When does it click?

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by Sport Pilot, Apr 26, 2018.

  1. Sport Pilot

    Sport Pilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I’ve studied, currently studying, and flying. Today will be my third flight.

    When I get in the air, it’s like I forget everything.

    Discouraged...:(
     
  2. Dave Arata

    Dave Arata Pre-Flight

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    It clicks on the 4th flight and you're almost there! ;) All kidding aside, the first few are like drinking from a firehose. Fear not, it happened to all of us and it will get easier. You've got to give the flying part a little time to become habitual.
     
  3. Ronbonjovi

    Ronbonjovi Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Still a student pilot here. I have 41 flights, 50 hours, and 210 landings. There are still things that have not clicked for me. It is a gradual process and do not let it discourage you. We all learn at different paces. I was so worried about soloing early and finishing my PPL right at 40 hours, but then I just had to realize none of that matters and work at my own pace.
     
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  4. PilotRPI

    PilotRPI Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I certainly wouldn't worry at this point, especially if you are still enjoying it. Just take your time. Some people solo in eight hours, some in 25. 3 hours you shouldn't be feeling any pressure.
     
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  5. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    You're early in the process. It's a lot to soak in and understand. And there's more on the way. But everyone goes thru it, and it will all begin to make sense and you'll begin enjoying the experience. Just don't put deadlines on yourself, like solo at 8 hours, etc. Everyone learns differently. Hang in there. Shoot me a PM if I can be of help.
     
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  6. eman1200

    eman1200 Final Approach

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    3 flights and you're not a certified pilot yet?


    these things take time. like, more time than 3 flights. but it'll all be worth it when you get over the hurdles and stuff starts to click.
     
  7. Ryanb

    Ryanb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    How often are you flying? If too much time is lapsing between flights, it is possible that you may be picking up the concepts at a slower rate than if you were flying more frequently.

    Just something to throw out there. As the others have said, it’s still very early in the game, just keep pushing forward.
     
  8. FlySince9

    FlySince9 Pattern Altitude

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    ah, forget it...you'll never get it!

    Don't listen to "that" voice in your head...He's WRONG!
     
  9. Sport Pilot

    Sport Pilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Thanks guys. I know I am still early in the game, I just thought the bookwork courses and the written would have significantly helped. Not so much.

    I flew on Tuesday, April 24th; I have a flight today. Based on a previous conversation I read here, I am making it a point to fly twice a week.

    Major concerns and disadvantages are I have to drive 2 1/2 hours to the airport near Chicago. Second is my wacky work schedule. I do not have a schedule and am on-call quite often.
     
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  10. Sport Pilot

    Sport Pilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    My second lesson was power on power off stalls, steep turns, 360 degree turn without losing altitude, crab into the wind following a highway, and he said I landed by myself (a little hard and flat).
     
  11. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Rome wasn’t built in a day. :) Three flights is very early in the process. Relax. :)

    Ever learned to play a sport above amateur level? Or learned to play a musical instrument?

    Similar things are going on in your brain, and certain things just take some time.

    A pro musician with lots of hours can pick up their instrument and play a scale in any key, instantly, without thinking about it. But they didn’t start off being able to do that. They spent a lot of hours playing nothing but scales. They spent lots of hours studying the Circle of Fifths. Etc.

    Tell your instructor. They can alter their plan to make sure the basic building blocks are solid before combining them. If they don’t know you’re frustrated, they can’t adapt to your learning speed and style.

    I just say that because I think sometimes students are frustrated and they’ll tell anyone... other than their teacher. :)

    With that said, what kinds of things do you feel like you’re forgetting?
     
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  12. HAPPYDAN

    HAPPYDAN Pre-Flight

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    Just relax and enjoy it. I don't know of any Sport Pilots that got their cert within 25 hours. Do you remember how long it took you to learn to walk? Do you even think about it now? It's a lot like that.
     
