Joy and frustrations of a student pilot

Published by: Bob Lemke on 22nd Mar 2017 | View all blogs by Bob Lemke

 

What I would like to solicit from this blog is other's learning experiences along with their mind set. As I type this I've received 9 hours of instruction, 7.5 of those hours in the last three days. The first 1.5 hours was at my CFI's airport, the rest at my hangar/home in my airpark. 

 

The joy comes from flying again after a 37 years absence. 40 years ago I soloed with 0 hours because back then nobody was doing tandem hang glider flights yet, let alone giving dual instruction. I bought a used Seagull III and three other beginners from work joined me in the quest to learn how to fly. We learned in the Sierra foothills just east of Sacramento, California and on our 2nd outing one of the beginners crashed, destroying the Seagull and placing him in the hospital for 3 weeks. I became a dealer for Seagull to receive better pricing and placed a order for 3 new gliders for us remaining students. When the 3 of us resumed training, instead of the 20 minute drive to that foothill site, we drove 3 hours to a coastal site named Dillon's Beach with a 100' tall sand dune hill. There was a lot of physical effort involved in climbing with our wing in the sand but the reward was launching into a constant sea breeze that elongated our flight time and more importantly the soft sand in the LZ for our beginner pilot landings. With that long drive it was a serious time commitment so we always camped and had two or three days of learning per trip. After many trips we felt we were ready to return to that foothill site and continued training there. Between the 100' sand dune and the 500' high foothill site, all flights were short compared to the time of hiking our gliders up those hills. The time had come for our 1st "altitude" flight at a place north of Clear Lake, California called Elk Mountain with the LZ in the dry creek beds next to the Middle Creek Campground. The launch was 3500' AGL above the LZ. This area is famous for thermals so as low time pilots the three of us launched early morning to insure a 10 minute sled ride to the LZ. That was at least 5 times the air time of the other two sites. All three of us wound up doing what the more experienced pilots predicted, and that was pulling the bar in a bit past minimum sink and flying with more speed, hence a shorter flight. But 10 minutes in the air did give valuable input as to where each of us had set up our hang point CG, and so we could make adjustments on future flights to insure our CG setting would provide minimum sink for hands off the control bar straight and level flight. Getting the right CG proved very important for our next altitude site which was Big Sur. This site was famous for giving that first altitude flight so I was looking forward to that trip already having some altitude flights at Clear Lake. The club I belonged to went to Big Sur every Thanksgiving due to the whales migrating south that time of year. Nothing curls your toes like flying over a pod of whales in a prone position and your wing acts as a sound amplifier when they surface and force air out of their blow hole. It is loud. The club owned a old hot rod 4X4 Ford truck with a 427 and manual transmission that pulled a custom trailer built to accommodate 24 gliders. i know a lot about that truck because when I didn't feel comfortable about conditions on the launch hill, I would drive the truck back down the hill with just my glider on board. This happened more times than I'm willing to admit but hell I was one of the lowest hour pilots in the club and had every intention of surviving my early learning phases to become a higher hour pilot. On one of these Big Sur trips I didn't exercise my previous good judgement and launched above the fog before it had burned off because there was a good size opening in that fog along my proposed flight path. Well I'm sure anyone reading this is going to think what happens after you launch and are flying that VFR path and it closes back in again? You would be correct and I shouldn't have launched because in the time it took me to reach that clearing in the fog, it had closed in. This was why I mentioned how important it was at the Elk Mountain site to properly dial in my CG attach point for hands off minimum sink. When your in a white out that is your only option, remove input to the control bar and experence that feeling of time stretching out, where every 10 seconds feel like a minute. I am however keeping track of the time waiting for a break in the fog because my due west flight path will take me over highway 1 and then the Pacific Ocean. I finally saw a break in the fog and turned towards the opening and once there was relieved to see Highway 1 just west of my position. Total relief but that was short lived because on further observation I had no idea where I was in respect to the LZ and didn't know if I should fly north or south over Highway I. I chose north and that was incorrect, wound up landing 4 miles north of the LZ at the gas station/greasy spoon. After folding my wings I had breakfast wondering how long it would be before the truck/trailer would find me and pick me up. During the course of eating, 3 other pilots landed there to prove I wasn't the only idiot to launch into a sucker hole in the fog and after breaking out of the fog heading the wrong direction.

 

 

I got off subject, damn I'm good at that. Well back on subject, these early days of flying lit a fire under my ass (or lit my ass on fire) and 3 years after learning to fly hang gliders I was at my local FBO taking lessons in their Cessna 150 trainer. This was a low budget flying club that even though they had the new 152s, I preferred the old 150 for two reasons, manual flaps vs the slow moving electric, and more important for the budget minded, the 150 only recorded tach time hours unlike the 152 Hobbs time. Lower RPM settings would net more log hours and less billing hours. On this note you are probably aware I'm a budget minded person and as such I'm having some diffculty with time to solo and instruction rates. If memory serves I think the 150 I rented from the club I belonged to and paid monthly dues went for $25 per hour wet and the instructor was an additional $15 per hour. Granted this was 37 years ago. I feel like I'm getting a good rate from my current CFI at $150 per hour in his trike at my hangar/home location. However, time to solo might be different. I don't want or expect to solo at 0 hours like I had no choice in my hang glider. I did solo GA aircraft at 10.8 hours and as a newly minted solo student pilot moved my touch and go's from my 2400' FBO field to a little airstrip my U/L friends were using at 1200' in length. I got to practice short field and spot landings all day at that little strip which was only 3 miles from my home strip. I got pretty good at this and when my club had its Fun Day with flour bomb drop, balloon burst, and spot landing competition I was eager to participate. Only problem was students weren't allowed, so I was bummed. I could understand a low hour student pilot could get into trouble attempting the balloon burst and even the simple flour bomb drop, but spot landings? This is what we practice all the time we are accumulating, not just hours flying straight on cross country flights. I spoke up, the powers to be contacted their insurance agent and the green light was given to allow the students to do spot landings. That was the very first 1st place flying trophy I ever received, still proud to this day.

 

So this gets me back to the first paragraph, I have 9 hours dual and have the impression from my CFI that my first solo is further away than the 10.8 hours I soloed the 150. I know we need to trust our instructor's judgement as to our flying abilities but input from others would be appreciated. What was your flying experience before trike instruction? How many hours before solo in the trike. How did you feel about your CFI? I really want the good, bad and ugly.

 

Here is my thoughts on flying. As a little boy I was a tree climber for the perspective of being above the ground and the solitude. As I grew older I would climb mountains for the same reason, to escape the 2D world and enjoy a 3D experience. I will never fly as a means of transportation and as such would never ever fly to a schedule. I'll leave that to the pros. Unlike my hang gliding days when so much time was committed to driving to the flying site and hence a bit of pressure to get some air time even if conditions were less than perfect, now doesn't exist due to my home/hangar fronting a taxiway and just 900' to the active runway. Yep, with no time commitment envolved in getting to the flying site, I have the luxury everyday I wake up to decide if conditions are benign enough to serve my level of experience. Life is good retired at a residental airpark.

 

