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The Student
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Initiatives in Learning to Fly;... Pilots Are Special; ...Living Your DreamHow to Get Interested in Flying ...Selecting Your Instructor; ...Where to Go; What to Do; ...Evaluation of CFIs; ...Factors in Successful Learning ; ...Directed Study; ...Immersion Program; ...Why?; ...Preliminaries to Flight; ...First Flight Preparations; ...Learning to Fly; ...Changing You; ...Using Flying to Change You; 
...Helping Your Instructor Help You; ...A Pilot Extrudes Confidence and Poise; ...Memory Is the Second Thing You Lose; ... Using Forgetfulness; ...Helping Yourself; ...A Study of Manners and Consideration... Talking Airplane Is Not Just Talking; ...The Student as a Student; ...Keeping Anger in Its Place; ...Face the Unpleasant; ...Student Evaluation; ...My Kind of Student; ...Side Note; Suggested Student Order of Reading this Site.. Finding Time to Read about Flying; ...Getting Started; ...Being Left Handed as an Advantage; ....

Initiatives in Learning to Fly
---Plan a course of action that gives an orderly sequence of things to do and to get going effectively.
---Get life insurance simply because as a pilot it will become more expensive for pilot to get coverage.
---Get your medical simply because you need it to get a pilots license.
---Get enough money to carry you through solo and better beyond your license. (2004 about 5-7 thousand}
---Understand that keeping your proficiency will annually cost as much as getting your license.
---Once you know how to fly you will never forget it but your timing and anticipation skills deteriorate.
---Locate a rental facility at small airport as close as possible with several planes to use as trainers.
---Do not buy an airplane, pay in advance, go into debt or fly less than 2-3 times a week.
---CFI experience has little long-term effect on quality of instruction.
---Most important that you be taught how to do things correctly and efficiently.
---You must become accepting of unexpected multiple delays that are endemic in learning to fly.
---A pilot must learn to overcome any tendency toward wavering decisions. Decisiveness is a virtue.
---The very nature of flying requires that anticipation be decisive. Know what to do ahead of time.
---Once of the character changes inherent in becoming a pilot is removal of indecision.
---The beginning pilot must make mistakes and learn from them what not to do next time.
---The instructor must create mistake situations to guide the student on a course to survival.
----The principle cause of indecision is the fear of making mistakes.
---Look forward to the making a mistake as a learning opportunity and not something to be feared.
---Signs of indecisiveness require instructional periods that include mistakes as learning opportunities.
---The habitual student indecisiveness can be corrected with examples of successful anticipation.
---The cardinal principle in forming proper habits is to allow no exceptions of any kind.
---The worst thing that can come of a mistake is to get-away-with-it.
---Correct habits of perception allow the pilot to anticipate what to do and thus improve flight efficiency.
---Decisiveness does not preclude smoothness in use of controls. Smoothness is a sign of skill.
---Do not fly hungry since fatigue is more than just feeling tired, it is also a mental condition.
---The hungry or thirsty pilot is both physically and mentally deficient in flying skills.
---Nutritional deficiencies will cause a pilot to distrust his capabilities and slow his responses.

Pilots Are Special
A pilot has overcome his fears. He has replaced superstition with rational thinking and knowledge. It takes a special degree of courage to face your instinctive fears, over come them only the face those things that deserve to be feared. The conquering of these fears must be approached gradually and can be proven to be partially overcome by passing the FAA flight test.

To become a pilot one must become a time and energy manager. Finding the time in this day and age requires sacrifice and perseverance. A pilot must forgo immediate pleasures. However, it is difficult to devote study and money into what can only be perceived as an improbable future.

As a pilot you become a different person. You have reached down into yourself and found new levels of self-reliance. New heights of confidence and assurance make it possible for you to challenge your teachers. Make them prove to you their way to perform works. You have learned to share responsibility if you must and to take total charge when required. You have confidence in doing those things you know you can do. You are also willing to accept your limitations by not doing those things you are not qualified for. You know what you know with certainty. You accept humbly that there is much you do know and much more may never know. You have learned to replace resignation and panic with planning and anticipation.

As a pilot you take care of your physical self just as you take care of your plane. You are moderate in your demands of your peers except when it comes to safety. Humor is a part of your personality. You can find a laugh in the direst of circumstance. The costs, waste, delay, and failures of the system are accepted as a fact of aviation life to be laughed at when there is no other recourse.

The joys of flying build with each experience. Experience builds on past experience in an ever-growing pyramid. Confidence builds in your own capability to deal successfully with the present and in anticipation of what the future offers. Flying success is built on faith. You have faith that the design and operation of the engine, the airplane, and all its parts will continue to operate in approved fashion. You have faith that the electronics of the plane and system will provide reliable guidance and communications. You have faith that at the certain speed the airplane will fly and that the runway will be below the wheels even though you cannot see it at touchdown. You have faith in yourself and confidence that what you have planned is both possible but worthy of doing. Together all things built on your faith makes flying the most rewarding individual achievement you will ever have.

Living Your Dream
---To most pilots flying is a dream come true and the only regret being that they couldn’t start sooner.
---Aviation heroes of the past have the capability of inspiring dreams of accomplishment in others.
---The dangers of flight lie mostly in misconceptions, lack of perception and incomplete skills.
---You can repay your enjoyment of flying by finding ways to do it more safely for others.
---Flying is one activity that inspires planning in pleasant anticipation for an enjoyable experience.

Living Your Dream
---To most pilots flying is a dream come true and the only regret being that they couldn’t start sooner.
---Aviation heroes of the past have the capability of inspiring dreams of accomplishment in others.
---The dangers of flight lie mostly in misconceptions, lack of perception and incomplete skills.
---You can repay your enjoyment of flying by finding ways to do it more safely for others.
---Flying is one activity that inspires planning in pleasant anticipation for an enjoyable experience.

