So, student pilots.. Who are we and where do we stand?

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by JasonM, Jul 21, 2013.

  1. Ronbonjovi

    Ronbonjovi Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Flying with a new instructor today. Really liked my previous one but he was part time and just received a promotion to CRJs and will be gone a lot coming up. I read all the stories about people going through 4-5 instructors and really hoping to not be in that situation. My new CFI is full time so lets hope for the best.

    Also got a quick question. How long does it normally take to receive your student pilot cert? I submitted all my info electronically on IACRA on 1/23/17. It currently states status: received by registry on 2/03 but haven't had an update since then. The IACRA FAQ states 3 weeks.
     
  2. abqtj

    abqtj Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Mine took like 6 weeks. Got it in December of 2016
     
  3. hockeyrcks9901

    hockeyrcks9901 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    This past Saturday morning I went up for some solo pattern work just to keep the skills fresh and work on some of the different landing and takeoff techniques. I also wanted to work on really "holding it off" on landings as I have a tendency to try to force it to land.

    The morning was beautiful! No wind and smooooooooooth air.

    I very rarely fly in the mornings so I'm used to having some sort of turbulence or some sort of wind affecting my landings. That morning was different. The first landing was awesome and I really was able to focus on the flare and waiting for the plane to want to land rather than trying to force it. It really made a huge difference in my landings.

    The entire flight was me just practicing regular landings, really focused on good technique, and short/soft field landings. Short field was focused on hitting my target touchdown point (the numbers) at the appropriate speed or holding the nose off on a soft field.

    My intent was to do 1.4 hours of solo time today to meet the required hours but I fudged up the numbers in my head during the flight and thought I needed 1.2 hours. So I quit flying at 1.2 hours leaving me needed 0.2 hours of solo time. I'll go up this weekend for some more solo time to make up for it and do a couple patterns just to stay fresh.


    1.2 hours for a total of 36.1




    Progress towards PPL:
    36.1 out of 40 hours total time
    26.3 out of 20 hours dual
    9.8 out of 10 hours solo
    4.5 out of 3 hours cross country training
    3.1 out of 3 hours night training
    Completed one night xc flight over 100nm
    10 out of 10 night takeoffs
    10 out of 10 night landings
    2.3 out of 3 hours simulated instrument flight
    1.8 out of 3 hours of instruction in the prior 3 months
    5.3 out of 5 hours of solo xc time
    Completed one long solo xc flight
    Completed 3 solo takeoffs at a towered airport
    Completed 3 solo landings at a towered airport

    Getting close!
     
  4. Ronbonjovi

    Ronbonjovi Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Flew 2.6 hours between Monday and yesterday with my new instructor. Started working on landings and did 13 between the two days. 2nd day I went and landed at a new air port for the first time. It was definitely hard work, a lot more focus required then burning holes in the sky but I loved it. I need to tighten up my pattern but felt like I got the flare and round out down in my head pretty well. Instructor was giving minimal input near the end of the 2nd day.

    Also found out the club has owned the C152 I am training in since 1983, 12000+ hours put on it and 300+ people received their license from that plane. Here is a cool article about the club from AOPA.

    https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media...iversity-club-still-flies-high-after-86-years
     
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  5. jbrinker

    jbrinker Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Back in the saddle again - Finally! Weather has been brutal here in CNY this winter, I've flown only 3 times since December! Today's weather was perfect, so I decided "screw it" and took a half day off from work. Did an hour of dual to get my wheels turning again, then dropped off the instructor and did an hour of solo work. All short field and soft field landings/to's. I think I now have those 90% - i.e. 9/10 were "good" or better. Only one messed up short field (landed long, floated...). Rest of the week weather will suck, but hoping next week to get night flight in, and do a couple more XCs. When we get a string of good weather (hopefully spring gets here soon) I will take a day or two off and really "cram" for the check ride. Still have night flight, long XC for requirements to knock out. Hoping to finish by early summer at the latest.
     
  6. abqtj

    abqtj Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Glad I rescheduled my flight that was supposed to be today. Moved it to Saturday.

    Earlier in the week I checked the weather and saw the winds picking up today...and boy did they! My flight would be right now and the wind at KABQ is 26kt gusting to 37kts. And I think it's blowing even harder here at my office.

    Saturday looks good though. Being proactive paid off!
     
