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Thread: PA-12 Instruction Advice

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    Richgj3's Avatar
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    PA-12 Instruction Advice

    I知 a CFI and I have about 4000 hours in tailwheel airplanes. I have instructed from the back seat of my Legend when I owned it and in a Super Cub years ago. The last time I flew a PA-12 was probably 45 years ago.

    I知 being asked to give tailwheel instruction to a private pilot in his own PA-12. He has little to no conventional gear time. I知 concerned about visibility from the back seat. The Legend was really not a problem but I知 wondering what advice you would have for me regarding the 12. This airplane is stock, no big tires etc.

    Rich

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    Very similar to the Cubs - you will have no trouble flying or seeing from the back. But the stock bird has a climb rate that may not impress you - skip the short strips.
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    mvivion's Avatar
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    My philosophy has always been if I’m not at least minimally familiar with a particular Aircraft model, I’m probably not doing the owner a favor by doing a “check out” in it.

    MTV
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    Charlie Longley's Avatar
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    It’s a bit of a black hole in the back seat due to the width. I put a Lexan door on my PA-12 that helps quite a bit. A stock 12 is on the doggy side.
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    Richgj3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvivion View Post
    My philosophy has always been if I’m not at least minimally familiar with a particular Aircraft model, I’m probably not doing the owner a favor by doing a “check out” in it.

    MTV
    I hear you. Some of you may find this hard to believe, but here on LI I know of only one other 12 and that’s in private hands and not available. We have suggested to the owner of the 12 that’s asking for the instruction that he go see Damien in New Jersey. There is no 12 there either, but he would get a thorough tail wheel endorsement. He has resisted that for reasons unknown.

    So, after owning a T-Craft, a C170, a Fleet 16B, a J3 and a Legend Cub and doing extensive ferrying of PA-18’s a PT-17 and a couple of WACO’s, I think I can become minimally familiar with the PA-12 by taking a few steps, including but not limited to mining some knowledge from this forum. Thanks for any and all tips. If I do this, it would be as a favor. I’m not hanging out an “Instructor for Hire” sign. My partner in our Bonanza is the IA doing the annual on this recently purchased plane. He approached me. After I meet the owner we shall see where it goes.


    Rich

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    I am with MTV, to a point. Sometimes, finding a qualified pilot is a serious problem. But the PA-12 is a wide version of the 18, without the performance.

    I have tried to avoid self-checkouts - but once in a while I cannot avoid them. My first experience in a C-180 was solo, IFR, with a stupid Superhomer! Then it was a Maule - nobody within 100 miles willing to go around the patch. Off we went.

    Lately it has been the UPF-7, the RNF, the big Stinson Reliant, the J-4, and the Chief. Always some trepidation on that first landing. The RNF kept quitting on takeoff, so no time to be apprehensive. But what a beautiful bird.

    But yeah - you can no doubt handle this thing. Get a waiver of subrogation on his insurance that applies while you are instructing, and get it in English, not lawyer speak.
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    Keep the longitudinal axis parallel with the center line of the runway. That’s the only advise my instructor gave me when I got my tail wheel endorsement.

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    You will likely find it trim sensitive compared to the other cubs. Also they like to float on landing and requires more accuracy on approach speed. We have a 12 and a couple of 18s . It’s not hard to fly but it does fly different.

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    PerryB's Avatar
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    Yeah, he's about right on that.
    Where you been Brett? I was beginning to think you fell off the planet. ...

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    Finally getting caught up Perry. Got some 26 ‘s. Having fun with them. Didn’t realize how ruff some of our hay fields are��.

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    I found the PA 12 to be a very well mannered aircraft,dare say the best of the bunch. Fly it for for 1 hour bet you will agree. I think you will agree. You can feel the airplane in the back seat just as you can any tail dragger. The stock 12 is such a gentle lady. It is a bit of hole in the backseat especially if its a tired cushion. so get a cushion and sit up bit. You will have a lot fun. I would not train at a 2000 foot strip with obstacles. Grass is always an easier transition as you know, more forgiving. I"m not a instructor but I have transitioned a few newbies in my 12. Go fly.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob turner View Post
    I am with MTV, to a point. Sometimes, finding a qualified pilot is a serious problem. But the PA-12 is a wide version of the 18, without the performance.