How to Get Interested in Flying
---It helps to be able to do self-study about flying. Self-study still requires perseverance and aptitude.
---Aptitude can be gained but only by concentrated, intensive effort.
---Those who fail to acquire aptitude fail usually because interest in other things take precedence.
---No success follows a person who lacks an ideal sufficient to drive inspiration.
---Money, pleasure, and health do not drive success as well as does helping others to succeed.
---Knowledge is accumulative like a snowball. The push gets harder but the results multiply quickly.
---The accumulation of knowledge improves your insight, and attitude toward what is learned.
---This happens to flying and to any other subject that has personal satisfaction and social value.
---The more you join activities with others involved in flying the better you will appreciate its potential.
---The reading of biographies and autobiographies of famous pilots will give you visions for the future.
---In flying it is more important whom you know than what you know knowledge is contagious.
---You will be known by those you associate with as pilots as much as any other part of your flying future.
---Cultivate contact with the best instructors and pilots. Seek pearls of wisdom for future reference.
---Do as much as you can to make the acquisition of knowledge efficient.
---You should plan to turn your thinking about flying into something worthy of the name.

Selecting Your Instructor
Your instructor is but one essential leg to the flight-training program. An interview and perhaps demonstration flight can be very deceptive. I do believe that flying with the first person to say hello has a relatively high element of chance. I would first select the airport from which to fly. You are more likely to fly more often if the field is convenient. What kind of airport and how busy is not a major consideration. Perhaps the field selection may be a choice between several airports. If a simulator is involved, it will be only as good as the instructor.

You might want to interview your instructor selections in a non-flying situation over coffee. Find out where they trained and from whom. Ask what are they planning with their flying career and just how their teaching you fits into the picture. If the instructor is building hours for another occupation you might look elsewhere. All instructors are different and changing instructors is always an option you should hold open. Better to make the changes, once considered, sooner than later. Ask why is the instructor an instructor. Is the instructor working for you or for himself or is another skimming some of his pay? Is the planned program designed to give you economy and achievement? If the instructor charges for telling 'war stories', the talking can become expensive.

What you are looking for is communication skills, experience, dedication and professionalism. You want an instructor who is willing to fly you into weather. You are looking beyond theory for practical knowledge and applications not always available in textbooks. Basically, you are looking for a communicator with knowledge, creativity, discipline, patience with the ability to determine weaknesses and strengths.

The last major consideration is time. An instructor who is not available is like not having one at all. As a student, you must not begin flying unless you have both the money and time required for learning efficiently. You should demand that the instructor have both time and available aircraft. Reliability is essential. Be on time and give the instructor only two shots at being late. Let him know this during the interview. Waiting is what makes old age.

50% of students who get medical certificates do not get their licenses Why are we using the least experienced of our instructional prospects as the majority of our teachers? Teachers, regardless of what they teach are on the lowest rung of the career ladder. A teacher is good who has enthusiasm for his material and is eager to share it. Look for such a teacher.

Where to Go; What to Do
You can find whom to interview by talking to people around the airport. Pretty soon certain names will keep coming up. Those are the people you want to see. Compare at least three and then ask to talk to some of their present and past students. Contact the local designated examiner and ask for recommendations. You are far more likely to make a good choice using the opinions of relatively experienced pilots and students. If you plan to fly at a controlled airport, go to the tower on different shifts and get ATC opinion. The question to ask is, "Who would you select as your flight instructor?" "Why?"

Use your eyes, ears and nose during your meetings. I have flown with instructors with various physical handicaps and have found that the instructor who overcomes problems has much to offer any student. Appearance makes a difference. Consider whether you want to work out inclusion of some selected ground instruction. Having the same person teach you to fly and guide you through self-study of ground school has inherent coordination advantages to the student. Your flying will supplement your ground instruction and vice versa. Taking a ground school is not very efficient.

Don't take your demonstration ride right away. Make an arrangement that will allow the instructor an opportunity to assign home study and a preflight review of what will be flown. Confusion has a negative effect on learning. Most instructors are above average pilots. Being able to fly is not nearly as important as being able to teach flying. The best teaching will occur before and after the flight. The airplane is a very poor classroom.

Money spent on a demonstration lesson can be informative. Try to take the same lesson from all instructors so you can relate comparisons. Have a set of identical questions to ask each instructor. Grade the explanations for each question. Questions should vary from highly technical to stupid. Listen for a change in voice tone and body language as the questions vary. A good instructor is not averse to admitting ignorance. Knowing where to find information is just as important as knowing. Good flight instructors learned on the job.

The type of aircraft is mostly a matter of personal preference. The instructor is often limited in his selection by what is available. You are not so limited. Some aircraft are somewhat too easy to fly. Others like taildraggers offer difficulties. Ask as many pilots as you can about their training preferences and then use your own judgment. Having a plane you feel comfortable with will improve your learning.

NAFI (National Association of Flight Instructors) has a wide range of information, including NAFI flight instructor names, hometowns and contact telephone numbers. Html://

Evaluation of CFIs
Where did you train?
Discuss experience and background
Why do you instruct?
Do you belong to a professional organization?
What is your own recurrent training program?
What flying sources do you use regularly?

Factors in Successful Learning
1. Time of year

Summer flying gives longer days but does not provide the most desirable range of experience. Aircraft are more available in the late fall and winter. Darkness in early morning and early evening is a problem. Learning to fly during the worst weather periods is the best way to maintain your attention to the vagaries that affect flying. Learn in the fall or winter; enjoy in the summer.

2. Schedule
You should not even consider learning to fly unless you can allocate at least two or three flying periods a week. Each period should include travel time and two scheduled flight hours. Actual engine time will be about one hour + 15 minutes. Two hours of study time must be planned for every hour of flying.

3. Finances
Do not begin flying until money is set aside just for flying. The first twenty hours of learning to fly will be the most concentrated cash-outflow you will face unless you buy an airplane.

4. Weight
If our weight requires the use of a C-172 as a trainer the cost per flight hour will be more. The increased cost is somewhat offset by the time saved meeting cross-country requirements and en route time to local airports.

5. Ground School
There is no reason that a person should not be able to self-study ground school with about 3-5 hours of tutoring. I do not charge for such time.

6. Preparation
Don't fly if you are not prepared for a lesson. You will get the most bang for your bucks by being prepared. Even the best instruction cannot fully compensate for lack of preparation.

