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

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

  1. CJ Rader

    CJ Rader Pre-takeoff checklist

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    9.3 hours as of today. Steep turns, stall practice and a pretty good landing according to my instructor. Progress check coming up and then on to landing practice/pattern work.

    Additionally - Spent my first half hour under the hood in a lovely pair of foggles. My instructor said I did really well. He also said that 'simulator guys' like me tend to do well in foggles because we're already used to staring at gauges on a computer screen. lol Then, he proceeded to have me make a couple of turns in opposite directions, had me take the glasses off and told me to find my way back to the airport.. Without GPS. I like this guy. :D
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2017
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  2. Bryant

    Bryant Filing Flight Plan

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    Thanks for the encouragement and congrats on the check ride! I am really excited to have some of the breakthroughs people keep telling me will come. So far, flying is like golf for me, I was better before I decide to learn how to actually do it. :)
     
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  3. Volitation

    Volitation Pre-Flight

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    I think your golf analogy is actually pretty good. My CFI kept pounding on me to stop over thinking everything and just make the plane do what I want it to do, just like when a golf pro tells me to stop thinking about positions, etc. and just make the ball go where I want it to go. Less thinking, better results, at least for me.
     
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  4. Ben

    Ben Pre-Flight

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    Looks like I will have to be switching flight schools prior to completion of my check ride. I am leaving in less than a month, and have not been endorsed for a checkride yet. The weather here has been beyond terrible. Luckily, I have a lot of time in January off.. I will use that time to get some good training in, go down to SC, learn how to use the g1000 in the plane (a 2007 c172sp compared to the current 1973 c172m I’ve been flying) available down there, and finish this thing! I’m just hoping I won’t have to jump through a bunch of hoops when switching instructors..
     
  5. Half Fast

    Half Fast Pattern Altitude

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    For me there was never any “breakthrough” like so many mention. No epiphany, no blinding light, no “Eureka!,” no ah-ha moment, no flash of satori. Just gradual improvement over time.

    Everyone learns a bit differently.
     
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  6. RomeoSierra

    RomeoSierra Filing Flight Plan

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    Hi,

    Student pilot here, logged about 13 hours so far on my PPL and loving it. Finding this site really useful in learning tips and hearing about some struggles people have been having and their tips at overcoming hurdles.

    Thanks everyone!
     
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  7. CJ Rader

    CJ Rader Pre-takeoff checklist

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    It's funny, the things you would think would be hurdles turn out not to be, and the things you think will be simple sometimes turn out to be more difficult than you initially anticipated. At least, that's been my experience. All part of the joy of aviation though. Welcome, and best of success to you.
     
  8. ACG

    ACG Pre-Flight

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    Congratulations on passing your checkride. Any recommendations for those getting ready to take theirs?
     
  9. Volitation

    Volitation Pre-Flight

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    Thank you! If you have any specific questions, I’ll be happy to try to answer, but here are my general thoughts-

    First of all, don’t worry about it as much as you probably are. Chances are that your CFI will make your last progress check harder than the actual check ride. For example, on my prog check, my CFI was throwing things at me as fast as possible, and I swear he gave me an unusual attitude that was 90 degrees sideways with the nose straight down.( Or at least it looked the way to me. Lol.) In the check rid the DPE was very relaxed, told me in general what was coming next, so I never felt rushed, and his UAs were not severe. There were no surprises or gotchas.

    I realize all examiners are different, but on the steep turns I dropped a hair too much altitude on one. I caught it and corrected, but it did drift just off standard. He said “close, but I can’t accept that. But, since you caught it, give me a good one and I’ll pass it.” The short field landing was maybe 10 feet short, too, but his only comment was to ask what could I have done to improve it. When I told him a touch of power, make it similar to a soft, he said ok, give me short takeoff and and a short landing.

