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Old 05-19-2010, 04:21 PM   #1  
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Default dual time after PPL a guilty feeling...

I am working on my IR, and also have about 15 more hours of those 50 cross countries remaining. To save $, to navigate without GPS, to learn new tricks, to practice CRM, etc. I have been taking along instructors on most of my cross country flights. Obviously instrument training is also conducted dual. So why do I feel guilty about this? Is it ok not to conduct single pilot operations? Am I missing out on something by not venturing out on my own often?
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Old 05-19-2010, 04:31 PM   #2  
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Originally Posted by PearlPilot View Post
I am working on my IR, and also have about 15 more hours of those 50 cross countries remaining. To save $, to navigate without GPS, to learn new tricks, to practice CRM, etc. I have been taking along instructors on most of my cross country flights. Obviously instrument training is also conducted dual. So why do I feel guilty about this? Is it ok not to conduct single pilot operations? Am I missing out on something by not venturing out on my own often?
Yes - in my opinion you are missing out.

Decision making - without the safety net of someone looking over your shoulder. Learning how to make those decisions on your own sometimes.
Situational awareness when you have to do everything yourself instead of relying on someone else to listen to the radios, make the calls, back you up on every heading and instruction given.

There are certainly times when it would behoove you to take an instructor along. I took a more experienced instructor and pilot along with me the first time I ventured into DFW Class B airspace for example; but I had made plenty of solo flights before then too.

It is different when you're up there with no one else to depend on isn't it?
Remember your feeling in the not so distant past when you soloed? It felt different without hat CFI sitting right next to you

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Old 05-19-2010, 04:33 PM   #3  
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I am not sure I understand what the issue is. For the IR ticket, you need 15 hours of instruction from a CFII to include 1 XC of 250nm with 3 approaches blah blah blah.

So do you have your 15 hours of dual received for your IR ticket?

If you do, there is still nothing wrong with bringing an instructor along with to get some extra input. There could be something that pops up that you may not know how to handle and it would be good to have another head there.

Are you missing out on anything? Well, I say yes - to an extent. If there wasn't something to be learned from solo operations, the FAA would not require 10 hours of it for a private. Some of my most valuable lessons I ever learned are from my student solos and I hope yours were too.

However, remember you are being taught to be single pilot capable. You should be able to handle the flight completely on your own from take off to full approach to minimums, missed and holding completely and totally on your own. That's not to say taking a little extra dual to get you proficient enough to that point is wrong! Just make sure you are not becoming dependent on the guy sitting next to you.

Also, you ARE paying the CFII and not just splitting the cost...right?

Good luck, keep up the good work and before you know it, next raining day when all those VFR pilots are sitting around the FBO waiting for it to clear, you can hop in your airplane and break out on top!

Edit: USMCFLYR you beat me to to it!
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Old 05-19-2010, 04:46 PM   #4  
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First off, as ong as there is legit training involved there is no serious harm in flying dual.

But eventually you need to fly the nest so to speak. You need to evaluate whether this issue is simply a comfort zone thing, or due to some real deficiency in experience, skill, or confidence.

If it's just comfort zone, you need to break out.

If it's something else, you need to figure out what and address it. You cfi is probably a good person to discuss this with.

But if you have real concerns about safety, don't go solo until you get it sorted out.
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Old 05-19-2010, 06:02 PM   #5  
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I am with snippercr when he says he doesn't understand what the issue is... and certainly rickair7777 has the best advice.. if you have concerns about safety, don't go solo until you get it sorted out. whatever it is... just get comfortable first. get comfortable. if you're not there yet, then take some time, take someone along. no harm or shame in it.
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Old 05-20-2010, 07:30 AM   #6  
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I would hope there's no safety issues as the OP is already a PPL, and should be competent enough to fly a Solo X-C in VMC conditions.

Now is the Wx sucks where you are at, and this is the only way you are going to fly, then yes, but otherwise I think you need to start knocking out some of that solo experience and the one thing often overlooked, HAVE FUN!

I should say you don't even have to be solo, but the sole pilot on board. Take some friends and family to some fun destinations. Leave in the early morning hours, or evening to reduce the chance of convective turbulance, and enjoy!
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Old 05-20-2010, 08:31 AM   #7  
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thank you, no fortunately it is not an issue of safety. I do venture out on my own every now and then, but not as often as I'd like to, hence the feeling of guilt. In fact, I am planning on a solo XC flight this weekend, hope to have some fun. The primary reason to take an instructor along is to log some hood time, and cross country time at the same time. Although, this is a good way to save money, I am afraid that I might be missing out on making real PIC decisions etc. So thank you again, and before I know it, I hope to have those 50 hours of XC logged.
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Old 05-20-2010, 10:04 AM   #8  
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I agree with USMCFLYR and your own thoughts. You are missing out on all of the thing that happen when you are relying on yourself without the safety net in the right seat.

It may very well be a safety thing - if you recall the JFK Jr crash, one of the interesting things was that he had a very high ration of dual received to total time. There is a school of thought that this left him ill-equipt to handle things on his onw and that was a part of what led to the accident.

Nothing to feel "guilty" about and there's no reason to avoid using dual cross countries to help meet the instrument requirements , but you may well be cheating yourself of valuable experience (and a lot of fun!) by combining all of your cross countries with instruction.
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Old 05-23-2010, 09:45 PM   #9  
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At least in JFK Jr's case, it's likely he didn't fly regularly, and therefore took instructors with him in many cases when he was unsure. IMHO, he probably suffered more from disuse. Because he didn't fly regularly, had low time, and got into a situation where he needed those unused skills, a tragic event occurred. That's always been a motivator for me to go out when conditions are right to stay proficient. It may mean flying an extra leg or something, but chances to get a live approach or night landing are opportunities I try to grab hold of.

To the OP: I think you can safely branch out a little. I know you're trying to save some money for training and all, but I hope you will have some (safe) fun with your PPL. Becoming proficient in your plane in visual conditions provides a good foundation for instrument training. You'll feel comfortable with what the plane needs while maneuvering, and transition from IMC to VMC (especially for circling approaches) will be easier. Bottom line: Enjoy your new privileges, and try to balance saving money and being the PIC. It will pay off later on.
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Old 05-24-2010, 10:36 AM   #10  
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Dont do 50 hours cross country, then do 40 hours of hood time. If your planning on going up, take a safety pilot with you, it doesn't necessarily have to be a CFI, find another guy with a private, they would love to go with you free of charge, go under the hood...dont waste your time and money
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