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Optimal Frequency of Lessons



 
 
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  #1  
Old October 25th 04, 10:21 PM
David B. Cole
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Optimal Frequency of Lessons

Just coming off my latest aero flight just over a week ago with Mr.
Stowell, I've decided that I want to take advantage of the momentum
and start a more formal course fairly soon. I think I have an
instructor nailed down. My plan is to start with a 5-10 hours course,
spread out over several months. But here are the issues.

The airport is about 70 miles away from where I live, but only about
19 miles from my girlfriend. This makes it convenient to some extent,
but her house is on the market and I want to take advantage of her
location before she sells.

I know there is a benefit to flying as much as possible to increase
tolerance, but I would like to spread it out over a few months as I
tend to retain things longer if I acquire them more slowly. But I
would also like to get as much time before the hard NJ winter arrives,
as the airport has a grass strip.

I'm thinking twice a month, with the possibility of both Saturday and
Sunday, weather and schedule permitting for the first few sessions.
Would like to hear some ideas. I would also continue to fly casually,
particularly with the goal of remaining IFR current.

Dave
Ads
  #2  
Old October 25th 04, 11:31 PM
Dudley Henriques
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"David B. Cole" wrote in message
m...
Just coming off my latest aero flight just over a week ago with Mr.
Stowell, I've decided that I want to take advantage of the momentum
and start a more formal course fairly soon. I think I have an
instructor nailed down. My plan is to start with a 5-10 hours course,
spread out over several months. But here are the issues.

The airport is about 70 miles away from where I live, but only about
19 miles from my girlfriend. This makes it convenient to some extent,
but her house is on the market and I want to take advantage of her
location before she sells.

I know there is a benefit to flying as much as possible to increase
tolerance, but I would like to spread it out over a few months as I
tend to retain things longer if I acquire them more slowly. But I
would also like to get as much time before the hard NJ winter arrives,
as the airport has a grass strip.

I'm thinking twice a month, with the possibility of both Saturday and
Sunday, weather and schedule permitting for the first few sessions.
Would like to hear some ideas. I would also continue to fly casually,
particularly with the goal of remaining IFR current.

Dave


It's just a suggestion but you might want to rethink that "fly as much
as possible" thing just a bit.
I've had just about every kind of acro student you can possibly imagine
in my airplanes and theirs (mostly theirs) through the years, and as an
acro instructor, I came to some basic conclusions about scheduling.
Aerobatics require you as the student to think about what you are going
to do with the airplane before you do it, then execute a maneuver as a
rote function, then remember what happened with the airplane when you
did it; then "adjust" what you did to correct for any mistake you made
for the next attempt at the maneuver. It's a continuing cycle of
thinking, doing, learning and adjusting, then doing it again...and so
on.
The sessions although enjoyable, can be stressful, and like all flight
instruction, you do your REAL learning and retention BETWEEN flights.
I can't tell you how much stress I place on this "period between
flights".
In aerobatics, even more so than regular flight instruction, this
"breathing" period is absolutely vital. It gives you a chance to relax
and rethink what you did in the air. It's here that the small pieces
come together for you that make the difference between a pilot who can
perform a maneuver by rote alone, and a pilot who actually understands
what is happening to the airplane and why.
So whatever you do with your schedule, and I understand that the
distance will be a factor, try and schedule your flights with a downtime
between them. Even if it's only a matter of hours between flights; take
that time as a programmed and anticipated downtime for yourself.
Best of luck to you with your aerobatic training.
Dudley Henriques
International Fighter Pilots Fellowship
Flight Instructor/Aerobatics/Retired


  #3  
Old October 26th 04, 02:23 AM
nametab
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

I suggest that when she moves, you find another girlfriend even closer to
the airport. Maybe one who owns an Edge or Extra or Yak or something nice
like that.

"David B. Cole" wrote in message
m...
Just coming off my latest aero flight just over a week ago with Mr.
Stowell, I've decided that I want to take advantage of the momentum
and start a more formal course fairly soon. I think I have an
instructor nailed down. My plan is to start with a 5-10 hours course,
spread out over several months. But here are the issues.

The airport is about 70 miles away from where I live, but only about
19 miles from my girlfriend. This makes it convenient to some extent,
but her house is on the market and I want to take advantage of her
location before she sells.

