The Turkey goes to school!


Fetus Worshiper
OK, I am here in lovely Fort Pierce FL. I got my apartment (1 bedroom for $475 month) phone is on, electricity is on, my furniture is here, and cable will be hooked up on Friday. By the way, if you move here and you have a Sprint PCS cell phone, dont bother bringing it. Sprint cell reception is horrible in Fort Pierce.

Day one : orientation. 10 of us started today in the PPL class. You sit in one of the ground school class rooms with your name on a little sign at your seat, where your contract and school policy book are waiting for you. The contract is read, out loud to everyone in the room, paragraph, by paragraph, and any questions answered at that time. You go off individually and sign the contract, and review your payment schedule, and/or loan dispersment schedule. You get copies of everything. YOU HAVE 3 DAYS TO BACK OUT OF THE DEAL, no questions asked, all monies returned. Thats it for today, come back tomorrow for ID badge and books/uniforms.
the Turk.
Day Two: Well, the second day and all is going smooth. I got my picture ID badge, then on to the books and supplies. I bought a lot of stuff on-line for less than what they want here at the book store. Everything at the book store is priced at retail. So if you can, buy the headset, uniforms, and supplies on-line, ahead of time. The only thing I had to buy here were the books. I recieved all the books I will need from PPL through MEI.
Thats it for today. Tomorrow we have to be on campus 8 AM in uniform for breakfast. (we get lunch also) We meet our instructors, and have final orientation.

The Turk.
Wow, things are moving fast here. Day 3: We met all the people in charge, reviewed what was expected of us, you know, study hard, be prepared, and dont fall behind. Then lunch time rolled around, they brought in some pizza, and thats when we met our instructors. We had lunch with them and got to know each other a little. Then we broke off with our instructor and went out to the flight ops building. Looked at the briefing rooms and wx station. Then went out to the planes. I did a pre flight, and we sat in the cocpit for a while. That was Friday.

Saturday Day 4, I flew for just over an hour. Basic stuff, straight and level, some climbs, decents, and turns.

Sunday Day 5, Another flight, this time I did slow flight straight and level, slow flight climbs, decents, and turns. I also did steep turns. Just over an hour of flight time.

So, that was what my first few days at Pan Am was like. As more notable events take place, I will post them. So far, so good!

The Turk.
Oh, I forgot to mention ground school. We have ground school 5 days a week, from 17:30 to 20:30. It runs concurrently with flight training, but doesn't always match up to what I am learning in the air. Its a little tough this way, I have to study all the ground material, and then my instructor gives me material to read up on for the next lesson. Not to mention memorizing the emergency check list, and in flight check list's, like, after take off check, pre-maneuver check, post maneuver check, cruise, decent, and before landing check.
Tomorrow before ground school I am going to "dry fly" the plane. Just sit in the cockpit, and create "flows" for the check list's to help remember the list and where everything is. Exciting stuff, I know.

The Turk.
The dry flying helps a lot. Another helpful hint is to keep the cockpit steril, meaning stay on task. Try to avoid too much talking. Talking can sometimes distract you just enough that you forget to do a flow and bust a stagecheck.
you're so right on the sterile cockpit'll make a huge difference. keep focused.


knock out the memorization of checklists and flows first. know your emergency procs really well. for the most part the PPL is all about you knowing what to do if something goes wrong. the flying is the easy part, but performing under pressure(i might die pressure) is much more difficult. stay calm, use the check list and know the flow. even more, memorize the maneuvers so you don't have to waste time going over that stuff. screwing up flights will cost big money.

I'm starting school in a month, what I'm doing to help prepare myself is by studying FAA PPL tests. Now when you say you should memorize the checklist aren't you supposed to never refer the your long term/short term memory for the checklist, I get understand getting to the checklist but is it necessary to memorize the hole thing? What do you mean by flows first? Do you know a site that has the emergency procedures so I can study them, I trying to suck in as much Info as possible and be well prepared for school.

Turk-Any advise on what I should study before I start school?


I get understand getting to the checklist but is it necessary to memorize the hole thing?

I mean I can understand getting the know the checklist , procedures but is it necessary to memorize the hole thing?
i might have said that a little goofy. don't kill yerself trying to memorize the checklist. in time you'll just naturally get it stuck in your head, and yes you should not rely on just your memorization of the checklist. always pull it out, always look at it and use it as it is intended, its a tool to make sure you don't miss anything. if you don't pull it out and take a look, you'll fail stage checks and also the FAA ride. sorry if i got you worried about trying to memorize the checklist.

as for studying to get ahead before you get here...its cool and all but maybe try and enjoy your time at home with your family and friends. not discouraging studying ahead or anything, but you'll have plenty of time while you're here to study.
Your right with spending time with family and friends, but sometimes I have a lot of time on my hands and I rather study then watch tv all day, and plus I enjoy studing topics that I find intresting
I'd recomend on reading up on your BAK, (Basic Areonautical Knowledge) Stuff like primary and secondary reactions to control movements, how a wing generates lift, how a combustion engine works, how the systems of an aircraft work. This is generic stuff that applies to all aircraft, you can worry about the more specific stuff when you get to school because that varies from school to school and from aircraft to aircraft.
I didn't really study too much before I got here. What I did do, was to read "Stick and Rudder" by Wolfgang Langewiesche. It is a must read for any new flight student, and anyone who wants to know how planes fly. I also bought Sporty's DVD PPL course. Its good, and it helped to familiarize myself with the info. But the Pan Am ground school is much more in depth than Sporty's. And asside from reading Flying magazine cover to cover for the the past 7 years, thats all I did to prepare myself.

The Turk.
I am getting the flows down pretty good. When I got on my car today after my flight, I reached for the fuel prime and starter buttons on the overhead panel!

We did stalls today, nowhere near as bad as I had imagined, piece of cake actually. Did my first landing, not too bad, but I had trouble keeping the nose of the Archer pointed at the runway for so long. I kept wanting to pull it up too soon. Overall a great flight.

The Turk.
wait til you try and use your blinker when you're taxiing in the airplane...that was one of my classic moves. yeah, first time you do a stall you think its like some big thing but its really not so bad, and don't worry about the landing cause you'll eventually get used to it. keep it up, have fun, watch your account and keep tabs on your brief times given and what is owed.
Backseat is a great way to learn too. I try ride backseat every chance I get.

Also - flyallday,
Turk is right about the bookstore, you can get things cheaper if you shop around. I bought my uniforms at and saved a little bit. (even after shipping.)
Update Well, after 1 week I went from barely knowing the airplane, to making unassisted landings. I did touch and go's yesterday and today, and my landings are improving, although I still need some work. I thought ground school would be tough, but I seem to have a handle on things. I scored a 97% on the first "stage test". (Pan Am gives 3 stage test's, and 4 quizes, to test your progress through ground school.) So things are looking good.

The Turk.
My instructor has Monday and Tuesday off. I have ground school M-F 17:30- 20:30. So I fly Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, once a day. Saturday, and Sunday twice a day. I am on the campus 7 days a week. I have 2 weeks of ground left, and after that I will also get all day Monday and Tuesday off.

The Turk.
Getting close to solo. I have 2 more flights on Saturday, then a stage check on Sunday. If I do well on the stage check, my next flight will be on Wednesday for my first solo!

All I have to do is get those landings a little smoother. We'll see how it goes....

The Turk.