Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #101  
Old 10-29-2011, 02:54 PM
Johnny L.A. is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: NoWA
Posts: 62,843
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElvisL1ves View Post
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.
The floor of the Class B airspace over downtown L.A. is 2,500 feet. Here is a chart. (NB: This .jpg image from the AOPA website downloaded onto my computer instead of just opening up.)
  #102  
Old 10-29-2011, 03:00 PM
Johnny L.A. is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: NoWA
Posts: 62,843
Quote:
Originally Posted by Broomstick View Post
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.
I loved flying around the metropolitan L.A. area in a helicopter. Especially transitioning LAX airspace off the coast. The instructions are to maintain 100 feet or below.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElvisL1ves View Post
How about the rest of y'all? Did you sing when you soloed, too?
I didn't sing on my first solo, or my first solo in the helicopter either. But there were times, taking off from a field and making a low turn around a tree that I did hum The Ride Of The Valkyries.
  #103  
Old 10-29-2011, 04:34 PM
Laggard is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 2,713
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny L.A. View Post
I'm betting it was a Piaggio P.180 Avanti.
Give that man a cigar!

Very cool to see. I only looked up as it had a rather unique sound.
  #104  
Old 10-29-2011, 06:39 PM
Asimovian's Avatar
Asimovian is offline
Member
Moderator
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Maryland
Posts: 11,731
OK, so before any of y'all responded, I decided to go hang out at the airport even if it did make me loony. I was told the instructor I was going to use was flying at the time, so I just hung out for a while watching take-offs and landings. Ultimately, a different instructor came back after flying with a student, so I ended up talking to him for a little bit. Long story short, I ended up taking a lesson with him spur of the moment.

We took off from KWHP Runway 12 in N19688, a 1972 Cessna 172L. We turned left and headed up into the Santa Clarita Valley into the practice area. It's pretty warm out today, and definitely windy over the mountains, so I was finding myself fairly unhappy with the turbulence, unfortunately. For a while, I was convinced that I was not going to be able to do the flying thing. I won't say that I was completely comfortable even by the end of the flight, but I was much better toward the end.

Throughout the flight, he was managing the throttle and, for the most part, the trim, but he left me in complete control of the yoke and rudder. I had specifically discussed with him how I wasn't sure how much "help" I was getting when I went up for the demo flight last weekend, so he made sure I knew that I was the one flying the plane. He spent a little time having me execute turns, primarily following the 14 Fwy north. Then he had me head off to the left for a bit. I didn't know what he had planned, but he took me for a touch-and-go at Agua Dulce Airport (L70)! Even though I was still fairly nervous about the turbulence, I thought that was really cool.

From there, we headed back south and he had me work on more turning, rolling out on specific headings. He seemed pretty comfortable with me handling the plane since he took a photo of me at the helm and messed around with his phone a bit while I flew. And, to my surprise, he continued to let me control yoke and rudder as we came into land. He left me in control to divert the plane as we got out of the way of oncoming traffic, and as we descended to short final, he gave a nudge here and there (with both yoke and rudder) but kept me hands- (and feet-)on all the way down.

Ultimately, I logged 1.1 hours of dual time with two take-offs and two landings. I dunno how much is said honestly by a trainer versus things said to bolster a student, but when I asked him how I did, he said, "You were really good. Most people aren't actually flying the plane of their first flight." So, I am pleased at my luck at getting to go up today, and now I have to settle down and decide if I'm really going to pursue this. I think it's good for me to have a goal like this in my life, and I think it will continue to help me with my turbulence issues. But the school does want you to commit to whether you're actually going to become a student (I assume because I'd need insurance and maybe some other things), and so I really need to figure out money and time issues.

I've got some thinking to do.
  #105  
Old 10-29-2011, 06:52 PM
Johnny L.A. is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: NoWA
Posts: 62,843
Where's your smile? Flying is supposed to be fun!

IANA flight instructor, but I think a good instructor will tell be honest and tell you the where you need improvement as well as what you did right. It would be counterproductive for instructors to discourage a student, but constructive criticism is always welcome. Good on you for telling him your concerns about who's working the controls. The instructor responded appropriately by making sure you had the controls and that you knew it. The throttle takes a little finesse at first, so his working that (and the trim) let you concentrate on maneuvering. He sounds pretty good.

So how did you like the older airplane? (Looks like it needs a new door seal, BTW.)
  #106  
Old 10-29-2011, 06:54 PM
ElvisL1ves is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: The land of the mouse
Posts: 50,549
Ten years from now you're going to be ten years older either way. You'll either be flying, or still thinking about it and regretting not having started flying ten years earlier. Only you can make that call.

Assuming you go ahead, it's actually good to fly with a different instructor than your regular one once in awhile. Your regular one, assuming you settle in with one you feel compatible with (personalities do vary and do matter), being human, is inevitably going to have some weak or blind spots that another one can identify and help you fix.
  #107  
Old 10-29-2011, 07:16 PM
Asimovian's Avatar
Asimovian is offline
Member
Moderator
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Maryland
Posts: 11,731
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny L.A. View Post
Where's your smile? Flying is supposed to be fun!
Yeah, I know. And it WAS fun, but I'm feeling extremely reflective right now, and so the smile is being temporarily replaced by a look of deep thought.

Quote:
IANA flight instructor, but I think a good instructor will tell be honest and tell you the where you need improvement as well as what you did right. It would be counterproductive for instructors to discourage a student, but constructive criticism is always welcome. Good on you for telling him your concerns about who's working the controls. The instructor responded appropriately by making sure you had the controls and that you knew it. The throttle takes a little finesse at first, so his working that (and the trim) let you concentrate on maneuvering. He sounds pretty good.
I liked him. He made me feel as comfortable as I could be up there. I worried at first that when the wind blew us off course a bit, that he might grab the yoke and take over. But that never happened. He gave me the opportunity to correct things myself and would calmly let me know if, for example, we were losing altitude and that I needed to get the nose back up. He never seemed concerned about my ability to stay in control of the plane.

Quote:
So how did you like the older airplane? (Looks like it needs a new door seal, BTW.)
I don't really have anything to compare it to yet. My plane from last weekend was a '79 C-182RG, so they both felt about the same in terms of age. Assuming I continue on this path, I will probably want to try a newer plane at least once. But the difference in price for the plane they had me scheduled to go up in on Wednesday and the plane I was in today is about $44/hr, which makes a HUGE difference in cost over the time it would take for me to get my license. So for now, older is my friend!

ElvisL1ves, I agree with your logic, and if money and time were no object, I don't think I'd have any hesitation. But I'm reluctant to take out a loan to get my license. And both money and the fact that I'm working a two-month trial in Chicago in January mean that my free time is about to quickly transition to limited and then to zilch. And I've heard that if you can't get up at least once a week, it's kind of a waste of time. So it may be best for me to let it go until I get back from Chicago and try to save up the overtime I rack up in the meantime so I can tackle this from a better position next year.

