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Hi everyone,

Thought I'd register here as it's far more friendly than Flyer, unsure what's happening there but I've given up on it completely.

Training seems to have stalled at the moment for me, I've done just under 3 hours solo and about to start navigation exercises. Now that I've been solo the excitement I had has simply gone - is this normal? Maybe I was building up going solo too much!

Hi Charlie, welcome. I cant comment on Flyer, though I have an account, but its definitely friendly here :-)

It was about 7 years ago when I did my solo, but I can remember it well enough pretty much. I think there was mixed emotions, some which include utter joy, and some which were possibly a bit of a 'now what do I do' kind of thing. I am one of those who is motivated by targets, and when I have achieved one, its a bit of a effort to tag onto the next one sometimes. But with flying there is so much more to aim for and until you're at the stage where you tick all the boxes and can do your skills test. Even 8 years on, I still like doing some solo circuits in pursuit of the absolute perfect landing. I remember various up's and down's during the whole training, but I still love flying and glad I worked through some of the slight lack of excitement moment.

Some people just want to go solo, or just do their qualifying cross country, or just do their PPL and see that as the ultimate goal, or for them just find it isn't as exciting as they first thought. Maybe there is an instructor / aircraft / airfield issue you are uncomfortable with as well?

Thanks for the reply,

I've got no issue with my instructor per se, he's a great guy in many ways although it seems to me that every time a lesson overruns it's my lesson that takes the hit in terms of reduced time. I cannot remember that last time I had a full hour in the air. I do believe that steps are being taken to rectify that with my instructor working another day per week so hopefully my time in the air will increase.

I have only had lessons at a few airfields, but one I did some night flying at which is very formal and regimented - couldn't contain the overrun issue no matter how hard they tried.

Its very frustrating I know, and sometimes it is other people turning up late for their lessons, or the instructor talking to another student, but a lot of the time weather, aircraft tech issues, needing to re-fuel and other things increase delays as the days go on. To be honest, it doesn't really get much better even when you are a qualified PPL (unless you own your own plane and have more control of some factors) - and it is something that is part of the 'experience'. Its like owning a car, its great, until something goes wrong or is costs you some money, but you still love driving it :-)

There is a fair amount of frustration in PPL training, given the way most schools operate.

I used to get lessons cancelled when a bunch of people (with enough body piercings to need the w&b reworked) turned up for a pleasure flight for somebody's birthday.

You have to just grind through the training, make the best of it, and perhaps try to occasionally fly with somebody who flies for real so you can get a glimse of what it is like.

When you get your PPL, everything changes and the freedom is great. GPS (which you can - and should - use during PPL training, but most schools avoid it totally) makes navigation effortless and flying becomes a lot more fun.

As to what to do to maintain the interest, different people find different things work for them. I like to do trips to interesting places. Some are quite long but even just popping across the water to Le Touquet for lunch and a walk down the beach is really great value, and sooooo far removed from eating some greasy burger at some UK airport cafe or pub.

As regards other sites... one problem with running a site which has to make money from adverts to support itself is that you have to tolerate much worse behaviour, because you cannot afford it to become stagnant. This directly affects the moderation policy, which in turn affects a lot of other "aspects" of the site. In America, where the pilot community is 10x to 30x bigger, you can have ads and have a fairly "techy" site, and there are several out there on which there is virtually zero abuse and trolling, but I am sure it cannot be done in Europe. So... spread the word about EuroGA

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Peter finally admitted to being "techy"

Egnm, United Kingdom

Peter: As regards other sites... one problem with running a site which has to make money from adverts to support itself is that you have to tolerate much worse behaviour, because you cannot afford it to become stagnant.

