Jump to content

Not Enough Flight Time


Recommended Posts

Since I completed my PPL(H) checkride on December 7, 2011, I have not flown very much. There is times where I am able to fly with my school for free every once in a while and thats awesome but no where near how much I would like to fly (got to love college). Lately it has gotten to where I only fly once a month if I am lucky. Now when I go flying i'm a little rusty on basic flying skills, such as hovering, but not to a dangerous level or anything, I still have control of the helicopter. The frustrating part is my landings, I have been having some bad landings lately. Ill forget to add enough pedal at the very end or have a hard landing etc. If I do two landings during one flight the second one is far better than the first but still not where I feel I should be.

 

What do you guys do when you have long periods of not flying? I read books and watch videos but that just makes me want to fly even more.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sounds like good "training" for an EMS job. ;)

 

Haha isn't that where the moneys at?

 

It's more frustrating than anything, on my checkride one of the things the DPE was impressed with was my no-hover landing. And now I just feel all "sloppy" if you will. I know flying more is the only real cure, but the bank account wont allow it. I need to find a better second job than I currently have ASAP.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Seriously, we all get a few cobwebs when we've been away for a while, but they brush off easily enough once you're back in the saddle.

 

When you're back in the cockpit after a hiatus, just take everything slow and methodical - preflight, run-up, pick-up and touch-down. Follow the checklist to the letter. Sub vocalize everything you're thinking and doing, visualize what's next before you're there and stay ahead of the aircraft.

 

It'll be second nature again before you realize it.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, it's called WOFT. ;) (says the hypocrite, me!) :lol:

 

Haha I'm working on it. Are you talking to a recruiter yet or still working on your APFT score before you give them a call? It sounds like you've been working hard on increasing your APFT score!

 

 

Seriously, we all get a few cobwebs when we've been away for a while, but they brush off easily enough once you're back in the saddle.

 

When you're back in the cockpit after a hiatus, just take everything slow and methodical - preflight, run-up, pick-up and touch-down. Follow the checklist to the letter. Sub vocalize everything you're thinking and doing, visualize what's next before you're there and stay ahead of the aircraft.

 

It'll be second nature again before you realize it.

 

Awesome! Thanks for the advice. Like you mentioned, I caught myself almost missing something during run-up after a month or so of no flight. But because I followed the checklist I quickly caught it and corrected it. I just want to be as safe as possible, I do go up with my flight instructor to practice emergency procedures etc, to keep my abilities at a safe level, it's just the small smooth "stick" ability inputs that I need to fine tune.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

While I am in no position to give actual flying advice, my best suggestion would be to keep your head up and a positive attitude. As pointed out in this thread and my thread about simulators, chair flying seems to be popular in keeping your brain in check. A lot of times we tend to psych ourselves out with our internal voice saying "its been a couple weeks since I've flown hopefully I don't mess up", which usually causes us to be very shaky on the controls and hesitant in decisions. Confidence is good (to an extent), as well as believing in yourself. This is all relatively speaking, because I can't say the same for someone who hasn't flown in 5 years that someone on the internet told him all he needed was a positive attitude to fly. So maybe next time your about to fire up, just say to yourself that you know the skills, you've done it great before, and this time will be no different. Just don't get complacent :)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know the feeling. I went up today for the first time in a month. Including my 1.0 today have 3.8 hrs since early may. I don't know how it is for others but control touch comes back pretty quick. It's procudures and infrequently used knowledge that goes away quickly. You won't really know how much you're forgetting until you get out there flying.

 

On that note, it really helps to fly with someone that is a little more current. I'd bet there are a few people around your flight school (instructors or students) that would be glad to go up with you even if they don't get to touch the controls. A non pilot might be distraction but if you're flying infrequently try to fly with someone else that can be of assistance.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not sure where you are at with your training.....However, I might suggest riding along in the back (R44) while another student is doing IFR training. This of course assumes that your school uses the R44 for IFR and the student/CFII don't mind.

 

In the mean time, chair flying is great. Stick with the checklist and the rest will come to you quickly.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I went seven years without flying a helicopter (flew in them a ton, but not as a pilot). When I finally got back in the saddle, it only took me a few hours to get it back. It may take you a while to make this whole pilot thing work out for you. If you want it bad enough, you will keep it in your sights and keep your eyes open for opportunities. I have a young student who works at Safeway and paid cash for his Private after saving for several years. He is currently saving for his instrument/commercial and he can only afford to fly every other month or so for about an hour, but aside from some cobwebs, he's a good pilot. It will probably take him several years to get all his ratings, but he is ok with that. The only clock you are racing is the one in your mind.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It took me around 14 months to get my PPL(H), I worked two part time jobs, used some money from a trust fund and at the very end of training borrowed some money from my parents to afford the flight training. There were times during my training where I went close to a month without flying, however, I still received my PPL(H) on December 7, 2011 with about 53 hours of flight time. Since then I have accumulated around 75 hours TT. I got 8 hours in one night by doing frost patrol, and the rest is mostly fairing helicopters to the place where they are giving rides, or doing boat races etc.

 

So the past few months I have been averaging about one landing a month, which as you can guess they haven't been my best landings. When I say I am rusty on basic flying skills such as hovering I meant explained it as you did, I just have a few cobwebs. I can still hover just fine it just takes a few seconds after lift off to get used to the controls again and I'm good to go, I fly solo whenever possible and feel confident in my abilities. Lets put it this way, if I had to take my PPL(H) checkride over again today I would still pass, but the flight examiner may say "try to make that landing smoother next time" or something along that line.

 

I was more or less trying trying to see what everyone does during long periods of not flying, which I got some good answers. I just wanted to clear up that I am still confident in my flying abilities and I always try to be the safest pilot possible. It's just frustrating when I have a bad landing and then I have to kick myself for a month until I get another chance.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not sure where you are at with your training.....However, I might suggest riding along in the back (R44) while another student is doing IFR training. This of course assumes that your school uses the R44 for IFR and the student/CFII don't mind.

 

In the mean time, chair flying is great. Stick with the checklist and the rest will come to you quickly.

 

Unfortunately my flight school doesn't have an instrument rating, I really want to have the challenge of flying instruments but it is not currently possible. The only place that does an instrument rating is an hour away from me and is done in the R-66, which is far to expensive for my budget.

 

So basically I am very slowly working towards my CPL. I am hoping to get into the WOFT program this November and make a career out of the Army.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I got 8 hours in one night by doing frost patrol, and the rest is mostly fairing helicopters to the place where they are giving rides, or doing boat races etc.

 

I didnt know a PPL could fly frost control and boat races. I figured that was CPL territory.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I didnt know a PPL could fly frost control and boat races. I figured that was CPL territory.

 

I was with my instructor while doing frost patrol, he brought me along to get some valuable free experience. And I didn't fly the boat races, I just ferried the helicopter to the location with my instructor, then he flew the boat races while I watched from the ground.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I am flying regularly enough to have my control touch refined I usually log one landing per landing attempt. When I am rusty after not flying regularly, I sometimes log multiple landings per landing attempt. It helps with landing recency.

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...