Many pilots cannot imagine a high-quality and honest intensive pilot course in which it is possible to obtain a pilot license in 15 days, assuming no previous pilot skills. Some doubt whether it is even possible to have the necessary pilot skills, to know all the procedures well enough, and to reliably operate an aircraft. And even if it were possible, such a pilot could not experience all types of weather - he would be completely unprepared, and the first truly bad weather would bring him down from the sky... After all, they spent years training at a prestigious aviation school...
Let's take it step by step: the motivation of a novice pilot is important:
Honza L., a client of our aviation school, decided that he would not commute from Brno to the Vysočina region, but wisely decided to arrange accommodation at the training location. He was offered nice accommodation at the airport for 400 CZK/day at LKJI. He shook his head and on the evening of September 12, 2022, he pitched his A-frame tent equipped with wood chips and a titanium chimney, in which he settled. The pilot training will be completed in just 15 days!"
It can be said that Honza is a highly motivated client and a student pilot who diligently studied the theory, read and watched all the videos he was provided with before his flights, and actively sought out new sources of learning and engaged in lively discussions with present pilots about his aviation experiences and the topics covered in his training. Honza was therefore prepared to practice and train every day since September 13, 2022, including further self-study from the somewhat convoluted and unengaging "Pilot Handbook," and he paid to practice with test questions from the theoretical subjects on Aeroweb. Every day, he could go to the local hangar, where technicians and airplane builders repaired or built their airplanes, and he saw how they were constructed, maintained, and repaired.
Flight school options:
Honza chose a flight school that had good references and that he learned had recently trained Remi B., a non-native English speaker, in English in just 19 days. He chose it for his pilot training. For safety, he also checked the references of the school. He found out that the school had two identical all-metal aircraft of the same type, TECNAM P2002 Sierra, equipped with "glass cockpit" EFIS with artificial horizons, which had very high limits on the lateral and rearward components of the wind. The school also had a backup "airport" with an illuminated surface, which cannot be used for basic training but serves as a backup base with a hangar for aircraft transit, in case there was fog, low clouds, or non-flying weather over LKJI. Therefore, Honza could fly from Jihlava, Havlíčkův Brod, Přibyslav, Částkovice, or other nearby airports. One aircraft would be ready in Jihlava, and the other in Zbilidy, about 15 kilometers west.
During the first few hours, Honza and I waited for nice and calm weather, which became less and less with the decreasing month of September. The long-awaited Indian summer did not happen! Honza learned to fly in relatively nice sunny weather with the sun low on the horizon, which dazzled him and against which he had to land. He also learned to fly in constant rain under stratiform clouds with occasional poor visibility of the horizon, when he switched to the artificial horizon and then returned to the natural horizon. Honza had to learn to take off and land in the rain when he could not see well out of the windshield and had to rely on ground effect and spatial perception of surrounding height without turning his head or looking sideways.
Honza also flew in heavy showers. He experienced several front transitions and flying outside of thunderstorm clusters with protruding lightning bolts. He also learned to fly outside of clouds in Class G airspace, up to 300m above ground level and with appropriate clearance from clouds in Class E airspace. One morning, Honza found the plane covered in frost and had to remove it before the flight. Therefore, it can be said that besides snow, he experienced all types of weather, various directions and strengths of winds, including landing with a tailwind, weather with wind shear and stronger turbulence. Honza also flew from several different airports with different surfaces.
Training schedule of the pilot:
When Honza started the intensive course, he claimed that he had until September 28th, 2022, and then he would start a new job. We agreed that we would both do everything in our power, taking into account the safe execution of flights, so that Honza could complete the training before this deadline.
It was clear that he would have to adjust his lifestyle to accommodate our flight schedule, which involved flying as soon as the weather and fog allowed and returning late enough to have enough reserve fuel to safely make it back to one of our bases. I also insisted that he take an honest hour or hour and a half nap after lunch, so that he would be alert for afternoon flying. Initially, we only flew one flight hour a day, later increasing to two or three flight hours per day. On a day when Honza couldn't get a proper night's sleep because of noisy children, it was clear how important a quality post-lunch nap was. In the final hour of training that day, he didn't perform as well as expected given his level of experience, so we decided to end the training early. On September 19, 2022, we took a whole day off to allow Honza to recover and prepare for the demanding safety and emergency landings. Subsequently, we resumed training every morning and evening, occasionally stretching into the afternoon due to fog and low clouds.
