What would be the best course of action to learn to fly?

Discussion in 'Basic' started by Procrastintor, May 25, 2013.

  1. Procrastintor

    Procrastintor Member

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    I've always wanted to be a pilot, and I'm finally legally old enough to get my license, I have looked at some websites but none tell the price of the lessons. What kind of money do I need to save? How do I know what companies are trustworthy? Upon gaining a license what is a good plane to get that isn't expensive but also isn't a death trap? I seriously know nothing so the more info the better.
     
  2. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Possibly the best thing to do is find a local Flying Club. Not just a flying school, but a club. Here, you can meet and talk to pilots, instructors and student pilots, learn about the basic flying course and what's involved, the cost per hours, and the minimum hours required. You can also find out more about the various ground school courses required for the basic PPL, and those for Instrument Ratings etc.
    With a bit of luck, you'll probably be able to meet a friendly guy who will take you up a couple of times, to 'get the feel' of things, and there'll be plenty of advice and help. I used to hang around a do odd jobs, such as clean aircraft, help with moving things around and son on, in exchange for the odd half hour or hour of flying. it didn't count towards a licence, but it provided experience and confidence.
    In the UK, the 'minimum' hours never happen! Due to weather, by the time a PPL has been gained, the minimum hours have probably doubled, making it more expensive than anticipated. many people used to go to Portugal or the USA, for a concentrated three or four week course, where the basic US PPL was 'guaranteed', which cost about half the price in the UK, and had a holiday thrown in!
    Of course, a conversion course, and the UK 'Nav and Met' had to be done on return, but at least the basics had been covered.
    As for buying an aircraft, this can be considered once you have the licence, and some hours in, and many people invest in a share in an aircraft. Again, time spent at the field will give an idea of what type suits various requirements, and indicate costs of purchase, hangarage, and running costs.
     
  3. Procrastintor

    Procrastintor Member

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    Thanks, Airframes, I'm moving soon but I'll look into joining a club once in Nashville. Flying would be better there anyway, theres an in-air collision here in LA like once a week, the sky is too crowded I guess..
     
  4. N4521U

    N4521U Well-Known Member

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    Would Never have flown in to, or around LA when I was in CA. Morrow Bay was the closest I ever got from the SFO area.

    When I was in Livermore, never knew of any flying clubs. But if you go to a small airport and just meander thru the airport hangars, little planes, or even a maintenance shop. Stop in and have a chat with anybody sitting in a lawn chair in their hangar door enjoying the sounds and smells of airplanes. Ask them about learning to fly locally, I guarantee you they will help. Nothing more a pilot would like to see, is another ramp tramp learn to fly!

    Plus they will steer you to the flight school best suited for you. Some are geared more to the recreational pilot, others for future airline pilots, some may be associated with an airline. Up in Napa some of the out of country airlines have set up basic and advanced schools for their airlines.

    You don't need a "flight physical" before doing the ground school, book learnin, but you will before you do your 'in flight training". This is done by a certified FAA Flight Surgeon, not your regular doctor and are listed in the yellow pages, or the web.

    In fact, my "instructor" was a CFI (Certified Flight Instructor) rated airline pilot. I found the plane, a Cessna 150-D model, he taught me to fly free grattus, I payed for the plane.

    Enjoy man, and keep us posted!
     
  5. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    When I started a few years back you did not have to get a flight physical until you made your first solo flight. Cost wise I was paying $180 - $210 per hour of flight training (ie actual flying). This included the rental of the aircraft and the fee to the instructor. One thing I would highly recommend is find a place where you pay as you go, instead of paying all at once.

    Best of luck to you!
     
  6. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    I recall a few "in-air-collisions" in the southland happening once every several years, but not daily. Perhaps you meant "near miss"?

    Anyway, check with a local chapter of the EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association), they have great resources and are a great group of people. This local chapter where I live still has a large number of WWII pilots (B-24, B-29, P-38, P-51, etc.) and is worth visiting a meeting just to hear the guys BS'ing back and forth
     
  7. Procrastintor

    Procrastintor Member

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    Thanks for all the help guys!
     
