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After 5 hours...

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After 5 hours...

Old 18th Nov 2018, 13:46
  #101 (permalink)  
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Flap 20 = FLOAT

Get some more flap down, I never quite mastered landings until after I had to revalidate my PPL after working overseas for 2 years.

My instructor, who flew many types up to C130 (Herc) in size, bollocked me on my first approach when I tried to use 20, saying "why do you think Cessna gave you 30, THAT's for landing"

Once you get it trimmed and on speed, the flare is much easier.

Also, practice a few missed approaches with full flap, the trim change is a bit of fun and if you really want a laugh, find an old C150 that has 40 degrees available and go around at maximum weight, that'll concentrate your mind.

Have fun, relax and enjoy it.
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Old 18th Nov 2018, 17:28
  #102 (permalink)  
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My old CO would berate me something terrible as I porpoised on landing. It wasn't until someone said 'when the runway is all around you, look out over the nose and flare'. 'What do you mean flare'? said I. 'Pull back on the control column' , said he, and I was cured! My multi instructor used to say on landing, 'don't go and ruin it all now'. No pressure then!
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Old 11th Dec 2018, 12:09
  #103 (permalink)  
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So I don't post here very often, but this thread has inspired me to put some fresh batteries in the keyboard and type something out, it's brought back so many fond memories, just had to say something.

I'm just a lowly PPL weekend warrior with a mutli. I've had my PPL for around 8 years with some lapses from flying requiring a check flight here and there. I'm not an instructor so I won't offer any specific flying advice, more of advice from an (ex) student to another.

Where to start...

Firstly, the first solo, not sure if you have done it yet, but if not, enjoy it, savour it, write down some detailed notes about how you felt, both beforehand, during and after. Take a photo of the plane once you've parked. Its the one flight you'll always look back on and remember, record as much of it as you can so you can relive it. The things I remember about mine were arguing with my instructor about not being ready to solo, sitting in a plane on my own while on downwind thinking to myself "I'm actually doing it, I'm flying a plane, I can't believe it, this is friggen awesome", and the smile I had on my face for about a month afterwards.

Mistakes, they happen, it's expected even, make as many as you can now with an instructor next to you, I found it's a really good way to learn. My last mistake was just this last Saturday, flying a twin (so expected to be a bit more professional) I was inbound to a class D, weather was good, it was my home base, no significant traffic and the flight was easy so no real excuses, made my inbound call, gave my type and call sign, my alt, the atis code and my intentions, and as I let go of the PTT button I felt like something was off with the call I had just made. ATC didn't respond as quickly as usual while I ran over the call in my head, when I realised I forgot to state my position, DOH. Not a biggy (I've made worse but I'm not putting em up here) my point is mistakes will happen. And as a side note, I think instructors get off on pushing us beyond our limitations and forcing mistakes, I bet they sit around at the end of the day having a laugh about us.

Don't get hung up on things that don't click right away like taxiing or landing (probably more nav related stuff by now), they will come with time and it will eventually click, It may not seem like it now but it will. Everyone has something they have issues with. When I was at the later stages of my PPL I overheard two instructors discussing another student who was ready to solo except they just couldn't/were scared of go around's. And the number of stories I've heard of people who just couldn't get their landings right I've lost count of. For me it was operating into and out of uncontrolled airports, I just couldn't get my head around how all these planes flying around an airport uncoordinated weren't bumping into each other up there, and I was scared that I was going to be the one to make that mistake that would cause me to bump into someone. This was after I had obtained my PPL as well, so I asked my instructor if we could do an hour or two of theory on that. It clicked for me after a conversation which went like this, Me: "But how am I suppose to get into a busy uncontrolled airport?" Instructor: "Uncontrolled airports are never busy". When I heard that all my fears where gone. And to this day those words have rung true, never have I come across more than two planes at an uncontrolled airport, and one is usually on the ground taxiing. I still prefer the guiding voice on the radio though.

Lastly, don't get hung up on how long it takes you to learn something, and don't compare how long it took you to solo/RPL/PPL to other people, everyone learns at a different pace and alot of the time it's because of things out of your control like weather/frequency of flying. e.t.c.