Last edited by Asimovian; 10-29-2011 at 07:17 PM.
  #108  
Old 10-29-2011, 07:30 PM
Johnny L.A. is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: NoWA
Posts: 62,843
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asimovian View Post
So for now, older is my friend!
Nothing wrong with an older plane! Admittedly, the newest one I've flown was an '81, but I think a Skyhawk flies like a Skyhawk.

Speaking of older planes, I see that Barron Thomas has a '77 172N for sale for $20,000. The engine is past TBO, but it passes Annual. So there's another $16,000 for whoever buys it. So is it fair to say that a mid-'70s 172N with a newly-overhauled or low-time engine is worth about $36,000 on the market?
  #109  
Old 10-29-2011, 10:04 PM
Broomstick's Avatar
Broomstick is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: NW Indiana
Posts: 30,575
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asimovian View Post
It's pretty warm out today, and definitely windy over the mountains, so I was finding myself fairly unhappy with the turbulence, unfortunately. For a while, I was convinced that I was not going to be able to do the flying thing. I won't say that I was completely comfortable even by the end of the flight, but I was much better toward the end.
While learning to fly you will, inevitably, have to deal with things you find difficult and/or uncomfortable. This is, in part deliberate. You need to learn how to deal with something uncomfortable, how to deal with potential emergencies, and how to troubleshoot on the fly (literally). Done appropriately, this will increase your confidence. I have had to face genuine in-flight emergencies but, despite real fear, I was able to deal with the problem(s) competently. You can learn to do this, too.

Quote:
He seemed pretty comfortable with me handling the plane since he took a photo of me at the helm and messed around with his phone a bit while I flew. And, to my surprise, he continued to let me control yoke and rudder as we came into land. He left me in control to divert the plane as we got out of the way of oncoming traffic, and as we descended to short final, he gave a nudge here and there (with both yoke and rudder) but kept me hands- (and feet-)on all the way down.
Here's the secret - making the airplane go where you want to isn't that hard, as you're discovering. The instructor is certainly keeping an eye on things, even if it looks like he isn't (well, except for that one who fell asleep during my lesson but I fired his ass). The thing is, as a student you fly the airplane even if at first you don't quite believe you are.

Yes, there are some tricky bits but right now you're learning the basic and easy parts. When you master those don't worry, you'll move on to more difficult things. And you'll master those as well.

Should something arise that might be hazardous during a lesson your instructor will take over, quite likely before a beginning student is aware of the problem. One of his main duties right now is to keep you safe while you learn the ins and outs of flying. That actually seldom requires him to manipulate the controls, though he will do so to demonstrate maneuvers. Actually, a significant portion of keeping you safe involves looking out the window while you fly, keeping an eye out for other airplanes, changing weather, and so forth.

The will want you to fly as much as possible. One time, when I was getting a stage check I started getting nauseous - this surprised the hell out of everyone because I had a reputation for never getting airsick no matter what (it turned out I was coming down with the local stomach bug). The guy doing the mini-flight exam insisted I continue to pilot the airplane despite feeling awful, because, as he pointed out, if I had been up alone or with passengers there would be no other choice so I better learn to cope (he did say if it got truly hazardous he'd take over). I damn near puked on him a couple times, but successfully landed the airplane before running off the the Little Pilot's Room to unload lunch. Really, they train you to the point where even under such adverse conditions you can still fly in a competent manner.

That, by the way, was how I met the man who would later be the examiner on my official private pilot checkride. Nothing like almost vomiting on someone to make a first and lasting impression on someone, right? Oh, yes, he remembered me. Also didn't hold it against me, I'm happy to say.

Quote:
I dunno how much is said honestly by a trainer versus things said to bolster a student, but when I asked him how I did, he said, "You were really good. Most people aren't actually flying the plane of their first flight." So, I am pleased at my luck at getting to go up today, and now I have to settle down and decide if I'm really going to pursue this.
Most instructors are pretty honest. They'll try to phrase a negative in a way that's not too bruising, but they'll let you know where your strengths and weaknesses are.

Quote:
I think it's good for me to have a goal like this in my life, and I think it will continue to help me with my turbulence issues. But the school does want you to commit to whether you're actually going to become a student (I assume because I'd need insurance and maybe some other things), and so I really need to figure out money and time issues.
While it's legal and done to take years to get a license (I did - life kept interfering with my hobby) it's generally considered best to try and do it in 6-12 months. Yes, money is an on-going issue, and even after you get your license you need to fly regularly to keep your skills up.

One reason I chose NOT to pursue an instrument rating was because I simply couldn't afford to fly the proper sorts of airplanes frequently enough to maintain the rating - and in that case, why get it in the first place? That's also why I stopped flying a retractable gear airplane after 9 hours - I looked at the numbers and realize that I just couldn't afford it long term. So I spent my time and money flying airplanes that were slower, less sexy, and would get hopelessly lost in a fog because I could afford to fly those often enough to keep my skills sharp.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Asimovian View Post
Yeah, I know. And it WAS fun, but I'm feeling extremely reflective right now, and so the smile is being temporarily replaced by a look of deep thought.
That's totally cool. I've often said flying is the most serious fun you can have.

Quote:
I worried at first that when the wind blew us off course a bit, that he might grab the yoke and take over. But that never happened. He gave me the opportunity to correct things myself and would calmly let me know if, for example, we were losing altitude and that I needed to get the nose back up. He never seemed concerned about my ability to stay in control of the plane.
That's because you're flying the airplane. You learn it by actually doing it. That also means the instructor will, up to a point, allow/encourage you to correct your own errors (such as telling you to correct losing altitude).

The goal here is to turn you into a pilot in command. As you continue your lessons you will be more and more in charge of the flights.

Quote:
Assuming I continue on this path, I will probably want to try a newer plane at least once.
I've flown a 1942 airplane and a 2005 airplane, when the latter was only three months old. They're all fun.

I tend to favor airplanes from between 1955 and 1970 for the mix of user-friendliness and affordability. I also favor fixed gear due to lesser cost as well.

Quote:
But the difference in price for the plane they had me scheduled to go up in on Wednesday and the plane I was in today is about $44/hr, which makes a HUGE difference in cost over the time it would take for me to get my license. So for now, older is my friend!
As long as the airplane is properly maintained (and you can ask to see the plane's logbooks - good operators have no problem showing them to you, and I've met a few who make a point of showing them to pilots as a matter of pride they have in being in compliance with regulations) age usually isn't much of a factor. Choosing to fly more often in a less costly airplane is a perfectly valid strategy, and for a student flying more often is almost always a good thing.

