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Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by Jah-Christo Decembre, Jul 8, 2020.
You won’t be afraid of airspace.
Close to home?
cant think of anything else.
Agree, you'll be comfortable with clearance delivery, ground, tower, and approach, and you'll be a pro on the radio in no time. Disadvantage is you may have to hold short for landing traffic, do more 360s and extended downwinds for traffic, etc., and these things will cut down on the number of landings you'll get in during initial training. Also, costs may be higher at the C vs. smaller airports.
I trained at a class C and enjoyed it.
Long waits to take off?
Sputtering down final in a 152, and hearing Tower telling a gigantic Boeing to "hold short, landing traffic."
I always wonder what the Boeing captain is thinking. Either "out of my way, you flea" or possibly "I remember those days... fun stuff..."
What others have said. Lots of radio work. Fear No Airspace. Sometimes waiting.
If sitting down is uncomfortable because your wallet is too thick, training at a class C will help fix that problem.
And here I thought I'd covered all the pros. Good call out. LOL
Generally the latter. Or sometimes, "Cool - these extra couple of minutes will pay for some beers on the layover tonight!"
Yep, my wife learned at the primary airport of a class B (IAD). The advantage was she got real good at radio work (not that she was bad, she was already an Advanced Class amateur radio operator) and dealing with wake turbulance and keeping her speed up on approach. The downside is it cost her a lot of flight time getting to another airport to do landings or out in the country for airwork (stalls, whatever).
The upside to me was that I was already in the club there and IAD was by far the closest airport to our house.
I get that the pilots are probably cool, but wonder what the pax think when they look out the window and see the flea plane landing. "We've been waiting all this time for that???"
F what the passengers think. They can learn to fly if they don't want to sit crammed on the bus with the rest of the peasants.
As you know, it’s not the ‘talking on the radio’ part, it’s the confidence to work with ATC as valuable resource rather than as some kind of boss or something. Especially so with NY ATC ‘if you can make it here....’
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The benefits are they you won't be afraid to go into ANY busy airport unlike many wet behind the ears pilots that only fly outta podunk strips and are not confident on the radios or with complex instructions...not meant as a dig, but they have just never gotten the experience that you would at a class C or busy D.
Some counter argue the "waiting time" but I would argue it is all valuable training time. A LOT of ATC work is not only comprehending WHAT they are saying but also WHY they are saying things and that experience would be greatest expedited. You and your CFI SHOULD be departing to a quieter uncontrolled airport for pattern work.
IMO it is an absolute benefit if it is your best option.
Whichever side of your body you wear your wallet will not suffer premature arthritis.
I trained at a class-D with a TRSA. So except for the volume of a class C and some operating rules in the class-C airspace, there was functionally little difference. The GA side had its own little 3000ft runway, between that and intersection takeoffs, there was rarely ever a delay to get off the ground. The upsides I can see is that there is functioning snow-plow service and if you roll your plane into a ball, there is an airport fire department at the ready.
You will also waste half of your lesson getting in and out of the airspace so it will probably cost more.
KISP is a pretty slow Class C. It is quieter than FRG. Any airport you train out of on Long Island will make you a superior pilot., the whole island is busy.
Yeah this is really true. I’ve trained out of Islip and it is really not a big deal at all. They have commercial traffic but often it’s really just a large GA airport. The benefits have been pointed out above and I know you won’t be disappointed if you train at KISP
This is not true at all. Getting into Islip requires listening to the ATIS and calling a very accommodating NY approach who almost always gives you a vector into the pattern( not always the case right now with COVID due to less controllers working.). NY air traffic control is probably the best in the business. They are incredibly efficient!
I trained out of KISP and it’s a Southwest Airlines airport. In fact on my first solo I had a 737 chasing me on final— it was amazing! Anyway, one time had a Southwest holding short for me to land. After touching down the captain chimed on the radio- “ That was worth the wait there Cessna.” after a nice landing. Both my CFI and I thought that was pretty cool!
I took some lessons at ISP back in the late 70’s... was class D back then, and a freak’n beehive on weekends...
I have no regrets training at a class C, and as a bonus, my CFI was a recently retired controller from that airport. Not only did I learn to talk to CD/ground/tower/approach, but he explained the what was behind all of the calls, what the guys in the cab and downstairs were looking at, what to expect. I found it valuable, and worth the small cost of a few less landings per lesson.
