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Questions on this episode:
0:02 How do I keep my #flight lessons productive?
1:38 Commercial 180 Tips — I have trouble getting the aircraft right to my aiming point
3:15 Partial Panel Instrument Tips — Having trouble with timed turns
4:35 Lately I’ve been floating past my touchdown point — Any tips on how to fix that?
5:30 I would like to improve my English Skills with #aviation school, what do you think?
6:55 Where are you planning on flying this spring/summer in the lower 48?
8:20 Any tips for learning about Radio Nav Aids would be great.
10:15 How do you successfully pick up #flying again after a short break?
12:15 How to keep on studying even if one has already passed all of the theory exams?
14:05 Is it worth it in the long run purchasing your own #aircraft to do your ratings and licenses?
15:35 What steps can you take as a young person looking to get #flighttraining?
16:40 While building hours towards an #instrument, what should I add to a normal #VFR routine?
19:05 Can you recommend me some aviation podcasts or audiobooks I can listen to while driving?
20:55 If a person fails his high school but has accumulated enough hours, do you think he might have trouble getting jobs at the #airlines?
22:25 Commercial pilot license flight test next week. Any advice?
23:40 What is the most important part to succeed in #ATPL training?
26:45 Working on my #PPL, don’t have any time to study for my written test due to high school. Any tips?
30:15 Would you ever come flying to New Zealand?
30:40 Tips for choosing a #CFI and knowing it will be a good fit?
32.35 Is it better to take extra speed in landing, or slower than usual?
34:40 I am a new CFI. How did you structure flight training for brand new students? Trial and error?
36:40 Can you fly gliders in AK? Have you ever flown a glider?
37:00 Learning to fly in Qatar. Any thoughts?
38:05 How do you suggest building cross country hours hood time for the instrument rating?
39:50 What is better to learn as a student? A tricycle gear or a tail dragger?
41:15 Is it more productive to train for PPL in a short period of time or over an extended period?
43:55 How do you pay back a student loan for a PPL?
45:25 Moving to Palmer, AK soon. Half done with flight training. What instructor should I look up?
45:45 Do you know any good flight training #scholarships for high school students?
46:25 What exactly is a back course approach?
47:25 What’s the average time a normal #flightinstruction time lasts? When can the CFI start charging his/her services?

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[vc_toggle title=”Episode Transcript”]
How to keep my flight lessons productive. This is a good question. So I think the biggest thing about keeping your flight lessons productive is preparing well, and then debriefing well. While you’re in your flight lesson, without the preparation, it’s not going to go that well. But you’re going to be drinking from the firehose, so just relax.

Film it if you can. If you’re a instructor unless you do that because you can review it afterwards. But in the cockpit is actually one of the worst places to learn something. So that’s why I say get your ground school done before you go into training. Have good preflight briefings and debriefings, whether that’s with your instructor or without.

Just make sure that you’re thorough about the thoughts and feelings and impressions you had during the flight to do a quality ‘here’s what I can do better’ sort of thing. So have a way to take notes to discuss that with the instructor. I find one of the most useful things for my students and what I start out with every single time when we sit down is I say, do you have any questions?

And I encourage them that whenever they have a thought or a question, to write them down. Of course, they can study them on their own. But then to bring those to our ground sessions and we talk about those and I find that to be really helpful. All right? Good question. Hopefully that answered your question a little bit.

And if you guys have a question, you need to put it in the story. I’m pulling up some more questions now. So commercial 180 tips. I have trouble getting the aircraft right to my aiming point. So I had a student recently that visited here from Wisconsin, and she came to Alaska get her commercial rating done. We did it in about a week.

And she already had all of her pre-requisites done, but she was struggling a little bit with it. And what we ended up finding is that she wasn’t looking at the target the entire time. She was looking at her airspeed and everything else and trying to focus too much on the plane, and even focusing on her ground path more like a ground reference maneuver.

And what I found is that once I noticed and pointed out that she was not looking at her target, that she needed to look at her target constantly to evaluate her height and speed and everything because you’re dealing with a lot of things very quickly there, they started to happen right away.

And so make sure that you’re keeping your eye on the target the entire time. That means as soon as you pull your power or a beam, that you’re literally straining your neck looking outside the plane trying to keep your eye on the target the whole time because that target is telling you what you need to do with the airplane.

Are you going too fast? Are you too slow? Are you too close? Are you too far? Are you too high? Are you too low? So that’s how you need to adjust with that. All right. So I hope that helps, but keep your eye on the target. I think that’s the most important thing to do for those commercial 180’s.