Comments

109 Comments

  • wayne morrill
    by wayne morrill 8 months ago
    Hi Bob
    I am a newbee to this great sport of trike flying.
    It took me 23 hrs of instruction before I did my solo. And I had three instructors and three different ways of instructions. I had my fair share of frustration and joy getting to my goal. But now after 260 hrs of flight time and over 700 landing. I can look back on my training and I have Evan greater respect for my instructors and for their time I spent training with them. Evan after my solo I managed to blow my front tire and wreck the rim twice. That help me to keep on top of my game all the time while flying and landing. It took me one year to get to solo and it was all worth it. I too am retired and fly out of my 2400' grass strip and hanger out my back door. I can look out my bedroom window and see my wind sock so that make waking up to a limp sock a great morn. All I can say is stay at it and don't worry about how long it take to solo. Fly safe!!
  • Bob Lemke
    by Bob Lemke 8 months ago
    Thank you for the reply Wayne. Your right we both share similar flying situations by living with our bird. Did you solo your instructor's trike at solo time or your own? My CFI doesn't allow solo in his trike so I will go from his to my Part 103 REV for my solo. What are you flying? How do you like it?
  • wayne morrill
    by wayne morrill 8 months ago
    Same up here CFI Do not let the student solo there trike. I only did 4 hrs on the CFIs trike and the rest on my trike. My trike is a north wing scot XC with 912 ul 80 hp. I have two wings I started with a 15m mustang 3. I put 130 hrs on that wing then I got a 12.4 m double surface wing. The 12.4 handles the turbulence better and takes less effort to move the wing around and less prob taxing out in higher winds on surface. Come in to land at about 65 mph on the 12.4 and about 50 mph on the 15m. But if you fly your flair out properly the 15m sets down at about 34 mph and the 12.4 at about 38mph. So if you get it right their not much difference on the landing. But you fly out a lot more speed and distance on the 12.4. So far the trike has been good and has meet my needs. Only regrets I have is I wish I would looked at the Revo before I purchased my trike. I am planning to go fun n sun and check out the Revo and Rev in April. What color is your Rev. That's looks like a great trike sure you will be happy with the Rev.
  • Bob Lemke
    by Bob Lemke 8 months ago
    White frame, black and white wing. The new Revolt is being introduced April 5th, might want to wait for this model that falls between the REV and Revo. I've talked to Larry and get the impression its price point will be in between, a 2 place with a 582 and options up to the injected 912. Also it might be STOL like the REV, that of course preclude 105 mph speeds. For me given flex wings are doing good with a 2.4 to 1 speed range unlike a good fixed wing of 4 to 1 speed range (stall to top speed) I would give up those 80~105 mph speeds to have a sub 30 mph stall.
  • Frank Roush
    by Frank Roush 8 months ago
    Bob, I can understand why your CFI doesn't let anyone solo in his trike. Unfortunatley there's a lot of liability there. But I trained in my 2 seat trike and that helped some. BUT, on my first solo takeoff without someone in the back was like a sports car/rocket and it caught me off guard how fast it was. I even briefly backed off on the throttle, but no danger, no fear, because I had been trained to remain level on climb out in case of engine out. I could have simply landed very safely. So when you solo in your Rev it's going to be a very different experience. My guess it's one you're going to like. But keep that pedal to the metal!!!
  • Frank Roush
    by Frank Roush 8 months ago
    Also, I had an outstanding and safe CFI named Damien Beresford at Double Eagle airport near Albuquerque. Because of his dedication to his students he gets them to solo in about 1 month. I hope you'll keep up your posting because I'm very curious about those Rev's!
  • Bob Lemke
    by Bob Lemke 8 months ago
    Frank, my CFI for GA aircraft weighed over 300 lbs. Needless to say that poor Cessna 150 performed so much better on my first solo. My guess is my ground roll acceleration in my REV will be close to the same due to 400 lbs less take off weight (less trike weight and 265 lb CFI) but 28 hp less than the CFI's 65 hp 582. Ground distance roll should be shorter since rotation in his trike is 45 mph and the REV 30 mph.
  • Frank Roush
    by Frank Roush 8 months ago
    Sounds like a whole different world my man. They don't call these "Light Sport", or technically in your case Part 103/ ultralight. Do you have any friends down there to start a flying community?
  • Bob Lemke
    by Bob Lemke 8 months ago
    Not of trike pilots but the two that came down plan on making my place a winter flying destination. I have room in my hangar for at least 4 trikes ready to fly and my neighbor Dick brought his tractor over and cleared some of my acreage to accommodate 5 truck/trailer combos for visiting pilots. I'm all for the social aspect, so if my place 6 miles north of the Mexico border becomes a hang out for snow bird pilots, I'm all in for that.
  • Frank Roush
    by Frank Roush 8 months ago
    It get's damned COLD up here, so yeah, see you next winter (if not sooner).
  • Bob Lemke
    by Bob Lemke 8 months ago
    Your always welcome. I watched winter temps this year between where you, Jim Britt and Chuck Talbbert live and here and was surprised that 260 miles south combined with 2000' less elevation meant such a difference. So far this spring it is only 10*~15* warmer but winter temps are on the order of 20* and more.
  • Jozinko Sajan
    by Jozinko Sajan 8 months ago
    Hi Bob, I am trike pilot, instructor and inspector (its similar as CFI) here in Slovakia. If I saw back, there was not good flying condition here in comunist area. I remember we did a family trip in High Tatras mountain and we saw hang glider pilots start from the hill. Father asked them where they will land. Into a camp in valley. Then our family trip very quickly ended. We sat back to cableway and went down. In the camp we saw pilots landing. We sat into a car with mom and younger brother. After 2hrs my father come and asked from mom 150krowns to buy plans for wing. When plans come we started travel around Czechoslovakia and looking for dural tubes, cables, buckles, sail and other things for the wing construction. My father and mother did it all alone at home. They made a skeleton,they sewed sail and father went to try flying...without any idea how to fly.... He learned himself. We had a lot of nice smiling stories from that time, but a lot of broken wing tubes and some bones... There were not HG flying schools here.
    After years my father become be the instructor and he taught me how to fly HG. It was 34 year ago. Next my father had a dream: he crashed and stayed on wheelchair. Then he thought to make a powered HG. As usually, everything he did himself. He used his HG wing - solid it only. He made trike and first engine was motorcycle Jawa 250. The propeller he did home alone. Next he changed engine for Trabant engine and he flew. He learned it alone - he try - failure, he made some editing and tried it again and again... In 1992 he bought new by manufacturer made wing 11,7 area, he made new one seat trike and used new engine Citroen C2V. he made for a friend new two seats trike with C2V engine and he was my instructor because 2 seat trike. No one of us had pilote licence in this time. My instructor so-so knew flying alone and he started teaching me :) There was really funny situations. For example through a day is thermal and we cant fly... Then we flew only mornings and evenings. We really didnt know anything about rules or so.
    Now im trike flying for 27 years. After 4 years I made a pilot exam and I had my pilot licence. In 2003 I become an instructor and in 2010 I became the inspector. I know why you told the instructors dont like teaching on their own trikes. My friend killed on my trike on his 4th solo in 2005. I decided I will not teaching flying on my next trike. But in 2015 I changed my decission and my students are flying on my trike, solo too. But it is hard for me :)
  • PHILIP QUANTRILL
    by PHILIP QUANTRILL 8 months ago
    Jozinko, I wish I could write Slovakian as well as you write English. Great stories of your past. My instructor in France teaches his students on his own microlights and we solo on his machines too. He says we should take our first solo on a machine that we know because there is no transition for us and he has the confidence in our skills having trained us. If he is not confident in letting us fly his machine he should not be allowing us to solo. Sorry to read your friend died on your machine, sadly, death comes for us in many ways. It may be very hard for you but it requires you to have confidence in your skills as an instructor and the abilities of your students. Bravo !!
  • Bob Lemke
    by Bob Lemke 8 months ago
    Jozinko, I truly enjoyed your flying history. It reminded me of how Ivo Boscarol got his start in a country that did not allow private flying and now his company Pipistrel makes the most efficient and fastest SLSA on the market. 147 kt 75% power cruise at 4.7 gph without it being a LSA on 100 hp 912. 133 kt and 3.5 gph on 80 hp @ 75%. Of course for the USA LSA market it is restricted to 120 kt and fuel burn drops to 3 gph.
  • Heather Davis
    by Heather Davis 8 months ago
    Hi Bob, welcome to triking. I too, and many here, started out in hang gliding. Sadly, Dillon Beach was closed and I hated the Elk Mountain LZ (dry rocky creek bed). I only got down to Big Sur a couple of times. So sad I missed the whales!

    CFIs will have more to say, but generally, training requirements have drastically changed. I'm pursuing my private rating in airplane and nobody solos at 10 hours anymore. They won't let you go just because you can safely make a circuit and land. As my CFI puts it, he lets someone solo when he is confident that if there is an accident on the runway and it closes while you are in the air, you will be able to fly to another airfield, and if the ones you know are all socked in, you'll be able to navigate to an airport you've never been to, after calculating your route and that you have the fuel to get there, tell ATC of your troubles and land safely in the event of an engine-out even if you have to put it down in a strong X-wind in a tiny field.

    All that is for a private airplane certificate, but it's not much different for a sport, and not much different for trikes. If you plan to stick with ultralights, you're not required to have any training at all. Personally, I think more training is better even though it hurts the pocketbook. Hospitals are more expensive than CFIs. Insofar as your question in hours, I think I soloed at 27 or 28. This is with a hang gliding background but no powered flight experience. My first instructor doesn't let students solo on his ship either, so I ended up soloing in France at the Air Creation factory. I might have soloed earlier had I trained on my own trike at home, but who knows. From my observations of other people pursuing a sport license since, my time looks pretty normal. Some go more, some less. Definitely a lot more than the old days.

    As a mention for potential trike pilots reading this post - if you ever want to fly a two-seater, you'll have to get at least a sport pilot's license. There are a bunch of non-negotiable requirements for solo and the license. As Frank above says, you can get to solo in a compressed amount of time if you are out there flying every day, but you still have to get all the training and you'll also have to pass the written exam. A lot of folks consider all these fairly recent rules a drag (Hi Ole!) but that's just the way it is in the US.

    It's a lot of work and a lot of money, but the payoff is worth it. BTW, how cool is that to have your own airfield!!!
  • Jozinko Sajan
    by Jozinko Sajan 8 months ago
    Thank you Philip still Im learning English :) You had to saw me in Yarrawonga on Megafauna Fly in 2014... I was well known as: slowly and again please man :)) Im going to visit 6th Annual Trike Fly-in in Sandpoint this July. It isnt a big problem to write English, but I have no experience with speaking. It will be next funny time for all :)
    After the crash I taught students on their own trikes. He chose a trike I was there with him, I tried the trike (most of them I knew in Czech and Slovak rep) and he bought it wheen it was good. My darling was for my passion only. but a lot of students want to learn flying and next to buy trike. Then my friend Jany Lacúch and me created certificate trike flying school ROGALLO TEAM and we are learning students on ours trikes. Jany had a problem very soon. We flew an xc flight and when we flew back Jany called me: the engine has stopped. After next 30sec: hmmm and it doesnt start. He landed and i landed beside him into a field. A crankshift has broken. Mr Verner doesnt be able to repaired him then he offered him new radial 5 cylinder engine. Now he is preparing it to first flight. It will be first star engine on trike here. Then only my trike is available for school. As you write the student and the instructor have to be for 100% sure the student will manage his first solo well. Now my students have ordered new trike, it will be ready in April. Then we will retrein them on their trike. I dont know why I have a problem to put my videos on TP. But you can see last students solo here: https://youtu.be/xAcmz-6o0yk?list=PLCB48D3B4F688E77B. He had a bad turbulence a seconds before touch down. I was almost shit when I saw it.
    Yea Bob, ultralight planes are faster and faster. In Europe we have rules for UL min speed lower than 65km/h and MTOW 450kg or 472kg with BRS.
  • white eagle
    by white eagle 8 months ago
    See i told you joz your english has improved! Cant wait to see you again my friend. Your gonna love sandpoint. Maybe we can get away for a couple of days and go up to glacier park? I couldnt imagine coming from slovakia and not seeing glacier. Hey maybe we can talk henry into seeing it by air. He loves to fly glacier.
  • Bob Lemke
    by Bob Lemke 8 months ago
    Heather Davis, thank you very much for all the insight in times to solo now vs the crazy days. Did you belong to the Northern California Hang Glider Association? I really want to renew some of those old friendships and can't find anyone from those days, late 70's to early 80's. Dick Cassetta and Jack Anderson are just two I really want to contact, they would be in their late 60's now. I love that someone replied to my post that flew all the old sites, what years were you flying these sites? Big Sur was THE site for everyone to get their first altitude flight, such mellow conditions. For Thanksgiving at our campfire I would recite (try to sing) Arlo Guthrie's Alice's Restaurant for 20 plus minutes due to a certain herb inducement. I am so glad you are part of this forum and we have a shared flying history. If you are ever in the area you should stop by, I have room for your trike in the hangar, room for your truck/trailer, and of course a spare bedroom for you. Back to Elk Mountain, do you remember the little girl Cathy Kanaval (sp) who flew tandem with her dad for 3 years at age 8 thru 10? I was on the mountain for her solo at age 11, her dad and another pilot held her wing tips and ran with her for the launch. Conditions were such that other pilots were scratching for lift and not gaining much altitude. When Cathy caught some lift, due to her very light wing loading she skyed out and was above everyone in short order. I can't find her either but my guess is she must be one of the best pilots around starting at such an early age.
  • Larry  Mednick
    by Larry Mednick 8 months ago
    I had a student once that thought he was ready to solo before I thought he was ready. My solution was for him to do a "SILENT SOLO" long story short it was hysterical without going into detail and I got to save our lives.