    One thing I thought was interesting, at one point, he said “smoke in the cabin.” I asked fire or electric, and said he didn’t know, he was just a passenger. So I said, ok, slowed, got the flaps in, went into an emergency descent and then the simulated the master off and other memorized check list items. He said good, he’s seen people immediately kill the master and go to the checklist by rote, and then not have the flaps for the descent. I think the point is he wanted to know my thinking as much as he wanted to know if I knew the procedures.

    I had done well (98) on the written, and with weather delays, had extra time to review for the oral and was on top of it. After about 50 minutes, he said “I haven’t found anything you cant answer. There are few more things I have to cover, but let’s wrap this up and go fly.” (It may have helped that he had given an instrument check that morning, and by the time we met there was only about 3 1/2 hours of daylight left.)

    The main thing I suggest is to be on your game, but don’t sweat it. Just like the first solo, your CFI won’t sign you off unless you’re ready, even if you may not be sure. Once it starts, I don’t think you have to have to be perfect, just minimize, catch and correct your mistakes. Remember that he has to tell you if you bust something, so if you’re wondering and he hasn’t said anything, you’re still good and go on to the next!

    My impression is that if you’ve put in the work and and are prepared, they’re looking for reasons to pass you you, not reasons to fail you. You got this!
     
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  10. Half Fast

    Half Fast Pattern Altitude

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    Good advice above. My CFI was considerably tougher than my DPE, and I suspect that's usually the case. Your CFI needs to maintain a pass rate, not to mention a reputation, so he's motivated to sign you off only when he's quite sure you'll pass. Basically, once the CFI endorses you for the ride you've already passed the test and he's just asking the DPE to confirm it.

    One thing that I think helped me a bit was to describe what I was doing to the DPE through the ride. I don't mean the minutiae of the nuts & bolts of flying, but describe decisions you're making and your reasoning. Let the DPE know that you're thinking about what you're doing and using good judgment.

    For example, as we started the XC portion of my ride, once I had us on course and had started timing the first leg, I mentioned, "It looks like our winds aloft data was pretty good. I'm on the GPS track, our heading is only 2 degrees off the calculated heading, and there's our bridge (first checkpoint) about five miles ahead." I could have sat silently and just flown the plane, but speaking up a little bit let him know that I was using pilotage and ded reckoning and the GPS, comparing all three to each other and to the flight plan, and was paying attention to what I was doing rather than just mindlessly following the almighty Garmin.

    If you decide to alter course or altitude due to traffic, tell him what you're doing and why. Same thing if you make an adjustment to a landing pattern, like extending downwind for someone on final.

    Know the approximate direction to your alternates all along your course. When my examiner called my diversion, I started the turn immediately while mentioning, "Okay, that should be about a 20 degree heading from here." Then, once I had us on the approximate course, I worked the exact heading and fine tuned. Don't keep flying toward the simulated bad weather or nuclear holocaust or whatever; make a rough guess at the heading and get on it right away.

    Bottom line: give the DPE reason to be confident in your decision making.
     
  11. ACG

    ACG Pre-Flight

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    Thanks for the advice. I don't have any specific questions and I grasp what you are saying. Be confident and competent.
     
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  12. ACG

    ACG Pre-Flight

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    Thanks, good advice..
     
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  13. 2Airtime2

    2Airtime2 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    FINALLY, FINALLY, FINALLY passed my checkride today at 119 hrs (only 100 since solo :oops: ) - I got very busy with work but bought a plane early on so I flew a lot. An hr here and an hr there but didn't do a lot of work with my cfi except for the solo endorsement every 90 days. A few months ago I called him and said work has slowed down, I've been dragging this out too long, and I'm ready to do this by Christmas. He said "good thing, I'm not doing this much longer, I got a job with the airlines". So we got hot and heavy into checkride prep and I've been studying daily for the oral.

    My DPE covered a lot of material but I was well prepared and it went quickly. I talked out loud thru my maneuvers, pointed out gauges as I checked them periodically, and always did my gumps checks out loud. He mainly observed except when he told me what to do next. I think he is a very good DPE and we talked about a lot of different things which kept me calmer.