Quote:
ElvisL1ves, I agree with your logic, and if money and time were no object, I don't think I'd have any hesitation. But I'm reluctant to take out a loan to get my license. And both money and the fact that I'm working a two-month trial in Chicago in January mean that my free time is about to quickly transition to limited and then to zilch. And I've heard that if you can't get up at least once a week, it's kind of a waste of time. So it may be best for me to let it go until I get back from Chicago and try to save up the overtime I rack up in the meantime so I can tackle this from a better position next year.
Speaking as someone who's training was interrupted several times (at one point I had a nine month hiatus) I'd recommend waiting until you're back from Chicago and saving up that money. Being forced to take time off from training is no fun and can be very frustrating. You won't forget everything, but it will add to the time you spend as a student.

Right now, there's nothing wrong with doing a little more research, making another hour or two with various instructors or at a different school, then doing the Chicago thing before making the time and money commitment to get a license. You might also consider starting on some of the ground work. I did my ground school work as a self-study supplemented by a few hours of one-on-one tutoring with my CFI for the spots I needed some help with. It's not the best method for everyone, but a CFI might be able to recommended some reading to get you started on the right track for that. The important thing is to get good information and not develop bad habits. Which is why I'm not specifically recommending anything, the CFI's around here would probably give you better advice than I would.

However, I highly recommended reading the FAR/AIM on business trips when you're having trouble getting to sleep. It never failed to make me drowsy in 20 minutes or less....
  #110  
Old 10-30-2011, 08:39 AM
Pixel_Dent is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 1,168
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asimovian View Post
Assuming I continue on this path, I will probably want to try a newer plane at least once. But the difference in price for the plane they had me scheduled to go up in on Wednesday and the plane I was in today is about $44/hr, which makes a HUGE difference in cost over the time it would take for me to get my license. So for now, older is my friend!
There isn't that much difference between older and newer planes. A 1960s 172 flies pretty much the same as a 2000 172. I'd just pick the cheapest plane you can fit in and do your initial training in that. Plenty of time to play with other planes once you have your certificate.

One thing you can work on now is really cheap. You probably know that before you can get your certificate you have to pass a "written" test (actually done on a computer now). The test covers systems, regulations, navigation, weather, and stuff like that. You'll learn a lot studying for that test and you'll probably get more out of your flying lessons if you've learned all the stuff you need for the written. (When I got my instrument rating my instructor wouldn't even start the flying lessons until I passed the written for that). Lots of places offer face to face or online classes to prep for this but both my wife and I scored in the high 90's just studying a $15 test prep book.
  #111  
Old 10-30-2011, 01:04 PM
ElvisL1ves is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: The land of the mouse
Posts: 50,549
Right - a newer plane will have a lot of stuff in the panel that you'll need to learn how to use later on, if you become a professional pilot. Some FBO's work on that basis. But a G1000 and an autopilot are of no use to a primary student at all; they just cost more to rent and cause distractions. You're just looking to learn how to feel and control an airplane, and you might as well do it cheaply. You're also not looking to spend a lot of time sitting on a taxiway waiting for a controller to let you go fly a few patterns (the Hobbs meter is still running even then). You want to be flying. IOW, it's both cheaper and more effective a learning experience to find an older, cheaper (but well-maintained; safety matters) plane and instructor at a smaller, rural, uncontrolled field for primary training. You can build from there once you have your PPL.

It's also true that you do lose muscle memory between lessons, until you've flown enough to get them locked in, and that never happens completely anyway. You can do just fine flying weekends only; a lot of people do that and it works, but it does take more time overall. Still, if you have to take a few months off, I agree it might be better to start afterward. I'll certainly endorse the recommendation to learn what you can on the ground when you can - there are plenty of great books and DVD's available that you can work from in odd moments wherever you find them.

One option, if you can do it, is to do it all in a canned course that only takes about two weeks - there are schools in Florida and Arizona that work that way. Flying full time every day gets you past the muscle memory issue, but you do have to devote full time. I believe they all ask you to get the written test done first.

As for the total cost, yes, it may look like a lot to spend on a hobby. But the total cost of getting your PPL is only about as much as it costs to buy a medium-quality used car, and you can then keep flying for roughly the cost of a serious golf habit. There are things you can't do if you choose to spend that money on this instead, but that's true of any choice in life. If it's a priority for you, you can make it work.
  #112  
Old 10-31-2011, 12:11 AM
Spiny Norman is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: In the IP address space
Posts: 2,784
Thanks for the the responses - regrettably I will not get to correct the colleague in question, stupid layoffs. I did traverse LAX with Rick back when - interesting, but there was a bit of information overload at the time...
  #113  
Old 10-31-2011, 04:45 AM
Senegoid is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Sunny California
Posts: 16,135
So I see we're telling our first solo stories.

3/22/1976 Schweizer 2-33 N1239S Aero tow, release 3000' at Sky Sailing, Fremont.

For a first sailplane solo, I think they always say just do an airport circuit. That is, just take off, release as soon as you get to altitude, and just immediately re-enter the pattern and land. We don't commonly do touch-and-go much in gliders.

For my log:
Quote:
No maneuvers; just tow, turns and landing. Watch pattern airspeed. Landing slightly low, stopped short.
Well, having stopped short, I had to drag the plane a ways back to the parking area. No sweat, right. Gliders are light, right? Except I forgot to close the spoilers, which also meant the wheel brake was still on. So I dragged the poor glider half the length of the runway with the brake on.

All you people with the first solo stories -- How many of you got the back of your shirt cut off? They weren't doing that at Sky Sailing when I was there.

ETA: Up-thread I mentioned that I had a flight where the altimeter was sticky. Upon re-reading my old log book, I see this was solo flight #12, which was also in N1239S -- which I had soloed in 4 times previously. So maybe it wasn't always sticky like that.

Last edited by Senegoid; 10-31-2011 at 04:49 AM.
  #114  
Old 10-31-2011, 08:20 AM
GusNSpot's Avatar
GusNSpot is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: N/W Arkansas
Posts: 8,753
I found that I was not cut out to be an instructor rather quickly after getting the instructor rating.

Long time ago.
Grass field.
Farmer older than I bought an Aeronca Champ to learn to fly with.
I had 53 hrs as an instructor.
Could not get him to follow directions or follow demonstrations.
I think he had a problem with listening to a younger person or I was just wrong for him.
Almost at touch down with a slight cross wind, for the third circuit in a row, I had to save the plane.
4th time, same thing, so I crossed my arms and let him crash us.
Some bending occurred, not injury level though.
I fired him as a student and never instructed again.

If you become openly defiant or abusive because you own the plane,
I will tell you 3 times.
I will show you three times.
Do it again, I'll tell you I am folding my arms and then I fold my arms.

Not a good response as an instructor.

Helped a lot of guys learn stuff over the years but never entered 'instruction' in anyone's log book ever again.

I much prefer being the student.

Last edited by GusNSpot; 10-31-2011 at 08:23 AM.
  #115  
Old 10-31-2011, 08:29 AM
Senegoid is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Sunny California
Posts: 16,135
Quote:
Originally Posted by GusNSpot View Post
I found that I was not cut out to be an instructor rather quickly after getting the instructor rating.

