Welcome to my PPL diary. This will be my daily/weekly record of how my PPL is going. Today, 18/07/2004 was my first lesson in a Piper Tomahawk at Ravenair, Liverpool John Lennon Airport. The purpose of this on my behalf, is to record what I think is a great achievement. The reason why I am putting it on PPRuNe is for the benefit of others, whether it be pure enjoyable reading, or a good advice/reference. This isn’t a list of all the social struggles towards getting my PPL, I will not be talking about financial struggles, problems, babysitting, getting to work etc, it is purely a note of my progress. I hope you enjoy reading it, as I am aware that there are a few other posts of this nature.
Flight time 0915. My new instructor is a real nice guy, he takes me through the membership forms and procedures etc, and before I know it, we are walking to the apron to get in the aircraft. I am a pretty big fella, 17 stone, 6ft 2 etc, so upon looking at the Tomahawk, I am concerned, however, upon getting settled in the seat (it wasn’t as big a struggle getting in as I thought) I actually realised that it is rather roomy, certainly tonnes of space for me, and as there are no back seats, I can move the seat quite far back. This is fear number 1 overcome!
I already like the way he is teaching me, he doesn’t sit around for hours explaining every button and dial, he simply goes through the checks, with a quick explanation of each one, shows me all the basic instruments, starts her up (explaining along the way) and before I know it, he is letting me taxi the aircraft to the holding point. I am feeling great at this point, so much responsibility at such an early stage! (sorry about that)!
I can here him talking to ATC and can understand a few phrases, as I have gone over the RT section of Air Law a few times. He says “Ok you can take off – see the airspeed indicator? When that gets to 60 kts, pull back nice and gently on the controls and the aircraft will smoothly rise off the ground. Keep the airspeed at around 70 kts (or thereabouts) and let her climb”. At this point, was the best feeling so far. Here I am, first lesson and I am taking off !
He went through the basic principles, basic handling, lateral axis etc then power, carburettor icing, mixture control, flaps, air speed, rudder pedals etc. he asked me if I had done any flying before, which I said yes to as I was an air cadet. I had about 10-15 hours on the bulldog and various gliders, so it was very professional of him as he explained to me the needle on the rate of ascent/descent with ease as he assumed I already knew a bit about it, which luckily I did. His level of teaching seemed to fit in perfect with what I already knew/didn’t know. So now I am thinking I have a great instructor whom I will get along well with.
We done a lot of basic handling, south of the airfield (as this is where most of the training takes place) over Wrexham (not directly over) then flew around, North back through Malpas, Tilston etc, where we had a great view of 2 castles (sorry cant remember the names).
Then into the approach phase, another aircraft to our left who was on approach, had given an incorrect position which meant he caused a bit of upset as we nearly had to make an orbit to let him sort himself out. Apart from that, the landing was excellent, very smooth (the instructor landed the aircraft). So at this point I have an overwhelming feeling of happiness, knowing I am one step closer. I even met a chap in the waiting room who has about 35 hours, who was actually another pruner! I gave him my nickname so he can PM me. It is a small world!
So now I am booked in for Saturday and simply cannot wait. This is the start of a beautiful thing! I will write back next week with hour number 2.
Thanks loads guys for your great encouragement! It may take a while to complete, as at the moment I am aiming for a lesson a week, and it may get quite big, but as long as people wanna see it, I will carry on writing it !
Who cares, you ask. Lots of people. Those thinking of doing their PPL. Those doing it, who may feel very isolated at times. Those who've done it, and just like hearing others' detailed accounts. Instructors, since it may show different ways of teaching things and how students react. And for those who don't like it, there's a simple solution, don't click on it.
mazzy, I think this is a great idea, and I'm all for it; thankyou. But having done several "live" diary threads myself, there are a few things maybe you should know. Your flying life is about to become public property. That's fine when it's all going well, but what about when you find something really difficult, when the going gets tough, when you screw up and wish you'd never started? Unless you're very lucky, that will happen at some point. Will you share it with the world? How will you feel about that? Also, although a lot of people may like what you're doing, some won't...as has started already. Some will hate you for it, for whatever reason. Do you want that, on top of doing a very difficult course?
