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Thread: Trying to Fly ~ Looking for you all to help guide me!

  1. #1

    Goggles Trying to Fly ~ Looking for you all to help guide me!

    Grab yourself your favorite beverage and find a comfortable seat! This is my first post to the forum therefore I feel it is necessary to introduce myself and describe my ambitions and why they came to be.

    As my username suggest, my name is Bradley Coleman. On June 16th of this year I will be a 21-year-old that was raised in West Virginia. I am currently a full time student at West Virginia University as a first semester sophomore, studying Management Information Systems. Also I am a member of the Communications Flt. in the 130th Air National Guard as a Cyber Surety troop. My interest in aviation has developed through my fathers career as a pilot in the USAF. While I remember his pilot training in Texas to a certain extent, I don't remember much more than seeing him study stacks of 3" three-ring-binders every evening. After serving Active Duty up to E-6 as a crew chief and having my oldest brother in England, and my twin and I in South Carolina he applied to be a pilot in his home state of W.Va. He returned to fly C-130s until a few years ago when he was transferred to a different mission. Due to our colorblindness, my oldest brother and I could not apply for pilot slots to follow in our fathers footsteps. After years of dreaming of going up myself one day, I discovered the EAA. More specifically experimentals and homebuilders! I fell in love with the pietenpol air camper and I've committed myself to building my own. Before you get too excited, I haven't started yet. I'm a person who does ridiculously large amounts of research before I start moving pennies around. Ultimately I've decided to pursue getting my pilots license to fly LSA's.

    So I've came to the EAA forums in seek of guidance counselors throughout the entire process (from finding an instructor to building and flying by you all in the skies.)

    This said, please assume that I know nothing about the process and fill me in! While I'm always heckling my father, he can't answer all of my questions and certainly not when it comes to the private sector. While he's still flying for the AF and flying for United Airlines, he doesn't know much about this category of flying.

    So! Step 1) Find a flight school.

    Thanks for reading! I hope to get to know some of you more and developing some great friendships! I look forward to reading your comments!

  2. #2
    FlyingRon's Avatar
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    Not sure I can offer much but Morgantown is a great little airport. We've stopped in there many a time for fuel or lunch or even when we got weathered in. Cute little winery/distillery right off the field there as well. As far as finding a school/instructor, it's off best to sit down and spend a lesson with a prospective instructor to see how it goes. Remember, YOU ARE THE ONE PAYING FOR THIS. Don't waste times in situations you don't feel are worth what you are paying.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    You're in luck. There's a flight school at the Morgantown airport: https://www.flyrsa.com/ .

    The color blindness could be an issue. Maybe not for Sport Pilot or under the new medical reform rules, I don't know. I've heard there are degrees of color blindness and some people are able to get a medical certificate in spite of it. I would say don't apply for a medical certificate or student certificate until you first have a consultation with an Aviation Medical Examiner to find out if you would pass. Again, don't apply till you know you will pass. You can fly as a Sport Pilot without a Medical Certificate, but not if you had the last one denied.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by dougbush View Post
    You're in luck. There's a flight school at the Morgantown airport: https://www.flyrsa.com/ .

    The color blindness could be an issue. Maybe not for Sport Pilot or under the new medical reform rules, I don't know. I've heard there are degrees of color blindness and some people are able to get a medical certificate in spite of it. I would say don't apply for a medical certificate or student certificate until you first have a consultation with an Aviation Medical Examiner to find out if you would pass. Again, don't apply till you know you will pass. You can fly as a Sport Pilot without a Medical Certificate, but not if you had the last one denied.
    Yes, I was really hoping to completely avoid that. Also through what I've read, it seems like it's not required to get an LSA cert.

    Thanks so much for replying at such a late time!


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  5. #5
    FlyingRon's Avatar
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    A lot would depend on your exact form of colorblindness. The first step would to have (outside of an actual medical application), have a good AME (Dr. Bruce Chien in Peoria, IL is one of the ones who has a lot of experience with this). He uses several different sets of plates that are acceptable to the FAA and tests the vision in what he calls his "thermonuclear chamber" which is really the vestibule to his office that is completely flooded with natural sunlight which makes the plates easier than the average office fluorescent lighting. If you can't pass the plates he has a few acceptable alternate tests you might pass.

