My 3rd hour.. (No sniggering!)
  • NewKid
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    My 3rd hour.. (No sniggering!)

    by NewKid » Fri Jun 17, 2005 1:40 am

    Hi,
    I did my 3rd hour last week in a C150, take off about 10am on a sunny day. Describing a mild sine curve taxiing down the R/W, Instructor turned the plane. I 'did' the take off (but he had the rudder) Lifted off ok and then we banked sharply to the right at less than 200ft I'd say. When I looked down, saw us way to the right of the R/W. Climbed gently but I was all over the shop initially, then banking l & r all the time and I was a busy man, perspiring very slightly unlike previous 2 flights, tense and nervous after my earlier banking error. Wasn't really thinking about anything else 'cept keepin those wings level, and trying to do better to reduce the frequency and apparently agitated tones of the instructor (First flight with him! Then he was talkin about the turn co-ord, and how it tells you whether to use l or r ruder. So then I started using rudder unlike the previous 2, as I caused me less oscillating yaw, and smaller deviations. Then a while later he said I was to lay of dancing on the pedals and didn't seem at all pleased!!
    SO, is all this more or less normal hour 3 experiences, or is it looking like I'm gonna learn this like the slow-(and oscillating!)-boat-to-China?
    Then on the ground he told me to tell the next instructor I'd done s & l in cruising configuation @2300rpm. Is that the feedback? Is that 'that was aw'right, now onto the next thing' -or- was that we got your money for this exercise, heres how we'll get it next time?
    What d'ya reckon??!!
    NewKid :?
  • EIDEL
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    by EIDEL » Fri Jun 17, 2005 8:51 pm

    :lol: Welcome to the family .It certainly looks as though you had your first real batism of fire .Dont worry tooooooooooo much about how you perform when you get a stranger for an instructor .Don't forget primarily you are up there to enjoy yourself and the FI's job is to make certain that you don't damage ,you ,him or the plane . If you have any reason to doubt your ability to learn how to fly .Drop it .You can and you will and in times to come you will have a great laugh with your mates about your first steps .So heres to you mate keep calm keep cool and you will focus very naturally .Clear skies and light winds.DEL :D
  • willo
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    by willo » Fri Jun 17, 2005 9:36 pm

    Congrats New Kid, and like EI-DEL, welcome to the fold.

    Always great to be self-critical, you probably noticed it alot more than the Instructor!! Being cocky and over-confident would be a different matter. Trained myself in a C150, and they have a mind of their own at times also.

    I'm 120 hrs, and still learning, so never stops!!! Keep at it, there'll be ups & downs (metaphorically & literally), but the end product is worth it.

    Looking forward to your first solo, probably closer than you think.


    Willo
  • Xacto
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    by Xacto » Sat Jun 18, 2005 3:46 am

    Hello NewKid

    Try and obtain a copy of the JAR-FCL PPL course syllabus. It is available here. A lot of the terminology in this publication will be strange to you but you should nevertheless familiarise yourself with the Curriculum Planning Guide (which is on page 41 of my rather old edition). This contains a precise description of the exercises which should be carried out on each flight detail. A good flying school will have a similar if not identical guide. Some deviation from the format and sequence of the exercises in this guide is inevitable due to student ability and local conditions but the items listed in each phase should be covered before moving on to the next phase.

    There should be a training record maintained by your flying school. This should be written up after each flight with exercises signed off or marked for repeat. Each instructor you fly with should know exactly where you are on the syllabus and which exercises to complete on this detail. Ideally you should be assigned a single instructor for your entire course with the option to change by mutual consent if you find you just don?t get on.

    You should be given a thorough pre flight briefing lasting at least thirty minutes. As you walk out to the aeroplane you should know exactly what exercises you are going to carry out , how you are going to carry them out and exactly what standard will be required of you for satisfactory completion of the exercises. On no account should class room style briefings be attempted in the air. Post flight there should be a short debriefing and a preview of the next lesson.

    Bearing the above in mind a few things bother me about your post. You seem to have been expected to climb the aircraft yet the primary exercise seems to have been straight and level flight in cruise configuration. Have you completed the climbing and descending exercises? These normally come after the straight and level exercise. Take offs come later in the syllabus after you are competent at climbing, descending and straight and level flight in different configurations. The most disturbing thing about your post was the statement that your instructor was ?agitated? and ?did not seem at all pleased?. Not exactly good instructor qualities. The phrase ?lay off dancing on the rudder? is most unhelpful and is not exactly standard patter. I think this person may just be hour building towards an airline job at your expense. All in all it seems to have been a very confused lesson with no particular structure. The phrase ?tell the next instructor?...etc? seems to indicate that there is no written record of your training. The next instructor won?t have a clue what your standard is and you will virtually be starting all over again.

    I think you have summed up this organisation very nicely yourself in the last sentence. The next time you fly ask to see your training record. Ask what exercises have been signed off. Ask if they are following a prescribed lesson plan. Ask what exactly you will be covering on this lesson and make sure you get a briefing. Get a post flight debrief and ask to see what is being written in your record. Ask for a preview of your next lesson. Ask if you can retain one instructor for your entire course. If the answers are unsatisfactory get a new flying school. Otherwise you will have a most frustrating and drawn out learning experience.