So partial panel instrument tips, having trouble with timed turns. I think with everything instrument — I’ll just answer this in a really basic way — Is it really just takes practice and your scan has to be just right. I notice right away when a student loses a scan. I notice right away when I lose a scan. It’s all about the scan.

So my advice there, regardless of what’s going on, whatever is partial panel or full panel or time turns or whatever you’re dealing with here, is it’s all about the scan. Practices that scan, get into it. I know that something a lot of instructors use are these what are called patterns; A pattern, B pattern, C pattern, and they’re pretty popular.

They used to be popular, at least. I don’t find them coming across as well today. But I know that they’re in the Gleim books and they’re kind of hovering out there in different places. You’ll see Jason Miller from The Finer Points using them. So that would be my advice there is just get used to that scan and work on it all the time. Its core to everything you do.

And just to build off that commercial discussion before, he said, “Lately, I’ve been floating past my touchdown point, any tips on how to fix that?” So you need to get more drag earlier on, and you need to come in with less energy. So basically, you need to be aiming before your actual aiming point if you’re floating beyond it so that you can float on to it. Okay?

Ground effect is hugely helpful there, whether you use it or not. Meaning, if you’re not using ground effect, it’s getting even more draggy. If you are in ground effect, you can stretch it out and make it. So that’s my advice there on making it to that touchdown point on the power of 180’s.

Let me bring up another question here. Prioritizing the new ones. I see a Cessna or Airbus or Boeing. I’m not going to get into that. So here’s a question. I would like to improve my English skills with aviation school. What do you think? Honestly, I mean, I’ve had this question before.

I don’t know a second language, but my wife does. She actually spent a couple of years in Brazil and I even went there on vacation with her for a few weeks. We’re going to grow go this year as well, or rather next year in the fall is the plan. But what I’ve noticed is that with language learning, it seems like immersion is the only way to do it.

So if you’re going to learn a language, you need to immerse yourself in it. Assuming that you can’t actually travel here and that’s not the way to go, do everything else in English. Do all of your browsing in English on the internet, do all your entertainment, all English. Just immerse yourself as much as you can.

If it’s aviation or not, it doesn’t matter, it’s going to help. That’s my advice coming from someone that doesn’t know a second language. Maybe my second language is aviation, I don’t know. But I know that that’s what my wife had to do to learn Portuguese fluently.

All right guys, if you have questions, you need to ask those in the question box on my story so that I can pull them up here in the chat. Okay? So here’s a question. Where are you planning on flying this spring and summer in the lower-48? Actually, it’s this winter. So I’m going to be leaving Alaska for a few months between between February and March, a little bit of April.

I’m going to be going to Salt Lake City first for a week to visit family. Might do some flying there a little bit if I can link up with someone. Then to Vegas for a week, I have more family there. Again, I’m open to flying if you guys have ideas. And then to California, particularly Camarillo and Santa Paula area for two months.

I’ll be spending time there getting sunshine, taking a little bit of lighter time off or lighter workload. I’ll be actually training with some people there. I have some students I’m going to be working with hopefully, and doing some flying, getting to know more people, collaborating, doing some more filming.

I’m planning on flying down in San Diego as well with an old student of mine. And then I’ll be going to Sun ‘n Fun early April and maybe Texas after that with Josh Flowers. We’ll see how that goes. So kind of a lot of things in the works. I always try to fly regardless of where I go. So lots of things working out there. Hey, Jared, how you doing?

All right, so that’s where I’m going to be. So if you guys know of anyone or you yourself are in those areas, I’m happy to link up and collaborate. So, pilot Annie. Hey, Annie. What are any tips for learning about radio navaids would be great. I’m struggling through it.

So for me, with radio navaids, I keep a pretty big picture view on them. I’m not very sharp right now on the different types of VOR’s or how all that equipment is set up. What I try to focus on with my limited brainpower, if you want to put it that way, as a pilot is, what are the best things I can do to deal with it?

And of course, knowing the core functionality of how those things work or the type of VOR’s they are can tell you about different errors. I’m big on the big picture, I guess. And when it comes to radio navaids, I know what they are and I know how to use them. But I don’t get too much into the minutia.

So, Annie, I know that you are in Canada and they require a lot more knowledge when you go into these tests. And so I can say that from an FAA perspective, we typically don’t have to get too deep into the weeds on all those different types of VOR’S and how it works.