Not sure how far you have come since your last post, but if you're still at it hang in there and don't sweat the small stuff. Oh and one more thing, something weird happens when you become PIC, when its all on you, everything you have been taught just seems to click and come together like magic, you'll see.

Since you haven't posted I'd (and I'm sure many others) would love to hear about how far you have come.

P.S. Just wanted to add something, you mentioned you had trouble with all the radio jargon. Two bits of specific advice I can give, firstly with the phonetics (Charlie Oscar November, that type of thing) start trying to use it in everyday life, when your driving say the letters of the licence plate in front of you, when you're in one of those situations where you have to spell something out on the phone to someone, try to use standard phraseology, for example instead of saying "B for Bob or S for Sam", say "B for bravo and S for Sierra". I've even got my daughter learning these, but all she knows is Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, She's nine! Secondly when I was doing my training I had a scanner in the car hooked up to a voice recorder that would record all the radio traffic while I was at the airport. I'd listen to this afterwards when I could and tried to visualise where the traffic was and what they were doing.It helped me alot. Nowadays you can just use any number of online resources/apps to do the same thing. Sometimes when I'm bored I like to listen to atc.net while watching flighaware and seeing the planes get guided around.

Last edited by Con_G; 11th Dec 2018 at 12:25.
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Old 11th Dec 2018, 15:07
  #104 (permalink)  
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Some great advice and just reading the thread made me think back to that big day...having tried to cram in the first-solo just before the August break and stuffing it completely (i.e. not being signed-out), then coming back for a second try rested with no pressure. Remember my feet shaking on the pedals! Good inspiration in the future when you need some "yes I can" positive thinking.
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Old 13th Dec 2018, 23:00
  #105 (permalink)  
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Thanks for the useful comments and suggestions, always good to know that my experiences are not unique! It has been very helpful to download on here - I do feel isolated with no contact with any fliers other than my instructor during a lesson. I have not yet solo'd. In fact I have not flown since my last post because work commitments have had me traveling a lot - I am writing this in St Louis airport waiting for a flight to Minneapolis, what fun! My instructor keeps reminding me that I am totally ready to solo, except my landings are not safe. I definitely have a wall to break through there, but I am absolutely determined to get through it. I guess that my next flight will be tough having not flown for something like 2 months. I feel ready to solo. The landing thing seems so trivial, and everything seems so easy until I F!@#k up those last few seconds.
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Old 14th Dec 2018, 15:09
  #106 (permalink)  
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Think of landing as requiring the following elements:

Arrive over the threshold at the correct speed and altitude. This sounds basic, but you'd be amazed how many pilots arrive 10 knots too fast, or 20 feet too high, and then wonder why the landing went wrong. If you're worried about being too slow, know that you can still safely fly a nice landing at 5 knots slower than what the flight manual says, but aim for the flight manual speed. My preference is always a full flap landing. I've owned a 40 flap 150M for 31 years, and the only time I land less than full flap is the occasional practice for a zero flap landing. Other pilots differ, but I always land full flap, and doing so has never complicated my landing.

Keep the plane over the centerline, and aligned with the runway. Do what you have to do, including having one wing low, it does not matter if you touch one mainwheel first.

Now, as you reduce the power to idle, the plane is going to land, it cannot sustain prolonged flight with no power. Smoothly, gently try to prevent the landing by steadily raising the nose - imagine that the runway is really hot, and you're trying not to touch it until the last minute. Let the plane settle on on its own, maintaining the nose up. You're gently pulling on the control wheel to do this - never push the control wheel during a landing. Relax the pull a little if you need to to modulate your attitude or height above the ground, but never push! If you hear the stall warning horn, and you're only a foot or two over the runway, hold that attitude, and wait, you're about to kiss the plane on.

