Change of CFI

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I am a student pilot with 35 hours (1st solo completed). I am
training in a 172 with the G1000 (that I love!). I am ready to work
on my first solo cross country (dual cross country was to OshKosh)
but I have been spoiled with the GPS technology. I cannot find
a "real" ground school in my area and I am having trouble learning
navigation myself with a textbook. I also have a few DVD's but I
think I really need to learn from someone! CFI moved away
for another job too! So I am starting over with a new CFI as well.
Any suggestions?
Thanks in advance!

-- Cheryl DeBoer, September 1, 2008


Congratulations on your solo. Achieving that in a plane with G1000 avionics is very impressive. Most of us old-timers took more than 35 hours to figure out which buttons to push on the G1000.

If you want to learn that old-school navigation stuff, it is probably worth going to a different airport and different flight school and taking up a plane with minimal avionics. Find a high-time CFI who learned back in the 1970s and just work on pilotage and VOR navigation. Prepare your navigation logs, use the wet compass and stopwatch, and pretend that you're back in the 1920s.

Don't worry too much about the CFI change. You're not going to learn everything while getting your Private. Whatever you miss you'll fill in when you get your instrument rating.

-- Philip Greenspun, September 1, 2008

Which sort of airplane are you going to fly when you get your license? If you will fly G1000-equipped planes, stick with G1000-equipped planes for the training. For basic navigation training, train "partial panel" flying by pressing the red reversion button and just don't use gps-guidance.

Especially if you plan to go ahead with instrument rating, learn all you can about the G1000 and never fly IFR with old-fashioned panels. My G1000-experience only amounts to single-digit hours, and I fly IFR on basic round dials, but for IFR there should be no turning back. Glass is so much better for IFR.

If, on the other hand, you plan to fly old airplanes in the future, VFR and always VMC, then wait until you have your license and treat flying with steam instruments as something that demands a serious conversion course - like learning to fly tail-draggers: difficult, old-fashioned, somewhat risky and quite charming.

-- Henrik Vaeroe, September 2, 2008