Unfortunately, with your tests, you probably do and so keep struggling through it. I don’t know what else to say. I know that on our end, we use things like the Airman Information Manual, the AIM, which might be helpful for you as a supplement to look at that. That will go through the different types of VOR’s and lay it out well.

And you can also get the free resource from the FAA, the P-HAK, The Pilot Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge. And that might help you as a separate source that can help you learn those a little bit better. And that goes for you guys too if you have something else there. All right. Going to keep going down through the list here.

Here’s a good question. How do you successfully pick up flying again after a short break? And in this case, lucky one two aviation LLC says medical. So I myself have gone through several different times away from aviation a hiatus, if you will. And it is always difficult to get back.

I find that I go through some of the same challenges where I am bashful about going to the airport and talking to new people in those areas. I don’t really know how to connect with the community again. I feel like I am an outsider and I just really don’t know what to say, I don’t know what to do. And I think honestly starting there with just kind of the emotional stuff of recognizing that it’s hard to just ask people and have the conversation is exactly what needs to be fixed.

And so my advice would be, if that’s the issue you’re talking about with getting started again, is just start to have the conversations, talk to people. Suck it up and go and talk to someone at the local FBO or fight school, or get to know people in your area. Ask them if you can fly with them and just start to get into the community again.

And then just take it slow from there. You start with a couple fights, maybe it’s a flight review, maybe it’s a couple fights with an instructor. You do some more pattern work, you maybe do some shorter cross countries before the big one you want to do and just work your way into it little by little as you gain confidence and eventually you’ll get there.

There are parts of aviation that are called what is a perishable skill and there are other parts that are like riding a bike. And so you’re going to be dealing with those different parts until it all comes together and it makes sense. So that is my advice on how to successfully fly again after a short break.

All right. Next one. So here’s a good question. How to keep on studying even if one has passed all the theory exams. So this is a common issue. Again, I recommend that you do your ground school before you start your flying. It sounds like you have done so as well. And what I find is that as you go through the flying portion, a lot of the knowledge that you had leaves.

It’s gone or rusty or whatever you want to call it. So my big advice is actually near the end when you’re going to be doing your check rides is to revisit your knowledge at that point. It makes you sharp for your final exams and you should be good at that point. So for example, I recognize this in pilots and part of my part of my Checkride ACE program that I just released is geared toward the study part of it.

So I created what’s called the page study guide. It’s extensive. I think is about 20 pages. It doesn’t give you the answers, but it gives you the spaces to write the answers. Your memory will recall better and it will solidify better if you are the one doing the work and so that’s why I did it that way. And that’s a great time to do it.

So I wouldn’t worry about studying too much in between other than what your instructor is asking you to do, and what is relevant for that particular flight or that module you’re working on, whatever it is. And then at the end near your exams, then you revisit the knowledge again, and I find that’s really helpful and poignant time to get it done.

If you guys have questions, again, you can enter them at the bottom of the chat and the question box is the icon that allows me to pull it up on screen like that. Okay? And then you can do it through my story as well. So you’d have to leave this live stream and go to my story to do that.

Here’s a question. Is it worth it in the long run purchasing your own aircraft to do your ratings and licenses? It is, but it is a whole different thing to learn and you’ve got to be able to find a good aircraft that isn’t going to be a lemon. So I definitely recommend doing pre buys, making sure you’re not getting into something that’s going to be a liability.

But at the end of the day, you should be able to sell your aircraft for pretty near the same price you bought it for. So other than the maintenance costs and the inspection costs and the fuel costs, you’re way out ahead if you see it that way. And I know that a lot of people have done it that way. Definitely recommend doing it that way.

It’s just something that maybe takes more of an investment for people to get into. It’s harder to get into flying your own plane. I know that I had a student that was pushing along really well and he was doing well and his family, he and his dad were looking for an airplane to finish his training in.

I warned them that that was really going to slow them down and potentially stop the training, and it did. He has other plans to go outside Alaska now and finish his training. But it’s a whole different ballgame when you’re dealing with buying your own plane. It’s something I recommend if you can do it. But it just depends on if you are up to the task.

So here’s a great question, and it actually goes along with the podcast that I’m doing today. What steps can you take as a young person looking to get flight training? I’m actually going to be talking about that in the podcast I’m recording today or one of the podcasts I’m recording today. It’s meant for teenagers. Okay?

It’s meant just for those that haven’t gotten into aviation yet, probably around the 14 to 15 age range is what this podcast is meant for. And I know that excludes some other people, but it gives them knowledge as well to maybe tell their nieces or nephews or sons and daughters, or grandkids even, about aviation and the best steps to get into it.

