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Pros and cons of studying on your own


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Ok - I have heard this topic brought up in other threads before, but I want to hear some specific discussion on it:

 

Is it helpful or harmful to study on your own while you wait to start lessons? I'm not talking about a month or two - I mean if you are trying to save for lessons, and you know it will be a year or more before you can start, and you want to spend the time as effectively as possible.

 

I have heard that reading books on flying can help make it easier when you finally do start. I have also heard that it can make it harder. Another concern is, how much of it do you really retain, if you are not simultaneously putting it into practice? Would it just be wasted effort? If so, is there ANYTHING useful someone anxious to begin can do in the meantime? I just feel like I am wasting so much time.

 

If you should read books, which ones are most likely to help, and least likely to confuse? Would other books be helpful, such as meteorology?

 

Any opinions or experiences would be appreciated! Thanks!

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Ok - I have heard this topic brought up in other threads before, but I want to hear some specific discussion on it:

 

Is it helpful or harmful to study on your own while you wait to start lessons? I'm not talking about a month or two - I mean if you are trying to save for lessons, and you know it will be a year or more before you can start, and you want to spend the time as effectively as possible.

 

I have heard that reading books on flying can help make it easier when you finally do start. I have also heard that it can make it harder. Another concern is, how much of it do you really retain, if you are not simultaneously putting it into practice? Would it just be wasted effort? If so, is there ANYTHING useful someone anxious to begin can do in the meantime? I just feel like I am wasting so much time.

 

If you should read books, which ones are most likely to help, and least likely to confuse? Would other books be helpful, such as meteorology?

 

Any opinions or experiences would be appreciated! Thanks!

 

 

I would suggest that you ask the school that you are planning on using what material they teach out of the more familiar you are with it the better. There are test preps for the written test that you can get and the questions don't change much from year to year so get one and read through then ask around on forums and you can get info on harder subjects. The more you know before the cockpit the better you are prepared for the cockpit because you are able to understand the language of the cockpit. Good luck man and don't forget this is fun when training gets frustrating if it was easy everyone would be doing it!

 

Tango Tango

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If you should read books, which ones are most likely to help, and least likely to confuse? Would other books be helpful, such as meteorology?

 

I don't think there's anyway it can hurt. Can it help you fly? I think so...you'll know about how torque is going to affect you, you'll pick up some of the numbers and procedures (eg, know what a high recon is, what airspeed and descent combinations you don't want to be in). Other things don't have to do with flying the machine, but have to do with being a pilot (weather, for example). You'll also develop your study habits while your not trying to find time for studying, flying, and maybe working. There's a parallel thread with recommendations, and if you search the archives you'll get more. Another thing you can do is listen to liveatc.com...get you accustomed to ATC comms.

--c

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There's nothing wrong with studying on your own. Just make sure you stick to generally accepted materials. The FAA published Rotorcraft Flying Handbook is a great reference to start with. If you get a handle on the theory and aerodynamics and get your head wrapped around those concepts prior to beginning training you will be ahead of the game.

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Before finally deciding to learn to fly I had for many years before started reading everything I could about helicopters and aviation in general. A lot of it was somewhat confusing back then since I had no frame of reference. I knew the very basic information, however I was glad that I had done the reading and it helped once I started my training. Concepts became clearer as I was able to put them in practice. I'm the type of person that likes to have a least some knowledge of what I'm going into.

 

It all depends on how you learn and what you want to learn. Even today I'm still learning new things or even variations of theories and concepts as I'm close to starting my CFI training. I would definately recommend reading through the FAA publications and advisory circulars, all can be found on their website. And while those publications can be a bit dry there are numerous other websites and books that I have found very helpful.

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I'm the type of person that likes to have a least some knowledge of what I'm going into.

