Sent in my application, now some questions...


New Member
Well after returning from my tour last week I'm going with FSI. I've sent in my application and should start the private audit in September. That's the plan anyway.

I have a few questions maybe someone could help me with:

1. I haven't flown much in the last two years. I went up once about a week ago to see where I was. I'm a little rusty on landings but overall I still remember what I'm doing. Should I spend a few hours getting back up to speed before starting? I know in the quote they gave me it's suppose to include 5 hours of dual for orientation and gauging my level of competency. I'm just not sure if It's needed to brush up before starting.

2. Get a GPS or not? I know a lot of people would say not to get one. But I've already down the cross country flights the old fashioned way. I just think it might be a good safety feature to carry along until moving into the fancy new Seminoles with the color moving map GPSs.

3. How about a portable transceiver? Do any students carry them?
I practiced a bit last week before I go with my instructor on Monday. I was rusty as well and the three hours of practice was a big help. I haveheard of people being rusty and having to spend 8-10 hours of dual before getting the PPL competency sign-off by their instructor.

I would advise against the GPS. If you pay attention and follow pilotage/deadreckoning guidelines, you will not get lost. FL is an easy state to navigate. I have 80 PIC hours in Florida and never once felt lost. Also, FSI frowns upon GPS for VFR flight. It is too easy to rely on it as a primary means of navigation.

Some have portable transceivers. I do not. FSI says if you lose a COMM radio, land at an uncontrolled field and they will send maintenance to come fix the problem or authorize you to get it fixed at whatever airport you are at. I have never had a COMM failure and don't anticipate one b/c FSI's maintenance is the best if the state and maybe the best in the country.
Up to you on the refresher flights. I would tend to say go out and shake the rust off if only to speed up the process once you start flying here. Like you said there are the intro flights to get you going (its supposed to be 3 flights called step 1a). If you are already a little refreshed when you start, those flights might be used more effectively.

GPS is not supposed to be used for your VFR single engine time.

I made it a practice to fly all of my cross country flights into and through as much class B & C airspace as possible. For that reason I used a hand held transceiver to back up the VFR Cherokee's single com. I have never needed it, but I like having the backup. If you have one with a VOR receiver its handy for XC since the VFR AC only have a single VOR.

So having a portable GPS is a major no-no. But is having a transceiver for a back up, is this a norm.?

And if you are doing these cross country trips, and by that I take it, it's only the state of florida.?

Best Regards,
I started out wanting a handheld GPS, but now I'm glad I didn't get one. I KNOW that I can navigate without it....if I had it out and running during my solo XC's, I'd be peeking or solving any little bit of confusion. It's better to figure it out on your own. It'll help develop the proper mental skills....

I started private audit without logging a single civilian hour in the past 7 years....It came back very fact, it was nice to start fresh here, because I started out my relearning process the "flightsafety" way....which is a good way to learn. I didn't have to repeat any lessons (only 5, I think) in Step 1A (private audit).

As I understand it GPS is a definate no-no for your Step 2 XC flying. As Chunk stated you are better off without it so you really develop your VFR navigation skills. If you like having one as a backup I would keep it buried in the flight bag.

I have no idea how many people end up getting hand held transceivers. I was planning on getting one anyway so I was happy to have in my flight bag as a back up. It pretty unlikely that you would ever need one flying FSI aicraft. I only used mine for its VOR functions & piece of mind.

XC can be out of Florida. Its a long trip in the Cherokee, but people double up XC's flights and head up to Georgia.
If you have your private ticket and know how to use the old school way of navigaton you can do whatever you want. I know a lot of students who used the garmin 195 or the smaller garmin III for there X-countrys. I used to just fly the vor's and then borrowed my friends 195 for a few of the x-countrys. Its fun!! FSI and your instructor probably would frown at the idea but what they don't know won't hurt them. I just got done with my multi/comm/inst at fsi. When you first start the rules seem strict and almost overboard compare to where i got my private(part61). FSI wants you to file a VFR flight plan, which I did like once and almost forgot to close it. Solo X-countrys are also to be gone SOLO...I know many who went along as company...FSI is a big school and the main brass will have know idea who you are...Its just you and your instructor....( I you need to cancel a flight just say your questions asked)...Just have fun.

Anymore questions just ask..