To Commercial and beyond!

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by farmerbrake, Nov 8, 2016.

  1. farmerbrake

    farmerbrake Line Up and Wait

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    Welp, thought that I might as well start my own thread like denverpilot did. My plan is to get my Commercial, CFI, and CFII by the end of January. Hopefully I can schedule the commercial ride before Christmas, and finish up the CFI's after.

    Some background:
    I got my PPL back in 2014, Instrument in 2015, and I'm currently sitting with 185 hours. I still have a little ways to go, but it's never too early to start training right? I'm shooting for the airlines, however I'm not dead set on going there if something pops up along the way.

    The plane:
    I'll be doing all my training in my 1975 piper arrow (pa-28r-200). Thank goodness for partnerships to help keep cost low!

    I have not taken any of the writtens yet, but I plan to take them by the end of this month. Probably will knock them out in a week or less. (Commercial, cfi, cfii, foi, and agi)

    I'll be working with a new to me instructor, but after our first meeting yesterday I think we'll get a long great! We're going to approach it such that he wants me to be the cfi and be able to explain and 'teach' as I fly all the maneuvers. He'll be there just to guide me along.
     
  2. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The CFI is almost a formality for a CPL student, you should be able to just buy "visualized flight maneuvers" or watch some king videos and self study/practice for the CPL

    The CFI is nearly 100% self study, at that point you should know where to find answers yourself, all you'll need a CFI for is to sign you off and sit in the plane for a couple spins. Most useful person won't be the CFI it'll be PPL students you offer to tutor for free.

    All I'm saying is, you're going for the professional tickets, you should be able to self prep and the CFI should just be a final check and a ICARA signature generator.
     
  3. farmerbrake

    farmerbrake Line Up and Wait

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    So yesterday was my first lesson. We put a total of 4.2 in my logbook between two different flights. Found a few areas I'm week on the ground that I need to brush up on.

    In the air, we did steep turns, steep spirals to power off 180's, normal power off 180's, short field and soft field take offs and landings, and 2 instrument approaches.

    Steep turns and short field landings/takeoffs went really well.
    It took me a few tries before I finally got the sight picture for the steep spirals, but I got them down pretty good. The power off 180's are not pretty, but they're survivable :)
    Soft field landings just need a little bit of polishing.
    We've been having beautiful weather here lately with the high pressure sitting right over us. The Altimeter was set to 30.48! Never seen anything that high!
    We also were having trouble with deer on the airport (controlled airport that's fenced in....) as we were taxing out to the run up area. Needless to say my hand was on the mixture ready to cut it off if I saw a deer headed my way. There was a total of 5 around the field. They got them all pushed pretty quick away except for a smaller fawn. It was interesting having 2 airport vehicles creating a barrier between the plane and the little guy.
    Definitely was an interesting day! Lol.
    60 more hours to go!

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N910A using Tapatalk
     
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  4. farmerbrake

    farmerbrake Line Up and Wait

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    Sorry I just now saw this. Absolutely the cfi is just a formality. However I am also a firm believer in teaching things right the first time that way you don't have to go back and re-teach it.
    That's why I'll meet with the instructor for a few hours in the beginning. I'm 'teaching' him how I think the maneuvers are done, and he corrects me if needed. I'll go out and practice them on my own and just stay in touch with the cfi until the end. Then we'll jump back in the plane and make sure everything still looks good before the ride.
    Different stores for different folks.
     
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  5. farmerbrake

    farmerbrake Line Up and Wait

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    Welp flew yesterday on my own for about 1.5
    Practiced some power off landings (and evasive maneuvers for stupid birds who thought it was a good idea to hang out at the departure end of the runway.... I went back to the home field after that)
    Went up today with my instructor to do chandelles, lazy 8's, and more steep spirals/power off 180's.
    What a day to be up.... surface winds 15g22to25 plus decent turbulance. Ended up doing a few maneuvers and then focusing on crosswind landings since I wasn't comfortable with them. Feeling pretty good about them now though!
    Finished out the day with a VOR approach circle to land with winds above about 70-80* off the runway. Somehow I was able to keep my needles all lined up for the approach (instructor was as equally amazed as I was).
    After all the landings today we both walked away and the plane is still usuable, so I count it as a good day lol.

