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Thread: How long to solo for students

  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by thisadviceisworthles View Post
    Now I am facing another week of bad weather @31 hours, but I am trying to do what I can to maintain momentum so I can sit my check ride next month.
    You are doing the Sport Pilot Certificate?

    Be sure to let us know how it goes!

  2. #12

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    I'm working toward my PPL. From a "checkbox" perspective I still need an hour of simulated instrument, 6 hours solo (1 XC) and 3 hours of night. Then it is just prep for my checkride.

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by FlyingRon View Post
    All I can remember is dumping the instructor out on the taxiway with instructions for three full stops. That and the tower calling me as I was turning crosswind and asking "Doesn't it fly a lot better without that fat guy in the right seat?"
    Very unusual(in my part of the world)to do three full stop circuits as first solo. The norm is just one and the smile on your face becomes permanent.

    Very funny tower call.

  4. #14
    Mel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlyingRon View Post
    All I can remember is dumping the instructor out on the taxiway with instructions for three full stops. That and the tower calling me as I was turning crosswind and asking "Doesn't it fly a lot better without that fat guy in the right seat?"
    Yeah, I know what you mean. My instructor weighed 260 lbs. When he got out that C-150 "jumped" off the ground.

  5. #15

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    For the student pilot with 31 hours. Be sure and make the most of your intro to basic instrument flight. It may not seem so now, but it will likely become very important as you start flying places after getting your private. Real IMC flying is difficult and very dangerous. And it is vital to learn the basics. the first part of which is to learn to control the plane by reference to the attitude indicator. This is critical and don't rush it and don't cheat, make sure you have a good hood or better yet on the simulator. Its not all that hard, you learn the blind flying way to pitch up or down usually 5 or 10* and also you learn to bank usually up to 30* or so. This is vital, and the next step is to add the other 5 instruments in to your scan, so that you see the results of the change in pitch/bank you made on the attitude indicator. If you can do that well it is vital, even if it takes several hours to learn. A key is knowing which scan instrument give which info. So that is the first 1/3, how you turn or climb, the next step is where you are going and what instruments guide you there. DG, VOR, GPS, etc. and this can be complex. You will not likely learn this at first very well. The last third is how you blend this with charts or Ipads or whatever. again a lot of info to learn. GOOD LUCK and when I was at your stage I found the learning was half the fun, keeps the mind alert and interested and focused. Be safe and Be smart and keep us posted on your progress, you are almost a licensed pilot. The XC part is also vital, its also interesting and endlessly variable Night flying is in essence often instrument flying or can be, 3 hours of it should be good. .
    Last edited by Bill Greenwood; 02-21-2019 at 09:41 AM.

  6. #16

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    Thanks! My intention is to start my instrument training soon after I get my PPL. I have been reading about risks in flying and some accident reports with low time pilots, and because of that, I want to treat spin training (though I am still looking for someone to teach it) and my first 5 hours instrument training as a continuation of my Private after I sit my check ride. For that reason, I am trying to count every penny and cut costs as much as possible without sacrificing the quality of instruction.

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Greenwood View Post
    I cant imagine what else a student would need to spend an additional 40% more hours training to take a simple flight test which is only going to cover things you have already done dual with your CFI.
    I did not say there was a "need" for a student to take 60 hours to get a PP Certificate. I said that was about the average time it takes. There are lots of reasons it ends up taking longer. Such as; the student not flying often enough or having long breaks during training (caused by the student not having enough money, flights cancelled due to maintenance issues, scheduling issues, weather, flight instructor leaves to take another job), training at a busy towered airport rather than a small non-towered airport with little traffic (If you spend an extra 10 minutes of each flight taxiing, waiting for traffic or a take off clearance, that's an extra hour of flight training every six flights. If it takes an extra 5 minutes to get from the busy airport to the training area and another 5 minutes back, that's another 10 minutes per flight, now your up to two hours for every six flights, it all adds up). I've had students that have had 3 or 4 flight instructors. Each time you change instructors there is a certain amount of time spent reviewing so the new instructor can evaluate the student's level of skill and knowledge. I had one student that had 90 hours of flight training and multiple instructors over a couple of years but still have her certificate. I worked with her and she finally passed her checkride with around 100 hours of training. As I said, all these delays are very common during flight training although 100 hours to get a PP Certificate must be some kind of record.
    Last edited by Tralika; 02-21-2019 at 10:58 AM.

  8. #18

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    Aug 2015
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    A lot of the answer to the how long to solo depends on several variables.
    1. the aircraft: is is a simple aircraft with a single radio to learn how to operate or do you have to figure out a glass cockpit or complicated audio panel.
    2. the airport: is it a single runway if so what are the prevailing winds will you have to master tough crosswinds before solo or does it have multiple runways so you can learn to land then add the crosswind. Do you have to learn to talk to a tower or is it uncontrolled. how long is the taxi to the runway, several tenths can tick off if there is a lot of pavement to taxi over to get to the runway.
    3. the weather. in the midwest in specially in the winter there may be several weeks between lessons because of nasty weather.
    4. the instructor: some are more timid than others
    5. the instructors and students teaching and learning styles. if you and the instructor learn best the same way it will be smoother. I've handed students off to other instructors and taken students from others because the styles mach better.
    6. the students aptitude. some just do better with stick and rudder and solo faster others are better with the books and such, it evens out usually

  9. #19

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    Oct 2018
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    Franklinton, Louisiana
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    Great story sir and thank you for sharing it. I sure wish there were ways to work for flight time these days!

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