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How to continue improving after PPL


alexc

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I got my PPL few months ago in R22. I have no plan or enough spare time for commerical license. I mostly fly for fun now, but I do want to continue improving.

 

I still ask my instructor to fly with me so that he continue helping me improve. I also tried to fly different models for more experiences: Bell47, 206 JetRanger. I was surprised that it wasn't as smooth as I fly R22, still some learning curve for new models. I planned for R44, Schweizer, etc next as well.

 

I am concern that random flying (for fun) without goal/plan is not good for improving, my concern could be wrong though. I thought about instrument rating, but just realized it is not very useful and will forget quickly without constant practice. Another thought: maybe I should start a "tentative" commeical training? i.e., training under the commerical training guide/standard, but don't have to set a time limit to finish it. I also thought about to learn fix wing, take off and land etc, just for curiousity and additional skills, no plan/time for license.

 

Those are all my thoughts. What do you guys think, does my "tentitive" commerical training idea sounds good, or flying for fun with instructor on board is good enough?

 

Thanks in advance!

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I got my helicopter rating in 2009, got my CPL last July, and have over 300 hrs in the 22 now. I recommend taking the RHC Safety Course, doing some fun x-country flights, and schedule a lesson or two with each of the BEST instructors you can find. Note their style and effectiveness of teaching, and invest in one of those mini cameras like the GoPro. Making movies of your flights is pretty fun. Also, joining an organization like PHPA, HAI, etc. will keep you informed and active, and keep the fire burning. Keep it fun!

 

 

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Good suggestions, many thanks!

 

 

I got my helicopter rating in 2009, got my CPL last July, and have over 300 hrs in the 22 now. I recommend taking the RHC Safety Course, doing some fun x-country flights, and schedule a lesson or two with each of the BEST instructors you can find. Note their style and effectiveness of teaching, and invest in one of those mini cameras like the GoPro. Making movies of your flights is pretty fun. Also, joining an organization like PHPA, HAI, etc. will keep you informed and active, and keep the fire burning. Keep it fun!

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If you need some kind of goal when you fly, you can knock off the commercial requirements without a cfi (i.e. 50 + nm cross countries/night flights). You can also practice maneuvers by yourself (things like steep approaches/max takeoffs/quickstops,...not EPs), every so often, just stop by an airport after you're done flying around for fun, before heading back home. I guess what I'm getting at is, you're a pilot, enjoy it! Flying solo can build confidence!

 

Just go up with a cfi once every few months to practice EPs. You could also take a touchdown auto course somewhere?

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If you need some kind of goal when you fly, you can knock off the commercial requirements without a cfi (i.e. 50 + nm cross countries/night flights). You can also practice maneuvers by yourself (things like steep approaches/max takeoffs/quickstops,...not EPs), every so often, just stop by an airport after you're done flying around for fun, before heading back home. I guess what I'm getting at is, you're a pilot, enjoy it! Flying solo can build confidence!

 

Just go up with a cfi once every few months to practice EPs. You could also take a touchdown auto course somewhere?

A good way to practice EP's is in the cockpit with the aircraft not running. Good muscle memory training, and rote, and correlation learning.

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360 autos, High speed low level autos, and 0/0 autos to a spot. I.e. Putting the bird at 0 airspeed and 0 altitude at a spot you picked out, (power recovery obviously). Don't cheat yourself.

 

You're going to have to elaborate on that one! Zero airspeed autos I've done, but zero altitude, I don't get what you're talking about?

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360 autos, High speed low level autos, and 0/0 autos to a spot. I.e. Putting the bird at 0 airspeed and 0 altitude at a spot you picked out, (power recovery obviously). Don't cheat yourself.

 

Alexc,

 

This is terrible advise for any pilot to practice on their own without a valid reason to fly this way. It is certainly not a safe process for a Private Pilot Certificate holder.

 

I recommend that first you have a goal of maintaining both currency and proficiency to your Certificate level. Then approach every flight so as to make it your best flight ever! Read through Chap. 17 of the Pilots' Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge and learn about Aeronautical Decision Making. Start applying the 3Ps method of Identifying Hazards, Assessing Risks and Managing Risks on every flight.

 

With 80% of all GA accidents caused by Decisional errors during the training or private sector flights, developing the habit of using the 3Ps method of Perceive, Process & Perform prior to every flight as a well established habit will make your flight safer.

 

Look at the 6 elements of SRM that are in the IFR PTS and start building head working skill sets in applying management of SRM elements in every flight.

 

You already know how to fly so now develop yourself as a thinking pilot to be safe, protect the lives of your passengers and enjoy all of your future flights.

 

Best Wishes,

 

Mike

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AlexC-

 

Back to your original post.....yes I think if you just go fly around for fun you will see your skills decline and not necessarily improve. You can allow yourself to get sloppy, I saw it in my own flying (solo to commercial took 15 years, so lots of time to go "play').

 

That said, everyone's posts above are all really about challenging your flying. Don't just land on the taxiway, pick a spot. Don't just go fly, go practice some slope landings, etc. Then you are always building on what you know. Do go up with a CFI when doing any EP's especially in a 22. They can get away from you in a hurry.

 

That said, congrats on the PPL and fly safe. Seminars and learning from a book or classroom are just as important as stick time.

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You're going to have to elaborate on that one! Zero airspeed autos I've done, but zero altitude, I don't get what you're talking about?

 

If its the same type we train for, the name is a little misleading. During an auto, we dont shoot for 70kts right away. We pull it into a flare immediately, decend vertically and use your pedals to put your landing spot out the pilot side door, then side slip to it. Then a couple hundred feet AGL turn the nose to the LZ, lower the nose to gain airspeed and flare, holding the flare to zero airspeed and touchdown. It has to be done pretty fast, and done right. But orbiting over a residential area at 500ft, its a great way to nail a cul-de-sac. But ultimately you are going to need the airspeed at the bottom for the flare otherwise youll end up doing a 500ft AGL hovering auto...... no thanks

 

As far as a 0 altitude? Hes probably referring to the same thing. 0 airspeed AT 0 altitude so you arent sliding. If you land on a residential street or a small area, sliding into a power pole or a parked 18 wheeler can make a good auto end up not so good!

Edited by Flying Pig
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If its the same type we train for, the name is a little misleading. During an auto, we dont shoot for 70kts right away. We pull it into a flare immediately, decend vertically and use your pedals to put your landing spot out the pilot side door, then side slip to it. Then a couple hundred feet AGL turn the nose to the LZ, lower the nose to gain airspeed and flare, holding the flare to zero airspeed and touchdown. It has to be done pretty fast, and done right. But orbiting over a residential area at 500ft, its a great way to nail a cul-de-sac. But ultimately you are going to need the airspeed at the bottom for the flare otherwise youll end up doing a 500ft AGL hovering auto...... no thanks

 

As far as a 0 altitude? Hes probably referring to the same thing. 0 airspeed AT 0 altitude so you arent sliding. If you land on a residential street or a small area, sliding into a power pole or a parked 18 wheeler can make a good auto end up not so good!

 

ok, cool!

 

I've only done that once, at RHC,...he didn't have a name for it though?

Edited by eagle5
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When it rains you can practice snail eradication on the helipad by squishing them with the shoes of the skids. No cheating by doing run-on landings or lateral shifting. Hover positioning error has to be less than 2 inches. In the beginning it helps to have a copilot to call out distance and direction to target until you get the skill to look down and still hover. It's harder than it sounds. Be safe.

Edited by Little Red 22
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0 speed auto good training, the No of auto's that go wrong due to unrealistic glide time \ distance hoping to find a better aria to land. Could be better to go into a good site you have used \ gone over, have flown with low hour FIs who tell me you cant do it, & freak as you descend vertically.

The main thing is to fly safe, fly with a plan, fly the auto's, sloping ground, toe in, with a FI till they are second nature.

The other thing I learnt an real eng out is NOT like a simulated one, it all happens much faster, the MRR just seem to disappear

 

Am coming up to the magic 1000 hours, every flight is a learning curve, & there is all ways a bit I should, could have done better.

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