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Starting my PPL

Old 27th Sep 2018, 07:38
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Starting my PPL

Hello,
This is my first post after some years on the forum browsing topics while deciding to go for my PPL and hopefully progress to commercial one day. After reading so much about other people i felt time to post my self. I'm looking to leave the property industry to go into flying due to my passion for flying ever since my teenage days, but sadly was never in a financially strong place to fund my self.

Finally I am and have signed up to Bournemouth flight academy and wanted to ask for any advice, my first lesson is later this week and I wanted some pointers going forward with my flying career. From reading so many post I can see it is a difficult industry to get some traction in but feel its well worth the hard work put in.
Any advice for beginners will be very much appreciated.
many thanks
Patrick
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Old 27th Sep 2018, 14:50
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Welcome Patrick,

You will find a wealth of experience and knowledge among the contributors here. Pilots are generally a very mentoring group, eager to share their wisdom and experience to help others as the progress too!

For your first few lessons, arrive prepared and relaxed. Prevent distractions to your attention. It will seem overwhelming at first, don't worry about that, you simply cannot grasp everything, and you don't need to at the beginning. Allow your mind to absorb the basics of handling the plane. Avoid fixating on any instrument, look outside most of the time. If I were to tell you only one instrument to look at for the first 5 hours of your training, it would be the little black ball, which should nearly always sit neatly between the two lines - the slip indicator. Your instructor will brief you on all of the instruments, but that most simple one is one of the more important, and your learning how to fly well with it, will greatly improve you flying skill, grace and safety later in your career. Still, don't fixate on it, but refer to it occasionally.

Understand that as you learn more, the basics will become muscle memory, and ingrained in your mind, then you're ready to absorb more, don't overload your senses, or nothing gets learned properly! Then remember that the aircraft is designed to be a trainer, and will tolerate a little imperfection as you learn in it - it's designed to be safe and tolerant of imperfect flying. Of course your aspire to being an awesome pilot, but don't beat yourself up if you get it wrong a little as you go, your instructor will prevent your getting it too wrong!

Then, simply enjoy the sense of freedom!
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Old 27th Sep 2018, 18:59
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Good advice from P DAR. Not quite right in the first sentence of his second paragraph though. I think he meant to say “always arrive prepared”. That will give you the best chance of getting the most out of your training.

Good of luck with it.
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Old 27th Sep 2018, 21:54
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Thank you for such a brilliant message and in depth response , my first lesson is tomorrow and I can't wait and will take on everything you mentioned.
i think my biggest concern is the radio as I've watched some youtube videos and the communication sounds so complicated.

How long is it you have both been flying ?
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Old 27th Sep 2018, 22:16
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I have been flying since 1976, nearly all general aviation. 0.7 hours today (including two water landings ! ).

Don't worry about the radio for a while. It sounds complicated, but the majority of the radio communications follows a predictable pattern. Focus on flying the plane, and watching for other aircraft traffic, let your instructor worry about the radio. Do not dilute your experience of handling the aircraft with thinking about the radio, it'll come in time. When your flying becomes muscle memory, things like radio, navigation, diversons and emergencies will begin to fit into your mental capacity too. If you try to focus on all of them, you won't learn any well at the outset.
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Old 28th Sep 2018, 06:14
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Patrick,

Welcome to PPRuNe. Excellent advice from Pilot DAR, particularly about looking outside. As he said, the only instrument you need to glance at occasionally, during your initial lessons, is the slip ball. Use the appropriate rudder pedal to push the ball back into the centre. Do not chase the airspeed needle. Your instructor will teach you how to control speed by maintaining an appropriate attitude with reference to the horizon.

I've been flying light planes even longer than Pilot DAR. I clocked up 52 years two weeks ago and flew an hour on Tuesday, towing gliders. After all that time, I still get a sense of wonder that I'm up in the sky in a light plane, flying myself.

Good luck and let us know how you get on.

Last edited by India Four Two; 28th Sep 2018 at 07:18.
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Old 28th Sep 2018, 11:17
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Hi Patrick. Welcome to the world of flying machines and the select band of brothers and sisters who fly them. If you’re doing a PPL course the book ‘Handling Light Aircraft’ by Julien Evans might be helpful. Good luck!
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Old 28th Sep 2018, 14:20
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Welcome to PPRuNe young man, you will get good advice on here.
There always seems to be a lot to do while learning but it will all become second nature after a while.
Stay cool, when I was learning, at the moment when I was starting to concentrate like starting a descent, my instructor would hand me a boiled sweet, "Fancy a sweet Mart?" he used to say while I was thinking that I had more pressing things to think about.
If you read 'Home is the Hunter' the author experienced an instructor who put a burning match in front if his face while he was fully engaged. (have I got the name of the book right guys?)
FF
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Old 28th Sep 2018, 14:43
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Originally Posted by Pilot DAR View Post
I have been flying since 1976, nearly all general aviation. 0.7 hours today (including two water landings ! ).
.
Gosh, you must be unlucky, most people never have to land in the water yet you've found yourself doing it twice in one day. Hats off to you for your continued enthusiasm ;-)
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Old 28th Sep 2018, 15:23
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you must be unlucky, most people never have to land in the water
I think of myself as very lucky! Two of my planes are amphibious. I land in the water regularly, enjoy myself, then take off from the water, and fly to my runway at home with a big grin on my face.
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Old 28th Sep 2018, 17:15
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Thank you for all your feed back guys, your all so welcoming.

