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Hi all, been hovering on here for a little while. Currently a student have a grand total of 18 hours. learning in a Light Wing Gr912 powered by 100hp rotax. Loving every minute of it but currently in the circuits stage of my training 8 or 9 take offs and landings in an hour is challenging but i actually feel i am getting worse rather than improving. So is a bit frustrating i have done 15 odd landings with just me on the controls with lots of verbal input from my instructor. I realise I am very very inexperienced but really do feel i should be improving each time out. Am I expecting to much. Cheers Grant

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Don't stress Grant, that only makes it worse. Do you have a different choice of instructor? Not saying the one you currently have is no good just that all people are different and some work with a different approach that can work.

You could try maybe just stop at 5 take offs and landings then goen have a debrief and cup of coffee, relax for half an hour or so then go and do another lot. You can get what is called skill fatigue, learning a new skill past a certain point you just make the same mistakes. Not everybody is the same.

How much experience does your instructor have?

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Hi mate, thanks for the reply. instructor is very experienced thousands of hours flying and i think 20 years plus as an instructor, well regarded, but is only a small flying school and he is my only option. I keep thinking there is something he is just not getting through to me. I have thought of going elsewhere but I do believe exactly what you said I keep making the same or similar mistakes and the worst bit is always late final at or on round out. I want to do more time and have done a couple of double sessions but by the end of the second hour it gets pretty scrappy

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Sounds like you need to brake it up a bit, as I said just do half an hour (If your schools not too busy) then have a talk about how you went, what mistakes you made. Then go and do another half hour. Learning a new skill is taxing both mentally and physically.

What trouble do you have, is it rounding out and flaring?

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Guest Machtuk

Welcome to the world of aviation, it's just a skill set to master at first, there's no one size fits all. Some breeze thru it others take longer. There is a syllabus to get thru along with a level of skill to be demonstrated.

It's a shame you don't have options to try someone else or somewhere else (without too much hassle) as having the one instructor yr whole training is a negative (to me that is), you need to experience different inputs from different instructors. I suggest look further afield if possible as there are instructors out there who 'milk' students especially with small operations, not saying this is the case with your instructor.

Good luck keep at it but if you aren't any closer to going solo (assuming you haven't thus far) in the next day 5 hrs or so then look further afield to be better informed and make better decisions.?

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Hi Grant,

 

Landings is one of those things that takes a while. Something I found helped when I was learning (and now!) is just after you flare to look at the far end of the runway - it gives you a much better perspective than looking close ahead - and try NOT to land i.e. try and keep the plane just a few inches above the runway. She will settle down when ready.

 

HTH

 

Cheers,

Neil

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How often are you flying? this makes a big difference. I can only fly once every 2 weeks, its not enough at the circuit stage, as the first 30mins are wiped out getting re-familiar with the controls and inputs. I took a chance and added an additional lesson each week in... It blew my budget and wasn't sustainable. but I improved alot as I kept a feeling for the controls. I then cut that to a morning and afternoon flight every 2 weeks. (thats the mental limit I can take, and the max the Instructors would reccomend. its a necessary evil - normally they dont advise two sessions on the same day for circuits as its fatiging no matter the experience level)

 

another thing is the more we experience, the harder we are on ourselves. i made a landing yesterday that was garbage... but would have been great 10 hours ago.

 

its all competency, it was 12 months and 30 hours before I soloed

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It’s something I’m almost qualified to answer. ? I completed training less than a year ago so it’s fresh..

 

2 things.

 

1. At the first school I was warned I’d feel like I was not making progress and it’s normal. That was preempting a plateau or in my case a drop off.

 

2. I thought I was pretty damn good early on. Steep turns coming back through the wake and everything but the landing sorted. My landings seemed to get worse and then everything else went backward. I’m so glad I didn’t give up. Felt like it at times. Now it feels like probably the best thing I’ve ever accomplished.

 

So, I’d suggest getting those landings sorted and it’ll all come together. Damn annoying of course that it’s 5-6 minutes of pattern for a few seconds of landing.

