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Posted: 6/28/2008 12:38:09 PM EDT
Ok I scheduled my first hour of dual next week. Yesterday I met with my instructor to ask some questions and learned that the national average from start to your certificate checkride is 72 hours. This flight school advises one to budget for 60 hours, but they have put people though in the low 40's. Obviously I want to be on the low end to save money but I dont know how realistic this is. I have a ton of right seat time and have flown lots of time cross country and local maneuvering stuff, but a lot of instruction is flying patterns/landing/takeoff. So I know Im a little ahead of the curve, but I dont know how much. It will be interesting to see. (BTW: my almost 23 year streak of never having flown in a nosewheel airplane will be broken next week, Im a little sad. )

So my question is how much time did you have when you solo'd, went on your checkride, and what year was it?
Link Posted: 6/28/2008 2:07:17 PM EDT
Well, my time was staggered. I got about 14 hours when I was 16 years old, and stopped flying until I was 22. When I started flying again at 22, it was about 11 hours until I soloed and 37 hours for my checkride. Those numbers don't include the 14 I had when I was 16 years old.
Link Posted: 6/28/2008 6:15:12 PM EDT
Around 48 hours for me in 2003. If you want to save money and finish in the least amount of hours, chairfly the shit out of your lessons prior to going out to the airport and flying.
Go over every little detail of the lesson, airspeeds, power settings, maneuver parameters, radio calls, etc. That way, you won't be wasting time on learning those in the plane and instead be perfecting what you already know.
Link Posted: 6/28/2008 11:22:48 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Kalahnikid:

So my question is how much time did you have when you solo'd, went on your checkride, and what year was it?


My instructor wanted me to take my stage check (Part 141) for my Solo @ about 28 hrs., but I held out, and I ended up @ 41.9 before my first solo.

He initially set me up for my stage 2 check @ about 60 hours, but then we hit bad weather, and scheduling issues, and my confidence started to go down, so by the time I got my checkride finished, I was at 83.7 hours.

This was last year, and this is for helicopters, so it's not an apples to apples comparison.

I got my commercial at 181.8 hours, with 104.6 hours PIC.


Link Posted: 6/29/2008 12:40:52 AM EDT

Originally Posted By itgoesboom:

Originally Posted By Kalahnikid:

So my question is how much time did you have when you solo'd, went on your checkride, and what year was it?


This was last year, and this is for helicopters, so it's not an apples to apples comparison.


Helicopters compared to a 152......yeah note quiet apples to apples.
Link Posted: 6/29/2008 7:57:48 AM EDT
My instructor wanted to solo me at about 18 hours, but I couldn't get my medical until 28 hours into my training.

I finished with 75 hours.
Link Posted: 6/29/2008 8:40:13 AM EDT
Link Posted: 6/29/2008 12:25:02 PM EDT
The biggest thing is to keep flying, and keep flying frequently. I got my private, instrument, and commercial while in college. We flew 3 times a week. The longer you have breaks inbetween, the more you'll forget, and then spend more time catching up/reviewing things. If you keep at it, it stays fresh in your head.

I think I had around 13 or 14 hours when I soloed. Got the private with just under 50 hours.
Link Posted: 6/29/2008 12:35:27 PM EDT
solo 11
checkride 42
Link Posted: 6/29/2008 6:25:13 PM EDT

Originally Posted By JustinOK34:
The biggest thing is to keep flying, and keep flying frequently. I got my private, instrument, and commercial while in college. We flew 3 times a week. The longer you have breaks inbetween, the more you'll forget, and then spend more time catching up/reviewing things. If you keep at it, it stays fresh in your head.

I think I had around 13 or 14 hours when I soloed. Got the private with just under 50 hours.


Yea, when I get in the air I want to hit it hard and fly 4 hours a week or so.
Link Posted: 6/30/2008 3:27:21 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/30/2008 6:37:30 PM EDT

Originally Posted By AeroE:
Don't learn to fly at an airport with a tower or in a radar environment. That will save 10's of hours.

There are two things that are the fault of the student that slow down Private candidates and cause these outrageous long training times. The first is procrastinating about taking the written test, and the second is procrastinating about taking a Class 3 physical, which delays first solo.

