private pilot ground school Articles | Index    

The Second Solo
2010-03-18

The Second Solo

The first solo is deceptive in that it overcomes much of the tension related to, "can I do it?" The next few lessons need to be tightly controlled since the confidence level is likely to exceed the competence level. Poor performance and attitudes require the instructor to be more demanding and critical in order to re-establish attention.

Ask questions that require explanation and insight into systems and procedures. Supervise the flight preliminaries and carefully review the requirements of the next few flights. Make it clear that all solo flights require instructor approval.

Once way of retrieving student attention is to introduce some advanced landing and takeoffs. Do this to establish a line for the student to see how much more there is to know. Review ground reference and send him out to practice. Make it so that each flight has a required series of maneuvers with PTS levels required.

Solo Instruction

When you fly solo you are self-instructing to prevent self-destructing. All at once you realize that in spite of all you have learned there is even more you don't know and need to know. Solo flight is truly an eye opener. Every flight is a new learning experience regardless of your pilot time.

Every flight begins by thinking about everything related to the flight. Get your priorities in order before going to the airport. Make the checks of yourself, weather, scheduling and instructor approval required. Think through the flight by looking over the airport guide, frequencies, checkpoints, what you will say when, course, altitude and alternatives. Think through similar former flights and think/plan to anticipate events before they happen. Relive previous mistakes so that they don't become habitual. Getting away with a mistake is a sure way to have it grow into a bad habit. Don't 'instruct' yourself into accepting poor performance. Get the training you are paying for, even when solo. Every solo flight is a checkride where you are the pilot, instructor, and examiner. Tape every flight and save the tape.

Every solo flight will have the good and the bad. You will know some and be deficient in part. While you may not know what you don't know, talk into the tape as you feel insecure, uncertain, or concerned. Play the tape back immediately after the flight and again ten years later. You will learn something new on each playback. Feel free to call your instructor regarding your flights. Cover everything, the good and the bad.

Developing a self-improvement flying program as a solo student pilot should carry over as a practice into your flying career. Some pilots, once they have acquired a license and a few hours seem to quit learning. It almost as though they have taken a dose of medicine that prevents any further accumulation of knowledge and skill. Don't let it happen.

A new pilot today is entering a world where airplanes are safer, easier to fly, navigate themselves, and often proceed with the pilot only as a monitor of what is happening. It's a new world. If you are not careful you will find some vital habits atrophying such as looking out the window, knowing where you are, seeing traffic, and even flying the airplane. Watch out or the fun will be gone, too.

After Solo-What?

Unless you deliberately write out your standards you are apt to be willing to accept less than your best. Do not make too many solo flights as your own instructor without a phase check by the instructor. Bad habits are quick to arise and difficult to eliminate. Make a list of the skills you dislike, avoid, or feel insecure doing. Work on how smoothly you can make a transitions from one configuration or airspeed to another.

For one thing we will start working out fuel consumption figures for 85K. Top off tanks after landing. Up to now we have been burning fuel; now we will start managing fuel. As part of every flight we will fill the tanks up to the departure level and determine consumption. Then we will take to POH and compute fuel used for taxiing, runup, cruise, and descent. After doing this a couple of time we want to start estimating (not guessing) fuel burn for our flights and then comparing our estimate with actual. Make a fuel log for each flight with time for each power setting in every flight regime. Keep the fights in sequence and you will begin to see a pattern develop.

When solo you are the instructor who much pre-plan the elements that you expect to accomplish during your solo flights. Write out the lesson as you expect to fly it. Airspeed control, altitude parameters and heading variations are all a part of your program. Slow flight, stalls, steep turns, ground reference, radio procedures and all sorts of arrivals, landings and go-arounds are included. Locate emergency fields but don't practice emergencies. Spiral descents should be planned to come out over a particular point at 1000'.

When you get back to the airport study the area chart and the sectional. Try to find questions to ask the instructor. Every new issue has significant changes. Read at least one chapter of the POH. Do a weight and balance sequence by varying the passenger load so that less than full fuel will be required. The life of your newly acquired skills is limited by the frequency with which you provide reinforcement. How often you fly is more important than the duration. If you go through the entire regime of a dozen touch-and-goes will not provide the skill reinforcement of an inter-airport flight.

