Flight schools with a DA40 fleet

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Colin
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Re: Flight schools with a DA40 fleet

Post by Colin »

I do not believe that lowers any risk factor to avoid larger airports. Others may disagree. Knowing and being comfortable for how to fly around busy airports makes you a better and safer pilot.
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Don
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Re: Flight schools with a DA40 fleet

Post by Don »

kal wrote:
Sat Sep 04, 2021 2:49 am
One more thing, I'm trying to avoid busy airspace airports for my PPL at least. Lowering the training risk factor. I don't plane to fly commercial so this is really to prepare me for a purchase of a DA40NG down the line training in a safe aircraft and safe airport with minimal heavy jet traffic.
Actually, IMO, learning to fly in a busy area will give you better training and a higher situational awareness of your surroundings. You will also learn to communicate with ATC on busy frequencies. I have known a few pilots who learned to fly in remote areas. When entering airspace such as found in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, etc, to mention a few, they are totally Intimidated as they have not been trained to do so. It has been said, if you have learned to fly in these airspaces, you can fly anywhere. Angel Cities at KLGB would be an excellent choice. Just sayin.
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haykinson
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Re: Flight schools with a DA40 fleet

Post by haykinson »

I found that by getting my PPL and IR in the Los Angeles area, I ended up with some skewed understanding of the real world.

1) After my PPL, I had very little experience with nontowered airports, and felt very intimidated by them. Even now, years later, it still shows in my level of comfort. On the other hand, I really enjoy towered airports and feel good at fitting in with their expectations.

2) Instrument flight planning in SoCal is a bit weird, since we have a lot of TEC routes. This means that a) you don't even need to file instrument flights for a good chunk of SoCal, and can just ask the tower right when you decide to fly, and b) even if you do file, you're almost always getting a TEC route clearance. As far as I know this is something fairly rare in a good chunk of the country, but having this crutch had left me with less practice filing real IFR plans than I'd like.

3) Difficulty of flying published missed procedures. When training, you often want to follow the published missed. In an airport-dense environment, ATC really can't give you that very often as the missed approach for one airport might actually interfere with a real approach to another one. So on one hand, you don't get as much practice with those — but on the other, you get much better at executing one-off instructions from ATC.

I guess this is maybe another way of saying is that no matter what you choose, you'll be a bit deficient in your training, so maybe the best option is to train at the edge of two systems — busy and non-busy — and have you instructor get you very comfortable with both.
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Re: Flight schools with a DA40 fleet

Post by Rich »

haykinson wrote:
Tue Sep 07, 2021 4:39 pm
I guess this is maybe another way of saying is that no matter what you choose, you'll be a bit deficient in your training, so maybe the best option is to train at the edge of two systems — busy and non-busy — and have you instructor get you very comfortable with both.
Absolutely true. You will be inexperienced in some aspects of the different conditions that you will later encounter. Example: My primary training was in Eastern Colorado, where 30 miles visibility seemed like marginal VFR.
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Re: Flight schools with a DA40 fleet

Post by dant »

One thing to add about busy airspaces is it's often a trek to get to the practice areas which makes training a lot slower than it might otherwise be.

Now that I'm flying out of KPAE it's a huge difference from KBFI. You're more or less in the practice area by the time you leave the PAE delta, whereas KBFI you're a good 10 minutes away.

And that's for VFR! Last friday I did some training IFR out of KBFI and we were waiting for release for 10 minutes. A 737 Max "Experimental" took off, then they moved us out of the way for a lifeline flight, then we got to go.

All that being said, I find complex airspace more fun and it definitely keeps you on your toes.
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Re: Flight schools with a DA40 fleet

Post by haykinson »

dant wrote:
Wed Sep 08, 2021 4:44 am
Last friday I did some training IFR out of KBFI and we were waiting for release for 10 minutes.
Sigh, my last IFR flight had me at the hold short line for 20 minutes. And that's with only one arrival into my airport — just the cost of trying to coordinate departures with LAX during a period with a 600' IMC layer. I was sitting there at SMO, watching LAX arrival & departures traffic and trying to imagine the gap they were going to squeeze me into.
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Re: Flight schools with a DA40 fleet

Post by MitchGreen »

I used Diamond Flight Center of Texas (KGKY) when I bought my DA40. Very well-maintained aircraft and the people are top-notch.
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Re: Flight schools with a DA40 fleet

Post by dmloftus »

DragonFly Aviation in Winder GA is a quiet uncontrolled field outside the Atlanta Class Bravo, with an ILS. I think they have 5 DA20's and 3 or 4 DA40's. Really nice couple John and Heidi run it. The opposite in complexity is Advantage Aviation at KPAO. A class Delta in Palo Alto, it sits in very complex airspace under the KSFO Bravo, right next to Moffett Field and a myriad of Class Delta airports around the Bay. If you can learn to handle this airspace, you'll be able to fly anywhere in the world! Plus you get to experience the incredible scenery flying in the Bay area. Advantage has 3 or 4 DA40's and a huge fleet of Cessna, Cirrus, etc. As others have said, I highly recommend training at or near controlled airspace so you can repeatedly train and practice proper procedures. Learning to fly out in the country somewhere is certainly easier, but training from the start in controlled airspace will make you a better pilot and leave you much more comfortable with complex airspace once you have no instructor in the right seat. There are plenty of uncontrolled fields to the south of San Jose that will give you plenty of practice at those also.
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Re: Flight schools with a DA40 fleet

Post by Boatguy »

kal wrote:
Sat Sep 04, 2021 2:49 am
One more thing, I'm trying to avoid busy airspace airports for my PPL at least. Lowering the training risk factor. I don't plane to fly commercial so this is really to prepare me for a purchase of a DA40NG down the line training in a safe aircraft and safe airport with minimal heavy jet traffic.
Is the risk factor you are trying to avoid wake turbulence?

Flying is about more than stick and rudder skills required for the PPL checkride. It's being able to apply your stick and rudder skills, while also talking with ATC and maintaining airspace and traffic situational awareness. It is much better to learn those skills with a CFI in the right seat, than to hope to acquire those skills, and the confidence the confidence that comes with them, flying solo, or perhaps with your spouse/girlfriend/friends in the plane. The later is not a good learning environment.
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