The other enormous contributor that is partially the student's fault is using a transient instructor that is building time. If a job comes along, you get dropped and may not find another instructor soon. Find a local instructor that has been at that same general location for 15 or 20 years, that will still be there when you finish. He knows the local examiners and has the book on their check rides, and he has enough experience to fix what's broke and get you through with a minimum of churning.

After that, fly with different instructors during check outs for rentals and bi-annual checks to glean their tricks of the trade.

If an instructor or school told me to expect more than 50 hours, I would walk on to the next place. I took most of my primary training on two USAF bases, and took the ride after 45 hours.

Which reminds of the third reason students take so long; they goof off on their solo flights instead of practicing and add unnecessary time.



You're always full of great advice that I appreciate very much. I have a good instructor that runs a good permanent training operation, she's a good instructor.

I know a lot of people are taking longer for various reasons and I think its BS. My mom learned in the same kind of plane Ill be training in and solo'd in like 9 hours completed the checkride in I think 35 hours or something. I dont see whey my times should be drastically different.

Anyways, thanks Aero!
Link Posted: 6/30/2008 9:07:34 PM EDT
I haven't instructed in 25 years, but I don't think things have changed all that much. Most of my students soloed in under 12 hours and finished in under 48 hours, with one who soloed in 8 and finished in 40.2. Review procedures before going to the airport, and get the instrument flying handbook and review the control/performance concept. Try to get in at least 3 sessions a week. In the words of one of my mentors: Learn the systems, abide by the limitations and don't do nuthin' dumb. Good luck.
Link Posted: 7/1/2008 6:37:09 AM EDT
Solo'd in 11 hours, check ride at 51 hours.
8 months start to finish, about 6 years ago,
in a Cherokee 140 multiple partnership.
I took two dual lessons per week, & solo
work on the weekends.

The most fun I have ever had learning to
do anything.

I can't stand the thought of renting at today's
rates, so I'm building a light sport aircraft now.
I intend to fly it on my class III.

Have fun!


Johnny C!
Link Posted: 7/4/2008 3:27:56 PM EDT
Soloed at 14 hours; would have been sooner but 9/11 put a hold on my training for a couple weeks and I had to get back up to speed. Checkride at 42 hours.

Your previous experience will help you a good bit; you don't need to learn all the really, really basic stuff.
Link Posted: 7/4/2008 3:42:20 PM EDT
I have my first hour of dual tomorrow (postponed due to rain from last week) and I told the instructor that this was just a peliminary hour to see if I like the airplane and the instructor. Start to finish at that school will run ballpark $6000 and the school is 40 miles away. It is located at my "home away from home" FBO and I know everyone there pretty well.

Today I find out that a flying club 60 miles away offers instruction to members and it will run about $2000 start to finish. () But its further away and I dont know anyone at that club except the one fellow who was telling me about this.

Now Im even more confused on what to do!
Link Posted: 7/5/2008 5:30:28 AM EDT
Link Posted: 7/5/2008 6:30:42 AM EDT

Originally Posted By AeroE:
The club story sounds like the person telling you doesn't have up to date information.


Yeah he does, his son just got his private last month and his total cost was $1975. The club has big fundraisers all the time to offset the cost, thats why I was there because they had a big flyin breakfast. I think Ill at least call and get more info, it wouldnt hurt right?
Link Posted: 7/7/2008 12:01:42 PM EDT
I soloed in 12hrs and took my private checkride in 51hrs. In addition to the other advice don't get all hung up on flying the newest and greatest planes. One of my friends did the whole glass cockpit thing and ended up spending way too much for it.

Like everyone else has said the biggest factor in your training is you. My students averaged about 50hrs and 85-90hrs with almost none in between. Memorize pitch and power settings along with the other basic stuff like numbers before you come in for your lesson and you will be well ahead of the game. have some fun and let us know how it goes.
Link Posted: 7/7/2008 12:06:43 PM EDT

Originally Posted By pdmenger:
I soloed in 12hrs and took my private checkride in 51hrs. In addition to the other advice don't get all hung up on flying the newest and greatest planes. One of my friends did the whole glass cockpit thing and ended up spending way too much for it.


