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Recently Started Flight Training!

Flight #23 was a week ago on August 3rd. It was another solo and my first complete flight by myself. I left from Little Rock and flew to Carlisle. At Carlisle I did a few touch and goes and came back. The only issues I had was with the radio. The plane just returned from maintainence due to radio problems. As soon as I took off the ATC told me my transmissions were broken. But he was able to hear enough to vector me out of the airspace. However when I was on my way back I couldn't get ahold of The tower, which is required before you enter the class C airspace. I was about to turn around and stay out of the airspace but I finally got ahold of him. He vectored me in and landed with no problem. It's been a week since I've flown and I'm starting to get anxious. I'm scheduled to fly tomorrow so hopefully that will satisfy my urge!
Sounds like a busy flight! It sounds like you handled the aviate/navigate/communicate part well. A radio problem on the way out is not a good thing to have.

I lost comms transitioning bravo airspace on a solo endorsement. It started with a stuck mic, so I assumed ATC knew what was up when I went silent. This was the first flight I had left my hand held radio on the ground. I had decided earlier that day it was taking up too much space in my flight bag, and riding a motorcycle in that day sealed its fate.

The crazy thing is I got to my class D departure airport and did lost comm procedures and never got a light gun. I flew in circles above the traffic pattern, with no clearance into the airspace and went completely unnoticed. I went to the nearest uncontrolled airport to clear my head and called them on my cell phone. They said, "fly over, we'll get you with the light gun this time." Great, right?

Wrong, back over to my airport, orbiting for about 5 minutes before I call them on my phone again. They said, "You're cleared to land, just land!!" still no light gun. I haven't flown as PIC without my handheld radio since, and I got an adapter to plug my cell phone into my headset so if needed I can make calls. Both of those items are on my personal preflight list because of that day!
Flight #24 & 25 was on the 11th & 12th.

Flight 24 was pretty fun. I did some flying with the "foggles" on, meaning you're only flying with the instruments and cannot see outside the plane. Then we did unusual attitudes, and what an experience that was. Basically you close your eyes and the instructor aggressively moves the controls around, pitching hard up and down and banking left and right. It really throws your senses for a loop. I definitely came out of my seat a few times when he pitched down really quick. Once you open your eyes you have to recover the plane to straight and level flight. You also do it with the foggles and have to recover based only on the instruments. Fun stuff.

On flight 25 I got to fly a Cessna again. We just practiced some slow flight and stalls in the Cessna and then did some landings at Carlisle. Pretty basic but still a fun flight.
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Flight 26 was yesterday. Another solo, I just flew to Carlisle and did a few touch and goes. It was a beautiful day. No clouds, barely any wind, and it's cooled down a lot so it wasn't 100° outside. The only thing that was kind of out of the ordinary was when ATC was vectoring me in, I was flying a right hand base getting ready to turn final, and they made me do a u-turn and fly away from the field and then brought me back. I think they just had a lot of traffic and I was the easiest plane to turn around since the others were jets. When I did come in to land I had a large airliner cross my path so I had to come in a little high as to not run into his wake turbulence. Gave me the chance to do a slip to landing. Can't wait to fly again!
Flit #27 was yesterday. I've got another new instructor, my last instructor is getting ready to move out to CA in a few weeks so hasn't been available to fly lately. The new instructor seems very knowledgeable, being a flight instructor is his part time job where he full time job is as an Air Traffic Controller. It was interesting picking his brain about the ATC side of things. The flight was pretty amazing, it was my first night flight. Everything looks completely different at night. It's neat seeing all of the different uncontrolled airports light up when you activate the pilot controlled lighting. Basically, you key the radio a certain number of times on a certain frequency and it turn on the airfield lights. Judging altitude is a lot more difficult at night, and finding the Little Rock airport was fairly difficult too. It blends in with all of the other lights in the city. We did a few landings in Carlisle, practiced slow flight and stalls at night and then headed back to LR. I'm supposed to be flying again tonight doing a cross country.


Biplane Guy
I was supposed to solo for the first time last night, but it's a really good idea to REMEMBER YOUR STUDENT PILOT CERTIFICATE.

