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Thread: Mentoring/Continued learning

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    Default Mentoring/Continued learning

    So I guess I've lurked here long enough and figured it was time to pop in and ask a question that has been weighing in my mind for some time. I've been going through the process of of getting my PPL and should have my check ride completed here in the next few weeks. I am in the process of per suing a plane and figure that process will most likely be complete by the end of summer. I have been dreaming of flying for years and I now can see the light at the end of the tunnel to receive my "learn on my own" License. I do not come from a family that has a parent, uncle or even a distant relative that has flown. I do not have a pool of friends that fly. I do have a couple acquaintances that that fly and I glean whatever information I can from them when I see them. Which isn't as often as I like. So here is my question.

    How have most of you that use aviation as a hobby continued building your skills, confidence, expand you abilities outside the bubble that you were taught, trained and allowed by your instructors supervision?

    As I write this I fear it may be see as a silly question and hope it is not taken out of context. My biggest concern is Safety! At the same time though I don't want to become so uptight about it that it is almost a hinderance or a blinder. If that makes any sense. I don't want to be a pilot or person that can not function outside what the checklist or the rules say I have to do in an emergency. There should be some seat of the pants, commonsense, second nature that comes to some of that stuff as well.

    I understand time is a huge factor in the gain of this type of experience but, the "Stupid things that almost kill you" thread grabs my attention as well. Because it's a pool of people that have experiences that I'm pretty sure I would rather read and learn from their misadventure then have to learn the hard way on my own.

    I have had 2 instuctors through out my training. I'm going to have about the average flight time when I finish up in-between 50-60 hours. And just wanting to learn more in a lot of different aspects. i.e. Radio operations, flight preparation/planning , flight techniques, Low level flight and the list goes on. I don't know if this is turning into a rant or a whine at this point. I'm just wanting to know where you guys go to gain more insight. Is there a flight club and association, some sort of AA meeting for this addiction. I want to expand my pool of resources. And hope to find maybe some old timers that are willing to say "watch and learn, son". I hope you guys are catching my drift here. I have enjoyed my instructor but, not so much the accruing hourly rates and am hoping to gain more wisdom in the future from pilots doing what they do in their element as peers. So that I may be able to more enjoy aviation in my own equipment.

  2. #2
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    Welcome to the flying fraternity, AK Backcountry! I recently glanced at my last log book and found my total PIC flying hours at just over 20,900 hours. THE VERY BEST of those hours was my first four hours of aerobatic instruction. During that four hour period, you will learn more about both your, and your airplane's, capabilities and limitations than years and years of personal experience will give you. While experience certainly adds to your abilities, basic aerobatics will leave you comfortable, and sufficiently skilled, to safely gain that experience, even in Alaska's unforgiving environment.

  3. #3

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    Find somebody that other pilots feel is a capable and knowledgeable pilot for an area of flight you are interested in developing your skills in. Ask them questions. Try to arrange opportunities to fly with them, fly two-plane trips with them if the flight mission is applicable, and never stop learning.

    If you ever make it out to King Salmon with a plane, or without, give a shout.
    14 Days to Alaska
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  4. #4

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    There are lots of places in town to continue to learn. The alaska airman's association on lake hood is a good place to start. If you ask around you may find some airmen with medical issues that have them grounded for a while. Offer to fly with them. Go to every fly-in you can find,you can drive to a lot of them. Check out the museum at lake hood also, they are often working on projects and could use some help. Howard Hunt is there often and you can learn a lot from him. Find someone rebuilding a plane this winter and give them a hand. Oct-Jan there is a lot of hanger flying going on. You will notice most of what I suggest has to do with working on planes. Understanding how the plane you are flying works is a major part of flying. I have learned as much or more about flying from my IA as anywhere else. Once you have the plane you will run into a lot of other pilots, old and new that can help you work out the process. On thing that is hard is to go to a new place so make a point of landing somewhere new every month. Distance is another factor, you will have to get good at weather and flying to the other side of the ranges. You don't need a CFI every time you fly but once you find out where you are weak spend a few hours getting tuned up. DO NOT BUY A PLANE UNTIL YOUR IA HAS APPROVED IT. Do you have a hanger? Winter flying on skis is great and some of the best flying to be had in AK.
    DENNY

