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I finally got the Sporty's Private Pilot DVD set! I've also built a PC with enough power, for my son and I, to fly MS flight simulator with the details set to high! I must be doing something right, as my wife says we're spending too much time flying the simulator. The first step is always the hardest ...
I took a $49 flight at my local airport about 6 months ago in a Cessna 152, but I plan to take lessons accross the bay where the school has fairly new Diamond Katanas - and insurance is included in the wet price. The Cessna flew, but I was not sure it was going to continue skyward when we took off ...
A silly question. My young, and hip, instructor wore Converse Chuck Taylor's - AKA Converse All Stars. I also noticed in my Tuskeegee airmen poster guys wearing All Stars. I was wearing Merrels with a fairly thick and comfy sole, but I noticed that I could not feel the pedals. Do thin soled shoes offer better 'feel' in small aircraft? If so, I think I'll pick up a pair of Chuck Taylor's!
RO, contgrats on the demo flight. Really nothing like it, is there? I took my demo in a Katana with one of the members of the board, RVMeder. Listen to everthing he says as gospel!
Can't speak for the Chuck Taylors. I was wearing Sketchers at the time and RV was handling the pedals. I thought it better to focus on what he was telling me to do and leave those inputs to him. Footwear may just be a trend at that FBO. You know, birds of a feather? In any case, pedal feed back through the soles of your feet is less important that the feedback the plane is giving the rest of your body. So long as they aren't clunky shoes that can get hung up on something and prevent full manipulation of the controls, you should be golden.
I too have a PC on the way so I can make best use of MSFS04 and CFS3. Most of the members are going to tell you this about flight sims, they are great for teaching procedures, bad for turning you into a panel-watcher. Don't get to used to them as a training aid, they can contribute to some seriously bad habits.
Have fun, live, learn, and listen to the board. Though we have differences of opinion (frequently), this is a very knowledgeable group.
Shoes don't matter. I've flown wearing office loafers, western boots, sneaks, and steel-toed construction boots. Doesn't matter once you've learned how much pressure to use on the pedals. Mostly you need to learn how much pressure to apply with your quads (the muscles on the front of your thighs). Also, when you use the brakes, try thinking in terms of curling your toes forward (this will cause your ankles to flex forward and push the brake pedal gently). Also, make sure you have the pedals adjusted correctly (for the uninitiated, the seats don't move in Diamonds - the pedals do).
Also, remember, the Katana is very sensitive to rudder forces, with very well balanced aelirons. The other "problem" with the Diamond aircraft is that you might have to "help" the airplane go straight during the takeoff roll with very soft, short touches of the appropriate brake until the rudder becomes effective. One of the toughest things to teach in these aircraft is soft and/or short field takeoffs in a cross-wind. In those types of takeoffs, you don't want to be using brakes, but it may be necessary to hold the centerline at very low speeds.
As suggestion, have your instructor do a rudder exercise with you. The way this works is that you go to a safe altitude. You then yaw the airplane left and right while rolling the aelirons the opposite way to hold the wings level. Obviously, you'll develop massive skids left and right. This "anti-coordination" exercise actually helps give you the tactile feel necessary to keep the ball in the middle because you're handling the controls in a non-standard fashion. After a few minutes of this, you'll be surprised how easy it is to keep the plane coordinated. Just make sure you're at a sufficient altitude and airspeed so you don't stall the plane cross-controlled (or if you do, there's enough room to recover from the resultant spin).
Have fun and keep us posted.
One thing - don't fly barefoot. Why? Three reasons -
1) Asphalt ramps in the summer will scorch your feet off (my big trick is to run across the parking lot barefoot at our timeshare in the Carribean - youch!)
2) Think about walking away from the airplane after an off-airport landing.
3) (Very unlikely) - Engine fire - keeping your feet protected.
Uhhhh, not gospel. MasterYoda is way too kind.
Listen to everything from William Kershner, Rod Machado, Wolfang Langeweisch, Barry Schiff, John and Martha King, et al, as gospel. They're the true masters. I just like keeping it safe.
