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Posted: 6/1/2003 6:18:46 AM EDT
I'm looking at expanding my horizons and have always wanted to fly. I thought that since there's always a well of knowledge here, I'd post. How expensive are the classes required to obtain a pilot's license? I'm not looking at flying 737s, probably just a small plane. After one has a license, are there areas where you can rent a plane to fly? Thanks for any useful input. I plan on calling around Monday.
Link Posted: 6/1/2003 7:17:34 AM EDT
Your best bet would be to take one of those "nickle rides" with a local school. They can answer all your questions much better than anyone on this board, simply because prices there will be far more accurate than anything anyone here can say. Go here and start:[url]http://wwwbeapilot.com[/url] I flew helicopters in the Army for 6+ years. I have a commercial-instrument, turbine, helicopter ticket. The military path is an option, but not one I would recommend if you don't want to be in the military. There are better and easie ways to get your ticket if you just want to be a private pilot. It may cost some cash up front, but there's all sorts of ways to reduce the actual cost to you. Ross
Link Posted: 6/1/2003 8:47:26 AM EDT
Thanks! Military is not an option I wish to look at, don't think I could survive on the pay cut.
Link Posted: 6/1/2003 8:58:15 AM EDT
Link Posted: 6/1/2003 9:18:40 AM EDT
I finished my ticket a fews years ago and it was very rewarding. I had started and stopped instuction multiple times over the years and it made it hard to finish, and I had to re-learn stuff that I had forgoten. If you really want to get it done just have around $3k and give yourself 2 months to to get into it. Surround yourself with the books, carts, etc. And try to at least fly 3 times a week for 1.5 - 2 hours each flight. A good book to read before starting would be Stick and Rudder, it is an older book but it is one of the best non-technical books on how to fly an airplane. When I finally finished I had flown the following: Mig17(JJ5), AN2colt, bonanza, T34B, Taylorcraft, Citabria, Champ, CUB, C152, C172, YAK52, PT19, IAR, and at little stick time in a CH-46E. While I was going to college I used to hang around the airport and help wash airplanes and was able to get stick time when I ran out of cash.
Link Posted: 6/1/2003 9:23:28 AM EDT
Figure 5 grand minimum, it helps if you have it up front and can fly lots. Flight instructors hate dablers, come out once a month and have to relearn all of it everytime. Plan on flying twice a week. FAA minimum for a PPL is 40 hours total time, the average is 65 to 70 hours, figure 100$ an hour, fly twice a week, do the homework you instructor gives you and you can do it in 40 hours. I have a student right now who has 28 hours and could take his checkride and pass, why, because he does what I tell him and comes out often. I also have a lady who I just picked up because she didn't like her last instructor, she has 60 hours and flys like a 20 hour pilot should, why, because she wasn't able to come out and fly much. She'll be an 80 hour private pilot if I can get her motivated. That brings me to the next and nearly the most important part, find a good instructor. Check them out with the local guys, ask questions from other instructors in the area about the one your looking at. See if you click when you talk to him the first time, you'll be spending alot of time with him/her while they are telling you what to do. Not all High time instructors are good and iversly not all low time instructors are bad. AND REMEMBER TO HAVE FUN Charlie CFII MEII
Link Posted: 6/1/2003 9:35:58 AM EDT
At my flight school, its around $100 per/hr Duel Time and like $75ish Solo. Ground school is $25 per Hr. its definatly great fun. chicks dig it too. esspecially when you say somthing like, "lets go to San Antonio for lunch." and they dont know you are a pilot. then they find out and are like. sweeeeet. its a real kick. atleast in my experiance.
Link Posted: 6/1/2003 9:39:48 AM EDT
Originally Posted By zx2dragon: I'm looking at expanding my horizons and have always wanted to fly. I thought that since there's always a well of knowledge here, I'd post. How expensive are the classes required to obtain a pilot's license? I'm not looking at flying 737s, probably just a small plane. After one has a license, are there areas where you can rent a plane to fly? Thanks for any useful input. I plan on calling around Monday.