Long time ago.
Grass field.
Farmer older than I bought an Aeronca Champ to learn to fly with.
I had 53 hrs as an instructor.
Could not get him to follow directions or follow demonstrations.
I think he had a problem with listening to a younger person or I was just wrong for him.
Almost at touch down with a slight cross wind, for the third circuit in a row, I had to save the plane.
4th time, same thing, so I crossed my arms and let him crash us.
Some bending occurred, not injury level though.
I fired him as a student and never instructed again.

If you become openly defiant or abusive because you own the plane,
I will tell you 3 times.
I will show you three times.
Do it again, I'll tell you I am folding my arms and then I fold my arms.

Not a good response as an instructor.

Helped a lot of guys learn stuff over the years but never entered 'instruction' in anyone's log book ever again.

I much prefer being the student.
Yikes!

There are old CFI's and there are bold CFI's, but there are no old bold CFI's.
  #116  
Old 10-31-2011, 12:24 PM
Kevbo is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 5,950
First solo story.

I learned to fly gliders in a club. Through the club, you payed for your flights and tows, but the instructors were volunteers. Good economics, but poor consistency, because you got a different instructor each Saturday...club only did instruction on Saturdays, which is another issue, because you lose a lot between lessons when they only come once a week, and the instructor had only the notes in your log book to judge your ability level prior to takeoff.

A few years before I had joined the club, a commercial glider operation opened nearby. In order encourage the commercial operation (weekday towing available, woohoo!) the club stopped doing instruction. The commercial operation eventually went under, and the club again started doing instruction a year or so before I started. The crew of instructors was pretty green though. It turned out that they had never soloed an ab-initio pilot since instruction had resumed... only power pilots transitioning to gliders. The whole bunch were kind of spooked over the idea. I had resigned myself to it being a long, long time before I would solo.

But then my best buddy Bob pointed out this older guy, Hal Bonney, in the club (far from the oldest though) who had been flying anything and about forever. Besides being one of the finer humans I have had the honor of knowing, Hal had flown medivac helicopters in Viet Nam, had done some long line work in big helicopters, and I have no idea what else. He had a glider instructor rating, and was a tow pilot. He would come out to the field every Sunday just hoping the scheduled tow pilot didn't show up, or that at least he would want a lunch break...or maybe there would be a student looking for some extra instruction. For a couple of months I became that student.



I mentioned that the regular instructor crew were kind of green and timid. Hal was not in the least timid. He'd pull the plug on you at no-shit 200' and maybe a bit lower, but not if there was any possibility you might be expecting it. He'd lock his arm on the spoiler lever and make you land without them. He'd hand you the soap dishes and tell you that a bug had fouled the static ports and you would now be flying without ASI or altimeter....and you'd get a nice earful if the yawstring wasn't dead straight, especially in the pattern.

Well one Saturday, the schedualed instructor didn't show, so Hal took over. When I flew with him, he said another week or two I'd be ready to solo, but he wanted to see some calm air work first, so show up early Sunday, and we'd do that.

When I got to the airport, I helped Hal drag the tug out of the hanger, and he took it up to warm it up, so we wouldn't have to wait for the tow pilot to do so. And we might as well get the glider out and preflighted so we'd be all ready to go.

That done, still no tow pilot. " Well, "says Hal, "I guess we'll just have to make do, get in the glider, release at 2000', make some turns, don't stray out of gliding range of the runway, and keep your yaw string straight." He then hooked up the tow rope and climbed into the Pawnee.

After I got off tow, I spotted the tow pilot's car parked behind a hanger where Hal had told him to hide. Also Bob's car, as he had been tipped and was waiting with the camera and scissors when I landed.

Hal moved to California a year or so later. Bob and I visited Calistoga soaring in Napa, but Hal wasn't around that day...well it was Christmass day. A few years later, Hal dropped in for a visit, and I think I embarrased him with a big hug. Damned near kissed him too. Oh, I'm a big hairy ugly guy, BTW.

Last edited by Kevbo; 10-31-2011 at 12:26 PM.
  #117  
Old 10-31-2011, 12:51 PM
Asimovian's Avatar
Asimovian is offline
Member
Moderator
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Maryland
Posts: 11,731
For those of you who have not specifically said already, how many hours of dual time did you log before you were given the opportunity to solo?

And further, how long (both in logged hours and in calendar time) did it take from the time you took your first lesson to the time you received your pilot's license?

And finally, just because I can't resist sounded even more like a generic reporter, what was the hardest part of learning to fly for each of you? Where did you struggle the most? (And I mean with the actual flying itself, not monetary or time struggles.)

Last edited by Asimovian; 10-31-2011 at 12:52 PM.
  #118  
Old 10-31-2011, 01:21 PM
Clothahump is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 14,654
One thing I have always been curious about.

Is there the equivalent of Hertz or Avis for aircraft? For example, let's say I want to fly from Houston to Las Vegas for a Taekwondo tournament. If I don't own my own craft, could I rent a plane from somebody, fly it to LV and drop it, then pick up another plane five days later and fly it back? The mind boggles at the thought of renting a plane and have it sitting idle for five days with the meter running.
  #119  
Old 10-31-2011, 03:01 PM
ducati is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 2,363
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asimovian View Post
For those of you who have not specifically said already, how many hours of dual time did you log before you were given the opportunity to solo?

And further, how long (both in logged hours and in calendar time) did it take from the time you took your first lesson to the time you received your pilot's license?
I started at age 15, soloed at 16 with 20 hours, then had to wait until 17yo to get my license with about 60 hours under my belt.

The hardest part was waiting until I was 17!

My first solo was almost my last. I weighed about 110 and my instructor, Big Mel Romine, RIP, went about 310 or more. The first control he introduced me to was the trim wheel!

As I lifted off - woo hoo! - I started drifting/turning right, but I wasn't doing it.
There was no wind, and I'm confused as hell, starting to get scared about holding the yoke at about 10 o'clock just to stay level.

Just then, a voice came in my headset: "Trim it."
That's all he said, and all he needed to. I immediately realized what I had done.
He had hopped out and said "Take it around." and I did just that.


Stoopid kid.

Mel's weight almost cost him one night.

3 convicts escaped from a field trip to the bowling alley and made it to Mel's airport.
They forced him at gunpoint to fly them somewhere. Now Mel and 3 guys in a 182 wasn't gonna work. They didn't want to hear excuses, overweight, trees, no power, etc...
Mel said they hit the treetops with his wheels as they barely made it away.
They forced him to land on a road in Arkansas - from Dickson, TN - on empty tanks.
Eventually they were all caught and convicted of kidnapping and more.
Mel didn't really like talking about it.




Beechcraft Starship: Ol' Burt is my hero.