Once a wheel touches, maintain the track along the centerline, and do not release the pull on the control wheel. Indeed, were you to be flying my C 150, I would mentor you to maintain the pull so as to keep the nosewheel light for as long as possible. If the nosewheel touched as you had the control wheel pulled gently against the stop, I would compliment you. You do not need to have the nosewheel on the runway to steer, if you have enough airspeed to hold the nosewheel up, your rudder is still effective enough to steer. The rudder will steer the plane on its mainwheels very well at runway speeds.

Two things to avoid:

Allowing the nose to rise and fall, select the best attitude for the speed you're flying, and either maintain the pitch attitude, or increase it a little as you flare, and reduce power. And, don't let the airplane wander laterally across the width of the runway - use the rudder and ailerons to keep the plane in the middle. Your instructor is not going to allow you to fly in wind conditions such that you cannot keep the plane aligned on the runway.

As an aside to the foregoing, and having recently discussed this with an instructor colleague, ask your instructor during your upcoming lessons (appropriate to the maneuvers being flown) to experience moving each of the controls to its stop. Examples of this could be full nose up applied after the mainwheels ore on the runway, full nose down for a moment while breaking a stall, full rudder and aileron during a sideslip at altitude. It's important that you know that you have full control, and you can use it! During my type training on the DC-3, the instructor was very clear to draw my attention that the control wheel goes nearly all the way around - something like 175 degrees of rotation either way from center, and I should use all of this if I need it, rather than not using full aileron which I could have needed for full control. During checkouts, I've have a pilot migrating across the runway laterally. "More rudder" I'd say. "I'm pressing the pedal" I'd hear - then I'd press it more! So learn what control is actually available to you!
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Old 14th Dec 2018, 21:17
  #107 (permalink)  
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I agree with you, double_barrel - there are some really good tips on your thread. Pilot DAR's landing advice immediately above is spot on. Forty-two years ago when I was learning to land, my flight instructor would wait until I was two or three feet above the runway's surface, then he would say (with gentle but increasing volume) "Patience...Patience...PATIENCE!" I would hold the control yoke to its aft stops for a smooth touchdown. We would squeak on, then go around for another approach and landing. On one attempt, just when I thought I had almost mastered the art of landing, I strained to look over my left shoulder to ascertain the height of the left main above the runway. My instructor reached over, grabbed my chin, yanked my head 90 degrees, aligned my eyes to the runway heading (it was 07 - I remember), and shouted "DON'T EVER DO THAT AGAIN!" This was the only time he had ever screamed at me, and I never did that again! "Look down the runway - get the big picture!", he would urge. I did and it was good advice.

Six months later, I had soloed and was about to schedule my check ride. I had played a round of golf at my club on Sea Island with a good friend whose grandfather had started a Swiss chocolate company. One of their candy bars is suffixed with -one. We were paired with the CEO's of Shell and Exxon. Fine gentlemen and both were pilots and good golfers. My friend and I won the match, barely and with no "foot wedges". Instead of going directly to the nineteenth hole, we decided to have a "fly off" - the best three landings won a pitcher of Tanqueray martinis. My friend begged off, but my flight instructor gladly joined us as an impartial judge. It was a scuddy overcast day with 10/10 coverage at 12. The wind was straight down all 5,000 feet of 22, gusting to 15 knots. We were flying the flight school's new and well-maintained Cessna 172. Exxon went first and made a good landing, a really good landing, and a wave off/go around. Royal Dutch executed a poor attempt, a pretty good try, and a cat-on-glass. With my instructor/judge in the right seat, it was my turn. Three squeakers in a row! As my multi-millionaire passengers reached from the back seats to congratulate me and pat my shoulder, my instructor looked at me with a mixture of pride and disbelief. As we taxied back to our hangar, he whispered "Where did that come from?" "Patience, patience, patience!" I replied. The martinis were just perfect...

Thinking that I was the super genius pilot of the millennium, I decided to go flying the following day. As I taxied to the runup area of 33, I need to make a sharp right turn. I turned the control yoke to the right. Nothing happened! 35 hours of training down the tubes! Then I remembered that one steers an aircraft with rudder and differential braking!

My point being this - be patient! One day it will all come together. That day, however brief, will find you beaming as the Master of the Universe that you are...

