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

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

  1. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Congrats Bryan, but you know Cajun gonna beat your score. ;):D
     
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  2. jbrinker

    jbrinker Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Yeah, if/when I buy a plane it's going to have the biggest brightest landing light I can get for it. That little thing single incandescent light sucks.
     
  3. abqtj

    abqtj Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Winds were pretty stiff for my lesson Friday. New CFI after my old one left the school, so this was kind of a feeling out flight so he could assess where I was.

    Ended up being not a great day for me. Took off fine, handled the crosswind ok although no comfortable.

    Climb out was rough, getting buffeted all over the place. Plus thermals pushing us up and then letting go, so my rate of climb was all over the place.

    Did some maneuvers in the practice area without too much trouble, then headed west to another airport. Part way there the conditions were getting worse for me so we called it a day.

    CFI landed with my mirroring on the controls a bit. He did a great job with a 90 degree crosswind. Winds were something like 14 gusting to 21 at landing if I recall. But they were directly 90 degrees off our left. As we landed we heard the tower switching people to another runway more suited for that wind.

    I've got to get more seat time in to get comfortable in the wind. I know it takes time, but it's demoralizing right now. So far, I pretty much HATE our spring winds here in the desert :)

    Also, I couldn't get my next lesson set up until May 11th due to scheduling (and I'm out of town the 3rd-10th). So now I'm sidelined for a while.
     
  4. hockeyrcks9901

    hockeyrcks9901 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I had a pretty extensive practice oral with the chief instructor at my school and found it very beneficial but the ceilings were low and the forecast didn't call for them to get any lower (3,500ft agl). I told him I would be cancelling the flight portion and he agreed. During the mock oral I learned a lot of useful items and overall the instructor was quite pleased with my knowledge and said that he thought I could pass the oral with the DPE no problem.

    I do have a question for some of the more experienced CFIs, if there are any reading this thread: He told me that the DPE in the area that they use looks at flight time, not hobbs time, for the solo cross country requirements. That means that my 5.2 hours of solo xc aren't enough for her and she would deduct some time from each solo xc flight I've had which essentially requires me to do another solo xc.

    I'm not opposed to additional training but it seems like that's not the correct interpretation of the FARs and I would rather spend that same money on a more "useful" flight (like a trip with my wife) than making a DPE interpretation of a regulation satisfactorily.

    Any thoughts?
     
  5. abqtj

    abqtj Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I'm no CFI by any means but that sounds like a bad interpretation to me. Would this same DPE not accept someone with just over the 40 hours using the same logic?


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
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  6. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    One of my instructors had me do a couple landings with no light (the moon was up) way back in the day. His reasoning, "One of them will burn out on you someday." Of course this is why I have LEDs on my airplane now. Haha.

    There's also the night I was doing a few laps at an uncontrolled airport in the middle of nowhere and the pilot controlled lighting timer clicked off on the third lap in the flare... that'll get you to never forget to reset the PCL, ever again...

    If the local CFIs are saying she won't accept it, that's your "experienced instructor" talking, right there. DPEs are human and all have a pet peeve or two, even if they're not supposed to.

    We could debate her silliness here online with the fact that everything from startup to shutdown "with the intent to fly" is loggable, and even show her the FAR, but that's not going to win the battle.

    You're going to fly another couple of hours anyway after the checkride and probably hundreds more, so one more hour or two pre-checkride becomes lost in meaninglessness.

    Once the logbook says you have hundreds you won't mind that extra two at all.

    That's the opinion of a low experience instructor anyway.

    I know one instructor who'd fight that one pretty hard. And I'd certainly stick up for a student if an unknown to me DPE pulled that crap during their checkride, too.

    But it sounds like the locals have decided to pick and choose their battles with her, and decided that this one ain't worth it. Maybe they even watched someone battle it already, and found there's a second person at the FSDO behind her who inaccurately backed it up.

    I'd just go fly it and not worry about it if I were you. It's solo so you're paying for a flight just like you would the day after the checkride. Nothing really changes.

    Back when I was a young pup, I'd purposely fly to an airport that just happened to be exactly 51nm away to log X/C time if I needed a lunch run. That's definitely not the intent of X/C time, but surely you have a similarly close airport?

    Like it or not, some DPEs have pet peeves, and those turn into annoying "teach to the DPE" vs "teach to the standard" problems that shouldn't happen, but they do.
     
  7. hockeyrcks9901

    hockeyrcks9901 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Fully agree with not fighting it. I just wasn't sure if it was common. I don't mind the actual flight, but like anything else I would rather spend the money on something useful like a lunch run with wife.

    We have 3-4 airports in that 51-55 nm range so it's not a problem.
     
  8. exncsurfer

    exncsurfer Pattern Altitude

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    If the CFI's all knew this, I wonder why they didn't suggest you fly a longer long xc.
     
