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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

MENTOR - Maximize the value of your training time

MENTOR
When you are learning to fly, time and money are both precious commodities. Here are some strategies to help you get the most of both

The fastest I ever saw anyone complete was 0 through instrument in three months, but that guy bought a motor home and lived at the airport. Seriously. Average time for someone who can fly twice a week and is serious about it is 6 months to a year for the Private, depending on life stuff and weather.

What works best is 2-3 flights per week with at least 1.0 - 1.5 hours in the air. To maximize that time so that minimal time is lost in the next lesson coming back up to speed from taking a day off, do this: Say you are flying Tuesdays and Fridays. Monday night, review ahead for what you will do the next day. Practice it on Microsoft Flight Simulator, if you can. The next day, do the lesson, then review it for at least 10 minutes afterwards with the flight instructor, then (very important part) be sure to ask them what part of the lesson you just did will carry into Friday and what new work will occur on Friday. Then repeat the cycle again Thursday night. And Repeat again.

In between times, fly the lesson over again on flightsim, asking yourself, what went well? What could I do better? This type of preparation will maximize the value of the time you pay for training and lessen the repeat lesson factor.

About the written: get it over with as soon as possible. Either very early in your training or before you train. It will help you immensely. You'll be better prepared and you won't lose time during flight training worrying about the written or practicing for it instead of flight maneuvers. The cheapest way to pass the written is buy all your own materials and hunker down and study as you would for any other college class. Takes a couple of months that way. The fastest practical way is to study with an interactive DVD like ASA, or the GLIEM series of training materials online, or take a week long course, just get it done, and with the highest score you can nail. If you score 100 or 90, you won't have an oral exam very long before the flight at all. If you score a 70 or so, expect a very long oral exam with the examiner prior to taking your flight test, and be prepared to explain how you now know the right answer for every one you got wrong.

(Disclaimer - I am biased towards the ASA Interactive DVD as I participated heavily in it's development, though I receive no money if you elect to use the ASA product).

Onward & Upward! - rfb

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