Tales of a Rusty Pilot

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by Rooney Freimund, Jul 6, 2018.

  1. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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    25 years off for me, soloed again last October, after 20 + hours instruction, a few of those waiting for medial. I'm about half way through my instrument training now, go for it! and congrats on being current.
     
  2. BrianNC

    BrianNC En-Route

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    I was off for 11 years and have flown about 40 hours since mid-March. Nothing helps your confidence more than just flying...a lot.
     
  3. Don D. Gorin Jr

    Don D. Gorin Jr Filing Flight Plan

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    I am going through the same thing. I have my Medical scheduled, and I haven't flown in 20 yrs. Good Luck
     
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  4. Rooney Freimund

    Rooney Freimund Pre-Flight

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    Congratulations! Thank you for sharing and enjoy.
     
  5. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down

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    Those are all VERY cool stories. Welcome back y’all!
     
  6. Oblivion

    Oblivion Pre-takeoff checklist

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    @Rooney Freimund I'd read this thread when I first joined POA, between getting bit by the bug again and waiting to get my medical straightened out. I appreciated having your POV/reminder that the Flight Review - especially after (11 in my case) years off - is not a race. Once I got flying again, I had no expectations on how long it would take and was happily surprised when the sign-off came before the 'one hour per year.' I'd have no problem flying with a CFI more if I had any doubts - again because this thread helped to galvanize that mindset. Though signed off, I'm still going to do some more solo time before I get back to taking pax, just to be sure.

    Good luck!

    BTW, RYV was the destination on my practice and 'short' solo XC in training (from C81). I also have a buddy who rents there. Always nice to 'meet' 'locals.' That shoreline flight you have planned is a good one - especially with fall colors coming up. Did that with my wife before our first was born - had a good lunch somewhere around MTW. One of my bucket-list trips is to fly my kid(s) up to Washington Island then go camp on Rock Island.

    Blue skies!!!
     
  7. Rooney Freimund

    Rooney Freimund Pre-Flight

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    Thank you for sharing! Washington Island would be fun! I have racked up 7.8 hrs over about 6 flights so far and my CFI thinks it will be only a couple of more flights to get my confidence up to where it should be. Matching up his and my availability (aside from the area wx this past weekend) is the limiting factor. On Labor Day, ceiling was at 600', so I brought my family to go check out 02E. Jason, CFI, was very accommodating and answered all of my family's questions. They are very excited to go! Here's a picture of my boys and him "hanger flying":
     

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  8. Oblivion

    Oblivion Pre-takeoff checklist

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    That right there ^^^ is awesome. My girls have been similarly stoked every time I've gotten them out to the airport(s). Sounds like you've got a really good CFI to work with and I'm sure you guys will be in agreement on your readiness soon. Totally hear you on the wx - it's been rough. I believe there's a pancake breakfast up at RYV this weekend? I can't make it, but I hope the weather holds out.
     
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  9. Rooney Freimund

    Rooney Freimund Pre-Flight

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    Here is the update: On Saturday, 9/15, Jason and I agreed that I was safe and competent to be signed off on my Flight Review. It took me a total of nine flight hours and countless book and YouTube hours to shake off about 20 years of rust. I have since gone up solo to work on smooth landings, but it feels great to be flying again. If you are on the fence about getting back your skills, I am here to tell you that it can be done! More practice is in my future, but each flight builds on the last. Thank you to my wife, my instructor, and POA members for all of the encouragement! Fly safely!
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2018
  10. Donald Strout

    Donald Strout Filing Flight Plan

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    Congratulations! I just finished my Flight Review and Tail Wheel Endorsement--took me 20 hours of dual after 36 years not flying. The Flight Review part (using Wings Program) was quite fun and not too hard. Mastering the rudder controls for the tail wheel (in a varying crosswind) doing both wheel and three point landings on narrow paved runways was the most challenging. More difference between a tri-gear and tail wheel than I ever imagined.
     
  11. alfadog

    alfadog Final Approach

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    I came back to flying in 2010 after 34 years off! Had 75 hours in the logbook. I quickly realized that I was never a particularly good pilot when I quit. I was fine for 75 hours but that was about it. I jumped right into my IR after an 8.5 hour refresher and a bit of solo xc. I soon realized that my stick and rudder skills were far from up-to-par and I took a year off to rack up 100 hours in a 1946 Luscombe 8A. Made a world of difference!
     
  12. PlasticCigar

    PlasticCigar Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I took about 15 years off. Flew for 2 hours with a CFI and he signed me off. I actually asked him if he was joking, but he said “no, you did great.” I found a different CFI and got about 15 hours of dual, then finally felt comfortable enough to fly on my own. It took another 150 hours before I felt like I was back to where I had been before I stopped flying. Take your time...especially if you’re going to be flying your family around.
     
