Airline Pilot Forums

Airline Pilot Forums was designed to be a community where working airline pilots can share ideas and information about the aviation field. In the forum you will find information about major and regional airline carriers, career training, interview and job seeker help, finance, and living the airline pilot lifestyle.




View Full Version : Solo Issues


mprinceton26
11-16-2006, 09:40 PM
Hi everybody,

I'm looking for some guidance and perspectives on this issue I've been having with my training. I can't stand the idea of solo flight. I just don't like it and it really makes me nervous the idea of it. I think maybe I've been using my CFI as a crutch too much or something.

My idea of flying is always having an aircrew and thats something I've really looked forward to, not this solo stuff. I love Aviation to pieces just like everyone on here... I just have to find away to get through this solo stuff.

Has anyone gone through this? Does this sound similar to anybody?


WhiteH2O
11-16-2006, 09:52 PM
If you think that you are using your CFI as a crutch, try flying with another instructor. Have them do as little as possible, perhaps just sit and be there just in case.

Remember, you have the radio, so if you really need something, you can get help.

Pilotpip
11-17-2006, 02:04 AM
I think Shaun is onto the right path. Fly with another instructor, and do not allow him/her to intervene unless saftey becomes an issue. Also, look at this not as a block or hinderance, but as a milestone. It's amazing what good training will do for you if things go bad. I was frightened about doing spins for my CFI rating but did it quickly subsided after the first one. I did what I had been trained to do, and it worked well. Use your checklists, think ahead, and when in doubt, ask. Don't be afraid to sound like a student, you are one. In time the fear will subside and you'll enjoy not having your instructor squawking at you over the intercom.


CRJ-200
11-17-2006, 05:09 AM
I was frightened about doing spins for my CFI rating but did it quickly subsided after the first one.

Man... I love spins. I'm no CFI - just a PPL student, but my instructor let me do one already anyway. See, he's an ex-Black Hawk pilot; you know how those chopper guys are :) You can tell he really enjoys stuff like that.

rickair7777
11-17-2006, 08:20 AM
Hi everybody,

I'm looking for some guidance and perspectives on this issue I've been having with my training. I can't stand the idea of solo flight. I just don't like it and it really makes me nervous the idea of it. I think maybe I've been using my CFI as a crutch too much or something.

My idea of flying is always having an aircrew and thats something I've really looked forward to, not this solo stuff. I love Aviation to pieces just like everyone on here... I just have to find away to get through this solo stuff.

Has anyone gone through this? Does this sound similar to anybody?

This raises some red flags to me. Every wanna-be professional pilot I know couldn't wait to solo. There is some natural apprehension, that's normal, but if you find in the long term that you really don't like flying solo you may want to reconsider what you are doing.

The crew environment will not serve as a crutch forever...someday you will upgrade to regional captain, and end up flying with with a weak FO who will want to use YOU as a crutch...

Laxrox43
11-17-2006, 08:31 AM
I don't want to sound insensative, but do you want to be a pilot or not? ;)

It is a good healthy fear, don't get me wrong. But having something like nerves preventing you from doing what you (like others) have dreamed of doing, that's bogus.

Think of it from this perspective. You are flying on your flight instructor's certificate. He/She should not sign you off to solo until you can both say that "I know your/I'm ready to solo." Not "I think"...its "I know." He/she should NEVER put you in a forced position.

Anyway, I know soloing is a HUGE resposibility, but if you really want to be a pilot, and really want it BAD...I think after one time around the patch in an empty plane, all your worries will vanish.

Good Luck Chief.
Lax

Pilotpip
11-17-2006, 08:46 AM
CRJ,

Now that I've done them, I do too. I need to find an aerobatic aircraft and do some.

PS: Were you wearing a parachute? If you weren't you might want to double check the regs before you do them again.

btwissel
11-17-2006, 08:55 AM
also, to get to that valuable airline job, you HAVE to have 20hrs solo flight (including the long XC) to take the commerical checkride.

like it or not, you will be flying solo before you can look at an airline job

Laxrox43
11-17-2006, 09:40 AM
And just to reiterate what BTWISSEL said...as well as Rickair...

When you get to the point where you upgrade to Captain...and you are flying with a FNG...it will be like you are soloing alllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll over again...