    Personally if my students can give me consistent safe power off landings and fly in some bumps while doing it, I say they are ready to solo in calm conditions. But that's just my opinion.

    The problem is when students are getting even just verbal coaching from the back seat and think they are solid. So the silent solo is always a sure fire way to prove or disprove proficiency.
  • Bob Lemke
    by Bob Lemke 8 months ago
    Larry,

    The plan is for my CFI to return when the next 3 day calm wind window is forecast for my area. If needed, should be able to double my current dual hours. I welcome the idea of a silent solo combined with no bar input unless needed. Going in to this training I had hoped that control bar input would be used by the CFI on a as needed basis. Flex wing and weight shift isn't an alien concept for me and I'm a very low hour pilot in GA aircraft meaning that 2nd nature responses for me will be based on my hang gliding past, not 3 axis. The dealer recommended the CFI, I let the ball down by not searching out a CFI that came up through the ranks of hang gliders then trikes. I believe the learning process would be more in sync with a CFI with that background. I have a 5 to 1 ratio of hg time vs GA time. But I'll make this work, it is only money, and it is my fault for having certain expectations. When I was taking lessons for GA aircraft my mind was totally open to when along the way I would solo. CFI cut me loose for that solo with no lead up, just asked "Do you feel ready to solo?" I gave the poorest answer when I said "Do you think I'm ready to solo"? He let me off the hook and said "that wasn't what I asked", so I promptly replied "Yes, I'm ready to solo." This was at 10.8 hours. I was wrong to go into these lessons with an expectation of when I would solo. Wish I could turn the clock back and go in with no expectations like I did for my GA lessons. I'm pretty sure when you learned to fly hang gliders back in the day, like me you had no choice but to solo at 0 hours. We are both lucky to still be around with that sort of entry into flight, don't you think?
  • Frank Roush
    by Frank Roush 8 months ago
    Bob, this "silent solo " thread is interesting. Maybe this is taught at the "CFI academy," :). Damien, my CFI, would not talk, would not touch anything on my "silent solo." After a couple of T and G's we taxied back to the ramp, he got out (mags off, etc, but no helmet off, no unbuckle, nothing). I then taxied back, called the tower, and went for it. I flew with confidence.
  • Bob Lemke
    by Bob Lemke 8 months ago
    I'm looking forward to that day Frank.
  • Frank Roush
    by Frank Roush 8 months ago
    Well, that day could be tomorrow morning when the sun comes up with your Part 103 Rev! :) But no! Please be ready. Please be sure and please be safe! I'd like to come down to your little piece of paradise sometime. Contact me anytime at froush2@comcast.net. Frank
  • Bob Lemke
    by Bob Lemke 8 months ago
    The winds have been blowing all day, but don't worry I intend to stay with the program until I get the CFI's blessing for solo. I just bought my 2nd Hall airspeed indicator in 40 years from the same place. 7 1/2" tall, 7 mph to 55 mph and like my hang glider will attach it to my down tube of the control bar. Looking at it will bring back some memories. For the most part I'm always here, so it is an open invite, you want to check my place out give me a call. You can come down with or without your trike and trailer, I have a spare bedroom.
  • wayne morrill
    by wayne morrill 8 months ago
    Bob that halls air speed indicator is a great learning tool if you mount a go pro just behind it on your control bar. This has helped me on flying out my flair as far as possible. You can play back your landing and pick out if your milking out all the energy of you wing be for you stall out just inches off your runway.
  • Larry  Mednick
    by Larry Mednick 8 months ago
    Flaring until the wing just won't fly anymore is still my all time favorite thing to do in any aircraft, especially a trike. There's just something about it....
  • Bob Lemke
    by Bob Lemke 8 months ago
    Well guys when your landing on your feet that is the method. lol
  • Bob Lemke
    by Bob Lemke 8 months ago
    Old school, had a Hall airspeed indicator just like it 40 years ago. Mr Hall has been making these for 43 years. Notice the sliver of black electrical tape slightly askew and covered with Scotch tape? That is stall for the REV and being askew insures vision of the red disc when at that speed. Hall Airspeed photo DSC00947_zpsx1nksf9x.jpg
  • Frank Roush
    by Frank Roush 8 months ago
    I have a fancy air speed indicator but I feel like getting one of these just because. And you can also put it higher up and more in your line of sight. But I'm sure you know that it's important not to rely completely on instruments. Getting those landings in will get you to soloing. I was averaging 15 to 20 per session with my CFI. One day we did 26.
  • Bob Lemke
    by Bob Lemke 8 months ago
    I'm all for a lot of landings but my CFI has me do 4 or 5 per 1.5 hour session. My strip is long enough for touch and go's but we have only done a couple. We land, stop, turn around and go to the end of the runway, turn around again and take off. It is a 4000' runway with power lines 330' past the end. I think touch and go's can be safely done depending on distance I over run the landing threshold. The Hall is at eye level.  photo DSC00958_zpsl6rkwh5g.jpg
  • Frank Roush
    by Frank Roush 8 months ago
    By touch and go's do you mean more than one landing down the runway?
  • Bob Lemke
    by Bob Lemke 8 months ago
    No, land, let a little speed bleed off then full throttle again for take off, fly the pattern and repeat.
  • Frank Roush
    by Frank Roush 8 months ago
    Andy, please withdraw this post. Regroup and come back tomorrow.
  • Frank Roush
    by Frank Roush 8 months ago
    Delete very quickly. There is no value in this.
  • Bob Lemke
    by Bob Lemke 8 months ago
    Ouch Andy. But getting and accepting other's perspectives is what a public blog that solicits responses is all about. Yes I have an ego and will work harder to keep it in check. As to eyesight, it is good enough and will be better soon. Gift of gab, well yes I can see the keyboard, screen and I'm retired, so have the time. Anything else you care to point out?
  • Frank Roush
    by Frank Roush 8 months ago
    The good news is this, cataract eye surgery has become so successful, and safe, that is is almost a non issue. I had lasik to improve my vision, was scared to death, but it was the best thing I ever did. Every report I've heard of is that cataract eye surgery improves peoples vision better than a 20 year old. I wouldn't hesitate. Well, maybe one eye at a time :)
  • Bob Lemke
    by Bob Lemke 8 months ago
    One eye at a time, amen. In 10 months I'll be 65 so with 20% copay it will cost $2000 for both eyes. I could have it done now without Medicare in Mexico for the same as the copay, $2000. I'm waiting because if something goes wrong there is no recourse in Mexico. I look forward to crystal sharp vision again, never needed any corrective lenses but for low light reading will use simple reading glasses. Maybe next winter I'll invite Andy down for snowbird flying, I'll have great vision again.
  • PHILIP QUANTRILL
    by PHILIP QUANTRILL 8 months ago
    Hi Bob, you are right you post a blog you have to accept positive and negative, something many of us are incapable of doing. Andy's comments right or wrong based on fact or assumption he has the right to post if he believes his comments to be valid, BUT full marks to you Bob for taking it on the chin and responding evenly. During your video it was apparent you have real trouble reading the gauges, is it that close up, ie less than 3/4 feet your vision is not good but improves with distance. If that is the case I would suggest that most things important to a pilot are outside that range. As for taking down posts, a very personal view, but I believe, you post it, you stand by it and don't go back and delete/amend.