While it may be difficult right now, I always found it useful to visit the ATC facilities from time to time. I was in the tower at BJC and APA when I was based there. I was in the tower at HEF (oddly, it was the same physical building as the one I was in at APA). I've visited the tower (and then TRACON) at IAD and DCA. I've also been to the new IAD tower and the PCT tracon. The one most enlightening was to be table to sit "plugged in" next to a controller at ZDC one evening when they were trying to restart the airpsace after thunderstorms had rolled through.
Surprising how many pilots will fly around Charlie or Bravo airspace rather than get on the radio. Awesome to have the routine down during training for contacting Departure control, ground, approach control, etc. and not letting the rapid hand-off scare a pilot away. Really not a big deal and helpful in the trainee lives in congested controlled airspace.
Training in the patter is one thing but what about maneuvers. You have to get off the ground in the class C and then fly till your out of it. Then do the same thing on the way back.
I did half my training at a untowered field And finished up at a relatively busy delta. Best of both worlds, but I had to switch instructors so there’s a Small penalty there.
Who you calling "Wet behind the ears"? I was flying outta them podunk strips during the Nixon administration.
I'll say as student pilot, being able to focus on the actual flying of the plane and not worrying about or being distracted by the radio during the pattern/landing stage makes each landing so much easier. I think it would be nice to start training at a untowered airport and transition to a towered later on in training when you are more comfortable and confident with the plane. That's just my opinion, though. I could be completely wrong.
I have to respectfully disagree....I rather liked having tower worry about sequencing instead of me. With a Charlie, you have the added layer of protection of approach control and radar so no NORDO cub comes barreling into the pattern unannounced. One simple radio call per circuit, and not having to listen to the garbled mess of CTAF announcements for airports 60 miles away.
My airport, CMI, has a small runway exclusively used by training aircraft, so we don't even have to worry about dodging the big jets. There were several times i did 15 TNGs in an hour. Looks like ISP has one as well. Another nice thing is perpendicular runways, so you don't have to tackle crosswinds till you're ready, and on days when you WANT crosswinds, you just ask for the other runway.
The one BIG negative I see is fuel prices. I pay about $5/gal at my home base. That is somewhat offset by having a nice FBO with classrooms we can use, ice, water, tea, COFFEE, snacks, etc. Of course that's full service including cleaning the windshield. Maintenance is right there on the field too... yesterday I found a nick in the propeller, walked a couple hundred feet to the shop, and the mechanic came out and dressed it for me so I could fly. It's a tradeoff like everything.
I would say not being afraid of airspace, although that's a double edged sword too....I've not had my certificate a year and I've flown through St Louis, Chicago, Atlanta, and Orlando bravos, but uncontrolled fields still make me uncomfortable.
The airport I fly out of is not very busy, so I don't usually have to worry about sequencing. That is probably affecting my perception as to ease of training! When I start flying to some towered airports, I may decide to change my mind as to which is easier.
I really like the $3.80/gal part of the equation, though it is self-serve - plus my current base has a great FBO and even a full-time shop. Best of both worlds to me.
You are still flying. I don't know how a sleepy class C handles this, but we had a 'northwest practice area' that was sort of fenced by a few roads and contained in the radar service volume. You told them what you wanted to do and they would keep an eye on other traffic and give you a heads-up if someone was heading for your 'box'. They also stacked the students and there would be one student doing stalls or unusual attitudes at 4000ft while someone else was flying 'turns around a tractor' close to the ground.
In the pattern, doing T&G's, the radio work wasn't any more taxing than making the correct announcements on CTAF. 90% of the time you got 'the option', here and there you would get a 'T&G only' or a 'make short approach' to smooth out sequencing issues. We had a few uncontrolled fields in the area and many lessons ended up being round robin flights with a landings at each of them.
Exactly...its 10 miles....so about 5 minutes.
At cmi we just picked a direction. If there were already students there or they needed it cleared for practice approaches, they would suggest a different area. Then you had radar service for your maneuvers as long as you are within 25 miles or so. We have a 141 school here, so the extra eyes are welcome, and especially in the late summer when the crop dusters are going hot & heavy. If you're between them and their next field, they'll fly right through your turn about a point....I had it happen as a solo student.... approach pointed him out just about the time I saw him. We would definitely have collided if I had continued my turn another 90 degrees.
