Yes...another running thread, this one from PIE


The Undertaker
Well, here I sit after my first week at ATP-PIE with 10.9 hours logged along with 37 landings. I started with zero hours and I will give everyone who reads this, a play by play of my time here, both good and bad.

This week was a great week overall. I have noticed that studying a bunch before coming here has helped me a ton!!! I am taking my private written Thursday if all goes well thanks to the advice from some of you here on JC.

Study study study! That's all I do. I am in the ATP housing with a student that is a couple months ahead of me and an instructor. My typical day so far goes like this. I get up at 6 and start studying, I do not quit studying with the exception of eating and flying and that's the God's honest truth. I am quite weird as I enjoy studying and learning whereas many people don't. I usually go to bed between 11 and midnight but a few nights I was up til 2, thankfully I am a night owl that doesn't require a lot of sleep. I get buried in my studies and have to force myself to sleep. :)

The program itself is very fast paced but with putting studying time in, I am finding myself doing a lot of study sessions with those further along in the program and that's a major bonus. All of the students plan study sessions at the school during the day and some get together in the evenings as well.

We fly around 1.5 and 2 hours a day and fortunately the maneuvers came quickly to me as did the preflight, ATC communication, run-up and take offs. I did however struggle a bit with landings as I flared a bit early nearly every damn time. Today things clicked and I got my sight picture dialed in and had 8 smooth touchdowns with the stall horn blaring. :) I have two more days of practicing all of the maneuvers, landings and go-arounds and after that I move to Dual XC flights.

The instructors here have been very helpful as we have done quite a bit of ground work covering many facets of flying both VFR and IFR. I find that if you ask questions the instructors are more than happy to help explain things. That's how a quick question turns into a 2 hour discussion covering a wide array of topics.

So, so far so good! The worst part of all of this for me is being away from the wife and kiddos but they are my main motivational factor and I am determined to keep my nose to the grindstone with their support.

If anyone has any questions as I go through the 150 day ACPP, please ask away.

Take care,

3 words....Nav Logs Suck!!! Well not entirely, I have done 3 now and they are getting easier as I go....thankfully!! I was hoping to take my private written tomorrow but I don't feel quite ready for it. Over the rest of this week and weekend I'll really concentrate on my least scoring areas and I should be ready to take it Monday. Today was crazy windy with winds varying between 18 gusting to 29 down to 16 gusting to 25 so I didn't feel quite ready for that so I made a great judgement call and decided to do ground instead. So far I sit at 13.2 hours and somewhere near 50 landings. I also got to fly a 172P instead of a 172R/S yesterday which was pretty cool. Anyhow back to studying!!

Can you say G1000?? I can! We got some G1000 equipped 172's and I guess because I am early on in my training I get to fly those for the remainder of my training. Thankfully I am comfortable with both just in case.

Anyhow, here is my latest update. I am fairly deep into instrument now...just started IFR cross countries which will continue til after Christmas. I have 5 days off for Christmas, then back at it but I will stick to my study regime. My first solo is scheduled for around Jan 9th and then it's a few solo flights cross country until it's time for checkride prep. My private/instrument combined checkride is looking to be the 3rd week of Jan and after that I move into the Seminole for some ME time. I cannot believe that I have been here over a month already!! Time is moving at warp speed!

I have zero complaints thus far as everything has been going great. Studying has been the majority of my life but flights and sims make it well worth it. I have found that the written exams aren't terribly difficult as long as you study which I have seen a few people fail them.

As of now, I have almost 60 hours with 3hrs at night, .6 actual instrument and 2.7 simulated under the hood. I also have something like 20 simulated instrument in the sim. Lastly I am right at 100 landings with a mix of different approaches.

So there ya have it.
Well, ya kill 2 birds with one stone. It makes for a very stressful day but if you study hard, it shouldn't be a major deal and the reward for all of your hard earned work is your PPL and IR. Those are well worth the time IMHO. I will have somewhere around 100 hours and a ton of approaches and landings come checkride day, so flying should be the easier part of the day...hopefully. The oral is what seems to trip people up. 4 hours of getting bombarded with questions can be a lil intimidating.
So, you are getting your PPL and Instrument at the same time? Can you log any PIC time, other than when you are on solos?
Sounds like you're coming along. Do you have a date yet for your checkride? I did the PPL/IR combo checkride too. Just study study study. The oral will be the long part. My oral was about 3 hours, with about an 1.5 hr flight. I'm jealous y'all get the new planes down in FL. I flew an older Seminole down to PIE during my cross countries and we were told to park it on the south side of the ramp near the grass haha. No one there would fly it. Was still there a few days later when we came back dropping off a newer one.
Yes, PPL/IR, Boyington. No PIC yet, only SPIC but once I start my Solos then it is PIC time, which should be the 9th of January or so. I am doing 21 hours of SPIC IFR flights currently...well with exception of the Christmas break and then I still have the 250NM IFR XC to do too.

