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  1. #1
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    Hello and thanks for a brilliant site!

    Hello everyone, quick first post to introduce myself and say that after finally deciding to crack on with a home cockpit this site is amazing - so much info and support and delivered in a very friendly fashion.

    Like most of you I'm an aviation nut, and am hoping to start my PPL possibly next year if I can... time, money, wife and kids allowing. I've always wanted to do the course but life got in the way so far. Anyway, hence my home cockpit set up will ultimately will be part of the PPL learning process.

    In brief I'm hoping to cobble together an initial 'generic' GA setup in the short term to help with the basics (and for fun) before maybe building something more authentic later on, funds allowing, possibly better replicating the MIP / cockpit of whatever aircraft I'm learning in - I'm guessing a 152/172 or PA 28/38.

    I'll no doubt start asking lots of annoying questions in the near future, but in the meantime I'll start delving through the vast amount of info already on the site. Having seen some of the quite fantastic cockpit builds you guys have done, I'll be standing on the shoulders of giants!

  2. #2
    Executive Vice President, MyCockpit


    Matt Olieman's Avatar
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    Re: Hello and thanks for a brilliant site!

    Thanks and welcome aboard

    Matt Olieman

  3. #3
    300+ Forum Addict notgotaclue's Avatar
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    Re: Hello and thanks for a brilliant site!

    I got my PPL about 10 years ago - then got extremely bored with it. I know I sound like a nutcase.
    I found the training and the actually learning to fly a real buzz, but once I got my license I soon realised that spending 150 to fly to the nearby airport for the 20th time was not a good way to spend my money and I quickly found excuses not to fly until I eventually gave up.
    I also had a few near misses (or is that near hits) which put me off for good. One of my near misses (hits) involved a 737 which I just could not see - I know it sounds strange but even those things coming out of the sun are difficult beasts to spot.
    Allan.

  4. #4
    Our new friend needs to reach 10 posts to get to the next flight level
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    Re: Hello and thanks for a brilliant site!

    Thanks Allan, no, you don't sound like a nutcase at all - in fact I know several people who got their PPLs but eventually let them lapse, mostly because of the '150 cup of coffee' experience you describe, flying to nearby airfields. It may well be a situation I find myself in as well eventually, hard to tell, but learning to fly is an itch I've had all my life so I'd rather get my PPL and then find myself not using it rather than forever regret never getting it in the first place, especially as I'm 41 now. A near miss with a 737 sounds very scary though - how did that happen, was the 737 on approach? What were the other near misses that you had? - I'm very keen to hear about the warts and all experiences of flying before I embark on it all... There's no doubting a home cockpit is safer, though judging by the prices I've seen of flight-sim kit recently, it's not necessarily cheaper...

  5. #5
    300+ Forum Addict notgotaclue's Avatar
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    Re: Hello and thanks for a brilliant site!

    Hi,
    The incident with the 737 happened at Cardiff. From what I remember, I was outisde controlled airspace at my usual doddering 2,500 feet and about 10 minutes before asking for clearance to join the circuit , ATC informed me of the 737 approaching and asked me to report visual. Now I could not see it, they warned me again and once more I could not see it. I was flying into the sun and they warned me a third time and I still could not see it so they "asked" me to orbit in my present position, which I did and the 737 passed off to my right. Not really a major incident but the words San Diego sprang to mind.
    The other incidents that spring to mind are -
    Low oil pressure - returned to Cardiff.
    Fuel leak during takeoff, a quick circuit back into land.
    Windshear on landing, I must have dropped 50 feet when I was at 60 feet and lost about 20 knots airspeed, that one scared the sh1te out of me and I slammed it into the runway - in fact I had full throttle to go around but I was too low and the go around turned into a landing.
    One of my passengers was sick all over the controls and instrument panel. Stunk to high heaven.
    And one, which was totally my fault. I took someone out for a jaunt who was ermmm FAT. Now I was at the cocky stage at 100+ hours and did not do a weight and balance as I THOUGHT I knew the plane. Anyhooo trundled down the runway, kept on trundling, trundled a bit more and lifted off - barely made it over the ILS markers at the end of the runway. Now Cardiff has a huge runway and I was in a Piper Tomahawk so I should have used a third of the runway. I did not abort the take-off because when you have a mate in the plane you do not want to admit that you farked up, so I pretended nothing was wrong and off we went on our jaunt, slowly climbing and using fuel to get the weight down for landing - which was a perfect landing
    I was also doing a crosswind landing and the wind was so strong that the wing almost caught the runway and when I applied rudder I nearly ripped the wheels off.
    I rode my luck too much and then 2 people from my flying club were killed when they flew into a mountain, I decided my luck cup was catching up with my experience cup so I quit, and they put the prices up.
    I took up golf instead..............

  6. #6
    Our new friend needs to reach 10 posts to get to the next flight level
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    Re: Hello and thanks for a brilliant site!

    Hello everyone, quick first post to introduce myself and say that after finally deciding to crack on with a home cockpit this site is amazing - so ...

  7. #7
    Our new friend needs to reach 10 posts to get to the next flight level
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    Re: Hello and thanks for a brilliant site!