  13. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    P.S. You can read how to play a guitar for hours and hours and you’ll still have to put in the practice time on the guitar... if that makes sense.

    ( I saw your post saying you said you were disappointed the extra ground study wasn’t as much help learning to fly the aircraft as you thought it would be. It will help as you learn to fly and your brain applies the book knowledge to flight experience ... “Ahh, when I did X with the controls Y happened and I remember reading about that!” But it still takes hours in the seat doing it to build the experiences to apply the book knowledge to. )
     
  14. Ronbonjovi

    Ronbonjovi Pre-takeoff checklist

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    2.5 hours one way??? Yeah I could see that as a huge hurdle towards flying regularly. Maybe good study time, play youtube videos or flight lesson podcasts during the drive.
     
  15. DaleB

    DaleB En-Route

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    When does it click? There is no click. It's a gradual process. You get better every time you fly, except when you don't. We all have off days, but overall you'll keep improving the more you fly. Just keep at it, it takes time and patience and repetition.
     
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  16. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Old dog w/o new tricks
    Aren’t there any airports with flight schools closer?
     
  17. rk911

    rk911 Line Up and Wait

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    where are you coming from and where are you taking lessons?
     
  18. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Pattern Altitude

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    When it’s empty
     
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  19. exncsurfer

    exncsurfer Pattern Altitude

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    Yep, normal. Don't get discouraged. I don't think I ever had a click moment, just gradually got more comfortable. That beat down feeling would fade after a day or so and turn into anticipation till the next lesson I'd feel like a kid on Christmas Eve. Rinse repeat.
     
  20. Doug F

    Doug F Pre-takeoff checklist

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    It'll click when it clicks. Every person is different, every training situation is different. The good news is that once it 'clicks' it sticks...oh wait...no...it doesn't. Step away from the plane for a week or two and you'll be back to making dumb mistakes. Flying isn't like riding a bike. There is a crap ton of stuff that you need to do and every flight is just a bit different from every other (more/less wind, gusts, turbulence, traffic, birds...you name it).
    I'm still a sport pilot student, older (63), and almost a year in (weather keeps killing my check-rides, I should have finished in Jan). The last two flights were the first time I consistently nailed my landings; normal, short field, and soft field. You'll probably learn faster. Stick with it and just realize that you learn something new every flight. Oh...use the checklists...they help a lot.
     
  21. WannFly

    WannFly En-Route

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    it will click when it clicks. there is no reason to rush to it. go up, enjoy life, when the time is right, you dont have to think about it. it will come to you naturally (sayz the one still waiting for the click :p)
     
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  22. Sport Pilot

    Sport Pilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I live near Champaign Illinois and drive to Morris and Newark Illinois (close to Midway and O’Hare). I am studying Sport So the closest locations that offer it are St. Louis and Chicago. It is quite an experience to see 747 flying overhead heading to Chicago O’Hare. I often wonder what the pilots of those airliners think of me as I scoot across the sky.

    I have a five hour round trip for training. I suppose this shows my motivation (or lack of critical thinking).

    What I am finding I have difficulty with is breaking everything down into simpler formulas. Such as when your on the downwind, you need to lower this and raise this, look for this and turn this off...oh, your on base so now you need this, turn this off, and flip this switch...ok? Got it? o_O

    I’m just going to flow with it.
     
  23. Kbedinbound

    Kbedinbound Filing Flight Plan

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    I'm fairly sure it doesn't show up in the FAA/ASA books, but the best piece of advice I ever received was "breathe and look around". I don't know if it was a "click" moment, but my landings got a lot better when I began to consciously take a breath on final.

    Hang in there, it will come.
     
  24. DFH65

    DFH65 Pattern Altitude

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    When it has an impulse coupler.

    When I got back into flying after 20+ years off the first few flights were so frustrating in that all of the stuff I used to do automatically I had to think about. Then about the middle of the 3rd flight it really did click and came rushing back. Right now you are building up that reservoir of knowledge and muscle memory. It takes a little time.
     
