What do you consider yourself an expert on?

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February 19th, 2014 at 2:38:09 PM permalink
beachbumbabs
Member since: Sep 3, 2013
Threads: 5
Posts: 677
Face,

If you are serious about doing this, I will tell you exactly what you need.

First off, Flea gave you very good information.

Now, I'm going to SWAG a few of these things, but this is pretty typical.

1. Ground school takes 10-20 hours of study, mostly on your own, can be through a school. You must be able to pass a FAA written and flight instructor oral exam, which will also include some practical questions (plotting a route, weight and balance calculation, etc.) You will likely be required to have passed all portions of this by the time you fly your first solo. Cost: about 40 for textbooks, though all of them are gov't publications available on line, up to about 200 for a formally taught course.

2. 40-60 hours flight instruction: If you're not going to waste your money, you must budget for at least 3 hours of flight per week, otherwise you backslide. For what you want to do, I highly suggest you get instruction in a Cessna 152; It's a rugged high-winged trainer available anywhere, and the type of flying you want to do, you'll be doing in a high-wing aircraft. If you can afford it, you'll want to move up to a Cessna 172, which is large enough to be the type of plane you would actually take on this type of trip. But a lot cheaper to rent a C150/152 for a lot of the initial instruction. Still going to cost $150/hour minimum most places wet, plus instructor time is at least 25/hour. AVGAS is at least 6/gallon, 100LL higher, so if you negotiate a dry price, be aware you're going to use about 6gal/hour flying a C152, more in a C172.

3. Your flight instructor. You want an older, experienced or retired guy, not a new one trying to build hours for their other licenses. You want one who WILL teach you spin recovery in a plane built to take it (not required for that level license; tell that to my dead friends). You do not want a sport pilot license; you want private. Single-Engine-Land will be enough for what you're doing, with a float endorsement (the difference is in the attitude of the plane in landing and not dipping the tips, and in departure, how to break the suction of the water and speeds to maintain, how to read water surfaces, that sort of thing. Floats is legitimately done in an afternoon after you get your PP license.

4. Once you are licensed, you are allowed to split the cost of rental and fuel equally among yourself and passengers pro rata. Further than that, you are for hire and need an additional license (commercial) because you're making money according to the gov't.

5. A lot of the airplanes you might use for the bush will be tail-wheel, which is another special endorsement that would take about 10 hours to do properly. Cross that bridge if and when you come to it.

6. A lot of private pilots share an aircraft among 4-5 people. The cost of buying one of the type you want is the least expensive part. The best move is to buy a share, with a pre-approved agreement about what you'll pay to use it (your share will go to maintenance/hangaring/annual inspections/airframe value at sale) and you'll split any revenues from hourly rentals among you and anyone else you agree to rent it to (the FBO can act as your rental agent). Your rental rate will be much cheaper than just renting outright. The very best setup is to find a share in an aircraft that has one Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) mechanic as a part owner, because they'll do the work much cheaper/free to the partnership in exchange for flight time.

So, yeah, for about 10 grand, you can do what you want to do, and then pay as you go. If you came down here, I'm betting I could get you done for 6 or less.

Central Florida has the largest concentration of flight schools in the world. We literally train 1/2 of the world's commercial pilots here (you should hear the accented English). If you want to come down here and do it, I can get you set up with the right people, airplanes, housing, all the rest. You should plan 6 weeks to 2 months to do everything you need to do without rushing the training.

I also have some people in NY state who can set you up and you can do it from home, though it will likely be cheaper here. Regardless of where you train, you will want to do a couple up hours there with a seasoned instructor dual on winter operations; snow is all theoretical here.