So that’s a podcast that’s coming. Look out for that. It’ll answer a lot of questions. It’ll be about a half hour long. So there you go. Okay? Good question in the chat. I can’t put it up on the screen, so I’d rather you go to my story and ask it, then me just answer it straight from the comments. Okay?

Another question here. While building hours toward instrument, what should I add to a normal VFR routine? So I thought about this one a little bit. I saw this question come across right away. Instrument is so difficult to wrap your head around initially that my advice would be as you’re building your time is to start early with the knowledge.

Start early with your instrument ground school. We offer one angle of attack. But regardless of where you go, start early to get that stuff in your head because the VFR environment of flying, especially talking airspace and ATC and procedures, you dip your toes in the water of what it’s like to do instrument, but it’s very different.

So my advice would be to let that settle in your brain over time. Get started early while you’re building your flight hours. And get your instrument reading done so that when you’re out there doing your VFR cross countries, building that time, that your memory will go back to, oh, I learned that in instrument ground school and that’s what it means.

I haven’t heard that radio call before or whatever it is. So for example when you are on a VFR flight and you have flight following which is huge, you totally need to do flight following as a VFR pilot preparing for IFR. You’ll hear all the ATC communications with IFR traffic and you’re on the exact frequencies that you’re going to be on when you are on an instrument or flight plan.

So all of those radio calls you’re hearing are exactly what you’re going to hear in the real world, when you’re doing a real world IFR, so that helps a lot. Those little things that pop up while you’re out there doing VFR where you already have the context of IFR because you’ve been doing your ground school are hugely helpful.

So that’s my advice there is to get started on the knowledge early. All right. Again, if you guys have questions, I can’t answer them here in the chat, or rather here in the comments. I’m going to answer them through pulling them up on the screen. You need to do that through the story, or you need to do it… Sometimes there’s an icon in this live that has a little question mark on it.

So I see five new questions that are brand new and I’ll answer those now. Can you recommend me some aviation podcasts or audio books I can listen to while driving. I love your podcast, by the way. Pilot to Pilot podcast is highly motivational. He does interview style podcast with different people in the industry. That’s great for you that are looking for careers in aviation.

Also very entertaining and Justin has done just so well at the Pilot to Pilot podcast. Another flight training one is Jason Miller from The Finer Points who I really like. He’s more of a mentor of mine, but he’s also a friend. He just does so good at articulating different analogies and points in aviation and that’s what he’s really doing is The Finer Point.

So he does really great podcasts. I really like him as well. There aren’t a lot of audio books out there on aviation. At one point I saw that someone did the P-HAK in audio form. I’m not sure exactly where that is or if it would be too dry to go through. One of my favorite audio books that I still listen to occasionally is from Rod Machado.

He did a book called How to Fly an Airplane and goes through each and every step from preparation to pre flight to different maneuvers. And he’s very good at focusing on the core aerodynamics and coordination and flight controls and everything that go into each one of those maneuvers.

I just really enjoy that and he’s entertaining to listen to on audio. So Rod Machado’s, How to Fly an Airplane, is also a really great book to listen to and it’s quite extensive too. I think it’s like 11 hours so there’s a lot to consume there. All right. Here’s an interesting question.

If a person fails his high school but has accumulated enough hours, do you think he might have trouble getting jobs in the airlines? I don’t exactly know what you mean by failing high school. I think that there are always places in aviation to be redeemed and there are plenty of places that you can work, right?

So it’s always good to work hard no matter what. Whatever you’re trying to achieve in life, it’s always good to work hard. And so that would be my first advice. But my follow-up advice to that would be that I think these failures or past life things matter a lot less than people make them up to be in aviation.

I’m not an airline recruiter, I don’t interview for the airlines, whatever. And so I’m not totally sure, but what I do know is that there are many different jobs in aviation and they don’t expect you to be the perfect most genius person in the world. What they want you to be is a safe pilot.

And so if in those hours that you’ve built you’ve become a safe and a conscientious pilot, you’ve shown that you’ve grown as a person, I think you’re going to find a lot of places for employment. That’s my advice on that one. Commercial pilot license flight test next week. Any advice?

Yes. Prepare well, study. That last bit of study that you do, make sure all your endorsements and everything are filled out correctly. Make sure all your flight hours are in accordance with the regulations and that you’ve done things correctly there. And that final study that you need to do to get ready for the oral, assuming that you’ve been away from the knowledge for a while, having done the ground school first.

So it’s going to be a busy week. Make sure that at the end of that you get some rest and relax. If you put in all the work, you don’t really have to worry about that end part. It’s just a formality at that point. But it all boils down the hard work. I cover all those things again in Checkride ACE. My Checkride program is $99.

It’s on my website and I give tons of Checkride specific advice on there, in addition to my Checkride checklist and PAVE study guide. So you guys can check that out if you’re getting near your Checkride. Here’s a new one. I didn’t even read this before I popped it up.

What is the most important part to succeed in ATPL training? And I’m just going to adjust this question a little bit to any pilot training, not just airline transport pilot, but any training. And the most important thing builds off something we just talked about is hard work. Okay?

There’s plenty of time to get flight training done. We all have a lot of available time, a lot more than we make it out to be. We all have a lot of disposable money, or at least most people. The world is a very abundant place, especially here in the United States.

If I’m speaking to just people in the United States, we have such an abundant country. There’s so much we spend on that is wasteful or just for hobbies, or whatever it is. You can choose to get a pilot license and essentially afford it. Almost anyone in the U.S. can choose to do that.

And if you can’t afford it, well, then there are tons of scholarships to apply for that could potentially get you across the finish line. The one commodity I found that is very difficult for people is hard work. That’s something that people aren’t necessarily willing to part with.

And along with that is they’re not willing to grow as a person and part with their old selves. And so maybe their life is comfortable and they don’t work too hard on things and they don’t want to grow into that better person that you grow into when you become a pilot largely because it takes a lot of work and you do have to go through a lot of physical and emotional things to get there.

So it’s the hard work that I find is the most important commodity. If you work hard in no matter what you do, but particularly in aviation, if you work hard, you will achieve your goals. It’s as simple as that. Sometimes there’s the old adage that it’s important to work smarter and not harder.

This isn’t manual labor. You can’t just work hard all the time and lift weights and get this done. But if you smartly work your way through this, you build a network of people that can help you or give you advice, and you just keep working the problem, eventually you will achieve your dreams.

It didn’t come easy to me. I had times when I had my training paid for in little ways or big ways. I had people help me out with free training. And then there were times where I straight out had to pay for everything on my own with a small growing family, with my own business, with all the time I had to put into that. It’s not easy.

And so I’ve seen all different corners of it, but I always recognize that it’s the hard work I need to put in. That was the most important and nothing ever got done unless I was willing to do that. So that’s my advice on the most important part to succeed in your ATPL training or any pilot training.

All right. Good question. This is interesting. Working on my PPL. Don’t have any time to study for my written test due to high school. Any tips? Make time you. If you’re going to do this, you have to put in the time, you have to put in the work. I know that it’s probably tough right now. You may need to delay your pilot training.

But you can’t work on your PPL if you aren’t studying the written test knowledge, if you aren’t studying the knowledge, you’re wasting time and money. So you really need to take a step back and prioritize how you’re going at this because if you’re going to an airplane and paying for flight time, that’s going to be a four hour commitment on a flight, right?

Driving out to the airport, doing the pre flight, doing the flight, doing the debriefing, driving home. That’s a four hour commitment, at minimum, at least how I see it. That four hours could be better spent on the knowledge part of what you’re doing. Because if you go to the airplane and you don’t know what you’re doing, you don’t know the concepts you’re going to be working on that day, you’ve never heard of those things before.

Then you’re learning in an airplane that is costing you like $200 an hour, assuming that’s with an airplane and an instructor on average, that’s a very, very expensive place to learn. So you really need to be doing your training, your focus outside of that so that when you go to the airport and you do a flight, you already have this knowledge base to work from that can accelerate your training.

But you need to do the work In order for this to happen. I know that for a high school student that studying material isn’t the most fun thing to do. But I want you to also think about separating what you’ve done in high school and how you’ve had to had knowledge crammed in your head, things that you don’t need to know in the real world, and then aviation.

Aviation is totally different. Okay? So the math, you’ve done the english you’ve done in school, the science you’ve done, even down to like physics is all actually applicable to aviation. And so when you get into aviation, all the knowledge you’re learning is actually useful.

So my advice in that sense would be put aside what your teachers and your schools force you to do in high school and realize that aviation is not something that has a bunch of useless knowledge. The stuff you’re learning can be really fun to learn and it’s actually useful to what you’re doing in life, and life being aviation.

So try to separate those two. Focus on the study first. It’s going to be more effective in the airplane and cheaper and you will become a pilot faster as a result by doing it this way than you would the other way. All right? So that is how to work on your PPL in high school.