    Thanks very much for that Allan - a very candid and honest account of PPL flying, really helps in weighing it all up. It sounds like you're an excellent pilot - more than able to handle quickly changing circumstances and someone who doesn't knowingly take unnecessary risks. I'm guessing the passenger who threw up everywhere didn't go flying again!

    Your post got me thinking and I spent a while looking at the various Air Accidents Investigations Branch reports. What struck me was the number of hard landings in GA aircraft (Cessnas/Pipers) which resulted in nose wheels collapsing - about half were from student pilots and the other half from more experienced pilots encountering rogue wind conditions or wind shear.

    However AC damage aside, none of these resulted in any injuries as far as I could see - in fact the paucity of significant injuries or fatalities in all accidents was reassuring. Even in forced landings in fields where the AC ended up inverted or impacting on trees or fences, the occupants walked away, more often than not unhurt. Mid-air collisions and and R22 helo accidents seem to account for the lion's share of the few fatalities.

    I found a report on the AAIB a Cirrus pilot who found himself in a 190knt dive a few thousand feet up after becoming distracted and he pulled the AC's ballistic parachute - the whole lot floated down and he was unhurt. I wonder if these ballistic parachutes will become more commonplace in new and retrofit installations? I'm sure there are situations where they could save lives (eg mid-air collisions where a flying surface is sliced off) but also situations where an AC could better make a forced or precautionary landing.

  8. #8
    300+ Forum Addict notgotaclue's Avatar
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    Re: Hello and thanks for a brilliant site!

    Noddycat.
    I have re-read what I wrote and I feel I come across very negative.
    Having a PPL is also a wonderful achievement and I was like you - knew I would regret it if I didn't at least give it a go. I am glad I got my PPL as it would have been a niggling itch which would not have been scratched.
    The feel of the first solo and grinning from ear to ear. I actually chuckled to myself like a schoolgirl when I did my first solo circuit and got a "congratulations" from ATC. I could actually fly a plane............
    The joy of taking a friend up for a hour and letting them take the controls. Once it is trimmed it basically flies itself, but they dont know that.
    My qualification cross- country to Wolverhampton and Gloucester and getting a "Good" report from both airports. The flight back to Cardiff after passing both sections of the flight was better than sex.
    The joy of flying over the Breacon Beacons in the summer and buzzing the severn bridge - fandabidozie.
    Watching the Red Arrows, who were practising over Cardiff whilst I was doing my pre-flight checks.
    Orbiting in the circuit waiting for a 747 to land. Absolutely beautiful at 800 feet watching a jumbo come in to land - so graceful.
    Being warned that there is unknown traffic at my 10 o'clock and actually answering "visual with the unknown" - the ATC was laughing through his next instruction and I actually blushed.
    SO- My advice is GO FOR IT. Even if you pack it in after 120 hours like I did - You still have memories to last a lifetime.
    P.S. I am not actually Chinese - I was putting on my best photo face and failed..
    Attached Images Attached Images

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  10. #9
    Our new friend needs to reach 10 posts to get to the next flight level
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    Re: Hello and thanks for a brilliant site!

    Thanks Allan, brilliant pics! Looks fantastic up there - beautiful shot of the bridge - and obviously great fun - makes me want to go for the PPL all the more. I know what you mean about the memories and the need to just do it, and that's got to be worth it in anyone's money. Just to know you've achieved one of life's big goals.

    It sounds like you had some fantastic times flying, with maybe just a very small number of scares/incidents, and that you're really a very good pilot indeed, so maybe at some point you'll go back to it - I don't know the ins and outs but even if you've not flown regularly or for a while you can still get back your SEP rating / revalidate your licence after a test flight/refresher lessons.

    I can see that cost and life get in the way of regular flying all too easily - with kids / work I can certainly envisage that happening to me at times even once I get my PPL - but it must be nice knowing you can always go back to it if desired and pick up where you left off. And it must be a great conversation piece in the pub - PPL holders being a fairly exclusive and admired club! Really appreciate your comments re going for it - convinces more more than ever to finally pull my finger out and begin the PPL, cheers, Paul

  11. #10
    300+ Forum Addict notgotaclue's Avatar
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    Re: Hello and thanks for a brilliant site!

    Paul,
    Another thing to take into consideration.
    At the flying club I was a member to stay current you had to fly every 28 days.
    Now that sounds easy peasy lemon squeezy. BUT during winter you can guarantee that when I booked the plane the clouds are around your ankles and it is tipping down so I had to cancel. I was only able to book once a week due to work so pretty soon I was not flying for the required 28 days. This meant I had to spend an hour with an instructor to regain my currency. It is not nice spending your "flying fund" to have someone tell me I can still fly and havent forgot everything after a month.
    This happened many times and some days I found myself popping down the airport ( when I say pop - it was a 90 minute round trip ) flying a few circuits just to stay current.
    NOOOO I am back on the negative.........
    P.S. Dont get too excited about the PPL license. Totally unimpressive. It looks like something a 10 year old could knock up in 5 minutes in Paint.

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