One comes over the house here in ATL about once a month. I can hear him coming 2miles away. I'll grab my wife and drag her away from the trees to show her...

Ducati: Look! Here comes that Starship I showed you at PDK! There's only 8 left!

Mrs. : Hmm.

Duc: Some guy bought all the scraps and leftover parts to keep it running. Remember how the prop is open and pushes instead of pulling?

Mrs. : I think we're out of carrots.

Duc: It has a cunard wing in the front to prevent stalls just like the VariEze and the VariViggen. It's an awesome design feature! Burt Rutan is a fucking genius.
He's the one who built the White Knight and SpaceShip One we saw on the tee-vee!

Mrs: Looks like rain. I'm going to bring in the chair cushions.

Duc:
  #120  
Old 10-31-2011, 06:11 PM
Senegoid is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Sunny California
Posts: 16,135
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevbo View Post
First solo story.

<snip>

Hal moved to California a year or so later. Bob and I visited Calistoga soaring in Napa, but Hal wasn't around that day...well it was Christmass day. A few years later, Hal dropped in for a visit, and I think I embarrased him with a big hug. Damned near kissed him too. Oh, I'm a big hairy ugly guy, BTW.
(emphasis added)

Calistoga!

OMG, this belongs in that nearby MPSIMS thread "For Geezers Only"!
A fabulously beautiful place -- but the glider port has been long gone for umpty-ump years now!
If you got above the ridge there, you could see all the way to Mt. Diablo!

After that, there was a glider port up the hill, just past nearby Middletown, but even that has been closed down for quite some time. Last time I drove by there (maybe two years ago or so?) the property hads a for-sale sign.

Last edited by Senegoid; 10-31-2011 at 06:13 PM.
  #121  
Old 10-31-2011, 08:36 PM
Llama Llogophile is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: 50% chord point
Posts: 4,211
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asimovian View Post
For those of you who have not specifically said already, how many hours of dual time did you log before you were given the opportunity to solo?
I honestly don't remember, but I think it was longer than "normal". That's in quotes because I discourage people from getting hung up on time to solo and time to checkride. While I want students to move along and achieve their ratings in a timely manner, and there's the matter of expense, I'm not a fan of doing it with the minimum hours. This seems to obsess some students. I'd rather see them go when they're ready, with MORE experience rather than less.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Asimovian View Post
And finally, just because I can't resist sounded even more like a generic reporter, what was the hardest part of learning to fly for each of you? Where did you struggle the most? (And I mean with the actual flying itself, not monetary or time struggles.)
For me, it was situational awareness with regard to directionality. I had a poor sense of direction before learning to fly. The first time I lost sight of my home airport and got confused on a solo flight really scared me into improving this. Now I think very well in this manner and make an effort to teach my students how to do it.

Speaking very generally, I see two typical kinds of students - people who excel in controlling and maneuvering the aircraft, and those who grasp concepts like aerodynamics and airspace more easily. Each can become excellent pilots, but sometimes need to work harder on the area they find comes less naturally.
  #122  
Old 10-31-2011, 08:53 PM
Broomstick's Avatar
Broomstick is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: NW Indiana
Posts: 30,575
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asimovian View Post
For those of you who have not specifically said already, how many hours of dual time did you log before you were given the opportunity to solo?
Gosh, I don't want to talk about it - I was a victim of "churning" because I didn't know any better. That bastard really wrecked my self-confidence for awhile, I took nine months off, and eventually found a competent instructor. With whom I had to do a lot of re-learning due to the time lapse.

Very frustrating.

Quote:
And further, how long (both in logged hours and in calendar time) did it take from the time you took your first lesson to the time you received your pilot's license?
About 120.

When they say "interruptions will mean it will take more time to get your license" and "flying less than once a week will greatly add to the time required" THAT is what they mean.

Also, I'll admit I don't grasp aviation skills particularly rapidly. I tend to take a bit longer than average, such that when I start a new course of study I budget that it will take me about 150% of average time to master. Sometimes I get it quicker, but not always. On the upside, once I learn it I've really learned it, I retain things well once I finally wrap my head around it.

Quote:
And finally, just because I can't resist sounded even more like a generic reporter, what was the hardest part of learning to fly for each of you? Where did you struggle the most? (And I mean with the actual flying itself, not monetary or time struggles.)
I found stalls extremely difficult.

When I tell people this, they assume it was because I didn't understand stalls. That was not the case. That is often the case with people who don't like/fear/do stalls poorly, but not in my case. Particularly not after two separate CFI's made sure I understood them. No, the problem was (and still is) I don't like the way they feel. I don't like the sensation you get with a classic stall. I also strongly suspect I'll never enjoy aerobatics for similar reasons.

I had to do a LOT of stall practice to get it down enough for the private checkride. I also took some genuine spin training, which I liked even less. I mean, I dislike stalls, I loathe the way spins feel. But I figured facing the beast was the only way to get over the hump and in the end it served me well. Your mileage may vary, of course - what works for me might put someone else off flying. But then, like Asimovian, I came to flying out of fear of flying and took lessons to overcome that fear. Fear does not stop me. I might make me shake, puke, my teeth chatter, all sorts of interesting effects (sometimes I giggle nervously, even) but it won't stop me.

That gets back to stall problems - stalls felt like I was losing control, and I found that frightening. I had to do enough of them to convince my screaming lizard brain that, no, dumbshit, you ARE in control!
  #123  
Old 11-01-2011, 03:18 AM
Senegoid is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Sunny California
Posts: 16,135
Quote:
Originally Posted by Broomstick View Post
<snip>

I found stalls extremely difficult.

When I tell people this, they assume it was because I didn't understand stalls. That was not the case. That is often the case with people who don't like/fear/do stalls poorly, but not in my case. Particularly not after two separate CFI's made sure I understood them. No, the problem was (and still is) I don't like the way they feel. I don't like the sensation you get with a classic stall. I also strongly suspect I'll never enjoy aerobatics for similar reasons.

I had to do a LOT of stall practice to get it down enough for the private checkride. I also took some genuine spin training, which I liked even less. I mean, I dislike stalls, I loathe the way spins feel. But I figured facing the beast was the only way to get over the hump and in the end it served me well. Your mileage may vary, of course - what works for me might put someone else off flying. But then, like Asimovian, I came to flying out of fear of flying and took lessons to overcome that fear. Fear does not stop me. I might make me shake, puke, my teeth chatter, all sorts of interesting effects (sometimes I giggle nervously, even) but it won't stop me.

That gets back to stall problems - stalls felt like I was losing control, and I found that frightening. I had to do enough of them to convince my screaming lizard brain that, no, dumbshit, you ARE in control!
I mentioned up-thread that I got some flying instruction when I was in High School in return for tidying up the school's offices a few times a week. The first time he had me do a stall myself, the plane fell into a spin. I instinctively did something and immediately recovered. So I must have done the right something. (Well, okay, it was only one quarter spin in the end.) The instructor was impressed. But I didn't feel like I had actually learned anything.

