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Questions on this episode:
0:23 I find myself canceling flights for winds aloft. How can I become more comfortable with crosswind?
4:08 Can you quickly explain how the carburetor system works? Plain and simple.
6:11 What type of headsets do you prefer?
8:12 In flying Cessna 172, how soon after takeoff should one adjust the trim tab?
10:44 What technique can I use to turn final aligned with the runway centerline when practicing traffic patterns?
14:07 How much wear can an airplane get before it has to be repainted?
15:04 Is the Cessna 172 overrated? I think it’s an amazing plane, but some speak harshly against it.
17:08 How much time lapse between flights does it affect training?
18:55 I will begin school in 3 months how can I prepare myself for aviation school within English?
20:33 What’s a good way to go about studying pilot materials (like maneuvers and stuff)?
25:18 Go/No-Go decisions on those “it might work out” days?
31:53 Tips to maintain centerline more consistently?
34:04 As a fairly new instructor, what’s the best advice you can give? I’ve already had some scares.
35:38 Any special tips for the written instrument rating test?
36:30 Can you get your PPL before 17?
36:54 Checkride coming up, what is the most important thing to study?
38:58 Any tips on power on stalls when it’s all white above without a specific cloud to focus on?
41:54 After completing the private pilot certificate and an IFR rating, what are the best ways to reach the 250 hour mark?
42:21 How can I make good use of my time on the ground to make myself fly better in the aircraft? (The days that I am not flying)

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[vc_toggle title=”Episode Transcript”]
Hey everybody, welcome to another Motivation Monday. I am a few minutes late today. Had some sick kids up all night last night. So, I’ve been a little bit behind today getting started on everything. But here I am. I’ve got a good number of questions already in the hopper to answer for you guys.

So that’s what this entire Motivation Monday is about. It’s answering your questions. I find myself counseling flights for winds aloft. How can I become more comfortable with crosswinds? And just to differentiate actually winds aloft or those winds that are at your cruising altitude.

But I’m assuming what you mean by winds aloft is you just mean that the crosswinds at your airport and having the confidence to get used to your crosswind landings. And so, this is one of those areas where as private pilots, when you’re first doing your crosswind training, it’s a little tricky because you… there’s a lot going on all at once.

And that changes as you’re on approach into your flare and then even into your touchdown, your control movements are changing that entire time. So, this is just one of those things that as time goes on you build more skill. And so, I think overall, this is more of a question of what… or what or how do you build your skills on a certain aspect of your flying over time.

And I think with anything in aviation is basically just dipping your toes in the water here and there and testing yourself out a little bit more. Obviously, there are limits that you don’t want to exceed. In this case, that would be the crosswind component of the airplane or rather the max demonstrated crosswind component and find out what you can and can’t do.

Now, there were test pilots that figured out that max crosswind component or that’s basically how they figured it out. I even heard, and I’m not sure this is true, that it wasn’t test pilots or it isn’t test pilots to figure out the crosswind component rather it’s an average pilot that does the max demonstrated crosswind component.

I don’t know if that’s true or just a rumor but it is in the POH. And basically says, “Hey, here’s what we have shown is the max demonstrated crosswind component of the airplane.” So, there’s the manufacturer limits. There’s your own personal limits for something.

But then there’s that idea of the building your repertoire, your skills over time to get better at certain things. And in the case of crosswind landings, just try a little bit more out all the time, see how things work. You can always go around and try again. If you understand the core fundamental principles of anything you’re trying to do, then that’s the most essential.

In the case of crosswind landings, that’s making sure that you are nose down the runway, aligned with center line. Sometimes you’re going to be putting one wheel down first into the wind, but you’re really turning the aileron into the wind. And then after you land, you’re finishing.

But finding that combination is just a little bit here, a little bit there. I heard someone compare it to a jambalaya recipe that you try a little bit of rudder then a little bit more aileron. Just find what’s good. And it’s that way. You add a little spice in here and there to figure it out.

But in terms of building those skills over time, by doing it safely, you just do a little bit more here and there. Maybe even go up with an in instructor in winds that are really crazy to get comfortable in those. And so, that’s another thing you can always do.

