Jump to content

How often is to little?


Helipilot PTK
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hello everyone I recently received my PPL on December 7, due to Christmas time and signing up for college classes I have not had the funds to fly since then. My question is how often should I try to fly to keep my stick ability at a safe level? I will be on a tight budget but would like to get some input from you guys or gals.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been a private renter for nine years now, and the longest I've gone without flying is about five weeks.

 

In my experience, after two weeks I'm just fine,...after a month though,...well, for the first half hour I'm a little uneasy (checking the gages a lot, looking for forced LZs a little too often), but after that I'm fine again,...no biggie!

 

I would recomend every two weeks, but if your budget is really tight, once a month is just fine,...Hell, even once a month is a frick'n car payment!

 

One thing though, and no offense guys, but if I can only fly once a month (which is pretty much where I've been for these past few years), there's no way in Hell I'm taking a CFI up with me!,...I mean, its pretty hard to feel like a "real" pilot (let alone just enjoy flying) when every time I go up there's a dude next to me commenting on every little thing I do!

 

Anyway, you're a pilot, enjoy it!,...and flying solo is a great way to get away from the rest of the world (it also builds confidence)!

:)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was unemployed a few years back for a period of about 7 months and couldn't afford to fly. Got back in the saddle just before a job interview for a flight in a 44 (which I hadnt flown before). Bit shaky but it came back quick. It's just like riding a bike!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I only have low hours in the 300+ the other partner has aproaching 5.000, I know i am not on the ball after 2 weeks, he says after a month he is not on the button and does not have that edge for .5 or so.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have found that even very short fights, .3 or .4 hrs, work well for keeping sharp if done on a frequent basis. Once every 2 weeks is great for maintaining skills, but flying once per week lets you improve. So fly whenever you can. Most new helicopter pilots will detect degraded flying skills when flying only once per month, and then there are those sneaky longer lapses due to weather, maintenance, CFI scheduling, family, etc. Sometimes it's not the stick skill that degrades, but the planning and timing of maneuvers, radio technique, use of checklists, scanning for traffic, etc. A lot depends on type of aircraft and where you fly too. No problem with fixed wing skills. I was out of a Cessna cockpit for 10 years and the skills came back instantly. But the R22 ain't no Cessna. Experiment with how long works for you, and take the CFI along at least once every 3-4 months in the beginning so you can continue to improve your skills.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been flying 7 on/7 off for about 30 years now, and I always feel just a little off the first time in the cockpit after a week off. Sometimes it's more than that, because we certainly don't fly every day, and I've gone a month without flying several times. I never feel up to speed until I've flown for awhile, even after about 13k hours. I don't feel dangerous, just not quite where I want to be after a layoff. I'm always just a little more careful for the first flight or so after I get back.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have had a real hard time explaining this to government agency management as they do not see flying helicopters as a perishable skill…. Simply put, they view flying helicopters the same as driving a car. The best explanation I could muster is; the moment I stop flying my skill degrades. Somewhat, like poking a hole in a dam and letting the water, i.e. proficiency, judgment and skill drain out…

 

Better yet, do you think that NASCAR driver Tony Stewart only drives fast on race day? Does Tiger ever touch a club until his tee-time the day of the tournament? Or Clayton Kershaw or Tom Brady only throw during games? I know this primary relates to commercial pilot proficiency levels but I believe the concept applies, albeit it to a lesser degree…

 

A “safe level” depends on the individual. The regs say 90 days to carry passengers. School policies dictate other minimums (as stated). The question is; why did you get the certification in the first place? Otherwise, if your budget is tight, then the answer is simple, fly when you can afford to do so….

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it really depends on what kind of flying you do. If you mix in emergency practice often, then the quality of your flying is higher and thus you can probably get away with more "down-time". However, if all you do is joy ride ... no amount of frequency makes you proficient.

 

I'd say with quality flight time ... you can go one-month for solo flight and 2-weeks for carrying passengers.

 

But deep down inside we all know our own limitations.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...