Hey, Justin the pilot, good to have you. I recommended your podcast a few minutes ago mainly because the entertainment value. No, the knowledge. All right guys, if you need to ask a question, you can do that in the bottom here. It looks like I’m going to be around for about 20 more minutes. It’s a long one. I haven’t done one of these with you guys have for a while.

So about 20 more minutes. I’ll just keep punching through the questions here. Random question, would you ever come flying in New Zealand? I would love to fly in New Zealand. It’s a dream of mine. It’s a lot like Alaska in the scenery. It’s very epic scenery, mountains jutting up from the ocean.

Anyway, yes, I would love to fly there. It’s on my bucket list. Kind of a random question. Tips for choosing a CFI and knowing it’ll be a good fit. I did do a podcast on this subject, it’s called finding and keeping a flight instructor. You can find that podcast. But just as a little bit of a preview to that is you need to be able to gel with your instructor.

I am of the mindset that it’s okay to do multiple discovery flights with different instructors or different flight schools. Find out who you work with best. You know when you meet a friend, or have met friends in the past, when you click. And when you go and fly with these people or talk to them and you click, then you know that that is going to be a good situation.

Now, you don’t necessarily need someone that you’re going to be friends with, right? They may be someone that you know will push your buttons and motivate you in the right way for who you are too. So there’s that kind of relationship too. But I kind of joke that finding a flight instructor is like finding a spouse, someone to be married to.

That having the emotional intelligence to talk about everything, honoring each other and what you do and then the shared sense of learning and growth is really like a marriage. So yes, it’s super fun to find a good instructor. There’s a podcast out there.

But take your time to do the interviews and remember that you are the boss and you get to hire and fire instructors. It’s easier to find the right person in the very beginning and then go from there and work from there. Okay? So that’s the advice there on tips to find a good CFI and knowing if it’ll be a good fit.

All right, got some new questions that popped up. Just looking for those here. Is it better to take extra speed and landing or slower than usual? I think, in a general sense, you need to be really careful with the fly ability of the wing, right? You don’t want to get to the point where you’re stalling the wing too high above the runway.

I will mention that it is very common for pilots outside of training to just add one knot at a time as they’re without an instructor, or one knot here and one not there, maybe it’s over the years. But then people are coming in way too fast for landing and that is why it’s very difficult to touch down on a spot.

And so here in Alaska, I deal with much shorter runways a lot of the time. I have a huge runway here in town. But you don’t have the option of just screaming in with a bunch of extra energy, what I call energy and air speed, because you have to hit a location and a spot and then you have to get slowed down.

And so the effective use of energy management is very important getting used to that. So that’s kind of the big picture, sort of thing. You’d have to get into that and the actual intricate technical details of how that works in training in an airplane.

But in general, people land way too fast. And if you just dial it back to that 1.3 VSL, you’re doing better than the general public anyway. So just make sure that you’re landing on speed. You’re going to be able to land on target that way. That’s definitely something you learn as a commercial pilot, you got to land on speed and on target.

And if you’re dealing with back country stuff or shorter strips, then you really have to learn to manage your energy. So that’s my sermon on, is it better to take extra speed in landing or slower than usual? Kind of different than the regular advice stuff. Scotty P. Photos.

I am a new CFI, how did you structure your fight training for brand new students? Trial and error? It is a lot of trial and error. And I’m always of the mindset, this is how I operate my businesses, is my businesses, my products, my offerings, whatever they are, they’re always in flux. Okay? It’s a living document, no matter what I’m doing.

So as students, yes, everything I’m doing is constantly updated, changed to be better and you’re going to learn what works best for you based on your fight school. But I start out with the basics. I want people to learn how to fly an airplane coordinated. I want them to learn all about what the wing is doing, what the control services are doing, and how the pilot controls that in an effective way.

I try to do that as early as I possibly can without the use of instruments as much as I possibly can so that they understand just the pilot-airplane connection and how important that is. So yeah, start there. But you need to embrace that as an instructor that you’re going to have your own unique style.

And they are styles that have been borrowed from other pilots that you’ve flown with or other instructors that you’ve flown with and that is an asset. Okay? So that’s something that you are offering the community is just like a fresh new look on how to fly. So embrace that and feel free to be creative about how you do your lessons and how you present the students.

And then be creative about how you let students make mistakes and recover from those mistakes and just let them learn on their own. So that’s hopefully helpful for you and I hope you enjoy flying with your new students. Got another new question that came across. Can you fly gliders in Alaska? Have you ever flown a glider?

