May 5th, 2007 01:21 AM
Anyone here a pilot?
I am thinking of learning to fly... again. I took lessons as a kid, and goofed around in a Cessna in my college/military years, took several trips for the proverbial "$100 hamburger".
Anyway, I am wondering if its worth it for recreation purposes and maybe the occasional cross country trip to visit family/friends. Fuel costs are the big thing that have me wondering if its worth it.
Also, if you have any tips on purchasing vs. partnership vs. renting aircraft those are needed too.
May 5th, 2007 02:06 AM
I've been a pilot for many decades now. Hope I can steer you in the right direction.
First of all, It's gonna be EXPENSIVE!
Not so much fuel costs either. A simple two seater (like Cessna 150) will cost around $10,000 well used.
The aircraft will have to pass an annual inspection each year (figure $1,000 min)
Then there is hangar rental and insurance.
My best advice would be for you to investigate a flying club or better yet, start your own with perhaps 5 other folks to share the fixed expenses.
You might want to check with the AOPA for info on clubs, etc.
After all that doom & gloom I need to say that flying is highly addictive and after all, boys need their toys, right?
May 5th, 2007 09:57 AM
Got my license back in '89 and it's a great thing. It is an expensive hobby and hard to justify from a practical sense, but then there are lots of hobbies like that. The most important personal consideration is your commitment. Unless you go to an accelerated school, it's going to take a number of months to get your license. The more often you fly, the better. You'll advance quicker. I did one of the weekend courses to pass the written, which got it out of the way quickly. Commit to learning as much as you can, and being the most competent and safest pilot you can be. Just as I never compromise on gun safety, I never compromise on flight safety. I always held with the philosophy that I don't want to be the hottest pilot in the sky, but I do want to be the oldest.
I wish I could have flown in the military, but my eyes were so bad they'd never even let me near the front end of an aircraft. They'd let me fly as a passenger, but I had to leave the aircraft before it landed, usually in some inhospitable area. Pilots have all the luck. ;-)
On a side note, regarding vision, I got the death ray treatment for mine a few years back, so now I'm 20-20 uncorrected. I highly recommend it.
"We're paratroopers. We're supposed to be surrounded!" Dick Winters
May 5th, 2007 10:23 AM
SIXTO, I've been looking to learn, and I think I'll either use my MGIB or TA to pay for it as soon as I'm done with my CDC's. If you do end up going for your license would you let us know how it's going, what hurdles you found? Thanks.
It takes a college degree to break'em;
and a high school education to fix'em!
May 5th, 2007 10:59 AM
Back in '89 I started to get my license, went so far as to get 21 hours in a 172 bugsmasher with 1/2 hour ifr then the money ran out and it was into the work force I went....So much for ERAU....
I did get to solo at Flaggler airfield in Florida though.... what an experience....I gotta go finish what I started.....
May 5th, 2007 11:20 AM
I flew military for 28 years. Of that I also held civilian licenses for 25 years.
You seem to have decided you want to learn to fly again. Great first step.
Then there are two next things you need; a medical certificate which certifies you are physically qualified and a license to fly.
Before you invest any further time or money, find out if you can successfully pass a flight physical. You can only do this by actually taking the physical.
If you cannot become medically qualified to hold a pilot license once it is earned, then the other things such as price of flying lessons, price of ground school, price of fuel, price of planes, price of maintenance, price of rentals, flying clubs, time shares, etc, etc, just won't matter.
So, get yourself scheduled for the required physical exam by a qualified Federal Aviation Administration Medical Examiner.
You can find an examiner locally and other info concerning medical and licenses at http://www.faa.gov/pilots/amelocator/
"There is no such thing as too much ammo. Unless you're swimming!"
May 5th, 2007 11:30 AM
The key: Remember that a plane is like a boat (or maybe a gun collection!) - a giant hole into which to throw money.
Also, everything made for a plane is made out of magic compounds, such as TSOdium and FAAdium. The addition of this compound makes everything cost three times as much and work half as long, while being four times as hard to replace.
May 5th, 2007 01:33 PM
I looked into the GI BIll and the private pilot license once. If I am not mistaken, the VA won't pay for the initial private pilot license, but will pay for the commercial ratings once you get the private pilot license.
Like bones said, try the physical first so you don't waste money/time with ground school, etc.
May 5th, 2007 01:40 PM
I nearly bought a humble ultralight last year ... but even with that, worked out costings for hangering, maintenance etc and chickened out.
Going the whole way with ''real thing'' is beyond my means - knowing a few guys who do it and what's involved. Best I hope for is occasional outings in 2 seater and getting some stick time with a buddy.
