Unable to Solo, Advice needed

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by Rajiv Sharma, Aug 23, 2020.

  1. Sinistar

    Sinistar En-Route

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  2. smv

    smv Pattern Altitude

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    Maybe I am missing something here, but of all of the items you listed, only PIOs would prevent me from signing off a student for solo. A PIO is indicative of someone who does not know when it is time to go around. Keep in mind the criteria for solo with regard to landing is not perfection, it is safety.

    Assuming all of the other pre-solo items are acceptable, the question I ask myself before signing of a student for solo is:
    "Can the student consistently bring the aircraft in for a safe landing (without my input) and do they have the judgement to abort the landing and go around (again, without my input) when they cannot bring the aircraft in for a safe landing?"

    Hard landings, landing to the side of the centerline, drifting after landing, and missing a specific spot are all proficiency items that can be practiced and "perfected" after the student goes solo. I do not even introduce short or soft field landings until after solo.

    Perhaps if you started acting more like Pilot in Command while flying with your instructor and making proper go-around decisions rather than riding a poor approach all the way to a PIO your instructor would be more willing to give you that solo endorsement.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2020
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  3. woodchucker

    woodchucker Pattern Altitude

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    A thread was started in 2015 about that “Jacobson Flare” thing by the same person promoting it here. The 2015 thread reads like a con job. Lol

    OP: you will get it. Do fly with a different cfi if you can. I wish I could say all of my landings are good landings but that would be a lie.
     
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  4. Ian Pilot

    Ian Pilot Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Well it boils down to a bad CFI really. A good CFI would have either gave you a solid assessment 45 hrs ago about your shortcomings and used some honesty to either dissuade you from flying or recommended a change of style. Your money is precious and a good CFI would not waste it. Your CFI is the PIC here.
    This is also about life and death... you could solo but with the plethora of issues you describe would you risk yourself on a x-country solo? Encounter gusty conditions etc... maybe you would be better off wishing you were up than up wishing you were down at some point.
    Now not all is lost. Reassess yourself. Study more. Change instructors and take a deep breathe and maybe you'll do it fine.
    I know plenty of 100+ hrs that solo'ed after wasting their time with the wrong cfi...

    https://www.rapp.org/archives/2015/11/reluctant-instructor/

    On the plus side once you do your IFR you will be that closer to the 250 hrs required for a commercial.
     
  5. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

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    Haven’t read all the posts, but I had two students I did not let solo until well over 60 hours.... and even then I was a bit concerned (but not beyond yet non solo point).

    They did great on everything, but were just afraid to pull the nose up enough before touchdown. Hours, hours, and hours... Eventually they flew with the chief instructor, and he seemed to think as long as they weren’t landing on the nose they were okay.
    I never compromised safety, but I did realize perhaps my standards were too high.
     
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  6. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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  7. Darwinson Valdez

    Darwinson Valdez Filing Flight Plan

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    I thought I was never going to learn. I bought a cushion to sit higher in the Cessna and two hours later my landing improve tremendously. I solo two lessons after. I am 5 10 and using a cushion.
     
  8. Rajiv Sharma

    Rajiv Sharma Filing Flight Plan

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    Hello Everyone

    Thanks for the encouragement, I decided to give it another shot. You guys are very helpful. I am very grateful for all the help I got in this forum.

    Here is the plan I came up with after listening to several experienced pilots and CFIs.

    1. Use gopro camera to record my flying lesson.
    2. Instead of doing touch and go, make it a full stop landing. Discuss landing in detail with CFI and then taxi back to runway.
    3. Focus more on nailing the speed on final.
    4. Break down landing in multiple areas like final approach, landing on center line, landing on main wheels, side drift, flare height etc. Review each landing in these areas.

    I have taken 2 lessons after building this plan, my CFI and I rate each landing in areas listed in #4.This helped figuring out what I am consistently doing right and where I was missing the mark. I think the last 2 lessons made me more comfortable with landings and my confidence has gone up.