Just finished my first lesson and all i can say is wow! Everyone needs to experiance flying in the front seat of an aircraft. My instructor was good, quite new himself, flying for 5 years but gave me some pointers such as not concentrating on the instruments at first and to use visual points to head towards once you have the bearing of the direction you want which immediately helped as i was a bit all over the place, i dont think the high wind helped. I was very surprised how nimble the aircraft was as well.

​​​​​​its was very daunting at first going into the office full of younge intigrated students and didnt really speak to them but hopfully i will get more confortable in that enviromrnt, so completely different from what im used to. Also booked my second lesson in for next week and brought the study material for the future exams.
thank you for all your advice, after just my first flight i think im hooked already, nothing like what ive ever experienced.
thank you for the reading suggestions as well, im going to look into by both reading materials you have suggested. The academy also suggested a £20 app for my tablet as well which gives you ppl questions.

all and all a great day and so stumped more people domt want to fly.
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Old 29th Sep 2018, 02:38
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See if you can get your instructor to teach spins. It's invaluable education on cockpit control, and they're FUN!
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Old 29th Sep 2018, 12:41
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Yes Deadstick, spins are fun, you can search Youtube an find me spinning a Cessna Grand Caravan during flight testing.

However, as this is a discussion about starting PPL training, it is most helpful to give advice which promotes development of basic skills, as building blocks for further learning. I have had requests to "show" this or that. When I was less good at instructing, I might have. More recently, I would weigh carefully any possible benefit, and judge if the student is ready to experience the next skills. Having a windshield full of spinning world is a necessary skill for every pilot to recover, but later in the learning. Best to create a good set of basic skills first, and save the fancy stuff till later.
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Old 29th Sep 2018, 13:01
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I am like Sandell - early days - lesson two for me yesterday and I love - took off in a hoolie but found calm weather at around 2,500 ft and was practicing recovering aircraft from out of trim/attitude - flying straight and level basically....after my first attempt was taking a little while my instruction said - send me an email when ready...lol - I think i was being too cautious with controls. (getting the horizion to right place in the screen) Second attempt was much better. Early days and there is a lot to remember - another lesson next week and I need to build some hours. I guess it is like driving a new car - controls are all there but just takes a while to learn where everyting is. Good luck Sandell and we can swap notes.......
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Old 29th Sep 2018, 15:17
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Angel Welcome Sandell1989 and ms08!

Gentle Pilots-in-Training, I am certain I speak for all of the members of this site as well as every pilot on this good Earth: we are proud of you as you undertake to master the delightful science of flight and to appreciate the overwhelmingly beautiful art of it. I hope you will find your experience to be among the most thrilling and rewarding pursuits which you undertake in your life. Now you will know the veracity of Leonardo da Vinci's quotation: "Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return."

- Ed
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Old 30th Sep 2018, 08:56
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Good morning Sandell. Flying isn't difficult, only one thing must be NEVER NEGLECTED! (especially when you are tempted to look at all the fancy instruments.) .

And that one thing is LOOK OUT! ! ! in short, look OUTSIDE the aircraft. Instruments are not as important as your lookout for other aircraft. If you strictly follow this advice, you may live as long as I have (while flying since 1983!}
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Old 30th Sep 2018, 10:13
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"I can touch the clouds"

You will be able to say this.
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Old 30th Sep 2018, 14:47
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One thing you will learn is patience - prepare for the weather to dominate your life. Over what is regarded as being one of the best summers for a while, well over half my lessons have been cancelled due to weather
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Old 1st Oct 2018, 11:41
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Hi Folks,

I'm in the same boat as Patrick, had my first lesson with Cubair over the weekend (Ian Holden -Chief Inst.) Absolutely loved it and I am already planning my next lesson - This is something I wished I started many moons ago but I guess no age is too old as long as you have the determination and desire - I'm 44 now and hope to complete it before 50! I'm aiming for about 10 hours per year. (Financially this is as much as I can afford!)

Great Forum btw

Jeremy
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Old 12th Oct 2018, 19:17
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Hi guys, sorry for the quite period, was away on holiday.

as always some awesome tips, I've just completed my 3rd lesson with my fourth booked next Thursday. I've taken on board your suggestions of reading material and have read ‘Handling Light Aircraft’ by Julien Evans twice now, superb read, the Bournemouth academy have suggested I start revising the subjects for the ppl exams and have the books ready for me for my next lesson. Is it a bit to early to start on them yet in case of a bit of an information over load or should i wait for a few more hours?

ms08 - how have your lessons been, i'd love to exchange some notes with you, where about is it your flying from? I took the advice of Discorde and read ‘Handling Light Aircraft’ by Julien Evans if you haven't read it i highly recommend it.

Reigate_Heli - how are your lessons going? honestly im 29 and thought i was to old but was told by everyone your never to old. i'd love to hear about your progress.

Any other suggested reading material or advice as my hours grow would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks,
Patrick
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