    My solo happened as did Frank Roush, I arrive at the field and did a number of circuits and touch and go's on a 1200' long runway, my instructor said to me next landing go to the hanger and turn the trike round facing the runway as he needed the toilet. He dismounted went in the hanger and then reappeared from the hanger with no helmet and his handheld radio in hand, "off you go, I'm on the other end of the radio show me a circuit, land and park back here" he said. No time for nerves or worry, just had to get on with it. I nearly SHIT myself lining up on the runway solo, WOW, how she climbs solo, circuit talking to myself all the way through the circuit, landed, bit lumpy, parked up, dismounted and I thought I would cry, my head felt like it may just explode with pride. What a day, I didn't fly again for a couple of days to re-centre myself.
  • Bob Lemke
    by Bob Lemke 8 months ago
    Philip, I can identify with your 1st solo, as mentioned mine came out of the blue and my CFI was 300+ lbs. As to eyesight, when ambient light is bright and is back lighting the instrument panel, it is hard to read. I can still read it but it takes more time than the preferred glance. Same thing when driving and trying to read the trip odometer, can do it but takes more than a glance. This is one of the reasons I chose to go back to the old trusty Hall airspeed indicator. Mounted out in the open on my down tube makes it readable at a glance. The other is the design makes it quite accurate at the speed range designed for (7~55 mph) and mounted where it is shows airspeed under the wing.
  • white eagle
    by white eagle 8 months ago
    Phillip Quantrill. Iam sooo upset ,how dare you. You said many of us are incapable. I just know you were refering to me!! I cant take it dang. Uhhh you know iam kidding right!
    Its sooo easy to get things misconstrued.
    Iam sure many feel that i have a gift of gab. Or i post nonsense or bragg sometimes to much of people i have known. I can say that after turning sixty you life starts flashing before your eyes. You body is constantly feeling under attack. Your kids are trying so hard to prove their smarter than you. And no one wants you much for the good jobs.
    Its every pilots responsability to make an ethical good review on our health to fly.
    Bob i have worked as an administrator and a cna for the last ten years. I have taken many for caterack surgery including my 90 year old father. I also have a incredable fear of doctors but i can tell you that caterack surgery is sooo simple and quick. Its very efective and everyone who i know have had a greatly improved eyesight. Good luck.
    Your place must be down there somewhere around my ol stoppin grounds of the gila wilderness. Snow and wall lake.
    My solo. I will never forget scott johnson( my instructor) stopping me on his runway getting out and saying ok dont come back untill you have givin me 7 nice landings in a row. I remember clearly doing a quick gulp.A very quick confidence evaluation. Then a sort of noble feeling of no problem i can do this , its nothing more than ive been doing with my instructor.So off down the runway i went. A little suprized how fast the nose climbed . Pulled in a bit for a less steep climb. Low and behold once i leveled off in pattern alt .i totally relaxed and off to my right wing was a incredable brilliant sunset with streaks of orange light everywhere . Then i looke towards my left wing and a huge harvest full moon causing a moon beams rising in glory over the mountain ridge . I was totally in awe ,relaxed, confident. I did 7 beautiful landings as scott sat quiet over by the fence. I stopped got out under the gloru of the heavons and scott gave me a wonderfull smile and two thumbs up and said this is what its all about brother.that sunset and moonrise has never left my soul.
    Bob we are sooo lucky to do this now. Their was a time when you were in your sixtys that you were concidered a invalid. But thank goodness thats changing.
    Good luck and get them eyes fixed.
  • Bob Lemke
    by Bob Lemke 8 months ago
    White Eagle, are you native American? Just having fun. Good username choice for a flying forum if you chose not to use your given name. I live in one of three airparks that share a section of land 6 miles north of Palomas, Mexico, 3 miles north of Columbus, New Mexico which 101 years ago was the birthplace of US military aviation, hence the name of my airpark is 1st Aero Squadron. I'm at 4200' with mild, dry winters. While I can't offer the fine digs that John McAfee did for visiting trike pilots at his place in Rodeo (69nm west of me) I do welcome all snowbird trike pilots to my digs. Nothing fancy, a hangar that can hold 4 trikes ready to fly, a clearing for 5 truck/trailer combos to park, use of kitchen, bathroom and places to sleep if your not sleeping in your own enclosed trailer like my last two visitors. Invite open to all, including Andy Hughes if he can cross the US-Canada border.
  • white eagle
    by white eagle 8 months ago
    Thanks bob and thats big of you to invite andy. Shows your good character. I am part native american. Iam mic mack, moheikan, and a bit of northern piute. Than a whole lot of scottish. White eagle comes from my givin indian name. I lived for many years in a tee pee at 7,900 ft in montana. Iam also a native montanan. My great grandmother robey was an aide to charles russel the famous indian painter in montana. I also lived in new mexico for many years and i still have a son and daughter living there. I have been to columbus many times. I worked for quite a few years their for the late ben abruzzo and larry newman . Helping with the trans atlantic baloon crossing into france by the double eagle 11 baloons. Also i flew and worked at building hang gliders and ultralight aircraft. I also worked at albuquerque inter airport under military contract at a fbo. I would love to come down and fly that country again sometime and i have many friends their including my brother. You and anyone else are also welcome here anytime in western montana. Pilots butt heads from time to time but you know when it comes down to it we are a big happy familly . You know of i won the lottery id buy some big beautiful island with a temperate climate, build a really cool hotel with runways pointed in all directions . A pilots lounge with a saunna ,jauquzi and little unbrella drinks. Or a juice bar, and a resteraunt that serves the best new mexican hatch green chille food served with dos equis or carona with a lime. And i would hire secretarys that would only work with an accent calling trike pilots, hang glider pilots all over the world saying you have won a free stay at the white eagle resort all you have to come up with is the airfare. Oh yes i would also buy a complete fleet of revos, revs, revolts, tanargs, delta jets , quiks .north wings along with a seperate section of every make and model of soaring trikes. A big ridge with every model of hang glider you want.
    You see bob iam blessed with the gift of gab and imagination.
  • Bob Lemke
    by Bob Lemke 8 months ago
    Yes you are blessed with gift of gab, not a bad thing at all. Your flying and family history is most interesting and my invite is solid, we could hangar fly with stories during down times. Since you have so many connections in this area maybe for a winter fly-in (drive in then fly) you could pick the dates and I'll be ready to meet you and all that you invite to crash (not a good word) at my place. Your idea as a lottery winner was done with John McAfee investing $12 million for a trike resort free to use. Too bad JM fell on hard times and his Rodeo trike property was sold for <$2 mil. Read about it here http://whereismcafeeandwhoisweb.blogspot.ca/2013/05/mcafee-weeklyconversations-with-john.html?zx=87fb8bedada11604
  • PHILIP QUANTRILL
    by PHILIP QUANTRILL 8 months ago
    NO W.E. you've got it wrong, I meant all the over 60's are mainly incapable and stubborn and should be put out to grass.

    I will say a huge prayer that you win the lottery to buy your island and equip it, if I win first I'll do the similar over here in France. Imagination and dreams are good, my old dad used to say" never take away or shatter a mans dreams, they may be all he has" My only regret with triking is that I didn't find it sooner, but then again, I was a bit crazier back then and might never have lived long enough to enjoy it.

    Seeing fellow trikers on here at 80+ warms my heart, we have a fixed wing pilot over here 98 years old, still flies, he has another by his side "just in case" but to date, has never needed help.
  • white eagle
    by white eagle 8 months ago
    Yup it looks like john may have gotten a bad deal their in beleiz Just lately i had the pleasure of going up to robert combs and getting my buddy a good hg flight off the mission range. Robert showed us videos of his spearmint gum hang gliding on tv. As well as many of his days with jm and the sky gypsies. He clearly spoke of jm s being a set up. Last o talked with bruce alvarius his prognosis didnt look to good. I would be curious to know how he is. Its such a shame that the sky gypsie thing fell apart it was a noble idea.thanks for the invite bob iam finally getting a little tired of winter but it would be impossable to leave my homestate of beloved montana. The flying here is cool green all summer. You have some incredably talented pilots down their. Damien and of course jeff gilkey. If i get that way ill surely look you up.
  • white eagle
    by white eagle 8 months ago
    Phillip ive had this rectal pain and incredable pain in my side. I was thinking well maybe i about ready for all that green pasture on the other side of the fence. But then i remembered well maybe its all the laughing out loud ive done in the last few weeks between you and that crazy monty guy.
    Yes you just have to totally appreciate pilots like monty and rebel still persuing their dreams in their golden years. I too got into triking at a late age. I remember in the late 70s exspressing an interest in powered h/g s and early trikes. I think i saw some articles in hang gliding magazine. But my fellow hang glider pilots told me they were crazy and way to dangerous. But then hang glider towing back then was disasterous as well. I tell you phill i have always wanted to see france. You havr such great enthusasim for flying their. A really good friend of mine just flew mount blanc in the french alps with a para glider. Like montana just incredable beauty.
  • Bob Lemke
    by Bob Lemke 8 months ago
    LSA and 103 will allow us old farts to fly until we can't, no medical forcing us out of flying and putting our bird up for sale on Barnstormers. For us that survived those early years of hang gliding, the trike lets us get back to wind in the face simple flying. Before deciding on weight shift I had given serious thought to STOL type LSA with the Savannah (the Italian made CH-701 copy) being on my short list. I joined Backcountry Pilot's forum and met many like minded folks about pristine back country settings and fly-in destinations. One was a young guy named Tyler Adams who bought a used Savannah and proceeded to get really dialed into his plane. There are many videos of him under the username of chosstronaut on YouTube. Sadly, chosstronaut died while flying the plane in the video in October 2014 in a mid-air collision near Yerington, NV. NTSB accident IDs are WPR15FA010A and WPR15FA010B (they always assign one ID to each aircraft.) This was at the Backcountry Pilot's High Sierra fly-in. The below link is Tyler flying into some of the more popular back country strips like Johnson Creek. He has a number of videos of mountain top landings, not quite to the level of Steve Henry but still very good piloting skills.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wusBQvXcqU
  • Chuck Tabbert
    by Chuck Tabbert 8 months ago
    Great encouragement for Bob! His place has a lot to offer! We, close to Bob, will be coordinating and visiting often. Make sure you bring everything you need - there's not much south of Deming, and, although Bob is a gracious host, we don't want to be a burden to him. His hanger will hold at least 4 trikes, fully assembled RTF (ready to fly), his REV and my REV can fold and unfold wings on carts so quickly that we can store ours on the sides of the hanger with no problem. Trailer space is good and could be expanded - he seems to have a lot of space. Let's start talking about a "First Squadron Fly-In". Bob can take the lead on the dates and we can put out the word!!!

    Chuck Tabbert
    (505) 400-4785
    chuck_tabbert@yahoo.com
  • Bob Lemke
    by Bob Lemke 8 months ago
    A "1st Aero Squadron Fly-In" sounds like a winner to me. For pilots nearing retirement I'll be able to show living on the cheap with your trike and airplane. Before moving here I researched a lot of air parks in the 7 western states and these 3 here are by far the least expensive. Lots for $3500, hangar/home and 2.5 acres for as low as $50K. Would make a nice winter 2nd residence down here.
  • PHILIP QUANTRILL
    by PHILIP QUANTRILL 8 months ago
    Hi WE, I have not progressed to mountain flying yet rather flat here on the coast in the Charente Maritime. We have lots of coastline and scenery that is beautiful in its own right. We are very fortunate that our winters are rarely colder than minus 4 or 5 and then only for a day or two. Snow here, we count the flakes as they land and if by chance, there is a full covering of 1/2" then a near departmental disaster is declared. Our airfields are around 100' to 200' AMSL and I'm hoping once my surgeon allows me to fly again, hopefully another 3/4 weeks, to climb up to 10,000' for the first time, gaining a "brownie point" on the www.microlightforum.com forum. Now is the time to be in the air here, warming to 20°C+ during the day, mornings are clean and crisp and the evenings after 1600hrs are smooth as velvet and with sunset at nearly 2000hrs plenty of time to play. Lunch at LFDP Ile d'Oleron usually includes a near mid day flight tending to be a "little lively", a siesta then a steady return via the coast line via Royan the Gironde estuary. Here the annual "tour ulm", we aren't allowed to call it the "tour de France" because of the cylce race, in 2017 comes past my front door (LFDC) and I'm hoping to get a chance to attend one of the events.
    http://ffplum.info/le-suivi-du-tour/tour-ulm-2017.html

    Sorry, it's in French, you can always copy and paste into google translate, maybe you speak French?
    We are a long way from you but if ever you are in France, give us a shout, we have a humble little place and live very simply these days, but you would be more than welcome at our table.