I am still seriously considering eventually moving back north (probably back to Wash state), flying again, and possibly running a Caravan for hire (that's a 10 person Cessna, huge engine, huge payload, takes floats, skis, whatever you need, almost no runway needed, but 500K for the bare airplane, and twice that on floats/retractable gear for water/ice/snow). Came within an inch of it about 12 years ago, but was in concert with another controller and the relationship fell apart. Think Maggie from Northern Lights or whatever it was. Really expensive to do this alone, but minimum of 2 can prosper and enjoy it.
Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. -ersatz Buddha
February 20th, 2014 at 5:59:29 AM permalink
Face
Administrator
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 61
Posts: 3163
Quote: beachbumbabs
Face,

If you are serious about doing this, I will tell you exactly what you need.


If? Ha! I'm surely not out buying textbooks now as I have a fledgling race team I'm still trying to get off the ground, but I am absolutely and 100% serious about trying to get into this within the next few years. Pretty much as soon as finances allow.

And here I though that after three threads, I had finally run the "- With Face" brand into the ground. "Flying With Face", anyone? =D

Just don't ask me to go halvsies on a 10 man plane, as it would be too tempting to take the WarWagon crew across the country, and your half of the investment would surely end up on the five o'clock news. Most likely in a smoldering heap that smells strongly of moonshine ;)

Thanks to you both for all the information, you've definitely given me an idea and a place to start. I doubt I could swing 6 weeks in Fla, so keep in touch with your NY boys. I reckon I may need them in the future.

I wonder how much of my 10 years of flight sims will assist me? At the very least, I imagine terms and familiarity with systems must only help. Although I suspect my ability to land a virtual F-18 Super Hornet on a carrier probably doesn't translate ;)
Be bold and risk defeat, or be cautious and encourage it.
February 20th, 2014 at 6:29:16 AM permalink
Fleastiff
Member since: Oct 27, 2012
Threads: 50
Posts: 4997
Quote: Face
I'd even hazard a guess that my use of "Columbo" isn't that far off. I guess we'll see ;)
You mean a dirty raincoat? I'm in Florida... ain't got no raincoats down here.


As to F-18 simulations, its a heck of a lot more useful than you might think. Eye hand coordination and steady nerves are important and your third or fourth lesson will involve climbing to altitude and practicing entering and recovering from stalls. Many times an instructor will wish he were in a simulator rather than in a real aircraft that you are causing to stall.
February 21st, 2014 at 2:25:05 PM permalink
theodores
Member since: Oct 28, 2012
Threads: 2
Posts: 85
I am taking flying lessons in Ohio this coming spring.
February 21st, 2014 at 7:31:19 PM permalink
Fleastiff
Member since: Oct 27, 2012
Threads: 50
Posts: 4997
Quote: theodores
I am taking flying lessons in Ohio this coming spring.
Congratulations. May I, at this time, offer to add a few exclamation points to BBB's statement about getting a mature instructor rather than a brash young kid who only wants to build hours until he gets a "real job". Whatever you do, don't get stuck with the instructor who is low man on the totem pole at the FBO. That is what I had and I still remember the day I washed myself out of flight school: while sharing air space with National Guard C-130s as I'm doing touch and goes my instructor suddenly exclaims something and as I'm looking around for conflicting traffic he goes on to indicate he was commenting about the chatter on the wrong frequency that was going on. I don't want an instructor who just after you make a turn yells "Oh My God" and who insists on a dohicky on the control yoke for a radio microphone. Pick a good school and pay for a good instructor, don't try to save a few bucks.
February 21st, 2014 at 10:31:27 PM permalink
Face
Administrator
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 61
Posts: 3163
Quote: theodores
I am taking flying lessons in Ohio this coming spring.


I would LOVE a report, if you care to come back.

Quote: Fleastiff

As to F-18 simulations, its a heck of a lot more useful than you might think. Eye hand coordination and steady nerves are important and your third or fourth lesson will involve climbing to altitude and practicing entering and recovering from stalls. Many times an instructor will wish he were in a simulator rather than in a real aircraft that you are causing to stall.


I'm more familiar with the D-block F-16. Can do a ramp start, full power up, RWR, A/A - A/G munitions, laser guidance, chaff/flare/jamming... if the war popped off, I'm confident I could be ready to go within the day ;) But I guess all that really doesn't matter for what I'm looking to do.