  9. hockeyrcks9901

    hockeyrcks9901 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I don't think my CFI had used this DPE before. It was the chief CFI that knew about this. My CFI has moved on to Piedmont right as I was getting prepped for the checkride. I knew that would happen as well.
     
  10. jbrinker

    jbrinker Pre-takeoff checklist

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    That's a bunch of BS, but what are you gonna do? I agree you shouldn't HAVE to do another XC, but I plan to do at least one extra anyway even though I've already met the requirements. Some of the most difficult part of the check ride from what I've read/been told can be the XC and diversion. I plan to practice this (solo) myself. I may even flip a coin to see which airport/direction I have to divert and see how I do. Just make sure you go 50+nm and you are good, grab lunch, and go home. Like denverpilot said, this time will all be "in the noise" by the time you are really going places.
     
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  11. jbrinker

    jbrinker Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Yeah, I plan to have one bright ass light on my plane, LED all the way (CRAZY prices on these things though, $300!!!). And - we did practice one without the light on. Super freaky. Plan to go do more night as soon as I can get time and a good night. Heading out tomorrow afternoon to do more solo maneuvers work.

    Been reading the ASA ACS checkride guide, the ACS itself, and read about 75% of the AIM last night. Problem is, by the time I get time to study at night, I'm freaking tired. I need to take a day off and just read, take notes, and formulate all the "answers" I want for the ACS itself. My wife and kids don't understand why I have to study so much, but honestly the amount of knowledge you need for the PPL (and being able to understand and APPLY it) is about equivalent to a semester+ of college - IMHO. I feel good about the knowledge I have already, and feel like a safe student pilot, but man reading the ACS and study guides really shows the holes in my knowledge.
     
  12. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    You'll get there. It's a ton of stuff, but unlike a lot of things one can study for various reasons, all of it gets applied and used for the most part, for the rest of your life. Which makes it easier to internalize, and lots less useless than many topics I've studied that went obsolete even as I was studying for the tests. ;-)

    If your wife has a sense of humor, tell her you have to study to meet the minimum standards for the lowest possible pilot certificate available, as determined by a government agency... for her safety ... when she rides as a passenger. LOL. :)

    Have fun up there. Weather looks like it'll suuuuuuck here this weekend.
     
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  13. M10a3

    M10a3 Filing Flight Plan

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    I have been a lurker for a while and this past Sunday I took my first flight in a tecnam p92. I love it and am getting my SPL. So I have 1 hour in the logbook and waiting to start online ground school this week. I have a second flight scheduled for Saturday weather permitting
     
  14. exncsurfer

    exncsurfer Pattern Altitude

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    Awesome, welcome to POA, keep us posted on your progress.
     
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  15. jbrinker

    jbrinker Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Welcome aboard!
     
  16. jbrinker

    jbrinker Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I had a solo practice session scheduled today, but winds were 14G20 at the practice airport, and I'm only signed off for 12kt or less. So instead I did a dual and got another 1.4 under the hood. That crosses that off the requirements list with 3.4 total. Now the only requirement I have left to meet is 2.3h dual night and 6 more night landings. Today under the hood was the first time I've ever had issues with spacial/motion. I didn't get motion sick, but I had a hell of a headache when done. At the end we flew a pattern under the hood, and he pulled the foggles off at about 200'AGL on final. I came in too low, added power, and then just didn't feel right so I went around. Very difficult to get fully reoriented after 1.4h staring at the gauges. I can see how this is a real skill that IFR pilots work hard at.
     
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  17. M10a3

    M10a3 Filing Flight Plan

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    Thanks!
     
  18. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I think you're forgetting to blink, or to drink. I've never had a problem with headaches and instrument flight, but I have with dehydration.

    You got disoriented because your instructor took you down to 200 AGL. You can't successfully fly an approach with your training, so that's pointless. There can be a moment of disorientation on entering or leaving clouds, but that's mostly because the edges aren't perfectly sharp.

    The point of hood time is to get you out of clouds that you just got in by accident or emergency. Shooting an approach to minimums with three hours of private pilot training is not possible and would result in a smoking hole next to the runway.
     
  19. jbrinker

    jbrinker Pre-takeoff checklist

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    You make a good point - I bet I was dehydrated. It was hot (85F), 100% sun, I was in jeans and a polo, and the Cherokee is "ventalationally challenged". I had a bottle of water with me (always do) but I didn't have time to even think about a drink while being directed under the hood.

    Additionally, I agree - I have no business shooting approaches, I think he just wanted to end the lesson on a challenge/look to the future. He did this last time I had an under the hood lesson, and I landed it fine (but again the disorientation/time to get reoriented is pretty crazy). I asked him to take me into real IMC sometime, on that day I want to practice nothing but "inadvertent flight into IMC" procedures and unusual attitudes recovery. Weather for VFR is going to suck here for the next few days so maybe I'll get my chance.
     
