joe77
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Posts: 1
Joined: Thu May 09, 2019 11:36 am

Thinking about getting a license. But is it right for me?

Thu May 09, 2019 11:42 am

Hello everyone,

Before I ask this question, I just wanted to quickly explain that I have been a few times in small aircraft and have even had the opportunity to pilot one for a little while since a good friend of mine is actually an instructor. I really want to explore the world of bush planes and flying in a similar way. Every time I have been in the air, the air was as still as can be, and pretty much never experienced any turbulence of any kind (guess I lucked out).



However, I am someone that was never able to handle a roller coaster (mostly because I grew up never having the opportunity to ride one I suppose). I have not experienced what realistic amounts of turbulence can be like, and I would like to know if someone like me should stay away from flying or if it's not as bad as I am thinking. If someone can give some advice or information on what flying is really like on typical days or even bad ones, please let me know!

Thanks so much!
 
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Slash787
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Re: Thinking about getting a license. But is it right for me?

Thu May 09, 2019 11:51 am

IF you have the money, if you are really interested, if you have the time, then well it is pretty fun, in small planes I have never experienced heavy turbulence, but again it depends on where you are flying.

Get a PPL first and then see if you want to move forward.
 
rufusmi
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Re: Thinking about getting a license. But is it right for me?

Thu May 09, 2019 11:53 am

I got my private pilots license about 8 months ago and motion sickness was a big obstacle I had to overcome (if that’s what you’re referring to). Ever since I was a kid it was something I had a hard time with. However, it got significantly better as I went through my training, to the point that on the checkride day I didn’t feel any sickness during any of the maneuvers.
 
Noshow
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Re: Thinking about getting a license. But is it right for me?

Thu May 09, 2019 12:09 pm

The PPL itself is fun to do and you learn a lot. Keeping current afterwards and learning on is more expensive on the long run. If you have the money do it.
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Thinking about getting a license. But is it right for me?

Thu May 09, 2019 12:24 pm

I'm not quite clear on whether you get motion sick or are scared of turbulence but here goes.

Motion sickness:
- If you're the one flying, motion sickness is far less likely. Same as driving a car vs being a passenger.
- Most people acclimatise to nauseating motion over time.

Turbulence:
- Pilots treat turbulence like fishermen treat waves. Something to be respected, and sometimes avoided, but not something to be afraid of. As you gain knowledge as a pilot, you will learn how to avoid and manage turbulence. Knowledge is power.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
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AirKevin
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Re: Thinking about getting a license. But is it right for me?

Thu May 09, 2019 2:56 pm

I'm not somebody who can handle roller coasters, either, and I have only flown a Cessna 172 one time. The turbulence can be a little scary if you've never flown a light aircraft before and you aren't expecting it, but you eventually get the hang of it. On my first take-off, we hit quite a bit of turbulence as soon as we got airborne, which I wasn't expecting, and the METAR had indicated the winds wouldn't be an issue. That actually scared me. Once we got over the Long Island Sound, the turbulence died down, and I was fine. On the second take-off to return to our starting point, I managed it just fine, but by that point, I knew what to expect.
Captain Kevin
 
VSMUT
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Re: Thinking about getting a license. But is it right for me?

Thu May 09, 2019 7:25 pm

joe77 wrote:
Every time I have been in the air, the air was as still as can be, and pretty much never experienced any turbulence of any kind (guess I lucked out).


When flying a light airplane, especially for recreation, you won't be likely to go up on bad days with turbulence. Like 99% of all other private pilots, you will most likely go on good days only. Nobody forces you, just stay down. IMHO, tends not to be worth going on a bad day anyway.


joe77 wrote:
However, I am someone that was never able to handle a roller coaster (mostly because I grew up never having the opportunity to ride one I suppose).


I hate them too. Flying is just a completely different experience, and going up in the aerobatics plane is so much fun. Just not comparable in any way. But if it isn't your style, just cruise along and enjoy the view.