You don’t have to be active in flight training, rather seeking a license. You can go directly to an instructor and say, “Hey, I just want to go work on crosswinds today.” And that’s absolutely acceptable for anything that you want to do. There are many instructors that will be happy to do that with you.

So that is how to build skills for crosswinds. But really that can be applied that same, I guess recipe can be applied to many different things in aviation building your skills. So great question. Really appreciate that. Can you quickly explain, this just barely came up.

Can you quickly explain how the carburetor system works? Plain and simple. So essentially what your carburetor is doing is it is, it is mixing air with fuel and then sending that to your engine. Because we don’t just send fuel to an engine. I know we talk like we… that’s all we do all the time.

But we have air that we need to mix in with it too. And it creates what’s called the fire triangle. If you guys have heard of that before. You need a fuel source, which would be our fuel. You need the oxygen or the air and then you need some sort of spark.

And so, in our case, in the carburetor, we’re mixing the air and we’re mixing the fuel and what the carburetor does is that atomizes that fuel air mixture. And so, it becomes combustible and then it’ll send that to the cylinders and that will then be combusted and then you go through the fourth cycle of the engine.

But yeah, that’s all the carburetor is. It’s just mixing the two together to make it all nice and then send it to the engine to then be ignited for our power. And you control that fuel air mixture as you know with your both your throttle and your mixture.

In this case, mostly the mixture. But obviously, we’re going to be creating more power when we add more fuels so that’s what the throttle is doing. But that mixture ratio is going to be controlled by your mixture and that’s something that as pilots we still for the most part control, so just very, very simple.

That’s how a system works. I’m sure I could have explained it better. But I had a couple of seconds to explain it. But that’s all it is, is we’re combining those two forces together to then get it ready for the engine to combust for power. All right. Good question.

Just a really quick one. This is more of a preference and not necessarily something that is training related, but what headset do I like? I’ve actually used a different range of headsets. I started out with a David Clark headset. Some people call him David clamps.

Those are the green bubble headsets that are synonymous with military aviation. A few different things. Pretty iconic. So, I started out that way many years ago. And then, when I went to ANR, I got a Lightspeed headset and that was a good headset as well.

But now I have a Bose a20 and I really liked the Bose because they’re smaller, really great quality build. You can get them refurbished really easily. They have great customer service. And I just liked the size of them and they’re very durable. I’ve had mine for about three years now.

And you know the activity of flight training and different people using the headsets, they’ve really held up really well. And the sound quality is just amazing. In fact, on some of my airline flights when I’m traveling, I find that I’m, I’m now putting on my Bose headset to listen to music because the sound quality is just so awesome.

So, I don’t need a separate headset for that. And if you do want to listen to music while you’re flying, it’s really great too. It can accept calls through Bluetooth as well. But I really like the a20, a smaller form factor, the synonymous quality that Bose has and I really like them.

And just as a disclaimer, I am sponsored by Bose, but I wouldn’t have even accepted a sponsorship from Bose if I didn’t really love the headsets. And I tested the headsets out for a few years before I even committed and got on board with them.

So that’s what I use. I’ve got four of them for my 172 and really enjoy that headset. They are pricey. It takes some the workup to that, but it is worth it. It’s a really important part of your kit. In flying a Cessna 172, how soon after takeoff should want to adjust the trim tab?

I don’t think there’s any hard and fast rule on when exactly you should address the trim tab. But this goes back to the fundamental principle of letting the airplane fly itself as much as possible. And airplane isn’t something where you grasp the control yoke or control wheel, whatever you’re using or stick and you are constantly on it. White knuckled manhandling and if you will.

We really almost let the airplane go and let it do its own flying. But in order to do that, even just right after takeoff, in those few moments where we’re climbing out, you will eventually get into a habit as a pilot or just this instinct to reach down and roll whatever trim you need to keep that nose right where it needs to be in the altitude it needs to be.

So that’s what I like to do is I like to teach my students to, once they get that nose up, once they’re climbing at a good airspeed and they’ve checked everything and their tracking center line then roll that trim and get that nose set so they can literally let go for a second and see that there’s no movement, that the airplane is just flying right where it needs to be.

