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

Moderator: AndyR

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By johnm
#1818502
WelshRichy wrote:
GrahamB wrote:‘Issuance’ :puker:


Agreed! Just copied and pasted from the document that our CAA lifted from EASA on 1/1/21. :lol:


Sadly it's not unusual for Americanisms to infiltrate English, whether first language or not Skedule is one that particularly grates on Mrsjohnm...
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By Rob P
#1818503
johnm wrote: Skedule is one that particularly grates on Mrsjohnm...


Well maybe you should allow her a little more freedom with what she does with her time then?

Rob P
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By IWF
#1818516
@Rob P

Wholly agree with your view that the journey is part of the fun of it all, learning new skills, testing oneself. PPL It is then !

I can relate the process in the similar way to the way sailing exams are pitched, well at least the Yachtmaster exam. It’s almost impossible to pass without considerable experience and the experience is part of the process. That said you’re less likely to kill yourself or your passengers in a boat, so perhaps the comparison isn’t worth while :)

I guess I need to negotiate a higher budget with my bank manager
By johnm
#1818522
Rob P wrote:
johnm wrote: Skedule is one that particularly grates on Mrsjohnm...


Well maybe you should allow her a little more freedom with what she does with her time then?

Rob P



She is in charge of most sshheduling :-)
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By ArthurG
#1818527
Hi IWF,
and welcome!

My journey to a PPL has been long and tortuous and could not be done now. First of all I trained in fixed wing microlights (minimum 25 hours), I took waay longer than that before passing a test and getting a licence. Then I enjoyed pottering around the local area expanding my radius as time went on, but felt inexperienced and intimidated by radio (you don't need a radio licence to get a microlight NPPL) and I had never been to a fully controlled airfield. The microlight syllabus, as it was then, was devised for field-hopping machines, not for modern capable microlights which are often as fast and have range similar to C of A (like your typical Cessnas and Pipers) aircraft. I then upgraded to NPPL(SSEA) and matters improved somewhat. Then, a paperwork (form and money) exercise gave me a LAPL. With time, confidence improved and I was less reluctant to fly out to previously unvisited airfields. Then flying with a qualified friend in IMC made me realise if I stayed with a LAPL, I couldn't broaden my possibilities all that much. In another year, I had upgraded to a PPL and got a tailwheel signoff. Experience and confidence improved much more. By this time I had stopped begrudging the price of instruction and was a firm believer that nobody ever died from too much training. I am currently stuck in the middle of IR(R) training until Covid restrictions are lifted. Hours are about 400 now, and I still learn or improve something on most flights.

I think your decision is the correct one. If I were in your shoes, I would just do a PPL from the start. I know that's easy for me to say, it's not my money being spent. I don't regret a moment of it, but it would have been cheaper, easier and quicker for me to train for a PPL from the start.
Last edited by ArthurG on Thu Jan 07, 2021 2:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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By Irv Lee
#1818535
ArthurG wrote:intimidated by radio (you don't need a radio licence to get a microlight NPPL) ....

Just in case other students read this, this is a common mantra from a lot of microlight instructors who don't want to teach you "proper radio" (maybe for guessable reasons). Whilst the statement is true, you can get an nppl issued, they don't tell you that you will be illegal using the radio once you receive your nppl, but you are not their problem by then. There are loads of pilots without radio licences, even some that have upgraded M to ssea. Some realise it is limiting their confidence building or range, and having upgraded to a modern microlight, decide to get legal, others have had some incident and it has been noticed! I get both on my radio courses
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By F70100
#1818544
As a matter of interest what generally are the reasons few manage within the minimum hours ? Anything g specific ?


You could turn the question on its head to ask "If I want to complete the course within the minimum number of hours, what's the best way to do it?"

Some of the things you could do are:

Integrate practical training with the theory and ground exams, and ensure that the theory is always done before the relevant practical exercise.

Learn in an environment where the weather is always suitable for the next flight exercise ( well defined horizons, crosswinds/no crosswinds when required, etc)

Learn at a school where there are sufficient aircraft to ensure that an aircraft is always available.

