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Parafiddle

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Parafiddle last won the day on May 20 2011

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About Parafiddle

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  • Birthday 11/02/1966

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  1. I would dispute what that VA letter says as I know for a fact you can get your Private paid for using Ch 33 GI Bill. I was enrolled to start on my Private through a 2-yr. degree program until I found out I was going to get deployed. What the letter states sounds like the requirement for Ch. 30 GI Bill, which is how I earned my FW Instrument and Commercial. Remember, the VA is not staffed by a bunch of pilots that understand the ins and outs of aviation. I have spoken with the VA many times in the last 20+ years and I seem to get a different answer to the same question 4 out of 5 times. There are a few people in the VA that really understand the flight training stuff well, but sadly they are few and far between. My recommendation is to speake with multiple places that have a well established flight program that qualifies for Ch. 33 benefits and see if any of them can provide you with the source documents that spell out exactly what is allowed. Too often, the initial information put out by the government isn't correct. Don't pay for your Private when you can get it all of it paid for with the GI Bill benefits that YOU earned!
  2. Come on, don't hold back. Tell us how you really feel.
  3. Congratulations! Tagging along with what Flying Pig suggested - do as much of your Instrument training at night as well. Initially, you will need to do it during the day as you will be all over the sky just trying to fly straight and level. However, once you are reasonably proficient flying under the hood and start doing approaches, holds, etc., why not be under the hood at night? Harder to cheat when you can't see the ground. In the immortal words of my CFII, "one peek is worth a thousand scans".
  4. When talking about high altitude training (and likely mountain training, since that is where most of the high altitudes are), don't forget too much about mountain weather, winds, etc. I fly FW out of Colorado Springs (field elev. 6,178'), which is located on the plains of Colorado. I have landed at Leadville (elev. 9,934'). The aero club I fly with has an annual mountain ground school as part of our monthly safety meeting. One of our instructors (a 20,000+ hour pilot) reminded us that "we are part-time pilots, but those are full-time mountains". I've watched the weather change amazingly fast over/in the mountains. You also have to contend with the unpredictable winds/turbulence around the peaks and in the valleys. And, of course, the high DA. The same instructor mentioned above also told us that standard temperature in Leadville is 24 degrees, due to the high altitude. Therefore, when I land in Leadville in the summer and the temperature is a chilly 55 degrees, the DA is nearly 18,000'. We also saw a video that was recovered from the wreckage of an airplane that had crashed in the mountains and was discovered a couple of years later. The video (with audio) clearly showed the airplane pilot and passenger flying up a valley, both commenting on the beauty of the tree-covered mountains around them, as the terrain continued to rise ahead. Finally, as the valley continued to narrow on both sides, the pilot executed a 180 degree turn. Unfortunately, he was flying on the right side of the valley and he turned right, crashing into the tree-covered slope that was nearest to him before he could complete the turn. At that point, you saw and heard a brief portion of the crash and then the tape ended. Both the pilot and passenger onboard were killed. Could he have made the turn if he had turned left, towards the center of the valley? Who knows, but it does illustrate the additional risks involved with mountain flying. The point of all this is to remind people that DA (real or simulated) isn't the only issue you need to learn about and learn to deal with regarding mountain training. Just because you are simulating limited power available doesn't mean you are prepared to fly in full-time mountains. Fly safe!
  5. My thought is that, as others have already mentioned, the intent of the regulation is that you made some kind of take-off, approach and landing for it to qualify as a landing. If an airplane takes off, does a lap in the pattern, an approach, and then bounces in the air twice while landing after the wheels touch the runway in between bounces, does that qualify as three take-offs and landings? Of course not, only as one bad landing. Seems like lifting up into a hover and setting back down in a helicopter three times would be the equivalent as my scenario above. In my opinion, there is a lot more going on when you transition from forward flight to a landing vs. just getting into a hover and then setting it back down.
  6. Correct HG03. It could also be much simpler, as in recognizing the location the video was taken and looking at the altimeter. If you are training in a certain area, it is likely others (including a DPE) has flown their with students or is familiar with the location.
  7. Congratulations! You are officially a HELICOPTER PILOT!!
  8. I'll take a slightly different approach to this subject. What happens when you (or the CFI), make some kind of mistake (or what looks like a mistake, at least) while flying, and it is captured on film, and then posted for all the world to see? How will you or your instructor feel when somebody comes knocking on your door (FAA rep to issue a violation, lawyer that says you were flying recklessly, etc.). Video is a powerful tool, especially in a courtroom. I'm not a big fan of having every detail of my life out there in cyberspace. That includes how I fly. The same could be said for having a camera mounted in your car, like law enforcement. Do I exceed the speed limit once in a while? Yes, but that doesn't mean I always speed or drive recklessly. Well, of course you wouldn't post a video of yourself speeding on the Internet (like the the guy doing 180+ mph and weaving through traffic on a motorcycle), right? Of course not! At least you wouldn't do it intentionally. However, you might inadvertently climb into controlled airspace while trying to transit under the shelf of the Class B, or you flew a little too low or that national monument or sporting event during a big game. Maybe you weren't even aware that it happened, but now it is recorded and out on the Internet for all the world to see (and carefully review). Why put yourself in that situation? There are enough things I have to worry about while flying - I don't need to concern myself with what somebody else might find in my video (whether it is there or not). Even if I didn't do anything wrong, I might still have to defend myself in court or before the FAA. Not worth the hassle.