    I have tried to avoid self-checkouts - but once in a while I cannot avoid them. My first experience in a C-180 was solo, IFR, with a stupid Superhomer! Then it was a Maule - nobody within 100 miles willing to go around the patch. Off we went.

    Lately it has been the UPF-7, the RNF, the big Stinson Reliant, the J-4, and the Chief. Always some trepidation on that first landing. The RNF kept quitting on takeoff, so no time to be apprehensive. But what a beautiful bird.

    But yeah - you can no doubt handle this thing. Get a waiver of subrogation on his insurance that applies while you are instructing, and get it in English, not lawyer speak.
    I would come down to fly the Reliant with you!! Which engine? I loved that bird- best flying aircraft I have ever been in, except maybe the Chipmunk.

    Is there another tailwheel guy that would make a few patterns with you in back, him in front?

    Not a big jump from what you have been used to to that plane, you might get a sore neck from leaning to the side, but they are not a bad plane at all. Actually much more comfortable than the 18.
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

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    cubdriver2's Avatar
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    Rich, you grew up in the backseat and will be just fine back there. I find narrow runways much easier then wide ones.

    Glenn
    "Optimism is going after Moby Dick in a rowboat and taking the tartar sauce with you!"
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    If you can fly a Cub you can fly a -12. The attitude is a little different but since you won’t be doing any max performance STOL hero stuff you should find it nothing more than a gentle Cub with a wider back seat.
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    12Geezer2's Avatar
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    Only time I've been surprised while in the back seat of my 12 (or other long wing Pipers) was when I allowed people who "claimed" cub experience and really were NOT experienced . As my old instructor told me in my early days "dead from the a$$ to the ankles---no idea what a rudder is for" While these folks did a nice preflight---run up and taxied out like they knew what was going on ---I GOT LAZY---very shortly on take off roll, we are suddenly aimed the wrong way. Managed to save it ---BUT---need to stay on high alert---sometimes the stories of experience are pure --BS...

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    PerryB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 12Geezer2 View Post
    Only time I've been surprised while in the back seat of my 12 (or other long wing Pipers) was when I allowed people who "claimed" cub experience and really were NOT experienced .
    Ha! Been there, done that. Several years ago I had a foolish notion of selling my 12 (completely "tricked out"- all the mods and light). The potential buyer had an RV-6A. After the first take-off with all it's porpoising and swerving I decided I was done with "transition training". The Cub family is the nosewheel of taildraggers. I don't know how anybody can have problems controlling such a docile machine, but.....
    Since then I spent a stupid amount of money having Mikey rebuilt and am keeping it forever.
    Last edited by PerryB; 06-19-2018 at 06:04 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richgj3 View Post
    I hear you. Some of you may find this hard to believe, but here on LI I know of only one other 12 and that’s in private hands and not available. We have suggested to the owner of the 12 that’s asking for the instruction that he go see Damien in New Jersey. There is no 12 there either, but he would get a thorough tail wheel endorsement. He has resisted that for reasons unknown.

    Rich
    I have been really struggling to get my flight review and tailwheel endorsement finished so I can fly my CubCrafter Sport Cub. Guess I made a mistake buying a plane before I got the endorsement. I know the hazards of tailwheels, but so far I think CFI's expect perfection..so I am figuring 20 to 30 hours of dual before I can satisfy them. I am a old rusty private pilot, but I am flying better and than I ever flew my Cessna Arrow. I think less determined guy would have just given up. Probably why so many of the 500,000 rusty pilots never return.

    In any case I have tried to contact Damien DelGaizo for two months..no return calls. Wondering if all the Trump flight restrictions in North Jersey have hampered his operation?