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    Go fly. Burn gas and accumulate seat time. Along the way you'll expand your experience and improve your abilities. When you need outside help seek it out. Even good pilots get training. Find somebody to show you how to do things you wouldn't try on your own. All the cowboy stories may be fun to hear but they won't help you when you return home to bad weather or bad winds. Crawl before you walk, walk before you run. There is no substitute for experience and no shame in seeking a safety pilot or instructor to help you gain it.

  6. #6

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    A whole 4 hours in aerobatics yet you treat me with contempt. nice. I have like 120 hrs and half of them are aerobatics.

    To the OP, find an instructor and a good mechanic BEFORE you buy a plane and feel him out to make sure he is going to take care of you AFTER you buy your plane. Also I would find a hangar to rent or buy BEFORE you buy a plane, I know like 80% of people have their planes on tie down but I have coworkers that loose sleep over their plane after a heavy snow fall or a wind storm and I sleep as if I did not even own a plane because its hangared.

    Lots and lots and lots of money in the flying game if you want to do it right. Sure you can do a flying club and then all argue about who gets to fly it on the cloudless 70 deg sat, no thank you.

    If the plane you want can be outside for a period of time then just save for a hangar, they rarely come up for sale and when they do they cost a fortune. The hangar situation at muni airports (or wolf lake) in south central is the other head ach of aviation due to the extreme cost and availability, some of them its like buying a single family home in anchorage for a pull barn with a concrete floor.

    One thing I will agree with others on here is don't fly by the seat of your pants, it sounds fun till you find yourself in a spin or weather so crappy you don't know up from down and your life is flashing before your eyes, you will be wishing you were sipping coffee in the over priced pull barn talking about it instead of being in a life threatening situation.

    I know I can be cynical sometimes, but you just look at all this and think really 200k for a metal frame building with a concrete floor, really?!? I have heard they are getting harder to sell because people don't have a spare 200k laying around to buy a garage for toys after their, gee I don't know single family home where their life and work is lol. Once palmer starts selling a ton of lease spots is should soften up the market quite a bit.

    Back in the day it cost a fraction of what it does today to fly, its almost a rich persons game now with 200k hangars and 150k super cubs. It can be done for cheap but then your going to get the full brunt of all the aggravation I described. Unless you have a deep deep passion for aviation its really not worth it. Its not like going down to a car dealership or finding a realtor that's for sure.

    If you have your own hangar, own your plane outright, own tools, etc you can insulate yourself from a lot of aggravation. Oh another thing, if you don't own the plane outright and have a loan or some other partner arrangement insurance will eat your lunch, most old timers don't carry it because they want like 10% of asset value per year, no thank you. I pay like 1/35 asset value per year on my truck, im not writing life changing checks to an insurance company to burn up in a burn barrel. You only need to make it 10 years without an incident and you just self insured. Im 3 years in now so I would have spent a chunk of change had I been insured that entire time, that's a new carbon fiber prop right there and then some.

    Congrats on the PPL, its fun when the permenant licence comes in the mail.
    Quote Originally Posted by Grizzly 2 View Post
    Welcome to the flying fraternity, AK Backcountry! I recently glanced at my last log book and found my total PIC flying hours at just over 20,900 hours. THE VERY BEST of those hours was my first four hours of aerobatic instruction. During that four hour period, you will learn more about both your, and your airplane's, capabilities and limitations than years and years of personal experience will give you. While experience certainly adds to your abilities, basic aerobatics will leave you comfortable, and sufficiently skilled, to safely gain that experience, even in Alaska's unforgiving environment.

