Learn to be a Pilot.... hmmm Who else?

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by JMowery1987, May 30, 2006.

  1. Alright, I've been doing some math, trying to figure out exactly how much it would cost roughly to get a private license to fly.

    It would be around 6k to 8k Including everything, cost to travel to the airport, renting the plane, doing the flying. It will be somewhere around 6 - 8k.

    Now the question I have to all of ET, who here has flown before and has a recreational or private license and any experiences and stories and advice.

    I really have been wanting to fly since I was a kid, and I find out how easy it could be, and I can now afford it with my trading, and I wouldn't mind renting a plane for about 200 a day and going out and about flying. I can't afford a plane just yet, nor do I think I'd ever have reason to buy one anytime soon, but I had been craving the action to fly.

    I'm thinking about getting the gift certificate to take a discovery lesson for about 60 dollars. Kinda scary though, but I'm willing to take the risk, it just seems like fun, and even I am playing Flight Simulator right now, just thinking about really doing it.

    So who's done it?
  2. Lucrum


    I'm doing it for a living. Started out in sailplanes then single engine Cessna's and am now flying corporate jets. What would you like to know?

    One thing I can think of right off. Is your estimate based on the required 40 hours for a private license? Some years ago the national average flight time flown to obtain a private license was 60 hours, it may be even more now.
  3. Yeah I was thinking about what the websites said about instruction, about 40 hours is the absolute minimum, I'm a quick learner but even I probably would take a good amount of time to learn.

    I was just interested in how the process went to get your license, how safe it really is, what are the costs involved to go flying by yourself.

    For example, I see that you can rent planes by the hour. http://www.curtiseads.com/ is where I'd probably go because it is very close to me, not the cloesest, but very close and I have no problem driving out there.

    So when you learn to fly, basically you are paying to rent the plane, and you are paying for the instructor, for however many hours you need to fly with the instuctor to learn. Then one you do well enough, he will give you permission to fly solo, and then you rent the plane again, but you don't have to pay the instructor? Then it comes back to basically where you are riding with your parents to learn how to drive, except your mom/dad isn't with you and you are just flying with yourself. Then you just have to get comfortable flying solo. Then once you get comfortable completely, you have a guy come to you to give you a test, and then you fly around with him *how does that work*, and if you pass, you get the private license.

    Do you happen to know what are the requirements for a recreational license.

    Also any more reliable info on learning about this.

    My sister's husband is also interested as well. I'm just trying to figure out if it is really that simple.

    And if I really did get my license. Is it actually cost-effective to fly to someplace (for example, I always go to Pennsylvania from Virginia during the summer to see my family in PA). Now I have played Flight Simulator quite a bit, and it takes about 2 - 3 hours in a Cessna to get from PA to VA, so is it safe to assume that it will be around the same as well?

    If you rent an airplane, you cna rent it overnight. OKay, but if you go across country, are there usually a lot of airports you can go to, to tiedown the plane for the night, or for however long you stay?

    Just basically trying to get a feel for how this all works.

    Laslty, when did you get your license and how did you make a career out of it?

    And of course anything else you think I should know before I get into this. How often do you believe someone should be prepared to fly per week. I'd probably start off with one day per week, Friday if possible (although I can imagine it would probably be very busy on a Friday).

    That's about all I can think about right now. Just interested in learning.
  4. Maverick74


    I have a pilot's license. I don't know where in the world you are going to rent a plane for 200 a day. A cessna 172 will cost you close to 80 an hour. That might be a little low as this is going back a few years. And that does not include the fuel.
  5. Maverick74


    First thing you will need to do is get your private pilot's license. This will consist of ground school and flying. You will need to pass private pilot exam and also pass a flying exam with your instructor. Then you will solo. After you do this, you will fly and accumulate hours.

    Once you accumulate I think it's 500 hours, you can start studying for your instrument Flight Rating (IFR). Without the IFR, you cannot fly at night or fly in low visibility conditions. This will consist of more ground school and more flying with your instructor. Then you repeat the process of passing the IFR exam, and your flight exam. Then if you chooe to, you can pursue your multi-engine rating. Same process.

    You will also need to pass a physical before you get your private pilot's license. This is not a regular physical. You must have perfect eye sight (20/20), although I think now they allow corrective lens if you have 20/20 with them.
  6. 71 an hour for a Piper Tomahawk.
    Fuel included.... I don't know how long an average flight around a state would take, I really don't, but, I can afford it if required, rather pay for something that could be a lifelong deal instead of buying an Xbox 360 to rot out my mind or something.

    I'm not interested in flying across the country or anything anytime soon, just getting a license and maybe go off on a weekend and fly around VA for a little while.

    I don't know how long instructor lessons will usually last in a single day.... anyone have any idea how long each lesson with the instructor will be or a good amount to start with?

    I'll have to get in contact with an instructor to find out about all this.
  7. Lucrum



    I haven't done any instructing since the early 80's so some of this may be a bit dated but it will still give you a general idea.

    While learning to fly you'll pay three different fees. The cost to rent the plane, the cost of an instructor for flight instruction and cost of an instructor for ground instruction. When your flying solo you'll only need to pay for the plane. When flying with an instructor you'll pay for the plane and instruction and during ground school you'll only pay for an instructor.

    If it took you the average of 60 flight hours to get your license then you might spend 1/2 solo 1/2 with an instructor and maybe another 15 - 30 hours of ground school. All of this will vary considerably for individuals as well as different flight schools.

    It can be done faster but I'd plan to spend 6 months or more. Not only will you have to learn to handle the plane you also learn how to give your plane a preflight inspection, file flight plans, FAA regulations, several forms of navigation, airspace restrictions, talking to ATC on the radio, aircraft limitations/procedures and much more.
    First solo can be as soon as 12 - 15 hours but some people take much longer. Your instructor will have to approve you for more solo time after he feels your ready. Towards the end of your training you'll take a written exam. Once you've passed that at some point your instructor will sign you off to take whats known as a check ride with either an FAA examiner or more likely a designated examiner. The test will consist of both an oral and a pratical test in flight.

    The recreation license came years after I had my basic training so I'm not familiar with it but you can find it in the links above I'm sure.

    In a well maintained plane with a competent instructor you'll be safer than in the car driving to the airport.

    you can keep rentals overnight but many FBO's have daily minimums.
    Most smaller single engine aircraft cruise between 90 and 180 kts. The faster ones will generally cost more to rent.
    There are hundreds if not thousands of smaller airports aside from the larger airports normally served by the airlines.
    In fact that's one of the advantages of GA.
    Cost effective to travel? If your time is important or limited yes but it will never be cheaper than driving.

    I got my private license the year I graduated HS, 1979. I think I had my instrument and commercial later that year and multi-engine, CFI and CFMEI the next year.

    I would start out at a smaller airport if pratical. trying to learn at a busy airport will be distracting because of traffic and ATC. Take a demo flight. If your not sure you'll like the instructor, take another with someone else. There are good and not so good instructors.
  8. Awesome, thanks for the information.


    Just curious if you could check that website and notice if you see anything alarming or if it looks okay to give them a call up and schedule something?

    Again, thanks for the information, definately interested and would be willing to put in the time and effort.

    Sounds like fun.
  9. Lucrum


    I have been to Norfolk before but never that airport. They do seem to be dedicated to their flight school so it's probably worth taking a look at them.
  10. Thanks TL and Maverick for the info.

    Definately going to check it out, sounds like I can dedicate my time to, instead of only trading, can go out and try flying as well. I'll see what happens.
    #10     May 30, 2006