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7 Answers

What to do next?

Asked by: 3706 views Commercial Pilot, Flight Instructor, General Aviation

One thing I miss from my flight training days is advancing to the next segment of learning/training. Looking forward to adding new ratings/certificates and learning new skills was very stimulating and rewarding. I always want to continue learning, but I feel that hanging a carrot is a reasonable thing to do--what do you recommend I pursue next?


A little background info: Commerical-ASEL-AMEL-IA, CFI-ASEL-IA. I worked purely as an instructor for while before moving to a desk job. I keep a few students but fly <100hrs a year now. I have roughly 1,100 TT and 800 Dual-Given (not yet eligible for ATP so not currently interested in a Type rating). A few things that have come to mind: G1000 training course/sim time; MEI; taildragger training; aerobatic training. Any other thoughts, suggestions or preferences on a good goal to keep me improving as a pilot?

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7 Answers

  1. John A Lindholm on Mar 16, 2011

    If you do three more things, you will greatly increase your flying skills:
    Glider rating (how the wing works)
    Tail-wheel checkout (getting your feet/eyes to work)
    Basic Aerobatic course (confidence & energy management)
    Good Luck..!!

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  2. James MacGregor on Mar 16, 2011

    +1 with above

    However first I would get back on the saddle. Jumping into a few type of flying while you are only logging less then 10hrs a month doesn’t make sense. Get some more students, are you still IFR current and can you shoot a aprch to mins? Make sure your existing ratings are 100% before you bother adding on. Build on a good foundation.

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  3. MaggotCFII on Mar 17, 2011

    Adding to John’s list:
    ASES and if the bankroll allowed AMES.  Not that expensive for the ASES add-on to the commercial.
    Do it in a Super Cub or a Husky, after you do your tail wheel – it is a blast!

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  4. Matthew Waugh on Mar 17, 2011

    The “trouble” with the suggestions to add things to your certificate is that they all tend to be done in a chunk (go away for a weekend, return with a seaplane rating). Which is fine. However, if you’re looking for that longer term buzz of training for the commercial or the instrument rating then it doesn’t fill the gap.
    I like the idea of focusing on the current skills, define a specific goal and train to it (ATP standard instrument approaches for example). Wings? Teach a ground school or two – that’ll keep you interested in making sure you know enough to stay ahead of your students. Train for the ATP written, even if you don’t actually take the test, if you do more than “train for the test” the W&B knowledge for a 707 will be invaluable at some future point I’m sure 🙂
    I guess fundamentally you need to replace the FAA mandated milestones with your own milestones, which is perhaps not as satisfying (or perhaps it is).

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  5. Lance on Mar 19, 2011

    If you want a longer term training adventure, consider adding a category to your current certificate like gliders or helicopters.

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  6. Micah on Mar 19, 2011

    Thanks for the suggestions. I keep about 2 students most of the time and I still enjoy instructing, but I don’t get out and fly “for myself” much anymore. One of my students is building a Pientenpol (with his father’s help) so I expect to be doing a little taildragger time in the next 1-2 years. The local EAA chapter has a taildragger (Aeronca Super Chieftan, I think) so it seems most reasonable to take that on next. I think we have some good aerobatic resources locally, but I don’t know if the flying those old men do leaves the hangar any longer. I’ll have to check into that too.
    We do have lots of ASES opportunity in So. Louisiana (not as many near me), but that will probably be an adventure that needs to wait a few years. Thanks again, -M

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  7. Matt Bowers on Mar 25, 2011

    I don’t think that just getting the sea plane rating for the rating’s sake will do it for me.  I plan to do a lot of research that is focused on where to do that in as beautifull a location as possible.  Take 1-2 friends and wives.  The gals do their own thing for two days while we do the float plane, as a group.  Sharing our enjoyment and tribulations.  Then, we get back with the gals and do site seeing, etc.  5-7 days.  Vancouver Canada. Idaho.  Alaska.  Something like that.
    For flying, by far the most fun and challenging was two trips we did to Idaho for back-country flying.  Hire a local instructor or better yet a back-country professional pilot for two days of lessons.  We took 4 pilots and 2 172-XP’s (210hp) to Nampa, ID.  We flew for two entire days and landed at very challenging dirt/grass strips all over the mountains and down by the rivers.  We then went back in Sept w/ 2 pilots and 2 gals for a couple days in my C182.  Spent one night in a Teepee.  Everything, everywhere was beautiful.
    !! Be careful about passengers you choose.  You cannot do this with scared people in the back seat. (our 2nd trip).
    There is a full-on school for this in McCall, ID.  A great vacation town in it’s own right.  Choice of planes and right kind of pilot is also critical for this.

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