New Florida Flyer & Questions...

Pilot? Student pilot? Future pilot? Interested in learning to fly? If you're reading this forum, you've got flying in your blood! SportPilotTalk is a great place to ask questions about this exciting new segment of (more) affordable aviation!

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drseti
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Re: Sport Pilot License

Postby drseti » Thu Aug 16, 2012 3:09 pm

mhaleem wrote: how often does that happen?


Not very often at all. And your math is correct. So, my point is, if FAA adopts the proposal on the table (to allow CFI/SP hours to count for higher ratings, in those tasks where the PTS requirements are identical between PP and SP), then the problem will never occur. (And, this would help the CFI/SP employment picture considerably.)
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof H Paul Shuch
PhD CFII DPE LSRM-A/GL/WS/PPC iRMT
AvSport LLC, KLHV
fly@AvSport.org
AvSport.org
facebook.com/SportFlying
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Jack Tyler
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Postby Jack Tyler » Sat Aug 18, 2012 7:28 am

Adriana, let's go back to your basic task at hand: You are researching a start in a training program. IOW you are a shopper, a 'consumer'. And the hard part of this is that you are shopping in a marketplace that's fairly foreign to you. You'll make some very formative decisions (school, instructor, type of a/c in which you'll be instructed, type of airspace you'll fly in/out of) and only later be able to appreciate how influential they were in your training experience. That makes you a member of a big club, as that's true for almost everyone except kids who grow up in flying families before starting to train.

Given all that, I think a recent research study that would help you be a much better informed shopper is this one done by AOPA:
http://download.aopa.org/epilot/2011/AO ... rience.pdf
You might be blown away to learn how very few entry-level student pilots actually earn a license. And it's also discouraging to learn how inactive newly licensed pilots become after only a short period of time. The reasons for both these realities lies, in part, to those early, formative but fateful decisions they made.

I got my PPL and did my IR at KSPG, so I'm familiar with what it's like as a training field. It's a good choice, and also a fun one given the 3 over-water approaches, the 'downtown scene' and the availability of good training areas nearby. While I was there - and I still occasionally fly in there - Bay Air was never 'the' place to go for PPL instruction, so I'd definitely encourage you to shop around. PIE is an initially more imposing airport - it's a Class C airspace vs. Whitted's Class D and has the largest USCG air base in the U.S. - but training out of that airport isn't fundamentally different than KSPG. A big plus IMO of both locations is that you, by necessity, will have to get comfortable with voice comms, controlled airspace, a Mode C veil (meaning your a/c is being monitored by Tampa's Approach Control and you have flight following available to you in that busy airspace when you come & go). I've been told in posts here that Peter O'Knight offers a good SPL curriculum and it's not hard to reach from the St. Pete area, especially if you are near I-275, so I'd include that in my search if I were you. And finally, I would put the availability of multiple LSA rental a/c at the top of my list of concrete shopping criteria, even if you must access them via several individual airports, before I chose the SPL route. It is simply a terrible waste and an unsafe circumstance to earn a license and then not fly regularly...and if you must share one or two LSA's with student pilots and other renters AND allow those a/c their maintenance downtime, availability will have a choke hold on you enjoying the license you worked so hard to earn.
Again, good luck to you!
Jack
Flying in/out KBZN, Bozeman MT in a Grumman Tiger
Do you fly for recreational purposes? Please visit http://www.theraf.org

Adriana
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First Flight Epilogue

Postby Adriana » Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:49 am

In advance of my first flight, I imagined having all sorts of reactions and impressions about the experience. The one I'm about to share never crossed my mind however.

After a perfunctory safety check (gas, propeller, etc) , we got in the aircraft, a 172 G1000. Being very safety oriented, I found it odd that the pilot never mentioned the life vests or fire extinguisher. I figured it must just not be customary.

Then with headsets in place, seat belts fastened...the pilot toggled the switches on the panel. One of the fuel indicators - it could have been the fuel float or fuel pump - (I don't know enough about the plane to say for sure)...read 0 and did not move. The plane also didn't start. The pilot asked someone outside to pull out the fuel again and this person said it looked fine. A few more cranks and the plane finally started. The same gauge got off zero though it seemed to oscillate a bit.

My non-aviator but safety-minded logic made me wonder why we'd go up in a plane that showed even a hint of trouble. I figured who am I to question someone with that much experience?

Minutes later after taxing through the runway we were cleared for takeoff. The plane accelerated and after a short stretch, the nose was pitched and we were off. I definitely knew right away I wasn't on a commercial jet.

With the nose pointed skyward, flying towards the heart of the city, the engine thumping steadily, and the altimeter reading about 700 feet - what I never, ever imagined could occur, did...The engine sputtered and then cut out entirely. The sensation and sound of what occurred were obvious even to me.

