Real Answers from Real Pilots

Flying preparation before start date

(not5150) #1

Hello all,

With my Mesa Jan 2019 start date coming up (coming in with PPL)… I’m a bit rusty (haven’t flown in a few years) and will be doing my BFR pretty soon. I’ve got some “play money” to use on flight time in the next few months.

My question is, knowing that I’ll be starting on the IFR portion soon… what would be a decent method of “clearing the cobwebs” and hitting the ground running in terms of flying experience. My thoughts are to hit… err land at all of the local airports to get a feel for the airspace/towers/traffic/etc. Then start jumping out north and southwest to Flagstaff and Tucson. I could just do the pattern a bunch of times, but the thought of 40-80 hours of just pattern work seems a bit boring.

Related question - Do ATP instructors sometimes teach on the side? I’m thinking if one is available see if they can do some “pre-instruction”… I know it won’t be official ATP instruction, but something along the lines of “if we were at ATP, you’d be doing this…” Logistically I know it’s somewhat of a pain since I’d have to rent a plane at another school and the school would need to let an “independent” instructor teach in the plane. Now thinking about it, i think the easier option might be to find an instructor at a neighboring school who was also a former ATP instructor.

I’ll probably knock out the IRA/FII in a few weeks and then proceed with the other written exams as well.

Apologies for long post… I want to show up for first day on the ball.

ninja add - just want to say the ATP student manuals for the specific planes are pretty awesome :slight_smile:

(Tory) #2

Everyone thinks they will give themselves an edge if they crack the secret code to success. Being proactive is good, but work smarter not harder. The best thing you can do is just show up as a proficient and current private pilot with as many of the written exams completed before you start. That will buy you some extra time during the program to focus on training and check rides.



I’m with Tory on this one. You say you’re “rusty” so you clearly need to get your basic flying skills back up to speed, so do that. As you also acknowledge, you’ll be starting with the IR portion so why not trust that your ATP instructor will start you off with your IR training based on ATPs curriculum. You’d be much better served being a very competent PP with good flying skills than a decent PP with a few basic IR skills.

No ATP instructors don’t work on the side (or at least shouldn’t be). ATP instructors work full-time for ATP and are intended to be available for ATP students full-time. You see ATP students have invested a considerable amount of money and time into the program and deserve committed instructors as well. Should someone say have a checkride coming up and needs some last minute work but their instructor wasn’t available because they were doing some “side work” that wouldn’t be appropriate.


(Kaela Calfas) #4

The things you really need to have down before starting instrument (imho):
holding a heading
holding an altitude
holding an airspeed
constant rate climb/descent
holding a constant turn ie standard rate turn
radio communications
why not spend time getting rid of the rust on those before trying to learn new stuff?




You mean good basic pilot skills? Couldn’t agree more! :slight_smile:


(Kaela Calfas) #6

oh, that’s what those are called :joy: