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IERW Study Techniques & Time Management


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My class is about two months away from hitting IERW, and I'm trying to use this time beforehand to be as squared away as possible. I don't want to self-induce any unnecessary stress since I'll be front-loaded with enough stress as-is.

 

I'm trying to gain some perspective on what to expect since it seems like opinions of flight school students magnetize toward two extremes: 'flight school is impossibly difficult,' and 'flight school isn't too bad.' Realistically it's probably somewhere in between, but I believe the "ease" of flight school ultimately depends on two things -- study techniques and time management.

 

That being said, for those of you who are currently in military flight school or graduated FSXXI, what were study techniques you employed to be successful? How did you manage and maximize your time at the end of the day to be as efficient as possible?

 

The challenges are pretty obvious: how to maintain and improve physical fitness scores, how to stay memorize and stay proficient with -10, how to not "fall behind" in sleep during the week, how to eat healthily without spending too much time, and so on. What worked or is working for you?

 

If you don't mind sharing, please also give a little background on what you had working for or against you during flight school. Did you come from an aviation background (if so, how did it help or even hurt you)? Did you have a wife, kids, or girlfriend? Did you live on or off-post? Did you have a roomate(s)?

 

I'm looking forward to having some discussion! B)

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The first week or two of every phase will suck. Once you get past primary you will probably have developed your own strategy but since you're not there yet here's what I did.

 

Aeromed was easy, just take notes in class and look them over for a half hour every night.

 

5s and 9s are difficult at first because you haven't had much experience with them yet. Every procedure and limit will be organized a certain way. If you learn the patterns it will help you.

 

I can't remember how it's organzied (phases or stages or what) but your FTG will lay out what you need to know for each phase. You'll get that on that first no fly day at the flight line. Spend 90% of your time studying what you need to know for the phase you're in, and the familiarize yourself with the next step using that last 10% of your time.

 

Honestly most of my 5s and 9s I learned on the bus ride to Cairns. I learn much better under pressure, that's just the way my brain works. You may need to study them all night, I don't know.

 

You'll have daily questions that you will need to memorize the answers to. Read above and below, don't just answer the question. Granted, everyone is going to get lazy at some point or another and just answer the question, just prepare yourself because you're going to look like an idiot if you get asked that one LoL! Every single person in flight school is going to look like an idiot pretty frequently, it's just how it works. Own your mistakes, don't be that guy who tries to talk his way out of it. Then you'll REALLY look like an idiot.

 

As for academics, how did you study in high school/college? Study the same way. Tests are multiple choice IIRC so if you're familiar with the material you should be able to at least pass. But we don't just want to pass do we? It became a challenge to me to be the first one in my class done with the test and to get 100% every time. So I payed close attention during class and took meticulous notes. Did I accomplish my goal? HA! No. But I got damn close.

 

If you've had past experiences with taking tricky multiple choice tests (AP tests for example) it will be easy for you because you will know how to study for them and have strategies for recognizing the most correct answers.

 

Instruments should be easy academically, it's all open book. The flying will also be easy if you can get a good grasp of instruments and what they mean together. Spend some time playing MSFS and train yourself to be able to see just instruments and fly. You'll be good.

 

BWS puts the pressure on. You're going to be introduced to Army stuff. For a lot of guys with past experiences in aviation this is where flight school gets hard for them. You're getting a very basic idea of how to fight the aircraft at this point. You will be spending most of your free time putting together your flight plans for the next day. Some guys try to do it on AMPS and then transfer it over, but that only saves a little bit of time and your stuff usually turns out crappy (at least my stick buddy's did). There's not much you can do about this, it's just how it is.

 

Oh and make your own damn map. Just do it. If you DO pay somebody to do it for you, take a f*cking day to look it over in detail and correct all the stuff that will be wrong with it. Every guy I know that had his made for him spent the first week of BWS getting stuff pointed out that's wrong and then having to fix it. LoL

 

"This tower doesn't exist. Your restricted airspace lines are only on this page and aren't on the page above, below, and next to this one. Where is this RT? You're missing your labels. Where is this lake? This is the wrong color."

Edited by SBuzzkill
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I forgot to mention that unless it's the weekend before a checkride, friday night through sunday morning should be your time. Take a break, go down to the beach. Go kick it at the pool. Drink some beer and hang out with your friends.

 

Sunday evening, get yourself back into it.

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For Primary? Show up, day one, with your 5s and 9s verbatim. LTE, VRS, etc is also good to know. Get the audio 5&9s so you can listen and talk in the car. Study for the systems tests.

 

Instruments? Take notes in academics since you can use notes on the tests. Flying will be easy or hard. You will see.

 

BWS sucks.

 

PT matters more than anything. Seriously. Get a 300 and you will select what you want.

 

I am married, no kids. I spent no time in the library until BWS.

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Primary: know 5 and 9 and everything else will be doable. I also recommend the cd, it helped me get the wording memorized. Say the words out loud because that's how you will have to do it for your IP.

 

Instruments: get an iPad and load all of your pubs onto it. It's all open book, even on the check ride. I did not enjoy instruments at all.

 

BWS was a blast, a lot depends on your IP. I had a good time and loved the flying. Lots of acronyms to memorize and many hours of flight planning every night buf fun.

 

Selection was never an issue for me since I'm guard but a PT score got one of our top 3 guys down to bottom 5. Time management and knowing your priorities is a constant challenge, just don't let it get you down.

 

Flying is all on you, either you can or can't. You can always try to do better, fly smoother. Don't forget to get some sleep. I fly like crap if I don't get 6 hours and some coffee. Take flight school one day at a time and don't get overwhelmed or stressed out.

 

No flight experience, no kids, girlfriend, dog, living of post. Hope this helps, best of luck.

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how to maintain and improve physical fitness scores:

 

Go running and do pushups and situps at home. You wont have time to go to the gym but you will have time to go outside and run. The hard part is on you - staying motivated to go outside and do it.

 

how to stay memorize and stay proficient with -10:

 

Like I said, focus on what you're going to need to know that week. In my flight they didn't pile on all the 5s and 9s on the first day. There was a selected fraction of them that pertained to the first phase of flight training. Try to get the concepts of the stuff you're learning instead of just memorizing it. Think about the whys and the hows.

 

how to not "fall behind" in sleep during the week:

 

Take a quick break when you get home from flight line, an hour or two to yourself. Then start your daily questions. Once you're done with those spend half of your alloted study time on 5s and 9s and the other half studying whatever you think you need to study. How much time you spend doing this is up to you. You'll feel behind sometimes and your IPs will pick on you for it, but just keep studying the new material and then review the old stuff the week before your checkride.

 

how to eat healthily without spending too much time:

 

This is going to be a tough one. Especially during IERW. Try to stay away from fast food and if you can't then stick with the small sizes. Common sense stuff.

 

If you don't mind sharing, please also give a little background on what you had working for or against you during flight school:

 

Pros - Aviation background. I lived pretty close to post in Enterprise so I saved a bit of time not having to leave my house eary. I did stuff on the weekends to get my mind away from flight school which helped tremendously to stay motivated.

 

Cons - I hate extended studying and I can't concentrate for more than an hour or so. I knew how to deal with that before I came into flight school though and tailored my study strategies to my learning style.

 

Did you come from an aviation background (if so, how did it help or even hurt you):

 

Yes and it definitely helped me. I had 70 hours of fixed wing VFR training, lots of time playing flight simulator, a few years working flight line, and had been obsessed with aircraft since I was very very young.

 

Did you have a wife, kids, or girlfriend:

 

I had a girlfriend who did not live with me for the first 9 months I was at Rucker, so I lived a bachelors life hanging out with my buddies every weekend, going down to the beach, doing whatever I wanted pretty much when I wanted it. She got down there right before SERE school, and after that my weekend trips took a drastic downturn haha! She worked though, so having her around didn't really impact my flight school stuff.

 

Did you live on or off-post:

 

Off post in the Wakefield neighborhood in Enterprise in a town house.

 

Did you have a roomate:

 

No, just my girlfriend.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Haha, just about to start aeromed here. We had the inbriefing today needless to say everyone is now "studying". I am so happy I started studying a few weeks back well the 5's at least. Started working on the 9's today, a lot of it seems to make sense to me. I am a bit nervous but just really excited now. I am going to get the CD today on the 9's. This is going to kick ass!

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I thought memorizing chapter 5 was hard! Chapter 9 is nuts, I can see why people get stressed out. Yet somehow people manage to get through it. Tried the book on tape not really sticking but writing it down and repeating it over and over to myself seems to work. Having my wife quiz me seems to also.

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You think they are hard. I did too. They are not. Soon you will be able to regurgitate them without thinking. The advanced aircraft are a million times more complex, and the 5&9s are no bullshit 100% mandatory day one. Written tests too.

 

Keep practicing.

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  • 1 month later...

1st week of primary done:

 

Haha, first week of primary is done. Got some sleep last night also! Doing good on my 3 tests so far. Not perfect but good. I have a total of 2 hours flying time now, tried hovering...yeah i wont talk about that. I am struggling but not nearly as much as the guys who did not study at all.

 

During our "gloom and doom" speech we were told there are plenty of apache slots. My ip is an ex-cobra pilot and he is pretty patient with us. More than once I have not known the answer to a question. The whole class got a little loopy from lack of sleep by thursday and friday. Crappy weather here as of late so not much flying going on hence the measly 2 hours.

 

So flight school is not as bad as I thought.

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You want the god's honest truth?

 

Academics and your PT score at selection are the two biggest discriminators. Do well flying, but study your ass off for academics.

 

Selection is a f*cking crapshoot regardless of what you have been told. We had 3 Apache slots. Next class had 8. Go figure.

 

What flight are you in?

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  • 1 year later...

Our class average at the end was 95%. That was all the way through, flying, academics and PT. Most classes have an average in the mid 90s. They teach the test. I don't remember one difficult one that stands out. Study the materials, And pay attention in class. You should do well. Enjoy it!

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Staying in shape for the PT test shouldn't take you too much time so you shouldn't lose out on studying to it. Honestly I think nutrition is where most people have hang ups because it's hard to find a fast meal in between flight line and academics that is healthy. So my advice is to take the 15 minutes to pack yourself a good healthy lunch every day and avoid the fast food traps.

 

For the studying itself. Don't overdo it. Give an hour or two a day and then use the rest of the time to blow off steam. Try and structure it so that you spend 30 minutes on weather, 30 minutes on systems, 30 minutes on daily questions... Or whatever subjects you need. But you need to make sure you are not just studying your strengths and missing your weaknesses. What worked for me with 5 and 9s is carrying around flashcards and looking at them when I was watching TV or sitting at the pool or waiting for the bus. I rarely ever included 5s and 9s in my study time which for me was when I read all the conceptual stuff.

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I'd be interested to hear what some of you would do differently if you could go through Primary again. Focus more on improving PT even if it cuts into study time?

 

Looks like the vast majority of OML points to be had are in the check rides... how to start preparing for them right away?

 

Flight line day one is... tomorrow = )

 

More trips to Florida, less time at Oscars...

 

Less footlong meatball sandwitches from Subway..

 

School is just part of the job. It's easy for most not all.. Just study durring the week and hang out on the weekends. When you eat, breathe and sleep aviation all day mon-fri all the course material comes easy.

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I'd be interested to hear what some of you would do differently if you could go through Primary again. Focus more on improving PT even if it cuts into study time?

 

Looks like the vast majority of OML points to be had are in the check rides... how to start preparing for them right away?

 

Flight line day one is... tomorrow = )

Checkrides are worth a lot, but the points spread is pretty small. Almost all of the scores in my class fell in the 92-95% range. Class averages on academic tests were usually in the high 90s. The APFT is 100 out of 700 points, and most classes range from 300s to failures.

 

Your IP will get you ready for the checkrides, as long as you study what you're supposed to. PT is all on you.

 

 

And don't forget to spend plenty of time going down to the redneck riviera.

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  • 1 year later...

Hey all,

 

So I'm an infantry vet who just branched aviation and I'm trying to get ahead of the game.

 

So I'm assuming these "5's and 9's" everyone's talking about are referring to chapters 5 and 9 in the TH-67 operators manual? If so why the emphasis on these two chapters? Do you not have to memorize the other chapters?

 

Also who makes the audio version y'all keep talking about so I can get my hands on it?

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Yes, that is what we mean by 5&9

 

As for the numbers, they are the chapters pertaining to limitations and EPs.

 

Both will be essentially memorized, some verbatim.

 

I bought the audio TH67 5&9 from either The Hangar or Wings. You can google them.

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They are memorized because if you're flying and a chip light comes on or something else happens you need to know what to do... It'll save your life..

 

Also, for chapter 5, if you're looking at a gauge and the needle says X then we know if it's normal and how long it's allowed to be at X without exceeding a transient or something

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