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Recently Started Flight Training!

#1
Hello all,
I've recently started my ground training to get my pilot's license. The course I'm enrolled in is actually for a commercial pilot's license, but I'm not sure I'll have enough funding to finish that. I will however, be able to get my private license, instrument rating and maybe a few other ratings. I'm scheduled for my first flight this Wednesday, 3/25. I saw there wasn't much activity in the part of the forum so I figured I'd start documenting my progress for anyone who is interest. This is something I never thought I'd be able to do but when the opportunity presented itself, I couldn't turn it down. I'm going to be learning on a DA20Katana and I have to say, I'm pretty excited!
During the little bit of ground school I've done so far I was surprised to see how much the experience in RC Flight has helped. RC is the only experience I have and without that, I'd be completely lost!
 
#3
I had my first flight today, it was pretty amazing. It was a little overwhelming, there are a lot of things to keep track of. Of course the airport (little rock international now bill and Hillary Clinton int.) had all of the runways closed except the main runway, which was on the other side of the airport from the parking apron. So we had a good long taxi and the DA20s don't have a steerable nose wheel so my legs were tired from differential braking. But I took off and climbed out mostly on my own. We practiced some straight and level flight, climbs, descents, 90° and 180° turns as well as climbing and descending turns. We transitioned between 2k & 3k feet. I tried to look at the scenery as much as possible but with all the turning and changing of altitude I was too busy watching the altimeter, heading indicator, and airspeed along with the 100 other gauges. But I started getting a good rhythm not too long into the flight. We headed back and had a nice smooth landing (luckily a lot better than most of my Rc landings (c8) and I logged 1.3 hours. I can't wait to get back up again and hopefully will next week as long as the weather cooperates. Gotta give a big thanks to flitetest for all the inspiration.
 
#4
Consider me envious. I don't have the time or money to pursue this.

Someday.

For now, I can live vicariously thorough you... so lots of posts and pics please!
 
#6
It's really cool to hear about this! My flight training starts on Saturday, so I'm following this thread with lots of interest.

Then start your own as well... and make lots of posts and pictures please. You guys can compare notes!

I'm really curious about the whole process, and would love to see it voiced from different perspectives..
 
#8
Feel free to post your progress on this thread glueguns. Im interested to hear another noobs perspective. I will post pics and videos as i plan to record some of my flights. I have to say, the katana is a very floaty plan. At one point we were climbing, i felt like i was pitching way to far up so i asked my instructor how close i was to stalling, to which he responds "let me have the controls and ill show you what a stall feels like!" It takes ALOT to stall that plane.
 
#10
ExperimentalRC, feel free to post your progress here as well. It would be neat to get several people tracking their progress on here at the same time. Hopefully I'll be flying again Monday as long as the weather permits.
 
#12
They've got a couple cessnas there too and I think I'll use those once I start my instrument rating. The DA-20s are pretty fun, but I have nothing else to compare them to since it's the only thing I've flown!
 
#13
Logged another 1.4 hours today in the Katana. It was a really nice day so we took off from Little Rock Intl. and flew to a small uncontrolled airfield in Carlisle Arkansas. We did two touch and go's and a full stop landing before we flew back. There was a little bit of wind so we were crabbing pretty good on landing. Even though it was only my second flight I was definitely more comfortable cruising, but the landings were pretty hectic. I practiced traffic patterns circling the airport and there was A LOT to do during the pattern. My brain still hurts from focusing on so many different things, like altitude, climbing out from take off, maintaining level flight on the downwind leg of the pattern and then descending on the crosswind leg for landing; heading, lots of 90° turns on the pattern; airspeed, obviously keeping it up to maintain flight, but making sure it was low enough to put the flaps down on the crosswind leg, and making sure it was even slower for full flaps on the upwind leg; making sure I calibrated the heading indicator to the compass every 10-15 minutes or so (it's amazing how off that thing will get while you're flying around); on top of watching all the instruments, I had to remember to look outside the plane to keep track of the runway. Luckily, the instructor is still doing most of the communication with the tower so I didn't have to worry about that as it's pretty involved at a large airport. After doing the pattern a few times we heading back to LIT. We had a direct crosswind on landing so my instructor demonstrated a slip landing which was pretty interesting. Learned a lot more about airport signs and markings. I set my mobius up to record the flight but didn't have a good place to put it so the video kinda sucks. Half the screen is the dash of the plane and the other half is mostly sky until I was descending/landing. I was in a rush to set it up right before takeoff and I forgot to put my flaps down! I was wondering why it was taking me so long to get off the runway. My instructor reminded me that my checklist is more important than the camera, oops, but it was a learning experience. I ordered a suction cup mount so I can mount it to the canopy and get better video. Other than that it was a beautiful day and a great flight. Has anyone else started yet?
 