Directed Study
---The minimum aviation study should be two hours for every hour of flight.
---Even recreational aviation reading will help you in the correct meaning and use of airplane English.
---You will better remember and associate your reading by talking about it with others.
---A twice read book means that you will improve your insight into what you have read.
---The true value of what you have read is displayed in how it changes your behavior.
---Reading on diverse subjects can be a gold mine of ideas applicable to flying and instruction
---Take aviation materials with you that can be accessed in spare moments of waiting.
---Wisely used waiting-time may be your best and most flying learning time.
---Always take some form of flying -study materials with you.

Immersion Program
1. You must be able to give priority to the time and energy required for learning to fly. If you can't or won't establish the priority, don't start. You must keep ahead of the flight program with your reading and preparation. You must not allow money to become a detriment to your commitment. Flying is not cheap and will not become any less expensive as you continue.

2. Your life ambition must be to become an old pilot.

3. Being a pilot is a state of mind; a personality. A pilot's attitude, not just experience makes for excellence. Excellence is a quality standard in flying sought but not often achieved. Desire must be there but unless it is accompanied by application there will be no progress.

4.The good pilot is able resist the temptation to do something unsafe, illegal, or stupid. The temptations will always exist.

5. A good pilot will not fly in aircraft or conditions beyond his capability or certification.

6. A good pilot does not ignore the FARs. The FAA looks to the pilot to answer for any violations. Sometimes a magnifying glass is used.

7. A good pilot is always a student, striving to make every maneuver a bit more precise than the one before.

8. A good pilot knows his equipment, its limitations and how to handle its malfunctions.

9. ATC can determine much about a pilot by how well he utilizes the system and the required communications. Always admit when you have a problem.

10. A requirement of being a pilot is in knowing the FAR rules that apply to your rating, your responsibilities, and the flight involved.

11. An instructor can only show you the way to the required learning. It is your responsibility to know what you need to know and to confirm that you get it. This is the most difficult area of student responsibility. Flying the plane is a relatively minor part of what you need to know.

12. The best time to get involved in an activity is before interest in it peaks.

13. Being a pilot is a state of mind; a personality. A pilot's attitude, makes for excellence. Excellence is a quality standard in flying sought but not often achieved. Desire must be there but unless it is accompanied by application there will be no progress.

1. Flying will give you enough other concerns. Money should not be one.
2. If you don't keep ahead of the flying lessons in your studying, you will not learn as well, money and time will be wasted. Don't put off lessons unless you are not prepared. Give plenty of notice to the instructor. Your death is always an excuse.
3. You don't want to be dependent upon just one airplane. It is just as well to get some flights in a different type. One instructor is best only if available and always on time. Death is an acceptable 'no-show' excuse.
4. By flying at different times of the day you will find that early morning is best but training winds are best in the afternoon. The late afternoon sun can make navigation more difficult. Dusk to dark transitions are good experience. You should also experience morning aircraft ice, frost, and carburetor ice.

Preliminaries to Flight
1. Medical/student license 
2. Flight Training Handbook
3. Student Pilot Guide 4. San Francisco Sectional
5. San Francisco TCA chart 6. Pilot flight log book
7. Airman's Information Manual (used) 8. Ground study course (tapes or Video)
9. Navigational computer and plotter
11. Flight Instructors Handbook 10. Guide to California Airports
13. 2-3 pens/4x6 cards 12. Cassette tape recorder/90

First Flight Preparations
1. Schedule aircraft/instructor.
2. Aircraft keys.
3. Read Owner's Manual.
4. Wear lightweight shoes.
5. Make a question card.
6. If the instructor is 10 minutes late, call his office.
7. Become familiar with geographic locations around airport.
8. Personal stress, health, food.
9. Before going to the airport eat some ginger candy (Prevents airsickness)

Learning to Fly
There is no single way to get a pilot license. Getting it is faster and cheaper if training is done consistently with the same aircraft and instructor. Of equal importance is that you be exposed to several different procedures but taught only the one that best conforms to safety and the PTS. Find an instructor who teaches because he wants to, not because he has to. A good instructor is a contradiction in that he must be both a critic and a motivator. Correction that points out the causes leading to an error is good. Instruction that anticipates areas of difficulty is best.

Being casual and friendly does not mean being either careless or having lax standards. Permitting a bad habit to develop could be the worst thing that an instructor can do to you. A demonstration that does not teach is useless. The best time to make your mistakes is when with an instructor. Providing, of course, that the instructor uses a mistake as a learning opportunity and a teaching opportunity for the two of you.

What one learns in flying is how fragments of an individual's experience are woven together, either supporting the long term goal and ambition or unconsciously undermining our efforts and needlessly complicating our program. Knowing too much about flying can be just as detrimental to acquiring new skills as can knowing too little.

Changing You
You begin flying with an attitude that may or may not be compatible to the reality required. Attitude is a basic human factor that sets performance, competence, and professionalism. A pilot's mind-set takes many forms and adapts to every specific task and situation. Mind set reveals itself in our willingness and ability to conform to the rules of the FAA, the POH, and physics. Every flight is a challenge to be met by thorough planning and close performance parameters. We are going to change you into a pilot.

A person's psychological makeup has a lot to do with the way he or she learns about and flies an aircraft. Tremendous personality changes take place whenever you acquire competence as a pilot. You will become more talkative, especially about flying. To the extent you exhibit one of the personality types (anti-authority, impulsive, invulnerable, macho, resignation) we will see them appear in different phases of your training. Self-confidence will increase. On the other hand, where confidence is lacking, tension will exist inversely. The student must exercise caution until competence is attained. Anticipation and planning will replace reaction. Both you and your friends will see psychological changes.

To become something new you must learn something new. For many, the personal changes that occur from flying are enough. Each flying hurdle that is overcome shapes the quality of the pilot. Pilots don't give up when the situation becomes uncomfortable. Flying teaches discipline. You will develop and expand personal qualities you never realized were there. You will learn to control yourself, be more assertive, make considered judgments, and replace reaction with anticipation. You will grow 'older' as reaction becomes anticipation.