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  7. TheTraveler

    TheTraveler Line Up and Wait

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    After a bit of a struggle with multiple CFI's and two different flight schools, I've managed to fly every single day this week! 1500-1700, MTWT. Scheduled for 1500-1700 tomorrow, 0600-0900 and 1400-1600 on Saturday, and 0630-0930 on Sunday. Don't know my total at the moment, but definitely making some good progress.

    More surprisingly, the weather at the southern tip of Lake Michigan has allowed me to fly every day this week, at the end of March. Very surprising!
     
  8. jsstevens

    jsstevens Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Back in the saddle after a nearly 5 month layoff. I've joined a new club and passed the written exams for checkouts in the 3 planes I'm rated in (C-172 and PA-28-181 Archers). I've had the air check in the C-172 and flew it solo this morning for the first time. I'm waiting for the instructor assigned to me to schedule the checkout in the Archer. It'll likely be more involved because I have something under 7 hours in PA-28s and most of that was in Arrows.

    Once that's good, it's back to the IR. Written clock is ticking...
     
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  9. Caramon13

    Caramon13 Pattern Altitude

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    You had to take written exams for your checkouts? Wow..I'm impressed :). The places around here (Sarasota) are nowhere near that sophisticated. 1 hr checkout and you're good to go.

    But that's probably also why a lot of the planes end up with prop-strikes, or unexpected "maintenance".
     
  10. jsstevens

    jsstevens Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    I've been impressed so far. Very organized. Good supplies. Online resources. Well equipped planes.
     
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  11. AlpineAce

    AlpineAce Filing Flight Plan

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    Hi all, new here, have been flying since i was little, But i haven't flown in few years. I have about 260hrs,(my father is a CFI in TX) but never got my license, trying to wrap it up now, At Centennial airport (Denver CO area). Met up with a local instructor. And was trying to save up a few bucks to get it going, But I just got laid off this afternoon :-(

    have just been doing all the studying I can in the meantime, taking Practice tests etc.

    Would like to design and build my own plane, (Father built a kit plane), and I have a couple designs I've been working on for years. (however I'm continually contemplating a bd-5).

    So I guess that's it in nutshell.
     
  12. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The only thing that will give you trouble in an Archer after flying an Arrow is looking for the gear controls.

    Archers also make pretty good IFR training planes if adequately equipped. Warriors don't (climb is too slow).
     
  13. airbornejohnny

    airbornejohnny Line Up and Wait

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    Hi all. I started PPL in NJ at a Part 61 school and moved to school in FL for Part 141 on my GI Bill. My written is behind me with a 95%, and all I really have left is the long solo xc. I have total time of 60.6 hours, and 167 day and 14 night landings. I was all set to go for this morning, but when I woke up I just didn't feel right, so cancelled it. I'm a bit frustrated to say the least, because I have classes this week that either scrub any flights or push them later in the day when things will tend to change a bit. This morning was perfect weather...
     
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  14. jsstevens

    jsstevens Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    I'm leaning that way (to the Archer for IR training). There are two in the club and they are less popular than the one C-172. All have IFR enroute and approach certified GPS and autopilots. One has a Garmin 430W and the other a 530W. The C-172 has a KLN 94. Scheduling will be easier with the Archers.

    John
     
  15. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Unless you're really attached to 172SPs with those King GPSs, that decision sounds really obvious. The 430 and 530 are very similar, as you might expect. The 530 is physically larger. I considered my IR training in an Archer, but my alternative was no less than 7 IFR 172s (models N through S), with a mixture of 430Ws and 650s. I do most of my flying in Cessnas, so that worked.
     
  16. Ronbonjovi

    Ronbonjovi Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Logged another 3.4 hours and 24 landings since my last post. Did a couple ground reference maneuvers as well. Up to 10.2 hours of dual. I feel as if my pattern work is going well. I do find myself high on final more often than not. I would rather be high though, like my instructor says, there are plenty of things you can do to get to the ground. I worked today to make sure I began descending abeam the threshold. According to the ATIS today we had a 6-10kt crosswind coming from 200-210 across runway 25 making it a little more challenging. My instructor didn't put a date or time on it but said I need to complete his pre-solo knowledge test and one day coming up he is going to step out of the airplane.

    I teach middle school history and we cover WWII so here's a little bit of my nerdiness coming out, but last Friday after my lesson we walked over to this guys hanger and he was pulling out his Ryan PT22 and I hung out for a little while. No electrical system so I got to see my instructor hand prop a plane for the first time. Slapped together a little youtube video of the 3 clips I took. Sorry for the crappy quality. It's a cool feeling to see a piece of history still flying today.