  13. alfadog

    alfadog Final Approach

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    I went through that process a number of times. Perhaps some folks mistake the fact that you are mature and confident for being a competent pilot. I kinda hate when they do that and blew off what was probably a good flight instructor last Dec. when he told me that I "could pass the IR checkride right now" when I knew that was not the case.
     
  14. Arbiter419

    Arbiter419 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Glad to hear it!
     
  15. Mr.T

    Mr.T Pre-Flight

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    Guess I'll check in...

    Back to flying after about a 13 year break. Had about 340 hours total time including an instrument rating when I quit. I've logged about 25 hours in the last 3 months but don't feel anywhere near as confident as I (think) I felt when I quit flying.

    The BFR process was perhaps easier/faster than it should have been - flew with a CFI for about 2.5 hours and he was ready to sign me off. I've since flown about 6 or 7 more hours with a couple of CFIs and taken several fairly short cross country flights.

    But I still get nervous when planning to take my wife flying with me (though nerves disappear as soon as the engine starts), so I guess I still need to spend some more solo time to get my mojo back. Maybe it's the Older and Wiser me that is aware of the risk of flying more than the Younger and Dumber me was...
     
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  16. Rooney Freimund

    Rooney Freimund Pre-Flight

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    Thank you for sharing. I am glad that you continued dual instruction. I have continued to fly solo for awhile and took my best friend up last weekend. I still have not taken the wife and kids yet, but I am close...
     
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  17. Oblivion

    Oblivion Pre-takeoff checklist

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    My 'return story' is already up-thread, but I just wanted to add that oddly, what has made me most anxious has been staying oriented and remembering all the old landmarks I used to know cold. Procedures, crosswind landings, etc., no problem, but I've feel a little unsure/not-yet-lost a couple times. It might not help that my base airport moved a bit, but that's a minimal factor. I was fairly nervous about flying around/under the ORD Bravo this past weekend, but the FLYING felt great. I was even comfortable taking my kid and a friend. Just kept triple-checking my altitude (and altimeter setting) while under the shelves. I hope my comfort is not a false sense of security - and it's certainly not intended as bragging We're all different. Huzzah to the rusty pilots!
     
  18. Rooney Freimund

    Rooney Freimund Pre-Flight

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    Thank you for sharing. You were wise to continue with your dual. I have gone from a kind of fear in hour one of my comeback (wondering if I should even return to flying) to a hunger for more. I know that I get better with each flight and I am having fun at trying to become a better pilot. All the while, having a healthy respect for the activity and keeping my wits about me... Happy flying!!!
     
  19. alfadog

    alfadog Final Approach

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    If you fly near a Bravo, you might want to do what I did when I started flying again in 2010 after 34 years off. Obviously, a lot had changed regarding airspace. I called the Bravo TRACON and spoke to a controller. I asked him how they would like me to interact with them and the airspace. He gave me the skinny; don't crowd the bottom of the shelf (stay at least 500' below it), etc and, as a bonus, gave me the "secret" words to ask for an unpublished transition.

     
  20. Rooney Freimund

    Rooney Freimund Pre-Flight

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    That is very interesting to me. Do you use the free FltPlan Go app? It is great for situational awareness. I still use a sectional on my kneeboard, but I will look at the phone every 10 minutes or so... As you know, Wisconsin farmland is much different than Bravo, but the free tracking feature is a great tool in the toolbox! Happy Flying!!!
     
  21. Rooney Freimund

    Rooney Freimund Pre-Flight

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    Ok, I'll bite: what are the "secret words"?!???
     
  22. alfadog

    alfadog Final Approach

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    It only applies to KMIA.

     
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  23. alfadog

    alfadog Final Approach

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  24. Rooney Freimund

    Rooney Freimund Pre-Flight

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  25. Oblivion

    Oblivion Pre-takeoff checklist

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    When I finished my Review, I had either Avare or FltPlan Go running on a spare phone. Our planes have GTX 345s, so I had GPS + ADS-B goodies via BlueTooth. And I'd gotten familiar with the software with X-Plane on the ground suite a bit. After I ditched the CFI, I flew a little bit referring back and forth between the paper TAC and the phone. At one point, the app crashed, and that was uncool. Still, a good tool when it works.

    Between then and flying this past weekend, I got an iPad (Mini 4) and had been trialing ForeFlight, again with X-Plane. I took it up on Sunday and it worked really well. Just a bit more polish and intuitively laid out. So after the flight I sprung for a year's subscription. That said, I also had Avare running on that spare phone AND had my paper charts nearby. One feature that has a minor bug in ForeFlight's dynamic map is how it draws the Bravo - I can share screenshots later - but it can be a little confusing. At one point, just for peace of mind, I referred back to the paper to verify I was understanding what I was seeing. I'll continue to carry current paper until I'm more practiced in the app(s) - and maybe even beyond that.