And all of that did include spin recovery, and I HATED it. Sometimes full rudder and full ailerons and turning into the spin and forcing the nose down worked every time. Like clockwork. Other times I'd just spin and spin until the screen went red from red-out, or I'd just spin for all 25,000' feet, unable to do anything. I hope real life is easier =p

And 10-4 on the old codger. I usually relate with and react better to older folks anyways, so that would've been my first choice regardless.
Be bold and risk defeat, or be cautious and encourage it.
February 22nd, 2014 at 3:58:24 PM permalink
beachbumbabs
Member since: Sep 3, 2013
Threads: 5
Posts: 677
Quote: Face
I would LOVE a report, if you care to come back.



I'm more familiar with the D-block F-16. Can do a ramp start, full power up, RWR, A/A - A/G munitions, laser guidance, chaff/flare/jamming... if the war popped off, I'm confident I could be ready to go within the day ;) But I guess all that really doesn't matter for what I'm looking to do.

And all of that did include spin recovery, and I HATED it. Sometimes full rudder and full ailerons and turning into the spin and forcing the nose down worked every time. Like clockwork. Other times I'd just spin and spin until the screen went red from red-out, or I'd just spin for all 25,000' feet, unable to do anything. I hope real life is easier =p

And 10-4 on the old codger. I usually relate with and react better to older folks anyways, so that would've been my first choice regardless.


re: spins. Life is NOT easier in real life in spins, and the most common place for them to happen is turning base to final at 800' or less above the ground, or immediately after takeoff if your powerplant fails. You're low, slow, dirty, and concentrating on landing well, not on maintaining enough speed to get there. When you get into a full spin, the only recovery is to point the nose down to gain speed, shove throttles full fast and choke off while turning INTO the spin and HARD opposite rudder. It's frightening as hell, and it takes all your arm strength while you're standing on the pedals and all your nerve to do what seems like suicide. You can't be gentle or you're dead. This is why I INSIST that if you're going to fly, you find an instructor that will commit to teaching you how to recover when the time is right (it's a complex skill). They should take you up at least 4000 above terrain or more to start and they WILL take it away from you fast, because you will lose 2500' per full rotation in a small airplane.

You like rants; I'm just short of one, here. Don't make me come up there and spank you.

OTOH, I guaran-damn-tee you your favorite maneuver will be a slip. Very similar to a spin recovery, except both wings are still flying and it's a power-off maneuver. You will ride almost straight down sideways to the runway, like a maple leaf falling off a branch in a gentle breeze.
Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. -ersatz Buddha
February 22nd, 2014 at 7:15:16 PM permalink
Fleastiff
Member since: Oct 27, 2012
Threads: 50
Posts: 4997
Quote: beachbumbabs
the only recovery is to point the nose down to gain speed, shove throttles full fast
Even for a simple stall, Face ... that is what you will practice with sufficient altitude for the instructor to be comfortable. It is simple that is what you do in order to allow the wing to recover its lifting abilities. The wing does not have any eyes and does not know how close it is to the ground. Its you and the instructor who have eyes so the maneuver is practiced at altitude for safety reasons in the hope that you remember what to do about lowering that nose even when your eyes tell you that you are real close to the ground and emotionally you do not want to lower that nose, emotionally you want to raise it.

Its the same thing with some malfunction just after taking off when you are low, slow and dirty ... its lower the nose, add power, clean up the aircraft and if you have to you pick a spot ahead of you for your crash landing, but you do NOT try to turn around and return to that ever so inviting runway you just left. You are too low and too slow to make what is called 'the impossible turn'. That is why whatever goes wrong, you fly the airplane. You make sure you have sufficient airspeed that the wing keeps generating sufficient lift to keep the airplane flying. If that means you lower the nose despite proximity to the ground, that is what you do. If that means you decline a tempting turn to return to the runway, then that is what you do: you lower the nose, add power, clean up the aircraft and hope its enough. If it is not enough you pick a spot forward and have a controlled crash rather than attempting to make an impossible turn, worsening the stall and entering a spin and having an uncontrolled crash.
February 22nd, 2014 at 8:19:12 PM permalink
Mosca
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 17
Posts: 412
I don't think I would consider myself an expert on much. I get far more enjoyment from learning about things than I do from mastering them. Hobbies usually last three years, where I consume as much as I can about things, and then I get bored and move on.

