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

Moderator: AndyR

By T6Harvard
#1776038
I am hopeful that PPL training will resume fairly soon and intend booking my second (!) lesson. In the meantime, does anyone want to share the best explanation they were given (or indeed they give!) to learners about any aspect of learning to fly?

Also, what single piece of advice would help us newbies to stay safe / to not frighten our instructors?
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By VRB_20kt
#1776041
(I’m not an instructor)

Use the time you have now to get as much reading done as you can. Get to grips with air law particularly. When flying restarts you’ll be well placed to pass some exams and then to fly solo.
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By Irv Lee
#1776063
Make sure you are allowed to use the radio more and more from lesson 2, even if the instructor has to field the answer at first if it is not quite as discussed/predicted.
This sounds really minor, but if you arrive at circuit lessons with little actual radio use on top of a very busy workload, not only will your 1st solo be delayed, but the lessons to licence will increase. Cost of very early radio involvement = £0, cost of delaying radio involvement = ££££.
Try and do your radio licence before Nav, so many clubs leave the radio test til final week of the whole course, and by leaving it, they have only overloaded you whilst learning Nav, not helped you.
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By T6Harvard
#1776064
VRB_20kt wrote:(I’m not an instructor)

Use the time you have now to get as much reading done as you can. Get to grips with air law particularly. When flying restarts you’ll be well placed to pass some exams and then to fly solo.


I have Air Law open right now and just took test exam on PPL Tutor, 17/18 :mrgreen:

Will take a look at that Cotterpot, thank you!

I am enjoying the reading because it is one massive learning exercise, and what a challenge after years of not studying anything. It's like a new lease of life. I soooo enjoyed my flight experience (aeros, too!) and my first proper lesson. I landed with one thought in my mind "I could improve on that"!! Enjoyed the turns, wiggled through 'straight' but got better, and stayed fairly level (appreciate that the FI had trimmed :D ). Also loved the gentle descent, esp the bit where my backseater asked very nervously who was actually flying that bit as more control inputs were required!!
By T6Harvard
#1776066
Irv Lee, that makes perfect sense. I have read lots about how RT is a fear filled thing! I am already familiar with the radio alphabet so that will help a little but getting the comms down early is, as you say, one less thing to worry about. It SHOULD be reasonably straight forward, I mean there are rigid patterns to who, where, what etc, but it is not like anything else we have to do and there is the embarassment factor as well.

Thanks .
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#1776067
Buy a chart. Get to know your local airspace and start to get a picture of what your local area look s like. Can you get back to your airfield from 1 mile. Then can you get back from 5 miles etc.

I learned at Fairoaks with training almost exclusively to the south. From some distance away you could find Dunsfold, then Guildford and/or a particular pattern of fields on the Hog's Back, then Woking high rise and then you were visual with the airfield.

When landing, pitch for speed, power for rate of descent. If, like me, you've been driving cars for any period it is axiomatic that throttle governs speed, so I struggled to fully understand this. Yes the throttle has an effect on speed, but so does the terrain. For a given car throttle position, if you start going downhill, the car will speed up. Applying down elevator is making the a/c go downhill so it speeds up. Pull back and you will slow down. Alternatively don't worry about the explanation, just do it. It works!
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By Rob P
#1776074
Enjoy every single minute, however frustrating it seems.

You'll never fly these forty, sixty, eighty hours again however long your flying life may be.

Don't see the ppl as a goal, it's just a waypoint in your aviation history.

Rob P
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By Irv Lee
#1776075
T6Harvard wrote:I mean there are rigid patterns to who, where, what etc,

Exactly, there is only a very small subset of the total phrases in the RT Bible (www.caa.co.uk/cap413) that could be used back to you at any particular time where you would make a call, so without realising that, it can be confusing, once you realise that, and discuss with your instructor what possibly could come back on the planned call you are about to make at any stage, your ears home-in to what is actually being said back. If something unexpected comes back, instructor deals with it.
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By seanxair
#1776081
Spend as much time as you can at your chosen airfield, watching, listening and if appropriate asking questions. If possible get to know other students and share worries and experiences. I used to spend all day at the microlight school where I trained. Not a minute of that was wasted.
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By T6Harvard
#1776082
Bob P, I have the advantage that flying will be just for pleasure, no pressure, no career hanging on it. My primary goals are to enjoy, to learn, and to make a decent job of handling an a/c.
I had no inkling of how much I would love it when I took the experience flight at Duxford, on a whim, at July's airshow last year. Had a little stick time, a lovely flight and some basic aeros, and have been grinning from ear to ear ever since.
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By T6Harvard
#1776086
Charles Hunt wrote:Buy a chart. Get to know your local airspace and start to get a picture of what your local area look s like. Can you get back to your airfield from 1 mile. Then can you get back from 5 miles etc.

I learned at Fairoaks with training almost exclusively to the south. From some distance away you could find Dunsfold, then Guildford and/or a particular pattern of fields on the Hog's Back, then Woking high rise and then you were visual with the airfield.

When landing, pitch for speed, power for rate of descent. If, like me, you've been driving cars for any period it is axiomatic that throttle governs speed, so I struggled to fully understand this. Yes the throttle has an effect on speed, but so does the terrain. For a given car throttle position, if you start going downhill, the car will speed up. Applying down elevator is making the a/c go downhill so it speeds up. Pull back and you will slow down. Alternatively don't worry about the explanation, just do it. It works!


Years of watching high Alpha passes at airshows helps me associate nose up angle of attack with slow :D

Good idea about the map, as my main concern is getting lost!

Thanks.
By Cessna571
#1776127
If I could pass on just one thing...

The wing ALWAYS stalls at the same angle of attack.

It has nothing to do with speed.

So if you ever think you are “safe” because you are “fast” and you pull back hard on the yoke/stick, you’ll stall, regardless of the speed you are doing.

It will end in tears.

There’s an excellent AOPA safety video of this out there, that really stuck in my mind when training.
By Cessna571
#1776128
T6Harvard wrote:
Charles Hunt wrote:Buy a chart. Get to know your local airspace and start to get a picture of what your local area look s like. Can you get back to your airfield from 1 mile. Then can you get back from 5 miles etc.

I learned at Fairoaks with training almost exclusively to the south. From some distance away you could find Dunsfold, then Guildford and/or a particular pattern of fields on the Hog's Back, then Woking high rise and then you were visual with the airfield.

When landing, pitch for speed, power for rate of descent. If, like me, you've been driving cars for any period it is axiomatic that throttle governs speed, so I struggled to fully understand this. Yes the throttle has an effect on speed, but so does the terrain. For a given car throttle position, if you start going downhill, the car will speed up. Applying down elevator is making the a/c go downhill so it speeds up. Pull back and you will slow down. Alternatively don't worry about the explanation, just do it. It works!


Years of watching high Alpha passes at airshows helps me associate nose up angle of attack with slow :D

Good idea about the map, as my main concern is getting lost!

Thanks.


Just note that those high alpha passes would have been on the back of the drag curve.