I solo on Saturday.
Flight #28 was on the 3rd. We did a cross country to Russellville, AR. It was supposed to be a day flight but the trip back was at night since we were late leaving. We were also in a Cessna 172. It was a great flight and flying at night is definitely going to take some getting used to.
Flight 29 was last night and it was an interesting one. We did a night cross country to Arkadelphia. Once we got a little south of Little Rock the city lights faded and we were flying into complete darkness, it was very surreal and reminded me scuba diving at night. It was pretty fun lighting up the airports we passed that had pilot controlled lighting. Once we made it to ADF we did a few, unsettling, landings. With almost no lights around the airport, and fairly dim runway lights we couldn't see anything before the runway. So trying to make a normal approach left me hoping there were no tall trees off the approach end of the runway because if there were, we definitely couldn't see them. After a few take offs and landings we headed back to LIT. On the way back we could actually smell someone cooking food at 3500 feet! It smelled like funnel cakes! When we came back into little rock we did a few touch and goes on the main runway and that was lit up like a Christmas tree. I'll try to post a picture of it even though I'm sure it'll show upside down. If the weather cooperates I'll be flying again Thursday.
Flight #30 was on the 10th. I did a solo cross country back to Arkadelphia. It was great flight and ADF was very busy for an uncontrolled field. It was really my first time flying solo with a lot of other traffic, other than at little rock. But everyone was on the radio and communicating well, except for a crop duster. After I landed there I headed back to LIT and practiced a few maneuvers on the way back.


Junior Member
Damn you're on a roll - haven't read all 8 pages yet but it sounds like you're almost ready for the tests. How many hours are you at now? I'm new here and deeply rooted in the full scale / aviation world but the RC stuff is fascinating to me as well. I only got about 13 hours on the books before I ran out of time and had to start solo flights, which meant we lost our lease C172 as an option due to insurance and such. All flight schools after that! My instructor has a twin seneca but that doesn't exactly help much, though I do technically log my hours on it flying right seat. :)
I'm a little over 40 hours, mostly in the DA20 Katana and some in a C172. I've already gotten all my written tests done and hopefully I'll be doing my Check Ride in the next week or so. I'm aiming to have it done by the end of the month since it's my wife and I's anniversary and I want to take her flying. She's a little nervous about it though... :D I really don't know which I like better, full scale or RC. Unfortunately I haven't had any time to fly RC and the one time that I did, I wrecked my Flyzone Beaver that I got at Flitefest. Haven't decided if it's fixable yet but I'm thinking it is.
Flight #31 was yesterday, 9-17 and was another stage check. I flew with another instructor who tested me on cross country flight planning, different maneuvers and different types of landings/take offs. I learned several new things from him and did pretty well on the stage check. We flew to Stuttgart which is a small air field mainly used by Ag planes. We did several different things but one thing he did that I haven't had any instructor do yet is pull my power right after takeoff. Fairly often the instructor will pull your throttle and make you do your emergency procedures, but I haven't had one do it on take off. We were probably 100 feet off the runway when he did it but luckily we still has about half of the runway left so I was able to set it back down and come to a stop before we ran out of pavement.

Flight #32 was today and I did a solo cross country to Russellville. It was a nice flight but it was kind of hazy out. I landed at RUE and headed back but did a low pass over Petit Jean Mountain. Petit Jean is a state park that has a runway and camp sites right next to the runway. It also has a lodge that has a restaraunt and cabins. After that I flew down over the Arkansas river and headed back. Only a couple flights left!
Flight #32 was on 9/21. Another cross country. We went to Russellville with a stop at Petit Jean State Park. I always love flying into there. On the way to Russellville my instructor pulled the throttle and we did a simulated engine failure into Petit Jean. We were at 3500' and right over Petit Jean when he pulled the throttle so we just stayed over the end of the runway and did spirals down until we were low enough to land. Then we headed over to Russellville for a few landings before we headed back. I've gotten better on my short field landings, the instructor who did my last stage check showed me a different way of setting up for a short field landing. Basically, you just extend your downwind leg to give you a longer final approach, and while on final get into slow flight and ride slow flight all the way to the runway. This might be the normal way some people are taught, but before I would just come in for a normal landing and try to touch down at the very beginning of the runway, which works most of the time but this way seems to be more precise as long as the winds aren't real gusty. You don't want to be in slow flight low to the ground and have the wind knocking you around.
Nice work! I've got 2 more solos in the pattern before I start my cross countries, so it should start getting real fun real soon.
I've enjoyed the cross countries since I get to go somewhere other than the normal place to fly the pattern. It's also nice having time to cruise and enjoy the view instead of constantly climbing, descending and turning. I'm hoping to get some more time in a 172 before I'm done. Isn't that what you're flying? How are you liking it?
Flight #33 was today. I got to fly a Cessna again and just practiced some pattern work and a couple of maneuvers. Only my third time flying a Cessna but I'm definitely getting more comfortable in it. My next flight will be another cross country solo and then all I have left is a stage check and check ride. I hope to be finished by next week as I have some family coming into town and was hoping to go flying with them.
I'm finished!!! My final couple of flights all happened pretty quick and I didn't get a chance to post anything.