 

I'm the same way. I was also in a similar position as the original poster. I had to save cash for about a year to get the ball rolling, so I figured out that the flight school I'd chosen was using the Rotorcraft Flying Handbook and the Jeppessen Private Pilot text book. I thumbed through those, and the FAR/AIM whenever I had any downtime. The downside to that is that I really had no clue what to study and what not to study. Also, I had some problems with certain areas of study because when I had a question, I didn't really have anyone to ask for clarification.

 

I'd recommend trying to pick up a copy of the RFH (rotorcraft flying handbook) and the FAR/AIM. The FAR/AIM is tough to read through sometimes (well, all the time really) but it's got everything in there that you need to know. Honestly I think teaching yourself airspace with the FAR/AIM might set you ahead of the game, only because of how the information is presented.

 

If you're going to study on your own, I'd say start with Airspace and Weather, as it seems that's what alot of primary students have trouble with initially (Instructors, please correct me if I'm wrong) and then get into the aerodynamics of the whole thing if you're feeling brave. There's alot of info for even just your private pilot rating and the most important thing to remember in this whole adventure is that the only way to get through it is baby steps.

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Ok for nearly a year of gathering ground school info, books, and answers to many questions. Here is what I've assembled for my own home study training.

now just for those who don't know I'm an A&P so alot of what I study will come easier for me than those who are starting fresh.

 

first off start by printing the student pilot guide from the FAA web site (FAA-H-8083-27A)

now here's what I have on hand or on order

 

Professional Helicopter Pilot Studies by Phil Croucher

the Bristow Helicopter Study Guide (on the free books on line thread on the training forum, Thx Mechanic)

Rotorcraft Flying Handbook

FAR/AIM

Aviation Wearther

Aviation Weather Formats: METAR/TAF

Aircraft Weight and Balance Handbook

E6B flight computer ((paper version) I have an old sanderson computer also))

IFR training chart from NACO

Navigation Flight Plotter

Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge

Aviation weather services

Private Pilot Rotorcraft PTS guide

Helicopter student record folder

Schweizer Information Manual (training POH)

US Terminal Procedures (for my area) bound version.

Fatal Traps for Helicopter pilots by Greg Whyte

and last but not least a pilots logbook for when I actually start pulling pitch :D

 

total cost is less than $250.00

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This is EXACTLY what I did. I am just like you and I must have a good handle on something before I start.

I spent 3 months before I formally started school reading, and reading, and reading....oh...and watching (what I call "Helicopter Porn") helicopter videos on YouTube (search on R22 and have some fun!!!).

 

The best book, which you will need for school anyway, is the "Rotocraft Flying Handbook". I read it 3x before I started school. each time I got more out of it. I also ready "Aviation Weather", and "Principles of Helicopter Flight".

ANother one I just got and I HIGHLY recommend is "Cyclic and Collective". AWESOME book. Warning: Hard Core Physics included!!!

 

So yes, read read read. It'll be hard, but once you start flying you will be ahead of the game, and you'll impress your instructors, and when you have to go back and study again, it'll be faster and make more sense.

 

 

I bought most of my books of Amazon.com and saved a TON of $$.

 

Good luck finding the Schweizer POH....out of print. I just got outbid on eBay...I stopped at $60.00

My Robinson POH was $15.00

 

Oh, if you are going to be flying R22's....MAKE SURE you pick up "Robinson R22" by John Swan.

I just recently got it, and I wish I had it BEFORE I first learned to pre-flight R22's. VERY helpful...just has alot of detailed info your instructor may not go over. Great referene, too. Only $14.99, or $2 on Amazon!!!!!! LOL

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I agree with ADRidge, it doesn't hurt to start learning weather. Once you start learning that you can easily put it to use in your everyday life.

 

As far as books go I would add to 67's list the following:

 

Principles of Helicopter Flight by Wagtendonk. (A lot more in depth on aerodynamics)

Everything Explained for the Professional Pilot (basically breaks down the FARs into easy to understand).

To go along with that FARS Explained by Kent Jackson (Gives some good legal action examples as they apply)

Say Again Please

Rod Machado's Private Pilot Handbook (lighthearted)

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"I would actually steer a new guy towards airplanes right now."