- Ed

Last edited by cavuman1; 14th Dec 2018 at 21:33.
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Old 14th Dec 2018, 22:16
  #108 (permalink)  
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Me: "But how am I suppose to get into a busy uncontrolled airport?" Instructor: "Uncontrolled airports are never busy".
An observation about Con_G’s post. This is not always the case. Last year I flew in a friend’s RV-6A from Calgary to Douglas, Wyoming to see the total eclipse of the sun. When we arrived, there were several aircraft arriving from all directions and three in the circuit ahead of us.

There were about 200 aircraft on the ground, ranging from ultra-lights to Citations.

Afterwards there was a rush to get away, with the jets in the vanguard - time is money, particularly if you’ve chartered a jet! We left about an hour after the eclipse and there were six aircraft ahead of us on the taxiway. The departures proceeded efficiently and safely with appropriate and informative radio calls from all the pilots. What I found interesting was that nobody bothered with their registrations. The call signs were all descriptive - “Blue and white Cessna”, “Red low-wing”, “White Citation”, etc. Very practical.
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Old 15th Dec 2018, 18:56
  #109 (permalink)  
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": "Uncontrolled airports are never busy"."
Flying strip Fly-ins can be busy. Fly-ins at uncontrolled airfields can be VERY busy, more so than controlled airfields with commercial traffic. No IFR long approaches. All VFR, all light aircraft.
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Old 19th Dec 2018, 23:58
  #110 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by markkal
If I could give you an advice, go take some tailwheel training, it will develop your skills, finesse and give you a sense of control boosting your confidence. In all aspects of your handling scenarios. The proper reflexes will replace mneumonics, no need to think before doing.

If you could progress to the point of doing your solo flight on a tailwheel aircraft, after say 10 hours you will reach a level of proficiency impossible to equate even with 1000 hours of flying with nosewheel trainers. Tailwheel handling imposes you to master handling skills at the very beginning of your training. It requires an awareness of speed, altitude, energy and flight path, possible only with coordination an a soft smooth touch at the controls.. Failing to master even one of these elements will end up in bent metal, countless bounces, or and a groundloop.
This is a post from a while back but as one who started ab initio more than sixty years ago on an Auster J/5, I regard the advice as particularly sound. Of course, much will depend upon whether you wish to learn to fly or whether you wish to attain a degree of competence sufficient to obtain the PPL. They are not at all the same things. Without question, the taldragger will equip you not only with skills not to be gained from nosewheel stuff but will enhance your overall capability and competence and these equate to additional safety.

With quite a few hours on the Beech 18, I was amused by Markkal's reference to groundloops!

Last edited by Gipsy Queen; 20th Dec 2018 at 00:11.
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Old 20th Dec 2018, 06:34
  #111 (permalink)  
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Uncontrolled airports never busy ?

Really ?

Sandown this year, sunny Mayday bank holiday, not a fly in

Two on final , one on base, three downwind, two on crosswind, the world and her husband deadside descending ...

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Old 2nd Jan 2019, 10:26
  #112 (permalink)  
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Update as there seems to be some interest in my struggles!

Amazingly, the first flight after 2 months away went like a dream! I have suspected this before, but now I am convinced, I benefit from a break in sessions. With time, things seem to settle in my brain and the actions seem to come more naturally.

My landings are still not great, but so far we have managed to re-use the aircraft! Have tried all combinations of flaps from non to 40deg. I loved the 40 flaps landing, I am not sure why they insist that flaps 20 is the 'normal' and 40 is for short-field landings. It took more faffing about with the throttle to keep it flying on the approach, but it settled beautifully when I chopped the throttle. Not tried a late go-around with 40 degs of flap, I imagine that will be interesting.