Wanting to fly is an attitude. Learning to fly right is more than a unique acquisition; it is also an attitude. With the right attitude you will prioritize your time to make learning to fly a lifetime adventure. Any momentary failure will be just a learning experience. Don't allow a focus on detail to obscure the dramatic achievement of becoming a pilot. Don't be complacent with an acquired skill; there is always another way. Understand the rules of physics and the FAA; together they will make flying safe and rewarding. Safety is never an accident, it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wisest choice of many alternatives.

Every nuance of my instruction is designed to chose the safest procedure available. The regulations and aircraft design have safety as a priority. Above that comes personal judgment. As an instructor I try to expose the student to situations where good judgment makes a difference. A student can never learn to use good judgment unless exposed to the situations that require its use. We will fly in marginal conditions, complex airspace, and high winds. The student must learn his limitations.

Using Flying to Change You
A collection of thoughts, ideas, and suggestions
---Flying gives the power of purpose to your efforts.
---Flying requires economy of effort, efficient study and financial caution.
---You need to fix your aspirations and what you do on the goal.
---You must direct your time, money and efforts to your flying goal.
---Total immersion is the best way, most rapid, cheapest and rewarding.
---You must be confident in your ability, intention and situation.
---Your peace of mind is dependent on how your confidence carries you over difficulties.
---You learn to fly because you see it as providing a service either to you or others.
---The flying is a personal benefit that you see as also of benefit to others.
---Having flying as a dynamic motive removes the drifting aspect our lives.
---Flying has the capability of making you happier and thereby others happier.
---You need a ‘can do’ and ‘will do’ entrance into flying.
---You also need an instructor and facility that is equally supportive of your potential.
---Along with desire must be adequate resources of time, support and money.
---We all have resources and capabilities that we have never reached.
---Your unused, un-awakened and untried talents needed in flying lie awaiting.
---Your life’s experiences have some door opening capability waiting to be found.
---Your life’s experiences have some door closing capability waiting to be found.
---Flying requires that you separate the applicability of your experiences and ideas for flying.
---You possess reserves of mental and physical power yet to be realized. Use them.
---Your subconscious is a well of information that will solve most difficulties if brought to the surface.
---The subconscious can use your conscious senses to bring awareness not previously realized.
–-Think about your flying difficulties and successes when going to sleep and before fully awakened.
---Many of an individual’s greatest achievements occur through the use of the subconscious.
---The use of your subconscious is what separates the ordinary from genius.
---Genius is but the belief in your capability commonly known as self-confidence.
--You must believe in your own latent powers to do what you want to do.
---Your special interest in things about flying will improve you recall ability.

Helping Your Instructor Help You
The more an instructor knows about you, your background, motivation, finances, and goals the better he will be able to advise you on how to proceed. You must reveal any concerns you have about yourself in regard to flying. Are there health, emotional, or conceptual problems that you can foresee? Even if you are not aware of any, it is more that likely that something will arise at some point in your training. Spending more money does not guarantee better instruction.

Flying should be fun. It is a challenge but those students who continue find the challenge enjoyable. Stress, apprehension and even fear are part of the challenge. If your instruction does not replace them with fun then something is wrong.

Flying has many forms of stress. Some are self-imposed, some are by the instructor, and still others are external and beyond any control. Don't try to do something about things you have no control over, like the weather. Bend with the impossible, adjust to the unpleasant, and speak up against the correctable. Instructors can adjust to your needs. Recently had a student who objected to my gum chewing...I stopped. Student input is needed to make instruction better. As a student, you know how to learn best. Any reluctance to help the instructor do better is just prolonging the problem. It is just as important for the student to understand the instructor as it is for the instructor to understand the student. If it isn't working for you...change instructors.

I try to teach efficiency in flying; not shortcuts. The way you preflight, taxi, runup, takeoff and fly are indicative of personality traits. We often feel that expertise in one chosen field carries over into flying. Parts may but flying is a unique blend of training and skills. I will modify what I can, blend in that which is acceptable, and erase what I must. If you have flown previously some of this will be more difficult than if I was working with a clean slate.

A Pilot Extrudes Confidence and Poise
---Poise is a calmness, quietness and emotional control in dealing with adversity.
---Well-controlled behavior reduces the trauma of an aircraft emergency. It’s called poise.
---Flying confidence limits instinctive reactions and gives training an opportunity to prove its value.
---Training in calmness and poise control the unexpected without an incessant waste of nervous energy.
---This is not to imply that you resign yourself to fate. You use the checklist and keep trying.
---Poise is controlled power where knowing what to do keeps the odds in your favor.
---Do not let the annoying things that are always a part of flying surprise and irritate you. Pilots do not.
---The exterior demeanor of a pilot does more than mirror attitudes it intensifies and creates them.
---The acquired self-confidence of a pilot is reflected in sincerity of speech and manner
---Beginning pilots sense trepidation, concern and fear in varying degrees. A some point it becomes fun..
---Doing what you enjoy builds the mind and the body.
---Beginning pilots sense trepidation, concern and fear in varying degrees. At some point it becomes fun.

Memory Is the Second Thing You Lose 
---Memory requires interest triggers to exist.
---You will remember that to which you pay attention with intent to remember.
---You will also remember that which occurs in conjunction with a significant event.
---Memory exists with associated triggers, the more the better.
---A better memory depends upon the weaving of memory triggers or facts than can be associated.
---Anything vividly presented and paid attention to is more easily remembered.
---There is reason to believe that an increase in oxygen while studying can improve retention
---The greater the fatigue the less will be remembered.
---Forgetting is equal in importance as remembering. Selective forgetting is a valuable skill.
---Speakers often tie ‘war stories’ to information as a memory aid.

Using Forgetfulness
---The selective activity of the mind has a utility for forgetting just as does a computer.
---The ability of the mind to forget is what preserves its usefulness.
---We must forget to retain our sanity.
---Forgetting skills require that we do all we can to avoid any aspect or association that improves memory.
---Diversion of your attention into high interest activities is the secret to the art of forgetting.