    The one time I was really kind of freaked out was flying over my old childhood neighborhood - it's just west of 06C. The Bravo floor above 06C is 1,900', but where I was is 3,000'. It was a little disconcerting being so near 06C (which I've flown into before, you feel REALLY low going in there), at what felt much too high (around 2,400'). It was legal, but it sure didn't feel right.

    I got a lot more comfortable when we pressed west , then north and checked out some corn mazes. :D
     
  26. alfadog

    alfadog Final Approach

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    Awesome! You have me beat. I thought I held the record here at some 34 years off :) I took it up again in 2010 at 57 years old. 65 now and still going strong, just finished my IR and am doing my CPL in a rented Cirrus.
     
  27. texasclouds

    texasclouds Cleared for Takeoff

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    Get back on the horse. You'll get the hang of it in no time.
     
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  28. Stephen Shore

    Stephen Shore Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Congratulations to every "rusted" pilot on this thread. 35 years of rust for me. I got my PPL at 17 and did not fly again from 1982 until August 2017. Had 200 hours when I stopped.

    Fast forward to August 2017 - 54 years old and found a great CFI to get me ready for a Flight Review. Got past that and then immediately started my IR. Got that and bought an airplane and then another one! I am flying every week (business related) and am enjoying the heck out of flying again.

    I am very proud to be in this "Rusty Pilots" club with all of you!
     
  29. Rooney Freimund

    Rooney Freimund Pre-Flight

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    10B4C2B8-D00A-4617-89C2-7AB57FF301EB.jpeg 18094835-FF56-4443-B5B1-822D5DFB4A21.jpeg Took my sons for their first ride today. Kace is 10 and Grant is 7...
     
  30. BrianNC

    BrianNC En-Route

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  31. benyflyguy

    benyflyguy En-Route

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  32. 06Vanden Plas

    06Vanden Plas Filing Flight Plan

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    I rusted for 30 years. Just got a special issuance medical and will book a “first” flight for my 70th birthday in September 2019. After that, an AOPA rusty pilot seminar in early November, then a slow and steady series of dual flights to get re-acclimated, learn the new technology, relearn radios and have some extra time getting refreshed about the DC area airspace. I have, however, gotten the sign off on the SFAR online training. I’m looking forward to this journey.
     
  33. CharlieD3

    CharlieD3 Line Up and Wait

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    As soon as I get my medical sorted, I'll be shaking off the rust, too.

    It's really great that there are a few of us around, making ourselves young again.

    There's a lot of change and a lot of relearning to do.. But the freedom of the air, well.... Nothing beats it!
     
  34. Rooney Freimund

    Rooney Freimund Pre-Flight

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    Enjoy the journey and do not rush it. It is about relearning, new learning, and having fun!
     
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  35. Rooney Freimund

    Rooney Freimund Pre-Flight

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    Keep at it! If the medical stands in your way and Dr. Chien cannot help, LSA is still a great option!
     
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  36. Southpaw

    Southpaw Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I don't qualify as a Rusty Pilot , More of a truant student . My log books first entry was Dec 22 of 1970, second entry Jan 1 of 1971, 3rd entry Feb 22 of 72 , and last entry was Dec 22 of 1976 . 4 .1 hours total time. All in a Piper PA 28 140

    Monday the 26 of August 2019 I decided to get with the program . Now at age almost 79 I decided to getter done !
    My CFI is a younger fellow of 73 . He has over 6000 hours in a ag plane and most likely close to that in his C150.
    So after nearly 43 years the rust is peeling away or rather flaking off.
    Amazing how much retained information stuck in the old grey matter. Now have 2.4 additional hours dual time and going for 3 times a week weather permitting.

    I do have a 2400 ' runway here on the farm .

    Wife has visions of "Second Hand Lion " becoming a reality . ;)
     
  37. Rooney Freimund

    Rooney Freimund Pre-Flight

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    Good for you!!! Welcome back!
     
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  38. Scottman

    Scottman Pre-Flight

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    I'm about to shake the rust off as well. Have about 160 hours and my SE and ME rating, but haven't flown in 28 years. Considering a midlife career change and thinking I might still be able to chase my childhood dream of flying for the airlines. At 48, not sure the majors are a possibility, but hoping I can have a nice career at the regionals. Fingers crossed I "still have it" (as well as the brain capacity to learn all the new info).
     
  39. MuseChaser

    MuseChaser Cleared for Takeoff

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    A "Like" button is insufficient for this post. Where is the "Love" button?
     
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  40. Salty

    Salty Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    The smiles on their faces is all that matters. I’m sure you’re an inspiration to them.

    In my reading of your experience, I suspect you weren’t as awesome as you thought you were in your youth, and you’re old enough now to see your faults more clearly. I bet you’re actually a much better pilot now.