  8. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Hi Procrastinator;

    It's great that you want to learn how to fly and you had some very knowledgeable and dedicated people giving you advice; this forum is one of the aviation forums best on the Internet IMO and all you have to do is look at some of the folks who responded to your query, they make this forum what it is.

    I'm a flight instructor, I've been flying for around 20 years and been instructing part time for about 8 years. What you have to think about, especially at your young age is what and where you want to go with attaining a PPL. Do you intend to make flying a career or just to pick it up as a hobby? the reason why I put that out there for you is because it is very expensive these days to get a PPL and requires a large investment in both time and money. If you have both, great but many folks don't and try to learn how to fly without fully understanding this.

    Have you looked into the Civil Air Patrol? They have wonderful youth programs that include powered flight and gliders. There are also youth scholarships available through the Aircraft Owners and Pilot's Association (AOPA).

    Think about where you want to go with this, chase your dreams and good luck!
     
  9. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    I was in CAP, and it was great. Wonderful youth program.

    In the fall I start at a local university her my Commercial, Instructors, Multi Engine and Instrument school. Looking forward to it. Fortunately for me, the GI Bill covers the costs.
     
  10. Procrastintor

    Procrastintor Member

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    Thanks Flyboy, I'll check those out, but what does PPL mean?
     
  11. Procrastintor

    Procrastintor Member

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    Nevermind, I found it, Private Pilot's License
     
  12. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    Magic mushrooms, happy pills?
     
  13. Procrastintor

    Procrastintor Member

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  14. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    :lol:

    Good luck with the flying path Mate. Keep heading... :)
     
  15. Fight2FlyPhoto

    Fight2FlyPhoto New Member

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    Sounds like some good quality time spent at a local airport is in order. Go meet flight instructors, get to know some fellow pilots and get start to learn about becoming a pilot. Keep asking questions here and learning as much as you can. As Flyboyj mentioned, there are countless resources to help get the ball rolling.
     
  16. N4521U

    N4521U Well-Known Member

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    One reason I suggest a flight physical Before in flight lessons, what if you Don't pass.............. sh!t load of money spent and not able to take a chack ride and get your PPL! That's because the flight Examiner will ask for your Flight Physical sign off before he will let you fly him, or her, around.

    Ground school? There is nothing more satisfying than to learn all there is to learn about flying and navigation, and pass the written exam! There are courses offered at community colleges for nearly nothing as well. So many ways to end up sitting in a cockpit.

    You'll love it, just as I did.
     
  17. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    Bill has a good point, but I would add one major thing. If you suffer from any ailment or take meds for any reason, first research it (Join the AOPA as this is a GREAT resource for this). If there is an issue and if you can you will want to try and obtain a waiver from the FAA before you get a Physical. A great example of this is if you have ADD/ADHD.
     
  18. Procrastintor

    Procrastintor Member

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    As i dont have any ailments, like ADHD, I will probably pass th- OOOH what was that? wanna ride bikes? what was i saying? Oh yeah, I will probably pass the test, is it anything like a high school exam? I hate exams. You know what else I hate? Salsa. Oh yeah, flying, assuming I do pass the phys. and written test, whats the flying like in the lessons? Do you do a lot of the flying yourself or do you mostly watch the instructor? Also, what should I study to prepare for the written test?
     
  19. gumbyk

    gumbyk Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure about up there, but down here in NZ, most clubs and schools offer a 1/2 hour introductory lesson at reduced rates. It is meant as an easy intro to see if flying is for you or not.
     
  20. gumbyk

    gumbyk Well-Known Member

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    Often the physical will pick up things you don't know about. I've seen it happen once, so it is a possibility, particularly around cardiovascular problems.

    A good instructor will make you do as much of the flying as possible. I remember that I did the take-off on my first lesson (Not sure about the landing though), so you will definitely do most of the flying, the instructor will demonstrate the manueovre first, then get you to do one.

    Relax about the written tests. You'll have to go through ground school first, which will prepare you for the exams.


    As for purchasing an aircraft, depending on how much flying you plan on doing, it may work out cheaper to rent an aircraft by the hour.
    Flyboy will know better, but I don't think syndicates (shared ownership) are very common in the US. They are fairly popular here, and bring some of the benefits of ownership, and the reduced costs of renting.
     
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