There are certain limitations in the training of a ULL (ultralight) pilot, defined by regulations and training syllabus, as well as training methodology from the post-revolution era when early ultralight aircraft had very low performance and capabilities. These limitations include the requirement that a trainee in flight training must perform a slip at 50 meters above the ground, that they can only perform a maximum of 3 first solo circuits in a single day, and that they cannot accumulate more than 4 hours of training in a single day. In the case of an emergency landing, the trainee must focus solely on one chosen area. Despite these restrictions, it is necessary to grapple with and adhere to them during basic training. The minimum number of hours required to be flown is set at 20, but it is expected that those with previous aviation experience, such as glider pilots, hang gliders, or paragliders, will approach this number more quickly. Honza completed 29 hours and 23 minutes of basic pilot training, including 5 hours and 52 minutes of solo flight, during which he thoroughly practiced the previously learned tasks."
The most carefully performed tasks in intensive training:
Because every pilot trained by me, just like Honza, can rent my airplanes worth millions after basic training, I make sure they can perform precise safety and emergency landings. I have prepared the entire training in compliance with LAA guidelines and directed it towards this goal. Each pilot learns to "feel" the airplane, from straight flight to slips and stall recovery in turns with flaps. The pilot training focuses mainly on eliminating "machine-type" pilots - those who are inherently dependent on various instruments, indicators, precise values, and prescribed procedures with a minimum of additional thinking and feeling for the aircraft. And Honza was a ship engineer in his previous occupation...
My task is to teach pilots to fly by feel, by control response, by force in control, by hearing. Later, the pilot will recognize slipping and skidding turns in their own skin - simply knowing that the plane is sliding under their butt and that the turn is bad. By hearing, they will distinguish engine speeds for Vx, Vy, and cruising mode. I even try to get the pilots to use their learned and practiced pilotage elements to improvise and increase their awareness that the same thing can be done in many different ways, some more suitable than others.
Later, when the pilot is sufficiently experienced and has mastered emergency landing training, I include one or two real emergency landings in each task without warning to reinforce their habits. For Honza, it helped him realize his limits and altitudes where he can still react adequately and under what altitudes he would rather not venture into more complex terrain. He understood that he wouldn't crawl at 300m above the ground over extensive forests, waters, or cities, and that if the cloud cover doesn't allow him to climb to a suitable landing strip, he will definitely fly around. Honza also learned to recognize different types of terrain and prioritize seeking pastures for safety landings as the most suitable areas for subsequent takeoff after a storm, when they are still usable for takeoff compared to fields."
As an instructor, I have chosen an inspector who will conduct a high-quality final pilot skills test and who will also administer an approved test on the website of the Amateur Aviation Association. I chose an inspector based on previous experience who has the necessary time, is very skilled and knowledgeable, and also conducts training for higher category pilots in English language. Although the inspector is a bit further away from the home airport, we have the advantage that he intentionally does not stress pilot students during the final exam and gives pilots a chance to correct any minor mistakes that may arise from various reasons, such as misunderstanding the inspector's instructions, nervousness of the student, or lack of knowledge of the unfamiliar environment and a runway that is much shorter for takeoff and landing than at the home airport. It's great that Honza received additional advice on what else he can do differently and probably more appropriately.
Now Honza will go to the Amateur Aviation Association, where, upon presenting his "Personal Record" confirmed and stamped by the inspector, he will be issued a pilot license upon payment of a fee and submission of a passport-sized photograph. After that, he can fly freely as he wishes, in accordance with regulations and laws."
Of course, I would like to introduce you to the amazing feeling of becoming a pilot and the incredible experience of flying with birds and having your own wings! Some airplanes, especially single-seaters, are built in such a way that they enhance this feeling.
Before becoming a pilot, you will have to go through pilot training, which is demanding and exciting at the same time. During the training, you will learn all the important skills necessary for the safe operation of an aircraft. You will learn how to fly an airplane, plan flights, handle different situations, and communicate with air traffic control.
After completing the training, you will have to take a pilot's exam, which is a crucial part of obtaining a pilot's license. The examiner will evaluate your abilities and skills in piloting an aircraft. It is a very exciting moment when you can demonstrate all your skills and receive recognition for your hard work.
And finally, when you obtain your pilot's license, doors to the fascinating world of aviation open for you. You can fly anywhere, anytime, provided you follow regulations and laws. You can fly over mountains, seas, and cities, travel anywhere and discover new places, all with an incredible view from the skies. Today, even ultralight aircraft make it possible!
Being a pilot is an incredibly exciting and satisfying feeling. If you have a dream of becoming a pilot, go for it! However, remember that it requires hard work and determination, but the result is definitely worth it!"
And it's up to me to teach you everything in a way that you won't even notice it's hard work, but that you'll enjoy every step of the training and every minute of it. That's what I aim for. Together, we can discover your limits and gradually push them further - as far as you want to go. In the end, you too could become a bush pilot and fly anywhere.
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