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Thinking about quitting

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Thinking about quitting

Old 6th Feb 2019, 11:55
  #21 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: London
Age: 53
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I never liked nav. It didnt help that I learnt on an air quadron where we couldnt choose the instrutor (the boss was horrible to fly with and if you werent doing it right would just pile on the pressure even more, which in my case just made me fly even worse!)
28 years after i got my ppl, is still dont do much nav. pretty much all aerobatics or bimbling about for an hour or so in the local area with sat nav and some fairly simple pre flight planning. but importantly I can do it if i need to.
Joy of aeros, turn up, check notams for a specific area, have an idea which airfield you'll go if your one is shut by an accident and get flying. once you're up, go to said area, pick a field in case the donk stops and have fun. You dont even need to worry too much about weather as basically if its going to worry the A to B'ers, its already no good for aero's
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Old 10th Feb 2019, 10:49
  #22 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Feb 2019
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Thanks everyone for your input. I wasn't expecting so many replies - very much appreciated. Plenty to think about, and also reassuring to know that there other people out who struggled with navigation during training!

Just picking out a few questions/suggestions:
  • Instructors: I don't really have a problem with any of them, though some make it more enjoyable than others (I'm training for a PPL for a hobby, with no intention of going down the commercial route - if I wanted to be berated I would stay in work longer!). They all obviously have their own styles, but this I think is more the problem - I've had two different instructors for the navs so far, and I think five or six throughout my training. I'm told to push to have the same 1/2 instructors, but even when I demand it things seem to get changed at the last minute without me knowing, and it almost becomes pot luck who I'll have on the day - not sure if all flying schools operate this way?
  • Other students: I know the names and faces of a few other students, but I don't really feel like I've got any "peers", and perhaps this is an issue. Maybe all I'm experiencing are the stressful parts of learning and none of the more fun parts. I once had the opportunity to back-seat on another student's lesson (PFLs) and found it really helpful, not just from a learning perspective but also to gauge where I was at at that time in my training. Maybe I'll look for more opportunities to do this. I also like the suggestion re. the LAA - I'll look into this.
  • Aeros: I'd never really thought about this, but it makes sense. My flying school does offer aeros lessons, so I've got myself signed up in a few weeks time to give it a go.
At this stage I'm thinking I'll get the theory exams finished (got a couple more to do) while the weather is temperamental, and maybe go out for an off-syllabus jolly or two before I crack on with the lessons.

Thanks again.
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Old 10th Feb 2019, 19:09
  #23 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: UK
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How do you feel about navigation in a car? In mountains, if you go walking there? At sea, if you sail offshore? I found the more different types of navigation I did the more I enjoyed it and the better I got at it.

Also, does the mere prospect of being out of the circuit worry you even if you know exactly where you are?
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Old 11th Feb 2019, 00:14
  #24 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Hellfire Corner
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It's good to know you have some ideas in mind, now. I know that for me, had I not connected with the fun side (LAA/vintage in my case), - the people - I'd have given up within a year or two.

Good luck.
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Old 11th Feb 2019, 20:42
  #25 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Horsted Keynes, West Sussex.
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Originally Posted by Dan09 View Post
(I'm training for a PPL for a hobby, with no intention of going down the commercial route -!).
That puts you ahead of the game Dan09 ! Flying is a brilliant hobby/pastime , your above statement is your get-out clause and it puts you out of the rat-race , so learn to fly at your leisure !....

I have spent most of my working life working professionally in the airline industry [ but not as a pilot ] and I can tell you that many guys who fly professionally actually do become disconnected with the grass-roots side of flying and it makes them all the poorer for it .
A lot of the syllabus [re: nav.] probably is a bit dated these days , but it is all good gen . The one consolation though is that there are so many electronic tablet devices around these days that make nav. so much easier . But try and digest as much of the traditional nav. methods that you can because they are the ones that can get you out of trouble if you become stranded in the 'CAA desert'.
For my own part ; I found and still do find the traditional methods of navigation to be absolutely fascinating . The one part of my PPL exams that I hated though were the meteorological exams and I still have trouble getting my head around 'Met' now - nearly 30yrs on .
I normally start by getting a 'broad-brush' view on the BBC website and take it from there ...

So don't worry Dan , we're all still learning ,,,,,and when you find the guy who knows it all ? Don't worry ,,,,he's lying .