I haven’t flown a glider yet. I know that there are some operations in Alaska. That’s actually something I’m planning to do in California while I’m there is get a glider rating. I think it sounds like a lot of fun. Learning to fly in Qatar or Qatar, I’m not sure how to say. I think it’s Qatar, right? Any thoughts?

Heck, I want to come visit Qatar. Okay? That’d be crazy. But I’d love to fly there as well. I don’t really have any thoughts. I don’t have any experience there. Flying is flying no matter where you’re at. A wing works the same if it’s in Alaska or Qatar. So my advice is get advice from a lot of different locations.

And honestly, that might be the best thing you can do for yourself is make sure that you’re not in a bubble there, that you draw great information from other sources. And that’s really one of the attributes of a good pilot anyway, is drawing information from a lot of different sources, instructors, books, whatever it is, to learn more and be more well-rounded.

So that’s my advice, regardless of what area of the world you’re in. Kind of winding down here. How do you suggest building cross country hours hood time for the instrument rating? There a couple different ways to go about it. It’s definitely great to use that safety pilot that you can split costs with.

That helps that person build time potentially for their commercial license. I think if you’re going to use the hood, it’s good to have several hours of instruction with an instructor, whether that’s in a simulator or a real airplane, to get you into the scan so that you know how you’re scanning.

And that when you’re in an airplane by yourself, doing just cross country stuff with another pilot that you know what you’re doing and you’re not just building bad habits. If that person next to you is instrument rated, then as pilot in command, you can do practice approaches as well.

But again, you don’t want to build bad habits and you don’t necessarily want someone that isn’t an instructor teaching you. So it’s a little bit of a sticky situation. The thing I am most cautious about is just that you don’t build bad habits when you’re building that time. But you got to build the time anyway, right?

So to do some things that will help, while not trying to teach yourself everything is kind of the balance that you have to keep when you’re building those hours during instrument. All right. I hope that helped. Again, if you guys want to ask a question, it needs to go in the chat below, not the comments.

But there’s a little question box it needs to go in with an icon or it needs to go on my stories. That way I can actually pull it up on screen. So this is a question that comes across here again is, what is better to learn as a student, a tricycle gear or a taildragger?

The thing with taildragger is they have the potential to become more unstable during basic maneuvers of taxing and landing and takeoff. And so it is actually more difficult to learn in a taildragger. There’s more to cover, there’s less room for mistakes. All those maneuvers become very critical with your control position and the wind.

And so it is easier to learn any tricycle gear, it’s more forgiving, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t possible to learn in a taildragger. I know plenty of people, especially here in Alaska, that have done that and enjoy it and they’ve done well and they’re good pilots and so it just depends.

It might take more time, it might take less time because you have an awesome instructor. It’s kind of a mixed baggage. It really just depends on what you want to do. One isn’t necessarily better than the other. One is just more critical and maybe difficult to learn than the other.

All right guys, thanks for putting those questions where they’re supposed to be. I see some new ones coming across. I’m going to prioritize those now. Here’s a good question. Is it more productive to train for PPL in a short period of time or over an extended period? It’s more effective over a short period of time.

However, I know that life gets in the way and a lot of people that end up becoming pilots end up doing it in their late 40s to 50s because that’s when their jobs get to the point where they can afford it and that’s when they get a little bit more time on their side. And I realized that there are still a lot of demands, right?

But when you go into pilot training, you need to make sure that you have an effective plan. Flying two to three times a week is the best scenario. One time a week or one time every few weeks, you’re going to lose a lot of knowledge in between. So that retention of knowledge is one R, but that retention of knowledge is very predicated on the recency of that knowledge.

And so if it’s recent, then you’ll retain it better. And so that’s why it’s so important to have tight lessons that you can work with and then in between those lessons you’re studying. And so it can’t be so recent like every day that you don’t have time to decompress and debrief and really understand what happened in your flight lesson.

But it also can’t be so slow that you forget what happens in between as well. Good question. All right. Let’s see what else we got here. Some new questions came across. I’m a 42 years old making good money in the mortgage world. I’m studying for my written before flight instruction one.

I’m not sure what the question really is here. But this just goes to what I was saying that when people get a little bit older, they get a little bit more successful and they get the ability to fly. And so there’s going to be time constraints and commitments there that you have to deal with, but there’s plenty of room for it. Just make sure that you build a quality training plan.