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    To rppearso:

    You read fast, but you seem to have missed my point. I flew air shows for a short time while in California, so don't prod me about your 60-hours of aerobatics. I'm glad that you have them, and hope you enjoy many hours more in that pursuit.

    My point was that four hours of aerobatic instruction would make a world of different to the budding new pilot. I doubt that you can argue with that.

    I would also encourage him to be always properly insured. Since you seem not to carry hull insurance, I have to think you cannot get liability coverage. That, my friend, is much too first-person singular, for a responsible pilot. It would show an absolute disdain for the lives and property of others. And that, sir, leads me to evaluate your no-insurance decision to illustrate the behavior of an irresponsible pilot.

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    By the way, rppearso, after you have successfully performed your first four aileron rolls during a 360-degree turn, PM me and we'll talk aerial acrobatics . . . . .

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    To the original poster, I would caution you to avoid flying the " same hour " over and over.

    Some pilots have lots of hours doing the exact same thing, often in the exact same incorrect manner.

    Get someone to teach you landings from various heights and angles. Get some acrobatic training. And for Sure get some instrument training.... it is the most boring of ratings, but might be the most likely to save your life.
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
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    Quote Originally Posted by Float Pilot View Post
    To the original poster, I would caution you to avoid flying the " same hour " over and over.

    Some pilots have lots of hours doing the exact same thing, often in the exact same incorrect manner.

    Get someone to teach you landings from various heights and angles. Get some acrobatic training. And for Sure get some instrument training.... it is the most boring of ratings, but might be the most likely to save your life.

    Sound advice from a good stick . . . . .

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    Quote Originally Posted by rppearso View Post
    A whole 4 hours in aerobatics yet you treat me with contempt. nice. I have like 120 hrs and half of them are aerobatics...SNIP...
    I have no dog in the fight, but Griz said his first 4 hours of aerobatic flight...first 4, which means a lot more.
    You are comparing 120 hrs to 20K plus...i think the debate is over before it even started.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Float Pilot View Post
    To the original poster, I would caution you to avoid flying the " same hour " over and over.

    Some pilots have lots of hours doing the exact same thing, often in the exact same incorrect manner.

    Get someone to teach you landings from various heights and angles. Get some acrobatic training. And for Sure get some instrument training.... it is the most boring of ratings, but might be the most likely to save your life.
    This is good advise. I'm trying to convince my wife to let me pursue aviation (not working) and if I can get her permission, I will make sure I heed this advise.

  13. #13

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    I will carry it if you want to pay for it. If the insurance companies stopped extorting people then more people would carry it. I know people in the aviation community don't like to talk about the financial aspects but my bank account is not infinite and if I did not make some concessions then I would never fly and that would be a life failure of time that you don't get back again.

    If I had an infinite bank account I could just have mechanics, insurance companies, you name it on auto pay with an open charge account, maybe that's your situation and I applaud your success in life but just because I did not hit the quarter million a year mark in my career yet does not mean I should just resign my dreams. I scrapped together enough for the plane and can cover the costs to hangar it and maintain it as long as I am diligent about controlling the costs.

    The insurance is so far out into space that its just not worth it, I had it for the ferry flight back and my initial training, I have been down most of this summer for surprise mx work so it would have been an epic waste of money if I did have it.

    Also most peoples lives don't revolve around their plane, I have a truck to maintain, a house to save for, hang out with the girl friend, training for work. You only get one go around grizz, make the most of it. Writing almost 5 figure checks to insurance companies is not in my life plan sorry.

    The odds of a pitts crashing (outside of low level acro) is lower than a supercub, insurance companies don't care therefore I don't either. I don't have time to argue with them. If everyone stops using them other than 135 operators perhaps they will go under and some reform will be in order but in the mean time im not getting younger and I have life to live.