That’s really important in flying, I think it’s something that’s totally understated these days is letting the airplane do a lot of the work and the trim tab is super important in making sure that we do that. So again, no hard and fast rule in terms of when they use the trim tab.

But using trim whenever you’re changing air speed or whatever you’re doing, using trim is a very, very important. So, anything you change in the airplane’s altitude, you’re probably going to have to readjust trim. But you shouldn’t be flying with the trim.

And there’s a very big difference. So that’s just touching on that subject will be a little bit different if we were in the airplane but I think that probably makes sense to you. Now, probably the absolute best time now that I’m thinking about it is when you’ve established your climb airspeed and your altitude.

At that point, it makes sense to actually adjust your trim. So yeah, lift your wheels off and adjust the trim right away. You want to set your air speed, set your altitude, it should all happen at the same time. I tell my students, I say, “Hey, put the cowling right there on the horizon.”

And you’re going to look down, and you’re going to see 80 miles per hour. It happens every time. So, at that point, instinctually, eventually you should be using trim to trim off that airspeed. What technique can I use to turn final aligned with the runway centerline when practicing traffic patterns? This is a good question. And it actually goes back to a fundamental principle of understanding where the wind is in relation to your current flight path. And so, let’s talk through that for a second because if we’re turning on a base leg, we’re on a base leg rather and we have a tailwind, it’s going to have a tendency to want to push us through that final approach leg.

So, we’re going to have to anticipate and start that term early. If we have a headwind, we may want to delay a little bit or keep it a little bit more shallow as we turn into that final approach leg. So that is what you’re looking for in any part of the traffic pattern is looking for where the wind is and adjusting your path based on the wind.

That’s exactly why you do your ground reference maneuvers in your private pilot training so that you understand how the wind is affecting your path along the ground. Most of the time when we’re headed somewhere, we point off into the distance, get our heading right, do our navigation and we’re ignoring where that wind is coming from.

We may be semi interested that it’s the left crosswind or tailwind. We really want to tell when all the time in that case and getting somewhere quickly, but it’s not as critical as when we are in the traffic pattern. So, everything you do ground reference wise comes back to the traffic pattern.

That is exactly why you do it. And honestly, most of the private pilot maneuvers, commercial maneuvers, many of the things come back to the pattern because if you’re talking about stalls, if you’re talking about steep turns, all these things and relating why we’re learning those to flying the airplane.

It mostly has to do with flight in the traffic pattern. Whether that’s just simply departing the airport or arriving at an airport, we’re actually working in the pattern. Those are why we have all those maneuvers. So, it all comes together right at the airport.

So again, know where your wind is at all time. You can think about it each leg if you want. Say, “Hey, now I have a right crosswind, now I have a headwind, now I have this, now I have that.” And just remind yourself, because really what you’re trying to do, it’s like you have a pencil down through your airplane. All right?

You’re trying to draw that track on the ground. Whereas the heading of the airplane might actually be somewhere different. So just think of it that way. That’s when you have to… That’s how you really anticipate it well as if you’re fully aware of where the wind is.

And then, it’s just a matter of practice to understand when to start that turn. And even sometimes for me still I don’t quite anticipate it right. But I’m getting back to it and correcting it right away. So, that is my advice on that and keeping your track or rather, I guess it is keeping your track no matter what.

But turning, anticipating that turn on final, but keeping your wind in mind for any of the legs that you’re doing and the traffic patterns. So, you’re always keeping your track no matter what leg you’re in. So that’s helpful way outside. Just that one turn that you’re talking about.

This is a funny question because some of you haven’t seen my airplane in person. How much wear can an airplane get before it has to be repainted? Mine has dings and dents and paint missing and chips. And it’s definitely an Alaskan airplane.

I have a flight school here in Alaska that we use quite a bit. We’re always kicking up rocks and stuff, lots of gravel runways. I’ve seen some real bad airplanes. Now, I’m not saying I’m necessarily happy with the airplane. I would like to actually repaint it and make it really nice.

And if you get really, really technical about it, there is actually a lot of parasitic drag. I’m sure that’s happening with the airframe because of all those little things that are imperfections on the airplane, but it really has to be quite bad for it to make a big difference.

