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Consolidated Advice for Primary

Recovering LSO

Suck Less
pilot
Super Moderator
Contributor
#47
Hey guys i am finishing up the contacts stage this week, I dont have any prior flight time but I'm prior enlisted here's my 2 cents. I am having an absolute blast right now. I dont think alot of guys are enjoying primary for some strange reason(worrying to death about grades). As enlisted at the end of a 12 hour shift you have a 1 hour brief then you get to go home and hope you dont get called back to work because someone lost a tool. Being a SNA is such a great experience after studying for a few hours I brief and my god i get to go fly a million dollar airplane. Dont get so wrapped up on stuff you cant control because honestly the grades arent going to change how i prepare for a flight, if i suck at stalls im going to work at it in the practice sims youll know what youre not good at and what areas you need to improve in at least for me. Getting a 3 on a stall doesnt turn a lightbulb on in my head to practice stalls.
Every SNA/SNFO on this forum should print this post, stick it to the mirror in their bathroom, and read it everyday before going to "work."
 

Hopeful Hoya

Well-Known Member
Contributor
#48
Things that I did early on that really seemed to help me in Primary:

- Started studying EPs after Flight Suit Friday and while in Primary Pool before classing up. Nothing extreme, just flipping through them while in the gym or on the toilet
- Hit the checklists hard in the static sims while in ground school. By the time I actually got to the plane I could go from cold and dark to ready to taxi in under 10 minutes
- Did a practice sim a day in ground school, focusing first on running EPs and then hitting the landing pattern hard

If you can be solid on the EPs, checklists, and procedures by the time you start your first graded sims you can really start breaking out because you'll be crushing the super easy stuff (like the first 5 checklist and EP sims) and you'll be able to start working on more advanced stuff, like actually flying the plane and comms. Getting 4s and 5s in the early blocks when the MIF is a 2 or a 3 is what is going to catapult you to the right of the NSS curve.

The most important thing is to have fun. I've seen people stress themselves out to the point that they crack because all they do is study and stop doing normal shit like working out or hanging out with friends or going and getting drunk at Seville on the weekends. If you're not having one of those "pinch me I must be dreaming" moments every flight because the sun is shining and you're getting paid to fly around in a $6m plane while your civilian friends are sitting in cubicles then you're doing it wrong.
 
#49
Hey guys i am finishing up the contacts stage this week, I dont have any prior flight time but I'm prior enlisted here's my 2 cents. I am having an absolute blast right now. I dont think alot of guys are enjoying primary for some strange reason(worrying to death about grades). As enlisted at the end of a 12 hour shift you have a 1 hour brief then you get to go home and hope you dont get called back to work because someone lost a tool. Being a SNA is such a great experience after studying for a few hours I brief and my god i get to go fly a million dollar airplane. Dont get so wrapped up on stuff you cant control because honestly the grades arent going to change how i prepare for a flight, if i suck at stalls im going to work at it in the practice sims youll know what youre not good at and what areas you need to improve in at least for me. Getting a 3 on a stall doesnt turn a lightbulb on in my head to practice stalls.
Joined years ago, waits until the perfect moment to drop a wisdom bomb (their one and only message) and disappears into the haze. An American hero if I've ever met one.
 
#50
12-15 hours is way too much. DO NOT study that much. the average studs brain will not retain the necessary info for the lessons. 50/10 rule up to 6 hours max works great. They operate with the walk/crawl/run mentality so no, you do not need to be able to pass your checkride knowledge wise on your fam1. know what they want you to know for each brief, know the maneuvers and how to get to the pelican/moa and back. and what to say. they expect stumbling. youre a less than 100 hr flight student. bring knowledge and theyll show you how to pilot.
 