That being said, I think I'm a half decent photographer. Not anywhere near professional, but I have my shots. I've gotten some good captures. I know the tools.

I am one damn fine backyard cook. Indoor cook, too, but the grill and smoker and kamado oven are my true calling. I know what to do with a $400 dry aged prime rib roast. It WILL be spectacular.

I have taught auto detailing. I can use the rotary without fear. Detailing is all about removing swirl marks, and then not making them again. That, and extreme attention to... detail.

I dunno, I'm probably really good at something else, but I don't remember what it is. It will come to me. Oh: I know. I was supposed to be a writer, but I got sidetracked. It's a long story. I probably would have been really good, but it didn't happen.


Babs, my dad is a Gold Life Master at contract bridge. He is in his mid 80s and plays four times a week, and up until a couple years ago went to tournaments around the country. He and his top partner played against the then current US champs, in New Jersey about 7 years ago, in a mini-knockout, and they lost but held their own. Myself, I never warmed to the game. When I was in college all the bridge players were acting like their parents, all tantrums and belittlement. He says I could be good, but I doubt it.
February 23rd, 2014 at 1:03:58 AM permalink
Fleastiff
Member since: Oct 27, 2012
Threads: 50
Posts: 4997
A great many things are best left to the "cocktail party" level of familiarity, so "getting bored with something and moving on" is just fine. Consider Bridge: Its best viewed as a social transitioning function. Freshman girls learn bridge, later they will keep games going as hubbies go to graduate school and they transition to a new location and have to fit in. Newly arrived people on a military base tend to start out at the Bridge Club. Its not something that has to be mastered per se, its more like "jacks or better" in a new environment.

We tend to measure someone by their occupation and whether they are a master at it, but for the rest of our measurement of someone it tends to be more of a focus on the depth and breadth of whatever else they can do. Okay, he is a Unix Programmer, but does he play the ukelele, sing barbershop quartet, know how to pick locks and what Brandy and Cigars are for? If he plays chess, it doesn't matter exactly how high his rating is or exactly what his competitive shooting score is. Its more of a "if you pick him up and plunk him down in the middle of a cocktail party, can he hold his own no matter what the various topics being discussed turn out to be". Most people seem to be judged by how close they come to being "A jack of all trades and a master of one".

Yet look at safety issues: many aviation accidents take place at a pilot's home airport rather than at some exotic locale that stretches the limits of his skills. Many firearms incidents are with ordinary weapons in a customary situation. Many a sailor who has survived countless dangers in stormy weather off lee shores will drown getting into a dingy on a sunny day or succumb to hypothermia while performing some trivial function of so little consequence he doesn't even mention his intentions to anyone. Life is not necessarily demanding of "mastery" as much as it is relentlessly demanding of "attention" or "focus". The broker of international currencies who says "buy" when he meant "sell" will be ridiculed despite having flawlessly conducted millions of transactions. Its not a lapse in mastery; its a lapse in alertness and attention to details or exactitude in communication. The amateur aircraft builder who says to a friend "come on over and put the wing on my plane" will die when the friend interprets that to mean "lift the heavy item into place" rather than "lift the heavy item into place and weld it there". Reading the magazine notice about Skydiving in Ten Easy Steps we laugh at "change step ten to "Pull Rip Cord" rather than "Provide Zip Code", but in real life those who jump out of an airplane and then say their zip codes won't be reading that issue of the magazine.

Going from Journeyman to Master may not be necessary or even worth while. Learning that journeyman is a term that had nothing to do with a change of physical location but instead relates to manner of payment may be worth while.
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