#15
Finally got flight #3 in today. The weather hasn't been very good so I've just been doing ground training. The weather still wasn't very good today, the ceiling was around 1700' but we were able to fly a traffic pattern at 1000' and stay under the clouds and maintain a VFR. We did 9 or 10 touch and goes at little rock int. and I have to say, it's still pretty overwhelming. Flying the traffic pattern is very busy, but for those who don't know what that is I'll explain the best I can because if you're like me, I've never really flown RC at a field with a pattern, other than FF14. Picture a large rectangle around an airport, with about half of one long segment being the runway. Typically you fly a left hand pattern, so after takeoff and once a little ways clear of the runway you turn 90° to the left and continue ascending to pattern altitude (typically 1000'). Then you turn another 90° left flying parallel to the runway. Once you're "abeam the numbers," meaning the runway numbers are directly off your left wingtip, you throttle back and begin your descent. As long as you're airspeed is slow enough you put your first set of flaps in. Once the runway is at about 45° behind you, make your 3rd 90° turn now perpendicular to the runway. Still slowing and descending, you add your second set of flaps in. Once your almost inline with the runway your make your final 90° to be on final approach. Then you just aim for the numbers and come in for a landing. Hopefully that helps illustrate the pattern a little. What's overwhelming at first is managing your flaps, airspeed, throttle, trim, landing checklist, and of course, altitude. We also had a roughly 8knt crosswind. Making everything that much more complicated. Im used to crabbing in the wind with an RC plane, but it's strange being in the cockpit, with the plane pointing to the right of the actual flight path. Out of the 9 or so patterns, I had to do two go arounds, one for being to high and one for not being lined up properly (they threw me off with a right hand pattern). But, I had three landings with no assistance at all from the instructor, which he tells me is good for only the third flight. I'm glad he gave me that encouragement because I was feeling a little discouraged. This flight was pretty stressful, but definitely a good learning experience.
 
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#16
Finally got flight #3 in today. The weather hasn't been very good so I've just been doing ground training. The weather still wasn't very good today, the ceiling was around 1700' but we were able to fly a traffic pattern at 1000' and stay under the clouds and maintain a VFR. We did 9 or 10 touch and goes at little rock int. and I have to say, it's still pretty overwhelming. Flying the traffic pattern is very busy, but for those who don't know what that is I'll explain the best I can because if you're like me, I've never really flown RC at a field with a pattern, other than FF14. Picture a large rectangle around an airport, with about half of one long segment being the runway. Typically you fly a left hand pattern, so after takeoff and once a little ways clear of the runway you turn 90° to the left and continue ascending to pattern altitude (typically 1000'). Then you turn another 90° left flying parallel to the runway. Once you're "abeam the numbers," meaning the runway numbers are directly off your left wingtip, you throttle back and begin your descent. As long as you're airspeed is slow enough you put your first set of flaps in. Once the runway is at about 45° behind you, make your 3rd 90° turn now perpendicular to the runway. Still slowing and descending, you add your second set of flaps in. Once your almost inline with the runway your make your final 90° to be on final approach. Then you just aim for the numbers and come in for a landing. Hopefully that helps illustrate the pattern a little. What's overwhelming at first is managing your flaps, airspeed, throttle, trim, landing checklist, and of course, altitude. We also had a roughly 8knt crosswind. Making everything that much more complicated. Im used to crabbing in the wind with an RC plane, but it's strange being in the cockpit, with the plane pointing to the right of the actual flight path. Out of the 9 or so patterns, I had to do two go arounds, one for being to high and one for not being lined up properly (they threw me off with a right hand pattern). But, I had three landings with no assistance at all from the instructor, which he tells me is good for only the third flight. I'm glad he gave me that encouragement because I was feeling a little discouraged. This flight was pretty stressful, but definitely a good learning experience.
Good to hear you are making progress, I myself am a CFI its always good for me to get an idea of how other student pilots (outside of the ones I teach) are faring while learning how to fly.

I guess I should leave you some inspiration of whats to come.
 
#18
Full scale

Awesome. Its neat to see so many rc pilots go full scale. Some include Matt Chapman, RJ Gritter, Daniel Holeman. Jase Dussia went to KOSH this past year. I logged .6 in an Robinson 44 Saterday and should go flying this Saterday as well. Currently have 19 in fixed-wing and 29 in rotor. I am also currently working on my Airframe and Powerplant Mechanics license.
 
#19
Flight #4 on Wednesday. Getting into the fun stuff. We did some steep turns (45° bank) and touched on stall procedures and engine failure procedures. I almost thought we really were going to land in a farmers field! With engine failure you pitch for the best glide speed, pick the best landing area, and start running your checklist to try to get the motor started again. My instructor killed the motor at about 3000ft and we were about 600-700 when he finally told me I could add power and climb out. Definitely lower than I wanted to be over a farmers field! All in all a good flight, we did have to hurry back to the airport to beat a storm. So much to learn!!
 
#20
Flight #5 today. Beautiful day too, not a cloud in the sky. We practiced several maneuvers and spent about 30 minutes with "foggles" on doing instrument flight. The foggles prevent you from seeing outside the plane and only allow you to see your instruments. We basically just did turns to headings and climbs and descents with the foggles. After that we did a few power off stalls and engine failure procedures. Getting more comfortable with engine failures. We also did turns around a point which was pretty fun and "s" turns which wasn't as enjoyable. Turns around a point is where you pick an object on the ground, silos in this instance, and keep it just off your wingtip and circle it while maintaining altitude. An s-turn is pretty self explanatory, just do an "s" pattern over a road. These were a little more difficult when the wind is factored in. When turned into the wind you have to have a more shallow turn than when turning with the wind. After that we headed back to the airport to land. As far as ground training, I took my stage 1 test earlier this week and now we're getting into aviation weather.