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A Few Questions About PPL  
User currently offlineKLM672 From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 2499 posts, RR: 3
Posted (8 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 3159 times:

So i am brand new to the whole PPL thing, i got my intro flight done and my next lesson will be June 28th. Here are my questions:
-I know there are not suppose to be an ads for other sites and all that sorta stuff but is there any a.net-like fourm (in terms of size/activity) for Private Pilots?
-Recommendations of websites and books to help me out, even with general knoweldge of flying and instrument reading, weather concepts etc.

- I was told a few times to get a loan, right now I am paying with my card whenever i have money. I am not sure how a loan works, could I fly 3x a month and pay the same for one lesson and then pay it off later, is that the concept?

-I'm training in a C150, how much afterwords to upgrade to a 4-seater so I could take more friends up?

-Is it kinda a "show up and fly" type of deal? I called to make an appointment, choice the 28th and the guy sounded like it was a "whenever you can make it" and sounded like he was wrapping up and going to hang up the phone and i intrurpted and asked what the best time is. I was just wondering if its common to just show up on the date and wait until your instructor is free or should i always just request a time?

-If someone could give ATC "scripts" at a non-towered airport. gernerally speaking.

-How feul is caliculated to =amount of flying time
He said "we have 8 gallons per tank so thats 16 and that ='s 5hrs"

-How time is calculated. Can someone expalin for example what 1.1 hrs is? This pertains to the logbook i take it.

-After listening to ATIS how to decide what runway to take based on wind?

I do realize that sooner or later i will get this knowledge but I want a leg up and I dont think every student has a site like a.net at their fingertips.
Thanks again everyone

[Edited 2006-06-13 16:27:13]

18 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineBri2k1 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 988 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (8 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 3151 times:

If you have zero experience, your smartest investment would be a ground school. Usually between $200-$300 at good Part 61 schools (which it sounds like the one you've chosen must be), it will answer all of the questions above, with an emphasis on safety, and the most important (and most difficult) thing to teach -- Aviation Decision Making. You won't bust a checkride if you lose a little altitude on a steep turn, but demonstrate you can think for yourself and make smart aviation decisions. It's not true the other way around.

If you do the ground school, you'll have to buy the textbook anyway, so you could get that first and read it. Most of them, especially the Jeppesen Private Pilot book, are pretty easy to read. Again, all of those questions are explained in there (for example, proper self-announce procedures at an uncontrolled field, fuel management, Hobbs meters, decoding ATIS messages, and so on).

Finally, and your instructor should be willing to tell you this, you'll take years to get a private at one or even three flights a month. You should really try for at least two flights a week. You should always schedule set times with your instructor, and reserve the airplane, as far in advance as you can. If he/she is full-time and highly available, you can schedule your next lesson at the end of your current one, but if you find either of you is having trouble finding mutual times to meet, try setting a regular schedule each week. It's your hard-earned money, and you won't get the most value out of it if you fly on a hit-or-miss basis.

That being said, a little talk about loans. If you want to be a career pilot, certain educational financing is available. Beyond that, commercial financing is not the direction I'd advise you to go. You need a little over $6000 for everything to get your private certificate. If you could save up for some months, have the cash in the bank, and do all the training in 3 months, wouldn't that be better than taking out a loan, doing the training now, then having to spend years paying back the money with interest? Besides, if you're making loan payments later, you're going to have a lot less money to spend on flying your friends around (and the regulations say you have to pay at least your pro rata share of expenses).

Learning in a C-152 is fine if you fit well and are comfortable. The transition to the 172 is an easy one. You'll want to spend a few hours just sitting in the plane on the ground, feeling where all the controls and instruments are, and reading the POH, making special notice of the differences between the 152. Then your instructor will give you a checkout quiz on airspeeds, performance, and some other topics, and after just a couple hours in the plane, you can be checked out to fly it as well. The 152 is usually considerably cheaper to rent, especially over the 60+ hours you'll need.

Don't stress out, relax and enjoy it, it could be the most fun you've ever had!



Position and hold
User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 2, posted (8 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 3138 times:

Quoting Bri2k1 (Reply 1):
That being said, a little talk about loans. If you want to be a career pilot, certain educational financing is available. Beyond that, commercial financing is not the direction I'd advise you to go. You need a little over $6000 for everything to get your private certificate. If you could save up for some months, have the cash in the bank, and do all the training in 3 months, wouldn't that be better than taking out a loan, doing the training now, then having to spend years paying back the money with interest?