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  20. TheGolfPilot

    TheGolfPilot Line Up and Wait

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    My private instructor did ILS approaches with me a handful of times. I remember well because I was so bad at them anything past 1000 feet i couldn't keep the needle. But had I accidentally hit IMC as a fresh private pilot. A controller could have put me on an ILS intercept and I would have likely lived
     
  21. jsstevens

    jsstevens En-Route PoA Supporter

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    The instructor who did my primary also had me practice ILS approaches. Just the finding and following the needles. His rationale was if you get caught in bad haze this can save your life. Have I ever used it in anger? Nope. But I did have a flight one day where there was lots of smoke in the air from a wild fire east of Orlando. I was flying back from the LSA Expo in Sebring and visibility was decent VFR everywhere but when I looked east toward Orlando. Probably dropped to 3-4 miles. Still VFR legal, but with the sun where it was I couldn't see the airport. I didn't use the ILS but I did use a number of landmarks and was just about exactly 3 miles out when I could begin to make out the runway. So, maybe. Although if it had been any worse viz I'd have gone somewhere else (which would have been fine).
     
  22. jbrinker

    jbrinker Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Beautiful day today (until this afternoon anyway). Can't fly, must work. Life Sucks.
     
  23. EricFlight

    EricFlight Filing Flight Plan

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    I'm currently training for my Private at 14.2 hours in.

    Eric

    EricFlight Youtube Channel
     
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  24. Ronbonjovi

    Ronbonjovi Pre-Flight

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    Haven't made much progress from my last posts. Filled up my first page in my logbook and am at 16.2 hours. I have my solo endorsement but have yet to actually solo. My last 4 flights have been strictly pattern work and have been on days with 7-15 kt 60-90* crosswinds so it has been pretty challenging. I usually fly around 4-6 after work each day and the thermals have been pretty severe. 2 flights ago I did 11 crosswind landings and stepped out of the plane looking like I ran a marathon... talk about a work out. I was getting a little discouraged with not seeing a lot of progress in myself the last few flights and thinking about when I am I actually going to solo but keep reminding myself it has been pretty crappy weather and just need to find a smooth day where my CFI and myself feel comfortable. 3 more weeks of school and then this teacher will be on the grind over the summer. I'm looking forward to actually being able to get some early morning flights.
     
  25. NealRomeoGolf

    NealRomeoGolf Line Up and Wait

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    This was me last year during my training. Just keep at it. Weather will break soon enough.
     
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  26. jbrinker

    jbrinker Pre-takeoff checklist

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    @Ronbonjovi If you get a stable air day, do some night flight (dual). It can be realllly smooth and fun.
     
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  27. onezuludelta

    onezuludelta Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Last flight: 1/15/16
    Current Status: Sitting in car waiting for CFI to taxi in from previous flight.

    This. ****. Is. Happening.
     
  28. jbrinker

    jbrinker Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Back in the air today, after what seemed like 10 days of low clouds, rain, wind and crap. Knocked the rust off, and practiced turns around a point, turns across a road, emergency descents, power out emergency landing, slip to land, and crosswind landings. (phew!). A couple hours well spent, I will have a lot to keep me busy solo practicing now. Have done all of these before but really wanted to ride with CFI to make sure I'm both using correct technique, and practicing to ACS standards.

    I asked CFI to demonstrate an agressive slip to land. So I flew a super high pattern (1200' agl on final) and handed him the controls (I kept lightly on to feel), he tossed it into a full side slip and brought it down like a rock, then reversed the slip about 100' AGL to re-center us over the runway, dropping it on like a leaf, all of this in a 7kt crosswind. Really opened my eyes and gave me something to strive for. I think a lot of us students get so wound up in the "gingerly control" stuff (afraid to make a mistake) that we don't realize what even a simple Cherokee is capable of. I want to explore the envelope a lot more (at altitude to start with..)

    (That recent thread about taking aerobatic training rings a bell...)
     
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  29. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    That sounds like a very good day of airmanship!

    Well done asking your CFI to show you that!

    Next time, have them watch and you try it! They'll keep you out of trouble.
     
  30. onezuludelta

    onezuludelta Pre-takeoff checklist

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    This, this, a thousand times this. I'm going to do a write-up of my flight soon but one of the biggest takeaways was I forgot just how GOOD CFIs are flying these damn planes. They make it seem so effortless, and know the limits and capabilities COLD.
     