Learn at a school where there are sufficient appropriately qualified instructors are always available.

Do the course "full time" whilst living away from home and its distractions.


Time lost due to weather, waterlogged runways, aircraft unavailability, instructor unavailability, lack of preparation, and loss of currency cover most reasons why courses are not completed within the minimum number of hours.

[Contentious]Dare I also mention that some students have more aptitude than others... If you want to improve your aptitude, you might want to practice mental maths, monitor RT at various airfields, play sports that require good hand to eye coordination...[/contentious]
Grelly liked this
#1818551
A few quick points from me on things arising from the above posts:
- the microlight training syllabus was completely updated at the beginning of 2020 to reflect the much more capable machines now available and the coming 600kg weight limit. So ArthurG's comment is not really relevant anymore
- Irv is correct about some microlight instructors not covering radio, but they are few and far between now. BMAA guidance is to get the radio licence during your training or immediately after your NPPL, precisely to avoid limiting yourself (I know because I wrote it).
- Whatever route you go remember to enjoy your training - it's hard work but should be fun, however many hours you take (and you will take more than the minimum, but that doesn't mean that you will be a less good pilot at the end of it!)

(PS doesn't schedule come from the Latin 'schedula' ? Which is pronounced "skedula", not "shedula". Any classics scholars about on here?)
T6Harvard, JAFO liked this
#1818559
Why do some students have to fly more than minimum hours before taking their skills test?
Largely because some of us are slower to learn.
As a huge generalisation*, older brains take longer to assimilate stuff that a teenager will see demonstrated once and copy accurately. Also, older brains may have to re-learn how to learn, and learn something very different!, iyswim. Afterall, you will be working in 3 dimensions.

I understand a reasonable amount of the theory, I KNOW I should be doing x, y, or z at any particular moment BUT it doesn't mean I actually do the action either i) quickly enough, or ii) with the correct pressure on controls, or iii) on a bad day, even in the right order :roll:

OK, I am at the very beginning of the amazing journey but realistically I'll need more than min hrs to be safe, you may not.
*There are mature students on this forum who are progressing quickly and will be not much more than min hrs when they take the test so you may not need to spend too much extra.

I've loved the lessons, even when I've held my head in my hands after shutdown (once, so far!). I am fortunate to be able to afford to relish the learning even if it takes a while.

Do your research to find a good school and an instructor who suits your learning style, and as soon as covid lockdown(s) ends we can all get going!
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By ArthurG
#1818579
lobstaboy wrote:A few quick points from me on things arising from the above posts:
- the microlight training syllabus was completely updated at the beginning of 2020 to reflect the much more capable machines now available and the coming 600kg weight limit. So ArthurG's comment is not really relevant anymore
- Irv is correct about some microlight instructors not covering radio, but they are few and far between now. BMAA guidance is to get the radio licence during your training or immediately after your NPPL, precisely to avoid limiting yourself (I know because I wrote it).

Happy to be corrected on that, LB. :thumright: Good news in my view. My instructor didn't mention it when I did my biennial flight. I've modified the post to reflect changes. Is there a link you could point out which summarises the differences? Hopefully, the 600kg will deal with the problem of not being able to carry two average sized people, while having a good amount of fuel on board and not being overweight.
#1818587
Welcome! We are all delighted to see newcomers to the fold. Probably because most non-flyers are bored rigid by the stuff we like to talk about.

If money is a limitation, look for Leia's scribblings (her description, not mine) and see how she made a very limited budget work. Once the Wuhan bug has been beaten into oblivion you will probably also find a few people you can hang out with in person and absorb aviation just by being around. We are a pretty friendly bunch and, as has been said already, no question is stupid if you don't know the answer.
johnm, WelshRichy, T6Harvard liked this
#1818601
@ArthurG
The new microlight syllabus seems only to be available by buying it from the BMAA (obvious why I suppose). It was introduced Jan 2019 - a year longer ago than I thought.
One very significant change is that the nav flights can be much greater distance, 100nm, and using a moving map GPS is encouraged.
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