  9. A college degree is something that you can always take with you. Don't worry about knowing exactly what you want to major in right now. The first two years of college you will spend a lot of your time knocking out your General Education requirements. During this process, you will also be exposed to lots of information that may spark your interest to pursue a specific field or major. Consider yourself VERY fortunate to have most of your college tuition already covered and being worried about being deeply in debt and looking for a job after graduation. As far as flying, it will always be there. I didn't start flight lessons until I was in my mid-30's and had completed my Bachelor's and Master's degrees. At that point, I finally had the money to start taking some flight lessons. Remember, earning your ratings just gives you a license to learn. Regardless if you want to fly as a profession or just as a hobby, you still have to have enough money to stay proficient. As far as the military route goes, as others have said, it isn't for everyone. I have 20+ years in the Army, between active duty, Natl. Guard and Reserves. At times I have loved it and at other times I have loathed it. I'm not a military aviator, but plenty of military pilots have mentioned before on this forum that as a military pilot, you are a soldier first, then an officer (commissioned or warrant), and then a pilot. If you are only thinking about racking up flight hours quickly, the military isn't necessarily the place to do it. Your training will be top-notch (assuming you make it all the way through), but the pace of earning hours in your logbook can vary significantly. Don't let the bright shiny helicopter lure you into false hope. The bottom line is you need to be able to support yourself. A college degree is likely to give you a much better opportunity to that then a freshly issued pilot's license. Never borrow a bunch of money to get your ratings. A much better plan is to get a good job and then save your money so you can pay for your ratings without borrowing. Remember to have enough to realistically earn your rating (more than the minimum hours required by the FAA) as well as maintaining proficiency and networking at events like Heli Success. This forum contains a wealth of information. The search function is your key to discovering that information. Use it frequently to help you make informed decisions. Finally, consider this bit of advice: When I was your age, I considered going straight to college, but then took a sharp turn to pursue my interest in firearms by going to gunsmithing school. Without doing a lot of research, I spent a bunch of money on trade school, and then opened my own gunsmithing business. I ended up working a crazy number of hours for several years and eventually closed it down because I was still living below the poverty line and working a second full-time job to make ends meet. Ended up going to college, graduated, got commissioned into the Army and went on active duty. Looking back 20 years, I wish I would have skipped the gunsmithing stuff and gone straight to college as I would have been farther ahead and saved myself a lot of pain and suffering. Hindsight is 20/20.... Point is, don't jump into anything without thoroughly exploring all of your options and weighing the risks. Remember, your parents have a lot of life experience to draw from. Don't disregard their advice as they only want what is best for you. Good luck in your decision and welcome to the forum.
  10. RIP and thoughts and prayers go out to your family and friends. As others have mentioned, I only knew him through this forum. Thanks to Dennis, I can at least put a face to the name. A sad day for all aviators. Till we meet again, blue skies and fair winds. Steve
  11. Just remember, there are a lot more jobs for peope with Bachelor's degrees out there than there are jobs for helicopter pilots. A job gives you money and money buys you opportunities. If you can't fly for a couple of years (and once you start flying, you want to fly regularly and consistently), why not knock out some kind of degree. Gives you more options and opportunities. Just my two cents.
  12. As Eagle5 said, get a degree in something outside of aviation as a back-up plan. Yes, college can be a pain (I know - I have two college degrees). However, aviation has many risks (losing your medical, for example). You always want to have at least one, and better yet several, back-up plans, both in flying and in life. If you're on a X-C flight and your destination gets weathered in, where are you going to go? If you're a professional pilot and you lose your medical, or get a violation from the FAA and your license is suspended/revoked, how are you going to pay the bills and put food on the table. I'm not saying don't pursue aviation (plan to attend FRH myself in the year future), just have a plan (both primary and alternate) for what you want to do and how you are going to do it. A Bachelor's degree is always a good thing to have, even if you don't think you'll use/need it. You never know when your situation changes and you do need it (or it puts you ahead of someone else in the hiring because you have it).
  13. No R22 - my guess is density altitude. I live on the Front Range of Colorado and I don't know of any flight school here that fly R-22s. Most people fly Schweitzer S300s and R44s. Our field elevations run 5,000' (Denver/Ft. Collins) to almost 6,200' (Colorado Springs).
  14. As others have said, you only have to read back altitudes, headings and clearances (thought there was a fourth thing, but I can't remember what it was), and squawk codes and/or frequencies if they change. Listen for the key bits of information that they give you so you don't get confused by the extra information. You might receive a clearance like this when receiving vectors to the Pueblo, CO ILS 8L (http://155.178.201.1...3/00334IL8L.PDF), approaching from the south: "November 123, 4 miles from Mertz, turn right to 032, descend and maintain 7,000 until established, cleared for the ILS 8 Left approach." Your response would be: "November 123 (callsign), right to 032 (heading), down to 7,000 until established (altitude), cleared ILS 8 Left approach (clearance). By the time I get to the point of receiving an instrument approach clearance, I have usually already received a discrete transponder code. Also, I was taught to brief the approach and set up everything prior so I am not fumbling with radios, etc. In this instance, I would do it about 20 miles out. Use shorthand symbols to help speed writing down the clearance. I would set all of my radio frequencies (ATIS (and get the current ATIS information because you will need to have it when you contact Approach), Clearance Delivery, Approach (in this case Denver Approach Control because Pueblo doesn't have their own Approach anymore), and Tower (or UNICOM if the Tower is closed). You can put in the Ground frequency if you have a place for it, or you can do it once you have cleared the active runway (assuming your are making a full stop and not doing a go-around/missed approach, etc.). Your instructor should be able to give you tips that will help as well. The more you can set up when you are either on the ground or just flying along in cruise, the better. Approaches can get busy and you don't want to have to be messing around a lot once you get to that point. You can also listen to live radio calls on websites like LiveATC (www.liveatc.net) or others similar websites. The more you listen to them, the better you'll get at picking out the important information. You can pull down the instrument approaches from AirNav (www.airnav.com) under the Airport tab so you can see exactly what is being referenced in the radio calls. Hope that helps.
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