Every flight should be a skills-reinforcement and development flight. Before you get into the aircraft write out the tolerances you expect to meet. Select an altitude tolerance of + 20 feet, a heading variation of + 5 degrees, and + 5 knots of airspeed over ever increasing lengths of time. Try starting at two minutes in climbs, level and descents. Stick these parameters on an oversized print out on the panel. When you bust a parameter, start over.

Every skill of taxiing should be within one foot of a real or imaginary taxi line, Every stop should be + 10 degrees of selected heading and + 1 foot of a selected line. Takeoff should rotate to attitude that allows liftoff + 3 knots of recommended. Wind correction is applied immediately + 10 degrees margin for parallel runway. Runway check is made at 300 feet. Within 100 feet after takeoff aircraft is at Vy + 3 knots and trimmed hands off on heading + 5 degrees. Ball centered throughout.

Initial level off is anticipated and acquired within + 50 feet and corrected for hands off within one minute. Heading throughout level-off is + 5 degrees. For VOR tracking, fly a pre-selected heading and fly it + 0 tolerance long enough to resolve next required heading. Altitude + 20 feet.

Descents to pattern altitudes should begin early enough to allow retention of power at a reduced level. Base you selection of when to initiate your descent on time. The time will vary with your groundspeed so always figure in the effect of wind. Use the vertical speed indicator. (VSI).

Landings are performed with pattern altitude + 20 feet and all speeds past the numbers + 3 knots and correcting. Trim setting always for hands-off. All power changes are reductions, all yoke movements are back. Touch down is always in the first third of the runway or for accuracy +200 past a point selected abeam the numbers.

Comment

 
 External Links
 Recent articles
The Second SoloFactors in Successful Learning
P B 1 Time of year B BR Summer flying gives longer days but does not provide the most desirable range of experience...

Reaction and Anticipation
In searching for an appropriate place for this material I was surprised at how often the terms appeared the variety of context and...

Crash Survival
#1 survival item is to let a responsible person know where you are going your route and ETA Insurance is to make contact after arrival ...

Bird Strikes
A serious problem costing over $150 million per year in aircraft damage and occasionally a life BR Bird strikes 1998 BR ...

Effective Criticism Requirements
1 Student instructor awareness of what is being done wrong P P 2 Instructor analysis of why P ...

Aviator's Lies
ul li The weather will be all right BR li We will be on time maybe even early BR ...

Your CFI As A Hazard
li 75 of flight training accidents related to improper gear operation occurs with CFI aboard BR li 50...

Introduction to Ground Reference
P During the time that I am practicing flap descents and go arounds I try to make at least one descent over a gently curved channel or road...

Minimum Controllable
No maneuvers below 1500 BR Stall horn whimpering at all times BR Power added as required to hold altitude in 10 degree maximum banks BR ...

Hypoxia
P An adult will breath in 3 000 gallons by volume of air per day This includes 600 20 of total gallons of...

FAR Violations In Decending Order
ol li Careless or reckless operation BR li Compliance with ATC clearances and instructions BR li Failure to meet requirement...

Way To Go...
The pole star was recognized by the ancients as being a constant reference for determining direction The Norsemen in the 11th century used a needle of magnetic ...

Nutrition
P Food when converted into glucose is the source of brain energy Glucose cannot be stored As blood sugar it requires constant renewal If glucose...

A Training Program
P I make a practice of having prospective students come to my home office for a couple of hours to discuss flying I request that...

It's About Judgement
P In flying there are as many ways to gain skill and experience as there are pilots Time alone is a very poor criteria Once pilot...

Teaching Precepts
P Docendo Discimus We learn by teaching When by yourself you are the instructor BR BR ...

CFI Abuses of Student Time
This problem is usually one of teaching style and respect BR 1 Coming to lesson unprepared BR 2 Failure to prep...

Fitting The Hood
P The hood should be fitted prior to engine start Note that the attitude indicator has both a wings level and a level index mark at its...

Short, Soft, and Rough Takeoff
P Use the recommended flap setting either prior to takeoff or after reaching 30 40 knots The idea is to get clear of the ground as soon...

