the second week of Jan.

    My thanks to everyone for their positive feedback; it helped put my concerns in perspective.

    Further updates to follow.
     
  18. somorris

    somorris Pattern Altitude

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    Good report, Doug. I'm glad things are starting to come together for you.
     
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  19. Half Fast

    Half Fast Pattern Altitude

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    Excellent! Well done! Good luck with finishing up.
     
  20. CJ Rader

    CJ Rader Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I'll wade in with my whopping 5 hours of flying experience and technique. You sound like a details kind of guy. I'm a details kind of guy myself, so I know the place you're coming from, mentally. Every book I've read on learning to fly talks about hitting that inevitable plateau. I think one publication called it the 'Six hour slump'. I doubt seriously it only occurs at the sixth hour of training time and would go so far as to say it can occur at anytime with anyone at any point in their flight training. When it feels like you're never going to grasp a certain concept is usually right before it clicks. So, I'll venture to say you're there. I agree with many of the other posts in this thread: get the perspective of another CFI. There are different styles of learning and different styles of teaching. I think you've got the tools in your bag, you just may need a different teacher to explain their usage. Cheers. Best of success to you.
     
  21. Ben

    Ben Pre-Flight

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    I've been there man. My instructor is similar to yours I think- everything has to be "perfect". I know he is building good habits for me, but it is frustrating sometimes! Only thing I could say about this is, it ends eventually and it feels good!
     
  22. Half Fast

    Half Fast Pattern Altitude

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    My instructor wanted me to be flying well inside standards before the checkride. You'll be tense during the ride, and you should have some performance margin to account for that. You'll be paying the DPE plus the plane rental, so the ride could be costing you $700 or so, and it'd really suck to blow a maneuver and have to do another ride.

    Also, your instructor knows your skills will be at their peak when you do the checkride, and will probably fade a bit afterward. He wants to allow for that and make sure your flying will still be within standards six months from now.
     
  23. SoCal RV Flyer

    SoCal RV Flyer Pattern Altitude

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    On the crosswind landings, my instructor helped me by breaking it into two parts...aileron to maintain alignment with the centerline; then rudder to keep the fuselage parallel to the centerline. You're doing both simultaneously, of course, but thinking about it first as a two-step process helped it "click" for me.

    When to start the flare is really about repetition and the sight picture. A stabilized approach and nutting the correct over-the-fence speed are of paramount importance. Nothing hurts confidence more than coming in 10 knots too fast, and ballooning, bouncing, porpoising, etc. When you're five feet off the deck, make sure to pull the power ALL THE WAY OUT! It's easy to leave a little in and cause excessive float.

    Another gem from my instructor...when in the flare try to NOT let the plane land. This makes you hold the nose-high attitude, creates a ton of drag, and the plane will settle when it's good and ready. (Remember to hold a ton of back stick to keep the nose wheel off as long as possible.)

    Good luck, and stay with it!!!!
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2017
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  24. 1RTK1

    1RTK1 Line Up and Wait

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    Hey now, those grummans almost land themselves, way easier than those high wings:)

    It never hurts to take a couple of flights with a different instructor, a new perspective from someone else can make it click when you are stuck
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2017
  25. murphey

    murphey Final Approach

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    beat me to it....

    Curry had a pair of the best legs ever, back then, regardless of gender.
     
  26. murphey

    murphey Final Approach

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    And has probably done worse landings, too!
     
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  27. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Shhh. You’re not supposed to tell them about that horrid spot landing of mine that you were standing by the runway judging. ;)
     
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  28. Half Fast

    Half Fast Pattern Altitude

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    Doing T&Gs last year with my first instructor and he was harping at me to be on the centerline. We were having gusting crosswinds, so on one lap he took the controls to demonstrate. He proceeded to plop it down about 15 feet right of center and pointed about 10 degrees right. I looked over at him and he said, "Okay, so that's how NOT to do it." Then we both started laughing about it.
     
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