Started Flying At MTSU


Well-Known Member
Well, I have started my flight training for my PP at the MTSU Flight school. I was thinking of keeping a student pilot journal on a website like a lot of people do, but I thought I would make it a bit more interactive (and easier for me, since I have very little time right now) if I just post my experience on here.

For a little background info, I am a 27 year old sophomore enrolled in the Maintenance Management program here at MTSU. I also work for the school, in our simulation lab. I maintain the ATC sims and various other goodies around the Aerospace Department. For the next three weeks, I am also an intern for the yearly MTSU Teachers Education Workshop, where K-12 teachers come get a basic aviation education that they take back to their classrooms and teach. I will probably make a new post every week, so as to give some time for discussion, if anyone is interested.

I am at the end of the first week of flight training, and since I just now decided to start posting this, I haven't been keeping very good notes on what has been going on, but I will do better next week. :) Also, I am gonna post these updates on fridays, starting with the next one.

FIRST WEEK, THE SCHOOL: After waiting a year for a flight slot (Pro-Pilot majors get priority, just as it should be) I was late for my first flight lesson. I can't say anything else other than it slipped my mind. I am REAL busy this summer! I met with my CFI and got some paperwork done. MTSU is a 141 school, and boy is there a lot of paperwork! I already had my medical, and he showed me a very long and detailed syllabus for my flight training, and we went over some MTSU specific rules. Most of their minimums are more strict than the FAAs; for example, for Day VFR flight here, we have to have 45 minutes reserve fuel instead of just 30, and so on. everything is very well structured and laid out, there is no doubt about what you are expected to know.

THE AIRPLANES: We have a fleet of mostly older aircraft, mainly the standard Cessnas you see everywhere. 152s, 172s, RGs... But we also have a newly restored J3 cub for tailwheel instruction, A couple of Beechcraft Duchesses for multi, a Cessna 404 for toting various school clubs around, and a Dehaviland Beaver for, well, because it's neat, I guess. I started flying in a 152, but starting with my next lesson I am moving up to a 172 because I can't cope with that tiny little airplane. I am 6'2" and 260lbs, and with minimum fuel we were 1 pound under gross. Climb is abysmal, and I have to squirm around just a little bit for full control movement, so this switch is a welcome one.

THE LESSONS: I had four lessons this week. Could have had more, but the weather was kinda crappy. We had some groundschool on aircraft systems (pretty easy for me, being an A&P student) and misc other things such as pattern procedures, speeds, airport layout, etc. We discussed before hand the theory behind what we would be doing in the airplane, and then went out to the plane to give em a try. This week I have done power on and power off stalls, slow flight, steep turns, ground reference manuevers, radio work, and general flying around. We have done a lot whis week, but the method around here seems to that they show you a little bit of everything early on, and then practice and hone your skills later on in your training.

Slow flight: Worked on that today. I am getting better at it, I can maintain a given altitude pretty close and mush around the sky at 50kts. I initially had a lot of trouble with my altitude, but now that I am better at altitude I seem to have lost my ability to hold my heading :) I guess it is just getting "the knack" and learning to watch everything at the sane time. My reactions haven't reached the point of being automatic yet.

Power on stalls: FUN. I love these things! Just something neat about hanging there at 48 kts waiting for the thing to pitch over. Now, if I can just remember to keep my feet moving. Those ailerons aren't much good in a stall.

Power Off stalls: I like these too. Biggest problem is keeping my feet moving...

Steep Turns: I, like so many other students, love to look at the gauges. So much that I forget to look outside. After about 20 minutes, I could finally do them without looking at the panel. It may have had something to do with my CFI holding the checklist over it. Hummm.

Well, thats enough for now... Like I said, I am going to start keeping better notes and posting at the end of the week (starting next friday) from now on. I have to go to Florida tomorrow for my work(!) at school, so I will check in with you guys next week. I would appreciate any questions or comments or whatever you may have for me.
Okay, first mistake made... I don't pitch for 48kts in a power on stall, and I don't even know why I put that.

Must be the residual low air pressure in my head.
SOunds good man, ive prolly bumped into ya out there sometime this week, ive been out there alot working on my CFI. i got 2 lessons left and i cant wait to get it over with. Who is ur instructor??
I have a question for either of you guys. I am starting my flight training next month as I also try to finish college at the same time. I sent off and received info on MTSU, but it really did not give me a good understanding of everything there. Just wanted to know if your happy and if you did it over again would you still go there. One more question and Im out, just wondering about fin. aid and if it pays for the flight training or do you have to pay as you go and if so how much? Thanks
Yes very happy. Dont know much about fin. aid. I didnt get any. With you being an instate resident, tuition is quite cheap for a 4 yr school. Weve had a alot of new students so that may be affecting flight lab and plane availabilty. Not sure.
Jason: My CFI is Beasley, but since he is leaving I am gonna have Ross Knolton (sp). Who knows, may have a couple more before it is over with :) I ride a yellow Honda motorcycle, introduce yourself if you see me out there. You working on your private too?

TDuke: Do you mean that you want to come to MTSU and fly, already having a degree? I don't know how that works... In my case, I sign up for the flight lab just like any other class. I have to put money into a flight account (about $1200 at first), and they deduct from that every time I fly. I don't get any aid, so I don't know how that works either. As far as plane availability, it has been easy for me so far. In July, when I am done with my teachers workshop internship, they are going to start scheduling me for lessons twice a day... No shortage of flying opportunity from what I see so far. Also, rates are pretty good, with CFIs being $20/hr and C152s/$50, C172s/$60. Let me know if you have any more questions...
Joey: Ross is a good guy and very very smart, Has aced like every test he has taken. HE is a good pilot too, i flew with him on one of our IFR Xcountries up to CVG. FUN! we did all of our Instrument together. Im working on my CFI just finished my last lesson today before polishiing things up before the checkride.
ill keep an eye out for ya!
Jason: I have only done one flight and one groundschool with him so far, but he does seem pretty cool. So far, so good.

Tduke: I don't know what to tell ya... I am assuming most of your classes will transfer. If you would like to be put in touch with someone at the department, email, and request info and state any questions you may have. I check that email, so let me know it's you :)... I will forward it to the man, Dr. Paul Craig, and he can tell you everything you would like to know. If you live close and want to come by sometime, let me know... I will set aside some time to show you around. I have access to the sims and classrooms and stuff, I can give you a decent tour.
Thanks for all the info guys its pretty cool to talk with you local fellows i will drop by regularly and let you know if I decide to visit.