View Full Version : Hour Building

1st Apr 2003, 16:40
i currently hold a PPL and plan to go on to ATPL when i have sufficient hours and funds. in the meantime however, i don't want to waste my hour building - i want it to be worthwhile in the long run. i have heard suggestions on this forum that things like maintaining a heading to within +/- x degrees is a good start, aswell as heading to +/- y ft.

what things should i be looking at during this hour building??

1st Apr 2003, 17:13
I too am hour building. It is important to fly as accuratly as possible at all times. +- 5 degrees on heading and +- 50ft on altitude would be good to aim for.

I try to go flying alone for an hour once a month and practice these:

1) 360 degree turns, maintaining altitude and airspeed (bang on)
2) Rate one turns.
3) Climbs and descents at specific airspeeds and rates of climb/descent and configuration
4) Climbing and descending turns, 15 degree angle of bank, at specific airspeeds and rates of climb/descent and configuration
5) Slow flight - 5kts above the stall. Climbs, turns etc.
6) Stalls

Every time I fly I practice for engine failure after takeoff, if not practically, then at least in my head. Memorise the checks.

The remainder of my flying is cross-country. I make very thorough plans and try to set myself objectives throughout the flight that I would like to achieve. For example, when landing away at an unfamiliar airfield, I found that my join and circuit wasn’t as good as it could be, so one flight was concentrated on perfecting it.

One other thing to consider if you are going commercial is not to perform checks that are too specific to your aircraft. Use FREDA and landing checks that can be transferred between all aircraft. A typical concern of mine is my landing check:

"Brakes off, landing gear down and fixed, mixture rich, carb heat warm, hatches and harnesses secure, carb heat cold."

There is an emphasis here on landing gear down and fixed - I fly a fixed gear aircraft, but won't always be. I've got that in to my head now, so there is less chance of cocking up later!

The most important thing for me is practising everything learnt from the PPL and applying it to as many different situations as possible. This involves moving away from your local area to unfamiliar places, encountering different terrain, weather, airspace etc..

Good luck

1st Apr 2003, 18:11
Carb heat cold - landing checks? Where do you do yours. I wouldnt turn carb heat off on downwind when, in a complex plane, you do your ldg checks, check gear down and locked, adjsu props then reduce power, for which the carb heat should be on iff applicable. Then I put carb heats off on short final in anticipation of go around, whenI do my finals check, gear, flaps, props, etc before commitiing.

Anyway, hr building is only useful if you improve from it, so analyse each flight dont just perfect the easy bits...!

1st Apr 2003, 18:46

My checks are done downwind hence carb heat goes off until base when the power is reduced.

1st Apr 2003, 19:16
I push the CarbHeat back in at 200', along side landing clearance, toes clear (not that I've got toe brakes!)... it also lies at the imaginary DH, so I'm thinking about it before then.

Northern Highflyer
2nd Apr 2003, 18:34
I am starting my hour building and intend to increase the complexity of flights (i.e. through or round controlled airspace rather than just in the open IFR) and the distance as I go on.

I practice other areas when I can such as PFL and stall. I think variety is the key but you have to get something out of it. For me routing through class D is something I need to do more of but anyone who has trained at an airfield within said airspace will be ok with it I would imagine.

Part of my downwind checks includes fuel and pump on and sufficient.

Carb heat doesn't come off until approx 300ft on short final.

Best of luck


2nd Apr 2003, 20:07
What is FREDA ?:(

Have to bable to make the 20 char. limit:cool:

2nd Apr 2003, 20:11

Your flying plans look excellent, much better than boring holes in the sky... just one wee criticism:

1) 360 degree turns, maintaining altitude and airspeed (bang on)

... don't get hung up on holding your airspeed in turns: in medium level turns it is normal to accept the drop in IAS rather than trying to chase the speed with the throttle. You'll find that this will also be the case with 45 degree steep turns in larger/more powerful types (e.g. twins).


AKA Cruise checks, turning point checks, 15/20 minute checks in fact has many different names:



9th Apr 2003, 10:33
If you´re building time let me suggest Argentina for that. I ´ve been here for quite a while and it couldn´t have been better. The aircraft are in excellent shape and rates are really low when compared against rates in the States, not to mention Europe.



edited for spelling...oops