  18. #18
    Gordon Misch's Avatar
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    Hang in there. When it clicks, it will seem oh-so-easy. Practice practice practice. And try to relax some - just keep the prop in front.
    Gordon

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    Unfortunately, despite 230 hours of experience I am still not allowed to fly without a CFI. And, actually of I could I would practice more than 10 hours a week. But practice takes concentration and so far, during dual the CFI's are barking so much I find it hard to concentrate on making improvements. I do better using the simulator..which I practice on 20 hours a week.

    Thanks for encouragement. I love flying and I remember "instruction" was much more fun when I first earned my private pilot license.

  20. #20
    Gordon Misch's Avatar
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    Are your CFIs experienced, comfortable Cub pilots? If not, their "barking" might be related to their own unease. I too started with a plane I bought before any lessons. My first instructor found my T-Craft to be a handful and declined to continue. After changing instructors I eventually soloed and then after more time it got easier and easier. My -12 now feels as comfortable as old slippers. I can almost always land with no more than three or four good bounces!

    Y'know, humor aside, try to get some good instruction on dealing with the bounces. They're inevitable, by the way. That might be really useful if that's part of your difficulty.

    Where are you located? Put that in your avatar, it could help.

    Edit: Re the sim, I have very little experience. But the experience I do have with the sim is that it's impossible to land and handle on the ground. Point being, it's different than the actual plane. But that's just my experience, and maybe it's not particularly valid.
    Last edited by Gordon Misch; 07-25-2018 at 12:10 AM.
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    The Prepar3D Lockheed Martin J3 Cub software is much less forgiving in regards to rudder..real plane is easier to fly. But, IMHO it is a tremendous tool for practicing landings in all crosswind conditions and really wonderful for emergency landing practice as well as spins.

    As every CFI has stated.."the real plane is different" but actually I think the 900 landings I have done on the sim have really been valuable..If the CFI teaches me something I go practice many hours to "master' the teaching.

    I guess my shortcoming is I place a high priority on safety and if I sense a dangerous condition, I may not maintain speed and direction to suit the CFI.

    We were flying at 4500 feet with a few scattered clouds
    ..and when I sensed we were getting to close I steered away from the cloud...got yelled at for that.

    Not to burden anyone with my troubles..I think the FAA is really trying hard to help GA..the Wings program. Basic Med. Sport pilot..all great ideas to support flying should be fun and safe. CFI's need to be as good at teaching as they are at flying..and teaching requires real people skills.

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    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    strout,
    Gordon has given you some good advise. I googled flight instructors near Spring Grove, PA and found this: https://www.google.com/search?q=flig...hrome&ie=UTF-8 Are any of these near you?

    After hearing only your side of the story it does appear that perhaps you should find another instructor. One who is not a youngster building time for the dream job. One who is comfortable in tail dragger airplanes. It also appears that you are depending too much on a computer program for practice. There are a lot of sensations which occur in the airplane that no computer or full blown simulator can duplicate. When you are getting close to the runway in the process of flaring the plane, what and where are you looking? Your perception will be much stronger and more accurate if you look towards the far end of the runway for height above ground, rate of descent and pitch position.

    It is true that there are some people who just should not be flying airplanes. Since you have already received a private license, I would say that you are not one of them. Sometimes it is as simple as changing instructors. I was given a student long ago who had just not been "getting it". I flew with him for less than an hour and let him go solo. He did a great job going on to earn his license. It was an instructor/student thing. I had another who I was given who had had a lot of dual but was too young to solo. He couldn't even fly a straight line. I found that he was concentrating on the instruments. After covering the entire instrument panel with a jacket, forcing him to look outside he did just fine.

    Also I find that it is much easier to fly a tail dragger on a grass runway. The grass can more easily absorb minor errors in aligning the gear with the direction of travel.

    Good luck and be sure to report back here with your results.
    N1PA
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    230 hours total time? And you now own a taildragger worth $150K, used? And the insurer is asking for some large number of dual hours? Did I get that right?

    Here is my take: six or seven pattern hours is enough for a tailwheel endorsement, but nowhere near enough to have that depth of experience that allows continuous safe solo operation. I am after our club to set 15 hours minimum pattern time for Citabria solo.