Some years later when I was learning to fly a glider, I thought stalls were fun. After I soloed, I practiced them a lot. My instructor (my second instructor, not the one who landed me in a cow pasture on that botched rope break practice) had me doing some spins too. We flew over the water (S. F. Bay) for that. He had me spin for at least two full turns before beginning to recover. His strategy was: Just relax. Look out, and enjoy the panoramic scenery as it swirls by. See, there's San Jose. Now there's Fremont. Now there's San Leandro and Oakland. Now there's San Mateo. Now there's Palo Alto, and Mountain View. Now there's San Jose again . . .

I thought that was all kinda fun.
  #124  
Old 11-01-2011, 06:19 AM
Pixel_Dent is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 1,168
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asimovian View Post
And finally, just because I can't resist sounded even more like a generic reporter, what was the hardest part of learning to fly for each of you? Where did you struggle the most? (And I mean with the actual flying itself, not monetary or time struggles.)
For me it was landing over water. One of the airports I trained at had a lake at the end of one of the runways. Whenever my final approach took me over that lake I'd end up coming in high.
  #125  
Old 11-01-2011, 06:19 AM
Broomstick's Avatar
Broomstick is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: NW Indiana
Posts: 30,575
Yeah, every time I mention I hate stalls and don't like them or the way they make me feel someone comes along and talks about how wonderful they are.

It's rather like when someone relates difficulty getting to first solo and how hard they had to work and obstacles they had to overcome and it took them 20 or 30 hours. The next person invariably says something like "Oh, really? It only too me 10 hours to solo!"

I know you didn't mean to, but coming back by quoting me then saying how wonderful and easy you found stalls makes me feel like you're invalidating my experience. Yes, I know you didn't intend that, but that's how it comes across to those of us with stall problems.
  #126  
Old 11-01-2011, 08:59 AM
Richard Pearse is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 10,633
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asimovian View Post
For those of you who have not specifically said already, how many hours of dual time did you log before you were given the opportunity to solo?
I did mine in six and a half hours, flying one lesson per week. It was quick for numerous reasons. I'd already soloed a glider so was familiar with a lot of stuff already. I was flying at a quiet airfield with no holding time on the ground or in the air and in the time it took to climb to altitude you'd get to the training area. I had two instructors who were husband and wife and had taken an interest in me, apart from the two of them I didn't get shuffled between various instructors. Basically the wife did most of my training and the husband, who was a more qualified instructor, would do progress checks with me.

Quote:
And further, how long (both in logged hours and in calendar time) did it take from the time you took your first lesson to the time you received your pilot's license?
I got my private license at 58.4 hours after 17 months of training (having an electronic logbook makes working these things out very easy.) It took a further 8 months and 150 hours to get my commercial licence.


Quote:
And finally, just because I can't resist sounded even more like a generic reporter, what was the hardest part of learning to fly for each of you? Where did you struggle the most? (And I mean with the actual flying itself, not monetary or time struggles.)
My biggest struggle during initial training was with engine out landings. Mainly because I wasn't assertive enough with the aeroplane to be able to positively correct my errors, and I was (and still am) lazy and hadn't memorised the checks well enough to be able to comfortably do them while also flying the aeroplane. Basically it took too much of my brain space to remember the checks and while I was doing them I'd tend to get high on the approach and I wouldn't be positive enough in correcting that. The problem was solved by going over the checks each night when I was driving home from work and by gaining some confidence in low level manoeuvring.
  #127  
Old 11-02-2011, 08:55 AM
Pixel_Dent is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 1,168
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clothahump View Post
One thing I have always been curious about.

Is there the equivalent of Hertz or Avis for aircraft? For example, let's say I want to fly from Houston to Las Vegas for a Taekwondo tournament. If I don't own my own craft, could I rent a plane from somebody, fly it to LV and drop it, then pick up another plane five days later and fly it back? The mind boggles at the thought of renting a plane and have it sitting idle for five days with the meter running.
Not that I'm aware of. I know there are some fractional ownership companies around that might work that way, but they're expensive and require annual fees.

Usually you establish a relationship with a local company that runs you through a flight test before renting you their planes. When you rent you're charged by the flight hour with a minimum number of hours per day if you keep it overnight.

The best thing to do is get to know someone who owns a plane and doesn't fly it enough. There are a few people I let fly my plane so long as they fill the tank when they're done.

Last edited by Pixel_Dent; 11-02-2011 at 08:55 AM.
  #128  
Old 11-03-2011, 09:18 AM
Johnny L.A. is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: NoWA
Posts: 62,843
*sigh* Flying is on hold. Been tied up with other things on the weekends, and the weather has not been cooperative. (It's that half of the year up here.) The disused and crumbling front chimney, which looked like something from a witch's house with its tangle of dead ivy vines and trunks (yes, actual trunks) had to come down. I thought it would be a weekend's work for a handyman to knock it down and sheet the wall. Then we saw the water damage from the leak the chimney caused. They've been working for four days. The chimney is gone. The rotten rafter and beam have been replaced. The wall has been sheeted and shingled. The roof has been repaired at the chimney cut-out. And now I'm having them replace all of the fascia/soffiting around the house and putting up new gutters. This is starting to get a little expensive.

The good news is that after a long layoff from fixed-wings is that it came back very quickly. The only thing I really need work on is flight planning and navigation. A couple of hours of ground instruction and a couple of flights to put it into practice should be enough. But I'm going to have to recover financially from the house work, and hope for good weather before I can finally get my BFR. At least this time of year and at this latitude I'll have ample opportunity for some night instruction.
  #129  
Old 11-03-2011, 10:42 AM
Asimovian's Avatar
Asimovian is offline
Member
Moderator
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Maryland
Posts: 11,731
So, based on my personal experience, as well as stories relayed by others, it seems fairly common that people in GA use cell phones (and possibly other electronic devices) while flying. And while it may exist, I've yet to hear of an accident related to such device use.

Now, I'm sure that no one in THIS thread has ever violated any sort of FAA regulation. But perhaps someone can explain to me exactly what the big deal is regarding the use of electronic devices and the potential for interference with avionics and/or communications equipment while flying. Why is this a concern for the FAA? Has this ever demonstrably been a problem?
  #130  
Old 11-03-2011, 10:57 AM
Richard Pearse is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 10,633
I've just been for an interesting trip down memory lane. As I mentioned up-thread I have an electronic logbook (LogTen Pro for those interested), and I have just been through each individual aircraft I've flown and fleshed out the logbook's database. Where possible I've added a photo of each aircraft, its serial number, and max take-off weight. I'm not much of a photo person so I've had to scour the net for the images. Out of 58 aircraft I've managed to find photos for 50.

