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Thread: Prospective Pilot Needs Help!

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    Default Prospective Pilot Needs Help!

    Well I am fulfilling a long time dream and am going to become a pilot. Long story short, I had a windfall and am buying a Taylorcraft BC12/D. I have no training but have had the pleasure of taking the yoke a few times with friends in their T-crafts. So the fire has been lit and is burning strong! I have spent hours reading posts in this forum educating myself (reading Stick and Rudder at the moment, too--Compleat Taildragger is next). I'd appreciate any input you all have but I am specifically looking for three things. Number 1 is to find a good certified flight instructor in the Anchorage area willing to train in my airplane. Number 2 is to find a tiedown on Lake Hood. I cannot get a tiedown on the state ramps until I have my sport pilot certificate. And that leads to Number 3: anybody have any thoughts on a self-study sport pilot ground school? I am thinking of getting Rod Machado's new Sport Pilot ground school book and using that as the basis for study.

    I've done loads of research and had lots of help from my mentor pilot friend. But I've seen lots of wisdom and experience in this forum so I hope to hear from you guys!

    Scott

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    Member alaskabliss's Avatar
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    I would go see Arctic flyers. Rick and Heidi also have a Taylorcraft in there fleet so they have a lot of expericance in them. As for ground school I did the King schools and also tried the American Flyers self study course and passed my written. It was for the private pilot and wasn't too bad. Just be sure to put some good quality time into studying the material.

    Good Luck!

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    Read Stick and Rudder again. Especially Chapters 1, 15, 16, 17 and 19. Then read Chapter 19 once again. You'll do fine, and you're really going to enjoy flying !!!

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    Another good book is Tail-Dragger Tactics by Sparky Immenson.
    I second Arctic Flyers, but you may have to ask if they will fly in your plane if you do not have insurance.

    For general private pilot knowledge, the Jeppesen private pilot book is pretty darn good, as is the Rod Machado private pilot book.

    The King courses work fine for test preparation. Get the interactive versions so you can take the little test after each section. Some of them are pretty old sections that they edited into the newer stuff. When my wife was watching them she kept noticing how Martha King would change her poodle-hair-doo in an effort to make them look like they were filmed at the same time.
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    +1 for Arctic Flyers. They are the guys to go to with T-craft training. For ground school courses, I used King 10 years ago. They were thorough, but a little corny and dry. I would guess that there might be something better out there by now. IMHO, if you are going to put the time into getting your sport licence, just put a few more hours into it and get your PPL. It isn't that much harder, you have to demonstrate the same piloting skills, and it opens up a lot more options to you.

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    Thanks all very much for your inputs. I will have to give Arctic Flyers a call and verify what their rules are. Word is that they won't fly in a student owned plane without loads of insurance. If they won't, I will need to find a good instructor--so if any of you know of a good CFI, I'd appreciate a word from you. Griz, I will definitely pay closer attention to the chapters you suggested! And for ground school, King's seems to be a generally promoted course throughout this forum and affirmed in this thread, so I will go ahead and order it. Augmented with Jeppeson's (started it, but set it aside for Stick and Rudder) and Rod Machado's book ought to get it done. Hope to begin flying in a week or two!

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    Heidi said "no" on training in my airplane. So still seeking flight instruction if you guys know of anybody.

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    Try Rick Ruess, he might have a different answer than Heidi. He trained me for instrument rating in my plane and I know several other pilots that he trained in their planes (although it was several years ago). I also suggest going for you Private rather than just Sport pilot certificate. If you'll be training out of Lake Hood strip, which implies learning to fly in and out of controlled airspace, radio communication, etc. the difference between the amount of training for the two certificates is minimal.
    Quote Originally Posted by SKoerber View Post
    Heidi said "no" on training in my airplane. So still seeking flight instruction if you guys know of anybody.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ftaba1 View Post
    Try Rick Ruess, he might have a different answer than Heidi. He trained me for instrument rating in my plane and I know several other pilots that he trained in their planes (although it was several years ago). I also suggest going for you Private rather than just Sport pilot certificate. If you'll be training out of Lake Hood strip, which implies learning to fly in and out of controlled airspace, radio communication, etc. the difference between the amount of training for the two certificates is minimal.


