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  #51  
Old 10-25-2011, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Johnny L.A. View Post
As I mentioned in my 'comeback' thread, my instructor asked me if I preferred to come in rather high. I thought not, and tried to maintain the 3 approach. But it turns out I really do like to come in high. When I was flying before (in fixed-wing) my practice was to have no power and full flaps on final. this instructor likes to have full flaps and carry power on final, and that messed me up because I'd concentrate so much on the landing I wouldn't get the power all the way off. So I come in high, closer to the threshold, full flaps, and power off. PAPI says I'm high, but I know I'm coming down.
Yeah, unless I'm actually flying an ILS I don't fly a 3 approach. If you're flying 3 with power you're probably not reaching the runway if you lose your engine. I guess if your plan is to transition to larger planes its good to practice a glideslope approach from the start; however, if you intend to mostly fly small planes it's safer to practice landing after pulling power on downwind.

The plane I fly, the Tiger, is famous for having flaps which are more for show than utility (unlike the flaps on the Cessna I trained on which acted like drag chutes). It's pretty common to come in high with the Tiger and then forward slip right to the threshold.

Last edited by Pixel_Dent; 10-25-2011 at 02:55 PM.
  #52  
Old 10-25-2011, 03:04 PM
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Thanks for the answers Johnny L.A.
  #53  
Old 10-25-2011, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Pixel_Dent View Post
If you're flying 3 with power you're probably not reaching the runway if you lose your engine.
My first instructor drilled that into my head. Don't carry power unless you have to, and make sure you're set up to make the runway in case you lose the engine.

My first five hours were in an AA5 (N5801L, which seems to now be an invalid number) when I was 13. ISTR having to 'fly it to the ground' like a larger aircraft, rather than to drop in like a raptor as you do in a Cessna. Of course with a helicopter you carry power all the way down, unless you're autorotating. But it's still a 'full-flaps, power off in a Cessna' type of approach.
  #54  
Old 10-25-2011, 03:33 PM
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Thanks for the answers Johnny L.A.
Those were my impressions as someone with a Private rating. I'm sure the more experienced pilots here can give better answers.
  #55  
Old 10-25-2011, 03:54 PM
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airplane
1907, from air (n.1) + plane; though the original references are British, the word caught on in Amer.Eng., where it largely superseded earlier aeroplane (1873 in this sense and still common in British English). Aircraft "airplane" also is from 1907. Lord Byron, speculatively, used air-vessel (1822).

plane (1)
"flat surface," c.1600, from L. plantum "flat surface," properly neut. of adj. planus "flat, level, plain, clear," from PIE *pla-no- (cf. Lith. plonas "thin;" Celtic *lanon "plain;" perhaps also Gk. pelanos "sacrificial cake, a mixture offered to the gods, offering (of meal, honey, and oil) poured or spread"), suffixed form of base *pele- "to spread out, broad, flat" (cf. O.C.S. polje "flat land, field," Rus. polyi "open;" O.E., O.H.G. feld, M.Du. veld "field"). Figurative sense is attested from 1850. The verb meaning "soar, glide on motionless wings" is first recorded 1610s, from M.Fr. planer (16c.), from L. planum on notion of bird gliding with flattened wings. Of boats, etc., "to skim over the surface of water" it is first found 1913.
Balderdash!

I call them all airships!

Flying boats, they are!
  #56  
Old 10-25-2011, 04:07 PM
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So, yoke versus stick. What are your personal preferences? Are there important differences?

The 182 I went up on last Thursday had a yoke and was a heavier plane. I'm supposed to go up in the Diamond Star DA40 this coming Thursday, which is lighter and uses a stick. Is a yoke just something that becomes standard as the plane gets larger or heavier? Do some manufacturers use one over the other? Are there manufacturers who would let you choose one over the other as a sort of optional feature for a particular model of plane?
  #57  
Old 10-25-2011, 04:24 PM
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The new Cessna 162 Skycatcher (hate the name) uses a stick. Sort of. It's more like a single-horn yoke.

In fixed-wing, I've only flown with a yoke. The R22 uses a T-stick arrangement for its cyclic control, while the 300CB uses a traditional cyclic. A yoke is flown with the left hand. In a helicopter, the cyclic stick is flown with the right hand. Both feel perfectly natural. The big advantage of the sticks I've used is that they are in helicopters. Compared to a helicopter, a Cessna feels like a pig. Since I'm used to flying with my right hand on a stick, I think flying a stick-equipped airplane from the left seat might feel funny.
  #58  
Old 10-25-2011, 05:12 PM
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I, for one, support our new aviation overlords.... oh, wait, I'm one of them, aren't I?
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General Aviation? Someday I will be Feldmarschall Aviation! We shall rule from On High!
Check out H.G. Well's The Shape of Things to Come sometime. We might as well start to form Wings Over the World ourselves here.