I know there is a benefit to flying as much as possible to increase
tolerance, but I would like to spread it out over a few months as I
tend to retain things longer if I acquire them more slowly. But I
would also like to get as much time before the hard NJ winter arrives,
as the airport has a grass strip.

I'm thinking twice a month, with the possibility of both Saturday and
Sunday, weather and schedule permitting for the first few sessions.
Would like to hear some ideas. I would also continue to fly casually,
particularly with the goal of remaining IFR current.

Dave



  #4  
Old October 26th 04, 03:55 AM
David B. Cole
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Dudley,

As has been the case many times before, your post has been valuable
and is certainly appreciated. I tend to take longer to pick up things
because I over-analyze them, but I also tend to hold on to it forever
once I do get it. So I will make sure I have enough time to chair fly
and to internalize what I experience in the air.

Regards,

Dave

"Dudley Henriques" wrote in message link.net...
"David B. Cole" wrote in message
m...
Just coming off my latest aero flight just over a week ago with Mr.
Stowell, I've decided that I want to take advantage of the momentum
and start a more formal course fairly soon. I think I have an
instructor nailed down. My plan is to start with a 5-10 hours course,
spread out over several months. But here are the issues.

The airport is about 70 miles away from where I live, but only about
19 miles from my girlfriend. This makes it convenient to some extent,
but her house is on the market and I want to take advantage of her
location before she sells.

I know there is a benefit to flying as much as possible to increase
tolerance, but I would like to spread it out over a few months as I
tend to retain things longer if I acquire them more slowly. But I
would also like to get as much time before the hard NJ winter arrives,
as the airport has a grass strip.

I'm thinking twice a month, with the possibility of both Saturday and
Sunday, weather and schedule permitting for the first few sessions.
Would like to hear some ideas. I would also continue to fly casually,
particularly with the goal of remaining IFR current.

Dave


It's just a suggestion but you might want to rethink that "fly as much
as possible" thing just a bit.
I've had just about every kind of acro student you can possibly imagine
in my airplanes and theirs (mostly theirs) through the years, and as an
acro instructor, I came to some basic conclusions about scheduling.
Aerobatics require you as the student to think about what you are going
to do with the airplane before you do it, then execute a maneuver as a
rote function, then remember what happened with the airplane when you
did it; then "adjust" what you did to correct for any mistake you made
for the next attempt at the maneuver. It's a continuing cycle of
thinking, doing, learning and adjusting, then doing it again...and so
on.
The sessions although enjoyable, can be stressful, and like all flight
instruction, you do your REAL learning and retention BETWEEN flights.
I can't tell you how much stress I place on this "period between
flights".
In aerobatics, even more so than regular flight instruction, this
"breathing" period is absolutely vital. It gives you a chance to relax
and rethink what you did in the air. It's here that the small pieces
come together for you that make the difference between a pilot who can
perform a maneuver by rote alone, and a pilot who actually understands
what is happening to the airplane and why.
So whatever you do with your schedule, and I understand that the
distance will be a factor, try and schedule your flights with a downtime
between them. Even if it's only a matter of hours between flights; take
that time as a programmed and anticipated downtime for yourself.
Best of luck to you with your aerobatic training.
Dudley Henriques
International Fighter Pilots Fellowship
Flight Instructor/Aerobatics/Retired

  #5  
Old October 26th 04, 04:48 AM
Dudley Henriques
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Best of luck to you Dave. I think you'll like acro. If you learn
properly, and never do it again, you'll be a better pilot than you were
before you learned how to do it :-))
Dudley
"David B. Cole" wrote in message
m...
Dudley,

As has been the case many times before, your post has been valuable
and is certainly appreciated. I tend to take longer to pick up things
because I over-analyze them, but I also tend to hold on to it forever
once I do get it. So I will make sure I have enough time to chair fly
and to internalize what I experience in the air.

Regards,

Dave

"Dudley Henriques" wrote in message
link.net...
"David B. Cole" wrote in message
m...
Just coming off my latest aero flight just over a week ago with Mr.
Stowell, I've decided that I want to take advantage of the momentum
and start a more formal course fairly soon. I think I have an
instructor nailed down. My plan is to start with a 5-10 hours
course,
spread out over several months. But here are the issues.

The airport is about 70 miles away from where I live, but only
about
19 miles from my girlfriend. This makes it convenient to some
extent,
but her house is on the market and I want to take advantage of her
location before she sells.

