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Which flying skills (VFR) to practise without a FI?

Given the weather, I doubt that there would be any VFR trip to the airports on my list. It would be a good opportunity to try out the exercises from PPL syllabus when the favorable weather window opens up. I feel that these exercises get ignored post-PPL.

So, the last week I checked out the plane and attempted slow-flight and turn at slow speed. While both went fine, I didn’t feel comfortable practising turning at slow speed and abandoned after half the turn. I thought this was something better to practise with an instructor present.
Which skills would you say is ‘ok’ without a FI present? Would there be an order in which these skills should be practised?

Günzburg EDMG

Slow flight and timed turns spend as much time on it, it helps with landing and coordination, no need to bring extra kilos with you to do that…

EGSX, United Kingdom

Which skills would you say is ‘ok’ without a FI present?

Everything you have learned, and then some. Exception are stuff you actually need an FI for (to get some rating or something).

It also depends on how current you are of course, but if you feel you are current enough to fly the thing, but not current enough to practice on your own, then IMHO, something is very odd with the school/instructors you have had.

Take out your VFR map and plan a short trip with with some good waypoints such as small towns, churches, castles etc.
Do complete planning and try flying it as precisely as you can. Doesn’t have to be to another airfield. It can be around your home airport but outside the control zone.

EKRK, Denmark

Check the club and airfield rules, they may be more restrictive than your legal rights (which AFAIK don’t restrict you from anything that you have already learned), and for example may prohibit EFATO without an FI, or spin recovery, etc. Every now and again on return from a trip I do practice stall and force landlings in the local flying area before closing in to the airfield. If you are renting, it’s good to do these because the rentors will usually dual-check you on them at initial checkout and with some regularity (six monthly, yearly, etc) or after period of non flying (e.g. 28 days, etc).

EDIT: have a look at this: https://www.gasco.org.uk/flight-safety-information/personal-currency

Last Edited by matthew_gbr at 10 Jan 15:07
EGL*, United Kingdom

If you feel worried, get higher and do it anyway. Slow flight with turns should be something you are fully capable of on your own, but I sure remember the discomfort, like going to the dentist. The same holds true for power on and power off stalls. Just stay coordinated.

A good idea for any PPL would be to take a spin class (obviously with a CFI). If the stall gets away from you, you’ll know how to recover. More importantly, you’ll know that you know how to recover. Few people push their stall practice to anything close to that but it will relax you when you know you can handle the situation & it will free you to get a better feel for your aircraft.

Just remember, you’re unlikely to get into a problem when you’re practicing the maneuver. You could have the problem when you’re not expecting it, like the classic overbank from base to final at a slow speed with perhaps a quartering tailwind, which is why you want to develop the feel for how the plane behaves at different speeds so that your reaction is instantaneous if you have an unexpected problem.

Last Edited by WhiskeyPapa at 10 Jan 15:15
Tököl LHTL

I’m not sure about that “unlikely” part .. But being higher is always good idea.
I managed to invert and spin a C150 even before my PPL checkride – and without any intention. I was practicing stalls and the goal was to minimise the height loss- meaning I tried to recover faster and faster. First 4 stalls went OK, I also was careful to climb back to altitude. On stall no 5, I’m still not sure,what exactly did i do wrong, but in one moment the plane was upside down,and after correcting that, spinning.I had not had any practical spin training, fortunately the theoretical part was OK. At the end I lost 1600 ft and managed to recover without exceeding anything..

EERI EETU, Estonia

@ivark
Wow! Did that inspire you to go for more formal spin training?

Tököl LHTL

One thing at a time- first i had to get a PPL.. Besides, the only realistic way to get spin training would have been in a glider (I’m not sure if its part of SPL course,but everybody in a gliding club had to practice spins before soloing) but I want to get FI rating in a year or two,and that also includes some spin training..

EERI EETU, Estonia

ivark wrote:

I was practicing stalls and the goal was to minimise the height loss- meaning I tried to recover faster and faster.

Minimize the height loss will probably mean the whole stall+recovery will be on max AoA on the left of the power curve (e.g. slow speed and probably on full power and some flaps?), it will be hard to know what the aircraft will do if you add quick and jerky moves of the stick and some yaw, also on full flaps just expect the unexpected

Personally, I would not call it a recovery until my speed exceeds min sink and flaps are clean whatever my height loss…

On trying something for yourself, yes there always a surprise element (I claimed I can just go an spin a single seat glider, as I did enough on the double-seat version, it did took me long to spin it: after many failed attempts of wing drop then dives while losing some height, it hooked by surprise and took me so long for me to stop it, I will probably never do it again…)

Last Edited by Ibra at 10 Jan 19:03
EGSX, United Kingdom
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