    Phil
  • white eagle
    by white eagle 8 months ago
    Gosh thank you phill. And vise versa. I bet flying the french coastline is just awesome.
    Just like bob lemke its just so amazing the brother hood of pilots. I have often invissioned a world triking festaville .kinda like the albuquerque new mexico baloon fiesta. Draws over 650 hot air baloons from all over the world. Quite spectacular to watch the mass rising. Of course transportation of trikes would be a hugh problem. But hosting countrys could share seats with foriegn pilots.
    French is a lanquage and countryside i have wanted to see and learn. I bet its beautiful.
    When i was in austrailia i was just totally amazed at the unbelievable hospitality and endless humar.
    Ive always wanted to see new zealand and france. So much flying spirit.
    You know phill as my friend henry can atest too that from bobs place in souther new mexico to france , new zealand, around the world each place had its own desirable unique beauty. But for sure the character that is atracted to free flight is something special.
    On a side note when i was younger their was this french waitress i had a crush on. I keeped trying to get a date with her. I remember she called me a unic. I was elated and thought she called me uniuqe. When i learned what that meant i was sooo embarressed.
  • PHILIP QUANTRILL
    by PHILIP QUANTRILL 8 months ago
    Microlightforum.com the British website for trikes was a dedicated page to "outlandings" where one can find help and shelter if needed when flying around, mainly the UK but there a few of us in other countries including France, Belgium and Denmark. Might be an idea for something similar your side of the pond, always handy to know where we can find help and or a bed if we need it. I think it was WE that said that we may time to time butt heads together but help and assistance costs very little and goes a hell of a long way in times of trouble.

    http://www.microlightforum.com/showthread.php?2508-New-Rescue-Map-Added

    There are already events in France, the "Tour ULM" and in the UK there is the http://www.fly-uk.co.uk/fly-uk/ where on the link button "need a Pi/Px you can ask as a pilot looking for a passenger or as a passenger looking for a pilot. All it needs is a little extra push in the right direction and, pun intended, it'll take off.

    Even before I found triking I wanted to visit the USA, but as with many things, life got in the way a little and somehow, still not too sure how we landed here in France. Having followed many of you in USA and Canada, your videos for pleasure and training, calm gentile videos and super high octane ones too, your advice hints and tips it only serves to make me more eager to visit and see your beautiful country and maybe a little from the air.

    Dreams are for sharing but plans, well, if you want to make god laugh, tell him (or her) your plans.
  • white eagle
    by white eagle 8 months ago
    Lol phill ive finally got it right make plans for the oposite of your true intentions. And for those of us who unfortunatly live next to murphy it comes out right.
  • Bob Lemke
    by Bob Lemke 8 months ago
    Philip, not intending to make God laugh but what you have shared does give me a plan. I am a former world traveler both for work and pleasure. I am now a confirmed homebody but miss the international friendships. I think trike trekking across the US for visiting pilots would be a great way to see this country and meet your flying brothers and sisters. Maybe through a bit of organizing, a web of shelter and destinations can be formed for visiting pilots both foreign and domestic. All pilots are welcome to stay at my place in SW New Mexico. As mentioned I have room in my hangar for at least 4 trikes in a ready to fly state. Visiting out of country pilots could buy a used trike on Barnstormers, travel the US and then sell and fly home. It is an idea work kicking around a bit. For pleasure I used to be a solo sailor but made friends at anchorages of folks that sailed from all over the world. I do miss that international comradeship, wouldn't mind getting into it again.
  • PHILIP QUANTRILL
    by PHILIP QUANTRILL 8 months ago
    I agree Bob, with the British http://www.fly-uk.co.uk/fly-uk/ site already looking actively trying to match pilots and passengers and your ideas I could see it could well work. I visit both this and other trike/microlight forums and find the same wish to connect and share knowledge, experience and a few beers always seems to be on the agenda. I specifically like the idea of an interactive map as on microlightforum.com with contact details should there be an unforseen diversion or need for shelter. Each area, country has its own seasons meaning that somewhere, there is probably always excellent flying conditions. Ideas to ponder whilst the weather is still a bit cold, for you anyway, 78°F tomorrow for us.
  • Bob Lemke
    by Bob Lemke 8 months ago
    I just joined microlightforum, couldn't find the map.
  • Frank Dempsey
    by Frank Dempsey 8 months ago
    Bob, Damien and I do 30 landings in 1-1/2 hours. Damien soloed Henry Howe and Frank Roush in a few weeks time with over a hundred landings in 1/2 dozen hours. I've been teaching now for 17 years. At my airport, I'm known to get in 50 T&G's per hour. If you get to wanting to get your lessons finished without breaking the bank, give me a buzz. You should be doing 15 landings an hour at this point minimum. I'm available Friday-Sunday in Albuquerque but you'll need to set it up as I have a busy schedule.
  • Bob Lemke
    by Bob Lemke 8 months ago
    Frank, that is my hope for my next lessons, a lot of touch and go's per hour. Tentative on wind window, April 6~9th at my hangar/home.
  • Paul Hamilton
    by Paul Hamilton 8 months ago
    Philip and Bob,
    We have a worldwide trike pilot locator. http://trikepilot.sportaviationcenter.com/sport-pilot-locator/
    It was designed for all trike pilots looking for other trike pilots and students looking for instructors. I personally maintain it. As far as I know it is the most complete and up to date interactive map in the world. Check it out and be part of it.
  • Bob Lemke
    by Bob Lemke 8 months ago
    I will Paul, thanks.

    Done
  • PHILIP QUANTRILL
    by PHILIP QUANTRILL 8 months ago
    Bob. go to http://www.microlightforum.com/showthread.php?2508-New-Rescue-Map-Added , the first post by Vinceg includes the link to the map. Paul I have added my address on the map, the link is our home and buisiness, la-brise.fr a gite buisiness. The open invite to trikers is not a buisiness proposition but a personal invite for our private bedrooms etc within our home. Just so there is no misunderstanding. There are a few extra European contacts on the other site, maybe you could contact the site and invite them to register on your map?
  • Bob Lemke
    by Bob Lemke 8 months ago
    Back to training. Because of a few problems this morning (a lost buckle latch on my seatbelt in the trainer) didn't get in the air till 8:02 and had to quit flying 40 minutes later due to bumpy air. Hope to get some early evening flying in, getting close (I hope) to solo.

    Another gathering at my place 6 miles north of the Mexico border at 1st Aero Squadron Airpark. Flying in the same airspace that the very first military pilots flew in 1916.
    http://i1236.photobucket.com/albums/ff452/deckofficer/Trike%20flying/DSC00965_zps8cw9abnf.jpg

    The parking lot. All are welcome just give me a call (909) 223-1337. Good winter destination. 4100' elevation, 3 airstrips the closest is 900' from my apron and is 4000' in length.
    http://i1236.photobucket.com/albums/ff452/deckofficer/Trike%20flying/DSC00961_zpsgq4vhsrn.jpg

    True "hangar flying".
    http://i1236.photobucket.com/albums/ff452/deckofficer/Trike%20flying/DSC00971_zpsboigezsh.jpg

    While the trikes are safely tucked away, breakfast being served.
    http://i1236.photobucket.com/albums/ff452/deckofficer/Trike%20flying/DSC00977_zpscveuaxwo.jpg