    [​IMG]

     
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  17. jbrinker

    jbrinker Pre-takeoff checklist

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    A very HUMBLING lesson today. Winds were 10G17 @330, available runways at FZY are 6/24 & 15/33. I went in with the plan to practice xwind landings as much as possible, so after a couple warmup patterns on 33, we shifted to 6.

    Man, direct 90degree xwind 10G17 in a Cheokee 160, for a student that has not had much opportunity to practice in anything that strong, was a BIG eye opener. Did several passes down the runway "pretending" to land and just flew it 20' off the ground down the length of the runway and went around. After 3rd or 4th pass, landed one (with some help). Not sure I could have done it alone, at least not yet. Learned a lot. Was humbled. Got some good practice in, and want a lot more.

    Going to do a 55m XC solo tomorrow am if weather looks good (forecast is for much lighter winds).
     
  18. Ronbonjovi

    Ronbonjovi Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Did forward slip to landing yesterday. Talk about a fun maneuver. I felt like I had the slips down but one area I still haven't gotten a great feel for is how much back pressure to apply during the round out. I can't seem to find a happy middle, either too much back pressure and end up with slight ballooning or not enough and need a little encouragement from my instructor. I had a couple "THERE IT IS!" comments on a few of my landings but need to make those the consistent norm. Going back up Friday and Saturday and will keep working on it. 11 hours total now.
     
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  19. jbrinker

    jbrinker Pre-takeoff checklist

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    @Ronbonjovi - Wait till you practice emergency descent from like 3000AGL - THAT was fun. Feel like a real dive bomber. I'm still having "fun" with forward slip to landing sometimes, practice makes perfect. Sounds like you are doing plenty of that. My landings in general all improved dramatically (muscle memory) around 20h.

    Today I did a 50nm XC from KSYR to KART and back. Filed the flight plan using my shiny new AOPA subscription, printed it all out, etc. Preflight, take off and ask departure for freq change to open the plan. Cant raise FSS on the radio. Climb. Try again. Still nothing. Back to departure and ask them to open it. They come back after a few and say they have no plan filed. Back to FSS again, switch to COM1 - now I get them, and sure enough no plan filed. So, new experience - file over the radio. Glad I had the printout, just read it to them and I'm good to go.

    Flight was uneventful. At KART one other plane was arriving same time, so since I could not get a visual on him, I differed until he was on base, then entered the pattern. Land, stop and go, and off back to KSYR. Trip back was super uneventful, engaged the wing leveler and ticked off my checkpoints.

    After landing, put the plane away and called FSS. They had already closed it as I was just outside of my 20min window and they have "found" me on approach at KSYR. I guess next time I will add 15min to my ETE for a cushion. Or file it in two parts (out, then back).

    Still wondering why my AOPA plan wasnt there, I have to look into that tonight. All in all a great day. Next nice day one more solo XC, then the big XC. (Was going to do the big one in Nov, but weather killed me all winter and now instructor wants me to do a couple shorter ones before the big one)
     
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  20. SixPapaCharlie

    SixPapaCharlie May the force be with you

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    I guess I am a student once again!
    Passed the IR written this morning.
     
  21. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    Congrats!
     
  22. Ben

    Ben Pre-Flight

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    Had a great hour over the weekend up here at KART of pattern work. I'm at about 6 hours dual now. Got five or six landings in on Saturday Morning. Biggest problem was controlling altitude on descent. I will take throttle in or out to go higher or lower, and I need to be quicker when I do that in order to control the pitch of the airplane. Also making sure to pull up on the yoke more when landing in order to land on the mains. I'll get the hang of it! For now, wish this horrible weather would go away.. can't catch a break up here with this Northern New York Weather. @jbrinker can relate I'm sure.
     
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  23. Ronbonjovi

    Ronbonjovi Pre-takeoff checklist

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    We've been having weather issues down south too this week with the big thunderstorms and nasty wind. I cancelled yesterday but am going up today at 5:30 and looking good as of right now.

    On a side note I am flying out (commercial) to Las Vegas this friday. I booked 1.5-2 hours of dual with Helios Aviation to fly a 172 over the Hoover Dam. I wanted to do the Canyon but didn't feel like paying for the 2.5-3 hour bill that came with it and talk about complex airspace for a student pilot. In hindsight I should have gotten on here and seen if any members were in the area that wouldn't mind taking me and a friend up, obviously with payment. I really am doing this for the experience flying in new areas and seeing some cool things rather than focusing on nailing elementary precision maneuvers.
     
