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PPL annual flying hours question

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PPL annual flying hours question

Old 4th Apr 2011, 13:49
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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Lister, seconded.

It appears that Genghis lives in a parrallel universe or something. It clearly bears no relationship to the GA world I live, one which is populated with suicidal PPLs, endangering all around them because they do less than 30 hours a year.
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Old 4th Apr 2011, 14:02
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Hamish 123 View Post
Lister, seconded.

It appears that Genghis lives in a parrallel universe or something. It clearly bears no relationship to the GA world I live, one which is populated with suicidal PPLs, endangering all around them because they do less than 30 hours a year.
Or maybe I'm just less able than many other pilots, and need more hours to stay sharp?

G
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Old 4th Apr 2011, 14:47
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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I think with both flying, and riding a bike, the handling skills do stay with you.
Again, a dangerous myth to believe.
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Old 4th Apr 2011, 15:11
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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Genghis, fortunately for me, and I suspect the vast majority of PPLs and NPPLs, the CAA does not agree with your hypothesis.
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Old 4th Apr 2011, 15:41
  #25 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Hamish 123 View Post
Genghis, fortunately for me, and I suspect the vast majority of PPLs and NPPLs, the CAA does not agree with your hypothesis.
Probably because such low hour pilots seldom fly outside of the direct or indirect supervision of an FI and therefore don't have much chance to f**** up. I wonder how many could pass their PPL skill test again however.

Out of interest, why point at me specifically rather than, say, SNS3Guppy who said:

Once a week really ought to be the minimum, but it's hard to do, and hard to justify, especially in this economic climate, and with the cost of flying today. If you can't fly once a week, shoot for once every two weeks, and do everything you can to maximize on that flying. If you can't do that, then shoot for once a month. If you can't do that, you'll be best spending your flying with an instructor to stay proficient, because you won't be flying enough to keep up your own level of proficiency. If
or PilotDAR who said:

I've got to agree with Genghis on this one. I onced asked my insurer, how few hours would I fly before you really worried I was not maintaining my proficiancy. The answer came back "With 6000 hours, we're fine with you flying ten hours a year, but less would concern us. For a less experienced pilot, less than 25 a year is concerning".


I know damned well this isn't an ideal world - I also however know that these two guys have been in flying a lot longer, and have a lot more hours, than me.

Blame the inexperienced pilot why don't you

G
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Old 4th Apr 2011, 16:17
  #26 (permalink)  
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I am accountable to the people here for what I write, and I take that responsibility. I do not purposefully exaggerate or inflame a post, just to get people wound up. I'm here to offer what benefit I can to the group, from the experience I have been so fortunate to accumulate.

That said, I would not be a good person, if I posted wildly optimistic suggestions about how a low time pilot can expect to retain skills with long periods of inactivity. Sure, everyone is different, and demonstrates their skill differently - even occasion to occasion, flight to flight.

On this subject, I have put my sword in the ground at 25 hours per year, and that puts me in the group that has wrankled others. Yes, others, you can fly less, and probably meet a minimum safety requirement for a flight, if you have chosen good conditions which do not change much throughout the flight, and if the aircraft remains operating as expected, and some other unforeseen envent does not pop up to challenge your skill. Fly when you can. If you cannot, Oh well...

But, remind yourself, that if you are a 100 pilot, who flies once a month, it is unlikely that you are building new skills at any measuarble rate. You are perhaps sustaining the skills you have - how good are they?. If you're using that hour to practice and review airwork, forced approaches etc., excellent! That will keep you the sharpest. What I find myself sometimes, however, are client's "check" pilots flying with me, who have not flown a stall for years, have never, or not in memory, spun, and have never actually shut an engine down, then flown to to the point of not being able to maintain directional control (twin). It would be unkind to be critical of these pilots, but I find that in some cases, their role in keeping the flight safe has been reduced to reading the checklist to me. Despite the fact that they fly the IFR leg once a week

I am soooo lucky to own, keep my plane at home, and fly whenever I want. I am soooo lucky that clients have the faith in me to anme me on fleet policies, so I can fly whatever needs to be flown that week.

My appreciation of that privilage keeps me very firmly in mind of maintaining a minimum skill set appropriate to a broad range of aircraft types, so when I fly, I am at least safe. I can do it at an hour a month, but I don't like it, and I keep the conditions for that next flight agreeable.

Each new season, I talk the taildragger (yes, it is, 'cause the tailwheel collapsed once, so it did drag the tail) amphibian for it's first seasonal flight. I am by no means "fresh" on the plane. Steep refresher curve!

When you're flying something you have not flown, in what is a "long time" for you, think of the "swiss cheese" model of accidents - the holes all lining up wrong. Recognize that you're being out of practice is a hole all it's own, and the thing you just overlooked is a second hole which just lined up, you'd better keep that third hole from lining up too, or skills which just may not be there, are going to be vital.