    I?m sorry if this is so negative in comparison with the other replies so far but it makes me so angry to see what sometimes passes for flying training in this country. I?m certain you have the ability and tenacity to complete your training and I wish you well in this endeavour.


    DEL

    You are up there to learn and the FI?s job is to teach. It should be a mutually enjoyable experience.

    Regards,

    Xacto.
  • EIDEL
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    by EIDEL » Sat Jun 18, 2005 2:32 pm

    :lol: xato You too much all in one go you trying to over load the lad .and you misread my post .Why does anyone fly if not for the pleasure .So don't be so sticky : :roll:
  • MCRO
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    by MCRO » Sat Jun 18, 2005 6:08 pm

    Nice to hear from you, New-Kid

    Be assured the kind of trouble you describe is quite common and mostly makes a rapid exit.

    (If you had taken that commonly offered advice to do a bit of horseback riding before getting into flying you would probably have by-passed this hiccough)

    Remember, what an Instructor is doing at this stage is helpng you to learn from the aeroplane - not from him/her

    (Aeroplanes are never inadequate, tempremental or inconsiderate in how/what they teach.)

    Ask your instructor whether it is really a good idea to introduce the Turn co-ordinator at this stage (few devices perform their stated function more inadequately)

    It is surely better to have your actions triggered by the aeroplane itself rather than by any such 2nd-hand representations of its activity!

    Above all, New Kid, don't worry at all - you are learning someting far simpler than the driving of a motor car

    Maurice
  • MCRO
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    by MCRO » Sat Jun 18, 2005 6:09 pm

    Nice to hear from you, New-Kid

    Be assured the kind of trouble you describe is quite common and mostly makes a rapid exit.

    (If you had taken that commonly offered advice to do a bit of horseback riding before getting into flying you would probably have by-passed this hiccough)

    Remember, what an Instructor is doing at this stage is helpng you to learn from the aeroplane - not from him/her

    (Aeroplanes are never inadequate, tempremental or inconsiderate in how/what they teach.)

    Ask your instructor whether it is really a good idea to introduce the Turn co-ordinator at this stage (few devices perform their stated function more inadequately)

    It is surely better to have your actions triggered by the aeroplane itself rather than by any such 2nd-hand representations of its activity!

    Above all, New Kid, don't worry at all - you are learning someting far simpler than the driving of a motor car

    Maurice
  • hibby
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    by hibby » Mon Jun 20, 2005 4:55 pm

    Congratulations on your third flight. Don't worry too much about not flying a perfect straight line or keeping the wings level at this stage. In my early hours of training I had terrible difficulty taxiing in a straight line. It was disheartening, because I thought, if I can't even drive the thing properly on the ground, how will I ever be able to fly it?

    Needless to say, I overcame that difficulty (through a combination of practice and good advice from my instructor), and the same can be said for the difficulties you've described.

    Believe it or not, I had an instructor say exactly the same words to me "Lay off dancing on the pedals" when I was new to using the rudder and trying to fly co-ordinated. He's not my instructor any more - I found one who has been incredibly helpful to me and is excellent at explaining things, and at understanding exactly why I'm doing something wrong. It's a relationship that, at its best, is based on trust.

    There will be times in your training when you feel frustrated with your seeming (lack of) progress, stymied by the weather or just wonder if it's all worth it. But if you stick with it, you will utilmately succeed. And it is a very rewarding thing to be able to do!
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    by hibby » Mon Jun 20, 2005 5:02 pm

    By the way, a lot of the oscillation (in roll) that you experienced may well have been outside your control. It's very common to be buffeted around a bit by slight turbulence when you're near the ground on a warm day, and while at first every bump makes you tense up as your instincts tell you that the magic of flight is about to suddenly cease, leaving you to fall out of the sky, you quickly learn to cope with little gusts and speed bumps and compensate for them. It's scary when you bank the plane into a turn and find the high wing lifted by the wind. But nothing bad happens. The C150 is very stable around its long axis and will roll level of its own accord. And everything you will experience as a novice student is well within the envelope of g-forces the plane is designed to cope with. If your instructor is feeling exuberant on one of your future lessons, you may get a taste of what I mean!
  • incisor
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    by incisor » Mon Jun 20, 2005 5:32 pm

    I don't know who Xacto is, but I would second virtually everything said there.

    You are going to be in big trouble down the line in every way if your training continues to be conducted in the manner you have outlined.

