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Thread: Flight lessons

  1. #1
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    Default Flight lessons

    Looking for recommendations on taking flight lessons. Not looking for a rigid program but more likely a CFI.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snopro81 View Post
    Looking for recommendations on taking flight lessons. Not looking for a rigid program but more likely a CFI.
    Tell us a little about your self and why you want to learn to fly. This is important and does have a direct bearing on your responses.

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    I'm now in my mid 40's and ready for a new challenge. Current hobbies are Snowmachining, ATV's and RV'ing with my family. Only interested in a private VFR rating and plan on being a fair weather flyer. Might go to IFR but that would be way down road. Living Wasilla but work in Anchorage.

  4. #4

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    Assuming you prefer to fly based in Wasilla rather than Anchorage? Would be worth looking at the flyers around the airport to see who is advertising training. If you are training in somebody else's plane, you need to find somebody who rents aircraft. If you are buying a plane, you need to find a CFI willing to instruct in your plane. Those two scenarios may be different people, so you will need to identify how you want to do this...

    Good luck. Be careful. It's fun.
    14 Days to Alaska
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    I will need to rent right now.. I would be willing to take lessons based in Anchorage or the Valley.

  6. #6

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    Heidi Ruess and her son Rick teach out of Lake Hood and have a very long history as trainers. Most of the municipal airports along the road system seem to have somebody willing to do training if you want to look around.

    Are you intending to get training for a specific type of flying, or do you primarily intend to fly airport to airport in a small plane? If your eventual goal is to go gravel-bar hopping and beach exploring, the specifics of who you get training from will become more critical, but likely that doesn't matter until you get your private certificate.
    14 Days to Alaska
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    If I were you I would seek out one of those retired grey haired guys or gals that teach flying because they love to do so. Winter flying is a blast but short,cold days can be a hinderance. Palmer has fewer flying days than Wasilla because of wind. Anchorage and Birchwood are not windy like the valley and you have more instructors to choose from. Willow comes to mimd as a good training base. It has a nice airstrip with good approach and departure.
    Consider Walt Warner with Alaska legends in Willow. I do not know him personally but I know of him.

    Fly at least a couple times a week for an hour to an hour and one half. Ask to sit in the plane when it is not being used to get familiar with it, before and after your first flight and subsequent flights. "Dry fly" the airplane and learn where every thing is without having to visually or physically. After each flight use your minds eye to relive your fight.

    Good luck and keep us informed of your progress.

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    Took another lesson this morning. There is no structure or program so I am not sure what I will be doing during the lesson. Is this the correct way to give flight instruction? It doesn't feel right to me so that is why I'm looking around for other options.

    My lesson today was pattern work/touch-n goes. It went well but had a couple of floater landings that extended down the runway. On two occasions the rpms were up a couple hundred. But all in all it felt good.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337 using Tapatalk 2

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    Not looking for a rigid program
    There is no structure or program so I am not sure what I will be doing during the lesson. Is this the correct way to give flight instruction? It doesn't feel right to me so that is why I'm looking around for other options.
    Don't order pizza, if you want mashed potatoes.

    Often the first few lessons are just making sure you do not kill yourself or the instructor.
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
    Experimental Hand-Loader, NRA Life Member
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    I suppose I should clarify. "A rigid program" meaning fly when I have time in my schedule. I don't have the time or permission from the wife to fly 8 hrs a week.

  11. #11

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    People learn differently. Like FP says, the first few flights can be a bit of a test of personal compatibility and risk for the instructor. But some folks learn best with a specific syllabus. Most any training (unless you want to go to Arizona) will have to mold the details around the weather that presents itself, though. So even the experience of trying to schedule certain types of flights will help teach weather evaluation and patience. Have fun.
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    I'm a relatively low time pilot and don't have any experience with rigid programs, but as for my own flight training experience, it seemed that my lessons were built around my needs - both stated desires as a pilot and the needs that my instructor perceived as I developed as a pilot. There wasn't a set structure from day one, but rather each lesson was dictated by the one that came before it, my skill development, and our pre and post-flight conversations. That seemed like the right approach for me, but it may not be right for everyone.

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    I appreciate the suggestions.. It feels like I will miss something in the lessons without a tracking mechanism or an outline to work from. Maybe it was the instructor asking me what we have covered so far??

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snopro81 View Post
    I appreciate the suggestions.. It feels like I will miss something in the lessons without a tracking mechanism or an outline to work from. Maybe it was the instructor asking me what we have covered so far??
    Your instructor should outline what today's flight will include, and a post-flight debriefing should review what you have done and what you have accomplished. It's a good time to ask questions, too.

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    Usually most instructors, even old one... have a syllabus or course outline of some sort.
    Something like this...

