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!
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.
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.
Originally Posted by dougbush
Thanks so much for replying at such a late time!
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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.
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.
Good news everyone!
I received the plans for the Pietenpol today!
I will be studying these in depth before ordering any supplies or building materials.
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Bradley, you have gotten a lot of great replies. I have 100 hours of twin stick to date and have nearly mastered my take-offs and landings now in my Piper colt PA20/22 taildragger. I have read the FAR-AIM, Jeppesen course, many study aids @ the .gov sites, and ASA courses till I am nearly blind. LOTS more on U-tube. Join EAA and AOPA, they are great sources too. Keep pushing the learning in till you can pass the mock exams on the internet @ 90% or better. If I can do it at 65 years old, you can too.