 

Hesitant to make suggestions as there are so many theories or methods. In complete agreement with Neil as posted above. Get your eyes down the end of the runway and try to hold the plane off.

 

For general flying in pattern and away it’s important to get ahead of the plane. Try to be a bit in front of your radio calls etc and you’ll relax more. Easier said than done. All takes time.

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Thanks for the replies really appreciate it. Lots of great tips, the plan is to hang in and try and do 3 or 4 days in a row with a couple of double sessions broken into 30 to 40 minutes flying then a break keep it all fresh is going to smash the budget but I am keen to get it done

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Hi Grant,

have you used a video to capture your flight experience, your instructor will be able to point out the area that needs more attention and you will get a first hand view of your circuit, right down to the landing.

Don’t give up you can do it ?

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It's not like lifting weights where you build up more muscle. Keeping going beyond a certain point will show deterioration. 40+ minutes of concentration on the one thing is too much. .You need a break on something else or stop for the day.

Don't just do every landing the same. If you are a bit fast the flare will be more gradual, as an example. There may be gusts, even slight ones so FLY the plane at all times . SOMETIMES it can just be a matter of putting in a bit more concentrated effort in the right place(s) and not expecting 1,2,3, to produce the result. Nev

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Hi Grant Good to hear your getting the landings squared away. I'm not an instructor. My method is to have a note for the landing part from downwind to on the deck. This way you can brief yourself prior to flying. Perhaps you are at a stage of over thinking say the on final bit and your final approaches may contain differing small issues. Talk to your instructor about his observations and improvements required of your last 6 landings. Maybe aiming point not constant, speed control, method used to pickup a wing, also do a self appraisal of how you feel you are going, what bit do you feel you mucked up a bit. Enjoy and keep at it. Cheers

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Thanks all bit short of time to reply away for work and its hectic back home Sunday arvo I will have a good read

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Your instructor is still your main source of input. You can't get it all from here (but you might just get a few things that click with you) .Anything you are not sure of question your Instructor on. Confusion doesn't help with flying.. Don't be afraid of sounding "dumb". You should be getting any needed briefing before the session. Verbal instruction in the air should be a minimum. and debrief afterwards as follow up is always helpful.. It's ok to be critical of yourself but don't overdo it. You need some confidence to do anything at near your best. Nev

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Guest Machtuk

You don't learn a single thing unless you stuff it up! We ALL have stuffed up sometime! I've sat beside high time Capt's who shouldn't be in charge of a lawn mower and I've sat beside F/O's who are new to type & have performed flawlessly (puts pressure on me for the next sector!) ?

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It's when the $#!t hits the fan big time you find out who's really useful. For some it never happens. Life is kind to them. Nev

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  • 5 months later...

Well finally back at it. Thanks for the previous replies, all great info. Covid shut down back in March FORCED me to pause, and I decided to switch training organisations, must say much happier only two hours into the new school. Different aircraft Technam Golf heaps different than the Lightwing I started off in. New CFI with a different approach, not back into circuits yet but feeling really confidentvwith these guy. The Technam is a great plane to fly, to me is much easier cheees Grant.

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Hi Grant

18h and not soloed is just fine ! By the time you do solo, you will have, in my opinion a much better feel and more instinctive response to flying the airplane, and for what the plane does, and you will have been through alot more different flight configurations and actions compared to someone soloing at 10 hours. There is no hurry.

 

4 days in a row like you were doing---- for me, I did 3 days in a row once actually, it was hard work - 4 days sounds too much.

 

- I think you need some soak time between sessions. - Two days in a row I max at now, which gives me a 5 to 7 days then to think about what I was doing, what else I could do differently.

 

I have recently soloed (@ 18.5h). Landings take time to learn. In fact different people take different time to learn particular skills. For every person, there is a slightly different way of learning. Yourself and or your instructor will need to cycle through methods. Yoru instructor just might not see what you are missing but you will find it yourself with a combination of experience, study, reading etc ....