I realised I might find some interesting things in my search for photos when the very first one turned up this image of a Piper Warrior I'd done a couple of flights in. Apparently it suffered a power loss on take-off January this year.

A friend of mine crashed this Cessna 177 Cardinal in 1998, but I only found out tonight that he was flying this one that I did my first constant speed prop familiarisation in.

I had to follow the registration trail of this Steen Skybolt all the way to the UK before I found a photo of it.

After sifting through a raft of art from street artist "VHILS" I refined my search and found this old photo of VH-ILS, the Baron I did my instrument rating in. The photo was taken in 1974, the year I was born, I flew it in 2003, and it has since been taken off the register after a landing accident in 2007.

This Maule 5-235 Lunar Rocket was registered VH-LJA in Australia then moved to New Zealand and registered ZK-LJA in June 1993 before being written-off later that year. It was rebuilt in 1996 and I flew 16 hours in it over 18 flights from 1997 to 1999. It suffered a landing accident in 2003 with only minor damage and no injury to the pilot and is still registered.

I couldn't find a picture of LJA in it's current paint scheme but then I stumbled upon it in the background of this photo of the Pitts I flew from 1996 to 2000. That Pitts was written off in an accident in December 2000.

I only flew this Midget Mustang once. It seems it was since damaged in a take-off accident and has been deregistered.

This North American T6 Texan (Harvard III) was owned by a syndicate of 16 pilots when I flew it in 1998-1999, by coincidence it is now solely owned by the flying school I learned to fly at. That school had one C152 and a Piper Seneca when I started training in 1993. By 1995, when I finished, they had doubled the fleet with the addition of another Seneca and a C172. According to Wikipedia they now have fourteen C152s, one C172, two Senecas, a Tobago, and a Chieftain!

Looking back at that it seems I leave a wake of destruction behind me .
  #131  
Old 11-03-2011, 11:04 AM
Richard Pearse is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 10,633
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asimovian View Post
So, based on my personal experience, as well as stories relayed by others, it seems fairly common that people in GA use cell phones (and possibly other electronic devices) while flying. And while it may exist, I've yet to hear of an accident related to such device use.
I don't know of any accidents either. They do cause interference, the extent of which is difficult to quantify. At the very least they can cause buzzing through the intercom which can be a distraction. Sometimes the flight crew will forget to turn their phones/ipads off and the noise can be quite annoying. When you're flying a VFR flight in a private aircraft it doesn't really matter if a gauge flickers because you've left your phone on. Commercial IFR ops are a different matter.
  #132  
Old 11-03-2011, 11:14 AM
Richard Pearse is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 10,633
By the way, if anyone has better Googlefu than me and feels like a challenge, I'm looking for photos of the following aircraft:

Cessna C150 ZK-DRE
Cessna C152 ZK-FGC
Cessna C172s ZK-EOA, ZK-EHH, and ZK-ELB
Piper Tomahawk ZK-FTM
Piper Warrior ZK-DEI
And finally a Jodel of some model, possibly a D.11 with an unknown registration, flown at Wanaka New Zealand in May 1996.

Last edited by Richard Pearse; 11-03-2011 at 11:14 AM.
  #133  
Old 11-03-2011, 11:21 AM
Johnny L.A. is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: NoWA
Posts: 62,843
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Pearse View Post
II realised I might find some interesting things in my search for photos when the very first one turned up this image of a Piper Warrior I'd done a couple of flights in. Apparently it suffered a power loss on take-off January this year.
With that tarp over it, it looks like a crime scene.
  #134  
Old 11-03-2011, 01:39 PM
Johnny L.A. is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: NoWA
Posts: 62,843
New Study Highlights Aviation Industry’s Economic Impact, Benefits
Quote:
HARRISBURG – An economic impact study commissioned by PennDOT reveals that Pennsylvania’s aviation industry is creating jobs and significant revenue that reinforces the impact of airports on local economies.

<snip>

"Airport access stimulates businesses, supports five percent of the state’s workforce and provides transportation options."

The study found that Pennsylvania’s public-use airports support approximately 304,462 jobs, generate $9.2 million in annual payroll and produce $23.6 billion in annual economic activity.
  #135  
Old 11-03-2011, 08:41 PM
Magiver is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Dayton Ohio USA
Posts: 29,308
My first solo wasn't anything special but after that I had a blast practicing on my own. As a student I called for (and got) special VFR to go to the practice area. The tower took 15 minutes to approve it. I suspect they were digging through books to see if it was OK. I talked my instructor (a friend of mine) into letting me fly to an island on my long cross country. I had a field day. The next leg of the flight had a VOR out of service so I couldn't navigate and I was having trouble finding the airport. There was a considerable crosswind so I calculated what I thought was the correct heading. For those who haven't done this it is a chore to triangulate on a map while your plane is getting bounced around in the wind. Anyway, when I got to where I was suppose to be I couldn't find the airport and in frustration I banked the wings almost 90 degrees and dang if the airport wasn't exactly where I calculated it would be. My flying ego was short-lived on the 3rd leg of the trip. I flew off the map and there were similar landmarks on the next map that I identified to the radar service I was using. Alas they grew tired of looking for me and had me ident the transponder. I was quickly humbled back to student status.
  #136  
Old 11-04-2011, 01:10 PM
Asimovian's Avatar
Asimovian is offline
Member
Moderator
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Maryland
Posts: 11,731
I haven't checked to see if this was posted elsewhere on the Dope already, but it seems worth mentioning that the last place you want to have the cops pull the PIT maneuver on you is while you're taxiing.
  #137  
Old 11-04-2011, 01:17 PM
Llama Llogophile is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: 50% chord point
Posts: 4,211
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asimovian View Post
I haven't checked to see if this was posted elsewhere on the Dope already, but it seems worth mentioning that the last place you want to have the cops pull the PIT maneuver on you is while you're taxiing.
I've never had that happen, but I was once stopped by a police officer while in my airplane on the ground. It was kind of comical, actually. He had obviously never pulled over an airplane before, and didn't seem to know what to ask.
  #138  
Old 11-04-2011, 01:23 PM
Asimovian's Avatar
Asimovian is offline
Member
Moderator
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Maryland
Posts: 11,731
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mach Tuck View Post
I've never had that happen, but I was once stopped by a police officer while in my airplane on the ground. It was kind of comical, actually. He had obviously never pulled over an airplane before, and didn't seem to know what to ask.
Inquiring minds would love to know why in the hell you were being "pulled over" in that circumstance to begin with.
  #139  
Old 11-04-2011, 03:45 PM
Johnny L.A. is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: NoWA
Posts: 62,843
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asimovian View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mach Tuck View Post
I've never had that happen, but I was once stopped by a police officer while in my airplane on the ground. It was kind of comical, actually. He had obviously never pulled over an airplane before, and didn't seem to know what to ask.
Inquiring minds would love to know why in the hell you were being "pulled over" in that circumstance to begin with.
I'd like to hear about it too.