View Quote
If the military pay would be a paycut to you than paying for flying lessons probably won't bankrupt you. Getting your basic VFR ticket will probably take a few thousand dollars...but flying enough after that to say safe and trying to upgrade gets really pricey. Be prepared for an addiction like no other... Travis
Link Posted: 6/1/2003 10:02:48 AM EDT
Oh how doomed you are! [:D] The 5 grand number is a good high working figure. You might get away cheaper than that if you are dedicated and have a good instructor, but plan for $5,000. Read everything you can. Get the ground school study materials and learn them. The more you learn on the ground the more you can concentrate on learning to fly in the air. I recommend the Sporty’s video training materials. Some people swear by King Schools but I’ve never “clicked” with what I’ve seen of their tapes. After you’ve taken an intro flight and decided that you are going to commit you time, life and resources to this, get a headset. Sometimes the instructor will provide one, but they are often beat up cheap ones. A good headset will go miles toward making learning happen. A GA aircraft is VERY noisy, hot and cramped. More so when you are stressed. Having a comfortable, well fitting noise attenuating headset goes a long way toward making your flight time far more productive. Plan to fly a MINIMUM of 3 lessons a week. Any less than that you are wasting your time and money. Less than 3 and you’ll end up spending all your time re-learning what you forgot from the previous time. After you get your PPL remember it's just a "learners ticket". Be prepared to fly a ABSOLUTE MINIMUM of 5 hours a month. Any less than that and you'll start getting behind the learning/retention curve. Oh, if you live near an airport, GET A SCANNER. Sporty's has a good one, or you can get one from Radio Shack. In my experience dealing with the radio and communications are one area where students get really flustered. Live with the scanner on and monitoring all the time. Between that and what you learn in your ground school books and tapes, it will take a LOT of the mystery/confusion out of things when you get in the aircraft.
Link Posted: 6/1/2003 6:45:44 PM EDT
Thanks for all of the good info, especially pricing. It's actually about what I thought it should cost. I'm going to call one of the contacts off of the beapilot.com site, the airport where they are at is about 20 minutes from my house. Hopefully, he'll have a nice intro course for free just to see if it truly is something I want to do. I like to fly, but I've never been in the pilot's seat. If all goes well from there, I should be able to seriously start at the beginning of the new year as I have a little bit of debt to pay down/off first. I'll post back on here after I get some info. Again, thank you!
Link Posted: 6/1/2003 6:53:55 PM EDT
Sporty's Pilot shop has a great Ground School DVD set. [url]http://www.sportys.com/acb/showdetl.cfm?&DID=19&Product_ID=4977&CATID=117[/url] Aviator
Link Posted: 6/2/2003 6:36:33 AM EDT
Sporty's has lots of great stuff. you can even take the written exams for practicing on the real written!
Link Posted: 6/2/2003 6:47:38 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/2/2003 6:47:51 AM EDT by 7IDL]
What I would recommend, is for you to get your ground school finished and out of the way, then hit the flying hard. (YMMV)
Link Posted: 6/2/2003 7:11:06 AM EDT
I'm about 1/2 way through right now, but have gotten bogged down. I'm losing my CFI to the Air Force in two weeks, but I have another one lined up - his Mom! His whole family flies - his older brother flew helicopters in the US Army, his Mom hs been a CFI for about 15 years, and his Dad is a FAA examiner. Schweet! I fly at a real small local airport, which is really great. I would agree with the ~$5K tag on the ticket. The good news is that once you get your PPL, you'll have plenty of opportunity to spend even more - Instrument, Commercial, Multi, additional type ratings. By the time you get checked out in a Baron or something like that, the $5K will seem cheap! Hey, it's just money. Learning to fly has been great fun. I wish I would have had the time to go straight through, because when I start up again, I'm going to have to backtrack quite a bit. I sure love to fly, though! Good luck, be safe, and have a ball!
