Tight Pattern / 4 Stacks

C172 — N7245T — Santa Paula > Whiteman — Basics — .8hrs

The tricky thing about Whiteman is both the cutout Class C from Burbank, and the 4 stacks pretty much right in front of the runway. I mean it's a city airport for sure, and for a student, I recall one had to be precise on approach and patterns to get in and out ok.

Fly-In's

C172 — N7245T — Camarillo > Whiteman — Basics — .6hrs

Flight back from Camarillo to Whiteman. Although I took the left seat coming back, flying IN to the fly-in was the interesting part for me.

A good 60-80 planes all converged on one little air strip with no tower, and nothing but the wind to dictate which runway, makes for interesting traffic.

The idea is to tune the weather and the CTAF as early as possible, and listen to the traffic already at the air field.

Six Flags Magic Mountain

C172 — N7245T — Santa Paula > Whiteman — Basics — .5hrs

I love this run; passing by Six Flags Magic Mountain and off into the peaceful low mountains of south west California. It really is liberating.

I've simmed this run a dozen times too, and it looks just as it is.

My partner and I had come here before our flight training just to test ourselves on the rollercoaster for Gforce tolerances both positive and negative. First one to vomit loses.

Although we both won the bet as no one vomited, she had both far more interest and tolerance for aerobatics. Me, I have no interest, and prefer a nice calm flight with a nice view, and nothing more.

"Oh, am I boring you??"

C172 — N7245T — Tehachapi > Whiteman — Basics — 1hrs

1hr fool around flight from Tehachapi back to Whiteman, where I was pretty certain this new instructor was offering to teach just to get a chance to seduce my unsuspecting partner, you really need to question the motives.

No preflight inspection, no preflight briefing, no planning with the map or GPS, nothing, despite asking. I mean, it's always fun to fly, but preps make it real to the student...

Then, impatiently tapping fingers on the dashboard like there's something better to be doing, is not only distracting and discouraging to any student, but downright rude. And in a world of threatened aviation, we need all the good quality pilots we can have instructors make, no?

Lesson learned: Never take on an instructor till you've interviewed them thoroughly inside and out, and there's nothing but honest instruction on the table. They're just people too, good or bad, and a student deserves a quality instructor to become a quality pilot. Just my 2 cents.

PS. Sporty's Private Pilot DVD's are great, and offer both a thorough list of things to check when choosing a flight school, and questions to ask when interviewing a new instructor. You might be surprised what you discover.