Interestingly, your non-commercial site has not yet attracted any kind of bad behaviour so far! (Unless of cause all that was "moderated out" before we could see it appear ;-) )

And to Charlie Crocodile:

Welcome on board and congratulations for going solo! Maybe it is not such a bad thing to take the emotions out of flight training. They will come back sooner or later. (And should they really not come back, then you are among the lucky few who will be able to save a lot of money for not continuing to fly and do some smarter things instead :-) )

Back when I started flying gliders (35 years ago) a big fuss was made over going solo. They even made a kind of competition out of it like "who of the group will solo first", "who of the group will need the least flying hours or landings until first solo" and so on. This way, people really started to get tense and nervous when getting closer to soloing up to a point of messing up the last few landings and needing even more training. Also due to the amount of tension (that was built-up artificially!) the first couple of solo landings used to be really bad, dangerously bad even. From my own first solo I remember more the stressful things than the solo flight itself. I had been scheduled to get my medical in the morning of the solo-day but the doctor, also a glider pilot, didn't turn up until late afternoon because he had landed off-field. As this was in the days before mobile phones and GPS, it took half a day to locate him and bring him back...

This attitude has completely changed over the years and in the commercial flying school where I instruct (spare time permitting) the first solo is just one little box to tick among one hundred other little boxes in the training syllabus. This way the students see it as a little stepping stone that will come automatically sooner or later with nothing lost or gained if it is delayed a little bit. The result is (ideally) an almost steady learning curve from the first lesson to the practical ATPL exam with no big ups and downs. Safer and more efficient, but not much room for emotions. Somewhere in the middle would be ideal, but that is difficult to achieve.

Happy landings, Max

EDDS - Stuttgart

your non-commercial site has not yet attracted any kind of bad behaviour so far! (Unless of cause all that was "moderated out" before we could see it appear ;-) )

No problems yet. Out of 16023 posts (today's total) I have deleted about 10, all of which were very early on (last year) and all of which were completely irrelevant to any discussion here. Only 1 had been edited (to remove the F word). I think people who like to cause trouble are not attracted to EuroGA because the tone of the discussions here is simply "wrong" for what they are looking for.

he first solo is just one little box to tick among one hundred other little boxes in the training syllabus

I think that is how it should be; there is too much pressure to go solo.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

As Peter mentioned, once you have your PPL, try to find the part of flying that will make you keep up your interest.

We've unfortunately had a few pilots in our club who quit flying 2-3 years after getting their PPLs. Mostly because they haven't found "their thing", or never left our local area. When you've flown over the city and neighboring areas with all your friends and family, believe it or not, but it gets a bit boring.

I find great joy in touring, everything from a 1.5 hour flight to Germany (from Sweden) to a 7 hour flight to Croatia. It's priceless!

If you have the possibility to do shorter touring trips with friends in your flying club/aircraft it will make it significantly more fun and easier, they will most likely have lots of experience to share. Unfortunately many new pilots think that touring, especially to other countries, is difficult and only for the ultra-experienced.

It's always been the case - in the UK at least - that most people give up very quickly after they get the PPL, but most of the ones who give up rapidly are people who either didn't have much interest in actually flying (maybe 50% of people do a PPL to tick a "life achievement" box) or they cannot afford to fly (and in most cases could have foreseen that before they started).

Of the group I trained with, at least 95% disappeared immediately they got the PPL.

It's a very sad situation, and if one could reduce the loss rate just a little one would have many more people flying which would be good for all.

The flight training business is to blame for a lot of it IMHO but one cannot expect them to do anything because their business model is to sell flying hours (preferably with an instructor), not to produce pilots who can fly from A to B and even enjoy it. Many schools do "club flyouts" but those I was involved with were always rigged so that every leg had a student in the LHS and an instructor in the RHS, so that every leg flown made money. This in turn made it expensive for those participating. And pilots with their own planes (me, by then) were not wanted except to ferry (at no charge) wives/girlfriends of the students.

I think that, in most cases, the quicker one can get away from the training establishment and into a group (syndicate), or even just flying with an owner-pilot, the better. It's a different world, to be flying with people who know what they are doing and going to fun places.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom
21 Posts
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