So, just a fun question, but there you go. This one came up and I thought it was interesting, sticking on the airplane topic, is the 172 overrated? I think it’s an amazing plane, but some speak harshly against it. I’m not sure in what sense you could really speak harshly against the 172. It’s the family Sedan in a way of airplanes.

It’s not pretty all the time. It’s not get it go the fastest, it’s not going to do a lot of back country work, but it’s like that middle of the road airplane that everyone bought and everyone appreciates because it gets the job done. It’s a very docile airplane in terms of its aerodynamic principles.

And so, it’s just very favorable in terms of how it stalls. Its spin tendencies. You can put a few people in it, several people in it and get away with things. You can do trips with it. So, it’s just this perfect middle road airplane that came out fairly early in the 50s, early 60s.

And I guess it was the 50s, late 50s that the 172 started with the straight backs. But it’s just an amazing airplane. It’s obviously one of the best because it’s been around for so long and people are still flying them. So, I’m not sure who would really disparage the airframe.

Yeah, it’s not pretty. It doesn’t do everything, but it gets the job done. So, I still really enjoy the 172. It’s my favorite airplane right now because it’s what I fly the most. And I just really appreciate the job that it gets done and I feel like I can fly it really well.

And that it’s easy to fly. So, that’s why I appreciate it. And I hope that you guys do too. It’s a fun little airplane. And I’m sure that there are… man, there are hundreds of cool airplanes. So just so happens the 172 is so a lot and does pretty well for flight training.

So good question, but no, I don’t think it’s overrated. This is a question for my friend Dave, who is actually a very successful flight instructor and he asks how much time lapse before between flights or before flights, does it affect my training?

So, this is actually an issue because if you spread too much time between your flights, it’s going to… you’re going to start to lose that memory of what happened during your flights. So, you’re trying to find this sweet spot because if you do flights too much, twice a day or every day, once a day, then that can be too frequent for you to really absorb the training and learn what you need to learn in between.

But if you wait too long, then those lessons that you learned just go away. I mean, we’re human, our short-term memory isn’t that great. And so, those lessons go away. So, two to three times a week, maybe four times a week is optimal. And you really want to try to aim for that.

And I even advise people that when they’re planning their training and saving up money and everything that they actually save their money in time to a point where they can do it in that frequency because you’ll actually save money that way and frustration everything else because you’re going to remember and progress at a good pace rather than having their repeat lessons or going so fast that you’re just not absorbing the lesson.

So, it’s finding that sweet spot. Bit of a rhetorical question coming from Dave who is a very successful instructor, understands this answer already. But for those of you that are looking to get in the training, that frequency of training is very important.

So, there you go. Already I will begin school in three months. How can I prepare myself to aviation school within English? So, I have given this advice before. I don’t speak a second language. And so, I can’t really talk too much about language learning. My wife knows Portuguese fluently and I know that the way that she learned as she had to completely immerse herself in the Portuguese.

She had to be amongst the people and that’s all she lived was that language. And so, she learned it really well. And so, even though you’re remote right now, I’m assuming you’re not at your school and you’re not speaking English right now and that’s not your everyday life is my advice would be to make it your everyday life as much as you possibly can.

So, we can do that with the internet. So, a browsing English, listen to everything in English, watch everything in English, whatever you do, it should all be English. There are some English specific aviation courses out there. I feel those courses, a lot of the times only cover what is essential in aviation.

And that might be a nice cherry on top overall. But I think if you’re really committed and you’re really going to make this work, you should understand the language quite well. And so, I would advise you to do it through immersion is the best way.

So, that’s the advice coming from someone who hasn’t done it before. So, I hope I’m not a hypocrite in saying that, but that is generally the best way to do it when it comes to language learning. What’s a good way to go about studying pilot materials like maneuvers and stuff?

So, maneuvers and stuff and everything else. First off, there’s several different times in which you study. There’s the study you do before you ever go into flying at all. There’s the study you do for the written test, which is an official, knowledge-based ground school-based course that you’re going to go through to learn the knowledge of what you need to know for that license.

And so, in the case of private pilot, you’re going to go through all of those beginning things for the first time, learn all that material and then you’ll be tested on that by the FAA through what’s called our written test. That is one situation where you go through study.