    Planning on doing the solo xc requirement tomorrow. Flying south of Raleigh for cheap fuel, stopping in rdu to have lunch with my sister and then headed back home.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N910A using Tapatalk
     
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  6. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Following this thread. Good luck man! I'm proof that if I can make it to the airlines, anyone can:D
     
  7. farmerbrake

    farmerbrake Line Up and Wait

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    Thanks! That means a lot lol. I've been following your thread too! Looking forward to all the possibilities a commercial ticket (and cfi, cfii) open up.
     
  8. farmerbrake

    farmerbrake Line Up and Wait

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    Did my long cross country (250 nm) yesterday! Flew down to Harnett (KHRJ), filled up with $3.50/gal. Fuel, then flew to Raleigh (KRDU), and then home.
    Thought about filing ifr just to work in the system but I got leaving home a little later in the morning than I wanted to.
    Got to meet my sister in RDU for lunch and hang out for a few hours.
    I did file from HRJ to RDU for the ILS. But got flight following for all the other legs.
    Couldn't have asked for better weather!
    I'll post a few more pictures in the daily pic thread.
    [​IMG]
     
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  9. farmerbrake

    farmerbrake Line Up and Wait

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    Forgot to add, while filling up with fuel got to meet two guys who served in Vietnam, and we're flying in a Mooney Mustang! (Wasn't anyone here was it? Lol)
    Interesting plane!

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N910A using Tapatalk
     
  10. farmerbrake

    farmerbrake Line Up and Wait

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    It's been a week since I've updated this. One of the partners had the plane out for the weekend/ beginning of the week, but I've gotten up everyday since Wednesday. Feeling pretty comfortable with all the maneuvers. Really surprises me there isn't much maneuvers wise to the commercial test... but at any rate I'm still 40 hours short. My instructor is really happy with where I am progress wise even though we've only done about 5 hours together. We're going to wait till I get close to the magic 250 number to do the 2 2hr cross countries and wrap up training.
    I'm also going to start flying right seat to prepare for the cfi/cfii once these winds die down (~30g50 as I type). Best case scenario I will take all 3 exams within a week or 2 of each other.

    Anyone have any suggestions of places to fly on the east coast to build some hours? Departing from Maryland.
     
  11. Scotty

    Scotty Pre-Flight

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    Go and make your dream a reality ....I thankful for all of you younger pilots and your dreams....Scotty
     
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  12. farmerbrake

    farmerbrake Line Up and Wait

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    Thanks for the kind words scotty! It's great to see the places aviation has taken me so far, and I look forward to the places it takes me in the future!
     
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  13. Dave Theisen

    Dave Theisen Cleared for Takeoff

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    Keep in mind that the hard part of the CFI ride isn't the flying, it's the teaching. Have those lesson plans ready. Good luck!
     
  14. farmerbrake

    farmerbrake Line Up and Wait

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    I'm still trying to figure out all the FOI stuff so I can pass the written....
     
  15. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    This.
     
  16. farmerbrake

    farmerbrake Line Up and Wait

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    Did you both make your own syllabi from scratch or get some pre-made ones and tailor them to fit your needs?
     
  17. Dave Theisen

    Dave Theisen Cleared for Takeoff

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    Nothing wrong with starting with the pre-made ones, but definitely refine them so they are workable for you.
     
  18. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    I made my own. I know there are websites you can buy pre made lesson plans from but I knew if I didn't make my own and put in the effort, I wouldn't learn the material as well. It's personal preference though.
     
  19. mondtster

    mondtster Cleared for Takeoff

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    The syllabus is one thing, the lesson plans are another. Very few students I've worked with have taken the time to write their own lesson plans, which is fine, but you had better know what is in those plans before you show up for the checkride and are expected to teach a lesson off them.

    I wrote my own plans.
     
  20. farmerbrake

    farmerbrake Line Up and Wait

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    I freaking hate the lazy 8's. Went up yesterday and it was like I totally forgot how to do them. Not that I could do them within standards before, but yesterday was just aweful.
    Any helpful tips?
    About 30 more hours to go!
     