Last edited by ElvisL1ves; 10-25-2011 at 05:12 PM.
  #59  
Old 10-25-2011, 05:12 PM
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So, yoke versus stick. What are your personal preferences? Are there important differences?
Me personally, I prefer a stick. But it's not a huge preference. I won't turn down an airplane simply because it has a yoke. I think I prefer them in part because I started with sticks.

Are there important differences? Um... no, I don't think so. You might be slightly less inclined to try to "drive" an airplane like a car when you have a stick as opposed to the more wheel-like yoke, but most people find they can use either with little difficulty.

There are people out there who will argue stick vs. yoke as if it were a life or death matter but honestly, other than, maybe, a little bit of an odd feeling for the first few minutes the first time you use one instead of the other it's no big deal. I've yet to meet a pilot who couldn't fly both, even if he/she preferred one over the other.

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The 182 I went up on last Thursday had a yoke and was a heavier plane. I'm supposed to go up in the Diamond Star DA40 this coming Thursday, which is lighter and uses a stick. Is a yoke just something that becomes standard as the plane gets larger or heavier?
Not so much - a Boeing 737 has a yoke, an Airbus 380 has a "side-stick". In decades past there was a fashion for yokes in commercial airplanes and a lot of the Cessna and Piper general aviation while the military leaned toward sticks (at least for fighters - some of their other airplanes used yokes), but there are a lot of general aviation sticks out there even so.

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Do some manufacturers use one over the other?
Yes. Cessna and Piper for the most part use yokes (exceptions such as the Cessna "Skycatcher" and Piper Cub do exist, though). Bellanca favors sticks. A lot of kit planes favor sticks.

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Are there manufacturers who would let you choose one over the other as a sort of optional feature for a particular model of plane?
Hm.... the only ones I'm aware of are kit planes, where the owner assembles/builds the aircraft. But there are a bunch of new designs that have come out recently, so maybe.
  #60  
Old 10-25-2011, 05:48 PM
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My instructor told me "Red over red, you're dead."
I respectfully disagree - if you can see the lights, then there's nothing in the line between you and the runway. You're not in trouble unless the lights keep moving higher in your field of view, meaning you keep getting further and further below the glideslope. It's easy to get back on the glideslope if you want to by adding a touch of power, but if you're stabilized, you're fine.

But if you're high, you might be in even more trouble. Getting back down to the glideslope takes a little work - more flaps if you have them, or slipping, or cutting airspeed, and the last two mean getting closer to stalling. A stall that low can lead to a spin, and they're simply unrecoverable below pattern altitude. You might not do that well enough to get back on a glideslope that also intersects the runway with enough room left to stop. Bottom line, being high can get you in a lot more types of big trouble than being low.

Now bring it on.


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If you're flying 3 with power you're probably not reaching the runway if you lose your engine.
Another disagreement. That isn't really a consideration anymore, not like the old days of unreliable engines when the rule about staying in gliding distance from the runway started. Engines very rarely fail at all anymore, and when they do, it's almost always at high power, not low or idle. There are plenty of planes that land much more smoothly with a little power on, anyway.


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Originally Posted by Johnny L.A. View Post
The new Cessna 162 Skycatcher (hate the name) uses a stick. Sort of. It's more like a single-horn yoke.
It does move pretty much like a floor-mounted stick. I got to sit in one at the AOPA thing in Hartford last month. The 162 stick moves forward and back in translation, with no change in angle, but it swings left and right on a bellcrank type thing under the panel. And you don't have to climb over it to get in. I'm still a little puzzled about why Cessna gave it electric trim but Johnson-bar flaps - I'd have gone electric with those too, but nobody asked me.
  #61  
Old 10-25-2011, 10:58 PM
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Stick or yoke, throttle left or right handed. Takes about 5 minutes to be cool with it. Engine controls in non-standard positions are much more scary. If you are not used to Beech Barons, in tense situations you can move the wrong control real easy. Ask Cessna about the first 175's..... They had the mixture & the carb heat reversed from standard position in relation to the throttle. Got changed back PDQ.....