There’s the type of study you do while you’re doing your flying, which is definitely more maneuvers-based study. Applying that knowledge that you learned from the written test to the actual flying. And then, there’s another one I don’t think we think about too much which is after you’re done with your training, you have a license.

How do you continue to grow as a pilot through your knowledge and everything else? So, I think in your case you’re probably talking about maybe the first two. How do you study before you get into it? And then for that knowledge test, I’ve done a couple dedicated podcasts on this subject. One of them is called the pass and passion.

So, if you search the past and passion aviator cast, you’ll find that basically talks about how to study for the written test. But here’s the thing. These days, one of the best ways to learn is through video material. I find that there’s a lot of great stuff on YouTube out there that can get you started.

There’s plenty of good books still. I recommend some books on my website. But eventually, I think that the thing people are doing the most these days is they’re doing an online ground school. So, wherever they are, they can take this ground school and it’s usually video based.

That’s just the way we’re learning now is everything is going to video. It’s going to these coursewares that you can access on any device. And so, that’s how you get the knowledge for the beginning, part of your training is by going through a ground school like that.

Now, we have a ground school here at Angle of Attack. You can find it an I have it for a private pilot and instruments so far commercial and CFI will be coming later. Really proud of the ground school here. I think it builds in the context of safety and what your life is going to be as a pilot.

Just more of a holistic view than hardcore, hey, let’s just try to pass the test. So, we do have a ground school here. Now, I actually talked about this in a podcast I just did for teenagers. And what I want to point out just to polish off this question, is that when I was in high school, I was forced to do all these classes and get certain credits and do all of this schooling for I didn’t really know what.

Now, I feel an intelligent person, I feel I learned my language well. I felt I learned how to write well. I feel I know math a little bit and I feel I have a bunch of these other skills. And so, there was a purpose to high school and all my schooling, right?

But I wasn’t ever passionate about it. I wasn’t so into it that I could just sit down with the books and just be in it for forever if I needed to. But when I started into my private pilot ground school when I was a teenager, I was just so excited. And I found that I was actually studying the questions for the test.

And I was reading textbooks for the first time. And I just really enjoy the process. So, my cherry on top on this question is that you can enjoy this process of studying learning. It is actually a really cool subject aviation because you’re bringing in a lot of different disciplines into one area and you’re applying it to something that is fun, useful, a great career.

So, I would say that it’s a very worthwhile thing to do and just embrace the fact that it can be fun, it should be fun and can also be entertaining and educational at the end of the day. All right. So, that’s my advice on good ways to study the material.

Again, with the caveat that I have a lot of that stuff already in my podcast, you can check out. And we have the ground schools that you can check out as well. So really good question. Really appreciate that. Go, no-go decisions on maybe those days that might not work out.

So, I was talking to a friend about this the last few days or actually last night he was on an airplane, an airliner and he was going somewhere. He’s hasn’t done his training yet, but he was telling me how excited he is to be doing his flight training and getting into this.

And I said, “Yeah, your flight’s delayed and you have a mechanical issue here and there.” But once you get into general aviation, the saying is, with time to spare, go by air. And it’s so true because a lot of the times we get in our own way when we as pilots, especially in an environment where we have so much freedom, general aviation.

We get in a spot where we become our own worst enemy. And our desire to want to get somewhere or our desire to want to complete a mission can often become more important than the desire to operate safely. I think all pilots have the desire.

Most of them, I would say 99% of them have the desire to fly safely and live to fly another day. And so, I start with that premise and realize that there are a lot of situations that we get ourselves into where the psychology between going and not going gets really quite hard.

And I think the best way to articulate that is through a really quick story of mine. I did a full podcast on this. You can go check that out. It’s about the Valdez Fly-In. So, the Valdez Fly-In is this really cool rodeo short takeoff landing competition here in Alaska.

It’s a rodeo for Bush pilots. Okay? And I go every year and I take my family and it’s a lot of fun. I become more involved in and I have to be there now for some video reasons for the show. And a couple of years ago, the weather just was not good. It wasn’t working out.