    "Camping" in my side yard.
    http://i1236.photobucket.com/albums/ff452/deckofficer/Trike%20flying/DSC00981_zps5miiyozr.jpg
  • Frank Roush
    by Frank Roush 7 months ago
    Bob, I started thinking about that Hall speed indicator and your stall marking. That's a nice and low stall speed, but I wonder what it goes down to in ground effect. Could you just get out and walk? :) Actually I am curious about that.
  • PHILIP QUANTRILL
    by PHILIP QUANTRILL 7 months ago
    That look like a tiny bit on your plate. Not enough to feed a mouse is that just the entree
  • Frank Roush
    by Frank Roush 7 months ago
    That's Chuck T with that tiny morsel.
  • Bob Lemke
    by Bob Lemke 7 months ago
    Frank, compared to my Seahawk 200 wing, the REV North Wing is rather high performance. I think the Seahawk 200 had a stall around 10~12 mph while the North Wing 26 mph at gross of 600 lbs. With my weight it is around 500 lbs. I have not soloed yet but when I do I'll land at least 1.3 stall at gross which is 34 mph, faster than a walk.
  • Frank Roush
    by Frank Roush 7 months ago
    Bob, from the beginning I've wonder about your somewhat unique situation. There's no tower and little or no traffic at your field. It seems to me you could get a lot of really good practice in just by doing low level "bunny hops" down that 4,000' runway. Take off (staying low), throttle off, float down and practice flaring. Not just a really important skill to practice but I've done that a few times and it is really fun and builds confidence because all the other complications of landing goes away. I think it would be a safe practice but would like for any CFI's out there to comment.
  • Abid Farooqui
    by Abid Farooqui 7 months ago
    You are at least 37 years older. The older you are the slower you learn and nothing you learned before was anything like trikes. So trust your instructor and spend the time and enjoy the ourney or find another hobby. My $0.02. I get this all the time. The bottom line is guys, older people who have gotten out of the habit of learning new things, learn significantly, noticeably, painfully slower than a 22 year old. End of story.
  • Bob Lemke
    by Bob Lemke 7 months ago
    Frank, I will wait for my CFI's sign off in my log book for solo but thanks for the suggestion. Abid, I agree at my age the learning process has slowed a bit, but as with everything the more you practice the more you learn. This was driven home when I returned to school in my 40's. The California Maritime Academy is more difficult academically than typical State universities yet up to the end of my senior year I held the top position of my class. I missed a week of school when my mom was in a coma then died, slipped to 5th and then graduated 3rd. I don't learn as fast as when I was younger, when I was 4 my family started skiing. In my teens I raced, in my 20's I taught at Squaw Valley for 10 years. Living is learning, and on behalf of us old farts, we do just fine and continue to learn. Your last sentence is rather ageist and I just want to tell you if you have spent your entire life learning, then even if the process as slowed with age, you will still do better than a kid that has never been motivated to learn.
  • PHILIP QUANTRILL
    by PHILIP QUANTRILL 7 months ago
    It is true that with age things slow, but as with all things in life, it's a balance and other factors usually "I specifically exclude Monty" come into play. We old farts tend to take less risks than the younger selves, more aware of the shortness of life. You both agree really, Abid you say "older people who have gotten out of the habit of learning" and Bob says "you still do better than a kid that has never been motivated". Recon truth is you are both coming at the same subject from a different side. Impatience kills for sure and holding back a thoroughbread, even an old one is a hard task. I feel your pain Bob, I thought at times it took longer than needed when training, I was 58 when I took up the hobby. Since going solo, and I've commented frequently on here on the subject, I return to my instructor for ongoing training because now, alone in the sky, I realise one can never be over prepared. I don't fly for more than 6/8 weeks I take a half hours refresher, I find myself a little "unsure in turbulence" I take a refresher I do not see it as a weakness to ask for help, support and sometimes just a little reassurance. I am lucky, my instructor is also a friend who dares to respectfully tell me it straight
  • Bob Lemke
    by Bob Lemke 7 months ago
    Thank you Philip, you are a "seasoned" voice of reason. A better word than "old" don't you think? I lost it with Abid's "........older people who have gotten out of the habit of learning new things, learn significantly, noticeably, painfully slower than a 22 year old. End of story." I couldn't help but think this guy doesn't know me or my history and is writing off my ability to learn at a reasonable rate based solely on age. Do you ever wonder when watching a young person doing mind blowing stunts in any given sport, what he might be like in his 60's if he doesn't kill himself before reaching that age? That would be me. During my skiing days I would purposely wear outlandish outfits while skiing so that at the end of the day at the bar strangers would buy me drinks just to engage in conversation about how I skied. I have slowed down over the years but my mind and heart knows where I've come from, hell, I still drive a hot rod that can blast from 0 to 160 mph in under 10 seconds. OK, I've spent too much time pumping up my ego, so here is my personal reality. As long as I feel my CFI isn't trying to pad his pocketbook I will continue lessons until he signs me off. Money isn't the issue with me but my CFI has shown certain traits that could indicate it might be an issue for him. I hope not, and will keep an open mind.
  • Frank Roush
    by Frank Roush 7 months ago
    Bob, Abid might have been joking around some. Don't know. I've seen research on both mental skills and physical and blaming everything on age is crap. All I should have to mention is Jack Lalanne. 1984 (age 70) – handcuffed, shackled, and fighting strong winds and currents, he towed 70 rowboats, one with several guests, from the Queen's Way Bridge in the Long Beach Harbor to the Queen Mary, 1 mile.(Wiki). As for CFI's, I've had two and it was valuable to see the differences. I HIGHLY recommend that. If there's any issues with "CFI owns the student" find a new one. You're the one shelling out the $$$. http://trikepilot.sportaviationcenter.com/sport-pilot-locator/
  • Abid Farooqui
    by Abid Farooqui 7 months ago
    Guys: Its all true about older folks being wiser and not taking as many chances and being conservative in decision making. I did not say anything contradictory to that. But lets stay with reality, before you get to that point, you have to gain enough skill and learn enough to have the physical skills to fly and fly in somewhat bumpy conditions. To get to that point in my 2600 or so hours of trike flight instruction, older is directly proportional to more time. Triking is also more physically demanding activity than some other forms of aviation. There is no getting around facts like that.
    Its important to go into something with a reality check and with your eyes fully open and expectations in check. You came here saying frustration and questioning your CFI basically even stating CFIs may pad their pocket books. This is the same crap story that plays out with usually unpleasant endings, quitting triking, damaged machines, worse hurt physically in an accident. A close recent example was a retired army pilot in Jacksonville with similar issues, taking 7 hours of lessons and then soloing himself in a used Aquilla trike on his personal airfield and found dead on one side of the runway a few years back. I am here to give you and others like you who may not have even started a reality check. The worse thing anyone can do is expect something and then get frustrated and then go crow hop down the runway without being soloed and hurt themselves or total their trike. It looks bad for triking and not to mention, more than likely they won't fly trikes again. There are recent (last 4 years) fatal accidents in triking where these types of attitudes and frustrations were definitely contributing factors.
    Most of us are not aces and not Jack Lalanne. There are always exceptions.
  • PHILIP QUANTRILL
    by PHILIP QUANTRILL 7 months ago
    Good CFI's are in a hard place frequently. If you pass someone too fast and there is consequences you are in the s**t, if you pass them too slowly you could be accused of "padding your wallet". As Frank said, it is the students are paying the dollars and it is for them to find a CFI that works for them. Never in my life have I found it more important to find an instructor with whom I personally could relate, and I have been through numerous permits both english and French had numerous instructors, your life depends on him/her. My instructor would not pass me as quickly as I thought I could pass and he had good reason and more importantly he told me why he held that view. It was hard to hear I was not progressing as quickly as I thought I should but it would have been harder for my wife to hear I am dead. I respect my instructor for his skills and honesty, anyone who does not have the same relationship with his/her instructor is, in my opinion with the wrong instructor. Not to say a bad instructor, simply the wrong instructor for him/her. A GOOD learning experience is a two way thing.
  • Abid Farooqui
    by Abid Farooqui 7 months ago
    Phillip: Exactly. The issue is trike CFIs are not popping out of the hangers so your choices in your area are limited at least in the US. I think I'd rather let my CFI pad his wallet a bit then find out I was an unreasonable egotistical attitude having punk in my old age and got hurt and hurt my family in the process. Aviation has a great way to thin the herd fast.
  • Bob Lemke
    by Bob Lemke 7 months ago
    I patiently await either my current CFI or another to come to the airpark for further lessons. This is the windy season for my area, so 3 day wind windows are few, but from the long range forecast May 4,5,6 is a possibility. I've contacted my current CFI and am waiting a response.
  • Paul Hamilton
    by Paul Hamilton 7 months ago
    Here are some of the tidbits I have learned over the years which may be helpful:

    I have seen many people who do not have the money for instruction, but can somehow afford new/replacement/parts and hospital/time off work and funeral fees.

    The more instructors you learn from the better. You get different perspectives, styles attitudes. We purposely switch around students to different instructors and suggest students and pilots seek different instructors. Very healthy. If your instructor is trying to OWN you go somewhere else.

    Yes GENERALLY, the older person learns slower than the younger. However, there are so many factors that can change this generality. Motivation, fear, experience, talent and the list goes on.

    Most people who come to me to learn to fly FEEL they are above average, but they are typically average.

    As a student and a pilot, each training session you should have a LESSON PLAN AS TO WHAT YOU NEED TO ACCOMPLISH, and you should feel as though you gained something from the lesson/session. If you are out doing the same thing and not gaining there is a problem.

    If you do not feel as though you are gaining anything from the lesson, you are and you are not. You are because you are gaining valuable hours/experience. Hours count. They make a difference. You are not because you do not feel as though you are. It is the instructors JOB to RAISE THE BAR to provide greater challenges/objectives for each flight lesson.

    Each instructor should have a training syllabus so you know where you are, what your progress is and where you are going. This is the basic tool of the flight instructor and you should expect this.

    Many times trying to learn locally when it SIMPLY IS NOT happening does not work and will not work. Travel to a full time facility/flight instructor and fly your heart out. If you are not happy with your instructor, go somewhere else/find someone else. You think you are saving money locally but in the end it may cost you more.

    And lastly, read Heather's words of wisdom above about soloing and apply this principle to all aspects of learning.
  • Bob Lemke
    by Bob Lemke 7 months ago
    Paul, I reread Heather's post and am on board with all that she said. If I was still living in the Tahoe area there is no question I would be asking you to instruct me. From what I have read it appears your ops are the pinnacle of weight shift flight instruction. Your background is impressive and your operations base in the Carson Valley offers more than any other location I can think of in terms of flying conditions and scenery. For friends that have commented on my FB page that still live in your area I have linked your site for them, feeling confident you would offer the best flying experience for them. I agree I should mix up my lessons with another CFI and when I find one willing to travel to me it will be done. In my mind there is no argument that lessons are a lot cheaper than a destroyed trike and hospital bills. I just want to learn on my turf and when the approval for solo happens, then my trike is waiting in my hangar for that maiden flight under the eye of the CFI that got me to solo.
  • Frank Roush
    by Frank Roush 7 months ago
    Paul H just mentioned something that I had looked into and have wondered about. I have found at least two US locations where you train full time for about 9 days and you get certified. That includes a B&B and ground instruction. I'm sure there's some downside to that but it is an option I had thought about. The upside is training consistently. The biggest setbacks with my first instructor was long periods of no training and only 4 or 5 landings per hour. That went on for 5 months/$2,000 and I was no where near being able to solo. I now know that it was also odd that in that 5 months I was never allow to be on the radio. That may not apply to you but when you're in towered airspace it can be surprisingly hard to talk on the radio and get it right. And you have to get it right. My second instructor made me get on the radio immediately. I am a cautious person, maybe too much, but one has to get safe and quality instruction. If I read it right these CFI's agree about finding the right CFI, even if it's not them, and that's a testament to their knowledge/seriousness of this sport and not about the money.
  • Bob Lemke
    by Bob Lemke 7 months ago
    Knowing that trike training doesn't include solo in the CFI's trike, I elected to pay extra for training at my field. I have to accept the variables of a new trike not flown since set up and the difference in its handling characteristics over the training trike so I wanted other factors to be smooth, like the first solo at my field right after the final lesson and solo sign off. Frank, thank you for using numbers for your training like 5 months, $2000, and 4 to 5 landings per hour. My last couple of lessons were all pattern work with 10 to 12 landings per hour. My current 13.2 hours has all been recent, less than 2 months from start to now. I'm comfortable with radio comms, having to use it for GA training plus I'm a HAM radio operator. I'll get there, it will happen if my current CFI will still come down or if not another CFI will come down.
  • Frank Roush
    by Frank Roush 7 months ago
    AD5MR Bob.
  • Bob Lemke
    by Bob Lemke 7 months ago
    AD5MR ?
  • Frank Roush
    by Frank Roush 7 months ago
    That's my ham license.
  • Bob Lemke
    by Bob Lemke 7 months ago
    I'm WL7GS formerly WD6DFO.
  • Larry  Mednick
    by Larry Mednick 7 months ago
    Until you have mastered "crow hopping" it can be THE MOST DANGEROUS flying you can do. Once you can do it as mentioned it is the Best training you can do to improve. But between swing through and getting slow near the ground and turning a possible climb or balloon into a descent is tricky business. Once the skill has been learned there is nothing to it just like flying in every other respect.