    This is just a simple list version. A better version is listed below.


    Preflight:

    How to inspect the airplane prior to each flight.

    Flight 1:

    Taxi, takeoff, straight and level flight, turns, climbs, descent, landing and post-flight procedures.

    Flight 2:

    Communications and an introduction to flight by instrument reference.

    Flight 3:

    Slow flight, stall recognition and recovery, spin awareness, and steep turns.

    Flight 4:

    Ground reference maneuvers and emergency procedures.

    Flight 5:

    Preparation for practicing takeoffs and landings incorporating a unique FirstFlight maneuver know as the 3-D rectangular pattern.

    Flight 6:

    Touch and Go landings.

    Flight 7:

    Soft field takeoffs and landings, short field takeoffs and landings, no-flap takeoffs and landings, forward slips to landings and crosswind landings.

    Flight 8:

    Flight planning techniques used for cross-country flight, plus how to obtain weather information from a flight service station or using DUAT.

    Flight 9:

    Make a cross country flight using dead reckoning and pilotage, open and close flight plans, request flight following, plus no-tower communications.

    Flight 10:

    Fly cross-country using radio navigation techniques. Homing and tracking using a VOR.

    Flight 11:

    Night flying techniques.

    Flight 12:

    How to initiate a diversion, plus what to do if you are lost.

    Flight 13:

    Preparation for your practical test and an introduction to the skills needed to recover from unusual flight attitudes.


    OR YOU CAN HAVE A MORE DETAILED OUTLINE LIKE THIS ONE. I LIKE THIS TYPE BETTER

    LESSON 1 - Introductory fight

    Dual - ground: 1.0, flight 0.5

    Objective: Introduce student to preflight inspection, flight in a light aircraft, and the four fundamentals of aircraft control

    Discussion topics:

    1) fitness for flight (IíM SAFE)

    2) positive exchange of flight controls

    3) required certificates and documents for pilot and aircraft

    4) airplane logbooks and required inspections

    5) aircraft fuel system

    6) aircraft electrical system

    7) location of emergency equipment

    8) use of checklists

    9) weather briefing basics

    Introduce:

    1) starting procedures

    2) radio communications

    3) taxiing

    4) before takeoff check

    5) normal and crosswind takeoff and climb

    6) effect and use of primary flight controls and trim

    7) collision avoidance procedures

    8) parking and securing aircraft

    Completion standards:

    1) Display understanding of aircraft systems, use of checklists, preflight, and postflight procedures

    2) Demonstrate understanding of aircraft control



    NEXT LESSON: #2, Four fundamentals of flight

    Suggested student homework assignments:

    Read Chapter 3 of the Airplane Flying Handbook <http://www.faa.gov/library/manuals/aircraft/airplane_handbook/media/faa-h-8083-3a-2of7.pdf>

    LESSON 2 - Four fundamentals of flight

    Dual - ground: 0.5, flight: 1.0

    Objective: Introduce student to aeronautical decision-making, takeoff, straight and level flight, turns, and landings

    Discussion topics:

    1) Aeronautical decision making

    2) weather factors

    3) aircraft airworthiness

    Review:

    1) engine starting

    2) use of checklists

    3) before takeoff check

    4) visual scanning and collision avoidance

    5) parking and securing aircraft

    Introduce:

    1) crosswind taxi

    2) normal takeoff

    3) straight and level flight to include use of trim

    4) aircraft configuration changes

    5) speeds associated with use of flaps

    6) normal approach and landing

    Completion standards:

    1) smooth engine start (no excessive engaging of starter)

    2) student can explain run-up procedures using checklist

    3) increased proficiency with preflight procedures and ground operations



    NEXT LESSON: #3, Integrated flight instruction

    Suggested student homework assignments:

    Read Chapter 3, Page 3 of the Airplane Flying Handbook <http://www.faa.gov/library/manuals/aircraft/airplane_handbook/media/faa-h-8083-3a-2of7.pdf>.

    LESSON 3 - Integrated flight instruction

    Dual - ground: 0.3, flight: 1.0

    Objective: Develop studentís ability to apply coordinated control inputs and introduce the relationship between attitude and aircraft instruments

    Discussion topics:

    1) collision-avoidance procedures

    2) flight instruments and their purpose

    3) required medical and pilot documents

    Review:

    1) Taxiing techniques

    2) Straight and level flight

    3) Turns

    4) Climbs and descents

    3) Normal approach and landing

    Introduce:

    1) crosswind takeoff

    2) constant airspeed climb

    3) constant airspeed descent

    4) turns to headings

    5) traffic pattern entry and procedure

    6) crosswind landings

    Completion standards:

    1) Ability to taxi in varying conditions without assistance

    2) Student understands the concept of coordinated flight and can fly the aircraft in a coordinated matter with minimal instructor assistance

    3) Student can conduct a stabilized approach and landing with instructorís assistance



    NEXT LESSON: #4, Slow flight and stall entries and recoveries

    Suggested student homework assignment:

    Read Chapter 3 of the Pilotís Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge: Aerodynamics of Flight <http://www.aopa.org/members/files/flttrain/aeronautical_knowledge/8083-25_chap3.pdf>

    LESSON 4 - Slow flight and stall recoveries

    Dual - ground: 0.5, flight: 1.0

    Objective: Introduce student to slow flight and stall characteristics.