I know there is a benefit to flying as much as possible to increase
tolerance, but I would like to spread it out over a few months as I
tend to retain things longer if I acquire them more slowly. But I
would also like to get as much time before the hard NJ winter
arrives,
as the airport has a grass strip.

I'm thinking twice a month, with the possibility of both Saturday
and
Sunday, weather and schedule permitting for the first few sessions.
Would like to hear some ideas. I would also continue to fly
casually,
particularly with the goal of remaining IFR current.

Dave


It's just a suggestion but you might want to rethink that "fly as
much
as possible" thing just a bit.
I've had just about every kind of acro student you can possibly
imagine
in my airplanes and theirs (mostly theirs) through the years, and as
an
acro instructor, I came to some basic conclusions about scheduling.
Aerobatics require you as the student to think about what you are
going
to do with the airplane before you do it, then execute a maneuver as
a
rote function, then remember what happened with the airplane when you
did it; then "adjust" what you did to correct for any mistake you
made
for the next attempt at the maneuver. It's a continuing cycle of
thinking, doing, learning and adjusting, then doing it again...and so
on.
The sessions although enjoyable, can be stressful, and like all
flight
instruction, you do your REAL learning and retention BETWEEN flights.
I can't tell you how much stress I place on this "period between
flights".
In aerobatics, even more so than regular flight instruction, this
"breathing" period is absolutely vital. It gives you a chance to
relax
and rethink what you did in the air. It's here that the small pieces
come together for you that make the difference between a pilot who
can
perform a maneuver by rote alone, and a pilot who actually
understands
what is happening to the airplane and why.
So whatever you do with your schedule, and I understand that the
distance will be a factor, try and schedule your flights with a
downtime
between them. Even if it's only a matter of hours between flights;
take
that time as a programmed and anticipated downtime for yourself.
Best of luck to you with your aerobatic training.
Dudley Henriques
International Fighter Pilots Fellowship
Flight Instructor/Aerobatics/Retired



  #6  
Old October 26th 04, 05:50 AM
zatatime
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

On Tue, 26 Oct 2004 03:48:26 GMT, "Dudley Henriques"
wrote:

. But I
would also like to get as much time before the hard NJ winter
arrives,



May I ask what field you take your lessons?

z
  #7  
Old October 26th 04, 06:53 AM
ShawnD2112
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

David,

As usual, I agree with what Dudley says, but only based on my own
experience, as I'm not a flight instructor. I'll also add that I really
learned how to fly when I got hold of a Supercub one summer and was flying
several times a week. Not long flights, most of them spent in the pattern
doing every concievable kind of take off and landing combination I and my
mates could think of. There were rest periods in between, and lots of
analysis and hangar flying to boot, but there was definitely something about
frequency in there for me. This wasn't the old "get your PPL in two weeks"
kind of pressured course, it was just me flying after I got my PPL as much
as I could. Flying more often allowed me to retain more between lessons,
requiring less relearning during each. I developed a feel for the airplane
during that period that I've never matched since, simply because of how
often I was flying. I would suggest you give that some thought as a
balancing argument to having weeks beetween lessons.

Also, depending on where you live, if you schedule for every other week, in
reality you'll get weathered out at least part of the time and end up only
flying one weekend per month sometimes. Consider scheduling every weekend
and let weather and other factors give you the seperation you're talking
about needing.

Just my .02 worth,
Shawn
"Dudley Henriques" wrote in message
ink.net...

"David B. Cole" wrote in message
m...
Just coming off my latest aero flight just over a week ago with Mr.
Stowell, I've decided that I want to take advantage of the momentum
and start a more formal course fairly soon. I think I have an
instructor nailed down. My plan is to start with a 5-10 hours course,
spread out over several months. But here are the issues.

The airport is about 70 miles away from where I live, but only about
19 miles from my girlfriend. This makes it convenient to some extent,
but her house is on the market and I want to take advantage of her
location before she sells.

I know there is a benefit to flying as much as possible to increase
tolerance, but I would like to spread it out over a few months as I
tend to retain things longer if I acquire them more slowly. But I
would also like to get as much time before the hard NJ winter arrives,
as the airport has a grass strip.

I'm thinking twice a month, with the possibility of both Saturday and
Sunday, weather and schedule permitting for the first few sessions.
Would like to hear some ideas. I would also continue to fly casually,
particularly with the goal of remaining IFR current.