    Absolutely good advice !!!

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    When I called Arctic Flyers I originally talked to Rick. He didn't say "no" to training in my airplane but that he was too overloaded and referred me to Heidi. I may just have to go ahead and go the private pilot route. I'm eligible for the Elmendorf Aero Club's school so that is my best option so far.

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    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    I know more than a few folks who went the Elmendorf Aero Club route and they all said it took a very long time.

    Often it is nice to get a has-been as an instructor instead of a wanna-be.
    The wanna-be's are looking to build hours because they want to fly the big iron. They would rather be typing a resume or sucking up to a potential employer, instead of going around in the pattern with you.
    Has-been's tend to not care about anything else but the flight in which they are currently engaged. They usually just like flying and instructing.
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    I know a "has been" instructor that lives in Big Lake. He is out of state right now, but he should be back in about a month. He is a great instructor and has no problem flying owners airplanes. If you want his info, just PM me and I can send it to you. Good luck!

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    Thanks Arcticmayhem, first I'll see what I can about finding a local (Anchorage--Lake Hood preferably) "has been"! I hope to begin flying within a week or two.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Float Pilot View Post
    I know more than a few folks who went the Elmendorf Aero Club route and they all said it took a very long time.

    Often it is nice to get a has-been as an instructor instead of a wanna-be.
    The wanna-be's are looking to build hours because they want to fly the big iron. They would rather be typing a resume or sucking up to a potential employer, instead of going around in the pattern with you.
    Has-been's tend to not care about anything else but the flight in which they are currently engaged. They usually just like flying and instructing.
    You're right as usual, Float Pilot. And you know what they say: "Better a has-been than a never-was." Always fly with the has-been. Clearly he always got back . . . . .

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    Have you called Jay Baldwin out in Palmer? He is the Cat's Pajamas as far as tail-wheel is concerned. I know you may want to base out of Anchorage, but while you may save time by driving to Lake Hood or Merill, that time may also be lost waiting on the ramp, waiting in the pattern and back-taxiing. Something that you can avoid in the valley or even Birchwood. So a little more driving, might mean more flying.
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    Float Pilot, thanks for the tip. I'll give Jay a call.

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    I would second float pilot on the Jepp's private pilot book for study, it all in there for knowledge you need for a ground school. I would advise againt the sport pilot cert. if you don't have medical problems. Its just cutting corners and if a person is able for PVT. I look at the sport lic as a lazy way into flying and lazy will get you killed. I really don't mean that as sarcastic comment or do I mean to offend you, just long term advise to stay happy and healthy in aviation. Best of luck Tom

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    I don't agree on the Sport pilot certification as being a lazy way into flying or its unsafe to go that route. The only thing about sport pilot is no night flying, and you have some performance limits. Other than that, A lot of airplanes fall in the sport category . The taylor craft falls into it along with the J-3 cub and a bunch of other airplanes besides. I see no reason for this person not to go sport pilot based on what I have read here. Good flight Instruction is good flight Instruction regardless what certificate you are going for. I seen a lot of sloppy poor fight instruction in my 37 years as both a flight instructor and pilot. I would be happy to teach this fellow to fly, but I happen to be some 5200 miles east of ANC at the moment. Its to bad he is having a hard time finding a Flight Instructor to teach in his own airplane. Most schools would not have a problem with that. I sure done, if I did, I would never have done a lot of business over the years, its cutting your own throat.

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    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    The major problem with the Sport Pilot route in Alaska is trying to find a DPE who will do a Sport Pilot Check Ride. And the Feds are not exactly a big bunch of help with that lack either....
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    I know 2 guys that do training in student owned planes. Send me a pm and I will reply with their info.

    If I don't reply, post that you sent it on here and I will try and figure this thing out...

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