    :):cool::D
     
  14. Half Fast

    Half Fast Pattern Altitude

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    CONGRATS!!!!

    Well done!
     
  15. FormerHangie

    FormerHangie Pattern Altitude

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    Awesome! Now make a New Years resolution to use your airplane to go places, don't just fly locally. Even if you have nowhere to go, pick somewhere and just go.
     
  16. Volitation

    Volitation Pre-Flight

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    Congratulations! Feels good, doesn’t it? :p
     
  17. ACG

    ACG Pre-Flight

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    Way to go!!!! I hope to do it before too long.
     
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  18. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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  19. write-stuff

    write-stuff En-Route

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    If any of you are getting close to checkride time for Private Pilot, this is an opportunity you don't want to miss. Gold Seal will be live streaming a mock checkride oral exam on January 11 at 8pm eastern. Flight plan, weather charts, performance charts - all that stuff will be downloadable by the viewers so that they can follow along. Administering the exam will be AOPA's 2015 Flight Instructor of the Year, Todd Shellnutt. We'll be taking viewer questions at the beginning and end of the oral.

    You can watch on either:
    Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/FlyGoldSeal/)
    YouTube ()
    or Gold Seal's webpage (https://www.GoldSealGroundSchool.com/LIVE)

    Hope to see you there.
     
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  20. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I'll let students know at the local flight school Russ. Thanks, I'll try to watch too.
     
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  21. write-stuff

    write-stuff En-Route

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    Thanks much! Yes, please pass it around. We'd like to get a good crowd for this one. The applicant is a real student prepping for his real practical test so this should be pretty enlightening.
     
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  22. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    CFIs take turns at the local flight school with any students who want to come and do a practice oral. They had one last week and had around 8-10 students. Appreciate you doing this Russ.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2018
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  23. Ben

    Ben Pre-Flight

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    will definitely check that out, love gold seal
     
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  24. write-stuff

    write-stuff En-Route

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    Thanks much, Ben!
     
  25. Rory

    Rory Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I’m going sailing in the Caribbean next month and it’s really making me wonder about the time I’m spending on a private pilot certificate.

    On a sailboat, I spend maybe 10 minutes a day on the radio, mostly talking to the marina where we’ll spend the night.

    On a plane, at least around major cities, it seems that people spend half their time talking on the radio and the other half of their time doing what the radio tells them to do. Nothing against Air Traffic Controllers, but on a sailboat I can go anywhere I want, at whatever pace I want, while enjoying my shipmates.

    It’s a civilized way to spend time. Want to go snorkeling or diving? The water’s right there. Want a G&T? The galley is a few steps away.

    There’s a current thread here on flying from Florida to the Bahamas. I feel like saying, just charter a boat, hire a captain if you don’t know how to sail, chill out and enjoy. Plus it will be less expensive and you stand a pretty good chance of finding a good restaurant wherever you end up for the day, unless of course you decide to grill dinner on your boat.

    The more I get into the private pilot experience, the more I feel like I’m spending a lot of money to become the flying equivalent of an Uber driver.

    Gliders are starting to look very attractive.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2018
  26. MIFlyer

    MIFlyer Line Up and Wait

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    1.0 hours of IFR today. finished stage check for attitude instrument flying (first module) and did our first flight in the IFR system including DP, vectors, and an instrument approach.

    next unit will work on en route navigation and holds, but I've got a little cram course planned for next weekend to give me some extra hours and experience that will hopefully help accelerate me
     
  27. Skyrys62

    Skyrys62 Pattern Altitude

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    Nothing wrong with liking something more than something else....If sailing makes more sense to you, jump on it. You only got one life to live, so do what you love best.

    The charter captain probably feels somewhat like an Uber driver at times. Hell, he might be thinking he wished he was flying lol.

