My name is Bill and I am starting ATP at the GKY location at the end of August! I have a handful of dual hours from the awesome people at my local FBO. However, I want to take on the immersive full time challenge that the ACPP provides. I will be taking my PAR written within the next week and I plan on also knocking the instrument written out of the way before my start date.
As someone originally from New England, I am wondering if anyone has tips for staying cool/maintaining a professional appearance during the most humid time of the year in Texas? Do people usually keep a towel in their flight bag for sweat management? Are planes allowed to taxi with the doors open?
Also, while reading the Archer Training Supplement, I noticed that the landing SOP includes pitch for glide path and throttle for airspeed. This was very surprising considering that I have been previously taught to pitch/trim for airspeed and then use throttle to maintain elevation. I am wondering why some pilots would choose one method over the other? Or is it really all the same thing?
Welcome to the forum and congrats on your upcoming start date! Texas summers are brutal and really it’s up to you how you want to manage that heat. As long as you are in your ATP polo and khaki, black, navy shorts you are covered with the dress code policy. If you want to bring a towel to clear the sweat without getting it all over your clothes that could be a good option. You can also where the atp approved baseball hat to keep your face out of the sun. Maybe get a portable little fan for when you’re out on the ramp. In the archers, there isn’t a window like the cessnas so most people will taxi with the door open and secure the airplane well prior to the hold short lines. Once you’re airborne and get up in altitude the air gets cooler and will be vented through the airplane, it’s just the ground ops that can get quite hot.
Its pilot technique but the method in the ATP supplement is the most commonly accepted method and the one you’ll use for the rest of your career. It’s also easier to learn and maintain. Think about the landing profile, the goal is to establish a constant descent path. Pitch effects your airspeed so if you’re pitch stays constant maintaining glide path to the touchdown point then all you have to do is adjust the throttle to achieve the desired landing speed. The other method, you’re using pitch for airspeed but what happens when you chase that airspeed? Your pitch changes which changes your glide path creating an unstable approach to landing.
Welcome to the ATP family and congratulations on getting a start date! I appreciate that you are taking the initiative to get the writtens completed, I think this will be very helpful allowing you to maximize your time in the flights not having to stress about studying for a written. Having the most time to practice the maneuvers and aircraft systems is extremely helpful.
A small sweat towel would be helpful to clear the sweat, all the Archers have a blower fan that has four discharges above you and four air discharges from the intakes located leading edge of the wings at the bottom by your legs (one for each occupant seat). Like Hannah mentioned, the temperature on the ground tends to be hotter than the air up at altitude, I’ve had days where it’s 37 C on the runway and it’s 22 C at altitude…that’s a really nice change of temperature in my opinion.
The debate for the landing profiles is a battle with some, everyone trains differently; I agree with Hannah. Setting your power to a “known setting” and using your pitch to maintain that altitude or glide path makes things much easier. I train all my students to set the power and make minor adjustments using trim to hold altitude and/or a glidepath, some that I adopted where mind boggling when they saw how much nicer it was to fly than changing power constantly at altitude.
I’m from NY and a small gym towel works great. Don’t forget LOTS of water to stay hydrated and think cool thoughts! As the others have said, once your airborne you’ll be fine. Also (and this may be just me), I’ll take doing a walk around in the sun when it’s 90° than in the snow when it’s 20°. Years ago I took my brother in law up in an Archer in Jersey. It was stupid hot out so we taxied with the door open, as we were getting close to the rwy he looked at me all wide eyed and asked “you’re gonna close the door right?”. My bad, I should’ve done a better brief.
As for the pitch/power debate it’s been going on for years and most likely will continue. What’s really important here is for you not to be surprised. While it’s great you have a “handful of dual”, you’re going to get much more training AND instructing with ATP and it’s important to dump anything you’ve previously learned and do things the ATP way. Once you get to jets you’ll actually use both depending on the situation but as Hannah said, maintaining a constant pitch will give you more stability on an approach.
