I wanted to update how my first week went. So far I’ve really enjoyed my time in Trenton. We’ve flown a few times (maneuvers, intro to TOLS). I got to experience the simulator a few times as well. Everyone at the training center is great and has been very helpful. It’s definitely fast paced but I completely expected that and wouldn’t want it any other way!
Unfortunately, the one downside that’s dampened my experience is motion sickness. I’ve gotten nauseous every time we’ve flown (doing the maneuvers I actually got sick). We flew today and I felt pretty good until the last 30 minutes of the flight when I got nauseous again.
I’m really hoping I can overcome this. My instructor says my ability to fly the airplane (at this stage) is really good. It’s just the motion sickness that’s keeping me back. I feel once I get over it, then I can really start enjoying flying and the experience.
To end on a positive note, my favorite part so far was during today’s flight listening in on Philly approach. Really cool to listen to that!
Bob Hoover was one of the best pilots that ever lived and it took him a few months to get over motion sickness as a kid learning to fly.
If you don’t know who that is… look him up.
WW2 Vet, Test Pilot, Best friends with Chuck Y and considered the best aerobatic pilot of his time.
Stick with it
I suspect that the motion sickness will fade in time. Summer is the worst for this to begin with, fall usually brings more stable air and less turbulent skies. I know it sounds cliche, but try not to think about it or focus on it. Maybe try some of those over the counter remedies like a motion sickness band. Just avoid any medicines that cause drowsiness.
It is much more common than you think. The summer is the absolute hardest time to be in a small trainer because it’s hot and bumpy, two ingredients that cause motion sickness. Plus being new to everything, being nervous and afraid to actually get sick makes it a recipe for disaster.
I struggled with motion sickness for the first 10-15 hours too. The best advice I have for you, make sure you always eat a little something before you go up. Having an empty stomach makes it worse. See if you can get the first flight of the morning or the last flight at night when the skies are cooler and calmer. Keep the airflow on your face as much as possible and if you start to feel it coming on, communicate that with your instructor. It’s nothing to be ashamed about. Lastly, keep a bag with you at all times. Worst case scenario you have to puke in a bag. At least you get it over with and you’ll probably feel better for the rest of the flight.
Thank you Chris and Chris. I appreciate the advice and will definitely take it. I like the fun fact about Bob Hoover!
Hannah, it’s nice to hear others have had a similar problem early on as well. I’ve read that a decent amount of student pilots have had the same issues. I really appreciate the advice and will continue to do that. I’ll be sure to update closer to my solo.
It was a pleasure to meet you on Monday while I was in supporting Chris for his Commercial Single Engine checkride!
I flew with a student once that tried the nauseous wrist band with pressure, it seemed to help them. Maybe stop by your local CVS and pick yourself up a pair and try that? Sea-Band Motion Sickness Bracelet
Flying is a different feeling, and not only could it be motion, but it could also be nerves kicking into gear…since it is a different feeling. Make sure you’re also staying hydrated on these very hot and humid summer days. I like drinking Pedialyte. I know it’s expensive, but what I would do is drink a few ounces before bed, that way I’m staying hydrated throughout the night when I’m resting. This seemed to help any type of sickness I ever got while in training. I’ve only truly gotten “sick” once and that was during Instrument phase and I was under the hood doing holds back-to-back, in the “bumpiest” conditions I could have ever asked for in the middle of August.
It was a pleasure to meet you as well! Best of luck at the airlines. They are getting a great pilot and hard worker.
That’s really good advice. I actually just ordered one so hopefully it can take the edge off a bit. The heat certainly doesn’t help and I plan on bringing tons of water with me. I’ll try Pedialyte as well. Clarence is my instructor and he’s been great!
I look forward to continuing to update my progress on here as I get close to my check ride in early September.
Just wanted to provide an update:
I had my solo eval today. I did a lot of good things throughout the eval but I did make a mistake that prevented me from passing it.
On the downwind, ATC told me I was #2 to land and report when traffic is insight. I found the traffic but forgot to report back to ATC for them to clear me to land. I continued until my final approach until my lead instructor told me to go around and explained to me what I did wrong.
It was definitely an important lesson for me. I was frustrated with myself because I know better and have done it properly before but I let myself get distracted by the traffic and didn’t commute clearly. Ironically, I’m not sure the controller realized he didn’t clear me to land because he never mentioned it on my go around. Either way, I’ll use this as a very good lesson so that I ensure safety for myself and others and improve my situational awareness.
These kinds of things happen, just be glad that it happened on the practice solo and not on the actual solo flight. It sounds like you have learned from this and will take that lesson forward. Please let us know when you get that solo in!
This is why it’s so important in training environments to conduct evaluation flights (or at least flying with another instructor if conducting training outside of ATP). You get a second look at by a standardized instructor that looks for key points in-flight. Trenton is a busy airspace, especially having two very big size flight schools and the corporate/airline guys in-and-out; It is very important to stay focused in the moment.
When I was a lead instructor, I found common errors in solo evaluations as improper braking, landing off centerline, ballooning or bouncing and not executing a go-around when necessary. Another was ATC communications and understanding/interpreting applying it to their flight - which seemed to be this case. Trenton controllers are fantastic, they’re human as well (who can make a mistake like anyone) and another reason why we as pilots need great situational awareness to prevent accidents/incidents from occurring.
As Chris said, it’s good this happened now and not tomorrow when you were soloing. Pilot deviations are no fun and can go on your permanent record. Get that retraining done and get a successful evaluation out of the next flight! Don’t forget to wear your ATP Solo T-Shirt when you solo, pictures afterward are always welcomed.
As the others have said, these things happen and it sounds like you have everything else down.
On a side note its not the controllers job to make sure your clear to land, its yours.
Will definitely update once I can do my solo!
Absolutely. One of the many new things I’ve learned at Trenton is how busy it can get and how tough a job ATC has. I try to listen to ATC live to expose myself as much as possible to the communications so that I’m more prepared each time. Pilot deviations are definitely serious and that was part of my conversation with my instructor and lead. I probably learned more today than any other day at ATP.
You’re absolutely right. Even if I need to have ATC repeat their call to me so I know exactly what I’m supposed to do.
NEVER forget that! Ever! Land without a clearance and you can get in trouble, ask them to repeat and you won’t. I can’t tell you how many times one pilot will ask “hey are we cleared to land?” and the other will swear they are, when they aren’t! That’s literally one of my biggest pet peeves and actually part of my, and many Capts, briefings. If either pilot is EVER unsure of ANY clearance (even if the other pilot swears they heard) ask for a confirmation. It’s popularly known as “cheap insurance”, doesn’t cost a thing and has literally saved many careers including my own.
Great lesson learned!
I did my first solo this morning! I did my re-evaluation and it went great. It was pretty incredible going up by myself and realizing I’m the only one in the airplane. Beautiful morning with a view of the Philly skyline during takeoff.
I plan to update after my private check ride, hopefully as a private pilot!
Congratulations! What a difference from your last post to this one! I am so glad it worked out well for you and am looking forward to hearing that you are a PPL. Thanks for the update and the picture.
Congrats on soloing! Best of luck preparing for your PPL checkride, don’t stop studying - Adam said once and I always remember it and brought it up to my students:
“In my experience “potential unpreparedness” will often (if not always) lead to “serious nervousness” and “anxiety”. The solution therfore is simple, eliminate the unpreparedness. You need to buckle down and bust your butt. If you have doubt that simply means you need to study some more. Still unsure? Back to the books until this stuff is rote. You’ve got the Oral Prep guides.” (@Adam).
I did? Wow! I actually sound kinda wise!