This is all worth thinking about. Personally, I found at some point that I was getting too well known, and that as a result there were people who tried to shoot me down the moment I stuck my head above the parapet...they seemed to be just waiting for me to screw up! Which is why I didn't post for a week or so, and have eased off a bit since then (OK, so none of you noticed. )
Of course, the other side is that you'll get loads of advice and support. I think PPRuNe is wonderful, and I doubt if I'd have got where I have aviation-wise without it. But once you start getting known - and you will, if you keep up this thread - there is, or can be, this other side to it. Ask pink aviator about that, and ask...well, not for me to say, but quite a few people. And I just felt that you should know about it.
Sorry for using up so much bandwidth on your thread; let me know if you want this deleted and I will...I nearly pm-ed you instead, but I felt that it was worth saying in public too. Especially after QSK's comment, so early on.
Thankyou for your post - I appreciate your thoughts and advice - of which I will consider dearly. (Absolutely no need to delete it )
As for those who wish to "shoot" you or me down for trying to do something good then the simple phrase stands, as Whirly correctly stated:
And for those who don't like it, there's a simple solution, don't click on it.
It's as simple as that - there are thousands of threads out there, some which may get on your nerves, and others which make you feel great in the day - if you dont like it just dont read it ! I am not trying to make any enemies, nor am I trying to gain any extra buddies !
As for your comments regarding when something goes wrong. Well I had thought of that possibility but like you said, it is very rare that someone will get through it without problems, and if I can document my problems and hurdles along the way, then it may help others. Whether people read it for; advice, humour, out of sheer boredom or whatever, as long as it is read without spite is all I care about. Whats the point in bringing someone down for making a note of their achievements?
I hope this remains a good thread and thankyou for the 5 star.
This is your forum as much as theirs, you have as much right to post here as anyone else, its really good to hear how people are progressing, the trials, the tribulations, the ups and downs etc, ignore them, they'll go away
In my little world, there is more knowledge in people's heads than you could ever read in books. With this in mind I figure we learn most in one of 3 ways. Firstly by instruction, secondly by personal experience and thirdly from others experience.
Your thread is the latter and so warts and all should make for an informative read, but more importantly you may make some mistakes that other's haven't. The whole joy of flying is that it is so dynamic it can never really be fully mastered and there is always something to learn.
Keep it coming
Oh, and it can also serve as a form of revision notes for you to reflect on in the stickier stages.
GtW My honourable friend...... The lack of student input on our forum stems from before the PA thrad. We used to have, about two years ago quite a few students posting all kinds on here all the time but hardly anything since.
Pinks thread came and was massive. We all know that, you just had to look at the 'hits' it got, constantly a few hundred a day, easy. Since then your comment may be valid but I would like to see much more of students posting questions here, not only for their benefit, but for others in the same boat too. The amount of people who just read her thread and have never posted on PPRuNe is amazing, PA has had numerous e-mails etc from people spurred on by her thread.
Overall though, I would like to see much more input from students than there is now and Mazzys post is a great start. Again, as Whirly stated, you(!) dont have to read it so why bother clicking on it then moaning about it..!!
For those who don't like this kind of thread, take the advice just given. I am right behind this thread all the way and as soon as someone posts something negative like what was posted this morning, then it will be deleted so don't bother wasting your time.
Regarding the last major thread (say nor more) of this nature - I didnt read it, nor get a chance to. It was in full flow roughly just after I registered.
I understand that my post may trigger some reincarnation (however that may be) but this is by no intention. I want to show how serious I am about my diary/aviation life/pprune, and I have just bought a personal title which I hope will show soon.
I welcome all opinions here good or bad, but I still stand by the saying "If you dont like it dont click it". This isn't my thread - it is ours.