andrewt

Active Member
#51
...At TW-5, the ENS underground is strong. We talk. The only motivation driven DORs came from OCS studs. The academy/rotc studs were either attrites or they DORed for inability to physiologically adapt or just straight up couldn't get past the contact check ride. Prior flight guys/gals crush. period. I have yet to meet one that is not doing very well. Females statistically do worse in primary than their male counterparts. Not trying to offend anyone here but the data is crunched at the wing level and an IP confirmed there has been briefings on this. That being said, a girl just selected jets... and guess what... over 300+ hours civilian.
... Overall though... to any studs reading this... I enjoyed primary. It was challenging, yet achievable with hard work and motivation. I'll finish mid pack though without ever having unsatted/failed anything and being below mif once. I stand by my conviction prior flight time, especially into the 100+ hours, is a game changer.
I'm still a good long way from Primary, but wondering how I stack up in terms of flight experience. I've got 65 hours and finished my PPL in April. I wouldn't really compare myself to the Commercial guys and gals or CFIs putting in hours for their ATP, but I put in the work and had a 95% on the written, had a pretty easy time with the practical. Been studying instrument rating material and it seems easy enough, but I don't have the cash to do the flying at the moment.

I figure I'm a good way ahead of the IFS only guys, since they probably get like what, 15 hrs tops there. Have doubts if I'm far enough ahead to be "crushing" like the former CFIs though.
 

Python1287

Well-Known Member
pilot
Contributor
#52
I'm still a good long way from Primary, but wondering how I stack up in terms of flight experience. I've got 65 hours and finished my PPL in April. I wouldn't really compare myself to the Commercial guys and gals or CFIs putting in hours for their ATP, but I put in the work and had a 95% on the written, had a pretty easy time with the practical. Been studying instrument rating material and it seems easy enough, but I don't have the cash to do the flying at the moment.

I figure I'm a good way ahead of the IFS only guys, since they probably get like what, 15 hrs tops there. Have doubts if I'm far enough ahead to be "crushing" like the former CFIs though.
With your level of experience you will do slightly better (maybe) than IFS only. You won’t crush. I LOL’d when I read about your written exam score. That will translate nothing to your performance in primary. If you get into some instrument rating stuff, that will be a huge benefit for your future grades. It will also be a huge drain on your wallet.
 

Igloojam

Active Member
#53
I'm still a good long way from Primary, but wondering how I stack up in terms of flight experience. I've got 65 hours and finished my PPL in April. I wouldn't really compare myself to the Commercial guys and gals or CFIs putting in hours for their ATP, but I put in the work and had a 95% on the written, had a pretty easy time with the practical. Been studying instrument rating material and it seems easy enough, but I don't have the cash to do the flying at the moment.

I figure I'm a good way ahead of the IFS only guys, since they probably get like what, 15 hrs tops there. Have doubts if I'm far enough ahead to be "crushing" like the former CFIs though.

No advantage... EXCEPT you avoid IFS which is just another stage of training that you could potentially catch pink sheets. More Pink Sheets, More Problems.

Advantage is like 800+ flying commercially or as a flight instructor.
 

andrewt

Active Member
#54
With your level of experience you will do slightly better (maybe) than IFS only. You won’t crush. I LOL’d when I read about your written exam score. That will translate nothing to your performance in primary. If you get into some instrument rating stuff, that will be a huge benefit for your future grades. It will also be a huge drain on your wallet.
I can see how the written score might be funny to ya, but it helped keep the checkride oral nice and brief lol

What makes you place such an emphasis on the instrument if you don't mind me asking? I suppose to some pilots that may be their first brush with the controlled environment, but apart from that at first glance shooting approaches and such doesn't seem like all that big a deal. I was thinking spending a little time in a complex aircraft or even multiengine would maybe be more valuable.

Either way, thanks for the quick reply, definitely appreciated.
 

andrewt

Active Member
#55
No advantage... EXCEPT you avoid IFS which is just another stage of training that you could potentially catch pink sheets. More Pink Sheets, More Problems.

Advantage is like 800+ flying commercially or as a flight instructor.
Yeah no chance of that happening any time soon. How many SNAs fit that description though? 800 hours isn't much shy of that restricted ATP, not sure who is turning around to join the Navy with that sort of PIC time.
 

Python1287

Well-Known Member
pilot
Contributor
#56
I can see how the written score might be funny to ya, but it helped keep the checkride oral nice and brief lol

What makes you place such an emphasis on the instrument if you don't mind me asking? I suppose to some pilots that may be their first brush with the controlled environment, but apart from that at first glance shooting approaches and such doesn't seem like all that big a deal. I was thinking spending a little time in a complex aircraft or even multiengine would maybe be more valuable.