  21. mscard88

    mscard88 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Practice practice practice. Seriously.
     
  22. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Don't think about the different bank angle, pitch attitudes, etc. There's a reason they're called lazy 8's. The plane will do most of it on it's own. The commercial license is all about how you finesse the aircraft and make it do what you want it to do.
     
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  23. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    "I said kiss it. Just a little peck. Like you're kissing your sister..."

    Best movie scene ever...

     
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  24. farmerbrake

    farmerbrake Line Up and Wait

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    Maybe that's my problem, I'm holding the control inputs a little too long?
     
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  25. farmerbrake

    farmerbrake Line Up and Wait

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    Well you two were right. Over thinking it too much... although I'm finally within standards I'm still not where I want to be. Usually the 3rd or 4th loop is close to a bust.
    20 hours left to perfect it all!
     
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  26. farmerbrake

    farmerbrake Line Up and Wait

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    Well I'm down to the last 10 hours. Feeling really good about the maneuvers.
    Took and passed the knowledge test earlier this week (87%)
    Checkride is scheduled for January 12.
    My instructor and I still need to so the 2 2hr xc. Should get them done this week (will combine them into 1 xc total).

    Also in the cards this upcoming week is to study up for the AGI, CFI, CFII writtens and get them done. Also talk to my instructor/dpe about scheduling the cfi/II check rides (so I don't have to keep pushing things out 3 weeks at a time)
     
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  27. saddletramp

    saddletramp Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    If you do a lazy 8s correctly there will be very little aileron input once you establish the initial angle of bank. After that baby, It's all about back pressure & smooth rudder inputs. Don't feel rushed & like others have said let the airplane do the work. I tell my students to only use two fingers when applying back pressure, that way they don't use excessive back pressure. If they're done lazy enough they are quite graceful.
     
  28. farmerbrake

    farmerbrake Line Up and Wait

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    CFI and CFII written tests were taken and passed today (one of them wasn't too pretty, but I still over studied for both lol).
    Now I'm really hitting the books hardcore for the FOI. I'll take it and the AGI (to become a gold seal instructor) towards the end of this coming week.
    I'm feeling pretty confident about my commercial checkride coming up in less than 2 weeks. Hope I'm not counting my chickens before they hatch....
     
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  29. Walboy

    Walboy Line Up and Wait

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    By all means, study and know the material. Use Sheppard Air to get a good score on the FOI. You can't beat the price. You can thank me later.

    I admire your determination to get your tickets punched.
     
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  30. farmerbrake

    farmerbrake Line Up and Wait

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    Thank for the advice and encouraging words!
     
  31. mscard88

    mscard88 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    get it done.jpeg Good luck!
     
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  32. farmerbrake

    farmerbrake Line Up and Wait

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    2 days before the checkride.... enter freak out mode. Had a flight with my instructor 2 days ago. Let's just say there was a definite grounds for a discontinuation. Went up yesterday and I was right back where I should be, we'll within pts standards. Hopefully my flight tomorrow will go well.
    Also starting to freak out about the oral portion. I feel like I know my stuff, but I'm not sure if I know enough... reading through the Asa oral exam guide (for about the 5th time now) is really helping me.
    Oh the joys of checkrides!
     
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  33. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Good luck!
     
  34. tree96

    tree96 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Good luck!
    I'm planning on following the same path as you. I hope to finish my commercial by May then on to the cfi
     
  35. farmerbrake

    farmerbrake Line Up and Wait

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    'A picture is worth a thousand words!' Write up to follow!
    [​IMG]
     