I am long legged so heel brakes are a PITA for me.

I prefer manual flaps ala Cessna, & 40 degree barn doors....

Electric trim on the yoke / stick is great especially in a twin or any plane that needs a lot of trim change between cruise & touch down. Want the manual wheel there also as sometimes thinks quit working at the most inopportune times....

I do better aerobatics with a stick. That is from terrible to just bad. Never got to practice nuff and I get motion sick from repeated heavy G's.
  #62  
Old 10-26-2011, 10:32 AM
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I got chased by an Airbus last night . We were landing at Richmond Int'l and when I entered the Charlie and called tower, he told me to do a straight-in landing on Rwy 16. Now, 16 is for the big boys, not little baby planes like my C-172. It's 9000 feet long and lit up in every way possible. I felt honored.

Tower also said there was a jet landing on the opposite runway. No, not the parallel...the opposite. Rwy 34. I didn't even know they could do that. Of course, it landed well before us and was long gone before we got there. It was still cool to watch.

So then we request a stop 'n go. That's when the tower tells us "traffic 10 nm behind you, landing on rwy 16, type Airbus." So we go "Uh...OK. Full stop, then." and we get cleared. We then hear him call the Airbus and say "traffic ahead of you, type Cessna, doing 100 kts."

So my instructor tells me to just throttle up, keep the flaps up, and land at 90 kts. "We've got 9000 feet," he says, "we won't have a problem stopping." So I did just that. I landed at almost full throttle and no flaps. And let me tell you, it was a glorious landing. So smooth, so controlled. We slammed on the breaks and hook off the runway onto Txwy C. My heart's pounding, but I'm exhilarated. I'm thinking "I'm now, officially, a bad ass."

What a ride!
  #63  
Old 10-26-2011, 08:59 PM
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You should have told the tower to advise the Airbus to be aware of wake turbulence.
  #64  
Old 10-27-2011, 09:39 AM
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My business has me up in North Carolina for a few months. Anyone know of any good $100 hamburger airports in this area?
  #65  
Old 10-27-2011, 09:48 AM
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You should have told the tower to advise the Airbus to be aware of wake turbulence.
Reminds me of something that happened to me back when I was working on my private certificate. I was at Hanscom airport in Bedford, MA, a dual military/private field, getting ready to do some touch and goes.

When I was ready to take off there was a big ass high wing military transport plane that was holding on the runway waiting for his clearance. The guy in the tower told me that if I thought I could taxi under his wing and get in front of him I could take off. His wing was so far above my little 182 I was able to taxi under it with no problem.

Just as I emerged from under his wing I was cleared for takeoff and I responded, "Cessna AB123, cleared for takeoff. Big ole plane I just taxied under, caution wake turbulence." The pilot of the big plane keyed his mic and laughed.
  #66  
Old 10-27-2011, 09:52 AM
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Dad had planes, but I had to rent the Skyhawk (the Skylane was his). But I could rent it at cost. Now I'm renting a 1978 Cessna 172 Skyhawk (that one, in the photo) for $110/hour. They have a 180-hp conversion one for about $25/hour more. Robinson R22s are going for about $220/hour, and Schweizer 269Cs rent for about $245/hour. So you can see why I'm flying a fixed-wing just now.
This is why, as much as I would love to, I will never be able to be a pilot. I just can't afford it.