    My CFI thinks that I can do a supervised solo in next lesson if weather is good.

    Thank you,
    Rajiv
     
  9. Rajiv Sharma

    Rajiv Sharma Filing Flight Plan

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    Update: I finally got my solo endorsement done yesterday. It only took 67 hours :rolleyes:

    Thanks everyone for all the support and encouragement.
     
  10. Vance Breese

    Vance Breese Line Up and Wait

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    I love a story with a happy ending.
     
  11. WannFly

    WannFly Final Approach

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    Nice congrats. It’s more time in the air.... isn’t that why you decided to be a pilot ?
     
  12. smv

    smv Pattern Altitude

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    :cheers::happydance::rockon::goofy::cornut::biggrin:
     
  13. Rgbeard

    Rgbeard Pattern Altitude

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    Congratulations, PILOT!
     
  14. MacFlier

    MacFlier Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Congrats!!! I hope you enjoy your new and well deserved wings!
     
  15. SoCal 182 Driver

    SoCal 182 Driver Pre-takeoff checklist

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    +1
     
  16. WDD

    WDD Cleared for Takeoff

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    Congrats!
     
  17. MacFly

    MacFly Line Up and Wait

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    You might find a GoPro mounted on the tail tie-down ring pointed forward to be illuminating regarding your landing technique.https://www.amazon.com/MyPilotPro-L...ht+camera+tie+down+ring&qid=1600562462&sr=8-1
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2020
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  18. WDD

    WDD Cleared for Takeoff

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    Now go get that solo x country and schedule your practical!!
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2020
  19. ArnoldPalmer

    ArnoldPalmer Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I had this problem going from Cessna to a Piper. My flight pillow has helped tremendously in the Piper.
     
  20. WDD

    WDD Cleared for Takeoff

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    I’m 5’11” and my control and landings are much better if I put the seat all the way up, just shy of my head hitting the headliner. I can’t tell you why - but for me it works
     
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  21. Larry in TN

    Larry in TN Pattern Altitude

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    So, what was it that got everything to click for you?
     
  22. Kevin Eggert

    Kevin Eggert Pre-Flight

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    Congratulation! Hopefully the rest of your training goes better than the first part did.

    On a side note, in reading through these comments, there were an awful lot that seemed to criticize the instructor. Not knowing the particular student, I would have to think that there are a certain number of student pilots that may never be able to solo. Some people just do not have the particular set of skills needed to be a competant pilot able to fly on their own. At what point does a CFI sit down with these students to reevaluate their aspirations and bring them into the context of what is attainable? There have to be occasions where a student will never have the skills necessary and no amount of training will fix it. When is the proper time to "crush someone's dreams"?
     
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  23. bobmrg

    bobmrg En-Route PoA Supporter

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    For what it is worth, i never did touch-and-goes with a pre-solo student but insisted on full-stops and taxi back with me doing the taxiing and discussing what has just happened. The human brain can only handle so many sensory inputs at once, and making the student responsible for a safe landing and an immediate takeoff while the instructor is yammering in the student's ear is an impediment to learning. Half or more of what the instructor is saying is not assimilated.

    Bob
     
  24. Rajiv Sharma

    Rajiv Sharma Filing Flight Plan

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    It was bunch of things.....
    1. Just focused on landings and no other maneuvers
    2. Full stop taxi, taxi back, discuss last landing
    3. Made a table with key components (Final Approach, Flair height, Landing on main wheels, landing on center line, side drift) of landings and mark each landing
    4. Record and review each lesson and tally with the table in step # 3
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2021
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  25. Rajiv Sharma

    Rajiv Sharma Filing Flight Plan

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    Yes, I agree. There got to be a point when CFI or Student needs to decide if student has set of basic skills to be a safe pilot. Though its rare, but its still possible. I was on the verge of quitting flying as I thought may be I lack basic skill to be a safe pilot. I would have soloed earlier but my CFI was not confident enough that I can land the airplane safely every time. I have seen at least 2 cases where students quit flying. One case, flying school / CFI said, they wont train the student anymore as student doesn't have basic skills to be a safe pilot. Another instance, student tried for an year and quit.