 

The other thing is ,the presence of the instructor can make you nervous. On my solo, I flew perfectly down the wire, didnt miss a thing. I was relaxed and chilled and just flew the plane. You also now can appreciate the difference between airplanes. - GLEN.

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On my 2nd PPL navigation flight (~35hrs) to the never been before aerodrome (YOLA with narrow runway compared to YMMB) with the instructor, my landing was so bad (hard) that I offered my RPL licence back.

 

However instructor just tapped me on shoulders, smiled and said, don't worry you'll be fine:) The landings will usually have ups and downs like a curve, however with more and more experience that curve gets flatten. Instructor was right.

 

In my opinion a licence course should last about a year to experience all 4 weather seasons. Not sure if that's needed in e.g. dry central Australia, however in Melbourne with 4 seasons in a day, close to Bass strait and "Roaring 40ies" winds, it helps being with instructor whilst learning rather than without instructor.

 

Keep practicing and don't give up.

Safe landings !

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and Grant- not sure what time of day you are flying. first thing in the morning I am rusty but good after 1 or 2 approaches. The flight around noon ish is bumpy and breezy and I experience a high cognitive load flying the aircraft with all the bumps in a nice straight level line, and then I come to base and final and mess it up because I am fatigued- and of course something like being too high on final you fight it to the ground making sure you dont overspeed the flaps (unless you put in some big turns or slip it)

 

IE low hour pilots - our skills are fragile and easily fatigued by high cognitive load conditions... It's normal. Performance is up and down.

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I was in the 40’s if I Reiner

On my 2nd PPL navigation flight (~35hrs) to the never been before aerodrome (YOLA with narrow runway compared to YMMB) with the instructor, my landing was so bad (hard) that I offered my RPL licence back.

 

However instructor just tapped me on shoulders, smiled and said, don't worry you'll be fine:)

I like your candour. Another pilot I’ll get along great with. I had a similar experience on return from cross country solo. Was super tired coming in late evening for 3rd and final landing and ran the plane half off the runway. Got it back in the middle with a bit of persuasion. Didn’t flare enough and my big feet had been busy riding up the pedals over the long distance flights to be almost on the brakes. Double problem compounded by super tired.

 

Really upset and I told the chief flight instructor I’d managed the worst landing at his airfield in 3 months. He just said “I very much doubt that”It’s not that bad of you haven’t taken out a runway light and I’ve taken a few out. This was South Dakota so no Ozzie flight instructor implicated here...

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We all have stories to tell, some people share, some don't. Nothing to be ashamed of or whatever, it's all part of learning, and life in general.

 

Btw, I've seen your post (several topics down about hangars/properties I think) about some property on French isl . and it came up on my mind today when I overflied it at 2500:) Is that a house in the NW corner of the island with small airstrip? Will try to take some photos next time (tomorrow maybe:)

 

Cheers

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The property you’re referring to used to have an airstrip. Quite a few properties did. I’d not be putting a plane down there unless no choice. Yes, I’ll post here when runway available and I’ll have to check legal implications. I’ll look around rec flier for info on this. Miss the old days when you just did it. Whatever it was.

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There are quite a number of properties around the island as well as on Peninsula with small airstrips. It is good to know they're there in case of no choice. A friend told me he's got a photo of someone landing on purpose in hardened mud shore North of that property. To my understanding you can land anywhere providing you have owner's permission or emergency. New aerodrome regulations are coming soon, however to my understanding that applies to certified aerodromes only. Let me know when you're in the area and want to go flying.

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This is going to sound a bit silly, but it takes what it takes, don’t judge your progress against anyone else’s yardstick. Have a google about learning plateaus! If switching instructor is not an option for you don’t underestimate the value of on line learning. I can’t recommend Learn to Fly, Become a Pilot at Rod Machado's Aviation learning Center highly enough. His take offs and landing online course may be very helpful (it is $120 though) it explains things in a very pilot friendly way!

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