Dave


It's just a suggestion but you might want to rethink that "fly as much as
possible" thing just a bit.
I've had just about every kind of acro student you can possibly imagine in
my airplanes and theirs (mostly theirs) through the years, and as an acro
instructor, I came to some basic conclusions about scheduling.
Aerobatics require you as the student to think about what you are going to
do with the airplane before you do it, then execute a maneuver as a rote
function, then remember what happened with the airplane when you did it;
then "adjust" what you did to correct for any mistake you made for the
next attempt at the maneuver. It's a continuing cycle of thinking, doing,
learning and adjusting, then doing it again...and so on.
The sessions although enjoyable, can be stressful, and like all flight
instruction, you do your REAL learning and retention BETWEEN flights.
I can't tell you how much stress I place on this "period between flights".
In aerobatics, even more so than regular flight instruction, this
"breathing" period is absolutely vital. It gives you a chance to relax and
rethink what you did in the air. It's here that the small pieces come
together for you that make the difference between a pilot who can perform
a maneuver by rote alone, and a pilot who actually understands what is
happening to the airplane and why.
So whatever you do with your schedule, and I understand that the distance
will be a factor, try and schedule your flights with a downtime between
them. Even if it's only a matter of hours between flights; take that time
as a programmed and anticipated downtime for yourself.
Best of luck to you with your aerobatic training.
Dudley Henriques
International Fighter Pilots Fellowship
Flight Instructor/Aerobatics/Retired




  #8  
Old October 26th 04, 02:16 PM
Dudley Henriques
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"zatatime" wrote in message
...
On Tue, 26 Oct 2004 03:48:26 GMT, "Dudley Henriques"
wrote:

. But I
would also like to get as much time before the hard NJ winter
arrives,



May I ask what field you take your lessons?

z


I'm a bit confused here z; not that I didn't learn something every time
I strapped on an airplane, but I'm the instructor in this equation
:-))))
Do you mean the OP perhaps?

Dudley Henriques
International Fighter Pilots Fellowship
Flight Instructor/Aerobatics/Retired


  #9  
Old October 26th 04, 03:22 PM
David B. Cole
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Ha! Ha! Ha! Oh man I almost sprayed coffee all over my monitor.

Dave

"nametab" wrote in message ink.net...
I suggest that when she moves, you find another girlfriend even closer to
the airport. Maybe one who owns an Edge or Extra or Yak or something nice
like that.

"David B. Cole" wrote in message
m...
Just coming off my latest aero flight just over a week ago with Mr.
Stowell, I've decided that I want to take advantage of the momentum
and start a more formal course fairly soon. I think I have an
instructor nailed down. My plan is to start with a 5-10 hours course,
spread out over several months. But here are the issues.

The airport is about 70 miles away from where I live, but only about
19 miles from my girlfriend. This makes it convenient to some extent,
but her house is on the market and I want to take advantage of her
location before she sells.

I know there is a benefit to flying as much as possible to increase
tolerance, but I would like to spread it out over a few months as I
tend to retain things longer if I acquire them more slowly. But I
would also like to get as much time before the hard NJ winter arrives,
as the airport has a grass strip.

I'm thinking twice a month, with the possibility of both Saturday and
Sunday, weather and schedule permitting for the first few sessions.
Would like to hear some ideas. I would also continue to fly casually,
particularly with the goal of remaining IFR current.

Dave

  #10  
Old October 26th 04, 03:37 PM
David B. Cole
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Good advice Shawn. I most likely will schedule weekly in order to
hedge against the weather. And while I'm at it I'll post my most
recent aero experience below.

Dave


Last week I completed my second year of participation in the annual
spin and emergency maneuver training offered by Rich Stowell here in
NJ. But unlike last year I had to battle a number of obstacles that
didn't exist last year. The first was that I had knee surgery about a
month ago and although I'm recovering fairly well, I'd only flown once
within the last month and a half. I was also recovering from some type
of stomach virus that continues to make me somewhat queasy. In fact
this was my biggest concern as I didn't want to blemish my record of
not tossing my cookies. I also started coming down with a cold which I
fiercely fought against and won.