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  36. farmerbrake

    farmerbrake Line Up and Wait

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    So the ride was scheduled for yesterday. Of course the morning didn't go as planned so I didn't get a final check of the weather until about an hour before the examiner showed up. Surface winds were to be ok, but @3,000 they were over 55 kts! Plus low level windshear airmet around 2,000. The night before it wasn't to be that bad.
    So the dpe showed up and we talked about it. He agreed that it wouldn't be good/fair to do the in flight test on a day like that. It just so happened that my instructor had a private pilot checkride scheduled for the next day with the same examiner but the guy backed out because of forecasted winds (over 24 in advance of his checkride.... but whatever....) so we decided to get the oral portion done first and then see if the weather changed.
    The ASA oral exam guide REALLY helped prep me for the oral portion. Didn't have any trouble, only had to look up 1 thing (the stupid cloud clearance requirements. Got my 1 3 and added in a 5 sm mixed up..... oh well. He got a good laugh out of it).
    Started at 9 and finished around 1. Took a few breaks to check weather and what not. Final check of the weather showed no hope. So we decided to meet today. He told me to check the weather and give him a call later that night.
    Checked the weather and figured there wouldn't be a best time, so we decided on 11.
    Got to the airport and had everything ready. He showed up a little early. Winds at 3,000 were at 30 kts. We both agreed it would be ok, surface winds were pretty reasonable, only about 10 or 15 kts. Took off and started on my 'xc' flew to a nearby uncontrolled field. No metar but windsock showed a 10 kt direct crosswind. He said let's do the short field maneuvers here and then do everything else back at home. He asked what speeds I was going to use. I told him I was going to add a couple of knots to be safe with the winds changing a little bit. He liked my decision. Landing and takeoff was pretty good.
    Took off and headed for the practice area. Did 8's on pylons first. Somehow I managed to find 2 points to use that lined up with the winds perfect. They were just a touch further apart than I would've liked, but they were good enough.
    Next was steep turns. Right hand first went really good. Headed to the left and gained 200 ft of altitude. I asked to re do and he let me. Second one only varied altitude about 50 ft.
    After that we did chandelles. Nothing exciting there. One to the left, one to the right.
    Since we were at altitude we did all the stalls and slow flight. Pulled the gear up and he said your on fire. Get to the ground. 3 steep spirals/emergency decent we were back down to 1500 agl.
    He said let's head back to the airport and finish out the landings.
    First up was a normal approach. Right hand pattern entry, 2 notches of flaps, and a nice right at my aiming point with 3 individual squeaks. Soft field take off was.... interesting. Winds were about 60° cross wind to the runway. Metar said 8 to 10 knots. Seemed more like 15. Got into ground effect and was flying sideways down the runway for a little bit. Soft field landing was his next request. About 50 ft above the threshold fully configured he called go around. Pitch up, power up, clean up. Did another lap around the pattern for an actual soft field. Went fine.
    Last up was the power off 180. Since I had done a few landings by this point I knew we would have a head wind on base which would kill my glide. So I kept it in tight. Gear down when I was sure I had my point made. Added in 2 flaps and I knew I was too high. 3rd knotch came in, slipped it down. Landed a little longer than I would've liked, about 150 past my Point but within standards. I asked him if he wanted me to demonstrate that again. He said no let's head back to base.
    Taxi'd back in. He complemented Me on my airman ship despite the squirrely winds. Said he never had any doubt who was flying the plane or that I wasn't in control.
    All in we were in the air about 1.5
    I'm sure I forgot something we did or talked about but overall it was a standard checkride.
    Looking forward to my CFI!
     
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  37. farmerbrake

    farmerbrake Line Up and Wait

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    Oh, forgot about the lazy 8's. The maneuver I had the most trouble with in practice. The first try I didn't quite get it slow enough at the 90° point so I ended up high and fast. Explained what happened, why, and how I would fix it. 3 more turns later and he called for the next maneuver.
     
  38. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow En-Route

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    Congrats.... but a commercial pilot should be able to handle those winds aloft.
    You are asking to be certified as a professional pilot. We fly in strong winds....
     
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  39. Greg Bockelman

    Greg Bockelman Administrator Management Council Member

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    Sigh. Yes that is true, but personally, I would like to stack the deck as much in my favor as possible.
     
  40. farmerbrake

    farmerbrake Line Up and Wait

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    Yes, that was part of our discussion. However a commercial pilot is not going to be down trying to do 8's on pylons with strong winds where he needs to vary altitude over 800 feet like the examiner had seen before.
    If I was flying somewhere that wouldn't have been a problem. But trying to do the maneuvers for an examine? The examiner didn't even want to do it.