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I'm once again throwing in the majority of my life savings in pursuit of checking off a box of my Bucket List! Wanna throw a penny in the pot? Go here - https://www.gofundme.com/f/frans-bucket-list-adventures-learning-to-fly
Fran's Final Life Bucket List:
Experience Zero-G - ✔
Flight School - ✔
Solo Flight..
Fly Jets..
Train For Space?
Fly In Space??
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By Fran

15 thoughts on “I Gotta Fly!!!”
  1. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Stephen Ferree says:

    Just remember…… “Any landing you can walk away from, is a successful landing.” 😉 You will learn that taking off and flying is the easy part. Landing is the nerve wracking white knuckle stuff…. Just wait till your instructor pilot shows you how to “slip” to lose altitude quickly !!! 😵😊

  2. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Bill Moran says:

    Aviation is by far the most “honest” activity in which we can engage. By that, I mean it requires near perfection at all times. Unlike anything else we do, you literally hold your own life in your hands. Make a mistake, you die. It’s as simple as that. When you become a licensed pilot, you become responsible for the lives of your passengers. To think the average person could ever navigate the skies in a flying car is absurd.
    Computers, in the form of advanced avionics, do fly airplanes very well, but the programming of where to go and how to get there is input by licensed pilots who must monitor the progress of the flight as well as respond to air traffic control requests and clearances and be able to deal with unexpected malfunctions of aircraft systems as they might occur. The final line of safety is the pilots skill in manually flying the aircraft.
    This is, in fact becoming an increasingly larger problem with airliners becoming ever more sophisticated and automated. Some air crews especially in other countries are not as well trained on the intricacies of the newest flight management systems, which has resulted in crashes. In addition, the dependence on automation can cause the pilots manual flying skills to erode.
    Flying an airplane is serious, deadly business, whether a 400 passenger airliner, a freighter carrying 500,000 lbs of cargo, or a single seat recreational airplane. They all share the skies and are bound by the same set of rules. The “sixteen year old gamer” has no business in that game.

  3. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars blave549 says:

    I flew my butt off from 1999 to 2007, earning an IFR rating in airplanes (which I never really used) and a commercial ticket for helicopters (for fun and better airmanship). It was the best thing I ever did, and I will always treasure those memories (I got to do some relatively unusual things for a low time pilot). Best of luck in "getting there"!! (Why I stopped: A combination of a really bad bicycle crash, and getting laid off a year after that, kinda shut me down.)

  4. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Dave March says:

    Seems silly to have your own personal pan videographer, when other astros might want to be included in the video coverage. So maybe you could split the costs? On the other hand, it will be far cheaper to have a videographer accompany you in your flight training than it will be to have one accompany you on a space ship. As for a 'flying car', it is my opinion that a craft that can both drive and fly won't do either all that well.

  5. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars cybhunter007 says:

    From one student pilot (about 70 hours in, trying to prefect some skills) to another, congrats. Seriously once you get the itch to fly, it's very hard to scratch.

    Funny enough it ended up taking me a bit more than 20 years to re-ignite my interest in aviation. Way back in the 90's my late grandparents (as a Christmas gift), ended up providing airfare to me and my mom down to their place in Spanish lakes, Florida. Being a 7 year old, next to the wing of a 727/737-200 when the J8TD's spool up to take-off power; you never forget that sound nor feeling.

    The reason it took nearly 20 years was in the line of my work (also engineering related) was I requested to travel down to Virginia for some post hurricane survey work. They didn't except me to fly down (it would have been a 10 hour drive from New England), but it re-kindled my interest in aviation.

    For me, it's a challenge. But it's worth it. I ended had a solo stage check the other. Although I didn't pass due to some curve balls what if's (i.e your ipad bursts into flames, what do you?) and not meeting acs standards (plowing through the 200' max above pattern attitude before leveling off at 1350' AGL) , I wouldn't change a thing about the technicalities and challenges. At least a bald eagle was flying nearby (same altitude about 50' off to the left) coming in on final during the failed stage check

    You can do it Fran 🙂

    PS. Totally agree on the landing flair, there is an art to the timing of it (still trying to make it muscle memory myself)

  6. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars c141heaven says:

    I learned to fly in college (courtesy of the USAF/taxpayer) and went on to fly jets for 7 years on active duty.

    Many years later my wife was complaining about how she never did any very exciting. I suggested she learn to fly and dragged her down to the local flight school the next Saturday. She took her first lesson and was hooked. This was a difficult project as she was working full time, and we lived in Seattle where the weather was a big factor.

    My initial solo (in a Cessna 150) came fast ( around 9 hours) because I learned over the summer and had lots of free time and good weather, and the flight school was working a low-bid contract to pump us to that goal as fast as possible.

    Her first-flight-to-solo was about 40 hours or so! A full-time effort is the best way to go.

    The Two Basic Rules of Flying: Pull back, people and houses get smaller. Push Forward, people and houses get bigger.

    Good Luck

  7. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars VariEze117PJ says:

    Good job not sticking your foot in mouth on a new and complicated skill. You have my respect. Mostly, congratulations on becoming a pilot. My first solo is probably my greatest lifetime thrill. Flying cars are a tough engineering problem when you consider airplanes are barely light enough to haul pilot, passengers and fuel into the air when that is the only goal.