The weather also stood as a possible deal breaker as low ceilings on
Friday caused the six flights for that day to be rescheduled.
Fortunately the weather held up until the time we were returning to
the airport from the flight, when a light rain started. But enough of
that. I arrived at the airport, Alexandria Field, at about 1:30 where
I was greeted by Rich, the airport owner Linda Castner, and the two
other guys flying that afternoon. I happen to know one of the guys
fairly well and the other in passing, as we all had the same
instrument instructor.

We went back to the classroom where Rich discussed what we would be
doing that day. Myself and one of the other pilots had gone through
the course the prior year so Rich asked what we wanted to do. I
decided that I wanted to review spins, but to also add some control
failure exercises and unusual attitude recoveries as well. I will
admit that while I had a terrific time the previous year doing spins
and some basic aerobatic maneuvers, I was a little anxious and felt
like I was doing it again for the first time.

I was the second of the three to fly, just enough time for the jitters
to build back up. But when it was my time we strapped on the chutes,
hopped in the Super Decathlon, and were on our way. We started with
some coordination exercises, followed by a few steep turns to clear
the area and two power off stalls. Then Rich asked me if my stomach
was up for a spin, to which I agreed. As Rich prefers to allow the
student to perform the entire maneuver, I pulled the power to idle and
allowed the airspeed to bleed off. I wasn't as aggressive as I should
have been in getting the stick back, but eventually got it down to
just above stall speed and then kicked in the left rudder. While it
had been a while since I had last seen the earth from that
perspective, it seemed like a familiar friend and I didn't have to
urge to say "Oh Sh&t!", as I did with my first spin the year before.

We went on to do three more spins with the power off before moving to
control failures. These consisted of Rich first having me perform
coordinated left and right turns, then telling me whether I had an
aileron failure or rudder failure. For an aileron failure I simply put
the plane into a slip by applying opposite rudder. But in the SD with
slips at 100 kts, the degree of uncoordinated flight is so high that
it's almost uncomfortable, especially if you don't lean into it. For
rudder failures in the turn I went from aileron deflection in the
direction of turn to opposite aileron to enter the slip. In both cases
I applied enough forward pressure on the elevator to get the AOA down,
and adjusted the available control surface to maintain the heading.
The last part of this exercise was Rich blocking a control surface at
random, me figuring out what had failed, and applying the appropriate
corrections.

The last module was recovery from unusual attitudes. But these were
far more unusual than the one I experienced as a student pilot as they
all ended in spins. Rich took the controls, I put my hands in my lap,
and waited to see what was coming next. The first unusual attitude was
a steep climbing left turn into a spin. This was followed by a spin
out of a botched loop, and finally a spin out of a snap roll, which in
itself was interesting. The difference between these three spins and
those I had done before was that they all were entered with power on,
so I had to complete all the steps in the Power, Aileron, Rudder,
Elevator recovery. In fact I had to call out each action as I did it.
I was surprised that I didn't feel rushed, and the reason for the
callouts was to have me think consciously about my actions and to
assess about what I was seeing.

On the way back to the field I got to perform a loop, which I did last
year as well, in addition to a hammerhead, which was a blast. While
the experience was a tremendous benefit last year when I did it, the
components that we added this year increased my knowledge and
confidence that much more. As I plan to take between 5-10 hours of
aero before starting the commercial, this will be a good refresher
before starting.

Dave


"ShawnD2112" wrote in message .uk...
David,

As usual, I agree with what Dudley says, but only based on my own
experience, as I'm not a flight instructor. I'll also add that I really
learned how to fly when I got hold of a Supercub one summer and was flying
several times a week. Not long flights, most of them spent in the pattern
doing every concievable kind of take off and landing combination I and my
mates could think of. There were rest periods in between, and lots of
analysis and hangar flying to boot, but there was definitely something about
frequency in there for me. This wasn't the old "get your PPL in two weeks"
kind of pressured course, it was just me flying after I got my PPL as much
as I could. Flying more often allowed me to retain more between lessons,
requiring less relearning during each. I developed a feel for the airplane
during that period that I've never matched since, simply because of how
often I was flying. I would suggest you give that some thought as a
balancing argument to having weeks beetween lessons.

Also, depending on where you live, if you schedule for every other week, in
reality you'll get weathered out at least part of the time and end up only
flying one weekend per month sometimes. Consider scheduling every weekend
and let weather and other factors give you the seperation you're talking
about needing.

Just my .02 worth,
Shawn

 




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