Last edited by Clothahump; 10-27-2011 at 09:53 AM.
  #67  
Old 10-27-2011, 03:00 PM
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Commercial (it just means that I can be compensated for taking passengers) sailplane pilot and glider owner here. Try it - you'll like it! Really. Sometimes soaring/gliding gets looked at as "not a real pilot" endeavor. Granted, you don't have an engine to manage but everything else applies. Its FAA regulated and pilots certificate is required. It has been argued that those getting their glider rating first make better power pilots. In a glider you need to more aware of everything - potential landing spots, weather (esp. weather), energy management, formation flying (on tow), potential traffic conflicts (most gliders do not have transponders) and more. It seems the USAF Academy agrees since cadets start out in gliders. I've not yet seen a glider go around on a landing. You have to get it right the first time every time. Glider flights of hundreds of miles are common place. The altitude record in a glider is over 50,000'. Flights of 1000K are not uncommon. I've been told, by people who know first hand, that flying a glider is the closest you can get to flying a jet fighter. Great visibility, snug cockpit, responsive controls, flying steep bank angles - its all there. Well, almost. Its pretty hard to fly a glider straight up for very long. Ask any questions you might have about silent flight - its freakin' awesome!
  #68  
Old 10-27-2011, 03:57 PM
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Had to switch gears, as it were. I'm now taking Flight #2 in a 1979 C-172N out of KWHP next Wednesday morning. $100/hr for the plane and $30/hr for the instructor. We'll see how it goes.
  #69  
Old 10-27-2011, 05:31 PM
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Commercial (it just means that I can be compensated for taking passengers) sailplane pilot and glider owner here. Try it - you'll like it! Really. Sometimes soaring/gliding gets looked at as "not a real pilot" endeavor. Granted, you don't have an engine to manage but everything else applies. Its FAA regulated and pilots certificate is required. It has been argued that those getting their glider rating first make better power pilots. In a glider you need to more aware of everything - potential landing spots, weather (esp. weather), energy management, formation flying (on tow), potential traffic conflicts (most gliders do not have transponders) and more. It seems the USAF Academy agrees since cadets start out in gliders. I've not yet seen a glider go around on a landing. You have to get it right the first time every time. Glider flights of hundreds of miles are common place. The altitude record in a glider is over 50,000'. Flights of 1000K are not uncommon. I've been told, by people who know first hand, that flying a glider is the closest you can get to flying a jet fighter. Great visibility, snug cockpit, responsive controls, flying steep bank angles - its all there. Well, almost. Its pretty hard to fly a glider straight up for very long. Ask any questions you might have about silent flight - its freakin' awesome!
(emphasis added)

Yes, and even then one doesn't always make it.

Very first time my instructor had me do a simulated rope break -- Insufficient lead-up training (I thought), not enough prior practice at altitude doing steep turns, not sure how steep to turn a really tight 180, let alone that close to the ground.

Need I say we landed in yonder cow pasture?

Good thing, however, that I got reasonably good at judging altitude in the pattern by the time of my fist solo -- at which time I discovered at the last minute that the altimeter was sticky and was lying to me about how high I was on downwind. Good thing they trained me on too-low pattern approaches before that happened.

Last edited by Senegoid; 10-27-2011 at 05:35 PM.
  #70  
Old 10-28-2011, 12:00 AM
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I was taught 'tap.tap.tap' on my first flight lesson & it was not even in a glider. I thought that was taught to glider students before they ever got in a glider????
  #71  
Old 10-28-2011, 03:46 AM
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I was taught 'tap.tap.tap' on my first flight lesson & it was not even in a glider. I thought that was taught to glider students before they ever got in a glider????
'Fraid not. I learned tap.tap.tap on the day described above. But I did get a lot of emphasis on judging altitude by sight, especially low AGL altitudes, especially near or in the pattern, and it served me well on that day.
  #72  
Old 10-28-2011, 10:03 AM
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So your first rope break ended with an off airport landing? It sounds like you made the right decision. Did you have that pasture picked out as an option ahead of time? Its quite common to have the altimeter covered up during training. Landing is all about angles and landing safely w/o an altimeter is no big deal. Once I hit the IP at the correct altitude I never look at the altimeter again. Of course, that assumes landing at a field with a known elevation. Landing in a farmers field with an unknown elevation makes knowing how to read the angles more important. (Pretty much everyone flying cross country these days has a gps that will tell you your altitude AGL but sometimes the battery dies)Spoilers/airbrakes give you great glidepath control so you have to be way low or way high to be unable to put it where you want it.
  #73  
Old 10-28-2011, 10:23 AM
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"This is why, as much as I would love to, I will never be able to be a pilot. I just can't afford it."

Another reason to consider gliders. In my club dues are $50/month, the glider rents for
$12/hr, a tow to 3000' is $36 and instruction is free. On a good day you can stay up for hours
on a single tow. While learning your flights will likely be shorter. Its a relatively cheap way to learn to fly. Relatively - it still ain't cheap.
  #74  
Old 10-28-2011, 01:16 PM
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Just as I emerged from under his wing I was cleared for takeoff and I responded, "Cessna AB123, cleared for takeoff. Big ole plane I just taxied under, caution wake turbulence." The pilot of the big plane keyed his mic and laughed.

Good to see the military guys have a sense of humor, but they know how to put us in our place, too...

From Major Shul, SR-71 driver:

One day, high above Arizona, we were monitoring the radio traffic of all the mortal airplanes below us. First, a Cessna pilot asked the air traffic controllers to check his ground speed. 'Ninety knots,' ATC replied. A twin Bonanza soon made the same request. 'One-twenty on the ground,' was the reply.

