Episode #277 "Guaranteed Late Arrival"

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Soccer-Jock
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Episode #277 "Guaranteed Late Arrival"

Postby Soccer-Jock » Wed May 02, 2012 7:59 am

The discussion of airports best for training and when to solo prompted me to check my log book.
I fell into the category of training, with actual flying, once or twice per weekend though I did my studying throughout the week. I trained as an adult and received my private ticket as an adult.
My instructor allowed me to solo at ~25 hours. To be honest, it was the perfect time for me.

My training airport was KPIE, St. Petersburg. In my opinion (likely biased) this was the perfect airport to train at. Full control tower, ground operations, multiple runways, light scheduled commercial traffic, military traffic, and lots of primary training... but none of this in excess. A taxi out to departure was never more than just a few minutes, yet you had to follow all ground clearance procedures. The training area is/was a clean 10 miles to the west of the field. Close enough to be just minutes away, but far enough to be away from significant traffic. The Class D for KPIE lay just under and beside Tampa's Bravo.

I cannot tell you how many times I was grateful, just after receiving my private ticket, that I had trained at a radar/tower controlled field. The radio comm (finally) became second nature. But this had proven time and time again to be a leg up in the hours to immediately follow.

As for my instructor, Keith Rich,.. he was a perfect match for me in my opinion. We joked, I learned, he challenged, but we enjoyed the whole process... but we both knew, almost instinctively, when the moment or the time called for serious attention. And I always respected his authority as the "teacher". He recommend me for my check ride at 41 hours, I pushed it a few hours longer than that.

I have had some people comment that the solo and check ride took longer than they had experienced. To this I have always had this answer: You are not me. Your instructor is not my instructor.
It's funny to twist the concept to this: You place your life in someone's hands, and they in turn stake their reputation and career on a relationship and a knowledge that was formed in just 20 or so hours. Now who's underpaid?

msawhill
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Re: Episode #277 "Guaranteed Late Arrival"

Postby msawhill » Wed May 02, 2012 8:51 pm

The discussion about time to solo piqued my interest and provoked some thought. I think one of the bigger factors impacting time-to-solo is aircraft complexity: My training aircraft was a C140 with only the basic instruments and controls, so my pre-solo time was very focused on basic airmanship and trips around the pattern. I didn't have much to learn in the way of cockpit resource management. By comparison, the 172 I used to get my instrument rating was a bit overwhelming with its bewildering array of knobs and switches. It's kind of funny to think about now.

Another datapoint supporting the aircraft complexity notion is glider flying. It's not unusual for glider pilots to solo in 5 hours or so. Again, the aircraft is simple and training is focused on safely operating in the pattern. Cross country flying, radio operations, and airspace all come later as required to support the soaring pilot's expanding mission.

As an aside, I appreciate Jack's reference to Iowa as a top-of-mind example of remote nowhereness (my words, not Jack's). I work for a high-tech company in the bay area, but I live in Iowa. I get my share of funny looks when people in our San Francisco office ask where I'm based. Personally, I think "flyover country" is the place to be if you're a pilot. Housing and hangar space is cheaper, we don't have mountains consuming valuable airspace, there are emergency runways everywhere (as long as you land with the crop rows), and we can point the nose in any direction for quite a distince before having to worry about ditching in water. (If you think about it, GA airplanes have double the utility for folks living far away from a coastline.)

It's amazing to draw a range rings around Iowa and see how many places you can go in 3, 4, or 6 hours in a 160kt airplane.

Cheers,

m

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champguy
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Re: Episode #277 "Guaranteed Late Arrival"

Postby champguy » Thu May 03, 2012 10:25 am

Mountains consuming valuable airspace? They are the best part. There is always a way through, and they stay put, not moving around the way thunder storms do!
It's silly season, politicians and TFRs all around. Y'all fly safe out there.
Remember, not all who wander, are lost.
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nzslackie
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Re: Episode #277 "Guaranteed Late Arrival"

Postby nzslackie » Thu May 03, 2012 5:09 pm

Amy translated from "New Zealand English" to "American English" - wow... now that's what I call multi lingual :D :D :D

... and we call the helicopter a single Squirrel (AS50) as there is also a twin engined version (AS55).

Here's a bit of raw news footage of a similar helicopter (in New Zealand, so you may need Amy's help in translating again!) involved in a very difficult lifting job in downtown Auckland in a very confined space erecting a christmas tree Nov 2011 ... watch the chap underneath the helicopter attempting to grab the lifting cable... both he and the pilot are very lucky!! Maybe an entry into "off field landing of the week"?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5aMT9MBfZI
Here's to long uplines!

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jackhodgson
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Re: Episode #277 "Guaranteed Late Arrival"

Postby jackhodgson » Fri May 04, 2012 8:23 am

msawhill wrote:It's amazing to draw a range rings around Iowa and see how many places you can go in 3, 4, or 6 hours in a 160kt airplane.


"range rings" I've never heard that term before. I like it.

// Jack

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champguy
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Re: Episode #277 "Guaranteed Late Arrival"

Postby champguy » Sat May 05, 2012 2:03 am

Pit Stops?
Remember, not all who wander, are lost.
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