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  25. Sport Pilot

    Sport Pilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Thanks for your input guys. It’s comforting to see that I’m not the only one who feels or has felt this way.
     
  26. Kbedinbound

    Kbedinbound Filing Flight Plan

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    Based on what you described in 22, checklists and armchair fly the pattern in the parking lot. Watch the parking lot at the flight school and you'll soon realize that it may look stupid, but people keep doing it for a reason.
     
  27. Kbedinbound

    Kbedinbound Filing Flight Plan

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    Come on guys, it's so simple. Maybe you need a refresher course. Hey! It's all ball bearings nowadays.
     
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  28. bobmrg

    bobmrg En-Route

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    Big red flag. Is your instructor using a syllabus? The things you describe should not be approached until you are really comfortable with the ability of being able to maneuver in three dimensions and know/understand the use and effect of each of the flight controls (including the throttle). If I set out to discourage someone from ever getting into an airplane again I would copy what your instructor is doing. Learning to fly is a series of building blocks, each new experience being based on knowledge and muscle memory from a previous lesson. Google "private pilot flight training syllabus" and you will see a selection of syllabi. Look at any one of them and you will see that you are being abused.

    Bob Gardner
     
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  29. Flocker

    Flocker Pre-takeoff checklist

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    "Click" comes with experience. It's a continual learning process even after the license...
    You'll be amazed at the amount you learn after the Cert...
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2018
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  30. PaulMKE

    PaulMKE Pre-Flight

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    Where are you flying out of near Chicago? I’m up in MKE and did my primary out of KDPA.

    As others have said, enjoy the process. You’re learning an amazing art. For me I wasn’t comfortable until 30 hours or so. And if it helps, in my instrument training, sometimes I feel right back where you are. This is a difficult thing to master and that’s one reason we do it.
     
  31. PaulMKE

    PaulMKE Pre-Flight

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    +1. I thought I would know it all after the check ride. Oh boy...
     
  32. Sport Pilot

    Sport Pilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    QUOTE:Big red flag. Is your instructor using a syllabus? The things you describe should not be approached until you are really comfortable with the ability of being able to maneuver in three dimensions and know/understand the use and effect of each of the flight controls (including the throttle). If I set out to discourage someone from ever getting into an airplane again I would copy what your instructor is doing. Learning to fly is a series of building blocks, each new experience being based on knowledge and muscle memory from a previous lesson. Google "private pilot flight training syllabus" and you will see a selection of syllabi. Look at any one of them and you will see that you are being abused.QUOTE

    I didn’t expect that. o_O He gave me about 11 pages that I wrote down. I typed them up today with graphics which gave me 7 pages typed. I have already taken my written (88%). I was familiar with all the instruments, what they do and represent. I’ve read the Pilot Handbook and Sport Maneuvers Book Cover to cover. I guess I need to talk to him today about a syllabus.

    I fly out of Morris and Newark. I am in the parking lot at the airport about to grab my notes and Sport Maneuver Book and start reading.

    My plane just flew over.
     

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  33. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Let me ask a question. Did your instructor take you to the practice area FIRST before starting pattern work and build a series of simpler tasks out there that can be strung together to make a standard airport pattern?

    Level flight, climbs, descents, turns, now climbing turns, descending turns... you get the idea.

    These things are listed in the ACS as separate tasks for a reason. Building blocks.

    Building blocks! Simple repeatable building blocks. This is how you break it down.

    Literally all that you should be dealing with early on, from downwind to landing is this :

    Final landing checklist. Always. (There’s some switches to throw here sometimes. That’s the last time. If you were in a retract this is also where the gear must go down. Done. Complexity over.)

    Abeam the landing point. Descend. (Reduce power, add first notch of flaps. That’s it. You should have done this before in the practice area.) Constant airspeed descent. The airplane should WANT to do this if you were trimmed just by the power reduction alone.