    Just because you disagree with my insurance decision is no reason to be snarky, im not arm chair qbing this stuff im out there with everyone else. It just seems everyone wants to blow sunshine and rainbows up new pilots butts. You don't do new pilots any favors that way. Unless your dealing with a rich CEO or a doctor the finances matter, they matter a lot and a new air craft owner who is not loaded needs to be very diligent or they will find some internet posters opinion about insurance irrelavent when they cant pay their rent and their girl friend leaves them. That one in a million chance you will crash into someones house and kill everyone wont seem so relevant anymore.

    The other angle some people might make is that well if your not a rich doctor CEO then you just shouldn't fly, but of course that's like saying unless you have enough money to buy a house and support a family you should not have sex.

    I have a sneaking suspicion that you may be one of these guys that got yours and screw everyone else.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grizzly 2 View Post
    To rppearso:

    You read fast, but you seem to have missed my point. I flew air shows for a short time while in California, so don't prod me about your 60-hours of aerobatics. I'm glad that you have them, and hope you enjoy many hours more in that pursuit.

    My point was that four hours of aerobatic instruction would make a world of different to the budding new pilot. I doubt that you can argue with that.

    I would also encourage him to be always properly insured. Since you seem not to carry hull insurance, I have to think you cannot get liability coverage. That, my friend, is much too first-person singular, for a responsible pilot. It would show an absolute disdain for the lives and property of others. And that, sir, leads me to evaluate your no-insurance decision to illustrate the behavior of an irresponsible pilot.

  14. #14
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    Alot of "Mentoring/Continued learning" going on here.
    To the OP if there still is one: I'd use internet forums as your last resort. There are some good nuggets of information buried in all the white noise but man they are usually buried. The guys that fly all day aren't typically posting on the internet-they are at the airport.

    Find the OPERATORS (for me it was/is guide/135 types) and ask questions….then at mx shops. If you are "hungry" guys will realize that, help you and you will be on your way. Boneguy had good info relating to this. The opposite is true. If you are the kid who wants it handed to them, you will likely get brushed off.

    But mostly; study and fly and study and fly. Then fly some more.

  15. #15

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    Another thing I have noticed in aviation is dont let on even the slightest that your not excited about mechanics and instructors 90$/hr bill rates and they tell you it will take what it takes. I noticed that at the end of your OP, as soon as an instructor or mechanic hears that your tired of endlessly paying out $90/hr your going to ruffle feathers.

    It seems to not operate like any other buisness on the planet where you get competitive bids and push for a lower price. Seems like every mechanic and their mom is within $5 of $90/hr and then they get upset when you want hard estimates. Then they get REALLY upset if you just start doing things yourself. Its not their signature on your work but for some reason alot of them still get really upset.

    Smile and have fun but just be aware that if you start appearing to be aggitated with some exorbant estimate it can create alot of conflict. Just smile and say how excited you are to be in aviation and how great the weather is or how you wish it was better and find your way to the door.

    Alot of what causes things in aviation to be so exorbantly expensive is directly from these $90/hr bill rates. While the parts are not neseccarily cheap the huge cost run ups are from the labor rates. If you want to make it in aviation and have fun with it as a hobbie you need to start learning to do stuff on your own and find a mechanic who is flexable with you to do your own work otherwise you better be a doctor or a high power lawyer to keep someone spinning safety wire and gluing fabric for $90/hr.

    Also do not hesitate to put something in a box and ship it out of state for work if you absolutly cant do it yourself and cant get a local mechanic to give you a reasonable quote. I have found that half the mechanics I have talked too dont even like giving rough quotes even though they are charging $90/hr, most people kinda need to know when a mechanic is running up that much money every hour.

    Hangar space is another huge issue in south central alaska, there is a huge shortage of reasonably priced hangar space so its like a blood bath trying to get into one without going broke (I am actually putting together a plan to build some commercial hangar space). Anchorage is like $800 a month (thats like a condo mortgage) so you have to get out of anchorage to get a reasonable price. If you dont have a hangar you will be brushing off snow and worried about your plane every time there is a wind storm or any other inclimate weather condition. I have a coworker that is fed up with aviation becuase its like 4 hrs of prep time to fly in the winter and he got some elevator damage from snow. Some mechanic will say well he should have been on top of it but most people have families, jobs and lives outside of baby sitting their plane. Thus having a hangar is a must in my opinion, I would never have a plane sit outside.