We planned on flying. We had the 172 all loaded it up with my wife, my young boy of just over one year old and my friend Eric. And we were trying to get to Valdez. Now, the weather was just socked in. It was a wall of weather that we couldn’t get through.

And I was trying to pick my way across and find my way over there. We had already been in the air for about two hours. I was trying to climb up over the top of the mountains, couldn’t do it too heavy for the type of Cessna 172 that we have.

And so, I was going through this mountain pass, which I’d been through several times already and we got to this place where there was weather around us, but it’s still VFR visual flight rules. But there was a wall of rain and or snow right in front of us.

And in that Canyon, which we had plenty of clearance on the walls of the Canyon. But in that Canyon, the airport was only three miles away and we could land there. However, we couldn’t. I couldn’t see. It was not smart to do that. I had my wife in the back who was sick, my young boy who was throwing up, we had already been in the air for a long time.

We really wanted to get somewhere and it’s just so frustrating. And I felt this really strong pull from like that the quintessential cartoon devil on your shoulder and the angel on your shoulder. And the devil was really getting after me and wanted me to go through there.

And then, I got angry and grumpy in a sense because I knew I wasn’t going to do it, I can’t. And I was so mad I couldn’t. But I couldn’t go through that wall of rain just to get to the airport three miles away. So instead we were going to fly an hour and a half back home.

So those are the sort of situations you get into as pilots. And so, it’s really important to maybe call it quits far before that really you should. You shouldn’t get yourself into a situation where you’re having to make a critical decision like that rather leaving those skills for days where things are just deteriorating, which is how it was for me.

So, we flew back. I ended up flying back to the home airport. We’re in the air for three hours and for no good reason and regroup there and ended up finding a way to get in eventually. But the go no-go decision is one of the most important things you learn as a pilot to heck with learning how to land well.

You can land in a handful of different ways, but you need to be a safe pilot when you eventually become a pilot. That is what you need to learn is that critical decision making and having the courage to say no. Even when there’s pressure from either yourself or other people or an employer, it becomes a really sticky situation.

But you have to grow as a person and have that courage to just say no. And know when to say no. And then, also know when to go. Sometimes, there is those flights that are maybe feel a little bit uncomfortable because you know that you’ll be learning something that you’re dipping your toes in the water or something that you haven’t done before.

I think flights like that are okay. A caveat there. I don’t want people just going out and doing whatever. But we need to build our skills and experience new things and as long as it’s safe, then I think that’s okay to do. But we need to have the courage to make those go no-go decisions.

And that’s what the FAA wants to see in a check ride. But more importantly, that’s what you should be doing every single time you go flying is making that go no-go decision. And really a lot of the things that we do as pilots, they are lending to finding reasons to say no.

So, whether maintenance, doing the pre-flight of the airplane, the maintenance of the airplane, the engine run up. We’re looking for all these reasons to say no and for these things to intervene and stop us from proceeding. And that’s not to say that you should always say no, I’m not saying that.

But there are reasons we do all these safety checks and it’s so that we can remain safe as simple as that sounds. So, I digress. That is a how to make go no-go decisions on those days that might not work out. Tips to maintain centerline more consistently.

First of all, do it. So, when you start to lose it, get on top of it right away. I notice a lot, if I’m going deep into a tip right away, I notice a lot that people have difficulty maintaining centerline because they aren’t using the correct wind correction with their ailerons.

And so, if you have a crosswind for example, you need to actually be turning into the wind. And sometimes, I start all the way into the wind and then I release it to where it needs to be as the takeoff roll speed increases. But otherwise, the wind will actually skip you to the side.

So that is one deep tip on how to remain on centerline. But start it with the taxi, nail that centerline with the taxi. Put the nose wheel ride on the line, understand where it is in the airplane. If most of us aren’t training in tandem planes. So, it should be, if you’re in the left seat, it should actually be outside of your right leg just a little bit, that’s where the center line is.

So, you need to be able to visualize that. If you are in a tandem of airplane, like a tail wheel or something, then sure you’re going to be straight down the middle of the line looking straight down the middle of the line. So, start with the taxi. Start with that discipline there and just don’t let it get away from you.

