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

Moderator: AndyR

By NewFlyer78
It is clear to see that I have lots to learn on this topic and will continue to ensure that an effective lookout is my greatest skill. I'm going to have a word with my instructors on whether I can spend more time during lessons to refine my lookout technique. It's just that my lessons are so focussed on the actual lesson that little time is dedicated to lookout (I'm sure my instructor's are doing that in the background!).

I have learned that an effective lookout technique also involves building up a mental picture. Is the idea of purchasing a hand-held transeiver a good one? My thinking is that I can tune into the aerodrome freq or LARS while on the ground to practice building up the mental picture of local traffic.

Any other practical suggestions on what I can do outside of my lessons also greaty appreciated!
By Cessna57
I’ve had 2 near misses in 4 years of flying. Only one would have been a collision without control input.

Both in the circuit.

One my passenger saw but didn’t mention because he thought it would be interesting watching the biplane go over us at 50’ from his side. (The biplane was joining the circuit crosswind 50’ over the top of us, we were on final)

One when a warbird formation of 3 aircraft turned the wrong way during a run and break and I became part of a practise display for about 15 seconds. (Seeing a DC3 coming straight at you focuses the mind)

I remember being a student and my instructor telling me not to worry, I’d be able to build 3D pictures one day, just to learn how to fly.

He was completely correct and when in the circuit with passengers I now point to roughly where other aircraft should be and ask them to look.

I was told when I was learning that I’d be overloaded with what I was doing anyway, and I was.

So my point is, don’t worry too much if you find 3D pictures hard, the flying itself is hard for a while, once the flying is easier, you’ll have brain power left over for 3D pictures.

Next time you’re driving ask your passenger to shout out runway headings to you. See if you can shout reciprocal headings back.

Do the same thing for wind and see if you can tell them crosswind components.

If they say “you’re heading 130, the wind is 210/15 knots. What’s the crosswind?”

Once you can do it, get them to ask you questions whilst hitting you with a herring.

A lot of flying is mental agility, and you can train for that.

here’s one...

“Point Starboard Now!”

By Harry Brown
Cessna57 wrote:
Cessna57 wrote:I’ve had 2 near misses in 4 years of flying. Only one would have been a collision without control input.

Both in the circuit.

I remember being a student and my instructor telling me not to worry, I’d be able to build 3D pictures one day, just to learn how to fly.

He was completely correct and when in the circuit with passengers I now point to roughly where other aircraft should be and ask them to look.


Dave are you sure he didnt mean. "Dont worry just keep learning to fly and one day I might realise just how important it is to teach you that skill while you are learning".
By Cessna57
Don’t think so.

Aviate, Navigate, Communicate.

Not sure where “build 3D pictures of where everyone else is by listening to RT” comes in the list, but it’s not before aviate.

When you can’t fly a circuit without some heavy thinking about it, you’re not going to be able to pick out RT being said to other people and use it to map where they are in your mind.

Took me ages to hear ALL the RT on the radio, when I was learning, my mind would blank out what wasn’t for me. I now have passengers say “but that wasn’t for you and we were talking, how did you manage to pay attention to it/hear it”

Anyway, people learn at different speeds, it’s no crime to be overloaded with the flying when initially training and to learn to build 3D pictures later.
By Harry Brown
I appreciate your comments but we differ in opinion.

As a FI I cant send a student solo in the circuit unless I can be sure he can form a mental picture of the circuit traffic, can adopt a good lookout work cycle and make practical correct RT calls-that is part of the duty of care of being an FI. There is a big difference between telling someone they will pick it up and proactively teaching them how to do it. The latter is what I get paid to do
By Harry Brown
I was doing just that and your post popped up!
New|Flyer -The fact that you have gone to the trouble to make the post and the way you have responded shows me that you have a very good attitude to aircraft management and that's more important than the flying motor skills, which are relatively easy to learn. You cant really teach attitude, you can only modify it! If you are a careful methodical person your management of the aircraft will usually be different from someone who isn't careful and methodical.

“Lookout” is a rather outdated phrase describing a haphazard glance left right and is a relic from Tiger Moth days which may be OK for crossing the road but isn't best practice in an aircraft in 2018. The phrase Lookout Work Cycle tends to be more descriptive of the task and emphasises its priority of ensuring you are not getting too close to other aircraft.