The pilot was on the radio hurriedly, while trying to restart the engine. He pulled a very hard banking turn to circle back and land - it was at least a 40 deg turn. The engine sputtered some more as we circled around. The reality of hitting the ground was never more vivid to me and I know I was white-knuckled and in a cold sweat.

The plane landed on a very small runway that goes perpendicular to the main one. I felt like we were sideways and almost floating. It was nerve-racking to say the least.

The pilot brought the plane back and we got out. I had serious doubts about what had just happened but hadn't had time to process it all. He grabbed another plane, checked the gas, and said we could go up again.

Everything went fairly smoothly the second time around. The views were nice but I had a hard time enjoying the experience. I got to fly the plane for maybe 10 seconds and kept thinking about the earlier incident.

By the time we got on the ground though I couldn't help but feel more and more disturbed. After an hour later of thinking at home, I realized I would never go up in a small plane again.

What occurred may well have been a typical or routine occurrence that happens countless times to pilots. As a person who'd never flown in a light aircraft before it was positively chilling and harrowing. If I'd flown for years and had this happen I might feel different or have a difficult decision to contemplate. Being new to it entirely, there really wasn't much of a decision, it didn't feel safe. The rewards felt very small and distant while the risk seemed far too present and real.

3Dreaming
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Postby 3Dreaming » Mon Aug 20, 2012 10:58 am

I'm sorry to hear about your flight not going as planned. This is not normal. Most of the time the airplane will try to tell you that something is wrong. It sounds like that happened this time and the pilot didn't listen. In over 30 years and about 7,000 hours of flying I have never had to land because the engine quit. I have made a few (4-5) landings because of a rough running engine, but the landings were uneventful.

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drseti
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Re: First Flight Epilogue

Postby drseti » Mon Aug 20, 2012 11:13 am

Adriana wrote:One of the fuel indicators - it could have been the fuel float or fuel pump - (I don't know enough about the plane to say for sure)...read 0 and did not move. The plane also didn't start.

<snip>

My non-aviator but safety-minded logic made me wonder why we'd go up in a plane that showed even a hint of trouble.


I'm with you! Flying is always optional. There's just no reason to go up in a plane that gives you any hint of a malfunction.

I figured who am I to question someone with that much experience?


Who are you? You're the customer, so you're allowed to question everything!

He grabbed another plane, checked the gas, and said we could go up again.


Actually, I agree with the pilot on this one. After a safe dead-stick landing, the very best thing to do is go up and fly again. Get right back on the horse, as they say...

What occurred may well have been a typical or routine occurrence that happens countless times to pilots.


On the contrary, it's extremely rare. But it didn't happen without the plane giving ample warning; the pilot merely chose to ignore the warning. Had there been an accident, the NTSB report would have read, "The pilot elected to continue the takeoff with the aircraft in a known unairworthy condition."

I doubt that I'd want to train with that particular instructor.
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof H Paul Shuch
PhD CFII DPE LSRM-A/GL/WS/PPC iRMT
AvSport LLC, KLHV
fly@AvSport.org
AvSport.org
facebook.com/SportFlying
SportPilotExaminer.US

Jack Tyler
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Location: Jacksonville, FL

Postby Jack Tyler » Tue Aug 21, 2012 7:15 am

Adriana, that sounds like a terrible experience! And of course, while many of us can confirm that your experience was highly unusual, that doesn't change what the experience was like for you.

I do disagree with Paul about the 'getting back up on the horse' thing. I would have liked to see two things after that first landing. I'd like the instructor to have spent some time reflecting on how he personally contributed to such an unsafe flight --- and *before* he went looking for another horse. And I would have hoped both the instructor and the flight school owner, manager or whomever felt responsibility for the program would have spent a few moments with you, debriefing the experience as well as learning what you both saw and felt. To treat this as normal enough to immediately 'try again' and to demonstrate the insensitivity they did to you tells me what kind of yahoos are working in that program. This sounds like the kind of incident that should be reported to the local FSDO office.
Jack
Flying in/out KBZN, Bozeman MT in a Grumman Tiger
Do you fly for recreational purposes? Please visit http://www.theraf.org

ralarcon
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Joined: Fri Aug 03, 2012 2:57 pm
Location: Valrico, Fla

Postby ralarcon » Wed Aug 29, 2012 12:14 pm

Adriana, sorry to hear about your experience, I'm a student pilot in Valrico, next to Tampa. I have not experienced anything close to what you experienced. My CFI is very careful and takes the preflight check very seriously. I own a Flight Design CTLS, and you are welcome to go up with me as soon as I get licensed. It is in hangar at KLAL (Lakeland Linder). I have enjoyed every second of my flight experience, both with my brother and my CFI. Give it a second chance. I also ride a motorcycle and my wife and I are aware that statistically I'm safer up in the air than down on the road with the bike.

Cheers


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