Because of the ratio of newly minted CFI's vs. the number of CFI positions available or another reason?

 

A few reasons. The cost of training is getting prohibitive for most who don't have deep

pockets. CFI helicopter jobs seem to be in very short supply. A fixed wing pilot can get

picked up by a regional at 500 TT and 50 multi. Earning potential is much greater

for fixed wing. Lots of airplane CFI jobs out there.

I work with quite a few pilots who have $1000 a month payments for training for

VERY long terms. They're saddled with debt with a $50K a year job. So you train

for a year and a half. Instruct for about the same amount of time, or more, IF you

get a job right away. It's a long haul for not much money. If I was starting out

right now, no question, I would fly airplanes. MHO.

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Good luck finding the Schweizer POH....out of print. I just got outbid on eBay...I stopped at $60.00

My Robinson POH was $15.00

 

I found a copy of this along with the associated Helicopter Pilot Manual at a used bookstore. It appears that Jeppesen has released a new version of these books.

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I found a copy of this along with the associated Helicopter Pilot Manual at a used bookstore. It appears that Jeppesen has released a new version of these books.

 

finding a training version of a POH for either the 300 of the 22 can be found on helicoptersonly.com

 

no big secret there.

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Well, I'll throw my hat in here. I say go all the way. Get all your ground school, take your FAA written test...do it all by yourself and do it ahead of time. Won't hurt you in the least. Prior to taking your checkride/oral have your CFI spend 3 or 4 hours with you going over everything one last time...

 

PM me if you want some ideas how to do it.

 

Goldy

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Ok for nearly a year of gathering ground school info, books, and answers to many questions. Here is what I've assembled for my own home study training.

now just for those who don't know I'm an A&P so alot of what I study will come easier for me than those who are starting fresh.

 

first off start by printing the student pilot guide from the FAA web site (FAA-H-8083-27A)

now here's what I have on hand or on order

 

Professional Helicopter Pilot Studies by Phil Croucher

the Bristow Helicopter Study Guide (on the free books on line thread on the training forum, Thx Mechanic)

Rotorcraft Flying Handbook

FAR/AIM

Aviation Wearther

Aviation Weather Formats: METAR/TAF

Aircraft Weight and Balance Handbook

E6B flight computer ((paper version) I have an old sanderson computer also))

IFR training chart from NACO

Navigation Flight Plotter

Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge

Aviation weather services

Private Pilot Rotorcraft PTS guide

Helicopter student record folder

Schweizer Information Manual (training POH)

US Terminal Procedures (for my area) bound version.

Fatal Traps for Helicopter pilots by Greg Whyte

and last but not least a pilots logbook for when I actually start pulling pitch :D

 

total cost is less than $250.00

 

ok here an up date to that post.

 

First off the book from Phil Croucher IS A MUST, it walks you thru the training process, it's the perfect home study training syllibus, be sure to get the "principles of helicopter flight by W.J.W (for short), I'm now to a point that I should able to dediacte about 2 hours a day for ground school studies and start looking at practice exams in about 4 months all without pulling pitch.

 

PM me if you have ?'s

 

this is now getting really exciting!!!!!!!!!!!

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[/hijack on]

 

my brother gave me some books he used while getting his fixed wing liscense

 

are these ok to read or will they corrupt my rotorcraft thinking? hahhaa

 

 

http://www.mypilotstore.com/mypilotstore/sep/1980

 

http://www.mypilotstore.com/mypilotstore/sep/701

 

http://www.mypilotstore.com/mypilotstore/sep/2836

 

[/hijack off]

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something I noticed while messing with the practice exam's at Sporty's site via the free aviation books online thread on this site is that the knowledge test included fixed wing questions.... so my question is - is there a rotorcraft only version of the Private pilot test ( or any of the the tests for that matter )?!?

Edited by Rogue
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