There are many ways of using a work cycle, you will find more within this invaluable information

Avoiding collisions

http://publicapps.caa.co.uk/docs/33/CAA ... _PRINT.pdf

If you go onto U tube and have a look at videos of GA pilots flying, watch their head movements, especially before turning and in a turn. Watch how they concentrate on into circuit lookout., Bristol, Cosford and High Wycombe are some of the Vids we use on our instructor courses to show studes how poor both instructor and student lookout can be. In the Cosford example the pilot flys a complete left hand circuit and doesnt lookout once to the right!

Studying accident reports of circuit collisions can help to reinforce TEM and can teach you were the threats are most likely to occur, we use accidents at Luton, Coventry, Leicester, Hamble(2) & Moreton in the Marsh Disused as examples of collision threats. Go to the AIIB gov.uk site, you can also get an email sub. here to receive accident report updates. To be blunt though you should expect a collision threat anywhere in the circuit. Understanding blind spots and how to clear them is very important too and is discussed in detail in the Coventry report.

Using correct CAP 413 in the circuit helps to minimise misunderstanding and prevents frequency clog. As an example you often here pilots reading back "report on final", not only is this not needed but if the "report" is clipped from the transmission they have just told everyone they are on final when in fact they are downwind and I know of at least one air prox that occurred through this.

Sterile Cockpit procedure is important in the circuit too so that all calls can he heard. If you look at the High Wycome vids, one instructor spends the whole circuit detail discussing the students forthcoming PPL exam. A good instructor doesnt need to be constantly chatting in the circuit and certainly not on take off and landing but unfortunately many instructors think that the most critical part of the circuit is the place to teach landings! There is a good reason whey we have two ears and one mouth and there is no better place to find that out than in the circuit. You can only successfully listen out if you are giving max attention to the RT without someone bellowing down you ear. Just missing one call could result in getting uncomfortably close to another aircraft!
By Ebbie 2003
Fear is good.

Fear keeps you safe.

You will likely be at greater risk when you stop being fearful - embrace the fear.

I think that the 'loss' of fear has something to do with the phenomenon of an increased risk of accidents for 300 to 400 hour pilots.

On Tuesday I logged my 300th hour and so am trying to up my level of fear .
By Cessna57
I know 2 students who gave up because of fear, so you do have to make sure you keep it in proportion.

I read the AAIB reports avidly, you’ll notice that it’s always pilot error. (There’s a mid air every so often, and it’s very headline, but it’s also very rare)

You are much much more likely to kill yourself by not getting rid of the drag flap on a touch and go. (This happened for instance at my home field and I have read of others)

My wife will not fly with me, I’ve explained to her the wings are never going to fall off my plane, the highest risk is me, so I’ll do my very best to mitigate that risk, not because I’m scared, I just want to do more flying before I die.

Fear often equals loss of enjoyment and sometimes paralysis, don’t fear risk, understand it, mitigate it, accept it.

I’ve done other things in my life that could hurt or kill me, the trick is to make sure you’re the highest risk by lessening other risks, then accept you’re the highest risk, then work to make sure you’re as good as possible. If you’re not the highest risk, there’s definitely something wrong with the plane, don’t fly it. (You’re ALWAYS the source of the highest risk)
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By Paul_Sengupta
Cessna57 wrote:My wife will not fly with me, I’ve explained to her ... the highest risk is me

Do you think she's trying to tell you something? :D

Cessna57 wrote:it’s also very rare

There are two in this month's AAIB bulletin.
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By PaulB
Paul_Sengupta wrote:
Cessna57 wrote:There are two in this month's AAIB bulletin.

...and 2 people won the lottery in my town last month.... I’m just off to buy a ticket!
By TopCat
Paul_Sengupta wrote:
Cessna57 wrote:it’s also very rare

There are two in this month's AAIB bulletin.

That doesn't make it not rare.

Both of them were unusual. A light single hitting a heli, miles from anywhere? That's shockingly bad luck.

And a tug rear ending a glider, I can't imagine that happens too often.
By BehyBill
PeterMa wrote:If you get the chance go thermalling in a glider near a gilding club....

I had four fears that fad away with gliding: fear of heights, fear of landing, fear of mid-air collisions and engine failure...I still care about two of them, so definitely try gliding :D
By NewFlyer78
Don’t worry fellow aviators, there is no way I’m going to quit. As I approach the end of my PPL training, I’m super focused on being the safest pilot I can be and this topic is something I want to really work at. I appreciate it’s a skill which takes time, hence why I am trying to ensure I start of in the right way.

So much great advice which I am grateful for. My instructors have also been great in passing on tips and we even had a good whiteboard session today while the weather was grim.

Thanks all.

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