    Some of the more experienced pilots/CFI can provide their perspective.
     
  26. Rajiv Sharma

    Rajiv Sharma Filing Flight Plan

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    This helped me with improving my steep turns
     
  27. Southpaw

    Southpaw Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Congratulations Rajiv .
    My CFI soloed me after I bought my own airplane to beat up ;)
    Actually it was after 20 hours in his 150 and 25 hours in my 172 and 168 landings.
    Now 8 hours in solo and 26 more landings I'm feeling a bit more comfortable .
    Most all landings are power off after turn to final and 30 degree flaps . Always practice short field landings
    Here off the east slope of Rockies cross wind landings are near always present .
     
  28. AlphaPilotFlyer

    AlphaPilotFlyer Pre-Flight

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    Rajiv
    Over what time frame had it been during your training? I have been an instructor pilot from everything from a c152 to Boeing’s and can tell you the biggest issue I’ve seen in this regard is long periods of time between lessons. In any event, ask your CFI to try this: while on runway before takeoff roll, set altimeter to read zero (or closest 1000 or 500’ ft increment depending on elev) and note the setting. This is referred to as QFE altimeter setting. Set this on final approach.

    This is actually pretty accurate with a stable descent, and will give additional sight reference in correlating what you see to actual height above runway. Think of it as a poor mans radar altimeter. Be sure to be trimmed and stable by 100’ with about 1200-1500 RPM (don’t do idle power approaches as it greatly shortens response time on controls).

    You should cross the threshold stripes at 50’ and don’t touch nothing until 10’ on your altimeter. SLIGHTLY flare and float down runway maintaining centerline , eventually you’ll touchdown. Make sure you have a long runway, at least 5k’ to be safe. After mains tires squeak, go smoothly to idle and land the nose wheel with a second flare.

    do this until you are comfortable and learn sight picture looking down runway. Then begin slightly reducing power at 10’ QFE, then at 20’, 50’ until comfy going to idle at 50’ and slightly pitching up during power reduction to maintain constant descent and still not flaring until 10’ ish.

    we rely a lot on radar altimeter during landing big airplanes, especially initially. Give it a try if you can talk your CFI into it.

    hope this helps. Good luck, may the force be with you.
     
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  29. exncsurfer

    exncsurfer Pattern Altitude

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    I think you skipped the part of the thread where he finally got the solo, post #49. I've been there, done that, when people resurrect these old threads. Go back and read #48 #49, spoiler alert, he didn't give up!

    Anyway, nice post, it may help someone else that is struggling.
     
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  30. murphey

    murphey Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Right after I bought the cherokee, I had the 40 yr old seats rebuilt (immediately after putting in shoulder harnesses) and had my seat built 2 inches higher. When I'm in a 172 or 182, a mere pillow isn't sufficient, I need a step ladder to see over the panel!
     
  31. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

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    Glad to hear the update.

    If landing on the centerline and sideloading disqualify one from solo, I'm in trouble.
     
  32. Rajiv Sharma

    Rajiv Sharma Filing Flight Plan

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    I FINALLY PASSED CHECK RIDE TODAY !

    I want to say a big THANKS to everyone who encouraged me and provided valuable suggestions. I had my check ride today and passed with flying colors (he he). It took me a month to get my check ride done after getting the sign off from my CFI due to weather, DPE availability and airplane availability. It has been a long roller coaster journey to this point. It took me only 19 months (due to International travel, COVID and job switch), 118.4 hours and 3 CFIs to get this private pilot certificate.

    Once again, thank you everyone for your support.
     
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  33. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Let me be the first to say - CONGRATULATIONS pilot.
     
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  34. Dana

    Dana Pattern Altitude

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    Congratulations! :happydance:
     
  35. NHWannabe

    NHWannabe Line Up and Wait

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    Congrats and keep flying!
     
  36. GaryM

    GaryM Line Up and Wait

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    Awesome!