Just to add my two cents in here too (what, me stay quiet?), I agree with the sentiments that footwear, so long as it is not going to get caught up in things, isn't really a factor, though, as rvmeder pointed out, don't go barefoot!
I've flown light aircraft in U.S. Air Force issue steel toe combat boots, business dress shoes, running sneakers, etc., and not had any problems with either the feedback aspect, nor functionality.
Ok, I was being too kind. I've done that a couple of times lately...hm. I promise not to boil any rabbits!
Whatever the case RO, you'll learn who the people are on this board that will dispense invaluable information that, on a technical level, is irrefutable. RV is an instructor who's technical knowledge and personal minimums for safety I take as a model for my own.
Thanks for all of the support. I've got 4 full days off my regular job, and I've made it 80% through the first two DVDs. I'll try to "preview" all of the DVDs by the end of the holiday, and then I will really watch each one in depth a number of times ...
I have a feeling I'm exagerating the shoe issue, as I was cramped and nervous in the 152 - I'm 5'' 9" and 200 pounds ... That first flight was like riding in my wife's old 67 beetle on the 110 in Pasadena at 80 mph ...
Date: 7/1/2005 3:12:01 PM
I have a feeling I'm exagerating the shoe issue, as I was cramped and nervous in the 152 - I'm 5'' 9'and 200 pounds ... That first flight was like riding in my wife's old 67 beetle on the 110 in Pasadena at 80 mph ...
Oy vey! That brings back memories of my days in a C-152 II during my initial training in 1985! One of my instructors was about your size, and I'm shorter, but was not a small framed individual even back then. It makes for some very close quarters, and I won't even mention the weight-and-balance issues!
The Sporty's DVD's are excellent and will go a long way in getting you started towards your private license. You may find it helpful, as you go through each lesson, to also use the practice exams and "Study Buddy" features on the Sporty's Pilot Shop website (they are free). That's an easy way of gauging if you are ready to take the real thing, and it will also help point out areas as you go that you may need to address in more detail with your CFI.
Hang in there! 72.5 inches, 210 pounds. I occasionally fly a 150, so we have to pick my victims carefully, along with accurate measurement of the fuel load. Also, in the Diamond Katana/C-1, the rudder pedals end up somewhere in front of the spinner on my side...
And people wonder why I love C182's and PA32's so much.
I've made it through most of the DVDs, but ... I have to admit that I keep falling asleep while watching them. In all fairness, I do have a regular high-tech job, own a retail store, am a licensed contractor, have a 4 year old, and a wife who tells me how I never do anything ...
OK, back to my real thoughts ... The DVDs are pretty good. The material is good, and 'Your First Solo' has all of the info on headings and using the E6B. I'll have to watch this one a lot ... They are clearly not as exciting as CSI or Miami Vice, but I'm learning quite a bit ...
I think I'm going to memorize these videos over a long time, and probably wait for Spring to start my real lessons ...
Wow - what a schedule. And people wonder when I sleep.
A strong suggestion: DVD's like this are most effective when used in conjunction with the flight lessons. Doing so will reinforce the learning and help build correlation, which is the path to true understanding. So, don't put it off too long - go fly (if you can find the time ).
The shoes! I must add my two cents. I fly land planes in flip flops if I can. Im a light traveler. I know some are thinking what a bonehead. Most pedels feel really bulky to me. I like them because I can comfortly feel the rudders from the breaks . I know what I am pressing on. I don't want to touch down with the breaks on or ride the breaks the whole landing. I use the ball of my toes only for rudder and slide my whole foot up for braking when it is time to slow down with breaks IF NEEDED. Why wear out your tires and breaks if you can help it if saftey in not an issue at the time? As far as the inflight fire thing goes I would rather feel something on fire than to giving it extra time by not feeling it which will give it extra time to get bigger and smoke maybe. I would have more time to put it out. I would also have a better idea where it is coming from or what it is before my whole shoe is on fire as I then smell something burnig and the whole cockpit is up in smoke. Most fires start out small and the sooner detected the better. I also fly in shorts for those against flying in shorts. Gonna start my own show called the "naked pilot" soon. lol.
Make it a habit to check your fuel gauges to ensure the tanks are even.
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