I am empathetic that the cost of flying makes frequent flying difficult for some pilots, I can remember those days for me (when the rental of a C150 was $18 per hour - wet!). But, the environment of flying does not care about your finances at all, it cares about the demonstration of your skill!
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Old 4th Apr 2011, 17:25
  #27 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by SNS3Guppy View Post
Again, a dangerous myth to believe.
They'll degrade, but I think they're still there.

I'll bet if you put most people who haven't flown for 30 years in an aeroplane, they'll still be able to follow the basic stick and rudder tasks if you don't demand too much of them.

G
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Old 4th Apr 2011, 17:59
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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The safety aspect is more related to the number of hours you have in the preceding month, rather than the preceding year. Don't the AAIB reports always kick off with 28 and 90 day currencies?

If you own an aircraft I can see the motivation to spread the hours thinly over the year, but if you rent you have the freedom to get back current as needed, and then fly a lot for a shorter period. "Getting back current" pretty much obliges you to fly with an FI for a bit, which is no bad thing either.

30 hours/year could be 2.5 hours/month spread out over a year with no feedback on your performance, or 10 hours/month over the summer, after getting checked out.

Same average, different currency, and IMHO different levels of safety.
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Old 4th Apr 2011, 18:43
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SNS3Guppy, nice reading your post, and so true.
personally I plan to fly 30 hours/year, resulting in about 25 hours in real because of weather and maintenance. I'm renting the usual Cessna's and Pipers in a club.
However, most of these hours are done between March-September when I make trips abroad. So I always start the flying season with 1 hour instruction. I always combine these check rides wide a new aircraft type each two year, to keep the fun in it.
I also fly a few hours as passenger each year, on which I also navigate or do radio work. This also keeps you sharp for half the price.
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Old 4th Apr 2011, 18:49
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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...and in our club there are only a few people above that 25 hour/year. The yearly hour total in our club divided by number of pilots was estimated just above legal minimums. Considering we have a lot of students doing many hours this is remarkable.
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Old 4th Apr 2011, 19:36
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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I'll bet if you put most people who haven't flown for 30 years in an aeroplane, they'll still be able to follow the basic stick and rudder tasks if you don't demand too much of them.
People who believe the same thing manage to kill themselves every year.

There's a reason that minimum proficiency and recency of experience standards, and proficiency checks and flight reviews are established by each governing body which issues pilot certificates.
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Old 4th Apr 2011, 20:44
  #32 (permalink)  
 
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SNS3 - nobody is saying one should not be meeting those standards or being checked out.

The CAA say 12 hours in the past year, plus one hour with a FI for SEP renewal in the UK, or renew by test. What is being said is it should be 30 hrs or some other made-up amount. Why not just say if one isn't a commercial pilot doing a 1000hrs per year one shouldn't be doing it?

I tend not to eek my flying out but rather get in as much as I can when I can afford to. I checked out as club current in 30 minutes after a 15 month break, but went on to revise just about every aspect of the PPL before renewing by test, which I passed easily. Who could fly the PPL skills test after such a break someone asked? Well actually apart from the shorter nav and no 'diversion' the test was pretty much the same as the skills test and was just a lot of fun really after doing 3 hours of revision flights first.

As it is the few hours I have got in the past couple of years include Night Qualification, tailwheel conversion and plenty of revision with FIs, my own view is when I've not flown for ages and pass a club checkout it says no more then at 'solo' standard - I plan my next flight accordingly.

The CAA say though that if I have done 3 landings as sole manipulator of the controls, in the past 90 days, I'm also passenger current too and therefore can exercise the rights of my licence - to be branded as dangerous for not doing 30 hours per year doesn't really fit.

How do I now for example do the 30 hrs this year? Should I do them all with an instructor because I won't possibly be able to fly on my own or with friends and rebuild my skill set?

I wouldn't argue that doing more hours in a year wouldn't be more ideal, I would love to do thousands, but to brand anyone sub 30 or 25 hrs/year as unsafe and needing to rethink if they should be flying is simply not inline with requirements of the CAA nor reasonable.

One could fly for 1hr per month, be totally club current, passenger current and meet the 12 hour rule. To believe someone flying twice that TIME is immediately much safer to me seems like a much bigger trap than the 12hr pilot who knows they are going to be somewhat limited. Someone could have done 24hrs via longer enroute legs and done exactly the same amount of landings and take-offs as the 12hr pilot, it's meaningless.

In the same way I do fly circuits often when I'm current, you can bet I have far more landings and take-offs than some of my friends in the past week than they had in the past 4 months So the fact they sat cruising for longer to get their burger makes them more current?
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Old 4th Apr 2011, 21:19
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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This is an interesting topic for me. I've just started my PPL and although I have the dosh up front to do the PPL and probably some left over for IMC/night rating; once it's gone I'm going to budget 300 a month for flying which at my club buys just over 3 hours in a 172/28 or just under 4 in a 152. Add in some passenger flying at shared cost and I'm hoping to do around 40 to 45 hours a year of hopefully interesting and challenging flying rather than doing the local milk run. I agree with CG in the last post, 45 hours doing 4 hours at a time in a straight line is worse than doing 12 hours of ccts, stalls, forced landing practice etc.