Helping Yourself
Most of your flying skills will be an assembly of fundamentals. A fundamental is in turn an assembly of small actions, reactions and anticipation. Only with practice (of the right kind) do these small actions become smooth whole maneuvers. Failure to master a component part will contaminate the entire maneuver.

1. The basics of landing an airplane require such an assembly of fundamental skills. Most fundamental is airspeed control. The proficient pilot is able to anticipate the power, trim and yoke movement required to achieve a flight speed sought for a specific configuration. This is as true for the proficient student as it is for the proficient instrument pilot. Know what it takes and then do what it takes. The mastery of speed, or any other basic, rests on a strong chain of selected events. Once weakness weakens the entire maneuver.

2 .If you are a student who has a death-grip on the yoke, you are working too hard. You will fly better by learning to trim and let go. Most any airplane can be flown quite well without touching the yoke. Use the rudder. A well- trimmed plane can be made to climb or descend slightly, just by nodding the head. Try it. I used to call trim the power steering of flight. I was corrected into calling it cruise control. Knowing what to do and when to do it allows the lightness on the controls that makes flying easy.

3. Even talking on the radio can be made easy. To talk effectively, you must know where you are or will be when you plan to talk. You will give your altitude as an additional warning to other aircraft. You will rehearse to eliminate unnecessary verbiage and eliminate pauses and punctuation. All the rest is 'canned', in the same informational sequence for every ATC situation. Additional information by the pilot beyond the minimum shows the extent to which the assertive pilot is in command. You must know enough to protect yourself from ATC mistakes.

4. When not flying, a good student pilot is thinking about flying. Will study beyond the minimums of knowledge and assignments. Comes to sessions with prepared questions.

5. Have you ever been told that the question you asked related to information that you did not need to know yet? An instructor's failure to make use of this learning opportunity dulls initiative, weakens curiosity, and inhibits future questions. The only question that an instructor may not respond to is the unasked question.

A Study of Manners and Consideration
---Lack of consideration between pilots is rare but when it occurs very noticeable.
---Oddly, I have noticed it most when airplanes are being shuffled about an airport like cars.
---In a runup area at a runway I see planes park in the middle of a four-airplane area.
---I have seen aircraft unintentionally or unknowingly cut in front of an aircraft on final. It happens!
---In the upper airspace I have never seen such.
---As a group, pilots are the most sharing of people always helpful and willing to give help and ideas.

Talking Airplane Is Not Just Talking
---You cannot think about flying without having the vocabulary of necessary words.
---The development of a technical vocabulary requires an orderly daily number of new words.
---A new word is not ‘yours’ until used 32 times in meaningful context. Talk and write your new words.
---You do not truly understand your flying material until you can explain it to a ten-year old child.
---Try to simplify clearly and directly with an illustrative example to help the audience remember.
---Use associative ‘war stories’ to clarify and aid remembrance.
--- Get to the essentials and stay there in any discussion or presentation.
---Do not use words unfamiliar to your audience without synonyms, antonyms or explanation.
---The more associative ideas we have to support an idea and its explanation the better we remember.
---Any weakness of vocabulary limits thinking as well as speaking and writing.
---In flying it is best to avoid superlatives such as never and always.
---I have yet to find any aspect of flying without exceptions but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist.
---Being able to use words with appropriate meanings gives conversation power.
---Answering a question with an appropriate answer avoids the hidden humor of giving mismatch.
---Listening is a skill as important as is talking and opens the way to enlarge knowledge.

The Student as a Student
How much does it cost? Depends on motivation of student.
How long does it take? 62 hours is average. My students may take longer but they know more and are better prepared for the flying world.

Larger airports in metropolitan areas tend to take longer and cost more. Airport procedures can take 20% of the lesson time. Weather is an uncontrollable factor. The dedicated student will rearrange life style to give required mental and physical presence required to lesson preparation. The closer together the lessons the less slippage of learned material between lessons.

Neither money nor time should become part of the problem. Get enough money available before starting. Four flights a week are ideal in the beginning until solo. After solo, one lesson a week coupled with two directed solo-flights works until beginning proficiency.  With delays due to winds, weather and scheduling will take about two months.

Don't learn to fly in a situation where your needs are treated second to other priorities. Request and demand first preference for your lessons as scheduled. Make a fit with your instructor. If something about the instructor or training situation becomes an annoyance, change the instructor and situation as required.

Total immersion is the best way to learn. Borrow and buy selectively of materials at your level. Don't start with jets. Get to the airport earl and get cockpit time. Read the aircraft papers and POH. Visit and talk with people on the airport. Ask questions about other planes. Carry a question card to keep track of things you plan to ask your instructor. Watch airplanes land. Visit the Tower.

Becoming an efficient student requires some planning. An inappropriate instructor is the most likely reason you will have for quitting. Learning to fly is a shared responsibility. The instructor must give you things to do in preparation for the next lesson. You must come to a lesson prepared. Have the instructor outline the program you are expected to follow so you can study ahead. Frequent flights are best. Even a brief flight will contain a complete review of all aspects of flying. Fly safely and efficiently. Unplanned flying is not a practical use of time and money.

Fly to satisfy yourself. Not all of every lesson will be to your satisfaction. Make note of aspects that are causing stress and discuss them with your instructor. The making of mistakes is an essential part of the learning program. The more self satisfied you are with what you are doing the more motivated and efficient will be your progress.

You expect your instructor to be the product of a program that assures experience in flying and the teaching of flying. It helps if he has an additional commitment to instruction, personal maturity, and knowledge of what is to be learned by the student pilot.

It takes great trauma to etch what you know at a given moment to be permanent in your memory. Memory is selective and built upon experience. You get out of a situation directly in proportion to what you bring into it. Skill retention is intellectual, procedural, and manual. If you do not fly regularly you will undergo a rapid and significant deterioration in flying skill and ability. You will not forget how to fly. You will lose those little touches of finesse and anticipation that only come with a continuous flight program. Even more quickly will you lose and be unaware of intellectual requirements. Pseudo-agnosia, again. Such pilots assume their demonstrated skills to be much higher than in reality. Such pilots believe that their desire will substitute for practice or training. It doesn't.