To our surprise, a navy F-18 came over the radio with a ground speed check. I knew exactly what he was doing. Of course, he had a ground speed indicator in his cockpit, but he wanted to let all the bug-smashers in the valley know what real speed was 'Dusty 52, we show you at 525 on the ground,' ATC responded.

The situation was too ripe. I heard the click of Walter's mike button in the rear seat. In his most innocent voice, Walter startled the controller by asking for a ground speed check from 81,000 feet, clearly above controlled airspace. In a cool, professional voice, the controller replied, 'Aspen 20, I show you at 1,742 knots on the ground.'

We did not hear another transmission on that frequency all the way to the coast.
  #75  
Old 10-28-2011, 04:54 PM
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Talking prices ...

My dad operated a small rental & flight instruction biz from the mid 60s to the mid 80s. We went from 1 to eventually 10 and then back to 1 airplane for rent. Along about 1967, before the big spurt in US consumer price inflation we rented out a then-new C150 for $9/hr.

I haven't done any GA flying in over a decade. My bro & I owned a 1966 Twin Comanche from about 1992 to 1997. Sold it for what we paid for it. 2 years later the going price of TCs had doubled. Oh well. Fixed costs of ownership ran about $500/mo and that was before we actually flew it even a single minute.

The jet I fly now burns about 18,000 pounds per hour at takeoff thrust. Jet fuel runs very roughly $0.50 / lb nowadays. So we're burning $9000 / hour or about $3 / second roaring down the runway. In cruise it's just shy of $1 / second. Glad somebody else is paying for it.

All in all, flying's not a low-cost activity whether you're talking light planes, airliners, or anything in between.

Last edited by LSLGuy; 10-28-2011 at 04:58 PM.
  #76  
Old 10-28-2011, 05:22 PM
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Obligatory photo from Saturday.
  #77  
Old 10-28-2011, 06:54 PM
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Obligatory photo from Saturday.
Cessna 2396 Charlie, lots more picture please. Over.
  #78  
Old 10-28-2011, 07:07 PM
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So your first rope break ended with an off airport landing? It sounds like you made the right decision. Did you have that pasture picked out as an option ahead of time? Its quite common to have the altimeter covered up during training. Landing is all about angles and landing safely w/o an altimeter is no big deal. Once I hit the IP at the correct altitude I never look at the altimeter again. Of course, that assumes landing at a field with a known elevation. Landing in a farmers field with an unknown elevation makes knowing how to read the angles more important. (Pretty much everyone flying cross country these days has a gps that will tell you your altitude AGL but sometimes the battery dies)Spoilers/airbrakes give you great glidepath control so you have to be way low or way high to be unable to put it where you want it.
> It sounds like you made the right decision. Did you have that pasture
> picked out as an option ahead of time?

Well, not exactly my decision. We were only maybe 100' up, still taking off straight ahead, barely to the end of the runway. I didn't know how steeply to turn to make a 180. Got turned 90 degrees, just past the end of the runway, and lost too much altitude doing that. Instructor saw we weren't going to make it back, and took over. The runway was surrounded on 3 sides by cow pastures, so we just landed in the one right there. At the time, I still didn't have much of a feel at all for controlling glide path with spoilers yet.

I changed instructors a few weeks after that. New instructor was much better. That's when we started doing training with controls covered. (He used a dime-store shower soap holder thingy -- little soft rubber disk with octopus-like suction cups on both sides.)

He gave me an impressive demo of ground effect one day. After turning base, he did a steep full 360 (OMG Thermalling in the pattern?), which left us on final approach, over the cow pasture on the other end of the runway, about maybe 3' AGL. Now that's having good control over your vehicle! We were right on target to run right through the barbed wire fence in front of us. But we had enough air speed and ground effect to hop right over it. Another day, he had me practice doing some spins. And of course, I got to practice some low approaches before it really happened on that solo.

BTW, for whatever reason, we always did right-hand patterns there.

Last edited by Senegoid; 10-28-2011 at 07:11 PM.
  #79  
Old 10-28-2011, 09:11 PM
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Obligatory photo from Saturday.
Looks like you enjoyed it!

How tall are you?
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Old 10-28-2011, 09:11 PM
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Obligatory photo from Saturday.
You've come a long way from being a passenger afraid of flying. I'm truly proud of you.