    Age is just a number. But as a rule your age generally affects your appearance and your ability to learn/coordination. There are young 60 year olds and there are "old" 60 year olds and age is just a number, but it usually makes a HUGE difference. On average a 20-30 year old can learn twice as fast as a 50-55 year old and a 55 year old can learn twice as fast as a 70 year old. Age in my opinion is primary. Having said that I have taught guys in their late 60s quicker than some in their 30s and 40s. One last example. Most teenage kids starting to fly radio controlled models will excel and become better than seasoned veteran RC pilots with over 20 years of experience within just a couple of years if those long time pilots started flying after their 30s.

    Anyway 60, 70, 80 is never to late to learn to fly a trike as long as you don't have other factors and it will take more effort to achieve what you could have done 20 years earlier. But once you invest in what ever it takes to be safe, then you will be rewarded 100 fold.
  • Bob Lemke
    by Bob Lemke 7 months ago
    There seems to be a consensus among high hour trike CFIs that age makes a big difference. I guess it must be different for vessel handling skills. That was the last learning environment I was in and I was in my late 40's at the time, pitted against early to mid 20's midshipmen at the California Maritime Academy. From small twin screw diesels, to single screw tugs, right up to our 499' training ship Golden Bear, I routinely out scored my much younger fellow midshipmen. I don't think it was my previous sailing experience because these vessels were quite unlike my old Cal 40 sailboat. I do believe it was my overall comfort level with all our school's training vessels. I am comfortable in the trike, and more relaxed than when I was in my 20's learning hang gliding. I know a number of GA pilots that have said they would never feel comfortable without being inside an enclosed cockpit, and others can only feel reassurance with the control surfaces of 3 axis planes.
  • white eagle
    by white eagle 7 months ago
    I disagree with older people having more difficulty learning. I believe that older people have a higher sense of caution and a greater sense of following rules.
    While their cognitive skills are more mature the drawbacks are more related to motor function, and reaction time.
    As larry mentioned above it depends on the health issues. Health issues may be more common in older people but also are factors in everyone.
    How do you think older people get to be older, well not because they have trouble learning. Fitness for flight should be evaluated by every pilot ,every time you fly. This may effect older pilots more but has little to do with learning.
    If you take all the younger people who didnt learn ,listen to reason that are no longer here , and weigh that against older pilots facing dementia that have the sense that its time to hang up their wings you will see the truth.
    I get made to feel like i dont know nothing all the time by my children when things are going good . But when things go bad they ask for my advice. Then they dont take my advice and complain and wine to me when it gets worse.
    Beauty is that more aging people are much much more active , envolved in action sports than they ever were. Saying older people have a harder time learning is like my 20 year old lectureing me on how to raise kids ? When ive raised 5 kids and they want me to raise my grandchildren!. Older people may have more health obsticles but trouble learning Retention I THINK NOT.
    Ive heard it mentioned many times by pilots giving advice to do crow hopping in a trike. Nothing could be closer to the truth at what larry mednick said above!
  • Frank Roush
    by Frank Roush 7 months ago
    Bob, Ham radio, navy, sailboat. Me too. I was at the Naval Air Test Center, Patuxent River, MD for 13 years and lived on a 32' Columbia sloop for 2 years. I wasn't in the Navy, I was a flight test engineer.
  • Larry  Mednick
    by Larry Mednick 7 months ago
    WE, motor skills and reaction time IS 75% of trike flying. So yes age tends to slow both. Just a fact of life. If you taught trikes for just 1 year you would see the obvious correlation. Following rules and attitude may be better with "older students" but that will make them a better pilot, not a FASTER student. Better is the wrong word I used in my earlier post. Please replace that word with quicker. The scariest student I ever had was the one who was ready for solo after 3 hours. I flew with him for 6 and then soloed him in 3 days. He still flys today 15 years later and all is well. Time in seat before solo is a beatiful thing. But 70 year olds don't solo in 10 hours. It's just a fact.
  • Bob Lemke
    by Bob Lemke 7 months ago
    Frank, we do have a lot in common. I'll toss out a few more... SCUBA, photography to the darkroom level, the card game Bridge, hot rods, tennis, and class 8 trucks (in my younger years, good way to see the USA).  photo Image20977x693.jpg
  • Bob Lemke
    by Bob Lemke 7 months ago
    Since this is my blog I should have mentioned trucks earlier because there is a tie in to both how I started to fly and the current topic, learning curves. I was working at ESS in the late 70's in the R&D lab. The safety engineer Jack Anderson was into hang gliding. I thought a guy who worked in safety and flew hang gliders was either a contradiction or HG was safer than I assumed. It was this same company that had a very liberal extended education policy that even would pay for flying lessons (not HG, didn't have lessons back then, but GA aircraft). To get back on topic my best friend at the time had a sailboat that was large enough to require a class 8 truck to be moved. We both loved Lake Tahoe and would pool our funds to have his boat moved to Tahoe for the summer. This was expensive and we had to contract with a trucking company twice, to get the boat up there and launched and to bring the boat back after summer. Since ESS had a small fleet of tractors and trailers I asked the shipping manager if I could train on the trucks to get my license. To my surprise he said yes, but I was to find out he had motives for this, and that was any time he was back logged getting finished product to our warehouse 2 miles away he had an extra driver in me. One of his drivers spent 30 minutes with me going over the truck's systems, then I practiced driving, shifting and backing up to the dock for an hour. Went to the California DMV with medical in hand, took the written test then the driving test and became a newly minted class 8 driver. My friend and I could control our own schedule for getting his boat to Tahoe, plus for the two major trade shows (CES summer at Chicago and winter at Las Vegas) my R&D department could finalize prototypes right up to the last minute because since I had to attend these shows, I could now drive our new products to them. ESS went bankrupt, I hadn't finished my GA flying lessons and no longer had a paycheck. So I ran with the idea of trucking for a living, starting with a single tractor and ran container freight to the ports. Ironic that 20 years later instead of moving one container at a time over the road, I was now moving 2000+ containers across oceans. Funny how life's decisions causes new paths to follow. Back to the damn learning curve. I didn't spend 3 months at some driving school and a lot of money, but 30 minutes of instruction and one hour of practice. I know this isn't a worthy comparison, but like I said if someone feels comfortable in a new learning environment, they will learn faster than a nervous Nelly.
  • white eagle
    by white eagle 7 months ago
    Nothing that i dont agree with larry ive concidered becoming a cfi. But with long concideration i get left with well maybe not!
    Personally i think many pilots get soloed way to early! I think one problem with older pilots is that they may be more inclinded to have a ga background or influence. I saw a older ga pilot taking lessons from rob lyons . Loved the idea of triking. But just had a terrible time landing in slightly bumpy air. steep aproaches andLandings scared the crap out of him. He had high g a hours, lost his medical. And at first thought he could fly a trike with little instruction. But flying a aircraft is like driving a car into the air. A trike is much more like ok what are my feathers doing. So yes makes sense. But i like the change in words better. I wasnt trying to be contentious at all . But as iam now turning 61 and i havint been terribly sucessfull at anything in life. I have endured loads and loads of stumbling blocks. But the day i turned sixty it was like my body wants to kill me. most Everyone is trying to throw me off a cliff and i get superficially talked down To more. Really brings the non quitter spirit out of me.working with alzimers patients you will be amazed how well they respond when you dont treat them like they are children. And praising them and encourageing them goes a long way.
    Older new pilots may take more time but just want to say how awesome is older people flying trikes that have resisted the curse of a stupid number.
    Not a day goes by that i dont envy Reb Wallace!
  • Bob Lemke
    by Bob Lemke 7 months ago
    WE, I knew I liked you from your first post here, but now that I know you care for Alzheimer patients my respect for you is through the roof. I cared for my dad for his final 6 years with that affliction, and it is hard and emotionally draining. Your able to do it for non family, that is a very fine thing that you do. I agree, treat them with respect instead of like a child, and it goes a long way.
  • white eagle
    by white eagle 7 months ago
    Thank you so much bob i actually had to stop last year. When it starts getting to you severily. My wife is still taking care of alzimers patients . Shes exstreamly good at it and has done it for 35 years. I lasted 10. Its a exstreamly tough ,underpaid job. But very rewarding seeimg the relief siblings get and need. Most people who have never had to deal with it dont have a shred of a clue what we go thru sometimes. Thank you soooo much bob you just dont know how much that ment to both me and my wife.
  • Bob Lemke
    by Bob Lemke 7 months ago
    WE, your so very welcome and you married an amazing woman. As to sibling relief, my older brother and sister didn't help at all.
  • Harry Hilton
    by Harry Hilton 7 months ago
    White Eagle,My name is Harry...68 years old known all my life as SilverEagle. The only flight experience I have is as a passenger so far. But...!....again...But..,I have been in three fixed wing landings one the landing gear broke off,the second in a turbo-prop engine burnt up, 3rd,ran out of fuel. Then there was the chopper that just cart wheeled into the ground. In every one the pilots were so young they never had to shave. I think if I make it to have a CFI I would want him to pull a few think quick reaction stunts with me just to be sure I was not too fast to respond or too slow. I want the instructor to be 100% confident in my ability. And if there is not that 100% then more of what ever it takes to perform automatically as one with the machine without having to think about it. At my age if I have to think about it then it might be too late. And I have trust in a lot of these people like Paul and Larry etc etc that they are honest and if someone even myself just didn,t have what it takes , I have the trust that they would up front say Sir you just are not meant to fly. If I had the money for unlimited hours I would have Paul train me for sport certification. And I would have Larry train me single seat flying in a tornado, yes I think Larry probably could just about fly through a tornado.(hear That Larry?) Thats just two of the many here that with out a doubt have the skill set to safely and honestly teach and judge a persons ability with out any thought about the money spent per hour. WE all have or had to make a living ,but these people are teaching to bring us into the sport not for bragging rights of how much money they can get, but NO ,.. these people like Paul and Larry can proudly say, see that Lady that just flew in and landed like feather touching down,....I trained her ten years ago.etc etc If your 18 or 80 and your heart is in it, I believe these people will be there until the end it is in there blood to share the know how and the freedom of flight.And they freely share knowledge to keep us all up to date. Well it is 10:38pm time for my old age meds... this is Harry radio W1QT c-ya-all again for sure.
  • monty stone
    by monty stone 7 months ago
    hi bob, you made a reference to 'comfort level', in a training environment. i'm not really sure what is meant by 'comfort'. this isn't golf we're discussing, this flying hobby can make you dead, very easily, and quickly! i read through this 'enormous' blog (boy you really put the cat in among the pidgeons!) and though i argue , whenever possible with the 'guru's (sometimes out of 'orneryness, somtimes conviction) i'm on their side here . i don't think they, or other cfi's are in it soley for the money. you could be 'comfortable' with you're abilities as a student, but no instructor is gonna gain anything by watching you auger in due to your not being ready to solo. age, apparently DOES play a big part in the 'larning' process, though it is mainly just a number, though a threatening one! my own 'number' allows me to do certain things i learned when i had a smaller 'number' but i cannot deny the 'fizzical' ravedges taking place in my body. i still ride motorcycles but don't scrape footpegs on cornering any more, it's a judgement call of ' been there, done that' resulting in injury/damages , does this make me a safer rider? could i benefit from attending a 'refresher m/cycle school'? possibly, except ego would deny a young whippersnapper could teach me ANYTHING about riding a bike, after all i've ridden since 1952, that ego is causing 'denial' (not the egyption river). i sense from your blog that you are in denial about your readyness to commit solo aviation. don't let ego ruin it for you, i personally detested my instructor ,(who is now a good friend) cause he made me give him a final 10 perfect landings before setting me loose, even though my little' inner voice' was screaming I'M READY, DAMMIT. money shouldn't be a factor in 'solo' readyness, age neither, aviation is not cheap, but can be lethal! good luck bob.
  • Bob Lemke
    by Bob Lemke 7 months ago
    Monty, sorry you had to wade through so much verbal dribble to post but I'm glad you did. Your post has mirrored many others, so believe it or not I'm coming around. I just finished reading a post from Loch Schwarz in S Germany on Trike Pilots LSA FB page about his training. Even though his training has gone on for 18 months and he hasn't soloed, his attitude is quite good. I should count my blessings, I'm only two months of training and my CFI feels another hour or two of good landings should get me that solo sign off. I am no longer frustrated and will continue dual for as long as my CFI recommends.
  • Abid Farooqui
    by Abid Farooqui 7 months ago
    As I said enjoy the journey. Think of your CFI as a friend put in there by your insurance company. An hour or two. I think the test is can you do 10 landings without him coming in or helping and obviously without any surprises like a hard jolt to the trike. Can you land in some normal bumps like at mid morning point. Do you understand how to make a good go/no go decision looking at weather. That is it. I just soloed a 70 year old customer in a Delta Jet 2 after a year. Once he stopped having the attitude that he needs to solo because he had 40 hours in and just enjoyed flying in a lesson, he progressed faster with fun and got there. His mental attitude was the biggest impediment to his progress before. So enjoy each flight with your CFI. Learn the concept of the lesson in ground briefing them go practice it in a lesson.
  • Larry  Mednick
    by Larry Mednick 7 months ago
    Monty, true words, but regarding the word comfortable. I think Bob meant because he is comfortable so he is able to learn at an accelerated rate. And there is a lot of truth to that. Except I would say you must be comfortable in order to learn properly. When a student is scared they cannot learn. This is one of the first things CFIs are taught about teaching.