The sooner you’re on top of it, just work through it little by little and keep those little fine adjustments rather than wobbling everywhere. So, I call it centerline pride. I did a one-minute wings on it a while ago, but you just got to keep it there and continue to do it and eventually you’ll be awesome at it.

It’s a little tricky when you’re landing because as you get slow and you flare and you’re holding it off, some weather veining can happen and more of an influence from the wind can blow you from that centerline, but you’re just going to learn that as it comes.

And your instructor will have certain advice based on what he or she sees. Scotty P. photos, as a fairly new instructor, what’s the best advice you can give? I’ve already had some scares. Keep it cool. First off, if you had some scares. I would say empower your students to do most of the work if you can, teach them about that lightness on the controls.

I started out the podcasts that are this thing today, this Motivation Monday. I’m not sure if you saw that, but teach them to be very light on the controls, trimming the airplane, all about how it flies. Those are the stick and rudder skills that people really need to know.

And even though this is outside of what I think you’re saying is you need to be that person in aviation for your students that keeps them in aviation. So, keep them excited about it, keep them progressing through their lessons, make sure that they understand how things are working in context.

If they struggle, be honest with them about what they need to improve, but also make sure that they know is completely normal and just work through the process with them and care. That’s what instructors should be doing at the end of the day.

So, that’s my short advice on that, hope that’s helpful. I’m not sure we have too many instructors in here, so I’m not going to dwell on that too much, but that would be my advice and good luck. Feel free to message me if you have any other direct questions about some… maybe situations that you don’t want to share publicly, but you want to tell me.

Any special tip for the instrument, the written instrument reading test. Not really. It really just comes down to study. They’re almost all the types of questions you can get are out there. And there are free practice tests online. So there’s no reason why there should be any question that you’re going to pass this test.

Once you’re passing your test past the 80s mark or sorry, the 90s mark. So, get at least into the low 90s for two or three tests that shows you’re consistent. Now, it’s time to take your test. So, then you go and take your test and you should be good to go.

All right. That’s my advice because really it’s not… there’s not like a special recipe or trick. You’ve just got to study your heart out until you can get to those numbers. And you can get to those numbers because of the practice tests that are out there and are available for free. All right. Can you get your PPL before 17?

The short answer is no, you can’t. I’m not even sure I need a long answer. But no, you can’t. I’m 17 is when you can get your private pilot. You can solo at 16 you can get different, you can get a glider rating at a younger age. I’m not sure if that goes for any other reading. But I think for any powered rating you have to be at least 17 years old.

Checkride coming up, what is the most important thing to study? I think for me the biggest thing for the checkride is just keeping everything in context. Realize that it’s not an interrogation. It’s a conversation with someone that knows a lot about aviation and wants to see how you think through those different safety related scenarios when it comes to aviation that you know how to find the information.

That you’re disseminating the information well and that you make good decisions based on all of that. Now, actually, get questions like this a lot. And so, I created a course called checkride ACE. I have it for private, instrument, commercial and it takes you through this mindset of how to approach a checkride.

It tells you what the check rides going to be. I have a study guide in there that’s probably the best part of the course. It doesn’t show you everything. It’s actually just gives you blank lines on what you’re going to need to study and then you can fill it out.

That study guides extensive, that’s going to be the stuff you cover in the oral portion of the check ride. And also, it shows you all the stuff you need to bring to the check ride. So, that ends up being the checkride checklist that comes with the course where you check the boxes on making sure your time is good to go and everything else.

So, I think the biggest thing, people get nervous about it. But the biggest thing is just if you can make sure that you have studied all the material again since it’s been awhile since you studied it. And then, also, making sure that you have everything with you for the checkride.

You just take the nerves out of it by understanding that you’re prepared because you’ve been through the process. So, if you know you’re prepared, you’re going to be more relaxed, you’re going to be more confident and that’s going to be a better position than feeling there’s some sort of gotcha that you missed somewhere.

So, that’s why something like checkride ACE is something that I wanted to create because I just felt so many people out there were experiencing that same thing. And a good question, I hope that helps you out a little bit. This is interesting. I can’t read the full question. Yeah, okay.

Any tips on power on stalls when it’s all white above without a specific cloud to focus on? So yeah. I mean, I think that when you’re in a power on and you’re trying to keep that nose straight and it’s all white above you and you can’t focus, I think it starts to come down the seat of your pants flying and just understanding where your coordination is and feeling it.