    I'm pretty sure, this is one of the cases where all is not lost if you take the test. You won't be denied a medical if you are colorblind, it will just be restricted to day and no light gun signals. It wouldn't bar sport pilot. The last ditch is the FAA SODA test where they shoot light gun signals at you from the control tower and see if you can correctly identify them (most tower controllers during slack times will be glad to send you some signals for practice). They also will ask you color questions about things on a sectional, but there are enough other clues that you can answer those even if you had totally monochromatic vision.

  6. #6
    I don't have a lot of in depth knowledge on the level of my color deficiency but I can clearly see the differences between a red and green traffic light. However, I cannot distinguish red and green on, lets say, maps (lines, dots etc.( next to brown)) and PowerPoints over a projection. I can talk about my colorblindness all day and never clearly express how I see things to my audience. So I'll spare you of that experience.
    My motivation to pursue just an LSA cert., has more to do with money and time constraints than anything else.

  7. #7
    I will be creating a Youtube channel that will allow everyone to follow up on my build and training progress! The plans for the Pietenpol are due to be delivered on Wednesday 03/01/2017. After that it will be a matter of purchasing bits and pieces when I have the necessary funds to get the work done. To help aid in this I have set up a GoFundMe campaign for anyone that is feeling generous to help! https://www.gofundme.com/2q9pcrg Even the smallest donations help and will be greatly appreciated! I'm looking forward to getting this build started!

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Bradley,

    I can recommend going for the First Class medical with a SODA if required. I struggled with the standard color chart for several years before I gave in to the recommendations of applying for the SODA. I now have no color restrictions and never need to look at the color chart. Post #5 is spot on. You will not need any of this for the Sport Pilot but if you can pass the required test now you will have that paperwork in the bank for future use if you ever wanted or needed it. Get it while you are young.

    Do the tower light gun as a practice test. I did it on the ramp and then was called back to do it in flight for a commercial certificate. Can you guess what color I was given on final. I could have passes the test without being able to see the tower. That was years ago. I expect it would be more difficult today but I still have the letter in my file.

    I had 30 years with United and love LS and UL. Wish we could fly together. Enjoy it.

    PS, tell your dad he should check into the light stuff and find out what he has been missing for the several decades.
    Last edited by jedi; 02-28-2017 at 04:06 PM.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by jedi View Post
    I can recommend going for the First Class medical with a SODA if required. I struggled with the standard color chart for several years before I gave in to the recommendations of applying for the SODA. I now have no color restrictions and never need to look at the color chart. Post #5 is spot on. You will not need any of this for the Sport Pilot but if you can pass the required test now you will have that paperwork in the bank for future use if you ever wanted or needed it. Get it while you are young.

    Do the tower light gun as a practice test. I did it on the ramp and then was called back to do it in flight for a commercial certificate. Can you guess what color I was given on final. I could have passes the test without being able to see the tower. That was years ago. I expect it would be more difficult today but I still have the letter in my file.
    Thank you for the comment. I had never even thought about doing it while I have youth on my side!
    Some good news; I am close to locking in an instructor! He's a retired AF general that my father introduced me to. He just happened to be one of the few around that is qualified for an LSA!
    I still need to shake hands and talk with him to figure out if he'd be willing to help me out.


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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by jedi View Post
    Bradley,

    I can recommend going for the First Class medical with a SODA if required. I struggled with the standard color chart for several years before I gave in to the recommendations of applying for the SODA. I now have no color restrictions and never need to look at the color chart. Post #5 is spot on. You will not need any of this for the Sport Pilot but if you can pass the required test now you will have that paperwork in the bank for future use if you ever wanted or needed it. Get it while you are young.

    Do the tower light gun as a practice test. I did it on the ramp and then was called back to do it in flight for a commercial certificate. Can you guess what color I was given on final. I could have passes the test without being able to see the tower. That was years ago. I expect it would be more difficult today but I still have the letter in my file.

    I had 30 years with United and love LS and UL. Wish we could fly together. Enjoy it.

    PS, tell your dad he should check into the light stuff and find out what he has been missing for the several decades.
    (Just saw the last bit of your comment)
    I will let him know! He's just now rolling into his 2 year mark, but he's been on military leave since he completed the United flight training and expects to do so until he hits about the 3 year mark.
    So he's expecting to retired from the AF relatively soon!
    (Fly the Friendly Skies!)


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