I will be in Australia for a week or so later in January, looking for a chance to try gliding, as several people have suggested, I think that might be fun and helpful.
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Old 2nd Jan 2019, 11:38
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I really struggled with landings too and was embarrassed at how many hours it took me to go solo, especially as at the time I was working with military pilots who usually took less than ten hours. The day after my solo, I escaped from my office to the nearest squadron tea bar belonging to one of the RAF display teams to scrounge a coffee. One of them found out that I’d been solo (at last) and told absolutely everyone else who then came to congratulate me. I asked why he’d made such a big fuss about it when it was such a small deal compared with their levels of experience. He replied that each one of them had only ever done one first solo, and that they could each remember it no matter how many years and thousands of flying hours had elapsed since. A really kind gesture and I finally felt proud of the achievement!! And they all reassured me that it didn’t matter how slowly I was progressing- I WAS progressing and I was enjoying my flying and that’s all that mattered. Wise words.

Last edited by Tortoise; 2nd Jan 2019 at 11:55. Reason: Speeling
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Old 2nd Jan 2019, 13:35
  #114 (permalink)  
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Landing? The only part of flight that's obligatory - your job is to just delay the inevitable as long as possible. Just hold her off and wait, and wait, and wait - all good things...

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Old 2nd Jan 2019, 15:49
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He replied that each one of them had only ever done one first solo, and that they could each remember it no matter how many years and thousands of flying hours had elapsed since.
Yes, you'll always remember your first solo. It is possible to have more than one though, mine were 30 years apart.
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Old 2nd Jan 2019, 17:52
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Agreed- my second "first solo" wasn't quite such a success though as I managed to ding the prop on landing and dented my confidence considerably. It caused an awful lot of paperwork and demonstrated that 3.5 hours in a taildragger does not necessarily undo the habits of 140 odd hours flying non taildraggers especially when the workload goes up unexpectedly. Lots of human factors involved so an interesting exercise in a way- but one that I would rather forget

I guess the first FIRST solo is the most truly memorable for most!!
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Old 2nd Jan 2019, 18:25
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3.5 hours in a taildragger does not necessarily undo the habits of 140 odd hours flying non taildraggers
'Truth in that! Happily, my second first solo was helicopter, while I remained a very current fixed wing pilot.
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Old 2nd Jan 2019, 19:54
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Nope, there is only One first solo.
Mine was in a Cessna 152
I did fly other flying machines solo. But they were not first solos. How can they be?
ASK 13
Lots of single and two seat gliders
Super Cub
Other tailwheel types, some with only one seat.
Sirocco microlight. First microlight (it's only got one seat)
lots more three axis microlights
Hot air balloons, including a hopper
Powered parachute
I've also aquired along the way type qualifications for weightshift microlights and hot air dirigeables, without actually going through the formality of flying them.
But you can only do ONE first solo. So enjoy it!
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Old 2nd Jan 2019, 21:21
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Originally Posted by Tortoise
It caused an awful lot of paperwork and demonstrated that 3.5 hours in a taildragger does not necessarily undo the habits of 140 odd hours flying non taildraggers especially when the workload goes up unexpectedly.
I had my first taste of traildragger in a Cessna 170. The majority of my ~200 hours are in 172s, I think that lulled me into a false sense of security because in the air it behaves very similarly to a 172. By the end of the 30 minutes I was able to perform a takeoff without prompting from my instructor, but landings... well... he had to take over on all of them. The touchdowns were not a problem (the 3 point landing attitude is essentially the same as the 172 landing attitude) but the twitchy direction changes requiring ever increasing amounts of rudder as the aircraft slows was just too much for me. The 170 just loves to ground loop and you needed to be further ahead of it than I was. Good times though.
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Old 2nd Jan 2019, 23:46
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But you can only do ONE first solo.
I politely differ; my fixed wing CPL only constituted a student pilot permit to fly the helicopter (helicopter is a separate license), so a signoff for first solo was required, making it my second first solo. This would also be the case for a helicopter pilot taking fixed wing training. A float rating also requires solo flight to complete the rating, and that requires the authorization of the instructor, though as it's still the same license, I'm not sure that counts the same way.

Though I've drifted the topic, sorry. Tailwheel flying, like driving manual transmission, is it's own reward in operating pleasure. Take whatever opportunity you can to gain that experience.
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