    My latest Stearman student has a PP, a tailwheel endorsement in the J-3, and 11 hours in the Stearman. He is not ready yet for solo, but will be soon. The underwriter has said ok solo after 100 hours in type - a bit excessive, but I think 25 hours is a reasonable minimum.

    The J-3 is different - the average groundloop in a Cub or T-cart is a no damage affair. But repairing a Carbon Cub can run tens of thousands of dollars even if you don't catch the prop.

    If I were advising an insurance company: A liability only policy on a Cub? - all you need is an endorsement. A policy with hull coverage? 25 hours in the pattern with a CFI, emphasis on crosswinds. Maybe more if the hull is over $150 grand.

    Just an opinion. I love simulators, but I personally would not count sim time toward tailwheel minimums. I am sure they help.
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    Just re-checking the thread. All that was for Stroutmail - who is in Pennsylvania. There is an airport in Bucks County - Wings Field - that should be checked out. If Orton Ogborn has retired from the FAA, I bet he is instructing at Wings. Go find out. I flew as his FO in a Nord 262, and loved every minute of it.

    Oh - and the Reliant got sold. Eighty grand - a genuine bargain. Brand new 300hp radial. It was like stepping into a 1930s salon! I was the test pilot - had not flown since November 1958. It took three tries to get the insurance right. The first iteration listed me as instructor only when the aircraft was on the ground. Watch the fine print, folks.
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  25. #25
    Gordon Misch's Avatar
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    My two cents, which the pros out there might dispute, but here it is. For stick and rudder skills, forget the sim. Go fly your airplane.

    There are a number of parameters to get "right" on landing. Examples include airspeed (actually AOA), descent rate, descent path, lateral drift, power setting, flap setting, brake use after touchdown. And most importantly, your own confidence in the process. If you're having trouble putting all of those together, perhaps focus on just one or two at a time with an instructor until you can perform well while relaxed.

    But learn and practice stick and rudder skills in the airplane, not the sim. In my opinion the sim is great for practicing procedures, but not for the head/hand synergy of physically controlling the airplane.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob turner View Post
    230 hours total time? And you now own a taildragger worth $150K, used?
    And the insurer is asking for some large number of dual hours? Did I get that right?

    Here is my take: six or seven pattern hours is enough for a tailwheel endorsement.

    Just an opinion. I love simulators, but I personally would not count sim time toward tailwheel minimums. I am sure they help.
    Yes you are wrong a little. I paid $90K for a ten year old Sport Cub...not a Carbon Cub. The Sport Cub has 100hp. The Carbon Cub has 180hp. I insure it for $70K hull value.

    Avemco only requires 5 hours dual for me..but in my plane or one just like it. Anyone else not a CFI has to have 25 hours in same make model.

    Nobody would argue that Sim time is as valuable as "real time". But, my most diligent efforts, with almost unlimited budget I can average only about 2 hours with a CFI per week...15 hours "real life" tail wheel time in last 7 weeks. So practice is important..but I can't really practice enough until I can solo. So time in the sim is better than nothing in between dual time. Once tail wheel endorsed I will probably fly 5-10 hours with around 60 landings per week.

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    To the OP..from a "student" point of view, even one with PPL...I find the most valuable asset for a CFI is temperament and a passion and talent to teach. "Sage on Stage" is often not productive, and most guys at a certain age are not accepting of the Drill Sargent "humiliate them build back" approach used in Boot Camp.

    Being calm and patient will keep communication flowing and effective.

  28. #28
    Cub Special Ed's Avatar
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    Best tailwheel instruction you can give to a pa 12 owner is buy an -11 or -18. Just funnin!
    "There are 3 kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves." Will Rogers

  29. #29
    Gordon Misch's Avatar
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    As a retired teacher (math and physics) I'm recognizing this. Student, when having trouble with the subject, knows more than teacher and would-be mentors about teaching and learning. Oh well - - -
    Last edited by Gordon Misch; 07-25-2018 at 10:44 PM.
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  30. #30
    PerryB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cub Special Ed View Post
    Best tailwheel instruction you can give to a pa 12 owner is buy an -11 or -18. Just funnin!
    You just made the list buddy