Don't expect excellence in the beginning. You and the instructor are climbing a hill of worry together. The hill must be climbed a step at a time. If too much time occurs between lessons the hill turns to sand and each step begins to slip backwards. Even in the best of learning conditions the student may experience a plateau. This leveling of the learning curve is a normal and to be expected part of becoming a pilot. The student pilot should expect to experience one or all of the following plateaus:
1) Prior to solo;
2) Prior to solo cross-country,
3) Subsequent to taking the Practical Test.
There may be others and it is unrealistic for a given student to expect never to have a plateau.

The plateau breeds frustration. Quitting is a very real consideration. The rapid initial progress has slowed and possibly regressed. The first reaction is an undirected internal anger. The situation feeds on itself. If the student fails to communicate this anger or frustration to the instructor, it just gets worse. Learning to fly is a complex activity requiring both conscious and unconscious parts of our mind. It takes time for the mental areas to season and blend what we have learned. 95% study currency is required to balance the 5% physical aspects of flying if a student is to maintain progress.

Often it is the best students who consider quitting. Never stop practicing your four basic skills and reviewing your knowledge. Any decrease in your performance skills will decrease your confidence. You are more likely to experience problems in later flying in direct proportion to the amount you ignore your previous experience. First things first, and the first thing is thinking about flying.

Keeping Anger in Its Place
What turns a student the wrong direction can be the sudden onset of a series of failures. The myriad of emotional reactions; anxiety, panic, euphoria, relief, hope, despair, blame, self blame, and anger leads far to many to give up without realizing that these cycles in achievement are all a part of life, not just learning to fly. Recognition of this may be your greatest return on investment from flying.

Anger is a form of emotional blackmail, an adult temper tantrum. Like a thunderstorm it can grow into yelling and violence. It can be a blame-game where the responsibility for anger causing situations is transferred. That's the invitation. Don't play the game. Find a way to express your anger in a way that will not do harm to yourself or others. Don't dig yourself into an emotional hole. One of the greatest changes that occur in a person who becomes a pilot is, of necessity, his willingness to accept those conditions and situations that are beyond his control.

It is important that the student realize the extreme responsibility that exists when an instructor takes on a student. The ultimate responsibility is when the student is soloed. Any instructor who begins with symptoms of stress will become much worse prior to solo. Instructor stress will be mirrored by student stress. You are looking for certain instructional qualities. Being a super pilot is not one of them. You want to learn in a relaxed ground and cockpit atmosphere where the instructor is willing and able to take the time to explain without making you feel demeaned for not knowing. The instructor should be just as willing to listen to your reasoning for thinking as you do no matter how wrong. One of the more difficult processes in learning is to unlearn that which we 'knew' all along. Flying will change your personality. A pilot has a positive personality, a positive 'can do' outlook on life, and an awareness that some aspects of life, time, and nature are beyond control.

Face the Unpleasant
---Among the hardest aspects of flying is the necessity of dealing with unpleasant facts.
---Most unpleasant of all is the ‘medical’ that takes flying out of your life.
---For most the medical is a slow process of self-deception in ever-increased inability to accept the truth.
---The ‘Sport Pilot’ option awaits in the wings. ‘Till then, what?
---In affairs of any kind evading the issue will not succeed but especially in flying.
---One form flying unpleasantness comes through contact with the FAA over a ‘violation’.
---A deficiency in skill, judgment, attitude or luck can make an unpleasant situation balloon into a problem.
---Failure to acknowledge and regret mistakes means that little will be learned from the experience.
---Ideally, from every unpleasantness you will learn from errors the lessons that are there to be learned.
---Even great men make mistakes but never the greatest of mistake of failing to accept accountability.
---You can begin to train yourself to face the unpleasant. Every day face up to an unpleasantness.

Student Evaluation
Evaluation is a teaching constant. It begins when the lesson begins. Continues throughout the lesson and for me can continue for years. Just today (5-11-98), I had a student bring to my attention that I had advised him to quit smoking over twenty-five years ago. My lesson at that time was re-evaluated twenty-five years later as a long-term positive influence on the pilot's life.

Progress and even lack of progress is subject to evaluation as to why what is happening, is happening. Even success bears repetition as does a lesson that did not achieve sought for goals. I spend considerable instructional time introducing material. Introduced material is just that and not subject to the 'progress' evaluation. I introduce the four basics, slow-flight and the stall. I introduce ground reference. I introduce new airports and flight areas. I introduce all the different kinds of approaches and landings. I am not teaching for any level of proficiency. I am teaching for awareness and recognition. Every introduction is evaluated on that basis. Every introduction will be followed by one or more lessons that will be evaluated by a standard of, "Is the student safe to do this solo."

When I give a test or an oral quiz I do so with the intent that the student will both give the process and the reasons why that process is relatively more safe than any other. The reasoning behind an initial left clearing turn, going to slow-flight when #3 to land, and making 'on-course' requests from ATC is just as important as the performance. There is some rote knowledge that must be known. Even that rote knowledge will not be retained or be useful unless it is applied in an actual flight situation.

The beauty of an oral examination that includes a walk-through by the student is that it allows immediate evaluation and correction. Clearing problems on the ground is far more efficient and effective than with the student under flying stresses. The oral presentation leads to clearer understanding and interpretation of the technical terms of aviation.

During the proficiency phase of instruction I deliberately set up situations that require the student to make decisions. I have them talk through their options if low or high on final. What are your options to correct the situation what are your options if your plan won't work? What do you plan to do the next time so this situation won't arise again? The process is one of evaluating judgment under stress as well as performance.

My Kind of Student
I want a student who responds, enjoys, and pays attention. I enjoy sharing my love of flying with someone. I often share too much, try too hard, and overwhelm the student. I don't want the student to be just a well for me to fill. I try to augment every mistake or success, to an event-mistake or event-success in my career, with a brief story. Stories, while time consuming, are the cement of memory. The story is a sharing of the joy-spirit of flying. I want a student who is enthusiastic, who laughs at my old jokes, and who challenges what I say until I can back it up by an experience or text.