  24. jsstevens

    jsstevens Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    I got checked out in the Archer this morning. Nice airplane. The controls feel more positive and direct that the C-172 and the ground handling (no bungees!) is very nice. I still have to remember to 1. Change tanks, 2. Use the electric fuel pump, 3. land flatter than the 172.

    But I'm now safe to fly the 2 Archers and the 172 so I can usually get an airplane.

    I talked to the instructor about continuing the IR and he's crazy busy right now, (as am I) so we are going to touch base later in the summer after I've got some practice in the Archer.

    John
     
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  25. abqtj

    abqtj Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Spring winds are hampering me right now.

    had a lesson scheduled yesterday for 11am. Winds all day and at lesson time it was 28knots gusting over 40. Did ground school work instead.

    Next lesson is Saturday at 8am. Shouldn't be TOO windy at that time of day...I hope.
     
  26. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yeah, flying an Archer around for a bit makes you wonder why you trained all that time in a Cessna, doesn't it?

    It's a much more pilot friendly airplane.

    Having said that, more than 80% of my time is in various Cessnas these days. The view of the ground is better, and it's a lot easier on the passengers to deal with two doors.
     
  27. jbrinker

    jbrinker Pre-takeoff checklist

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    @Ben - Yeah, I can sure relate. One decent day followed by a week of crud. Rinse, repeat... Wish I was done with PPL and working on my IR, I'd have tons of real IMC to practice in :-/

    Sunday looks to be nice here - planning on another XC Sunday AM to KSYR->KBGM and back. Once that is checked off, instructor will likely clear me for the "big XC" (yet to be planned but maybe KSYR->KBGM->KELM->KSYR). Hoping for another break of good clear weather for a solid 5 or 6 days to get that done and some night flight as well (Night dual XC). Then its practice/study/practice for the checkride.
     
  28. hockeyrcks9901

    hockeyrcks9901 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Did two flights since my last post. One was a very short solo flight to ensure that I crossed that magical 10 hours of solo time. Basically just went up and stayed in the pattern for a little practice. Did one go around because it just felt funny.

    0.3 hours for a total of 36.4


    Second flight was a "mock" check ride with my normal instructor. Primarily this was to ensure that my skills hadn't deteriorated and that he was comfortable sending me to the chief instructor for a real mock checkride.

    We did all the maneuvers and I'm glad we did because my emergency decent was terrible. Also got in 0.5 of simulated instrument which gets me very close to the needed number.

    1.1 hours for a total of 37.5

    Progress towards PPL:
    37.5 out of 40 hours total time
    27.4 out of 20 hours dual
    10.1 out of 10 hours solo
    4.5 out of 3 hours cross country training
    3.1 out of 3 hours night training
    Completed one night xc flight over 100nm
    10 out of 10 night takeoffs
    10 out of 10 night landings
    2.8 out of 3 hours simulated instrument flight
    1.7 out of 3 hours of instruction in the prior 3 months
    5.3 out of 5 hours of solo xc time
    Completed one long solo xc flight
    Completed 3 solo takeoffs at a towered airport
    Completed 3 solo landings at a towered airport


    I have my real mock checkride including a full oral practice scheduled for 4/22. That will give me a little time to do some more studying because I know I've let some of my knowledge lapse and next weekend is too busy for me anyways to block out that much of my day. Will need to work on scheduling the DPE as well.

    Looks like I will be very close to the 40 hour mark to take the test and may have to get some of the time on the flight to KLAL.
     
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  29. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    First recurrent training at the airline complete. Very enjoyable experience.
     
  30. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    Uh oh. You're still up there? Should we send a rescue party? :)
     
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  31. jbrinker

    jbrinker Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Sunday was beautiful here - saw it coming and scheduled with my instructor ahead of time for a solo XC Sunday AM. Planned it out Saturday evening, and flew KSYR->KBGM->KSYR Sunday morning. Great fight, no problems other than once again not being able to contact FSS over the radio. Departure told me (when I requested they open for me) that FSS could hear me but I not them. Not sure what's going on, I swapped radios and tried both on 122.2, going to have to talk to instructor about this next time. Now have 3hrs solo XC, going for the "big XC" next nice day, have it all planned out. Hoping to do it on a weekend and meet my (out of town) family for lunch at one of the destinations. Instructor has several other destinations for solo XC he wants me to fly as well - because the examiner around here is based in Rome, NY and the destinations he will be choosing for the check ride and diversion will be out that way. Still need my night flight hours too.
     