    I also like what you wrote which in my opinion is the task that should be executed before solo which is 10 unassisted touch N gos. I allow go arounds which is another thing I must see before solo. I need to see the student call and execute a go around. So if you can do 10 safe landings in a row and know when to go around there is your self test in which if you want to solo your part 103 you have made a responsible call.

    Now here is the problem. So many instructors don't/won't take their hands off the controls, the students start thinking they are making the 10 landings without help. This has already crashed one REV (he walked away and only did $287 damage in fact) when a fellow in his 70s completed just 6 hours of instruction and felt he was making consistent ladings on his own. I called his instructor and the instructor told me they had been doing touch n gos but he was doing 90% of the flying.

    In my opinion, a great instructor will remove their hands from the controls and allow the student to "get into trouble" this may be discouraging to the student so the instructor must Taylor the instruction to either feed or in some cases crush the students ego. I have had students literally cry after their lesson due to their loss of control of the aircraft on landing. So their is fine line we must walk allowing them to learn and stay confident yet not over confident. Both sides of that line have bad consequences, particularly when the over confident attempt an unauthorized solo.

    Make no mistake about it, although ultralights are slower you just have to work a little harder to kill yourself in one compared to the faster heavier machines. But it is easy enough to do. Had the REV accident been a REVO I feel the consequences would have been much greater. montys little "tip over" at double the speed may have broke Monty for good. But don't under estimate a 103 they are a REAL aircraft.
  • Bob Lemke
    by Bob Lemke 7 months ago
    Weather since the last lessons for my skill level has been pretty much no go every day. Too windy. There has been a few strings of around 5 landings that were good and unassisted but not 10. In fact the last two landings he came in on so I really wanted to study the video of those landings but for some reason the camera wasn't working. Reading about other's training stories both here and on FB has mellowed my attitude and made me more receptive. For this blog's header it should now read "The joy and frustrations then loss of frustrations of a student pilot". This is the windiest place I've ever lived at, winds of only 5 mph is rare. To put together a 3 day training session means accepting winds to 12 mph. On that last day it was both over 10 mph AND crosswind. I have to learn to fly in these conditions and know it will take me longer to master good landings here in my SW desert airpark. The upside is I'll be a better pilot for learning in these conditions. I had forgot that my training for GA aircraft was at a location of pretty much zero winds.
  • Chuck Tabbert
    by Chuck Tabbert 7 months ago
    Bob,
    The winds will die down soon as you know. I find flying at sunrise and sunset the most enjoyable and you've got a great set up there - come out your front door, preflight and taxi - it doesn't get any better that that. The last night I was there was the calmest air I've ever flown it and at your altitude the REV performed like its at sea level so I believe your prop pitch and jetting as is will work find.

    Hope to see you soon.
    Chuck
  • Glade Montgomery
    by Glade Montgomery 7 months ago
    Hang in there Bob. My solo was at about 22 hours, and I was glad for every dual-hour behind me as I first ascended alone. At a couple of points during that first solo I was, indeed, wishing that I'd had a few more dual-hours behind me. It's not that I did not do fine (I did); it's just that I was wishing I had more confidence in my ability to do fine.
  • Bob Lemke
    by Bob Lemke 7 months ago
    Hope to see you again very soon Chuck. Glade, thanks for the stats. More and more folks are chiming in with 20~30 hours before solo, it is good to hear my 10.8 to solo GA aircraft just isn't applicable to learning weight shift in breezy conditions. I'm at 13.2 hours and holding for my next lessons.
  • Abid Farooqui
    by Abid Farooqui 7 months ago
    13 to 15 hours is absolutely normal for someone who is 20's or 30's. I know this is hard for many of us to accept but it is what it is. In my experience it demonstrates itself over and over, save an exception here or there. The trend is clear.
  • Rizwan Bukhari
    by Rizwan Bukhari 7 months ago
    Hang in there Bob, you will get there. I would agree with Abid's statement here. I soloed after about 15 hours, I believe I was 32 years old when I soloed.
  • PHILIP QUANTRILL
    by PHILIP QUANTRILL 7 months ago
    One also has to remember that a CFI is also concerned with the welfare of all others in the air and on the ground, an early solo effects many more than the student himself. Each individual is different, thank god, and each will have different needs. Hours to solo is a guesstimate at best, it is not good enough to know the numbers, they have to become a reflex action, if you have to think it may well be too late.
  • wexford air
    by wexford air 7 months ago
    About half your age. That's generally how many hours you need. That's Wat I was told when I was training and it's been close to that in everyone I know
  • Charles Moore
    by Charles Moore 7 months ago
    I don't think there is any definite age learning correlation. I'm 46 and learn new systems almost on a weekly basis. And I'm no smarter than anyone else. You have to want to learn. A background in GA may make it harder due to having to unlearn some things. If you have a good instructor you will solo when both the instructor and yourself are ready. I trained all but 3 hours in my trike and soloed on a calm evening just shy of my 46th birthday with 13 hours in my logbook.
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