There’s nothing wrong with peaking out the side of the window and seeing where the airplane is trending. You can absolutely do that for a split second to see where you’re at. Understand that as you get slower, that rudder pressure is going to need to increase.

So, knowing the pace and how much of that is going to be what’s tricky. But at the end of the day, I mean, gosh, stalls, I think about stalls a lot and why people are so nervous about them. And really what we’re doing with the stall is we’re going beyond the critical angle of attack.

The wing is going through a partial stall momentarily and we’re getting back to a flying state. What you need to do as a pilot is you just need to relax. Once it’s time to recover from the stall, you need to relax the angle of attack and your pressure on the controls.

The moment you do that, the airplane is flying again and you can get everything back. You don’t need to dive or anything like that, but just releasing that angle of attack, relaxing, you’re going to get it back fairly quickly and then you can deal with whatever.

If you’re uncoordinated at that time, you can get it back. You’re not going to turn your ailerons, you’re going to use your rudder. But there should be no panic involved because really, especially in a training airplane, you’re very unlikely to get into a spin. I know it might seem scary at sometimes the wing breaks and it drops down.

But a spin, you have to do a lot of dumb things in a 172 to get that thing to spin. And so, don’t worry so much about that. Just worry about relaxing that pressure and getting that flying energy back underneath the wing, that relative land, getting that angle of attack, that proper angle of attack back and flying again.

If we see it that way holistically, I think stalls become a lot less scary and you should be good to go. But realize the underlying premise of stalls rather than just trying to complete the maneuver for the check ride. Because really, it’s all about building in this muscle memory you that if you ever get in that situation as a pilot, you need to relax the controls.

You don’t keep pulling back, okay? So yeah, good luck on the coordination thing. It’ll all work out. You’ll eventually get it. But try to keep the holistic view there as well and understand that to a certain extent this is going… this is a formality, good luck. Hope it works out.

After completing the private pilot certificate and IFR rating, what are the best ways to reach the 250-hour Mark? Be a safety pilot for someone else. That’s the best way. Someone else is building toward their instrument rating. They need that 50-hours cross country time.

They need a safety pilot on the right seat as they are doing their hood time. Absolutely be their safety pilot split costs. Some would maybe even let you do it for free and that’s a really good way to build time. How can I make good use of my time on the ground and make myself fly better in the aircraft?

The days that I am not flying. Being here for this Motivation Monday talk where we’re talking about aviation topics, watching YouTube videos, reading a different topic that you haven’t read before. Doing a couple practice questions, looking ahead to your next flight lesson and what you need to go through in that flight lesson.

That’s going to be something that’s really helpful for you. So, there are a handful of different things you can do. But I think keeping your head in the game at all times is one of the best things you can do, no matter what stage you’re at in aviation to just keep you progressing forward all the time.

And really when you become a pilot or want to become a pilot, that’s something you’re committing yourself to is that life full of learning, that lifelong learning that’s important for every pilot to just keep adding on to what you already know. And there are so many great and free resources out there now that I think that’s the best way to do it.

I am going to wrap up now. I need to go check on my family and make sure that everything’s good. I start out of the podcast saying, or this Motivation Monday is saying that they’re… had a sick boy last night. So, I am going to go and take care of family business.

So, thank you for being here. If you guys need ground school or that checkride ACE that I talked about, checkride preparation, you can find all that angle of attack. I’ve got a podcast called Aviator Cast. You can find that on any source. I’m doing it through video now as well on YouTube.

Make sure that you share this with your friends. If you find that it’s really helpful, especially something that may be applicable to them and keep being my road warriors. You’re the guys and gals that get the word out about Angle of Attack and what I’m trying to do here in spreading the good word of aviation and aviation training throughout the aviation world.

So, appreciate all you guys do and for being here and for asking your questions. I’m really happy to help you. If you ever need anything, feel free to message me. I’m happy to help out there as well. Okay. So that’s it. Until next time, as I always say, throttle on.



Chris Palmer

Chief Flight Instructor and President of Angle of Attack. Founded in 2006.


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