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Guest christianholmes

Pre-emptive request for real pilots...

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Hi guys,Well tomorrow looks like it will finally be the day I get to do my first cross-country solo- The weather is supposed to be sunny with little wind. My flight will take me from New Haven to Poughkeepsie and back. I am busy reading up on ATC and other stuff today to see if there are any last minute questions I might have. Can some of you guys check this thread later tonight and answer any questions I come up with? I only have a few now, but there will definately be more. I would ask my instructor tomorrow, but I'm actually doing the pre-solo check with another instructor, whom I don't know very well.My instructor said filing a VFR flight plan is optional, but I am required to get flight following from New York ATC. I would like to file a flight plan to get the practice at least one way. My question is- do I want to/have to give FSS position reports along the way, or does flight following supercede that requirement? Will FSS be aware of my position through flight following?In my attempt to cram for my written next month, I've acquired quite a bit of knowledge through reading the FAR/AIM and taking practice tests. Are the published practice questions the ACTUAL test questions? I want to be prepared and not just memorize- I will study the questions more if I know they are the real ones. I found I was able to answer many of the questions through knowledge I gained reading the FAR/AIM. What would you recommend? I would love to get 100% on the test- anything below a 90% and I will be upset with myself.What is the rule of thumb for planning descents for a Warrior/172? I have a tendency to start my descents too late, so I'd like to plan ahead of time. I think it is (Feet to descend/500 ) * 2- So if I have to descend from 4500 to 1100 (round to 1000), that is 3500 feet (4500-1000). Now divide 3500/500 = 7. Then multiply 7 * 2 so that means 14 miles out. At 120 Knots, I calculated about 16.1 so that sounds about right- I'll just start a little earlier than calculated. I would like to be at pattern altitude and slowing before I actually reach the pattern to give me a little more time to get ready for landing.Then- Poughkeepsie is class Delta- I will want to go to the FBO to call FSS and close my flight plan, and stretch my legs for a couple minutes. I don't know anything about the airport other than they have an FBO- what should I say to the controller to get me there without sounding like a total noob?

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I would fly with vfr flight following and file a flight plan. From being in the Civil Air Patrol you find some very disturbing statistics. I don't remember them exactly but on an ifr flight plan it takes an average of 8 hours to locate you if you go down-on a vfr fight plan 1 day-no vfr flight plan 3 days or never...Filing a vfr flight plan lets everyone know your route/stops etc. If you go down, a seach and rescue will be started on your planned route and then fan out from there. With no flight plan no one has any idea of where you were or what you did-you are a gonner if you had a problem and went down-especially in the winter when your survival time will be limited. Using vfr advisories is another set of eyes for traffic and a possible radar fix in case you have a problem-use both!Yes -the published questions are the test questions-if you have the latest edition...sometimes there will be a few "new" ones but your answer will not count against you-they are just trying things out.Do be aware they will randomize the answers though-they found people were memorizing for instance letter "a" for question 25 instead of actually knowing the stuff!When you get to your class D airport just say "unfamiliar-going to the Fbo". They will tell you exactly where to turn and go-if there are multiple fbo's they will give you a choice. My 1st teacher years ago even though he had 20,000 hours always did that at any unfamiliar airports. Their services are there to be used-why not?-pretty hard to make a wrong turn with their help.As for descent-you will learn that on your bird with experience-however there are always ways to lose altitude, but seldom ways to gain it if you have a problem-I'd rather be a little late as you are doing-you can always make a circle or slip to lose a little. If you end up at pattern altitude too soon though and way out and lose your engine you might wish you had that extra altitude. If you are using vfr flight following they may descend you anyway at an appropriate time.Also from my experience with Cap-dress for winter and take gear along that will allow you to survive if by chance you did go down. It is amazing how many people takeoff in the winter with a light jacket-go down-survive the crash-then die of exposure.I am sure it will go fine like most flights-but it does pay to be prepared. Good luck-you will love it!http://mywebpages.comcast.net/geofa/pages/rxp-pilot.jpg

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Thanks alot- some good advice. When I taught Microsoft courses, their tests were the same way- you had to know the answer, not the number. Many of these questions are definately answerable with a little thought though- Microsoft's tests sometimes bordered on impossible. Ok, I was worried I wasn't doing my descents correctly, but as long as I keep my airspeed in check, and stay in between 500-1000 FPM, I shouldn't worry about it? I am nervous with the cold weather that I don't want to have to retard the throttle too much on approach and risk shock-cooling the engine.Thanks again-*One more question- To make a position report to FSS mid-flight, how do I A) Figure out which FSS to call :( What is the protocol for making a position report?

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*One more question- To make a position report to FSS>mid-flight, how do I A) Figure out which FSS to call :( What>is the protocol for making a position report?Geofa, always some of the greatest advice, you are truly one of the best for real world advice on this forum. The easiest way is to look for an RCO or a communications box on a VOR information box from a sectional chart along your route. Then call radio on the proper frequency with the name of the facility and the antenna location name. Then the easiest way to report position is by VOR radial and distance, airport you are crossing, or a known larger town or city along your path.Good luck with the flight! The one of the best seasons for flying is just starting up!

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Thanks Chris- that's exactly what I was wondering. I hope by asking this stuff publicly other people will benefit from the answers you guys give. And maybe some will find the motivation to take to the skies for real!

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>In my attempt to cram for my written next month, I've acquired>quite a bit of knowledge through reading the FAR/AIM and>taking practice tests. Are the published practice questions>the ACTUAL test questions? I want to be prepared and not just>memorize- I will study the questions more if I know they are>the real ones. I found I was able to answer many of the>questions through knowledge I gained reading the FAR/AIM. >What would you recommend? I would love to get 100% on the>test- anything below a 90% and I will be upset with myself.One little note, the FAA changed the way it tests a couple years ago. Previously, the questions that were made available were ~identical~ to the ones that would appear on the test (except for a couple new ones that they were testing, which Geof mentioned). However, what the FAA found out was that test takers were memorizing the correct answer rather than learning how to figure out the correct answer--in other words, they would remember that "C" was the correct answer to this particular question. Therefore, starting a couple years ago, the FAA now uses the same ~form~ of questions, but can/will change the numbers or details in the question to ensure that you need to recalculate it to get the correct answer. In this way, they are testing your ability to determine the right answer._____________________________http://home.comcast.net/~jsnyder99/sigs/nameavsim.jpgPersonal Photo/Aviation Website

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Which I think is great. It really needed to be changed. I just took my commercial a few days ago and the way I really kept proficient at many of the navigation, weight and balance, and time, speed, distance types of math problems was by doing them on the simulator.

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That's good to know actually- I enjoy working out the answers, so I'll do my best to be up to speed on all my calculations.So I did my cross country today- just got back. I will post about it later (I'm at work now).One funny anecdote- On my return, New Haven wanted me to report a 2 mile left base for runway 20. Starring at the airport ahead of me, I wanted to make sure I was lining up for the correct runway, and instinctively tried to pause the simulation :) No pause, just a on/off of the mic.

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