Journey towards PPL

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Journey towards PPL

Postby savy13 » Tue Oct 30, 2018 12:16 pm


I started with the dream for SPL, and quickly turned towards PPL with the good advice of the fellow members on this forum.

I intend to keep my progress posted: [1] to keep getting advice from you all on this forum on my progress, [2] hopefully to help other students who may read at some point.

10/24/2018: Received my 3rd Class Medical Certificate. Fairly simple test, with filling in the online form prior & FAA certified aviation medical examiner (AME) visit. Included routine general checkup, eye sight, reflexes and urine test along with basic questions on general health and family history. Took about an hour to complete and was issued the certificate there itself.

10/29/2018: Intro flight. I had scheduled it at Schaumburg Airport with Instructor Pete McVay. Prior to the flight, Pete gave a quick introduction on aerodynamics principles. We then went to the plane (Cessna 172) and did pre-flight check (outside and inside). After spending about 15-20 mins going through the instrument panel & other basics, we took off. Outside my commercial flight experience, this was the first time for me to ascend in any form & it was an exciting moment. The flight itself lasted roughly 35-40 mins. Pete guided me through the process, mostly letting me manage the altitude, direction & power, while doing course adjustments and corrections when needed. Needless to say, I was extreme nervous and each slight drop in altitude reminded me of a roller coaster and possibility that I'd be spiraling down to the ground. We mostly went between 1,600 - 3,800 in altitude and did few circles. For landing, Pete (thankfully) took most controls and let me guide once we were on the ground. While it was a beautiful sunny day with perfect visibility, I hardly noticed anything below me. I was hyperfocused on ensuring not to do anything stupid, and was holding the Yoke with such intensity that my knuckles turned white (may be a little bit of exaggeration there). Understandably the gitters of the first time, and surely hoping this improves through the journey.

Got the PHAK after the flight. Pete advised to go with Sportys training material (instead of Gleim that I was originally planning for). Came home and purchased Sportys Learn to Fly Course - Online Private Pilot Course (with promotional free Flying with Foreflight Course) for $199.

- the cockpit is pretty compact. Not that I had any specific expectations, but after being used to a car's interiors & sometimes glimpsing at commercial flight's cockpit, this looked really small
- thankfully I had read someone's advice of not eating before the flight. While mostly we were smooth sailing, I still had the jitters similar to a roller coaster, and not sure if a meal prior would have been a good idea
- afterwards while reliving the moments, realized this was very similar to jitters of first time learning driving and getting overwhelmed with all things one needs to simultaneously consider and perform. Felt better that driving has now become just so natural and so would flying me (hopefully soon)
- I am not backing off. The journey has begun and I liked being up there in the skies!

Now first official class on 10/31.

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Re: Journey towards PPL

Postby Warmi » Tue Oct 30, 2018 1:10 pm

Good luck and don't forget to have lots of fun.

Btw .. Cessna 172 cockpit is 40 inches wide - most LSAs are around 45 and some ( CTLS , Aeroprakt, Bristell ) about 50 and so are more expensive certified planes ( like Cirrus or Diamond) so yeah, Cessnas are pretty small, even among planes :-)
Flying Sting S4 ( N184WA ) out of Illinois

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Re: Journey towards PPL

Postby TimTaylor » Tue Oct 30, 2018 2:49 pm

Congratulations. You’re in for a great experience.
Commercial Pilot Airplane Single & Multiengine Land; Instrument Airplane
Sport Endorsement Airplane Single Engine Sea
Flight Instructor Airplane Single & Multiengine
Ground Instructor Advanced Instrument
BS Engineering NC State
MBA Wisconsin

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Re: Journey towards PPL

Postby Scooper » Tue Oct 30, 2018 7:52 pm

Yay!!! You've taken the first big step on a journey that will last for the rest of your life.

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Re: Journey towards PPL

Postby HAPPYDAN » Wed Oct 31, 2018 11:09 am

You're on your way! BTW, I really like the Sporty's Online Course. Very comprehensive and easy to understand, AND - the best part IMO - it is occasionally updated to remain current. So once you're enrolled, you can go back and review, and take more practice tests. After you achieve the appropriate score on 2 practice tests, you can print out the endorsement you will need to take the FAA Knowledge test. Good Luck!

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