Outstanding advice in my opinion. Use the time while you are saving up, to take a ground school. A local community college may even offer one. You might even get your written exam passed while you save up, leaving you free to concentrate on the flying.

If you cripple your finances getting the license you will hardly be able to afford to do any flying after you get the license. You will have then just put a gob of money and a lot of work into something you can no longer enjoy.

When I got my private I hooked up with the local Cessna dealer just because I liked the people there. Some remain my friends to this day - forty two years later. I flew a couple of times a week and paid them every payday. Sometimes this meant I paid them off, other times I still carried a little balance but this was a pretty informal deal.

I self-studied for the written exam. Bought the first book I found and read it; asked questions of my instructors and other commercial pilots at the airport. NOT a good way to do it. I knew practically nothing after passing the exam! A good, up-to-date ground school would have been far better.

Quoting Bri2k1 (Reply 1):
The transition to the 172 is an easy one. You'll want to spend a few hours just sitting in the plane on the ground, feeling where all the controls and instruments are, and reading the POH, making special notice of the differences between the 152.

Also very good advice. I'd largely ignore other things while on the license track. I didn't even date during that time. (Forced me to condense the time it took!  Smile) When transitioning to other types of planes cockpit time serves you very well whether the engine is running or not. You just gain general familiarity.

Part of checking out in a new type of plane (this remained true for me to the end of my career) partly involves teaching your hands and eyes where to go for the controls. If you don't have to look for the flap handle you free up a lot of brain cells for the more important needs.

Last word: Enjoy it! I'd love to be sitting in a shiny new Cessna single, just starting out. The flying should be fun.



Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlineCorsair2 From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 248 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (8 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 3137 times:

Congratulations on deciding to fly! That is the most important part along with the cost entailed to hire an instructor and rent the airplane. I would recommend going with the Cessna 172 as it is the most widely available aircraft in rental fleets and very versatile for private pilot flying. I liked the Rod Machado Private Pilot Handbook for basic flying knowledge, and there were also some others - Pilot's Radio Communications Handbook (Lots of examples of ATC scripts at both towered and non-towered airports) & Light Airplane Navigation Essentials (Calculating fuel requirements and basic cross country flight knowledge). Expect to take between 60-90 hours to get a private pilot license as that is much closer to reality than the 40 hour minimum required. I learned how to fly at an airport below the class B ceiling of Chicago O'Hare. We always had to fly quite a distance away to do manuevers like slow flight and stalls. And don't get too discouraged with those maneuvers as you will not need to do them after the checkride. Also, be fussy about choosing a CFI and if you find any problem with their teaching style, look for another one. I let go of my first instructor after three lessons and found another that worked better and got to checkride after only six months (80 hours of flying). Read my post about my recent night checkout flight flying to Chicago Midway- its on the trip reports forum. And have fun flying!


"We have clearance Clarence. Roger, Roger. What's our vector Victor?"
User currently offlineWoodreau From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 1053 posts, RR: 7
Reply 4, posted (8 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 3135 times:

I would also second the motion against a loan to learn to fly. After you take out a loan to learn to fly - how are you going to fund the additional flying afterwards to stay current in the 150 or 172 you'll be renting to take your friends up.

Aviation and flying is an expensive endeavor, but for those who do want to fly - they do find ways to make it work.

If you do intend on flying as a commercial pilot, your initial starting wages as a pilot would not be enough to pay back your loans and live a minimal lifestyle.

But Vermont and New England is beautiful place to fly - especially during the foilage season, fall and winter months.



Bonus animus sit, ab experientia. Quod salvatum fuerit de malis usu venit judicium.
User currently offlineKLM672 From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 2499 posts, RR: 3
Reply 5, posted (8 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 3130 times:

Thanks for all the replies, as of right now my check equals out about 2 flying lessons, i of course have other payments, and I am currently taking one summer college class and I hope to take a few more next semster. I think i can only afford to fly twice or even three times a month. With life events I do have the time to go to the airport and put time into flying and learnign the books and with my 20th birthday this past saturday i felt it was the right time. The C150 is the cheapest plane they have (C172, and Piper Cher. are the others I belive) and I think would be a good starter, I like that aircraft. No, I am not in a ground school, the nearest one (if they have one?) would be BTV which is about an hour and 15 minute drive, on a good day. I had a job at BTV once (with OH) but I'd go two days and have to fill up my tank. I really enjoy my instructor he's very nice and is my age. I guess it'll take me a while to get my PPL but it should be worth it. Any more advice please keep it going, I am new and I appreacite everyone's thoughts.

