it comes down to choosing an instructor for your primary flight
training, you need to take this decision very seriously. This
will be the only person able to get you out of trouble when you're
in the air.
I had some other criteria as well. First, I checked around at
all the local airports and FBO's for rental prices and instructors.
I had a good freind who'd taken his lessons at Peter O' Knight,
and I eventually settled on Peter O' too. They had 3 Piper Tomohawks,
3 Cessna 172N's and one 172SP and one Cessna 150, as well as a
Piper Warrior and a Piper Arrow.
wanted to learn in the 150 and I weigh about 200 pounds, so my
instructor would need to be kind of small. I wanted to be able
to carry full fuel, and the 150 is about as big inside as an MG
Midget, so I started checking out my options. There were two instructors
at Peter O' who fit the bill and had the credentials, so I flew
with each of them. There was one woman and one man, and both were
very good. However, I found out that the male instructor had owned
and restored a 150 with his father. He knew every nut and bolt
on that plane and was an expert pilot in it and could make it
do pretty much whatever he wanted, and more importantly, could
make it STOP doing something whenever he wanted to, and my choice
I always tried to get to the field at least a half hour early
and do my pre-flight at my own pace. Sometimes weather kept us
from flying, so I would just practice my pre-flight.Sounds hokey,
but on my check ride, my FAA Examiner commented that he was really
impressed with my pre-flight procedures.
first Flight Instructor's name was Tim White, and he had a way
of making everything seem easy that made those early hours go
a lot better than they may have otherwise. Flying a plane is harder
than it looks, at least if you're flying it right. He also believed
in flying instead of running up the clock on the ground, and I
really appreciated it.
instructors run up the clock on the student by stopping to talk
about unimportant matters while the plane is running. This is
because they are payed based on the Hobbs metter that only runs
while the master switch is on. Scarriest thing in a rental plane
is a runaway Hobbs meter! Other tricks are requiring you to sit
down in a classroom or office before every single flight. Make
sure that you tell them when you start that you've already taken
Ground School. If you've already taken the Written, so much the
a plan for each lesson. You can download a syllabus from the internet.
Plan on about an hour a week. Also plan on taking about 14 or
15 hours to solo. I was ready at about 12, but weather forced
me to wait until I had nearly 17 hours before I finally got it
out of the way.
After I had soloed and done my first cross country, my first instructor
got a job for a commuter up in Nantuckett, so I had to get a new
one. I asked around at Peter O' and got the name of a CFII with
a personality that coincides with mine. I also stepped up from
the 150 to a 172. The 150 had cost $48.00 an hour and the instructor
time was $30.00 an hour. The 172 rented for $75.00 to $80.00 per
hour. Although the cost went up, the 172 is a safer plane, and
Robert is taller than Tim was. I finished in a 172, and after
I had gotten my ticket, I got checked out in the 172SP, which
costs $114.00 per hour to rent.