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Is my instructor right for me?


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I'm training with a CFI who basically is doing it on his own with a leased R22, not much structure. I have a total of 12 hours so far and feel like I'm learning slow. So far I have learned to hover, land, pickup, fly S&L, shallow turns, decents, flying in a traffic partern, autorotoring entry and glide but not completion.


I've never left the airport traffic patern, I've spent 12 hours flying in 4 mile circles basically taking off and landing with some safety procedures in between. Sometimes we do hoverwork... and I'm totally uncomfortable with peddel turns...


Does it sound like this is how training should go?


Is there anything I can ask him to do in order to improve my skills?


I guess I'm inpatient.

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It goes slow in the beginning. How much experience does your instructor have?


I did some part 61 flying early on, and the lack of structure didn't work for me (part 141 has its issues too). My recommendation for either would be that you require a pre- and post-flight briefing as part of the lesson.


  1. Know how you did last time and what you're going to do this lesson.
  2. Go over the specifics of the maneuver before you start ticking off time on the Hobbs.
  3. Get a copy of the PTS and have your flight instructor go over them with you so you know the standards you are trying to achieve. The PTS doesn't make much sense unless you understand its purpose and use it right.
  4. You may want to consider getting the Robinson R-22 Maneuver Guide.
  5. Review your progress in detail after the flight--how you did, and what you will do next time. Write it all down and take notes so you can review before the next lesson.


This is the best of Part 141 (altho others will tell you that some 61 schools will do this for you too, and that some 141 schools manage to make it an expensive waste of time). It's not as fun as just hopping in the heli and going flying, but it'll give you some structure. You need to feel like every flight gets you closer to your checkride.


If you're interested, I've developed a draft flight syllabus that you can look at (and contribute to). It's [here], or you can click the link on my signature.


good luck


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How often are you flying? If you are only flying once a week, especially being a new pilot, it takes a while to gain that proficiency to "move on" so to speak. I'm not saying that is you, that is just the trend. It also depends on the experience factor of the CFI and how comfortable he is letting you venture out.


As far as being at 12 hours and not feeling like your advancing, you are. It means you're getting better at the tasks.


Turns are like taxiing an airplane, you are used to driving with your hands instead of your feet, you'll get the hang of it. One day you'll show up and just be able to do it, just tell yourself you will.

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So far I have learned to hover, land, pickup, fly S&L, shallow turns, decents, flying in a traffic partern, autorotoring entry and glide but not completion.


I guess I'm inpatient.


So what part of your training do you think you are missing? Just flying straight and level? Trust me, straight and level for a couple hours is not really that hard. You are working on all of the things that require you to control the aircraft, and not just hang on to it.


And yes, you are impatient. Get over it. Practice your skills. Get your pedal work down pat. Then, tell him one day you want to go do a cross country and pick up some lunch. You buy.



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I agree for the most part with the other previous posters so far. I think that some of the most important things to consider in how long it takes for a person to become proficient is a combination of how well your instructor can identify and correct weak areas, and how often the student is available to fly. There is no exact science on the level of proficiency per hour ratio.


Each instructor is different, but personally I never put a person into the traffic pattern until they can manage the fundamentals of flight. This usually does not take that long, but each lesson I will go outside the airport environment and work for a while, then come back to work on hovering for a bit.


It is very common to get frustrated in the beginning of training and not be able to identify progress. There are many things to learn, and to master one particular skill before moving on to the next one would take way too much time. It is sort of like learning to juggle, once you can somewhat juggle two balls, your instructor gives you another. This keeps up until you are barely able to juggle six balls at once and you are completely frustrated because you are still only barely able to juggle. If you step back and look, however, you can see that you have mastered balls 2-5 already and it is just the new skill that you are having trouble with.

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Take your time, it is uncomfortable in the begining. Your instructer more then likely can tell that you are uncomfortable with the pedels...its hard for anyone in the begining. Don't compare yourself to others because everyone learns at a different rate. If you insist, try an hour with another CFI and see what they think. HANG IN THERE! ;)

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