How We Got Pattern A and Pattern B
These patterns have been for many years a part of the Instrument Flying Handbook as among the first lessons in acquiring the aircraft control required for instrument flying ...

Keys For Successful Learning
P B 1 Time of year B BR Summer flying gives longer days but does not provide the most desirable range of experience...

Service Bulletin
P Issued by manufacturer about service problems and solutions The solution is not mandatory as with an AD P ...

Phonetic Alphabet and Time Zones
In 1914 the U S Army adopted a phonetic alphabet but Spanish pronunciations created problem In 1927 a worldwide agreement of words and spelling...

Are You FARs Ready?
Requirements of 61 87 logged as satisfactory proficiency and safety BR Review of logbook entries insures compliance with long term requirements BR Recent sign offs...

1989 - 1993 US Accidents
#133;Accident__________Deaths_ BR 1 Highway Accidents 228 000 BR 2 Murders ...

Student Logbook Requirements
Student solo license endorsements for each type aircraft BR Student solo cross country license endorsement BR Logbook signoff for ground instruction BR Pre solo aeronautical...

Wifferdill
I #39;m told that quot;wolferdale quot; is an aviation perhaps military aviation term meaning a 270 turn Is this correct BR ...

The Cockpit
P Using the tape recorder I go over all the instruments and controls I pay particular attention to the markings and divisions on the dials their...

Emergency Trim Use
If the elevator is locked as with a control lock the use of trim will be backwards Any use of the trim will be as an...

Keeping Anger in its Place
P What turns a student the wrong direction can be the sudden onset of a series of failures The myriad of emotional reactions; anxiety panic ...

Historical Midairs
ul li 766 midairs 1807 fatalities BR li 44 of midairs have no fatalities BR li ...

Trimming Cessnas (instructor notes)
P Cessna has engineered its trim so that certain changes in trim can be anticipated to correspond to flight path changes in different models For example ...

Side Notes
1 The Law of Firsts Haviland #39;s quot;The first time you do you shouldn #39;t have The first time you don #39;t...

Student Evaluation
P Evaluation is a teaching constant It begins when the lesson begins Continues throughout the lesson and for me can continue for years Just today...

Performance Sheet ASEL
Weight and balance BR CG at gross takeoff______CG at gross landing____ BR Shift weight from______ to _____ BR New CG ______ B BR ...

Phillips Head Screws
John Henry Phillips of Mass patented his double slotted screw in 1932 The very similar Reed Prince screw is not approved for ...

Passenger Boarding Information
Welcome aboard this non commercial flight in the vicinity of San Francisco We will be departing shortly and with any luck at all will...

Trim History
The trim tab or servo trim was invented by Anton Flettner a German aeronautical engineer He started work in 1905 for the Zeppelin Company Died in...

Viva la Difference
Where male and female students are similar: BR Individual differences of greater importance BR Learning differences more related...

Short Field Takeoff
P The procedure requires performance that results in the shortest ground roll and the steepest angle of climb Two beginning options are available with little advantage going...

Learning To Fly Young
You really don t need to go to a flying school to learn to fly The schools tend to be quite expensive I hope you live...

Airworthiness Directive
P B AD Compliance Record B P P Aircraft No: Make: Serial Number P ...

Teaching Memory
P The way an instructor presents material has a great influence on student retention of what is being taught Trauma is proven to be the absolute best...

Shoulder Harness
1 As of 1975 4 out of every 5 people ever killed in airplanes since the Wright brothers would have been alive if they had been ...

Unusual Attitude Recoveries
Nose up Recover with pitch down add power level wings BR Nose down Recover with reduced power level wings pitch to level ...

Smoking
P The smoking of tobacco is a form of self imposed physical and psychological stress that constitutes an immediate and on going threat to health and safety ...

Communication, ATC & Radar
Acknowledgment and compliance BR Uses appropriate ATC procedures BR Emergency and NORDO procedure BR Practice and performance BR Maintains U ...

The Risks of Flying
Most flying decisions are easy if the decision is based upon safety Being safe does not mean without risk Engine operations are safe but some 8 percent...

The First Solo
P There are many self induced stresses on the student prior to solo The student begins to worry about it never happening the cost how...

 Related Links
 
©2010 4VFR.COM, All Rights Reserved Powered by 4vfr.com