Facepalming Student Pilot
My Dad flew B-17s over Germany during WWII and trained Korean pilots for the USAF. Flying was always a part of his character, but he just didn't keep up with it. When I was a kid, his boss owned a twin engine plane (no recollection what kind) and he would do repo flights for him. I got to fly in the co-pilot seat for one of them.
It was something I was very interested in doing myself. When I was in college, I looked into it and the sticker shock drove me away. It just seemed like something that would be prohibitively out of reach.
30 years and a career later, I realized that I have never re-visited/challenged that expectation of flying being too expensive. So, I looked, and I facepalmed. Yes, it is an expensive hobby. Out of reach for a poor college student, but within reach for someone that has worked hard for 30y and managed finances well. Hence, facepalm.
So, I have been studying on my own and talking to the local flying club while getting all of my ducks in a row. Of course, now that I am ready to really move, the virus hits. C'est la vie. Just means that I will be focusing on working through to my written test earlier rather than later.
The important thing is that I am not mentally blocked anymore. I have goal of PPL this year, and stretch goals of IR and ME (most likely next year). I have a picture of my dad kneeling down in front of his B-17 that will always be in the cockpit with me...
17 Replies
Eric Moore
1 Posts
Ross, the thing is...simulators are way harder to fly than airplanes.

While wanting to learn good habits to begin with is a GREAT approach, as soon as you have an idea of what you should be doing, the sim is a great place to practice your skills. Whether you are using round gauges or glass, you will be forced to react to what is on the instruments, and this forces an improvement to your scan, because the simulator will almost always do something at least slightly different than you expected.

I know, I know, the private pilot begins as a primarily VISUAL pilot, but the transition to using instruments as a backup to verify precise maneuvering happens fairly quickly, and if you continue to other ratings the instruments will become primary, so may as well start on it now.


I understand where you are, I took flight instruction when I worked for Piper in the 70's, but didn't finish because of cost when I left Piper. I'm now a 76 year old student for a Light Sport Certification (med problem). What has helped me on my landings is I saved 3 approaches on my X-plane, 1 high, 1 normal and 1 low, turn from base to a short final. This way I land, go back to turning on to base, land, repeat. It's a good drill and you can change crosswinds,

Frank Webster
Seems to be a misunderstanding.  I'm a 7000+ hour ATP, CFII & 2007 SR22 GTS owner.  I'm unsure how I got to this thread - may have resulted from a question about flying following an aortic valve replacement question concerning a student of mine.  Thanks for the responses though.  
I make that same joke all of the time.
I have always been an "always learning" kind a guy, and my approach (pun intended) to piloting will not be any different.
Yeah... been reading/watching/learning lots on everything from ground school itself to info on finding CFIs, etc. No end of learning to keep me busy while waiting to get out just to get a discovery ride :-).
Lots of great advise here Jack, you might want start using Ross though . . . People just don't say "HI JACK" around airports!  All kidding aside though, from all the comments, Think of it as a journey and not a destination, you'll always be learning if you are to be a good pilot.  Read about Rod Merchado's comments on using the flight sims.  Great advise.  Also look into some of all that's written about finding the right instructor, that too can make all the difference in the world.  Now it seems that so many schools are just interested in producing the next airline pilot.  Much of the enjoyment and GA real world is lost in that process.  Finding and older CFI that's not on a fast track to a career may be best for you.

Welcome back,
Bruce HInds
Senior Simulator Instructor at Alaska Airlines
Jack:  Welcome to starting your dream, again..  My first lesson was right after graduation in 1967.  They didn't last long, just 6 hours.  Then the itch came again in 1995, and I got my private ticket.  The interest didn't last long.  Then out of nowhere I got the itch again.  But this time I decided that if I fly, I want my own plane, and more importantly I had to decide whether I would be committed to it.  So I bought a Maule in 2015, flew it home from Georgia to (KBVY), and sort of from scratch started over.  During the last 5 years I've logged about 800 hours on the plane, got my instrument rating, and am now working on the commercial.  What's helped me is liking this process to a journey, not a destination.  Just enjoy it.  The rest will come naturally.  Good luck, and have fun.