    Discussion topics:

    1) fundamentals of slow flight and stalls

    2) spin awareness

    Review:

    1) constant airspeed climb and descent

    2) turns to headings

    3) practice area familiarization

    Introduce:

    1) flight at various airspeeds from cruise to slow flight

    2) maneuvering during slow flight emphasizing correct use of rudder to negate increased adverse yaw at slow airspeeds

    3) power-off stalls and recovery

    4) power-on stalls and recovery

    Completion standards:

    1) Demonstration of understanding of stall and recovery concept

    2) Demonstrates understanding of slow-flight concept through flight at minimum controllable airspeed

    3) Altitude, heading, and airspeed at or near PTS standards



    NEXT LESSON: #5, Emergency procedures

    Suggested student homework assignments:

    1) Read Chapter 6, Emergency procedures, Aeronautical Information Manual <http://www.aopa.org/members/files/aim/chapter_6.html>.

    2) Review emergency procedures and checklists, Pilotís Operating Handbook

    LESSON 5 - Emergency procedures

    Dual - ground: 0.5, flight: 1.0

    Objective: To gain an understanding of emergency operations and to increase understanding of slow flight and stall recovery

    Discussion topics:

    1) types of possible emergencies

    2) use of all available resources in an emergency situation

    Review:

    1) human factors and symptoms

    2) maneuvering during slow flight

    3) stall recovery

    Introduce:

    1) systems and equipment malfunctions

    2) emergency procedures using both memory items and use of checklists

    3) emergency descent

    4) emergency approach and landing

    Completion standards:

    1) Display increased proficiency with control of airplane

    2) Perform unassisted takeoffs

    3) Demonstrate basic understanding of emergency operations
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
    Experimental Hand-Loader, NRA Life Member
    http://site.dragonflyaero.com

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    If you don't have it already, I highly recommend this book to go along with your program: http://www.amazon.com/Student-Pilots...ilots+handbook
    Louis Knapp

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    Can anyone tell me why there has always been such a heavy load of touch-and-go instruction and practice? Such a maneuver almost never occurs in the real world, and I'd think that three such maneuvers should be plenty. Missed approaches make more sense, in real life, but not the usual touch-and-go. I'd much rather see better instruction and practice in slow flight. And in spin instruction, of course ..................

  18. #18

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    I don't know...but I do feel that a very high proficiency in touch and go operations is favorable training for evaluating bush strips, where a drag and go can give you a chance to evaluate the surface before committing to a landing. I doubt most students really end up needing that skill, but in Alaska I think it is a good thing.
    14 Days to Alaska
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  19. #19
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    Great advise guys. Float pilot thanks for the detailed write up.

    Things I'm currently missing is the after flight discussions and no defined direction in the lessons.

    Three flights so far...

    1st flight - I taxied, took off, turns and one landing after instructor showed one.

    2nd flight - preflight inspection, taxiing, run-up with check list, 4 take offs and landings, emergency descents, slow flight, power off stalls, vor headings, spiral descent.

    3rd flight - instructor was over an hour late and couldn't remember what we did the week before. I did the preflight before he arrived, run up, pattern work with soft field landings & take-off's 10 or so landings with 10* & 20* flaps.

    I don't mind if the program jumps around but I expect the instructor to recall our last session and discuss it after the flight so I can talk thru the lessons learned.

    I will be talking with the owner on Monday regarding the lack of direction and communication. Hopefully we can get things on track closer to what float pilot detailed.

    Thanks again for all the solid advice!

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337 using Tapatalk 2

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Troy Hamon View Post
    I don't know...but I do feel that a very high proficiency in touch and go operations is favorable training for evaluating bush strips, where a drag and go can give you a chance to evaluate the surface before committing to a landing. I doubt most students really end up needing that skill, but in Alaska I think it is a good thing.
    Not the same as a touch-and-go, though . . . . . In more than 20,000 hours of Alaska outback flying, I've dragged a whole lot of landing spots, but never at stall speeds, which touch-and-go obviously requires.

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