I want a left-handed student. Flying is the only area other than being a first baseman, batter, or pitcher where lefties start with an advantage. About 15% of the population are so blessed. A higher proportion of pilots seems to be left-handed. Flying does not require the specialization of fine motor skills. That field is left to right-handers.

Side note:
By the second year, hand dominance appears. Aircraft are equipped to do things equally well both left and right but American aircraft do things easier to the left. The rest of the world is right handed from scissors, tools, guns, phones, serrated knives, power mowers, binders, desks, keyboards, screws, and knobs. On average, right-handers do live eight months longer than left-handers. Average age difference 66 years to 75 years. Life is not fair.

Suggested Student Order of Reading this Site
Read as fast as you can, do not study.  Mark areas of special interest or concern with an I or a C.  If you become confused or do not understand, phone me any time before 11p.m at night or after 7a.m. in the morning..
Call me if you can...No more than three questions at a time or time limit of 20 minutes per call.
Read all the ONE’s, then all the TWO’s etc.
Seven one’s; nine two’s; Seven three’s;
Page1.0 My Month as a Student
Page 1,1 The Beginning Student
fourPage 1.2 The Student
onePage 1.35 Living with Mistakes
twoPage 1.4 Lessons for a Good Start
Practical Test Standards
Page 2.1 Performance Test Standards
Page 2.2 PTS Engine and Airframe Paperwork 
fivePage 2.25 PTS Engine and Airframe Technicalities
twoPage 2.3 PTS Basic NEED to KNOW Material
twoPage 2.4 PTS Airport and Ground Reference Patterns
twoPage 2.5 PTS Slow flight and Stalls
eightPage 2.6 PTS Spin Awareness
tenPage 2.7 PTS Navigation
threePage 2.8 PTS Airspace
Page 2.9 PTS Emergencies and Night
Page 2.91 PTS Hood Flying
Page 2.92 PTS Health Factors
Page 2.93 Age, Your Senses and Fatigue
Page 2.94 Health, Smoking and Stress
Page 2.95 Medical from Hell Opinions
Page 2.965 Medical from Hell Discussions
Page 2.97 Medicals from Hell - Cases 0 to 19
Page 2.98 Medicals from Hell - Cases 20 to 64
Page 2.99 Medicals from Hell - Cases 65 to 71
Basic Flight Operations
threePage 3.11 Preflight and Checklists
onePage 3.12 Trim and Holding the Yoke
threePage 3.13 Flying Surfaces Controls and More
onePage 3.14 Use of Flaps
threePage 3.21 Pilot's Operating Handbook
onePage 3.23 About Aircraft Speeds
onePage 3.24 Turns are Complex
fourPage 3.25 Skids and Slips
fourPage 3.265 Stall Origins and Performance
Page 3.275 Spin Causes and Recovery
fourPage 3.28 Ground Reference
Special Flight Situations
ninePage 3.3 Hood Flying and Illusions
tenPage 3.31 Flying at Night
Page 3.32 SVFR and Scud Running
Standard Airport Procedures
twoPage 3.4 Takeoffs and Departures
twoPage 3.41 Planning Arrivals
threePage 3.42 Avoiding Other Aircraft
fourPage 3.43 Charts, Airports and Procedures
fourPage 3.44 Uncontrolled Airports
All About Landings
fourPage 3.45 Flying Airport Patterns
fivePage 3.46 Flying Winds in the Pattern
sixPage 4.12 Types of Landings
sixPage 4.34 Thoughts on Landings
sixPage 4.56 More thoughts on landings
fivePage 4.70 Elements of a Landing
fourPage 4.71 Landing in Winds
threePage 4.84 All about Go-arounds
twoPage 4.86 Understanding the Flare
onePage 4.88 Airport Ground Procedures
Page 5.15 Requirements for Solo to Private Pilot
Radio skills 
fivePage 5.31 Bay Area ATC System
onePage 5.315 Basic Airplane Radio Procedure
twoPage 5.32 Talking Airplane
sevenPage 5.33 Kinds of Radio Use
threePage 5.34 Radio procedures for CCR
sixPage 5.35 Radio Procedures CCR to local airports
twoPage 5.36 Ground Radio Talk is Important
eightPage 5.37 Special Radio Situations
eightPage 5.38 Radio makes SVFR possible
Page 5.41 Electronic Navigation
Page 5.42 RADAR
sevenPage 5.43 Radar and Procedures
Getting weather and flying
Page 5.535 Weather and Wind
Page 5.536 Turbulence and Moisture
Page 5.537 Avoiding Icing and Thunderstorms
Page 5.538 Weather Flying Decisions
Page 5.539 Cold Weather Flying
Page 5.54 Mountain flying and Turbulence
Page 5.541 Weather Detection and Reporting
Page 5.542 METAR Weather
Page 5.543 Reading Terminal Area Forecasts
Page 5.544 Reading Weather Contractions
Page 5.545 NOTAM Contractions
Page 5.546 Inside Wx Charts and Notices
On Taking Trips
Page 5.550 Preparing a Cross-Country
Page 5.551 Student Cross Countries
Page 5.554 Flying the Cross-Country
Page 5.61 Cessna 150
Page 5.62 C-152
onePage 5.63 C-172 Procedures
onePage 5.64 C-172 Techniques
Page 5.65 C-182RG
Page 5.66 Piper
Page 5.67 Beech Skipper
sevenPage 5.715 Carburetor Ice and Heat
sevenPage 5.72 Engines and Systems
sevenPage 5.73 The Electrical System
Page 5.74 Maintenance and Paperwork
On Your Own
Page 5.81 Staying Proficient and Current
Page 5.82 Checkout and Flight Review
Page 5.83 Rules of Thumb
You Against Everyone
elevenPage 5.91 You, the FARs, FAA and the NTSB
ninePage 5.92 Safety's more than being lucky
tenPage 5.93 The Risks of Flying
eightPage 5.94 Risk Management for Pilots .
ninePage 5.942 Making Decisions
tenPage 5.951 Emergency Strategies.
elevenPage 5.961 Kinds of Accidents .
tenPage 5.971 Emergencies and Simulations
ninePage 5.98 Handling Engine Failures
Scan for areas of interest
All the Help You Can Get
Page 6.21 Instructors Learn too
Page 6.22 Instructors Learn more too
Page 6.23 Instructors Learn much more too
Page 6.24 Instructional Opinions
Page 6.25 Problems and Advice
Page 6.26 Problems with Advice
Page 6.27 Problem and Advisory
Page 6.28 FAA Problem and Advisory 
Page 6.31 The People
Page 6.32 Sources of Information
Page 6.33 More Sources of Information
Page 6.34 Statistics of Flying
Page 6.35 More Statistics of Flying 
Page 6.36 Forms
History Extends your Memory
Read only for enjoyment
Page 6.37Learning from History
Page 6.38 Learning More from History
Q & A
Read one page of questions and answers a day or ten minutes which ever comes first
Page 6.41 Questions and Answers
Page 6.42 Questions and Answers
Page 6.43 Questions and Answers
Page 6.44 Checkrides
Page 6.45 Checkrides
Page 6.46 Checkrides
Page 6.47 Checkrides
Page 6.48 Checkrides
Page 6.49 Talking Points
Try to read 1000 words a day or three minutes which ever comes first
Page 6.51 One Hundred Quickie Lessons.
Page 6.52 Second Hundred Quickie Lessons.
Page 6.53 Fifteen 'Concerns' Articles .
Page 6.54 Ten Articles about Training  
Page 6.55 Fourteen More Articles on Training .
Page 6.56 More Articles
Page 6.57 Still More Articles
Page 6.53 A Mix of Articles
Page 6.61 The End of VFR Material