    (Point here: In some airplanes instructors can start you off without the flap changes even if they want to. It’s airplane and student dependent.)

    45 degrees off of the runway. Turn. (Again, already done in the practice area.) Constant airspeed descending turn. Maybe we’ll slow a little. Pitch for airspeed.

    Perpendicular to the runway. Stop turn. (We’ve seen what happens here in the practice area. You got back all that lift you lost to the vertical component of lift being lower in the turn. Might have to re-trim and adjust power.)

    Descend some more. Add another notch of flaps. (Same as the first descent. Instructor can manage power setting here or discuss that you’re adding drag. Pitch for airspeed, power for descent rate.)

    Just prior to the runway so you don’t fly past it. Turn. (Same as before. See? Easy. )

    Lined up with runway. Final landing checks, runway number check, landing clearance check. Always.

    Let the airplane fly down to 5’ above the runway (pitch for airspeed, power for descent).

    Transition eyeballs further down the side of the runway as the runway gets big in the window so you can tell how high you are.

    5’ above runway. Reduce power smoothly to idle while simultaneously pitching up to not let the nosewheel touch first and keep pulling.

    Mains touch, keep pulling. Don’t let the nosewheel land.

    When it finally does, braking as needed to exit the runway.

    Radios, traffic, sometimes crosswind correction (pick the right days), flaps even if needed, you name it...

    ALL the other stuff the instructor CAN offload. ALL of it.

    They can add it all back in one thing at a time, after starting with removing too many balls for you to juggle.

    Fly the basics to create a pattern. Fly the pattern to create an approach that puts you where you want on the runway. Fly the nosewheel to keep it off. :)

    All those basics include component parts like combining aileron with rudder to make a coordinated turn. Combining a flap change (drag change) with a change in pitch. Knowing a power change affects descent or climb rate.

    ALL of that... was taught in the practice area. First.

    Then you just string them together.

    If he’s not teaching building blocks I’m going to peer over my old man glasses at him or her and say, “Why didn’t you teach the student to juggle one ball before juggling ten?”

    Don’t try to think of it as a mess of things to do. Think of it as doing one thing you already learned. A constant airspeed descent. Now a constant airspeed descending turn. Another level descent. Another turn.

    Learn the components inside each of those things and know those first.

    If I say “constant airspeed level descent” you should be able to do that just as if I was your music instructor and said “play a C major scale”.

    There’s seven notes inside that scale at the detail level but you already learned that and practiced it. You just play the scale.

    Now I say “constant airspeed descending turn”. You do it. There’s rudder and aileron inputs to roll to about 30 degrees and then hold it. But that’s the details. You should already have done that in the practice area.

    “Back to a straight ahead constant airspeed descent.” Easy!

    “Another turn.” Easy!

    You don’t even HAVE to land out of it. I could say “constant airspeed straight ahead climb” at 100’ off the ground.

    Guess what you did? You put the power up, the nose on the horizon, you added right rudder (all details you learned in the practice area) and the airplane climbed. What do we call that?

    A go-around. Easy!

    See how that practice all joins together?

    Hope that helps. And I hope your instructor is using building blocks like that!

    At the VERY beginning this all needs to be broken down to component parts. Many instructors, quite frankly, SUCK at this. Familiarity leads them to forget you’re over there thinking “what the hell is a constant airspeed straight ahead descent?!”

    Learn the component parts. Learn the names we call things. And then string them together to make an airport pattern. String those basics into making an approach.

    Make sense?

    Reading it alone won’t cut it. You will have to go practice each component. Then put them together. :)
     
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  34. Bulldog573

    Bulldog573 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    People have given a lot of advice, and it’s all good. I’ll just add, that this is all very new and being discouraged is natural. More than that, the “good days” and “bad days” are going to be a part of the rest of your journey. Relax, soak it up. Smile on the good days. Self-assess on the bad days.