Motion sickness was also common at my flying school. Had it 2 times myself. It wears off quickly, and never happened when I was the pilot.
 
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AirKevin
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Re: Thinking about getting a license. But is it right for me?

Thu May 09, 2019 11:43 pm

VSMUT wrote:
When flying a light airplane, especially for recreation, you won't be likely to go up on bad days with turbulence.

You wouldn't, but you can still have turbulence even on a good day.
Captain Kevin
 
Woodreau
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Re: Thinking about getting a license. But is it right for me?

Fri May 10, 2019 2:21 am

Although your normal category trainer is certified for +2.5g to -1g, virtually all of your flying in light aircraft will never approach those limits. Roller coasters are designed to exert large g-force changes on its passengers because that’s usually what the riders want.

I had a flight where the FO didn’t flare. Just planted it on the runway - bang! It was the hardest landing I’d ever experienced in a 320. I wrote up the hard landing and when they pulled the Load 15 report it was 1.6gs. Well within the limitations of the aircraft.
Bonus animus sit, ab experientia. Quod salvatum fuerit de malis usu venit judicium.
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Thinking about getting a license. But is it right for me?

Fri May 10, 2019 2:26 am

Woodreau wrote:
Although your normal category trainer is certified for +2.5g to -1g, virtually all of your flying in light aircraft will never approach those limits. Roller coasters are designed to exert large g-force changes on its passengers because that’s usually what the riders want.

I had a flight where the FO didn’t flare. Just planted it on the runway - bang! It was the hardest landing I’d ever experienced in a 320. I wrote up the hard landing and when they pulled the Load 15 report it was 1.6gs. Well within the limitations of the aircraft.


Normal category is +3.8g to -1.52g. Transport category is +2.5g to -1g (clean).

Not that it changes your point.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
e38
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Re: Thinking about getting a license. But is it right for me?

Sun May 12, 2019 12:16 am

joe77, I hope you don't mind if I put your question back on topic, because I don't think you are really asking about the g limits of aircraft.

If you are thinking of pursuing a career in flying, or at least getting your private pilot license, then my advice is to go ahead and DO IT.
You don't want to look back many years from now and wish you had tried it.

You stated, " I have been a few times in small aircraft and have even had the opportunity to pilot one for a little . . ."

Joe, what did you think? Did you find the flights interesting and the experience intriguing? Did it seem like something you would like to do on a regular basis? If so, then absolutely go ahead and do it. A couple of thoughts:

First, you made reference to not enjoying riding a roller coaster. It's very difficult to compare riding a roller coaster and turbulence in an aircraft. From my perspective, they are not similar at all. As Woodreau mentioned in Reply # 9, "Roller coasters are designed to exert large g-force changes on its passengers . . ." They are designed to be "intense" for the thrill of the rider. In most cases, turbulence is not "intense." Perhaps "irritating" at times, but in most cases, turbulence does not have the intensity of a roller coaster.

Second, yes, if you fly an airplane you will experience turbulence from time to time. However, I have found that if you are actually flying the aircraft, the turbulence is much less noticeable since you are involved in other tasks and your mind will focus more on the actual flying, navigating, communicating, etc. than on the turbulence.

As VSMUT posted in Reply # 7, "you won't be likely to go up on bad days with turbulence." In other words, if you have another career and just fly as a recreational pilot, you can choose to fly on days when turbulence is minimized--early mornings are usually more conducive to a smooth flight. If you fly as a career, then, of course you won't be able to choose the specific conditions during which you would like to fly.

Finally, I have worked with students who experienced motion sickness with regard to flying in general and turbulence in particular, but those feelings tended to dissipate,and in some cases, completely disappeared over time.

