time to solo

Discussion in 'Lessons Learned' started by Solo time, Apr 18, 2017.

  1. Tantalum

    Tantalum Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2017
    Messages:
    1,491
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    San_Diego_Pilot
    How often are you flying? Back when I was training if I wasn't flying every 2-3 times per week at least I found my performance dramatically eroded to the point where I wouldn't be making new progress

    I agree with James here. Even if not to "switch" it might not be a bad idea to go with a 1 or 2 different CFIs to gauge their performance. Being careful and not letting your students get into trouble is good. But I had a CFI who was unfortunately just "not good" - didn't learn much in the way of techniques and skill and it seemed like he was too nervous to really be CFI'ing. Had I had him my whole I probably would have never gotten my license!

    I switched to an older fellow with good experience, learned a ton and wrapped up my license. Incidentally I had a total of 3 CFIs. First one was good but left to go work for Delta. Second one was honestly terrible (one I mentioned above). Third was the best, CFI'ing was his hobby, not his job, and he loved it <- and he was the best
     
  2. mtnflyr

    mtnflyr Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2017
    Messages:
    79
    Location:
    Minden Nv KMEV
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    mtnflyr
    dont worry about the hours. you cant control how fast you will learn or get to solo. all you can control is how often you fly. which doesnt seem like enough..you should try to fly 8 times a month or more. when i started i was flying 3 times a week most of the time. but dont get burned out..you can also learn to much and not retain information. i know weather gets in the way but thats when you study..

    if you havent taken your written go do it..start checking things off so you feel like your accomplishing things.

    what other issues are you having??

    dont forget to breath!!
     
    Tantalum likes this.
  3. solo time

    solo time Guest

    Thanks all for the words of encouragement, much apprecaited. I will keep plugging in and try to incorporate all the recommendations i got from this thread. i know its matter of time, just wish i was in a place where i could just take the plane out and fly around :)
     
  4. citizen5000

    citizen5000 Ejection Handle Pulled

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2016
    Messages:
    855
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    citizen5000
    Yes. The most important thing is to not get so discouraged so you quit (over half do). You will get there with patience and perseverance and calm. One day you will look back and say every hour you trained was worth it.
     
    Tantalum likes this.
  5. SaltH2OHokie

    SaltH2OHokie Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2016
    Messages:
    235
    Location:
    Eastern Shore, VA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Ryan
    I'm stuck on landings at ~20 hours and it seems to be frustrating my instructor more than me. I'm in no hurry... I'm paying for instruction... Little extra isn't going to hurt?
     
  6. citizen5000

    citizen5000 Ejection Handle Pulled

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2016
    Messages:
    855
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    citizen5000
    Landings are the MAIN sticking point for most. Ask your instructor to refer you to someone else for a couple of lessons to see if you can break through with them. Verbal instruction and advise do not translate immediately into muscle memory. Also, even after thousands of landings each is a little different due to winds and runways. It takes time and patience to build a toy chest of technique.
     
    Tantalum likes this.
  7. Tantalum

    Tantalum Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2017
    Messages:
    1,491
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    San_Diego_Pilot
    100% this! You also shouldn't feel like your instructor is getting frustrated, I would second this and recommend going with one or two other people to get some variety and see if something sticks. Kind of like learning a complicated math problem sometimes it just takes someone else to walk you through it for you to have the breakthrough.

    For what it's worth, if I do 6 Landings in a row chances are two will be perfect, two will be ok and two will be flat-out mediocre... So many variables

    EDIT: some epic typos thanks to speach to text
     
  8. Half Fast

    Half Fast Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    May 7, 2016
    Messages:
    1,092
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Half Fast
    Sometimes a new instructor will notice something the first one didn't.

    Early on, I was drifting off to the left as I flared. Landing after landing, I'd set down left of the center line. My instructor would coach, encourage, cajole, berate, weep, etc., but could not put his finger on what I was doing wrong. So I went up with another instructor. She watched me do one landing, then said "Okay, I see what you're doing, and you're going to laugh when you hear. Next time around, pick up your left elbow. You're resting it against the door, and trying to flare with your wrist. That's curling your wrist and pulling the stick left." Presto! Problem solved. Such a simple thing, but sometimes a second set of eyes is required to find it.