Link Posted: 6/2/2003 10:12:24 AM EDT
The advice you got here about flying regularly and NOT STOPPING until you've gotten your ticket is absolutely correct. I'm just about to get into the air again. I got distracted by life and business, etc, last fall and now I have a ton of stuff to relearn. I was almost ready to take my written, too. grrrrrrrrrrrr... Restarting also makes it much more expensive in the long run. Whichever ground school package you get, get CD's for your computer. Its much easier to stop, start and locate stuff you need to see or hear again. Tapes are a pain. As noted, if you get hooked, you are sooo screwed. Say goodbye to all that sweet dough you used to have laying around.
Link Posted: 6/2/2003 11:03:23 AM EDT
Here's what it cost me back in 1987: 20 hours solo $35/hr fuel included = $700 20.2 hours dual $50/hr(only $15 for the instructor!) =$1,010 plus ground school, testing, check ride was probably another $300-$400. I also took the license through a college so it was another $200 for tuition. Total cost was under $2,500. It seemed so expensive then. The plane I flew was the Piper Tomahawk. I also had an instructor who was highly motivational and very good. He didn't charge me for ground time either. A big cost would be the price of the plane. Depending on what you fly, it could be the difference of 20 to 30 bucks an hour. DO fly often and don't stop. You need 40 hours minimum to get your license. Flying often will keep you close to the 40. Flying in spurts will cost you much more money. I knew an older student pilot with 120 hours! I don't think she ever got her license.
Link Posted: 6/2/2003 10:20:04 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/2/2003 10:20:33 PM EDT by Citabria7GCBC]
Originally Posted By 7IDL: What I would recommend, is for you to get your ground school finished and out of the way, then hit the flying hard. (YMMV)
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I'd do both at the same time. If you do only GS you'll fry yourself and quit. You gotta have some fun and get in the air. Like myself i started at 13 so i had tons of time to just build hours untill i could actually solo and eventually get my liscence.
Link Posted: 6/3/2003 9:00:10 AM EDT
Thanks again for all of the good info. Recommendation on a set of headphones? I was just made perm at the job I have been contracting for some time now. It's still a pay cut in comparison to what I used to make, but at least it's a stable position. I have been too busy to call the local airport (which has a guy listed on beapilot.com) to schedule a first/intro flight class to see if I will really like it or not. I think I will. Everyone seems to think that $5K is a good start. I should be able to get everything wrapped up by the end of next spring (crossing fingers, hoping for good health of myself and my ferrets).
Link Posted: 6/3/2003 9:06:42 AM EDT
ZX: WRT Headphones, you can't go wrong with David Clark. I've got the H10-13.4, which are mono and very light. Get into stereo and active noise reduction and you get into a $500-$600 headset real quick. I've also got a SoftComm set for backup. Look around - there are deals to be had.
Link Posted: 6/3/2003 9:31:06 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/3/2003 10:13:07 AM EDT by Airwolf]
Headsets tend to be like keyboards and mice... very personal for the user. What works perfectly for one, sucks for the other. For pure quality you can't go wrong with David Clark. They will last a lifetime but you will pay for that. My girlfriend uses a DC HC10-13X ANR unit with Oregon Aero ear pads. She swears by them. I also like and have used Peltors. Anyone who shoots has probably worn or seen one. My current choice is the Lightspeed Cross Country. It's probably the least expensive ANR on the market and does a damn fine job. I've got slightly large ears and the Peltor's were very slightly cramped. The Lightspeeds have a bigger earcup and seal well over glasses. Again, you'll have to try before you buy. The wrong headset will feel like someone has put ice tongs to your head and then put them in a vice. Good ones you won't hardly notice after awhile. Not sure? Can't decide? Get an inexpensive non-ANR set for starters. After you get the idea you can splurge for a good ANR set and use the cheap ones for passengers.
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