User currently offlineCorsair2 From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 248 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (8 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 3115 times:

What a great place to pick to start flying! You will have the opportunity to do your cross country flights into New York, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts which are very scenic areas. Next time I travel to the New England area, I would like to get a check-out flight so I can go fly over the White Mountains of NH to get some aerial photos.


"We have clearance Clarence. Roger, Roger. What's our vector Victor?"
User currently offlineFutureUApilot From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1365 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (8 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 3112 times:

One thing i would recommend is not fly 2 or 3 times a month. That's not enough to maintain the knowlage you need to fly. I had the same problem early in my training, and finally I decided to ground myself until I had enough money to go flying 2 or 3 times a week. It is amazaing how easier it is to fly the more often you do it. If your busy then this might not work, but it will cost you significantly more if you do 3 a month.

Sense nobody else has addressed your question about ATIS and the runway, i'll mention it. I assume from your requests for scripts for non-towered airports that that's where your training will take place. I'll give you an example for here at ATW. I can't pick up ATW ATIS where I am now, so we'll use a METAR. Current METAR for ATW: KATW 131545Z 23006KT 10SM FEW100 20/11 A3015

Ok, so the airport is Appleton, it is the 13th day of the month at 1545 Zulu. Wind is blowing with a heading of 230 at a speed of 6 knots. Sense planes should fly into the wind for takeoff and landing, we want to pick a runway that goes with the wind. At ATW that runway would be 3-21. Of the four runways ATW has, runway 3 is the best choice for flying into the wind. Of course, a groundschool will teach you all of this, as well as some ATW talk if your worried about that. Sometimes you don't need a groundschool and your instructor will just teach you inbetween your actual flights. This is what my flight school did before we established a ground school. If you have any other quesitons, feel free to let me know. Good luck!

-Sam



The Pilot is the highest form of life on Earth!
User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 8, posted (8 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 3090 times:

Quoting FutureUApilot (Reply 7):
KATW 131545Z 23006KT 10SM FEW100 20/11 A3015

The reported wind is FROM 230 degrees at six knots. That means it is blowing from southwest to northeast.

Quoting FutureUApilot (Reply 7):
At ATW that runway would be 3-21. Of the four runways ATW has, runway 3 is the best choice for flying into the wind.

With these choices, Runway 21 is nearly directly into the wind and would almost certainly be the active. Runway 03 would be directly DOWN wind and probably the worst choice.



Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlineCorsair2 From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 248 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (8 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 3089 times:

As an example of a non-towered approach script, lets use Lake in the Hills, Illinois (3CK). It is a class E , non-towered, single runway airport, 20 miles NW of Chicago O' Hare. Runway 8-26 is 3000 ft. Lets say the wind is out of the east at 10 kts. A typically dialog would go as follows:

Lake in the Hills traffic, Cessna 896SP is 10 miles west of the field at 2600 feet for landing, going to make left traffic for runway 8, Lake in the Hills.

Lake in the Hills traffic, Cessna 896SP entering left downwind for runway 8, Lake in the Hills

Lake in the Hills traffic, Cessna 896SP is turning left base for runway 8, Lake in the Hills

Lake in the Hills traffic, Cessna 896SP is on final runway 8, Lake in the Hills

Lake in the Hills traffic, Cessna 896SP has cleared the active, Lake in the Hills

Note that the airport name is in the header and footer of the radio communication to avoid mix-up with several airports using the same unicom frequency. Got to run - hope this helps!

[Edited 2006-06-13 19:37:25]


"We have clearance Clarence. Roger, Roger. What's our vector Victor?"
User currently offlineFutureUApilot From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1365 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (8 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 3078 times:

Quoting SlamClick (Reply 8):

Arnquick look at my compass showed this was correct. I from now on willrnnever post on A.net within 30 min of waking up... ever again...

My flight instructor would be so disappointed. Don't tell him! Here's a little diagram explaining where I went wrong:



My apologies.