No worries, its not as bad as it sounds - this solo thing... ;)

Lax

WhiteH2O
11-17-2006, 10:22 AM
Right now, you just needs to get past this hurdle. I bet you will get used to it fairly quickly. You do need to get to a point where it doesn't phase you a bit to go up solo. I think once you do it a few times, it won't be an issue. If it still is an issue, refer back to previous posts.

GauleyPilot
11-17-2006, 11:00 AM
Hi everybody,

I'm looking for some guidance and perspectives on this issue I've been having with my training. I can't stand the idea of solo flight. I just don't like it and it really makes me nervous the idea of it. I think maybe I've been using my CFI as a crutch too much or something.

My idea of flying is always having an aircrew and thats something I've really looked forward to, not this solo stuff. I love Aviation to pieces just like everyone on here... I just have to find away to get through this solo stuff.

Has anyone gone through this? Does this sound similar to anybody?

Solo flight is required. While a real crew is certianly safer than single pilot ops, single pilot ops, maybe hardcore IFR, will more than likely be needed to advance your career.

Even as part of a crew, you are expected to assume ALL duties in the event the other pilot becomes unable to do their part. Apendix problems, kidney stones, stomach problems etc. do happen.

You should be able to do EVERYTHING without the instructor's help before you solo. If you can't then you are not ready.

Im not trying to be mean, maybe you should just relax and appreciate this rite of passage. When you solo, you are finally the master of the machine.

GotheriK
11-18-2006, 11:57 AM
Yeah, after your first Solo you'll get used to it. I can see where you're coming from, though. I do feel more comforatable with another person in the aircraft.

It can get boring on long cross-countrys though, with noone to talk to. Sometimes I think I'm going to lose my mind sitting in a 172 alone for 4 hours. :D

calcapt
11-18-2006, 12:20 PM
Remember when you were small and the thoughts of driving a car seemed monumental? It is much the same flying and before you know it you will feel more comfortable alone in an airplane than almost anywhere else. Some anxiety is expected when you solo and you are not alone in this respect. Many successful professional pilots felt the same way. You will be fine - trust me!

CRJ-200
11-18-2006, 01:25 PM
CRJ,PS: Were you wearing a parachute? If you weren't you might want to double check the regs before you do them again.

No, no - I was just following through. Is that what you meant? No parachutes :)

Pilotpip
11-18-2006, 08:25 PM
If you're exceeding 30 degrees of pitch, or 60 degrees bank you are doing what are considered "aerobatic" maneuvers. In order to do this, you must be wearing a parachute. The only exception to this is when you are doing required training for a rating. Demonstration of spin recovery is required for the CFI and you have to recieve an endorsement. This is the only exception I know of regarding spin training. The DA-20 is approved for spins (quite fun to do them in too) but unless you're working on your CFI rating right now you should be wearing a parachute.

multipilot
11-18-2006, 08:27 PM
mprinceton, eventually you are going to have to bite the bullet and solo. I agree that flying with another instructor may be the best way for you to gain the confidence you need. If you plan to get your private, you are required to complete at least 10 hours of solo flight. From there you need even more solo time to get your commercial certificate as well, at least another 10 hours, that is if you plan to go that far with your training.

Make your first solo an easy one if you're a little nervous about it. Fly a couple of laps in the pattern with an instructor. If your cfi and you feel comfortable with your pattern work and landings then drop off your instructor and turn right back around and do the same thing solo.

Your first solo will be one of the most liberating experiences you will have as a pilot. Once you do solo, come back and post a follow up and let us know how you did.


PS: Were you wearing a parachute? If you weren't you might want to double check the regs before you do them again.

The only time you don't need a parachute when practicing intentional spins is for the CFI or any other rating or certificate where spins are required training per the regs. The reg gives an exception for required spins for any certificate or rating when given by an instructor. check out 91.307.

Pilotpip
11-18-2006, 08:35 PM
Multipilot,

Thanks for quoting the good book of CFR 14. I was too lazy to go find the reg :)

multipilot
11-18-2006, 08:40 PM
No problem.

SkyDreamer
03-30-2007, 08:49 PM
What really helped with using my instructor as a crutich is I would amagine my instructor wasnt there I would fly the pattern same routine untill I felt confident in my ability just be sure to tell the controllers you are a student pilot