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Advice and encouragement?

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  • Advice and encouragement?

    Just started lessons this past summer...only up to about 20 hours. Problem: Is it just me or should a flight instructor know about aerodynamics and instrument functions without having to read it to me from a book? I spent 10 years in college getting degrees in other fields and maybe that's biased me somehow. I really want to continue to learn to fly, solo, pickup a solid starter plane and maybe make flying a part-time job someday. Just a little disillusioned right now. I don't expect an instructor to know everything anymore than I know everything there is to know in my profession. I just don't want someone who has to read everything out of a book trying to teach me the ground stuff. I can read the books and test myself. Am I expecting too much? Anyone else out there had issues with a flight instructor not meeting their expectations? or maybe I'm expecting too much?
    Can anyone recommend a flight school at merrill or a particular instructor? I've also considered just transferring into one of the UAA programs at Merrill as it probably wouldn't take that long after transferring a lot of basic classes from the past. Thoughts on this?
    Lastly, I've never thought I'd get wealthy at any of the things I enjoy doing, but what are the prospects of getting some type of basic flying work to pay the bills once the required certificates are obtained?
    Thanks in advance for any help.
    John Heron

  • #2
    If your instructor is giving you ground instruction, then he probably should be reading to you from a book. If he's reading the book while he's instructing in the plane, then that seems odd.

    It would help if you defined "basic flying work". Are you wanting to get paid flying someone elses plane? Or paid to fly your plane? Either way, your going to have to accumulate enough flying time to get into a position where someone will pay you to fly. Nowadays, airlines are paying low wages to low time pilots to sit in the co-pilot seat and build time. That's about the quickest way to get a paying flying job. It's probably not the quickest way to make enough money to pay for the cost of the certificates tho.
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!


    • #3

      I agree with the previous post. However I would say that there are plenty of instructors out there and if you are not COMPLETELY satisfied by all means get another one. Its your money. He works for you. I have "fired" instructors on that premise. You could just get a couple hours with another instructor and see if its the right thing. As far as jobs go, you will probably lose money in your first year and it don't get much better soon, but I enjoy it personally and you just have to adjust your financial situation to meet your first years pilot pay. You have to love doing it though. Good luck to you and fly safe!

      As an extremely rough way of looking at it: 500 hrs w/ comm you get paid OK
      250 hrs w/ comm you better not
      have any bills and multi help
      (Someone will rant about these #'s I'm sure but its something to go on.)


      • #4
        advice and encouragement...

        I agree for the most part with the previous posts. Is your instructor actually reading verbatim from a book during sessions? If that is the case, I would be looking for a change. All instructors should have at their disposal a virtual library of reference materials to teach from, but to simply spit out material from a manual shows a lot about the way he was taught and shows a serious lack of experience. Unfortunately, anytime you go to the "big box" schools including UAA you tend to get guys who are building time and generally looking out for themselves and their careers. If you are in Alaska, the odds of getting an instructor with "real" Alaska experience these days is tough, and you wont find it at the big schools. I fly with a few of these guys and for the most part they are very good pilots, but when it comes to down and dirty get the job done kind of flying their "cookie cutter" flight school backgrounds really show through. Another thing, you wont get rich flying for someone else in aviation anymore...too many greedy people running airlines anymore. Do what I should have done, marry a rich chick and play with HER money!


        • #5

          If you're in Anchorage, drop into Aero Tech at Merrill Field and have a chat with Dick Ardaiz, explain your situation and your concerns. If that guy cant steer you in the right direction noone can. He's forgotten more about aviation than most of us will ever know.


          • #6
            Talking to Dick Ardaiz is good advice.

            If you really want to "get your feet wet" and you can get away from the Anchorage area for a while you should head out to Bethel. There are outfits such as Craigair who have an excellent safety record yet have taken many new commercial pilots under their wing and got them started.

            The knowlege requirements as far as aerodynamics and mechanical principals for a CFI are scant at best, and the theory of lift is still pretty much a "dark art" for most....airplanes do fly from getting sucked into the air because of the air molecules racing over the top of the wing to catch up to their buddies on the bottem...don't they?
            Louis Knapp


            • #7

              You learned the same way I did I see..

              "There is NO such thing as gravity....the earth sucks!"


              • #8

                Ditto on CraigAir. I've known Craig since he was a mechanic on Merrill Field in the early to mid 80's and he's a top notch dude.


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