Warm cookies at the FBO...once the virus lets them set those things up again.
Theoretically. It didn't work out way in Vegas the other day, but it usually does.
I'm asked a lot about this topic and I'd have to say there is no clear "winner" in either department.
I've always taught, flown and conducted practical tests in busy airspace, from the very beginning in Orlando, FL, to present day in the northeast, just west of NYC in New Jersey. Yes, there may be more delays for departure or even arrival at times, but applicants who are comfortable dealing with ATC seem to have superior SA/multitasking skills as well as exhibit greater confidence on the flight deck.
On the other side of the coin, launching out of a small "country' airport has its advantages as well, particularly during the repetitive "traffic pattern" period of primary training. More takeoffs and landings in less time -- sure, that makes sense to me -- but without having to divide attention and deal with airspace to the same degree the other group did. Are they saving money? ... Maybe, but probably not in any significant way. I can't honestly say these students/applicants were any better prepared, or tended to show up with less hours in the logbook, something to indicate material savings.
After primary training -- instrument rating and beyond -- I'd slant it the advantages a little more heavily towards the busy airspace. Dealing with ATC is an even more important part of instrument training.
It's probably just personal preference. No real clear winner, although pilots looking to achieve more advanced ratings and certificates after the private pilot certificate may be better served with the "busy airport" option.
In the pattern you’d be talking to the tower! So no difference at all between any airport. The class C ring by Islip ends right on the south shore. It’s about a 5 minute flight to the south practice area and about 8 minutes to the North practice area. But again it’s not like people are doing maneuvers inside class delta rings either so I don’t really understand your challenge here.
To renter the class C you have to do the following—
1. Listen to ATIS at KISP
2. Tune to 120.05
3. Wait for opening to call up( could be a minute or two)
4. Jump on frequency “NY approach Skyhawk 12345.”
5. Wait for reply
6. Say “ NY approach skyhawk 12345 with information bravo would like to return to Islip for a full stop landing.”
7 Listen to reply which is usually “Skyhawk 12345 fly direct to the field.”
I mean that whole process maybe takes 2 minutes. Ok it’s not like a class D but it’s really not a big deal.
Usually a good idea to tell them where you are and altitude. Big screen, little dot. N12345 is a cessna 172, 20 miles east at 3000, inbound for landing information bravo
They're also probably give you a squawk code, but it isn't required. If you don't tell them where you are, they'll almost certainly ask you to ident.
I agree it isn't a big deal once you've done it a dozen times.
You don’t need to tell them where you are if you took off from a class C they already gave you a squawk code and know exactly where you are. If you are training out of KISP it is likely you took off from there. That’s why I wrote “To re-enter” a class C.
No challenge it's not hard just saying where I did my flight training I took off and exited the pattern and I was in the "practice area". My class C experience is admittedly limited but when I did complex training and HP a couple years ago it was out of a class C.
It was basically start the plane (therefore the hobbs) get atis, talk to CD, taxi, fly out. Realistically it was 10-15 minutes at least on the meter before you were out of the class C and about the same coming back in. It is still flying, you are still learning stuff, just saying you are spending 20-30 minutes exiting and entering the airspace out of your hour lesson.
Ok no worries. I’m just trying to be as specific to this situation at KISP since I actually have lots of experience at this particular airport. I figured that would be most helpful to the OP or anyone else who sees this whenever they come across it.
I suppose I had a good experience training at BHB, which if anyone's familiar, is a very busy uncontrolled field (which arguably should be a class D). It's always fun popping up to BGR for some practice on the radios and landing on the gigantic 11000ft runway with the big boys.
Quickly became very comfortable with ATC. Even had my CFI slap my hand away from the transmit button a few times because I was making unneeded calls(being used to calling out my every move at BHB). You get a good feel for what needs to be called out, read back, acknowledged, etc.
Wouldn't be a bad idea to train out of a nearby untowered field for the touch-and-go convenience, then it's as easy as dialing up approach when you want to visit and get some work in with clearance/ground/tower/departure.
I fly to KICT often and it’s made me really like Class C airspace. Great learning experience with communication and traffic, but not too busy to do some patterns at the main airport.