I can't wait until you solo.
  #81  
Old 10-28-2011, 09:18 PM
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I can't wait until you solo.
Who wants to start the First Solo stories?
  #82  
Old 10-28-2011, 09:27 PM
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Who wants to start the First Solo stories?
I'm pretty sure you just volunteered, pal.

And I'm 5'10".

Thank you, Broomstick. Baby steps. Oh, also, I'm curious about how many other female pilots you run across. The flight school that I'm visiting next week has pictures up of the most recent people to get their licenses, and I believe that two out of about 20 were female. I wonder if that's about the same ratio in general.

Last edited by Asimovian; 10-28-2011 at 09:30 PM.
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Old 10-28-2011, 09:45 PM
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And I'm 5'10".
I'm 5' 11", and you look taller than I am in that photo.
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I'm pretty sure you just volunteered
First solo
07/17/83. Cessna 172K, N84573. Instructor: (the late) Jim Graves. We'd stayed in the pattern and did three touch-and-goes. On the fourth landing I was instructed to make a full stop and taxi clear of the taxiway. I wondered why the lesson was so short. When I stopped, Jim got out and said, 'Take it up and make a few landings.' I said, ' ' Then I taxied down to the departure end. The Skyhawk took to the air with alacrity without the added weight. I actually reached over and felt the empty seat to make sure I was alone. Oh, it was nice! Jim said 'make a few' landings, so I assumed he meant three. Afterward I kicked myself for not staying up all day.
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Old 10-28-2011, 09:59 PM
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I'm 5' 11", and you look taller than I am in that photo.
Unfortunately, I make up for that in girth. Part of the reason I'm going to a different school is because I'm above their weight limit for all the appropriate training planes that the El Monte flight school has. Not by much, and I intend to fix that, but I wanted to get back up sooner rather than later. The school I'm going to has mostly Cessnas for training, and the instructor I spoke to said that my weight would not be an issue other than it would make climbs a little slower.

So, even though my coming lesson isn't until Wednesday, I'm thinking about heading up there tomorrow to see the place, maybe meet an instructor or two, and just to watch some planes. Does anyone think this is a good idea? Bad idea? Am I just loony?
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Old 10-28-2011, 10:06 PM
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Here's a first solo story - but not about me. This is about the first student I soloed as an instructor.

Kevin had been taking lessons with another CFI. Although he had around 30 hours, he hadn't soloed. He felt things weren't clicking and blamed himself. His instructor moved on and Kevin asked me to fly with him with an eye toward deciding if perhaps aviation wasn't for him.

I had been working as a CFI for a few months, but hadn't had the chance to solo anyone yet. From what Kevin had told me, I suspected he might have some real issues. But it turned out he was excellent in the airplane. He had some strange habits that were instilled by the other CFI, but his flying was really good and I told him so. We flew again the next day, and I quickly realized it was no fluke. This guy could fly well, and he was consistent. I signed his book then and there and watched him shoot several solo patterns. I had always thought I would feel nervous at this moment, but I was perfectly at ease. This was a good student, he satisfied all the requirements and there was no point in holding him back another minute.

This turned out to be Kevin's turning point. He told me he felt his previous CFI had no confidence in him, and this in turn made him think he didn't have the chops for it. After flying with some of his other students it became clear that the other CFI wasn't doing right by his clients - stringing them along without soloing. And although he apparently could teach flight skills, he gave them some very unnecessary, non-standard habits. Bad way to teach.

Kevin eventually got his license, bought an airplane and got recurrent training with me for years. He was one of the very best students I've ever had, and it still galls me that he nearly gave it up because of a bad CFI. I would have soloed him on our FIRST flight together if we'd had the paperwork in order.
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Old 10-28-2011, 10:41 PM
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Oh, also, I'm curious about how many other female pilots you run across. The flight school that I'm visiting next week has pictures up of the most recent people to get their licenses, and I believe that two out of about 20 were female. I wonder if that's about the same ratio in general.
Last I heard,15-20% of pilots in the US are women.

Your 2 out of 20 is slightly lower than that, but not by much. Aviation is still very much dominated by men, although as a woman in aviation I have to say I've experienced much less gender bias there than in many other areas of life.

I had been a pilot 8 or 9 years and had several hundred hours before I shared a cockpit with another woman pilot. I hadn't been avoiding them, but since I hadn't been seeking them out, either, it just didn't happen before then. I was certainly aware of other women pilots, knew a few, just didn't happen to fly with any of them before then. Probably because I find gender irrelevant in choosing who to fly with, I use other criteria, and since the pool of pilots is 80% men, well, 80-90% of the time that's been what my co-pilot is.