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  32. abqtj

    abqtj Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I had a nice lesson Saturday AM as well. Weather was good and the winds weren't expected to pick up until later in the day, so my 8am lesson time was perfect.

    Got to the flight school and they were trying to figure out how a guy who had a discovery flight booked wasn't on the schedule. He was supposed to go the prior weekend and the wind sucked, so the rescheduled to Saturday. My lesson had 3 hours blocked out, so I told my CFI if he wanted to cut me a little short and just stay in the pattern at KABQ he could take the discovery flight guy up during my last hour. They were very appreciative of my offer, of course. How could I not offer it though? The guy had his ~9yr old son going up too, I'd hate for him to miss out two weeks in a row.

    Anyway, we stayed in the pattern, sort of. First circuit we got extended a long way out, then turned to a different runway. Then on climb out they had me turn downwind to the original runway (8), instead of the one we just landed on (3). No biggie, handled it all real well I suppose.

    Only did 4 landings, but all were good and all virtually unassisted (minus verbal coaching throughout of course). Second landing came in shallow and low, ended up touching down flat and firm. Didn't like that one. The other 3 were pretty good and the last one was just about perfect.

    All in all a really good lesson. And my CFI even commented that I did the entire flight without him doing much at all, I even ran the radio the whole time from start to finish.

    Can't wait for this Saturday, hoping for another good weather day.

    The only bummer of the day was my CFI is leaving. I had a feeling, as our last time together he got a call that sounded like a job offer...it was. He's moving to the Phx area to join a flight school that is putting him on salary. Can't blame the guy for taking care of this family.
     
  33. jbrinker

    jbrinker Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Heading out today at 1pm for the "big solo XC". Will be KSYR->KBGM->7N1->KSYR. Weather is perfect, wish me luck! (I didn't have time to prepare costumes but I wish I had... oh well.)
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2017
  34. jbrinker

    jbrinker Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Completed the long XC solo today. Weather was clear and a million, 65F at ground level, and light changing winds. However, I realized soon after takeoff from KSYR headed south that I'm too used to flying on cloudy days or early mornings. I departed 1:45pm, and the thermals were crazy. My altitude was all over, up 200, down 100. Some of the thermals I hit were +1000'/min. Fun ride (not really) to KBGM. Landed there on 34, pretty uneventful. Stopped for a few, taxied back to 34 and headed to N71 (Painted post) via KELM.

    Super choppy all the way (Harris Hill near KELM is the "soaring capital of north America") with huge thermals again. Took a (planned) detour about 4 mi south and did turns around a point - my parents house :)

    Flew over to Painted post, which is a fairly small strip nestled in a valley. Totally blew my first approach to hell, way high. Rather than try to force it down, I just went around and got nice and set up the second time. No problem, stable approach, but... what the heck, this thing wont land. Flared and just keeps floating. Finally touched down about the half way mark, and managed to get stopped. Throttle was stuck at ~900rpm. Pushed it down hard, still 900. Throttled it up, brought it back, finally got it to idle. Was an interesting landing, I think the couple guys on the ramp working on some plane thought I was a total idiot.

    Did a run up again, checked for idle again, and departed for KSYR. Once up north of the big hills, things smoothed out (thank god) and I also flew higher at 5500, which helped. Uneventful arrival at KSYR. Total of 2.4 and qualifies for the big XC. Reported the throttle issue to instructor. (Noted that it seemed to do something similar on runup before I left but I just dismissed it after I got it to settle down)

    Now just night flight and night XC. Then practice like heck for the check ride.
     
  35. abqtj

    abqtj Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Had to scrub our flight today, unfortunately.

    Got a call early that my CFI was sick so they rescheduled me for a little later for the day. Got to the flight school, met my instructor and we went and did about an hour of ground, which was really helpful. Got some more knowledge that I needed.

    All set to go, went and pre-flighted the plane, everything good.

    Call clearance, get that set. Head out to where the tower can see us and call ground per instructions from clearance. Got taxi instructions and headed to go do run-up.

    During run-up, while doing flight controls free and correct...well they weren't! Left was fine, yoke back was fine, right was fine...push in and it wouldn't budge. At all.

    CFI tried it and nothing. It was bound up pretty good. He finally got it to work free but we headed back to the hanger so they could check it out.

    Turns out a bundle of wires came loose and dropped down on my side, blocking the yoke from moving forward. So I was done for the day. Bummer.