  8. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars steve cs says:

    "after you get the science burned into your brain ….then there is the art"……Fran you said in one sentence what pilots and writers have spent thier lives trying too express…..I have followed your channel for several years and enjoyed your take on so many things….Now you have stepped foot into my world and you have found that you love it and you feel the fire to grab on to it and make it your own! I want to welcome you to the world of what it means to be a pilot!!! You have expressed the feelings we have all felt….in just a few statements on your video you have voiced what we have all tried to relate………this is coming from a pilot who started flying at 19 and I turned 65 last Saturday…meaning I had to retire from a lifetime as a professional pilot…flying everything from instructing in Cessna 150's to flying Boeing 747's all over the world…. and everything in between, as well as being an instructor on all of those aircraft. I can tell you right now that…..you will be a damn good pilot……because you will not stop until you learn the skills you need and you will learn the nuances of what it means to be a pilot., and you won't stop until you master all of them……..If I can be of any help, please contact me!….. I still have my CFI…..most of all ,enjoy flying!!! Kindest Regards……Steve……yes….that is what I love about Flying….as much as they try to make it a science …….it will ALWAYS be an art…….it is where science becomes art…..

  9. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars David Evens says:

    FAR/AIM isn't the real reason we don't have flying cars. Flying cars don't work from an engineering point of view. There's too much weight you'd have to add to an airplane design to make it a roadable vehicle for it to remain a viable airplane. There have been attempts to build hybrids, but you end up with a vehicle that's really bad at being a car, really bad at being a plane, and usually leaves half the plane at the airport anyway, while costing more than the combined price of a better plane and a better car.

  10. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Alex Tirrell says:

    Yikes, there is a huge difference between remotely piloting an unmanned drone versus a plane of passengers.
    Best wishes on your flight training, Fran. After the flight video you did a little while back I'm not at all surprised, considering how much you already know about aviation.

  11. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Colin Jones says:

    Although there were stresses that stopped me passing out, I was trained up as an Air Traffic Controller in the UK in the early '90s. Part of that was 15 hours flight training. Computers need so much airfield infrastructure to land that at the time I don't think we had a single one in the UK that could support autoland in zero visibility. A human is still required to land in the vast majority of places and aircraft. I'd love to learn to fly properly but it's hideously expensive here!

  12. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Art Johnson says:

    Got my "ticket" back in '92. And did the "bullshit half-and-half" due to funding. Then once I was "official," I ran completely outta dough for flying about. So, haven't flown a small aircraft in almost 30 years. Glad to see you're working it out. And, yes, it's serious because things can come at you fast. But don't let that steal from you the great fun and sense of accomplishment that comes with flying. I'm gonna surmise that you decided to start flying due to the fascination. Don't let that get away from you! Am I saying let your guard down? No! But there's a great joy there, too. Stay with it and you'll see. BTW: the FAR/AIM is less about regulation and more about safety. I would call it the Airman's Safety Manual without which the skies would be falling!

  13. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Anthony X says:

    I got my private pilot's license in Canada some 20+ years ago as a sort of "bucket list" thing. What I recall about the process:

    1. When you're flying the plane, it takes all your attention, split between controlling the aircraft, staying ahead of the airplane so you're ready for the next thing you have to do, running checklists, keeping up with where you are (navigating), and keeping up with communications – either with ATC or announcing your position and intentions to other pilots around you and listening/keeping track of where they are and what they are doing. Pulling our your smartphone or gopro to document the moment is entirely out of the question. Also, it should (if not legally required) be just you and the instructor in the plane, so no videographer either.

    2. Nice that you have that FAR/AIM as a unified resource… I remember all that content spread across at least a half-dozen books and other materials.

    3. Flying 2-3 times a week seems to be the "sweet spot" to make the best progress in the fewest hours; less than that and there is a tendency to forget and have to re-learn or re-integrate previous lessons. Oddly, it also takes some time between lessons to integrate learning, so flying more often doesn't necessarily yield added benefit. I typically aimed to book 3 lessons per week knowing I'd either not find 3 slots or one might be canceled due to weather or other reasons, and I'd mostly get 2 per week.

    Your point about self-flying aircraft is well taken. We are seeing how cars with sophisticated self-driving capabilities are still not good enough to complete a trip entirely start to finish with perfect safety. Cockpit automation can do a lot to reduce pilot workload but human intervention is still required, especially when faced with the unexpected. Aviation has a lot of built-in safety, but that safety can erode quickly, and flight is generally unforgiving of failure – there is no such thing as "pull over and stop" if you need to address an issue.

    Wishing you all the best on your "bucket list" journey.

  14. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars arobatto says:

    My comment to gamers that argue aircraft can be piloted remotely is that if your mission is to go from point a to point b, then utilizing automation and or remote manipulation of the aircraft controls would seem like a logical choice given current technology. However, for me, I earned my private pilot’s license for the direct human tactile experience of being in the cockpit, using all my senses, judgment, skills and training that lead me to that point. This need to do this, I believe, is hard wired in most humans that can only be rationalized when we experience first hand the joy, satisfaction and excitement of venturing as participants in the real world.

  15. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Stephen Mann says:

    Flying an airplane is easy. Even a gamer can do it. Most air carrier aircraft can make CAT1 landings with no input from the pilot. That is, in zero-zero visibility all the way to touchdown, autobraking, and even turning off the runway.

    What the human in the cockpit brings to the show is knowing what to do when something goes wrong. No robot would know how to detect an odd vibration that wasn't there before. No robot could know how to handle a flat tire on landing. No robot would be able to handle a power failure. Robots are fine while everything is working as expected. But when the shit hits the fan, you will want a trained person in the cockpit.

    After you get the basics of flight behind you, your instructor will mostly be teaching you what to do when something goes wrong.

    Every student pilot hits a plateau and thinks they just cant "get it", where "it" is a complex maneuver. If after a while you just can't grok, get another instructor to work with you. Their technique may be different enough that you suddenly find the maneuver easy.

    When you are ready for your checkride, remember that you will have already done everything that the designated examiner asks you to demonstrate. And, that's all that the checkride is- a demonstration of what you have learned.

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