It sounds like you’re getting your written done before instruction, I definitely recommend that. You’re going to be really, really happy you did that. From your experience as a CFI, how do you find your students controlling the aircraft in the ground? I’m not sure the question here. I’m just going to skip it because I’m not sure what to answer there.

I’ve seen this one come across a couple times. How do you pay back a student loan for PPL? By making money and paying it back. So it’s interesting because the student… Here’s my deal on loans. Okay? Because I feel like, yes, you could go out and borrow money to get a private pilot license, but I try to be fiscally responsible. I’m not the most fiscally responsible person ever.

But I don’t really recommend getting loans for flying, unless you are going to become a professional pilot. I don’t know why, I just feel like, unless you’re going to make a living doing it, we shouldn’t be borrowing money doing it. But that’s just maybe a personal belief.

Because if you do all the training with loans to become a commercial pilot, then you have a job at the end in which to pay the loans back. So I think that’s my connection there with doing that. Otherwise, I think you need to save up your money and just pay for the license outright if you’re going to do it the other way. That’s my advice there.

Let’s see what else we have here. We’re winding down. Just about done a time. Moving to Palmer, Alaska soon. Half done with flight training. What instructor should I look up? Write me, I have some people to recommend. But I don’t really want to leave others out and… I don’t know. I’ll tell you who, but write me.

Let’s see who else. Do you know of any good flight training scholarships for high school students? So I recommended that podcast before Pilot to Pilot. I know that he just interviewed Carl Valarie from The Aviation Careers Podcast and he has a scholarship guide that you can go and look up

Aviation Careers Podcast, the scholarship guide, and I think he does a good job from what I understand of finding all the scholarships you can apply for and having that in one area. Okay? Good question. Let’s see what else we have here. What exactly is a back course approach?

A back course approach is one that uses reverse sensing. And so it’s using, in this case like in a localizer back course, you’re going to be turning the wrong direction if you’re going to be correcting for the localizer. So it’s just kind of the reverse. You’re using the reverse of the navigational aid rather than the regular front side facing way. All right?

So that’s a really, really simple way to answer it. But there aren’t a lot of back courses approaches out there. We actually do have one here in Homer. I’ve talked to several people that were just literally flying here so they could experience one because they’re pretty rare.

Winding down questions here. What’s the average time a normal flight instructing time last and since when the CFI start charging his or her services. So flying instruction time, I think you’re asking me how long are people generally flight instructors and when can you start charging as a flight instructor?

So typically, people do it for a year or so. There are people that go on to choose to do it as their full time career. That’s what I do. I do the online courses plus instructing here in Alaska. And then I do charge right away. I charge my flying right away. There are some times when I choose not to charge for my flying, but I leave that up to my discretion.

I think that instructors need to be more professional about how they charge. We are professionals and we should be honored for that. And so especially for someone that chooses to do it long term like myself and many other peers that I have, they are professionals, they deserve to be paid what they’re worth. And that’s a whole different CFI discussion, but an interesting one.

All right. We’re winding down with questions here. I don’t think we have any more guys. I see some there that just are maybe a little bit out in the weeds. So thank you for being here. I hope you guys found this motivational. I hope you learned something. Hope the questions that other people asked were also helpful. Maybe some things that have been on your mind that you weren’t thinking of.

Lots of good things happening recently. I’m doing a handful of podcasts today to keep that rolling. That’s Aviator Cast. Look it up no matter where. We even have it on YouTube now, so I do it on video on YouTube. I find that I consume a lot of content in that way. Then it breaks down from there on Apple Podcast and Spotify and a lot of different locations.

I just released Checkride ACE, Checkride preparation. It’s something I put a lot of effort into. It’s not forever finished and so I’m still going to be adding to it. But it is very helpful for those of you that are going into a Checkride at such a critical time. It’s worth that final little investment to get it done.

I also do online ground school that you can check out, all video-based. Its at I appreciate you guys being here. If you ever have any questions, please reach out. I answer direct messages. I answer everyone’s direct messages. If somehow I miss your direct message, write me again.

It just needs to go to the top of my inbox. I love connecting with community. I love hearing what you’re going through. I love getting your questions, it’s how I stay connected. That’s why I find this super important to do so that I’m in it. Okay? I’m not just talking about flying, I’m actually teaching and working one on one with people.

So I appreciate what you do. Keep working hard. Remember, that’s the biggest thing, and thanks for all you do. All right? I’ll talk to you guys next time. Until then, throttle on.



Chris Palmer

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


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