    To each of us our own... the way it should be...

    and Rory, I got to say, trying to decide between flying a plane to the Bahamas or sailing?
    That's a great problem to have :)
     
  28. Rory

    Rory Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Hi Skyries62,

    Yes, I’m interested in flying but I’m probably going to move from piston planes to gliders.

    I’m going to give the piston route another few weeks, but right now I’d just as soon be on a boat.

    Thanks for your comments.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2018
  29. Half Fast

    Half Fast Pattern Altitude

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    Where are you now in your training, Rory?
     
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  30. Rory

    Rory Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Hi Half Fast,

    Only a few hours, which is why I said that I’ll give it a bit more before I make a decision. I think that I need to try a glider before I make that decision.

    Cheers
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2018
  31. Half Fast

    Half Fast Pattern Altitude

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    Good idea. You really ought to get through a cross-country or two before you try making comparisons. Flying laps around the pattern and practicing maneuvers, while essential, won't give you a good idea of what personal flying is really like.
     
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  32. abqtj

    abqtj Pre-takeoff checklist

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    First flight lesson back since before the holidays, I think my last was around the 16th. Just went out to shake the rust off and had a good lesson. Did some maneuvers then a handful of landings, all went well.

    Got a radio call today I hadn't heard before though:

    ABQ Approach said "attention all aircraft. Caution for rocket activity 2 NM radius, on ABQ 359 radial, 18 mile DME fix, at and below flight level 210"

    Um say WHAT?!?! LOL
     
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  33. Skyrys62

    Skyrys62 Pattern Altitude

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    Those darn N. Koreans!
     
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  34. Hang 4

    Hang 4 Pre-Flight

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    1st Solo today, @ about 35 hours. Best landings so far since the only person who could see them was the controller in the tower :).
     
  35. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Congrats! I just picked up a student from another flight school w/ 38 hours who hasn't soloed yet. He did ok in windy conditions yesterday, landings need work but I think he can get there.
     
  36. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    I have a friend in that hobby. High powered rockets are way cool.

    Talk about a way to **** away more money than non-ballistic Aviation, though. Wow. You can literally watch $10,000 explode, for your weekend’s fun.

    Like, actually explode.

    It’s also pretty expensive when they lawn dart from the Flight Levels. Oopsies.
     
  37. IFR Simulator

    IFR Simulator Filing Flight Plan

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    I got about 100 hours total
     
  38. jsstevens

    jsstevens En-Route

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    I am frustrated. Last 3 IR lessons all canceled. 2 for weather (overcast pushing lowest legal approach into home plate) and today the plane wouldn’t start. At least it wasn’t me. Next lesson’s instructor couldn’t start it either.

    My goal was to knock this out before my written expires in Feb but the instructor told me today that I’d better prepare to take it again. :(:mad:

    On the plus side we blew through 6-8 ground lessons worth of material in an hour and apart from which direction turns are standard in a hold (right) and how early do I need to get my 172 below 200 knots for a hold below 6000’ (3 minutes but frankly it’s never been an issue) I remembered everything.

    John
     
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  39. Ronbonjovi

    Ronbonjovi Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Finally got back into the skies. Between taking months off while I coached, then waiting for over a month while our 152 was down for mx, and having a few flights cancelled due to weather, it has been 4 months since I last flew. Me and my instructor went up and practiced some maneuvers. Did steep turns within spec. Did a simulated engine out that I could have picked a better field for but we would have survived (I think). Went and practiced short field landings at another local non towered airport. Go around on the first one, was going to overshoot my spot. Then did pretty well on the last 3. Overall myself and my instructor were very pleased with my flying with not having been in the plane in 4 months. 38.3 total time and night xcountry scheduled for Friday.
     
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  40. ACG

    ACG Pre-Flight

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    Good luck on getting back into the sky. I haven't flown since December 6 because of holiday traveling and weather and the flight school being booked. I was on the schedule last Monday-Tuesday and Wednesday and all three days were cancelled due to weather. I am very close to taking my checkride but it seems to be slipping away every day I can't make progress.