Either way, thanks for the quick reply, definitely appreciated.
“Crushing it” means doing well on grades. Doing well on grades means doing well relative to your peers. Instruments are a tough thing to learn and the bar for instruments is initially low in primary. If you can hit the ground running there you will be ahead of your peers and get great grades. Complex and multi will not make a difference.

And the written. It is still funny to me. Doesn’t matter one bit about the private checkride oral went for you. Primary will be a different beast.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. PPL guys may or may not do better in primary. Commercial/CFI/instrument guys generally crush it (with rare exceptions). Trust me, I was one of those guys that did all my civilian ratings and checkrides before the Navy.
 

Igloojam

Active Member
#57
Yeah no chance of that happening any time soon. How many SNAs fit that description though? 800 hours isn't much shy of that restricted ATP, not sure who is turning around to join the Navy with that sort of PIC time.
More than you think. I personally knew 3 people in primary with me who were former regional pilots. Flying commerical is boring. Either you make it far enough to be an ATP or youre still bumping cessnas around somewhere for little money. All flight students start out flying an 1100 hp turbo prop with an ejection seat. We solo the same aircraft in about 13 flights, and then do an aerobatic solo in about 5 after that. Most civilians will never step foot in an aircraft like that. The missions and the airframes you can fly. Second to none. That is why people “give up” their ATP life. That will always be there. Flying jets, helos, and whatever else has an age limit. Naval Flight Training is the most prestigious flight training in the world.
 

andrewt

Active Member
#58
More than you think. I personally knew 3 people in primary with me who were former regional pilots. Flying commerical is boring. Either you make it far enough to be an ATP or youre still bumping cessnas around somewhere for little money. All flight students start out flying an 1100 hp turbo prop with an ejection seat. We solo the same aircraft in about 13 flights, and then do an aerobatic solo in about 5 after that. Most civilians will never step foot in an aircraft like that. The missions and the airframes you can fly. Second to none. That is why people “give up” their ATP life. That will always be there. Flying jets, helos, and whatever else has an age limit. Naval Flight Training is the most prestigious flight training in the world.
That's all definitely true, but you have to do all that training, make the regionals and grow bored with it in time to commission by 27. No small feat imo.

And the written. It is still funny to me. Doesn’t matter one bit about the private checkride oral went for you. Primary will be a different beast.
Fair enough. No doubt on my end that primary will still be a pain. Guess I was just hoping for a more positive reception. Then again, when my recruiter was showing me examples of pilot selects and I'd see 10 hours in light sport aircraft, I was having the same thoughts you guys are. Shoe's on the other foot now.
 

HAL Pilot

Well-Known Member
None
Contributor
#59
More than you think. I personally knew 3 people in primary with me who were former regional pilots. Flying commerical is boring. Either you make it far enough to be an ATP or youre still bumping cessnas around somewhere for little money. All flight students start out flying an 1100 hp turbo prop with an ejection seat. We solo the same aircraft in about 13 flights, and then do an aerobatic solo in about 5 after that. Most civilians will never step foot in an aircraft like that. The missions and the airframes you can fly. Second to none. That is why people “give up” their ATP life. That will always be there. Flying jets, helos, and whatever else has an age limit. Naval Flight Training is the most prestigious flight training in the world.
Once again the ignorant speak without the experience to back it up. If you were one of those who had "given up their ATP life", then you post would be a valid opinion. As it is, it is nothing but ignorant speculation from a wanna-be who has not proven himself in either military or civilian aviation.
 

Igloojam

Active Member
#60
Very easy when you start flying at 16 and graduate college a CFI and several hundred hours.

Once again the ignorant speak without the experience to back it up. If you were one of those who had "given up their ATP life", then you post would be a valid opinion. As it is, it is nothing but ignorant speculation from a wanna-be who has not proven himself in either military or civilian aviation.
I asked 2 of them personally why they did what they did because I too was curious why they “gave it up”. That is where my info is coming from. What I said is literally a recap of both of their perspectives. One said he also always wanted to be a Marine. Both are heading to jet advanced. Didn’t realize having to personally experience something was prerequisite to share others experiences. I’ve never been to the Bahamas but I’m sure we can all agree it’s a nice place based on secondhand experiences.
 
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