    BTW - I'm starting to think that taking longer, and sometimes going a while between lessons, might not be all bad. Once I get my license, I'll likely be flying every two or three weeks, certainly not day after day, so maybe training that way is wise. Today I flew for the first time in three weeks. Winds were too high two weeks ago, and last weekend family stuff around Easter got in the way. My first landing today, after a three week hiatus, was made in a gusty crosswind and was excellent, smooth and centered. The rest of my landings were also good.

    I'm starting to think that a longer, less steep learning curve might also mean that the de-learning curve is also longer and less steep. Which is a good thing.
     
  9. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    Messages:
    6,016
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    PaulS

    Ah, you were limp wristing it.
     
  10. Half Fast

    Half Fast Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    May 7, 2016
    Messages:
    1,092
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Half Fast
    Yet I never seem to have that problem with my KelTec, and they're notorious for that particular issue.
     
    Harold Rutila and PaulS like this.
  11. GaryV

    GaryV Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2016
    Messages:
    170
    Location:
    South of Houston
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    GaryV
    I had a period where my landings became inconsistent. The worse it got, the worse it got. I'd get frustrated, start gripping the yoke too hard, and end up making large changes and inconsistent landings. I owned the plane I was flying so I decided to get some right, think about how I did that, and then keep practicing that until I had several in a row that were 'good'.

    I ended up doing 29 touch-and-goes in a row that day. I started getting it right about 5 or so in but decided to keep it going until I didn't have to think about it as much, even if I pulled power at some non-standard point in the pattern.

    I had to change the mains that week but it worked for me. I still have periods where things don't go right but it's usually because I fail to shift my focus to the other end of the runway when I get near the flare. If I keep my focus close in it's going to be a rough landing.

    Gary
     
  12. Harold Rutila

    Harold Rutila Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2016
    Messages:
    419
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Harold Rutila
    I have worked with a lot of students in the OP's situation. A vast majority of the time, the issue with their training came down to the quality of instruction they had been receiving. By "quality of instruction," I don't mean just what's happening in the airplane. Part of what could be going on here is a lack of honesty on the instructor's part as to what it's really going to take to get the OP ready to solo.

    The OP mentions the instructor is booked "back-to-back." Has the student been given enough attention on the ground before and after the flight to ensure he or she understands what concepts are/were being taught in the lesson? Is the student provided with suggested study materials to review between lessons (especially considering the 10-day gaps)? Has the student been counseled on the need to increase his or her training frequency in order to accomplish his or her goals?

    What about pre-solo knowledge? If all the OP is doing is practicing landings, how is the instructor going to endorse him or her to solo if it's been 40+ days since the basic private pilot maneuvers have been reviewed, assuming they were even taught in the first place? Is there a plan in place to verify the OP has the required pre-solo knowledge and flight experience by a given date? Does the OP even have a medical required for soloing? What about that new IACRA student pilot application? If not, then why not?

    All of this stuff is pretty well outlined in the Aviation Instructor's Handbook and is a fundamental part of the CFI oral exam, but a lot of it tends to get thrown away in the field, to the detriment of many students. All of these questions are things I ask of students who come to me with 40+ hours and are still in the pre-solo stage. The answers I get are usually rather unimpressive.

    Does this apply to every situation? No, but in the vast majority, it does. The OP should at minimum increase his or her training frequency and try a different instructor or school.
     
  13. WannFly

    WannFly Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2016
    Messages:
    2,099
    Location:
    KFAR
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    WannaFly
    I shud come out of the closet.... I posted this, I am the OP

    Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
     
  14. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2015
    Messages:
    16,957
    Location:
    Alabama
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Mark
    Why you sneaky bastard! Haha and now look at you, a Private Pilot! Glad you stuck with it. :thumbsup:
     
    WannFly likes this.
  15. richas

    richas Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    May 13, 2011
    Messages:
    60
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Rich
    I soloed around forty hours. Started and stopped a lot, my first instructor milked me for hours, and I did a fair amount of sight seeing. ;-P

    Rich
     
    WannFly likes this.