CU, the approximate date for my CR is the 27th of January or so. It isn't scheduled yet but according to the extranet, it should be around then. We don't have any newer Seminoles with glass yet but I am hoping that we get one. We have a 1979 and a 2004 model currently. I hope my oral is only 3 hours!!!! We had one guy last week have a 4 hour Oral and 3 hour Flight. He passed by the skin of his teeth though.
Sorry guys, I haven't had a ton of time to keep up with this lately. So far so good though!!! I did my first solo last Monday and my first cross country solo was the next day with my second this past Saturday with some not so nice days in between. Since then we have had crappy weather down here that has grounded me from soloing and it doesn't look like things will clear up enough until Friday. So here I sit, studying and waiting.

My private/instrument checkride is set for next Friday, the 7th of February. Ugh!!!! Things just got real, really fast!! I don't feel prepared for the checkride yet, but given a week, I will be good to go.

Sorry for the short update, I will post more details tomorrow. :)

Hope all is well with everyone!!!
Latest update...

THE WEATHER FINALLY BROKE!!! After not being able to fly my last XC solo for almost a week, my checkride got pushed out 11 days which was good and bad but it's all good. Thanks Mother Nature!! I finally flew my last XC and then the stationary front decided to move back over us for nearly another week. So as I sat waiting to do my checkride prep flights, I just kept studying and studying. When the weather moved out, the skies cleared and it was go time. I did all of my CR prep flights, my eval flight and was signed off for my checkride. Sooooooooooooo.....

Tuesday the 18th, I finally had my private/instrument combined checkrides. After 7 grueling hours I am officially a private pilot with an instrument rating!!! I also broke the 100 hour milestone last week! The oral was pretty intense and my flight was just as intense but I did it!

Currently I am working on the multi-engine add-on and I am looking at another checkride in about a week and a half. I have had 2 ME sims and it's looking like I may actually fly the Seminole for the first time Friday or Saturday. After my ME checkride, it's time for crew procedures for about a week, then off on my crew cross countries.

I am having a blast, but I will admit...that private/instrument combined CR is not for the weak. It was more intense than all of my board exams combined! Take care guys and gals, I will update as I get more time.
Congrats on the Private/Instrument! You're right that check ride was no joke. So much information to go over in one sitting. Enjoy the Seminole when you get to go up. Especially since y'all get to fly the new ones and not the old 78/79 models.

Next check ride won't be as grueling. Just study up on the multi engine aerodynamics and you'll be set.

Congrats again!
Thank you! Unfortunately we have a mix of old and newer Seminoles. We also do not have a single glass Seminole here, so back to steam I go. :)
Congrats on the Private/Instrument Pass.... I went in with my private so I did't have to experience that... I watched others go through it through. Its no joke... Just wait until you get to CFI school and do you CFI initial... especially if its with Ernie Strange.... By now you've probably finished your Private multi add-on and are on x/c's... Enjoy them. They are fun! Once they're done, everything starts moving incredibly fast. You'll be through your CSEL and CMEL in a week or two and then off to CFI school. So enjoy those x/c's while they last! Good luck man.

Mike, thank you! And indeed, I am actually awaiting my flight from TPA to CRG to begin my cross countries. I was supposed to start my cross countries, in the Seminole on Monday, but they offered me something a little different. I will be flying the new Archers across the country, to their new respective locations. In trade I will get 20 hours in the Meridian. I will more than make up for the loss of multi-time as an instructor so I not worried about losing a lil multi time for some invaluable experience and a couple new endorsements. :)

Regarding CFI school....ugh....I have heard the rumors/truths! After XC, I may do both my CMEL and CSEL checkrides together and possibly from the right seat. I am not 100% on that, but I am thinking about it.
Are you going to instruct for ATP? If so then you will get plenty of multi.... If not, be careful about turning down multi. It can be hard to come by outside of organizations like ATP or the company I now work for, Aviation Adventures. 20 Hours in the Meridian will be fun though. Good luck.

Well, I made it through my CFI Initial with Tillery. He is an interesting guy to say the least, but overall it was a great experience. CFI School was ZERO fun with the exception of spin training. It was a lot of studying and cramming my brain full of stuff for 2 weeks. My checkride went great through the 7 1/2 hour oral but fell apart in the flight. I became overheated so terribly bad that I started messing up on simple things. I decided to head back to CRG and received my first Letter of Disapproval. Sucks, but it is what it is. I returned to CRG on Saturday and had my retraining flight and nailed everything, so yesterday was the big day again. Thankfully I made it through the oral and some of the flight! The flight went great and I walked out with a handshake and congrats from Mr. Tillery along with my newly minted MEI. Now on to my CFII and CFI rides. Almost there!!!