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Old 10-11-2008, 02:30 PM   #1  
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Default Preparing for a lesson

Today I tried something completely different before my 12 P.M. lesson. I woke up early, went to the library, reviewed everything in peace, and drove to the FBO, got a cup of coffee and felt great. I felt much confident than the last time, when I woke up an hour before the lesson and rushed to the airport. I did all my homework, impressed my instructor with the stuff that I learned. I am a book worm, love studying, taking tests, etc. I plan well, take good notes, sometimes, I even make my own tests. I learned these skills from my 4 years of college. It works for me, so I am applying them for flight school as well. But, all this book work I did, did not make me fly better today. Although I remembered and memorized the procedure for slow flight, power on and off stalls etc. when I performed them, it took me 2 or 3 tries to make a satisfactory maneuver. I learn by doing, rather than by observing. I understand that your rusty areas gets better by repeatedly performing them. But am I missing something here? I want to be as good on the airplane as I am on the book work. Would buying a flight sim help me in polishing up these skills? Am I worrying too much at this pre-solo stage? Any help is appreciated.
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Old 10-11-2008, 02:39 PM   #2  
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personally i think your doing just fine and it will come in time. but sure others will critique u as well. practice makes perfect.
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Old 10-11-2008, 02:43 PM   #3  
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usually most of the problems you have with completing a maneuver successfully are due to the inability to fly AND remember the procedures. not sure if that's the problem yore having or not but ake some of those hours studying and chair fly chair fly chair fly. don't just say what you are doing, move your hands and make it as realistic as possible. get in a sim that's not even on and hold the yoke. flip switches while you walk through the maneuver over and over again.

if you have the procedures down cold, try a computer game like ms flight sim. don't do it too much, but a little won't hurt.

besides that:

-be patient with yourself
-be proactive with your instructor. evaluate yourself with him and let him compare youe evaluation of your progress with his. if they are different, have him explain why.

its good that you are proactive...keep at it!
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Old 10-11-2008, 10:45 PM   #4  
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I'd encourage you to take it a step further with the chair flying. Sit in the actual aircraft. You should have a good idea what the manuever looks like when done properly (if you don't, get your head out of the cockpit) so apply that by visualizing while sitting in the airplane. I did this quite a bit as a student, and it helped me so I suggested it to my students. I could often tell the ones who did this.

I don't know what your school is like, but if you don't have highly regimented maneuvers, I'd suggest making them that way. I learned/taught at both types of schools. One had every single PTS maneuver outlined and we were to perform them in the manner they were described. The other was, "As long as it's PTS standards it's all good".

When I first started instructing, I was at the more relaxed flight school. I was having a ton of trouble with students' lack of progress. I talked it over with the more experienced instructors, and decided to take a more regimented approach. I saw immediate results.

Doing this will also help prepare you for the professional world if you're planning on making a career of this like most here. Getting in the habit of making flows and checklists for everything, even if it's only a couple items like many will be in a primary trainer, will help later on when you have a preflight flow that contains 20 or more items like most transport category aircraft will. I think it also helps to simplify things. While improv is a daily occurance in aviation, if you have a regiment to follow you'll be more able to adapt once you are competent with the basics and better able to recognize when changes are needed based on the conditions of the moment.
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Old 10-12-2008, 12:08 AM   #5  
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as others have noted, the world's most sophisticated but cheapest simulator sits on your shoulders.

Get your procedures and get in a comfortable chair. Close your eyes and visualize the cockpit and the airfield. Visualize in detail as much as you can including where all the switches are in the cockpit. When you check the controls are free, try to simulate the correct range of motion.

As a back up, talk to yourself as you are doing these procedures. "airspeed zero, attitude indicator, no flags, altimeter.. field elevation and set, vsi zero, HSI (yes, old school) aligned and heading 123.. checks with mag compass.

Go through the switches... and call them out also. Intermentally open your eyes, get the checklist or your procedures and verify you have not missed anything or have done things out of sequence. BE CAREFUL, do not rush and do not confuse speed of execution with being proficient. You want to set a pace that is real time.

