36 votes

How important is it to have talent to become airline pilot?

You are asking the wrong question. Ask yourself this: Do I really want to become a pilot? If the answer is yes, then you can become a pilot. You only require hard work, and a lot of money (but we ...
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  • 29.1k
35 votes
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I accidentally deviated from an ATC instruction as a student pilot. How bad was it?

Well, you screwed up, but nobody got hurt, no metal was bent, and since the tower didn't yell at you presumably you didn't obviously endanger anyone's safety (though there's always some level of risk ...
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  • 67.2k
34 votes
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What rules allow a student pilot to add oil to an airplane?

The FAA doesn't consider adding oil to be maintenance. The Hochberg (2016) interpretation says: The subject of adding oil is often debated; however, we note that it is not an item included in part 43,...
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  • 70.2k
32 votes
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How were pilots selected and trained before the introduction of simulators?

Almost every pilot learns to fly in an actual aircraft, this is one of the reasons all trainers have dual controls. My first day out, ever, was in an actual plane, behind real controls, in the sky. ...
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  • 96k
32 votes
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What are the pros and cons of buying a kit aircraft vs. a factory-built one?

The objective is very important. You don't build an airplane because you want one faster or cheaper. Neither is the case. The kit won't be cheaper, and it'll take 1 to 2 thousand manhours, minimum, ...
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  • 105k
31 votes
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Do airline transport pilot trainees ever fly a passenger-less aircraft?

When pilots are trained for flying in an aircraft type they have not flown in before, they go through type rating, then line training. During the type rating, they learn where all the instruments and ...
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  • 57.8k
29 votes
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Can a 16 year old student pilot "pre-take" the checkride?

14 CFR Part 61.39 (a)(5) states that you can not take a checkride in the US until you are of age to hold the desired certificate. (5) Meet the prescribed age requirement of this part for the issuance ...
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  • 16.2k
27 votes
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Is it OK to decorate a log book cover?

I don't belive there is any regulation against it. Keep in mind you may need to show the book to officials at some point so keeping it professional is not a terrible idea (1) Persons must present ...
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  • 96k
24 votes
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Why do we still interpolate in performance tables?

I was in the technical publishing business (flight and maintenance manuals) in another life. Tables are used as an alternative to graphical plot presentations in flight manuals, and make it a little ...
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  • 105k
24 votes
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Why not extend the downwind when first learning to land?

... final has a lot for me to handle all at once You don't need to extend your downwind, you need to prepare to land earlier in the pattern. To be honest, flying a longer downwind is not a great idea....
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22 votes

What rules allow a student pilot to add oil to an airplane?

The FAA allows pilots to do maintenance themselves. It’s outlined in the following doc from the FAA as well as the full regulation here. I would say engine oil falls under: Lubrication not requiring ...
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  • 96k
20 votes

Is there a deterministic guide to landing?

Landing an airplane is neither art nor science, it is a skill. Like any skill requiring hand-eye coordination, muscle memory, reflexes, timing and judgement, it requires practice. It doesn’t matter ...
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  • 16.3k
19 votes

I accidentally deviated from an ATC instruction as a student pilot. How bad was it?

(I recognize that this question is now 3 years old, but since GreenAsJade resurrected it...!) If we're speaking about controllers working at a tower at your own airport, it might be worthwhile to ...
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  • 331
19 votes

How can I easily keep track of my landing count during pattern work?

The trick my CFI taught me is to use your Course Deviation Indicator or ADF to keep track of landings. After your first landing, bug a course of 010. After your second landing, bug 020. You can reach ...
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  • 521
18 votes

I accidentally deviated from an ATC instruction as a student pilot. How bad was it?

It's not really bad at all. How do we know? Because the ATC didn't intervene or question you. What emerges for me out of this report is that you need a new CFI. Getting angry at a student's ...
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18 votes
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What to look for in a flight instructor?

This is an excellent question and at the same time, very broad. Every student and pilot can give you a ton of advice about what qualities the best CFI must have. I will list a few qualities to look ...
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  • 29.1k
18 votes

Why not extend the downwind when first learning to land?

In my opinion, you should certainly ask your CFI to ensure that artficially extending the downwind is something he/she would like you to do. That being said, the correct profile for traffic patterns (...
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  • 18.2k
16 votes

How important is it to have talent to become airline pilot?

A bit of talent surely helps, but most important is the ability to learn and show progress. A friend of mine had to do six simulator tests before he was admitted to the flight academy of his choice. ...
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  • 74.8k
16 votes
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Are the first solo flights by a student pilot more dangerous?

There is no evidence to back the claim that the first solo ride of the student is more dangerous compared to the later ones. US NIH conducted a study on the accidents with solo pilots, which doesn't ...
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  • 98.6k
16 votes
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How can I easily keep track of my landing count during pattern work?

The other answers have provided some easy ways to increment your count without too much distraction, but if you are really "prone to forget [...] when things get busy" as you say, this might ...
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  • 45k
15 votes
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Should I log flying lessons from the start?

Yes, you should be logging from the start. Now for the first few lessons, it'd be ok to not have your own logbook yet, but you should get one. Hopefully your instructor has kept his up to date, and ...
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  • 6,259
15 votes
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How to Recover from a Spin in Cessna 172?

The memory aid is PARE: POWER to idle AILERONS neutral RUDDER on the floor opposite the direction of spin ELEVATOR nose-down to break the stall You will want to read the full explanation in the ...
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  • 5,576
15 votes

What are the pros and cons of buying a kit aircraft vs. a factory-built one?

The big disadvantages of a kit: it will take you years to have an airplane ready to fly, and you'll be flying an airplane built by a novice builder. The main advantage of a kit: you (often) don't need ...
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  • 14.4k
14 votes

Should I report my cured mild PTSD in the FAA medical certification application?

Unfortunately, you have to report it. It even says so right on the medical application (emphasis added by me): 18) Medical History - HAVE YOU EVER IN YOUR LIFE BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH, HAD, OR DO YOU ...
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  • 57.6k
14 votes

What do I request when contacting tower of an airspace I'm transiting over?

This will vary for every airspace so lets go over them in descending order. Class B (Bravo): First off, keep in mind for your future solos that as a student pilot you are not allowed to fly solo in ...
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  • 96k
14 votes

Do airline transport pilot trainees ever fly a passenger-less aircraft?

The answer depends on which country you are in. Under FAA regulations (and those countries that generally follow FAA rules), there is no requirement for you to actually fly the actual aircraft before ...
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  • 5,692
14 votes
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If I buy my own aircraft in which to earn my PPL, does my instructor need to be certified to fly the type of aircraft I own/am training in?

You are sort of correct. For the ground instruction for your basic Private Pilot Certificate, it would not really matter. For the actual flight instruction, the CFI has to be certificated for the ...
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  • 16.2k
13 votes
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What can I do to prepare for private pilot training? (India)

It's hard to give you specific advice for India because I'm not familiar with the regulations and standards there (your best bet would be to give the DGCA a call and ask if they have any publications ...
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  • 67.2k
13 votes

How can I easily keep track of my landing count during pattern work?

Get a Tally Counter, and push the button once per landing. No batteries, nothing to fail, easy to use. Not much more you could ask for. https://tallycounterstore.com/finger-tally-counter-quantity-...
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  • 2,358

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