-Sam

[Edited 2006-06-13 19:59:54]


The Pilot is the highest form of life on Earth!
User currently offlineRedcordes From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 245 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (8 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 3067 times:

Take a ground school first. Should be able to do it in a month or so. Then start your flying instruction. You'll get much more for your money. This falls under the "Do your homework first philosophy." More or less, that's how it's done in the military and when professional pilots upgrade to new equipment ground school comes first then into the simulator. Sure it's nice to get out and fly right away, but with a good foundation of knowledge first, you'll appreciate/understand/retain what you learn in flight instruction much more.


"The only source of knowledge is experience." A. Einstein "Science w/o religion is lame. Religion w/o science is blind."
User currently offlineBri2k1 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 988 posts, RR: 4
Reply 12, posted (8 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 3042 times:

If you really can't afford to fly now, you'd better wait. Flying is great, but even if you do want to be a career pilot, you couldn't invest in something better than a college degree. You could look at joining the Civil Air Patrol, an AFROTC program, or just hang out at the airport and meet some pilots and CFIs. You could probably fly once or twice a month just by asking if you can tag along, especially on intro flights, or when a CFI wants to get a student ready for having passengers. And that won't cost you a thing! But, you'll certainly be disappointed if you make no progress on your lessons and keep practicing the same silly ground reference maneuvers (or whatever) over and over. It's hard to wait, when you love flying as much as I know I do, but it ends up being worth it. I'd take the advice, do a ground school, maybe even take the written (I believe it's good for 3 years) and keep asking questions. Good luck!


Position and hold
User currently offlineWoodreau From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 1053 posts, RR: 7
Reply 13, posted (8 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 3035 times:

For ground schools, you might want to call around to all the airports FBOs to see if they are running a ground school or if they know of any independent instructors running any private ground schools, try calling Highgate, Newport, Rutland, Montpelier, etc. I know one of the tower controllers at BTV used to run a private pilot ground school in Barre a few years ago - I don't know if he still does it or not - but he travelled to where the students were.

I learned to fly out of Stowe flying about 4-6x a month. It took me 8 months from start to finish, with the flying getting more frequent as I got closer to finishing.

There aren't a lot of airports offering flight training in Vermont due to the high cost of insurance putting most of the Part 61 flight schools out of business, but there are a lot of independent instructors out there if you know where to find them - start at the airport bulletin boards and ask around - a lot of things in Vermont as you know are through word of mouth.

You'll probably have to go to Highgate or someplace out of state to get your private written done - it's good for 24 calendar months.

Good luck.



Bonus animus sit, ab experientia. Quod salvatum fuerit de malis usu venit judicium.
User currently offlineRedcordes From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 245 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (8 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 3030 times:

You don't have to take a formal ground school. It could be a self-study program. And, you don't have to take the written right at the end of a ground school program, if you are concerned about completing the PPL within two years of the written exam. Ultimately, all you need to take the written is an approval to do so from an CFI -- that's how I did it. Although, he'll have to think you know your stuff to sign you off for the test.


"The only source of knowledge is experience." A. Einstein "Science w/o religion is lame. Religion w/o science is blind."
User currently offline727EMflyer From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 547 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (8 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 3013 times:

Congrats on your decision to fly!
I want to counter those who are saying you HAVE to fly more often than what you are planning.... but I will re-emphasize the risk.

Fly because you want to and fly for the reasons you want to! Not everyone who gets a private ticket has to be a wannabe ATP. I for instance would love to have that job, but what I love about flying is the thrill of take-off and landing and watching the scenery go by; so I am happy going up once a month or so to keep proficient and to scare the living day lights out of whatever co-worker I can convince I won't crash  tombstone  It keeps me happy and it doesn't break the bank.
If you enjoy flying and are not in a hurry, go ahead and fly 2 or 3 times a month. You will be able to pay for it the way you want to and you will have a good excuse to enjoy yourself for a longer period of time! Be forewarned though, in the long run it is going to cost you more money and it will take you many more hours to get your license.

For resources, join AOPA. You will find a wealth of information with them. I am sure your instructor will recommend training products and text books for you to get your knowledge, but you can find good products all over the place. Sporty's and King Schools have all sorts of CD-ROM/DVD based courses, and even Cessna has their own CD-ROM course you can buy. A great text is the Jeppesen Guided Flight Discovery series which can be purchased from various online suppliers or your local pilot shop.