    See if you can find someone who can independently recommend a better flying school or club before you waste more money. Get your training records completed up to date, so that you will be able to go to another school without having to start all over again. Do this before it is too late.
  • NewKid
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    by NewKid » Tue Jun 21, 2005 12:33 am

    EI-DEL Thanks - probably just a bit of learning jitters!
    Willo - Thanks - I spoke to a friend of mine who was a flight instructor, and he more or less agreed.
    Xacto - Checked out your link. I got Trevor Thoms books - is that close enough to what you mean? Ah, the training record... they tell me they havn't got any as they're still waiting to get some from the printers!!! Now I've gotta remember what I've done - and of course, the instructors won't remember anything about the flight so won't have the faintest idea what sort of comments to put in it!! There have been no flight briefings. At all. No debrief. You're right about the exercise focus - it was s&l, and I had no more a notion of climbing/descent than a penguin!! Latterly you are right again in that there is no written record of my training. Now I'm asking questions next time. In fact I even suspect that I was ushered away from reception in a manner that might appear to others to be taking the student off for the debrief in a quiet corner. In fact he simply entered the details in my logbook and spent twice as long nattering to some friend of his who had caused him to go round! Think the NFC are scraping the bottom of the barrel there! Thanks for the heaps of pointers
    MCRO - Thanks - funny about the horseback thing!! :) I'll check out the turn co-ordinator with the next FI.
    Hibby - Thanks - Interesting to hear about the taxiing thing and how it grew out. I like your view on the FI/Student relationship. Oh - all of you - is it a run-o-the-mill thing for the FI to answering his phone? Guess its as bad as answering it in the car.
    Incisor - Thanks - I will act on your suggestion if their part of the deal isn't more straight and level! How late is too late?? When I've been strung along enough and picked up bad habits I guess?!
  • hibby
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    by hibby » Tue Jun 21, 2005 11:04 am

    I'm certain I know the instructor you mean. Not only was that remark about "dancing on the pedals" very familiar, but he's answered the phone in flight when instructing me also.

    I want to offer a few observations in defense of the NFC, based on my own experience:
    - for such a large and busy operation, it is surprisingly friendly.
    - your experience with the student logs is not typical. They are really quite scrupulous about doing things "by the book" when it comes to paperwork and so on. Until you have a student log, insist that the instructor write his comments on a piece of paper or a notebook provided by you, for later transcription into the student log.
    - your experience with that particular instructor is not typical. You have huge scope for choosing your own instructor at the NFC. Each time you're booking in, you specify who you want to fly with (and they have no say in the matter :) ). If you wish I can recommend a particularly good (if sometimes demanding) instructor.
    - If you stick with learning at the NFC, you certainly will get ground training. They will not allow you to progress without doing each of the long briefs and short briefs set out in the curriculum. It doesn't surprise me that much that they let you go flying three times without a ground brief, especially since the weather has been so good. But they won't let you get too far ahead of yourself before getting seriously stuck into the ground briefings.
    - Once you have an instructor that you trust and get on well with, you can just ask, at any time, where you stand with regard to briefings, overall progress, what he/she plans for your next few hours of training, etc. It's very important to do that - it gives you some perspective, and it focuses their mind too.
    - Don't let yourself get hurried along (that applies at all stages of your training). You are entitled to a reasonable amount of time before and after the airwork lesson to discuss what you will be doing, sort out in your mind anything you are confused about, and then afterwards to talk through any problems or issues you encountered in flight. A good time to do this is in the parked aircraft, after the engine shut-down, when the lesson is still very fresh in your mind. A good instructor will actually give you more of this pre- and post-briefing than you think you need! And that kind of informal chat is usually free of charge, since the clock stops when the engine does (just make sure the instructor writes down the shut-down time before starting to chat with you!)
    - You are not responsible for the NFC remaining on schedule. If they're running late on a particular day, it's not your fault. You are still entitled to your full lesson, and learning to fly should not be accompanied by a feeling of being in a hurry or under time pressure.

    Above all, find the right instructor, and your learning experience will be 100 times better.
  • NewKid
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    by NewKid » Tue Jun 21, 2005 5:10 pm

    Hibby - Thanks - mail me any suggestions - NewKid@pilot.pprune.com - I'll take note of all your suggestions - ...but won't it look weird getting instructors to write their observations on a piece of paper, as opposed to a booklet kept in the centre? Thanks for the advice!
  • -Al-
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    by -Al- » Tue Jun 21, 2005 5:19 pm

    lol was thinkin that myself, but id rather have them on a napkin than not at all.

    bring a notebook youself and get them to fill it in with as much detail as they would in a proper book, then when they get it sorted they can transfer them.
    Image
    --- "Hey there blimpy boy, flying so high and fancy free" --- Homer Simpson
  • EIDEL
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    by EIDEL » Tue Jun 21, 2005 8:41 pm

    :lol: Its really funny but I've had in the past two FI's who behaved in the same way as Newkid describes one @ weston and one at Trim .I never went back .The only thing about the instructors comments I would add is to get yourself a full sized JAR pilots log book and make sure after each lesson every section is filled in .The remarks will be concise but will serve as a very good reminder and give your next FI a very good idea of your abilities and training to date.If you have the idea to fly heavy metal someday keep going as you are ,But if you just want to fly for pleasure and perhaps own your own aircraft change over to the nppl(m) and learn in ultralights ,my personal pleasure is ul's but I also enjoy the odd spamcan especially abroad as the sc's are probably maintained to a higher standard .No doubt I will be censured by some for these remarks ,so I will finish by saying that so far the standard of maintenance on all the Irish ul's and private planes that I have had the real pleasure to be aquainted with has been excellent . over ei -del

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