I flew twice on Monday, 10/5, and it was kind of a stressful day. I had been planning my last cross country all last week and last week but the weather was bad an I was unable to do it. Monday the weather still wasn't the greatest to the West of Little Rock which is where I was headed, so I ended up doing my cross country to Searcy and Stuttgart, which are East. It was also my first solo in a Cessna, and like I said they weather wasn't ideal. But it was still a great flight and good experience flying in less than perfect conditions.

The second flight that day was my final stage check in a Katana and even though the instructor said I did fine, I felt like it was one of my worst flights. He quizzed me on all different aspects, which I did okay for the most part, and then we flew to KSGT and did maneuvers. All of the maneuvers he said were within the limits but I didn't feel like any of them were as good as I normally do. One thing that he did that I’ve never done before is he put a little spin on unusual attitudes. Usually, for unusual attitudes you close your eyes, the instructor maneuvers the plane in all kinds of awkward positions, and you have to open your eyes and recover the plane. This time however, he had me close my eyes and continue to fly the plane. Let me tell you, this throws your senses for a loop. He had me do turns climbs and descends with my eyes closed. I have no idea if I was actually doing what he was telling me to, but eventually I would open my eyes and recover the plane from whatever attitude that I got it into.

Tuesday, 10/9, I flew for the last time with my instructor and we did a Mock Check ride and made sure all of my endorsements, and documents were good to go for the check ride. We practiced all of the maneuvers again and he also quizzed me on different things (weather, airspace, rules and regs, etc.).