  31. #31
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    I frankly find it hard to understand the time(long time) it takes to get checked out and or/get a tail wheel endorsement. Granted way back in the late 70's in a military flying club I didn't have to satisfy any insurance company but as a 200+ hour private pilot it didn't take very long to get the hang of the old O1D/L19 Bird dog. I think I was turned loose after 4.5 hours. I was as ignorant as anyone else with no other tailwheel time. My first TO had to be aborted after the airplane could not be kept on the 25o' X 8000' runway, if continued the control tower might have been in danger..... After about two hours I was ready to give up and told my instructor that. He suggested one more try. The next day after a decent takeoff he had me leave the pattern at PAAF and head for a local grass strip. Bingo! For me anyway and hour of shooting full stops and then touch and gos gave me the confidence that I might maybe be able to master(wrong word) this thing.

    I admit no one is the same. In my limited experience I think the match between instructor and student is a huge factor. (IMO some "instructors" will never deserve the name) If in a rut/hole that seems to only be getting deeper, maybe try a new instructor?

    As far as the back seat of a PA12 my only experience is a J5A-75 I use to fly. The owner lost his medical and offered me the airplane to fly. After checking myself out and logging 10 hours and probably 80-90 landings sometimes with him along for the ride I decided to check myself out in the back seat so I could let him fly up front. While it did seem somewhat odd in the wide back seat I managed ok. Any experienced tailwheel CFI should do ok....

    as Bob says......just opinion

    Jack
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  32. #32
    mvivion's Avatar
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    There are things that a simulator is very good for. I’m not sure there are very many sims that are very good for tailwheel training. In fact, I’d suspect that in some aspects, a basic sim might do more harm than good. There are certainly things that may be improved on one, like lineup. But flying tailwheel planes is very much a “feel” thing in the seat of the pants. And you’ll never get that from a sim, so some practice in a sim may actually be less than helpful.

    Maybe. In any case, as others have noted, it may be time to find another instructor. As others have noted, there can be all kinds of minor seeming issues that can get between ANY instructor and a given student.

    MTV
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    180Marty's Avatar
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    Make sure something simple like wet shoes doesn't happen. I was doing pretty good in my PA 12 but one time on takeoff my right foot got on the back side of the rudder pedal. After we were flying my instructor asked what happened----guess I gave him a thrill.

  34. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gordon Misch View Post
    As a retired teacher (math and physics) I'm recognizing this. Student, when having trouble with the subject, knows more than teacher and would-be mentors about teaching and learning. Oh well - - -
    As a long time student in many fields--universities and other more specific like race car driving schools, and someone who has used professional coaching often, it is seldom that the student thinks he knows more than the teacher..it is more often an issue where the teacher is telling him something that he feels disagrees with what another expert has told him.

    Wheel landing, three point best..lots of opinions. Tail wheel spring..compression or tension..lots if opinions. I can go on...Vx or Vy best on climb..lots of opinions.

    Every art and science has varied opinions about facts. Edison promoted DC...said AC was dangerous..yet all our grid is AC.

    The wise student searches many sources of wisdom. Blind acceptance of proclamations of experts is not always the best course.

    The "counsel of many" is sometimes better.

    I have been a teacher in my early life..(I taught Auto Mechanics to inner city youth in Detroit for Wayne County Community College.) My best students always asked lots of tough questions. And, their challenges usually made me a better teacher. Teachers who think questioning students who challenge them have an ego problem should look in the mirror. Often the student simply is seeking a deep knowledge.
    Last edited by stroutmail; 07-26-2018 at 08:45 AM.
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  35. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by mvivion View Post
    There are things that a simulator is very good for. I’m not sure there are very many sims that are very good for tailwheel training. In fact, I’d suspect that in some aspects, a basic sim might do more harm than good. There are certainly things that may be improved on one, like lineup. But flying tailwheel planes is very much a “feel” thing in the seat of the pants. And you’ll never get that from a sim, so some practice in a sim may actually be less than helpful.