Remember the old axiom.. the airplane is not a place to learn. the airplane is the place to practice what you have already learned on the ground
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Old 10-12-2008, 06:59 AM   #6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PearlPilot View Post
Today I tried something completely different before my 12 P.M. lesson. I woke up early, went to the library, reviewed everything in peace, and drove to the FBO, got a cup of coffee and felt great. I felt much confident than the last time, when I woke up an hour before the lesson and rushed to the airport. I did all my homework, impressed my instructor with the stuff that I learned. I am a book worm, love studying, taking tests, etc. I plan well, take good notes, sometimes, I even make my own tests. I learned these skills from my 4 years of college. It works for me, so I am applying them for flight school as well. But, all this book work I did, did not make me fly better today. Although I remembered and memorized the procedure for slow flight, power on and off stalls etc. when I performed them, it took me 2 or 3 tries to make a satisfactory maneuver. I learn by doing, rather than by observing. I understand that your rusty areas gets better by repeatedly performing them. But am I missing something here? I want to be as good on the airplane as I am on the book work. Would buying a flight sim help me in polishing up these skills? Am I worrying too much at this pre-solo stage? Any help is appreciated.
I would say that if you are turning out a satisfactory maneuver after only 2 or 3 tries, that you are ahead of the curve.

Learning a new skill is hard work. Most instructors will try to strike a balance between keeping flying fun and learning at the maximum rate. When you show up prepared, you will cover more maneuvers than if the instructor had to spend more time explaining before each maneuver, so you will be learning faster. Learning more maneuvers faster means that you will make more mistakes. You are training your muscles and reactions now as much as your brain, and the muscle memory needs repetition.

Most instructors will slow down if you ask them to, however the difference between learning at max rate versus a "comfortable" rate can easily be 10 hours of dual during your private training. At the current cost of dual training, that is a significant dollar difference.

Joe
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Old 10-12-2008, 02:53 PM   #7  
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I always think it is better if the student practices perfecting the maneuver, than if they are just practicing the manuever. Sounds like you are doing that. If you are devoting most of your energy to making the maneuver go well, i.e. flying, and not practicing the procedure, then you are being more efficient. It may seem like you aren't flying better, but the more you can practice perfecting the maneuver, the quicker you will attain the level of mastery you need. Remember that even 5 minutes spent prepping on the ground can save you up to 30 in the air.
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Old 10-12-2008, 03:19 PM   #8  
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Thanks for all the great advice.... When the instructor demonstrates it to me, it all seems so easy, but when I do it, I somehow screw it up. I should excuse myself, since I am very new to this and I need more practice. But, I also want to do everything that is possible to attain perfection...Great advice, I will follow them...
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Old 10-12-2008, 05:38 PM   #9  
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When you have a few hundred hours doing these manuevers you'll make them look easy too

We were all there at some point.
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Old 10-14-2008, 06:10 AM   #10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PearlPilot View Post
Today I tried something completely different before my 12 P.M. lesson. I woke up early, went to the library, reviewed everything in peace, and drove to the FBO, got a cup of coffee and felt great. I felt much confident than the last time, when I woke up an hour before the lesson and rushed to the airport. I did all my homework, impressed my instructor with the stuff that I learned. I am a book worm, love studying, taking tests, etc. I plan well, take good notes, sometimes, I even make my own tests. I learned these skills from my 4 years of college. It works for me, so I am applying them for flight school as well. But, all this book work I did, did not make me fly better today. Although I remembered and memorized the procedure for slow flight, power on and off stalls etc. when I performed them, it took me 2 or 3 tries to make a satisfactory maneuver. I learn by doing, rather than by observing. I understand that your rusty areas gets better by repeatedly performing them. But am I missing something here? I want to be as good on the airplane as I am on the book work. Would buying a flight sim help me in polishing up these skills? Am I worrying too much at this pre-solo stage? Any help is appreciated.

practice makes perfect. you will get to a point where its all second hand. are you worrying about it too much? yes. Just relax, your instructor will get you to a point to where your comfortable to solo. As others said, 3 tries is not too bad. i've seen and heard of worse.
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