    But rather safe than sorry. While it sucks not getting to go up, it's always a good learning experience to have something happen that's relatively minor while on the ground with someone that knows what to do. AND there was zero pressure to try to "make it work" and go up.

    Always another day to fly in my mind.
     
    exncsurfer likes this.
  36. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    And a great lesson in always moving those controls through their *entire* range of movement during that check.

    People often skip it or wiggle the controls gingerly. No good. Run them all the way to the stops. Rudder included.

    Someone shared a mis-rigging story here a couple of years ago where the elevator and rudder would impinge on each other at full control deflection on a Cessna. Wouldn't be caught by most, and would only become a problem when you really needed full rudder in a landing.
     
    abqtj likes this.
  37. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Well I got my DME and ILS installed and flew up to Mesa yesterday to pick up my friend and CFII who flies right seat for Boutique Airlines. He lives up there now and just got a covered parking spot for his Arrow at Falcon Field. The point of the flight was for me to fly him back to Tucson so he could fly his plane back to it's new home. I didn't know he was on his way back from Silver City when I was flying up to Phoenix until I checked in with Albuquerque Center and heard "hi Tim" on the radio. It was him from Boutique Flight 641 and I didn't put two and two together until I heard Albuquerque tell them to change frequencies. Anyway, he drove over from PHX airport to Falcon Field and was still in his uniform with no change of clothes. It was a little weird flying back to Tucson with a "real" first officer in the right seat. Anyway I flew my first full blown ILS in MY airplane. Talk about workload increase! It wasn't perfect but it was fun and my new instruments worked perfectly. I love the single red dot in the center of the VAL INS which tells me I'm on course and glidepath. Much more of this type of training to come plus my written.
     
    denverpilot and NealRomeoGolf like this.
  38. jbrinker

    jbrinker Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Did the night XC last night, first time I've flown at night. KSYR->KART and back. YesterDAY was low clouds and 50F/miserable all day, but as forecast it all cleared out about 6pm, a nice high pressure system pulled in. As the sun set we got ready and it was a beautiful flight. Smooth as glass, so pretty to watch all the lights (I know, I've seen this 100 times from an airliner, but it's different looking out the front!). Navigation was easier than I thought it would be - "human" landmarks are quite visible (cities, towers, roads). Lakes and so on are OK, if you can spot them. But I did have one thought half way there - man, I would not want an engine out on a dark night. Very hard to spot a good field, and even harder to try and land in one.

    After take off I shut off my GPS/Tablet - I wanted to go old school and it was distracting. So visual landmarks and tracking the KART VOR. Once we were about 30 miles out, I could spot the rotating beacon. Really really cool to be about 5 miles out and key the mic 5 times, and BAM a whole airport lights up. Once in the pattern, I have to say it requires a LOT of focus - there is not much to keep you oriented other than the compass/DG. First time, I joined downwind for 25, and before I was mid field, I had apparently turned and was lining up for 28. Instructor let me screw and when I tried to turn base I realized my mistake. Flew around and joined base for 25 and kept my eyes on the field and DG tight after that.

    First night landing was surreal. KART has only runway side and end lights, so it looks exactly like you are descending into a giant lit black doorway to hell :) Can NOT see any hint of a surface until you are at flare height. First one I did a bunny hop. # 2 and 3 were greasers though. I think I would do better to fly the glideslope (but instructor insists that staying high is far safer in a small plane - especially at night, so learn how to do it that way. Which I can see the point of - engine out on final when on the glideslope in a small draggy plane = in the trees in the dark).

    Flight back to KSYR was nice too, landing there at night 100% opposite of KART, so many lights that you can hardly find the airport. Once found it was easier to land as they have lights in the pavement etc. Also MUCH easier to spot traffic at night, we were #3 behind two small jets and it was a snap to locate them. During the day I bet I would not have found them at all. Taxiing at night - not so easy 1st time - I missed a turn and had to circle back - not like a car, that little landing light does almost nothing. Gotta watch the signs carefully.

    All in all a great fun experience. Can't wait to do more. 1.7h and 4 landings checked off.
     
  39. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    One of these days I'm going to fly my little plane all the way up to KART. I land there every year via American Airlines the week before Thanksgiving as that's where my deer hunting buddies live. And although I know you're in a school's airplane and don't have a choice in lighting, I've installed an Alphabeam landing light in my plane. BIG difference from the incandescent that it replaced.
     
  40. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Mark
    Blue Ridge Sport Flight sounds like a blast, looks like a great instructor, getcha a TW endorsement while there, and comfy lodging. Good luck!