    And Fly.
     
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  35. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    I’m in full agreement with Bob, as you can see, about building blocks. I left off “the instructor is doing it wrong” because I can’t tell from here. But I have suspicions.

    One of our local DPEs is on the warpath about this with CFI candidates when they’re consulting with him about this. (And they’d better do it on the checkride or they’re in danger of not passing and also they’re going to tick him off. Seriously tick him off.)

    His favorite question for CFI candidates right now is: “Describe to me Flight Lesson Number One. You’re already sitting at the hold short line and you helped them taxi and get through the run up and all the radio calls. You’re cleared for takeoff.”

    If the CFI heads straight for “I’m going to let the student make the first takeoff.” They’re in trouble.

    “And how exactly do they know all the things they need to do to make a first takeoff?”

    You say instead, “I’m going to have the student handle holding the runway centerline with their feet since they just learned the importance of their feet taxiing over here. They also already know where the brakes are and I’ll make sure their feet are on the floor. I’ll handle the yoke and stay with them on rudder and we’re leaving the pattern to go work on basics.”

    You’re off on the right foot.

    Guess what you can teach on the way to the practice area? Constant airspeed climbs. And constant airspeed level flight.

    Hmmm. Look at that.

    Building blocks. Aircraft control. First. BEFORE pattern work.

    What does THIS flight control do? All by itself. Nothing else. Okay now THIS one.

    Primacy of learning is a BIG deal. Tossing someone into pattern work who hasn’t even played with SINGLE flight controls in the practice area, is flat out stupid.

    We instructors can’t forget students know NOTHING at first. Or they even “know” things that aren’t true. Like cross over from their cars. You know what? An airplane in flight will not go out of control or crash into a ditch if they just LET GO of the yoke. Their car will if they let go of the steering wheel. SHOW them. This is DIFFERENT than your car. (Especially in an airplane with a yoke. Sticks, peoples don’t attribute to cars as readily.)

    Primacy and building blocks are why Bob went straight to saying “abused”. You can NOT do pattern work until you know how the controls work and build basic maneuvers. It’s asking too much of the student.
     
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  36. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Agree with Nate. The foundation is always built first. Basics basics and more basics.
     
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  37. Sport Pilot

    Sport Pilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Thanks guys for the input. I literally just finished flying. Today I did power on power off stalls, 45 degree turns, and 5 pattern touch and goes. From takeoff, crosswind, downwind, base, and final. 15,30,50 degree flaps, carb heat, and fuel pump on. I don’t know if I am in an accelerated course, but that is what I did today.

    As far as basics, my first flight we went over what was needed to be studied and flew. I was given the stick immediately and shown how everything works. We went to 3200 feet to the practice area and worked level flights, turns, gauges, and familiarizing myself to everything.

    I have attached a photo.
     

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    Last edited: Apr 26, 2018
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  38. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Okay, sounds better than I suspected. Usually when someone says they can’t figure out the craziness of the cockpit they were tossed a bit too soon into “doing it all”.

    Lots of people have survived the “sink or swim” model of instructing but it’s not great when you think about how it applies to adult learning.

    You can read through my long post and see how it all strings together. Just a logical flow from one maneuver already learned to the next.

    If the CFI isn’t teaching it that way, that’s a shame, but you can still apply the concept.

    Have fun! You need to smile more in those photos! :) You are, after all, flying a plane!!! :)
     
  39. WannFly

    WannFly En-Route

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    What plane are u flying with THAT flap range?
     
  40. Sport Pilot

    Sport Pilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Thank you denverpilot for your words of wisdom. Today was a great day of flying. I really felt I was going somewhere. I flew 1.2 hours and there was never a dull moment. Training at its best.

    I’ll try to smile next time. :)

    Wannfly,
    I am flying the Evektor Harmony.
     
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