Otherwise - it's feet on ground and fly the buggers with RC! Did that this morning and still find it most enjoyable, and cost not too bad. Even got some video with a small unit on plane.
Chris - P95
NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.
"To own a gun and assume that you are armed
is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."
- a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.
May 5th, 2007 06:50 PM
It's definitely expensive but a lot of fun. Unless you've got buckets of money - look for a flying club. You might not be able to get into one before getting your Private license, but it's a less expensive way for the long term. FBOs are the most expensive way to "rent" and week long trips are a problem. I've been in a club for years and it's the way to go.
May 5th, 2007 06:55 PM
I got my Private Pilot ticket 2 years ago. Don't regret it a bit, but haven't flown for a while so I can pay off some debt, and build my dream home. It is expensive, but I spread out training over a year. Flying on average every other weekend. I'd schedule every week, but Michigan weather sucks.
I couldn't stomach the cost of a cross country trip in a rental. Clubs can be cheaper, sometimes. IMO, a partnership is the way to go. A big club or rentals often leads to scheduling problems. If your only sharing with one other person, then MOST of the time it'll be available when you want it spur of the moment, but your only paying for HALF of everything. Also look into experimentals/homebuilts. Some are very proven and the operating expenses can be a fraction of a cessna. If you only want $100 hamburgers (those are great), then rent. I want to build my own. At the bottom,I'll leave a few links. Feel free to PM me and I'll answer any questions the best I can.
Something I noticed when I started hanging around the airport: A LOT of older guys who have always wanted their license and finally got it. Then they lose their medical certificate in the next year or two, after they finally buy that plane they've always wanted. Then they can't even use it. I bought a plane dirt cheap off of one of these guys who was just heartbroken. If you want to fly, DON"T WAIT any longer if you can pull it off now. After meeting several of these guys who hang out at the airport hoping to get a chance to fly with anyone, I decided I wasn't going to wait until I retire. I pulled out the old plastic card and never looked back.
Oh, it'll never be cheaper than flying commercial, but I love it anyway.
Best of luck,
(avweb has lots of good articles about cost of ownership, flying tips, etc)
Spend few minutes learning about my journey from Zero to Athlete in this
Then check out my blog! www.BodyByMcDonalds.com
Cupcake - 100 pound loser, adventurer, Ironman Triathlete.
May 5th, 2007 10:50 PM
For a private pilot cert. you only need a Third Class medical. So unless you have seriouse medical problems you shouldn't have a problem getting it.
Some say they would not be complete if they were not allowed to fly...so thousands of dollars doesn't seem like such big deal. It's all perspective and subjective. If you really love it the money may not bother you, but to others the drain on the wallet affects other things.
Start small and work your way up.
May 6th, 2007 12:30 AM
Thanks for all the replies... let me expand on my experiance and what I am thinking about... I started flying when I was 12. I rode my bike to the airport and took a lesson here and there when I had the money. I have had at least one job since I was 11.
My parents got wind of this, and squashed my flying career pretty quick, for the time anyway. My grandfather owned a Champ, and when he heard of my adventures he invited me to stay with him for the summers. I got a lot of seat time from 13 to 17 years old, even took more than a few trips I shouldnt have and wont be found in any log book.
I joined the Army at 17, as was closely linked to aviation, both in my first mos, then I got silly and decided jumping from them was more fun than making sure they stayed in the air.
I took lessons on Uncle Sams dime but never took any tests beyond ground school, I logged 60+ hours, the instuctor was rarely with me or paying attention to what I was doing. I was stupid and never had him sign off on anything, I didnt really care at the time.
So now, almost 20 years later, I want a plane. I am not sure why or what I'm going to do with it, but I want it. I also got to figure out a way for it to make at least a little money to help off set the costs.
Maybe teaching in it myself? Who knows. I am also lucky enough to be with in spitting distance of Sporty's... maybe I could take advantage of that some how.
I'm not worried about a medical, I have one done every year for my job anyway. My wife is a doc, maybe I should talk her into doing FAA exams. It might save me my $20!
I'm not against clubs, but I dont like to share. I am thinking about an older Cherokee, and I dont care about fancy avionics. I guess I need to ask around for hanger fees etc.
Last edited by SIXTO; May 6th, 2007 at 12:36 AM.
"Just blame Sixto"
May 6th, 2007 10:44 AM
Ooohhh, you want to make money with it. Why didn't you say so? Only one real choice:
Do mind the power lines, though.
"We're paratroopers. We're supposed to be surrounded!" Dick Winters
May 6th, 2007 11:26 AM
maybe not make money, but a tax write off might be nice.
Last edited by SIXTO; May 6th, 2007 at 12:42 PM.
"Just blame Sixto"
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