I am looking at the GKY location as well and wondered about the heat. It’s been ~10 years since I was in a place that had hot summers like Texas. I had a question about the dress code though. I almost never wear shorts. I think of training like a job, I was planning on wearing what I would wear to work- khaki slacks and dress shoes. Is that going to be a little nuts in the summer? Also Hannah mentioned wearing the baseball cap, but I thought I’d read that you weren’t supposed to wear it on the ramp- only in the center or in the aircraft (prevent FOD?) is that correct?
I prefer wearing pants too. I recommend something breathable. Brands like North Face, Columbia, PrAna, and even scrubs (yep scrubs) made with a lightweight/breathable material work well in heat. They make a lot of different style scrubs these days. Some look just like semi/prof pants but they have extra pockets which would come in handy while flying.
Edit: Actually I think golf pants would be perfect
I believe your understanding of the hat is correct.
I trained in the winter in Manassas, so the heat questions are out of my element. Our biggest concern when I trained was getting the oil warm enough that it would actually flow out of the bottles and into the engines.
The old pitch for airspeed vs. pitch for glide slope is an age old debate. I have never understood the FAA’s reasoning for going with the pitch for airspeed and power for altitude, particularly when on glide slope. That is akin to getting on the runway to take off, and pumping the yoke back and forth in hopes of being able to accelerate and take off.
ATP is teaching it the way the airlines do and what makes sense.
Thanks for the responses everyone! That is interesting to hear that both methods might be used in different situations. I am looking forward to my start date and jumping in head first!
Thanks for the recommendations. I never would have thought of golf pants.
I took my PAR written today and wound up getting a 98%! In the words of Martha King, I didn’t get “buffaloed by the flight computer”. I took the test at a FBO that I am not familiar with. I am always amazed by how friendly and kind people are at airports.
I look forward to hitting the books and knocking out my IRA written before my start date!
Nice job Bill! That’s a great score.
Great score, nice work! Keep the scores like that coming, FAA examiners like to see that you put some effort into studying.
Martha King is awesome, I have had the pleasure of meeting her and John a few times. They are every bit as nice as you would think they are.
Thanks Chris and Hannah. I look forward to keeping the momentum going! The Kings do keep it fun and interesting.
I’m a little late to the party here, but I find the pitch/power subject to be more philosophies than methods. If you’re doing either one correct you’re making the exact same control inputs. If you’re low and slow, you need to add power and adjust pitch, if you’re high and fast, you need to reduce power and adjust pitch with either. That being said, I’ve been flying and teaching the ATP way for a while and it is much more intuitive.
Congrats on passing your PAR. You’re doing yourself and your instructors a huge favor by knocking out as many writtens as you can.
The difference in method is most notable when you are high and slow or low and fast. If you have the right power and flap setting, but find yourself in either of those two situations you might be able to correct yourself with pitch only.
Thank you! I will be wrapping up Sheppard Air and taking the instrument written soon.
When I took lessons at my local airport I always found the landing procedures interesting.
Looking forward to doing things the ATP way.
I thought I would post an update and say that I agree; Sheppard Air works! By following their strategy closely I have aced the IRA, FII, and CAX exams.
Since I am nearly at my start date for the ACPP, I have shifted focus to reviewing the various training supplements that were included with the ATP training bundle.
I am looking forward to posting from time to time and sharing my experiences at ATP.
That is exciting news on the three scores, keep it up! I loved getting a head start writtens, it allowed me to focus so much on the flying and procedural aspect a lot…hopefully you will also feel this way.
Look forward to reading about your journey.
I’m also a little late to this but I live in TX and would say golf pants are a great option. The fabric tends to be thinner, more breathable, and made to stretch. Best of luck at GKY. I’m in the last stages of deciding whether to career change into aviation and ATP and GKY are my top choice. Please keep us updated on your progress if you can.