(It didn't help I started with ultralights and homebuilts - depending on whose figures you use, that's between 50:1 and 200:1 men to women.)
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Old 10-29-2011, 12:07 PM
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Last I heard,15-20% of pilots in the US are women.

Your 2 out of 20 is slightly lower than that, but not by much.
As of 2010, the overall percentage is 6.73%

2.92% of Airline Transport rated pilots, and 12.40% of student pilots (a FAA medical examination is a student pilot certificate) are female pilots.

The population in the airline is low enough that when I pass another female pilot in the concourse, there is the inevitable "in-the-club" nod of recognition. =)


Women in Aviation International http://www.wai.org/resources/waistats.cfm
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Old 10-29-2011, 12:21 PM
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So I saw this plane fly overhead yesterday. Two engine pusher prop with canard.

What could it have been?
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Old 10-29-2011, 12:29 PM
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These days, anything with a canard and a pusher has a high probability of being a Burt Rutan design. Can you give us any more information?

The Beech Starship matched that description, but there are very few left. (Yes, it's a Rutan design.)
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Old 10-29-2011, 12:40 PM
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These days, anything with a canard and a pusher has a high probability of being a Burt Rutan design. Can you give us any more information?

The Beech Starship matched that description, but there are very few left. (Yes, it's a Rutan design.)
Very few left??? Are they falling out of the sky with frightening regularity?
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Old 10-29-2011, 12:43 PM
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So, even though my coming lesson isn't until Wednesday, I'm thinking about heading up there tomorrow to see the place, maybe meet an instructor or two, and just to watch some planes. Does anyone think this is a good idea? Bad idea? Am I just loony?
Naw.... it's normal for a pilot. Lots of times I've headed out to the airport with no intention of flying, just wanted to hang around other flying people and watch airplanes.

Right now you need to meet a bunch of different instructors so you can better the odds of finding a really great one that you mesh with. Trying a couple different airplanes before making the real knuckle-down commitment to learning isn't a bad idea either.

Being a pilot can give you an incentive to keep your weight under control. Meanwhile, Cessnas are great airplanes to learn in. It's not because they're perfect - they aren't - but because there are so many, they're pretty forgiving, and yes, they do accommodate the uh, um,... heftier pilot.

But yeah, losing weight will improve your weight of climb. I mentioned that to my instructor that at my first solo I noticed that the sudden loss of 200 pounds really improved the climb
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Old 10-29-2011, 12:46 PM
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Very few left??? Are they falling out of the sky with frightening regularity?
Nope. But...well, it's a bit involved. The short version is that Beechcraft scrapped and incinerated all of them it could get its hands on. There are currently nine registered survivors still flying, and a few more being used for parts.
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Old 10-29-2011, 01:17 PM
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Nope. But...well, it's a bit involved. The short version is that Beechcraft scrapped and incinerated all of them it could get its hands on. There are currently nine registered survivors still flying, and a few more being used for parts.
When SpaceShipOne made its first proper space ascent, they one of the camera planes for the descent was a Starship. A nice touch, I thought.

So, question, brought on by a random lunch discussion (as I sit at work and wait for my SW upgrade to kick in): What are the rules for flying over a metropolitan area like Los Angeles? A colleague swore that the airspace is reserved for law enforcement, which obviously isn't true - news helicopters and business helicopters abound.

But if someone felt like checking out the Library Tower in a Beechcraft, would they be allowed to? (Let's assume that the the hypothetical pilot is my neighbor Rick, who flies Airbus for a living and whose Beechcraft is bristling with transponders and radios and whatnot. But the flight itself would be for no other purpose than the recreational aspect.)
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Old 10-29-2011, 01:40 PM
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So I saw this plane fly overhead yesterday. Two engine pusher prop with canard.

What could it have been?
I'm betting it was a Piaggio P.180 Avanti.
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Old 10-29-2011, 01:45 PM
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So, question, brought on by a random lunch discussion (as I sit at work and wait for my SW upgrade to kick in): What are the rules for flying over a metropolitan area like Los Angeles? A colleague swore that the airspace is reserved for law enforcement, which obviously isn't true - news helicopters and business helicopters abound.
FAR 91.119(b)
Except when necessary for takeoff or landing, no person may operate an aircraft below the following altitudes:

<snip>

(b) Over congested areas. Over any congested area of a city, town, or settlement, or over any open air assembly of persons, an altitude of 1,000 feet above the highest obstacle within a horizontal radius of 2,000 feet of the aircraft.
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Old 10-29-2011, 02:26 PM
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You're also inside Class B airspace there, meaning you need ATC permission to fly there, and you have to be in communication with them and follow their instructions. They WILL make sure you keep out of the way of LAX traffic.