Chris Martyr is offline  
Old 12th Feb 2019, 09:43
  #26 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: elstree
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Dan, as others have said, the learning is all part of the fun, you're still flying.
Like you, I had many instructors, 11 in total! and in hindsight I could've shaved at least 20 hours off my total just from the overlap every time I had a new instructor. It took me two years to gain my PPL, but I didn't care, I took the view that it's my hobby and will still be my hobby when I eventually got my licence. I don't regret the time and all the hours it took to achieve that as it was all fun....even when it wasn't! (if that makes sense).
I too struggled with navigation, i'd be enjoying myself and the view outside so much that i'd forget to actually check the DI, or basic errors like inadvertently turning whilst looking down at the map, only to look up and not recognise where I was. Its something I laugh about now, but was frustrating at the time...and I doubted myself because of it too. But slowly and carefully, I analysed what I was doing wrong each time and worked on it.

There is no need to put any other pressure on yourself other than your desire to eventually gain your PPL.. it doesn't matter how long it takes or how many hours go in your logbook. it's all flying!!!!!
I hope you stick with it, it's one of the best things I've ever done in my life....if wife and kids is 1st and 2nd place, then flying definitely competes for 3rd !
Good luck.

Flyingbadge is offline  
Old 12th Feb 2019, 10:24
  #27 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Lechlade, Glos.UK
Posts: 757
Dan, just adding to what I wrote earlier. Navigation is a means to an end; you need it to get somewhere. Yesterday my wife & I flew to Halfpenny Green for lunch and met some lovely like-minded pilots. Navigation (in the real world) is rather easy. Apart from following the M5 from Gloucester to Halfpenny Green, we had a map with a line on it (took 5 seconds to do), a PLOG produced by SkyDemon and 3 separate Sat Nav (yes really). We were not going to get lost. OK, so as an ex RAF pilot/nav instructor I can navigate by map & stopwatch. In fact I used to in my Hawker Hunter at 420 knots. But here is the rub; it is so easy these days with sat nav. Nice to just look out the window and admire the scenery and watch out for any conflictions. OK, sat nav can go wrong, so you need a back-up plan. Mine is to carry more than one and anyway, they rarely fail. Finally, you personally navigate all the time. You go to the shops, you go to the bathroom, to work, etc. Any problems? I thought not. Same with flying. Just get thro the licence then all will be well.
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Old 12th Feb 2019, 10:27
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Chris Martyr View Post

So don't worry Dan , we're all still learning ,,,,,and when you find the guy who knows it all ? Don't worry ,,,,he's lying .
Very true. I know lots, forgot lots, but I don't know it all. And I learn something new each day. That is half the fun of it all.
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Old 12th Feb 2019, 20:48
  #29 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Horsted Keynes, West Sussex.
Posts: 129
Well ,,I hope that Dan feels as enlightened as I do after having read the posts on here .
I reckon the contributors should all pat themselves on the back for all the positive and encouraging inputs . It just shows the good side of forums and pilot forums can be a bit of a snake-pit , even at the best of times .

I only joined this forum in response to a somewhat negative & controversial campaign that was going on in 2016 , so for me , being able to encourage someone to take up wings and fly is a big, big plus .

So,,,@ Dan09,,hopefully we'll see you back here in a year or two as a seasoned and cynical old sage ?

Our work will be done ...
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Old 15th Feb 2019, 01:43
  #30 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Broughton, UK
Posts: 115
I blame most of the Navigation Instruction on the attitude that you must be able to fly a heading for a certain time and drop your bombs accurately on the Ruhr Valley, in zero visibility. Then turn around and be back at base for evening tea and scones. The world has moved on in leaps and bounds but the PPL syllabus has remained stuck in a time-warp.
We have three well defined landmarks near our airfield, and the coast is not too far away, so it is relatively easy to know exactly where we are, even without looking at the chart. Once you have your PPL, one of your best purchases will be a GPS, most pilots wouldn't (or couldn't) fly without one. Also unless you are studying for your CPL, there is no need to follow the magenta line.
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Old 19th Feb 2019, 06:58
  #31 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
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Originally Posted by Dan09 View Post
  • Instructors: ... They all obviously have their own styles, but this I think is more the problem - I've had two different instructors for the navs so far, and I think five or six throughout my training. I'm told to push to have the same 1/2 instructors, but even when I demand it things seem to get changed at the last minute without me knowing, and it almost becomes pot luck who I'll have on the day - not sure if all flying schools operate this way?
  • Other students: I know the names and faces of a few other students, but I don't really feel like I've got any "peers", and perhaps this is an issue. Maybe all I'm experiencing are the stressful parts of learning and none of the more fun parts.
At this stage I'm thinking I'll get the theory exams finished (got a couple more to do) while the weather is temperamental, and maybe go out for an off-syllabus jolly or two before I crack on with the lessons.