I've said my mom worked at Gibbs down in San Diego. She said a pilot had claimed engine trouble and landed on the street. Since the engine was still running, he began taxiing back to the airport. The tower asked his position, and the pilot replied 'Holding for a traffic light.' (I was pretty young, and this was a long time ago; but ISTR hearing the guy was pulled over and given a ticket.)
  #140  
Old 11-04-2011, 03:54 PM
Llama Llogophile is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: 50% chord point
Posts: 4,211
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asimovian View Post
Inquiring minds would love to know why in the hell you were being "pulled over" in that circumstance to begin with.
Enough time has passed that I can probably tell this story without embarrassing anyone.

About two years after 9/11 I got a call from Avi, a former student of mine. He wanted to do some night training and we arranged to meet at 9:00 that evening. The plan was to fly for a while and do some practice landings. The aircraft was on the ramp, and it was already quite dark, so we did the pre-flight inspection with flashlights. We finished, strapped in and began running the engine start checklist.

The strobes were flashing and just as Avi was about to fire up the engine I saw two people standing right next to the propeller. I quickly stopped Avi and called out to the two guys. One was a police officer and the other sort of hid behind him. As the cop came over to my side of the aircraft, I realized what was going on.

Avi is an Orthodox Jew. He has a long beard, wears a yamulka and when waving around a flashlight in total darkness at an airport looks a lot like Osama bin Laden. Somebody had gotten suspicious and called the police. However, the officer had clearly never pulled over an airplane before.

"Hey... um... what are you guys doing?" he asked.

I answered affably, "We're going flying."

"Um... have you got a license?"

I smiled and nodded. "Yes." He didn't ask to see it, then looked at his companion uncertainly.

At this point I explained that I was a flight instructor, Avi was a licensed pilot and that I was giving him recurrent training in night flying. I offered to show him my license, for which he seemed grateful. After handing it back he craned his neck to look inside the cockpit and asked doubtfully, "You guys aren't hot wiring that thing, are you?"

Smiling sweetly, I held up the key and jingled it, at which point he wished us a good flight and began to leave. I said good night and suggested that the next time he approached an aircraft flashing its lights he shouldn't stand so close to the prop.

This was just the beginning for Avi. He had the same thing happen twice while flying on his own.
  #141  
Old 11-04-2011, 04:03 PM
Johnny L.A. is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: NoWA
Posts: 62,843
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mach Tuck View Post
This was just the beginning for Avi. He had the same thing happen twice while flying on his own.
I used to work with a guy who was a flight instructor. Black guy, but light skinned. Could pass for Middle-Eastern. He took a student on a long instructional flight from L.A. to SFO not long after the raid (Reagan's) on Libya. That day he was wearing a camouflaged T-shirt with ammo belts and hand grenades silkscreened on it. From a distance the graphics apparently looked real. Security fell on them as soon as they were out of the plane.

Security: What's your nationality?
Coworker: I am American!
Sec: Where are you from?
CW: From here!
Sec: No. What's your ethnicity?
CW: I'm Black.
Sec: ... Oh. What about him? [indicating the student]
CW: Egypt...
  #142  
Old 11-04-2011, 04:08 PM
Asimovian's Avatar
Asimovian is offline
Member
Moderator
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Maryland
Posts: 11,731
If they were already profiling him, can you imagine how much worse than normal that would have turned out if one of them had been injured by the prop? Glad that situation worked out alright.
  #143  
Old 11-04-2011, 11:23 PM
GusNSpot's Avatar
GusNSpot is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: N/W Arkansas
Posts: 8,753
That polish pilot did a good job the other day in Warsaw...
  #144  
Old 11-04-2011, 11:53 PM
Asimovian's Avatar
Asimovian is offline
Member
Moderator
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Maryland
Posts: 11,731
So I just stumbled across a show called "Flying Wild Alaska" on the Discovery Channel. On the one hand, it seems...a little on the dramatic side. On the other hand, based on what I'm seeing from the girl who is currently learning to fly, if she can do it, I'm sure I can.
  #145  
Old 11-04-2011, 11:57 PM
Johnny L.A. is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: NoWA
Posts: 62,843
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asimovian View Post
On the one hand, it seems...a little on the dramatic side.
I think I saw that episode. I don't know if it was that one or another, but they did seem to play up the 'danger' of landing on an unimproved strip. It was as if the guy was on the edge of disaster, when to me it looked pretty undramatic.
  #146  
Old 11-05-2011, 12:38 AM
Senegoid is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Sunny California
Posts: 16,135
Here's another scenario where, I could imagine, you might get pulled over by a traffic cop as you taxi. If you're rich enough to live like this:

In some places, there are little mini-airports on the edge of town with a residential neighborhood of streets and houses immediately around it. I think they are called "Sky Parks." The houses have HUMONGOUS garages where they keep their airplanes. To get flying, you just drive your airplane down the street from your garage to the runway.

So I suppose a cop could stop a plane there for one reason or another.

There is such a neighborhood, for example, at the north edge of Fresno, CA.

As the city grows, there is increasing development in the area, and I suspect that the little airport will have to go away before much longer. I don't think they'd let it stay, with more and more houses, schools, and shopping centers just across the street.

ETA: You too can buy a home there!

Last edited by Senegoid; 11-05-2011 at 12:41 AM.
  #147  
Old 11-05-2011, 12:49 AM
Senegoid is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Sunny California
Posts: 16,135
(Missed edit window for above air park post) --

Here's a Wiki article about this. It lists several other similar air parks. There's a photo here of a residential street, with an airplane in front of a house in the driveway.
  #148  
Old 11-05-2011, 12:58 AM
Boyo Jim is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 36,997
Are there stats somewhere about GA airports? I know that locally, along about a 35 mile stretch of Highway 12, there are 3 active private airports -- I don't think any of them have scheduled commercial flights, but at least on of them has a sign for flying lessons. I wonder if that density is unusual. Middleton, Sauk Prairie, and Baraboo.

Actually, I see that the Middleton airport was bought by the city a few years back. Is that unusual for an airport with no commercial flights?

Last edited by Boyo Jim; 11-05-2011 at 12:58 AM.
  #149  
Old 11-05-2011, 02:18 AM
Magiver is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Dayton Ohio USA
Posts: 29,308
Quote:
Originally Posted by GusNSpot View Post
That polish pilot did a good job the other day in Warsaw...
Well, he made a normal landing with the wheels up. Nothing particularly noteworthy unless there was a 25 knot crosswind.

Now the pilot who landed a 767 on a drag strip with no engines. That would have been something to see. He cross controlled it to avoid overshooting the runway.
  #150  
Old 11-05-2011, 09:06 AM
Johnny L.A. is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: NoWA
Posts: 62,843
nm

Last edited by Johnny L.A.; 11-05-2011 at 09:08 AM.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:59 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright © 2019 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017