Class A airspace, to anticipate the question, is above 18,000 feet in the US - no airports up there to get in the way, but it's all IFR.
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Old 10-29-2011, 02:34 PM
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As of 2010, the overall percentage is 6.73%
With approximately 600,000 licensed and active pilots in the US, that comes to about 40.000 women - out of a total of about 150 million in the female population, or only about 1 in 7500. For men, it comes to about 1 in 500.
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Old 10-29-2011, 02:43 PM
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I'm thinking about heading up there tomorrow to see the place, maybe meet an instructor or two, and just to watch some planes. Does anyone think this is a good idea? Bad idea? Am I just loony?
No, a lot of the fun of the flying hobby does not involve actual flying. Just hanging out at the airport, talking with like-minded people and learning from them, just enjoying the environment, that's a huge part of it too. By all means go there, all you can.

Congrats on soloing from me too, btw! Opinions differ, but to some that's the point at which you formally become a pilot. ISTM it's a continuing process that starts as soon as you get interested in aviation, and should never stop, but it's certainly a major milestone. I hope you got the shirt-tail treatment too - mine's hanging on the wall.

I recall a thread in the AOPA Forums once where a startling number of people admitted to singing during their first solos, or at least having a song run through their heads. Well, I did too, I'll admit - something trite. I was humming "The Air Force Hymn", but at least it was with the original, bloodyminded lyrics , not the current official ones.

How about the rest of y'all? Did you sing when you soloed, too?
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Old 10-29-2011, 02:50 PM
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So, question, brought on by a random lunch discussion (as I sit at work and wait for my SW upgrade to kick in): What are the rules for flying over a metropolitan area like Los Angeles? A colleague swore that the airspace is reserved for law enforcement, which obviously isn't true - news helicopters and business helicopters abound.

But if someone felt like checking out the Library Tower in a Beechcraft, would they be allowed to? (Let's assume that the the hypothetical pilot is my neighbor Rick, who flies Airbus for a living and whose Beechcraft is bristling with transponders and radios and whatnot. But the flight itself would be for no other purpose than the recreational aspect.)
Yes, sure, you can do that - a lot of it is Class B (I'll let those who fly in it a lot give the details on it) so you'll need a transponder and a working radio and you'll need to be in "positive" contact with ATC, but you can go sight-seeing over Los Angeles.

As a general rule, ATC will try to find a way to let you do what you want to do. If they say "no" it's usually a matter of safety, such as keeping small planes out of the way of big, commercial jets.

It's not Los Angeles, but even as a student I was allowed to fly over pretty much all of Chicago which is also pretty congested airspace and groundspace, including in close proximity to O'Hare international. I just had to have certain equipment on board, follow the rules, and obey ATC when they told me to do something. As it happens, O'Hare itself is off limits to students and sport pilots, though private pilots can and do fly in and out of it, even in small airplanes.

A lot of private pilots avoid congested airspace, though, simply because flying through such airspace isn't always a lot of fun, particularly in a small plane. Sometimes it's as crowded as a rush hour freeway up there, and sometimes ATC has you fly circuitous routes to get somewhere because of everyone else flying around the same airspace. Flying outside such areas is a much more relaxed affair, and many find it more enjoyable.

I know of one ultralight club that worked with ATC to receive permission to fly through Chicago airspace to attend an event at Meigs field, back when it was still in business. Normally, ultralights are not permitted over cities, much less nicking airspace like Midway's or O'Hare's, but they asked in advance, had solid plans for what to do in the event of something like an engine failure, and received permission to make the flight. One guy in the group had to have a radio transceiver (which he did) so ATC could get real-time updates as the group flew in and out, but that was the only requirement as far as radio equipment was concerned. It all happened quite uneventfully. It's an illustration that if you're willing to work with them they'll grant even unusual requests if they can do so.
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Old 10-29-2011, 02:52 PM
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How about the rest of y'all? Did you sing when you soloed, too?
I don't recall singing but I was sure gibbering with excitement. And let off a YEEEEEHA! over the radio.
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