Learning to fly, or thinking of learning? Post your questions, comments and experiences here

Moderator: AndyR

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By abiopete
Hi Everyone, same old story, wanted to do it all my life and finally taken the plunge. Based out of Manchester Barton in a C172 Skyhawk. Trial flight was in a PA-28.

First actual lesson 06/10/21 - zero knowledge or experience/blank canvass (other than test flight).
Pre flight Checklist
Basic manoeuvres Pitch/Roll
Basic instrument overview
Rudder control
Using Trim
Taxiing (which i am finding more difficult than expected, get all muddled with the pedals)

Currently studying Pooleys air law and meteorology, stuck on QFE/QNH/QNE and need to revisit signage as i glazed over most of it and did terrible on the end of chapter test.

Bagged an A20 Bluetooth headset on eBay for £800 practically new.

Next lesson 28/10. 3 more booked for November. I'm speaking to ATC in my next lesson and hopefully taxiing and taking off.
Rob P, T6Harvard, Milty and 1 others liked this
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By Rob P
All of us love to share, vicariously, your training. Value every single second, resist the temptation to get it out of the way so you can get on to "real flying". Those initial hours are amongst the best you will ever experience.

And keep posting.

Rob P
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By T6Harvard
You'll be fine with QFE and QNH. It soon comes as second nature.

QFieldElevation - set that to get height above your air-Field.
QNotHere - set that as height above mean sea level (there's no sea at Barton :mrgreen: ).

NB - When learning anything with an alternative you only actually have to remember one of them because the other is just 'the other', IYSWIM.

Air Law is good to get early on. It's soooo dry and has sooo many hard facts to remember if you can do that by grim determination, I expect you will find the other subjects more engaging :D

Looking forward to hearing about your next lesson.
Last edited by T6Harvard on Sat Oct 16, 2021 12:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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By t1m80
QFE/QNH - here's how it stuck with me.....

I just remember that QFE=Height.
The word height has a specific meaning - that is height is 'above the ground.'

Therefore that leaves QNH=Altitude.
Altitude has specific meaning too - 'above sea-level'.

So QFE = Height and the rest just falls into place.

And @Rob P absolutely nails it. Much as I like hooning around, the training was absolutely the best part of it for me. So much so that I'm hungry to get stuck into more training when funds allow - Tail wheel, Night Flying, Acro's, IR anything to get that feeling of accomplishment again. I didn't realise being challenged could be so addictive :-)
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By Rob P
T6Harvard wrote:You'll be fine with QFE and QNH. It soon comes as second nature.

Once qualified you won't spend a lot of time in the circuit.

QFE only relates to the field you are landing at, because all fields are a different height above sea level.

So once qualified, the only time you need concern yourself with QFE is at your destination. The rest of the time, take off and cruise, you will be on QNH, just like every other aircraft around you. This is to help you avoid bumping into each other.

Rob P

Lots of simplification above. But for the time being forget about flight levels (always 1013 on the subscale) and the fact some people prefer to use QNH on landing, just mentally adding the airfield elevation to the reading on their altimeter which they have set to QNH.
May I just make a wee practical suggestion?
As you are embarking upon your training heading into winter, book twice as many days for flying lessons as you want to fly, because possibly (probably) half will be cancelled due weather.
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By johnm
Some really good advice in here especially that which encourages you to enjoy training as an end itself rather than a means to an end. Make sure you engage with the theory rather than just passing the exams because flying is fundamentally procedural and getting engaged with the procedures for all sorts of things from preflight checklist through taxi and take off, airspace transit , approach and landing and many others will greatly increase your confidence and competence
Milty, T6Harvard, t1m80 liked this
By Milty
Welcome and thanks for posting.

I recall my first lesson in August. All the words, terminology, procedures etc all seemed baffling and overwhelming. A couple of further lessons in and I was wondering whether I had bitten off more than I could chew. But then some muscle memory kicks in (physical and mental). You’ll realise that you’ve just taxied out and not turned the yoke (I bet you do it next lesson). You’ll start anticipating the radio calls. You’ll reach for the trimmer instinctively. Then the massive grins start.

I’m struggling with air law too and as others have said, it’s such a dry topic but you just have to knuckle down to it.

If you’re not keen on the books, try EasyPPL Groundschool as an alternative.

Good advice re booking more lessons than you need but be aware it can backfire. I have booked 1 per week, expecting to miss a few. I’ve only missed 2 I think so I was expecting to be on fewer hours than I am. But winter is in its way so I expect that will change.

Good luck, and I look forward to sharing your learning experience.
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By Milty
Just another thought on air law (as this is how I’m spending my Saturday evening) - download and read the CAA Skyway code. It’s not exactly gripping, but does put a lot of air law across in slightly more ‘Janet and John’ language.
johnm, T6Harvard, abiopete liked this
Milty wrote:Just another thought on air law (as this is how I’m spending my Saturday evening) - download and read the CAA Skyway code. It’s not exactly gripping, but does put a lot of air law across in slightly more ‘Janet and John’ language.

Ha, ha, it's Human Factors revision for me!

I second the suggestion to read theSkyway Code. It's brilliantly written and illustrated AND I felt that the Air Law and Ops Procedures exams concentrated on stuff in the Code, albeit that you do need more in depth, but the pointers are there.
Last edited by T6Harvard on Sat Oct 16, 2021 9:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Milty, abiopete liked this
Oh, and yes.

But in the meantime I had a lovely flight this afternoon around the top (erm, north) of the IoW and Portsmouth and back. I even had to take off my jumper before getting in the aeroplane it was so warm. It was a lovely summer's day in the middle of October!
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