I dont think there is anyone on arfcom less in danger of getting hung up on the latest and greatest planes.

Thanks for the advice!
Link Posted: 7/7/2008 1:38:19 PM EDT
Soloed around 16 and had my ticket at 49 hrs. My first lesson was the first time I was in a small plane. Did it in 6 months which I feel was key. Go as many times a week as you can. Two other things that never changed were my instructor and plane (C152) that I believe contributed.
Link Posted: 7/7/2008 3:07:11 PM EDT
Soloed at 12 hours, checkride at 50.

I could've done it in 45, but I dropped out for a few months due to work issues and had to re-learn a few nuances.

The biggest key, IMHO, is to FLY. Fly at LEAST twice a week for at least 1.2-1.5 hours. Follow that flight with an hour of ground school, covering the post-flight brief and an overview of the next flight.

Try to stay with the same airplane model; if at all possible, stay with the same N-number until after you solo. That way, you minimize learning the differences in the planes and having to remember them as you try to learn a new skill.

Good Luck to ya!
Link Posted: 7/7/2008 3:08:28 PM EDT
Do you think it would be detrimental to keep flying with my parents at home in a Citabria while Im taking lessons in a 152?
Link Posted: 7/8/2008 2:32:40 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Kalahnikid:
Do you think it would be detrimental to keep flying with my parents at home in a Citabria while Im taking lessons in a 152?


Nope... the Citabria will teach you to use your feet- something nosewheel pilots tend to forget... until a crosswind bites them in the ass!

What I said about staying with 1 plane was aimed at the flight school's birds. Occassionally flying with your parents in a Citabria won't hurt your progress at all.
Link Posted: 7/8/2008 7:46:05 PM EDT

Originally Posted By FB41:

Originally Posted By Kalahnikid:
Do you think it would be detrimental to keep flying with my parents at home in a Citabria while Im taking lessons in a 152?


Nope... the Citabria will teach you to use your feet- something nosewheel pilots tend to forget... until a crosswind bites them in the ass!

What I said about staying with 1 plane was aimed at the flight school's birds. Occassionally flying with your parents in a Citabria won't hurt your progress at all.


I flew 12 different aircraft prior to my first solo.

We have a lot of aircraft.
Link Posted: 7/9/2008 5:35:29 AM EDT
Soloed at 10 exactly, PPL at 41TT (including checkride) and MEL at 90TT.

Link Posted: 7/13/2008 10:12:02 PM EDT
Soloed at 12 hours, one day before my 18th Birthday (happened to be a friday the 13th)

Checkride at 54 hrs
Link Posted: 7/13/2008 10:26:35 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Kalahnikid:
Ok I scheduled my first hour of dual next week. Yesterday I met with my instructor to ask some questions and learned that the national average from start to your certificate checkride is 72 hours. This flight school advises one to budget for 60 hours, but they have put people though in the low 40's. Obviously I want to be on the low end to save money but I dont know how realistic this is. I have a ton of right seat time and have flown lots of time cross country and local maneuvering stuff, but a lot of instruction is flying patterns/landing/takeoff. So I know Im a little ahead of the curve, but I dont know how much. It will be interesting to see. (BTW: my almost 23 year streak of never having flown in a nosewheel airplane will be broken next week, Im a little sad. )

So my question is how much time did you have when you solo'd, went on your checkride, and what year was it?


They know what they're talking about... 60 hours is normal...

In my case, I was flying through a military aero club, and balancing being on active duty with flight lessons... So I piled on an extra 20 hours due to the Army interrupting my training schedule with field exercises & other similar crap...

I soloed at 60, PCSed back to the states, and got my checkride around 85hrs...

That was last year...
Link Posted: 7/14/2008 12:46:51 PM EDT
Beats the hell out of me, it was back in 1973............................
Link Posted: 7/20/2008 12:56:54 PM EDT
solo at 7 hours
checkride at 51hours
1985
Link Posted: 7/22/2008 12:15:44 PM EDT
Solo'd at around 12 hours, final checkride (Actually a Stage Check) at around 48 hours.

This was at the University of North Dakota this past fall-spring.
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