So, my advice is to go for it. Enroll in a private pilot course at a local FBO or flight school, or with your friend the instructor (although sometimes friends and family are not the best instructors). If at some point you discover that flying just isn't right for you, or the turbulence you experience is especially unpleasant, then discontinue the training. It won't be time and money wasted, it will be time and money well invested to discover something about yourself and you certainly won't look back years from now wondering, "what if . . .?"

e38
 
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WingsFan
Posts: 327
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Re: Thinking about getting a license. But is it right for me?

Mon May 13, 2019 8:25 pm

Such a nice response to OP's questions. Well done.
I don't know if OP has already disembarked from this thread, but this was insightful. Thanks.



e38 wrote:
joe77, I hope you don't mind if I put your question back on topic, because I don't think you are really asking about the g limits of aircraft.

If you are thinking of pursuing a career in flying, or at least getting your private pilot license, then my advice is to go ahead and DO IT.
You don't want to look back many years from now and wish you had tried it.

You stated, " I have been a few times in small aircraft and have even had the opportunity to pilot one for a little . . ."

Joe, what did you think? Did you find the flights interesting and the experience intriguing? Did it seem like something you would like to do on a regular basis? If so, then absolutely go ahead and do it. A couple of thoughts:

First, you made reference to not enjoying riding a roller coaster. It's very difficult to compare riding a roller coaster and turbulence in an aircraft. From my perspective, they are not similar at all. As Woodreau mentioned in Reply # 9, "Roller coasters are designed to exert large g-force changes on its passengers . . ." They are designed to be "intense" for the thrill of the rider. In most cases, turbulence is not "intense." Perhaps "irritating" at times, but in most cases, turbulence does not have the intensity of a roller coaster.

Second, yes, if you fly an airplane you will experience turbulence from time to time. However, I have found that if you are actually flying the aircraft, the turbulence is much less noticeable since you are involved in other tasks and your mind will focus more on the actual flying, navigating, communicating, etc. than on the turbulence.

As VSMUT posted in Reply # 7, "you won't be likely to go up on bad days with turbulence." In other words, if you have another career and just fly as a recreational pilot, you can choose to fly on days when turbulence is minimized--early mornings are usually more conducive to a smooth flight. If you fly as a career, then, of course you won't be able to choose the specific conditions during which you would like to fly.

Finally, I have worked with students who experienced motion sickness with regard to flying in general and turbulence in particular, but those feelings tended to dissipate,and in some cases, completely disappeared over time.

So, my advice is to go for it. Enroll in a private pilot course at a local FBO or flight school, or with your friend the instructor (although sometimes friends and family are not the best instructors). If at some point you discover that flying just isn't right for you, or the turbulence you experience is especially unpleasant, then discontinue the training. It won't be time and money wasted, it will be time and money well invested to discover something about yourself and you certainly won't look back years from now wondering, "what if . . .?"

e38
 
slcguy
Posts: 355
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Re: Thinking about getting a license. But is it right for me?

Tue May 14, 2019 5:23 pm

As others have posted, if you are the pilot, turbulence and motion sickness don't affect you near as much as if you were just a passenger. Also, in bad turbulence don't chase everything the plane does, just maintain basic heading and altitude with a fairly level wings. If you hit a bump and you lose 25' chances are the next one will give you 25'. Same with heading, 5 degrees too far left, give it a few seconds, you may be 5 degrees right. Same goes for airspeed in cruise flight, (departure and approach will require more immediate attention to speed and altitude) but same principle applies, don't over control. Only correct for trends not individual excursions unless extreme. You'll find yourself a lot more comfortable and in control. If you have inexperienced passengers on board though, better know where the sick bags are they can use. LOL
 
SAAFNAV
Posts: 574
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Re: Thinking about getting a license. But is it right for me?

Tue May 14, 2019 6:24 pm

You ask if the license is right for you, but you don't specify what you want to use it for?

If you want to become a professional pilot, then go do it.

If you purely want to fly for the love of it, consider another type of flying: recreational (sports), glider, paragliding etc.
L-382 Loadmaster; ex C-130B Navigator

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