Wednesday 10/10 was the big day. I had my check ride at 8am. On the way there I happened to find a podcast that talked about the Private Pilot check ride so I listened to it. It was put out by MZeroA, if anyone is looking for podcasts or youtube videos theirs are pretty informative. When I got there I met the Examiner who was very friendly and we starting joking right from the start. We sat down and he went over how the morning was going to go, then we went over my application for the private pilot cert., my log book and endorsements, medical certificate, student pilots cert. and all of the documentation that goes along with everything. Then we started into the oral exam which took about 2 hours. It definitely didn't feel like 2 hours though because it wasn't a strict question and answer session. He would ask a question, I would tell him what I knew about it, and then he would spend a little bit talking about it more in-depth. He was very knowledgeable and I learned a lot from him. He also told me several stories that were pretty interesting and from the sounds of it, he has had an amazing carrier in aviation. Everything from having his own skydiving business in Florida to flying tours in the Grand Canyon. When we got to the weather portion of the oral, he listed 10 or 11 items and said I had to be able to explain 7 of them to pass, but if I got all 10 I would get a free "do over" on any maneuver that I screw up. I managed to get all of them right, but he did let me look one of them up. After the oral exam was finished we went over the cross-country flight I had planned the night before which was a flight from Little Rock to Memphis. Then I head headed out to pre-flight the Katana. After the pre-flight I ran through the checklists and we taxied out to the runway where we sat for quite a while waiting for clearance to take off. All but 1 of the runways were closed and we finally got clearance to take-off. The first take-off was a soft field which went just fine. Once we were on course to the first checkpoint, Carlisle, he continued asking me different questions about the plane and airspace etc. When we got close to 4M3 he said that there was bad storm moving in and we had to divert to a different airport, and of course the GPS was “broke”. I got the chart out and diverted to Stuttgart. He asked me some questions about the VORs and how to intercept a radial. We intercepted the 089 radial and headed to KSGT. It was pretty hazy and we were flying into the morning sun so I couldn’t see KSGT until we were pretty close to it. Once I had KSGT in sight we started some maneuvers and did the power on and off stalls. During the power on stall I did make one mistake and I wasn’t applying quite enough right rudder, and I felt it start to go into a left spin! This was my first time almost entering a spin accidentally (my instructor did a spin intentionally a one point to show me what it was like). Surprisingly, I quickly applied right rudder to correct it. He scolded me (in a very friendly manor) for not applying enough right rudder but commended me for a quick recovery from the oncoming spin and we talked a little bit about spin awareness. Then we had a simulated engine fire and had to land at KSGT. The only thing I messed up on this part was I started to pitch for best glide like you would for an engine failure, after I realized I wasn’t doing the correct thing I dropped the nose and got down as fast as I could. We did a soft field landing and then taxied back to do a short field take off. There was another plane in the area with two instructors in it doing some training, which will be relevant in a minute. Before we did our take off, he brought up the pre-flight inspection. He said I did a really good job except I forgot to take the cover off the pitot tube (there isn’t a pitot tube cover on the Katana). So he covers up the airspeed indicator and says I have to do it without it and be off the ground before the 1000ft markers. I’ve never done a take-off without the airspeed indicator, much less a short field but okay, let’s see how it goes. It actually went surprisingly smooth. So he said he wanted me to show him a nice traffic pattern and then a short field landing and be stopped by the 1000ft markers. I asked if I get my airspeed indicator back. He said yes and took the cover off and then changed his mind… He said “nowhere in the book does it say you have to be able to do a short field landing with no airspeed indicator, but let’s see if you can. Oh great, just what I wanted to do. Airspeed is very important for every landing, but it’s extremely important for short field landings. When we on the downwind leg for the runway the other plane with the two instructors in it were holding short of the runway waiting for us to land, so the examiner gets on the radio and asks them to watch and grade this next landings. He also tells them it’s supposed to be a short field landings and the kicker is that my airspeed indicator is covered. No pressure. I extended my downwind a little to give myself a little extra time to get slowed down if I felt I was going to fast. My biggest hurdle I’ve overcame is learning to land slower and not be afraid of low airspeed in the vicinity of the ground! I got my flaps down at what I thought was a slow enough speed, and came in on final at what felt right judging by how fast I was approaching the runway. Once I was coming in over the runway lights I knew I was on the right track and began my flare. Not trying to pat my own back, but I made a nice touchdown right on the numbers and got stopped well before the capt bars. The examiner asked the other instructors what they thought and they gave me a “well done” and said I wasn’t 5 feet above the runway lights. Feeling pretty proud of myself he commended me and gave me precious airspeed indicator back. We took off and he talked to me about how we really don’t need the gauges to fly and need to be able feel what the plane is doing and be aware of what it’s telling us that it needs. We started to head back to LIT and he had me do some ground reference maneuvers. We did a few S-Turns and then he had me put my foggles on. Then he did some unusual attitudes which I was able to recover from fairly easily. They seemed much less aggressive than the attitudes my instructor put the plane in. After that he had me do some turns and climbs with the foggles on. He told me to take them off and then told me that all I had to do was land and park the plane and I’d have a pilot’s license! As we came back into KLIT’s airspace they started to vector us way out away from the airport. They still only had one runway open and lots of traffic in the area. After what felt like hours, they finally brought us back in to land. Once we were back in the office he printed off my temporary certificate and congratulated me on a job well done. It was actually a very fun and educational check ride. I couldn’t have asked for a better examiner. Even though I very rarely get nervous about anything non-life threatening and work fine under pressure, I was a little nervous about the check ride. His relaxed demeanor and stories made me feel very comfortable and I think if it hadn’t had been for that, I wouldn’t have done so well.
Thanks for all of the encouragement from everyone on here, and good luck to everyone who is still in the process of finishing their pilot’s training. If you ever need any help don’t hesitate to ask! If I don’t know the answer I’m sure someone on here will.