    You just need to make sure your smart about avition otherwise it will become unfun in a hurry when you get your first mechanic bill. hold peoples feet to the fire but make sure your really careful with how you say things and if it appears they are not cooperating just say how awesome aviation is and find the door. If I had to do it again I would almost buy a hangar before you even buy a plane, that way when you buy a plane you have your own little base of operations to figure things out, set up a tool chest etc.

    Remember if you have to fix somthing and you dont screw it up then it was never broke. Find a good mechanic you can ask questions too and learn from without being on the clock. Mods and STCs you will have to get sign offs but find a mechanic who will inspect and sign off rather than requiring you have him do all the work. If you are completely mechanically incompetent and not filthy rich then aviation is not for you period, stuff is going to break and if you have to hire someone for every little thing it will push you out of aviation (unless your filthy rich).

    Also I would highly suggest buying a plane out right and not doing some wierd partnership, becuase when its nice on a sat in the middle of the summer it will be a fight. Also if you have to finance you will have to have insurance and if you thought the mechanic bill rates and hangar space was bad just wait till you get a quote for hull in alaska. Most alaskans dont carry hull becuase its cost prohibitive but you have to own the plane outright in order to do that.

    so in conclusion, buy a hangar, find a good mech, buy a plane and have the mech do a good prebuy then learn to work on the plane and start buying ALOT of tools.

  16. #16

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    My advice would be to ignore about anything posted by rrpearso

  17. #17

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    Irrelavent unless you can explain why.

    Do you like weather busting up your plane? Do you like your hangar rent being almost the cost of a condo mortgage payment? Do you like hull insurnace quotes that are almost 10% of asset value annually? Do you like getting repair bills that are thousands of dollars for stuff that is not rocket science?

    If this stuff is fun to you then yes I shoudl be ignored. If not then it is very wise to know about and be able to circumvent these problems so that aviation stays a joy.

    Quote Originally Posted by tonyinak View Post
    My advice would be to ignore about anything posted by rrpearso

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    I deleted this because you are not worth the effort.

    I'm with tonyinak tho.

    Moderators: Genius is ruining whats left of this forum.

  19. #19

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    That's nice, im glad you have an open check book with an infinite bank account but most of us are trying desperately to keep aviation affordable and all we get met with is condescension and attitude. Yea if you want $90/hr and cant give me a quote im going to be a little bit of an a hole because its people like that that are running up the cost of aviation.

    I just don't know how some people don't get it, the more people that are forced out of the market means the less pilots and aircraft owner there are to lobby aginst the FAA. with the 800$ hangar rent and contractors wanting your first born child for a metal frame building general aviation is going to disappear in my life time.

    Then everyone is scratching their heads and wondering why, after all a new super cub is only 150 grand, at bargin rates like that every man woman and child should be involved with aviation lol.

    I don't see a lot of new young people entering the market, its mostly old guys that have been flying for years and they got theirs back when leases were free and a new cub was 20k and your buddies got together to do repairs and overhauls.

    You AK HUNT are the one that is providing a prime example of what the OP has to watch out for in aviation.

    Quote Originally Posted by AK-HUNT View Post
    I deleted this because you are not worth the effort.

    I'm with tonyinak tho.

    Moderators: Genius is ruining whats left of this forum.

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    You AK HUNT are the one that is providing a prime example of what the OP has to watch out for in aviation.[/QUOTE]

    I'm not so sure about that. I watched you land at PAWS today...interesting pattern. Maybe you could scrounge some change from your sofa and buy an AFD....04 is RIGHT traffic!

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