    Maybe. In any case, as others have noted, it may be time to find another instructor. As others have noted, there can be all kinds of minor seeming issues that can get between ANY instructor and a given student.

    MTV
    No doubt you are correct. Seat of the pants is an important "sense". But, I would not minimize the importance of connecting the hand and feet to the eye---I found using the "sight picture" just as helpful for my landings as "feel the sink". And, of course in IFR and Recovery from Unusual Attitudes, trusting your eyes and Instrument over your inner ear could save your life.

    I also use the Sim to become familiar with airports I intend to visit. Before a Cross Country I would become familiar with every airport I intend to visit before I go, as well as all the "alternates". Since i have "trained" recently at 8 different airports with 12 different runways (in PA, MD, FL, and TN) getting used to the pattern before "real" flight.

    I have spent perhaps 1000 hours competing world wide in iRacing. The Sim is not a toy---I have more than $10K invested in hardware for it---it has force feedback in the steering and full hydraulic brakes. I have raced professionally in real life---iRacing is different, but anybody fast in iRacing will also be fast in real life---almost every F1 team is now using the Sim for practice. My flight sim is not full motion and lacks force feedback. Here is a video of Nurburgring--a 152 turn, 15 mile course---very useful to "learn" the track using the Sim.



    But--I get it--most real pilots think sims are useless. Just another one of those things where there are lots of different opinions. My wife always reminds me that everybody has a nose and their own opinion. And, she reminds me that it is important to always respect the opinions of others.

    And, if/when I get my flying privileges (Flt review and Tail Wheel Endorsement) I will be doing a lot more "real" flying and "real" practicing.
    Last edited by stroutmail; 07-26-2018 at 10:25 AM.

  36. #36
    Gordon Misch's Avatar
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    best students always asked lots of tough questions. And, their challenges usually made me a better teacher. Teachers who think questioning students who challenge them have an ego problem should look in the mirror. Often the student simply is seeking a deep knowledge.
    Valid, for sure.

    Learning is hindered, however, when the learner chooses to simply oppose what the teacher is trying to impart. I believe that is what I read regarding use of the sim. In this case you seem to have insisted that using the sim is valuable for learning stick and rudder skills, in direct opposition to advice from several folks intending to assist your learning experience.

    If I came across too harsh, I apologize for that. But I would still say that when soliciting advice the best course is to analyze and digest the advice, rather than immediately argue against it.

    Another thought - it sounds like you are using multiple instructors. If that's the case it could either be part of the problem or helpful. If your instructors are mutually supportive in their teaching styles, that's great. But if their styles conflict and you're needing to change your flight practices with different instructors, that could be problematic.
    Gordon

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  37. #37

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    https://www.inc.com/quora/why-you-sh...al-wisdom.html

    Sorry, but my entire successful career (including multiple US patents) has been built on challenging conventional wisdom. I guess it is just part of my DNA. Sad that it is not welcome here.

  38. #38
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    strout,
    You are a new member here, welcome. You are an acknowledged very low time pilot who came asking questions. The responses came from several highly qualified individuals who in total have in excess of 50,000 hours of flying experience along with untold experience in teaching. They have sincerely attempted to help you. Instead you have come back poking them in the eye. You really should pay attention to your wife.
    Quote Originally Posted by stroutmail View Post
    My wife always reminds me that everybody has a nose and their own opinion. And, she reminds me that it is important to always respect the opinions of others.
    By the way, do you know who made your "Cessna Arrow"?
    N1PA

  39. #39

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    So sorry you see me as poking people in the eye. Not my intention. Thanks to all...I will stop expressing my opinion.

    Yeah, it was a Piper Turbo Arrow III. Took my check ride in a Cessna 152.

  40. #40
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Apology accepted, now let's get down to getting you up to speed in your new bird. Every person who has responded to your inquiries is highly qualified to assist and they do so without any expectation of anything in return other than the knowledge and satisfaction of helping a fellow aviator. If they were in your neighborhood any one of them would quickly jump in the back seat to help you. Go back and reread the replies and go from there.
    N1PA

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