Thanks again.
Instructors: having 5-6 instructors for primary training is unacceptable from a reputable school, 2 for nav already? No wonder, you are becoming discouraged and anxious about this.
Peers: Sometimes it's hard to find someone who has the same goals, has the same rythm and focus, it depends on the school and some luck
Exams: you should get this done, perhaps there's some book work to be done before you continue your nav exercise

Maybe, just maybe you could look for a "flying club" instead of a "flying school" now or for the future. You soloed, so in practical terms you have become a pilot, don't give up. It's okay to stay where you are, if you can find an instructor who is consistent, don't let undedicated instructors build time on your dime. It's also okay to search for an instructor who will provide better mentorship and consistent instruction elsewhere.





lilpilot is offline  
Old 19th Feb 2019, 17:03
  #32 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: uk
Posts: 895
I was an Instructor many years ago. The statement you made in your original post caught my eye.
" flying again fills me with anxiety"
There can be many reasons why you have used this phrase, including amount of instructors you have had.
If you continue as you are now and pass your PPL, I'd take a bet that you discontinue flying within 2 years. This is common for a variety of reasons.
Address the anxiety and its root before sinking even more money into the enterprise.
Best of luck.
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Old 19th Feb 2019, 19:13
  #33 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2001
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Does no-one just fly with a map and a stopwatch any more ?
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Old 20th Feb 2019, 09:08
  #34 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
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Yes, sure they do, Beamer. But I don't think that really answers the original question, do you?
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Old 20th Feb 2019, 09:58
  #35 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
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"Does no-one just fly with a map and a stopwatch any more ?"
Yes. And sometimes into controlled airspace without clearance.
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Old 20th Feb 2019, 12:16
  #36 (permalink)  
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Does no-one just fly with a map and a stopwatch any more ?
I haven't used them in years. I usually leave the GPS at home as well, I use the view out the window for navigation!

More on the topic, fly because you enjoy it. That's not to say that you should not fly if you're not enjoying it, but hopefully the lack of enjoyment is either very brief, or replaced by pay! If you're not enjoying being with your instructor, discuss it first, then change instructors if it's not improving. Don't rush toward the goal of a PPL, but rather enjoy your way along as you learn.
Pilot DAR is online now  
Old 20th Feb 2019, 13:23
  #37 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: uk
Posts: 1,885
Apologies for a little thread creep earlier but it does concern me a little just how much time some, repeat, some GA pilots spend with the heads in the cockpit rather than looking outside.

Anyway, back to the topic in question. It seems Dan may have chosen the wrong place to learn to fly. There are some great instructors out there and equally there are some who are, lets just say, very average. My first QFI was an absolute a**e but when he was tourex, my second was a revelation and I thrived. My flying club is blessed with a first class set of instructors and I would recommend it to anyone, lets just say its near Silverstone !

Last edited by beamer; 20th Feb 2019 at 19:02.
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Old 20th Feb 2019, 13:51
  #38 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: UK
Posts: 1,757
Hi Dan,

I have been a commercial pilot for 18 years now, but I remember my PPL days.

You definitely need one instructor whom you know well, not pot-luck on the day. You need a sympathetic teacher and to get used to each other and build a relationship. Speak with the flying club boss. You are a customer and you are entitled to decide who you pay your money to. Just tell them you are underconfident and need a really good, patient, instructor.

Nav work can be intimidating - especially if your instructor is passively or actively aggressive about mental maths. Some can be like this, either deliberately or accidentally and destroy your confidence. I can work out things like the formula for the area of a hexagon in my head from first principles, but if an authority figure is barking mental maths questions at me I might not be able to add two and two together !

Master the CRP-5. I found the visual way of working out the drift etc to be very useful. Also use the Trevor Thom books.

Fly over areas you know well if possible. Spotting ground features and towns etc and knowing where you are is much easier this way. Having said that, I was on an early NAVEX once and getting slightly flustered trying to find Kidlington aerodrome, (Oxford). I thought I should be there but couldn’t see it. My instructor casually asked if I could see an aerodrome anywhere. It was right in front of me, under my nose !!. My navigation had been spot-on, but there was so much going on I was swamped. On my qualifying cross country I confidentally told ATC I was crossing the M4, only to call back 5 mins later to report I was crossing it now - I had been mistaken earlier!

I would try to complete your PPL if you can find a sympathetic instructor - you will have wasted a lot of money if you give up now.

If navigation is really not for you, how about glider flying? Obviously you still have to navigate to an extent, and avoid certain airspace, but you are much freer to simply enjoy flying for flyings sake. Much cheaper too.

Good luck !




Last edited by Uplinker; 22nd Feb 2019 at 09:53. Reason: Spelling and punctuation fixes.
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