I wouldn't want to be doing any less personally, although I fully understand that people have varying amounts of disposable income. If I could only afford to do an hour a month I seriously doubt I would have taken it up. Again that's no slight on people who do an hour a month, there are plenty at my club who as far as I can see are competent enough, but I don't think I would feel safe doing the legislated minimum.

I will stress the 'I' in I don't think I would feel safe, there are probably pilots who fly half of what I intend to fly who are far better pilots than I will ever be.

Last edited by thing; 4th Apr 2011 at 21:34.
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Old 4th Apr 2011, 21:45
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How frequently you need to fly varies greatly. I've been a passenger in our group plane with pilots who fly less than once a month, but who appear to keep their skills. I've flown 24 hours since Jan1. This is less than I hoped for, due to weather. I quickly lose my skills if I do not fly. Fortunately, I lose my confidence slightly quicker than I lose my skills. Only when very current will I be happy with gusty crosswinds.
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Old 4th Apr 2011, 21:54
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Why not just say if one isn't a commercial pilot doing a 1000hrs per year one shouldn't be doing it?
Who has suggested any such thing?

Then again, those who do fly a considerable amount, with a considerable wealth of experience, nearly uniformly have very different views from those with little or no experience. Why do you suppose that is?

What is being said is it should be 30 hrs or some other made-up amount.
Any value is a "made-up amount." The numbers don't grow on trees, you know.

An hour a month is a very miniscule amount of flying in which to engage and hope to retain any semblance of proficiency. An hour a week isn't much, either. Four hours a month, one a week, is expensive and hard to do for many people, but it's not much.
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Old 4th Apr 2011, 22:09
  #36 (permalink)  
 
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once it's gone I'm going to budget 300 a month for flying which at my club buys just over 3 hours in a 172/28 or just under 4 in a 152
My word what club are you residing at (very interested, I may consider a block booking)? The cheapest club rates here in the North England are 130ish for C152 and between 140-60ish for PA28 C172 per wet hour.

Obviously there are private run clubs which offer a more cost effective option, but don't forget to factor in the monthly running costs and in some cases the initial cost of share equity.
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Old 4th Apr 2011, 22:34
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PM incoming.
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Old 4th Apr 2011, 22:35
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Originally Posted by SNS3Guppy View Post
People who believe the same thing manage to kill themselves every year.

There's a reason that minimum proficiency and recency of experience standards, and proficiency checks and flight reviews are established by each governing body which issues pilot certificates.
Maybe, but I only said "stick and rudder skills" - safely operating an aeroplane: with all of the additional skills of RT, SA, system management, checks... is much more than just the stick and rudder skills.


Related to which, I do very much agree with those who emphasise the importance of the quality of the flying. Certain critical bits of flying - PFLs, circuits, diversions, go-arounds, stalls - need reasonable practice. Somebody flying 40 hours per year who only ever flies the same cross country route for lunch, arguably isn't likely to be as sharp as somebody flying 20 hours, but with a monthly PFL, varied circuits and routes, and practice emergencies or bit of stalling every few months. Plus of-course the time and effort of planning and preparation - not just turning up and jumping in.

A plug on his behalf for anybody who's not read it - there's a really good chapter on this in John Farley's book "View from the Hover" - on how to use limited flying to best advantage to keep flying skills sharp.

Plus, you can make a good case that it's more rewarding working yourself hard like that to keep the flying sharp. I'd even go so far as to call it fun.

G
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Old 5th Apr 2011, 00:06
  #39 (permalink)  
 
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Is that a partial retraction of the 30hrs Ghengis

There is a big difference between pilots I see at club level.

Those that can't fly as much as they would like and know the rust has set in, will fly with an instructor without a second thought and enjoy it. Will plan carefully to bring in aspects of a flight that need work such as RT, by say planning a simple flight and getting a basic service to start. Knows that it won't hurt to do some PFLs and stalls this month, or some crosswind circuits with an instructor if it's a bit too sporty to chance alone. Have enough money? Start a course, learn something new, brush up on all that old guff you probably forgot or didn't know anyway (humor alert).

Those that take the view 'I have a licence and will not fly with an instructor if I can avoid it', I'll just go to so and so because I've been there a thousand times before and there is no crosswind and I won't have to talk to ATC but it will keep me 'current'.

It doesn't take SNS3's years of experience to figure which I would rather fly with. The first one with 5 hrs this year, rather than the second with 20.

The 'don't have to and won't fly with an instructor', 'don't have to and won't talk to ATC', 'I won't bother planning because I can't fly a heading anyway', culture scares me more than my own limited chances of flying due to finances and health in the last couple of years. Have to say, I sure as hell appreciate every second of it now though, roll on the next flight
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Old 5th Apr 2011, 00:51
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Only partial. And I would still have reservations about my own safety if I was flying under 30 hrs per year.

G
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