  31. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Mmmmm maybe. Or we just don't wanna die when the student is 30 degrees banked in a crosswind 6' in the air. ;-)
     
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  32. jsstevens

    jsstevens En-Route PoA Supporter

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    My boss was learning to fly with the same instructor I was using for my IR. They were flying in a 1963 C-172C. My boss dove the plane at the runway when he should have been rounding out. The CFI broke the yoke pulling out of that one. (Made the club newsletter!) CFI's comment to me "Good thing I was wearing my brown pants."

    John
     
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  33. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    My favorite CFI "there I was" story so far is the guy who thought his well-along Commercial working on CFI candidate in the left seat could handle simulated engine failures properly in the twin. He couldn't. Student killed both engines in the pattern in the downwind. Haha.

    Wasn't my CFI but the guy jokes... "Who knew I'd get to dead stick land a TravelAir that day? Glides surprisingly well!" Hahah.
     
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  34. Rebel Lord

    Rebel Lord Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Student pilots...

    Look into the mirror, that's who you are.
    Now look down, that's where you stand.

    The more you know :thumbsup:
     
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  35. abqtj

    abqtj Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I think I've taken some steps backwards.

    Lesson yesterday was a stage check of sorts for my new CFI to assess where I stand. Went and did steep turns and I was all over the place. CFI demonstrated the correct way, then I did them again and did fine. I bet it's been 2+ months since I've done them, so maybe that was it, who knows.

    Then on to slow flight, not terrible, but not great. ATC had traffic converging on us at our altitude that wasn't talking to them, so we had to get out of the way. I was completely unsure of myself so I asked my CFI to take over. Guess I got overly nervous about 3 silent planes coming at us.

    Came back to the airport for a couple of touch and go's...landed two, but really flat. CFI demonstrated a good one for our final landing. It ended up being a little interesting since tower called a go-around for the MD-80 in front of us due to traffic on the runway. That put him behind us. We had to hustle off the runway for him to land. As we turned to clear the runway I looked back and he was maybe 100' off the runway at the time. It was nice to hear him thank us over the comms as we were exiting.

    Debrief time and was told by my CFI he was hoping I would need less instruction that I did. So the next lesson will be more review of flight maneuvers with instruction than just him trying to sit silent.
     
  36. exncsurfer

    exncsurfer Pattern Altitude

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    Had it been a while since you flew at all? Maybe just a combo of rust and nerves if it was a new CFI you've never flown with.
     
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  37. abqtj

    abqtj Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Probably that.

    I had a flight on 4/24, my first with new CFI. Windy day and only did about 50% of what we wanted due to it. Flight prior to that was scrubbed due to mechanical issues found during pre-flight (controls NOT free and correct :) ). The 2-3 flights before that, my previous CFI was doing pattern work with me.

    No flights between 4/24 and 5/17 due to scheduling and me out of town for work/vacation a week of that time frame.

    So yeah, definitely very rusty on maneuvers. Plus getting used to the new CFI.
     
  38. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Happens. You'll knock it out in very little time. Relax and focus and you'll wonder why the "bad flight" even happened.
     
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  39. Hippike

    Hippike Filing Flight Plan

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    Hello all from sunny Cali,
    I started training last June (life long dream is on its way to becoming true) and as recently as last weekend we did a x-country KSMO - L35. We have one more x-county before I solo x-country. My CFI said I should solo now, but I want to do one more together before I sum up all the courage, let go of his hand and go out there alone. I love solos! When my CFI was out of town I did 9 hours but only in the familiar neighborhood and in the pattern. Going out alone for that far (50nm) is scary.
     
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  40. jbrinker

    jbrinker Pre-takeoff checklist

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    @Hippike Keep at it - the long XC was the most fun I've had yet (well, the night XC was also a blast). It's amazing how things that used to scare the pants off you start to become more normal as we progress.

    For me - spent another 2h today in beautiful weather practicing up for the check ride. Steep turns, emergency descent to land, engine out emergency landings, soft field TO/Ldg, short field TO/Ldg, slip to land. Realized that I need to practice emergency "field selection" a lot more. Set up to land on two fields that were way to small and/or unsuitable once I was on final. Decided I will spend next lesson doing low level work (turns around a point, S turns, etc) and in the process select fields for emergencies and "have a few". I think from a lower level I will get a better feel for what are good and bad fields, and then transition to higher AGL and see if I improve my selection criteria. Mostly I need to be able to judge the size and key position better.

    Knowing how far you can glide is also key - from 2000-2500 AGL there is quite a bit of distance you can go if a better field exists.

    Practicing the slip to land and getting much better at it today is also going to help a lot. Now I feel like I can more accurately put it down where I want it as long as I'm +- 500' altitude from where I need to be on final.

    Frankly, I think that combination - emergency procedures/field selection/slip to land is probably the most important single thing to practice (for safety long term) and one that I have not done much of at all before this week.
     
    exncsurfer and denverpilot like this.