And for a few answers to your other questions:
Fuel: The Pilot Operating Handbook tells you how much fuel your engine burns at various RPM settings, and even gives estimates as to how much you will burn on the ground before take off. Thanks to the wind you have to measure your endurance in time, rather than distance, so with 16 gallons, if you burn, say, 4 gallons per hour you can fly for four hours... if your airspeed is 70 Kn with a 10 Kn headwind, you can fly 240 nautical miles. Of course their are other factors, but you will learn those.

Time: Your flight time (and rental fee) is measured by the "hobbs" meter, which runs from the time you flip the master switch. 1.1 hours equals 1 hour and 6 minutes, roughly, since its rounded to the nearest tenth of an hour. This time includes your taxi and run-up. You will spend a miniscule amount of time on the ground, but it counts in your log since operating safely on the airport is part of flying safely. An example, when I was training with my instructor we found the engine running unsatisfactorily on run-up and decided to switch aircraft. I never got off the ground in the first bird, but I was able to count the .2 or so hours the meter clicked off. (Point two hours? Woo Hoo!)

Non-Towered "ATC" is done by each pilot operating in the vicinity of the airport. Each airport has a designated Common Traffic Advisory Frequency on which you "self announce" your location and intentions at key phases of flight. For example, you monitor the CTAF prior to take-off to make sure no one is landing on top of you, then you announce yourself: (lets call my fake airport "harrold") "harrold traffic, Cessna 123AB taxiing on alpha to rwy 5 to take-off, harrold traffic." When you're ready: "Harrold traffic, Cessn 123AB take-off rwy 5, harrold traffic" followed by "Harrold traffic, Cessna 123AB 500 for 1500, departing west, harrold traffic." When you get back to the vicinity of the airport, keep alert for what the other traffic is up to, then announce the key check points as before: About five miles from the pattern announce your location, altitude, and intentions. "Harrold Traffic, Cessna 123AB, 5 miles NE, 1500 inbound to land, Harrold traffic." Fly a basic left traffic pattern and announce your turns downwind, base, and final, and of course exiting the rwy and taxiing. "Harrold Traffic Cessna 123AB turning downwind, Harrold traffic" Etc. Now... don't just say and do, listen for traffic and coordinate with them. For example, if you just turned downwind and someone else lining up for take-off, look for the airplane, tell him you see him, and offer to extend your downwind for him.


User currently offlineBond007 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 5454 posts, RR: 8
Reply 16, posted (8 years 6 months 1 week 5 days ago) and read 2969 times:

The cheapest start is to get some good Private Pilot books (as some have mentioned). One book would answer all your questions and 1,000 more similar. Those types of questions are best answered by reading the theory and explanations, rather than by answers from a.net guys (even though they might be great replies).

A book or two will give you a great head start to your lessons and/or ground school, and is relatively cheap ...might even get some good used deals.


Jimbo



I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
User currently offline777-200 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 1021 posts, RR: 7
Reply 17, posted (8 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 2960 times:

Go to http://www.gleim.com/products/productdetails.php?proID=5548 and get the PPL written test prep or if you want to spend 50 more dollars get the online ground school and just keep on practicing the questions. I'd also recomend buying a E6B flight computer from www.sportys.com , It does all of those calculations for you!
Even if you can't afford the flying right now, at least get the written out of the way now so you don't have to worry about it when you start flying.


772



Another Day, Another Dollar.... Young Jeezy
User currently offlineAirWillie6475 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 2448 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (8 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 2950 times:

FBOs are not "show up and fly" deals, it's some what structured. Flight schools are at the mercy of the students, however, the instructors aren't necessarily at your mercy. Just because there is a plane available doesn't mean that you instructor will be available. Choose a young guy who doesn't have many students. I made a big mistake in choosing some one "older" with more "experience". Took me half a year to do my PPL because he wasn't always available. BELIEVE ME, save a few months of waiting, in that the experience of the instructor doesn't matter, just choose somebody who is available. If you already have a CFI, find out from the boss at the school how popular is your instructor, if he's the most popluar, dump him now.

The questions that you asked are very basic, your instructor will help you with those questions and your pre-solo test, probably free of charge. One last thing, do not spend more than you have to, although it would be a good idea to fly a 172, nothing smaller. Better plane, and only 15-20 bucks more than the 152. Don't go through ground school if you have a sense about flying/physics/air regulations. If you have no idea what an airplane is then, I would suggest going through ground school.

Also if you fly only once a week you won't be learning anything and I would stop right now untill you have the money ready. Try to fly atleast 3 times a week.


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