Finding Time to Read about Aviation
---Let others drive so that you may read.
---Always carry something to read with you.
---You are digging a ditch in the mud of ignorance. Highlight pertinent points of what you read.
---Used books can give you valuable information Often the older the better and more interesting.
---The public library has fee novels, biographies, autobiographies and technical books about aviation.
---The internet has as much written about flying as about any other topic you can think of.
---Carry a pencil and small notebook at all times. Write all the ‘why’s? that occur to you about flying.
---Build your vocabulary about flying since you cannot think without words.
---You must keep working on anything related to flying that affects your consciousness.
---Start to see, hear and feel where you are and where other things and places are.
---You have this consciousness in your home, neighborhood and need to develop it about flying
---Start your reading to be about what you want to know and not so much as to what you should know.
---Begin small, collect ideas that while new, can be related to what you already think you know..
---Never pass a word you do not know without referencing it with a dictionary.
---Never pass a place you do not know without referencing it with an atlas.
---Never observe a flying event without asking why is it happening and where will it end.
---Do not leave things unknown behind you without arranging a subsequent meeting.
---The early hours are best for probing new and unfamiliar knowledge areas.
---An hour in the morning is worth two at night.
---Be prepared to use your wait-time in lines as an opportunity to learn.
---Study pictures to learn the names of everything and its parts you see..
---I have a hundred more things to tell you but this is a start. Feel free to write me again.

Getting Started
Advice to Tom...First some suggestions 
---Get all the insurance you think you will ever need. Insurance Companies are still using 50 year old tables including the fact than Lindbergh ad only a life expectancy of 900 hours. Now you can expect to fly for 70,000 hours before having an accident with no one hurt.. 
---For 1/3 more cost you and your wife could learn together in a C-172 by changing seats in the air. If not your wife a friend you will save money watching and learning from the back seat. 
---Tape or digitally record all your ground and flight instruction. Go over it together and start a web site of your experiences. (See recorder on my site). 
---Self study all the ground school Get tutoring for navigation and weather ---Flying is expensive but the faster you spend your money the less it will take in the long-run. 
---Shop around for an FBO and an Instructor. Record what they offer, availability and future plans. You don't want to lose a good instructor in mid stream 
---Get on the Internet news groups. Rec.Aviation.Student etc. 
---Expensive is not always better. Use older planes to train in and don't buy a plane until you have a couple hundred hours finding what you really want. Then get an expert to select it for you. 
---Don't take a flight lesson before you have read at least two hours about what will be in the lesson. It is a waste of money not to know what you should be learning and what the instructor should be teaching. 
---If you are fortunate enough to get your spouse to fly and learn with you, don't be surprised if she does better than you do. Just keep learning but you'll never catch up. 
---Never, NEVER conceal from your instructor any part of your program that gives you concern.
 --If some part such as ground reference, stalls, etc gives you difficulty let the instructor know. 
---Your greatest single regret about learning to fly will be that you never started sooner 
---Do not be selective in your studying and learning…everything you know can become important 
---Get local road maps and learn every geographic feature, highways, parks, landmarks and golf courses. bridges, tunnels, interchanges, distinctive buildings, 
---Airports become easier to find if you become familiar with nearby landmarks. that show the way. 
---The more you know about where you are the better able will you be to be proactive on the radio 
---The best part of flying is that the time spent flying is not deducted from your life span. 
---I have a hundred more things to tell you but this is a start. Feel free to write me again.

Being Left Handed as an Advantage
I was left handed before any of you were born. The ink wells at my schools were all on the right side and the ink was wet and smeared as I wrote across the paper. Left was the sinister hand of evil in past religious teachings. Punishment was usually a requirement to write 'lines' after school and I had to fake writing with my right hand in order to get the lines completed.

My writing was so poor that I taught myself to touch type in high school. I could not read my notes unless I typed them the same night in college. I was told that I could never become a teacher because of my poor penmanship. I wanted to become a teacher to 'get even'. I took college level business penmanship courses using only my right hand. In the process I learned to 'write' as an adult and was able to reduce all penmanship to six basic forms for all letters and capitals. Now I only use my right hand to write on a blackboard. I gave demonstration lessons in local schools for years after I left teaching.

Of all the things I teach, including flying, I feel that I teach penmanship best. Now penmanship is to the point of being dropped as a required skill in schools all across the country.

Flying is the only field of endeavor where left-handedness should be considered an advantage. See my web site in the history sections to see how this came to be.

Left-handers are the only ones in their right mind.

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Continues on page 1.3
Living with Mistakes