Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
malibu43

Private Pilot's License

Recommended Posts

Well, I think I'm going to bite the bullet and do this. I've wanted to for "forever", and now is really the only chance I probably going to have for a while. Ideally, I would find a way to turn it into something I can eventually earn money doing and pay back the cost a little. But, for now, it's just for fun. No immediate plans for an instrument rating. Probably start in a 152 or 172, depending on the costs.

 

Aside from way too many hours of sim time, my only experience is 1 hour of time I got during a "discovery flight" when I was 17. I also hung out in the back seat when one of my friends was getting checked out after not flying for a while.

 

My friend recommended me to the West Valley Flying Club, which is where he got his license. The cost there would be about 12K.

 

For now, I don't have any specific questions, but I'm sure I will at some point. For now, if any of you who have done this already have any advice, pointers, suggestions, etc... PLEASE send them my way.

 

Actually, for starters, if anyone from the SF Bay Area can recommend a good school/instructor that would be great. My only lead so far is the flying club mentioned above, and I'm hoping that it can be done for at least a little cheaper.

 

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

12K?? Geez, that's stupid expensive. I'd look in the central valley at some of the schools there. Maybe Tracy, Stockton or Modesto? Does the airport in Lodi have a flying school? They used to have the parachuting school, but I haven't been back there in a long time.

 

I do wish you luck. I've also wanted to get my PPL. I figure I'll do fine with it. I've got several unofficial hours in a Cessna 140 taildragger. Love that kind of flying. Stick and rudder all the way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12K?? Geez, that's stupid expensive. I'd look in the central valley at some of the schools there. Maybe Tracy, Stockton or Modesto? Does the airport in Lodi have a flying school? They used to have the parachuting school, but I haven't been back there in a long time.

 

I do wish you luck. I've also wanted to get my PPL. I figure I'll do fine with it. I've got several unofficial hours in a Cessna 140 taildragger. Love that kind of flying. Stick and rudder all the way.

 

I just checked again, and they're actually estimating the cost at just over $10,000, so that's a little better. That estimate is based of of 55 hours dual instruction and 15 hours solo.

 

I'm sure the central valley would be cheaper, but then I'm looking at at least an hour or hour and a half drive each way. Right now San Carlos airport is 3 minutes away, and Palo Alto is about 10. Depending on the costs in the valley, the short drive times and gas mileage might make up for the difference :biggrin:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

well, here in my city(in Brazil) its about 6~8K in our currency, wich means 3~4K USD

 

checking the aeroclub 80km for my city the flight hour + instruction costs 500 USD in an aeroboero 180, the glider is a way cheaper.

 

offcourse i can't compare there but just posting here hehhe

Edited by Silverbolt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The best time to start flying is TODAY.

 

Even if it's just a $50 intro flight, get your butt in the air and see if it's really for you. Only when the instructor hands you the stick (yoke, whatever) and says "your airplane" will you know if it's worth the investment or not.

 

Addendum: I recommend getting your taildragger endorsement first thing after your VFR checkride.

 

2nd Addendum: Anybody in the Denver area is welcome to come fly taildragger/aerobatic with me anytime. 7KCAB FTW!

Edited by Klavs81

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The best time to start flying is TODAY.

 

Even if it's just a $50 intro flight, get your butt in the air and see if it's really for you. Only when the instructor hands you the stick (yoke, whatever) and says "your airplane" will you know if it's worth the investment or not.

 

Addendum: I recommend getting your taildragger endorsement first thing after your VFR checkride.

 

2nd Addendum: Anybody in the Denver area is welcome to come fly taildragger/aerobatic with me anytime. 7KCAB FTW!

 

You know, that's a good point. I did the intro flight when I was 17, and I really liked it. But I need to just try it again...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You know, that's a good point. I did the intro flight when I was 17, and I really liked it. But I need to just try it again...

 

If you're really serious you should go for it. I got my SEL rating back in the late 80's at the Air Force Aero Club at Hanscom AFB, MA. It was a lot cheaper back then and I only spent about $3500 total. I haven't flown since I retired from the Air Force over 9 years ago, but I think I'm going to get my medical done and schedule a check ride.

 

Phantom59 (aka CowboyK) :flyer:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Malibu, like the others have said, do another intro/discovery flight, just to be sure.

 

After that, I'd recommend going all the way through to the instrument rating. It will help you to be a more professional pilot, as well as giving you more tools to succeed in the air. It's a bit more $$$, but it's worth it. The endorsements are also good to get (tail wheel, High Performance, etc) are also challenges to seek, as well as other add-on ratings (MEL, seaplane, Commercial, etc).

 

Of course, like everything else, it's one step at a time! :smile:

 

If you have any questions, please ask!

 

 

Phantom-> I'm not sure of any flying clubs based @ GDM, but if you're willing to fly out of BED again, I'd recommend East Coast Aero Club. I'm doing some flying with them out of the KASH office, and I've found them to be friendly and professional.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm setting up a demo flight for next week. :yes:

 

Any thoughts on learning in a 172 vs a Warrior? According to the club website, the rates are about the same. Low wing vs high wing?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Demo flight scheduled for Monday in a 172!

 

As for the cost thing, it looks like the 172's range from $102/hr to about $140/hr. Instructor is $60/hr on top of that. So that's $8000 assuming 50 hours dual, and another $1500 assuming 15 hours solo. I just guessed on those hours, but if I'm close it looks like ~$11000 +/- $1000 is about right.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I started out in a 152, then 172, with a later transition to an arrow and then the seminole.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Had the demo flight yesterday after work. I was great!

 

I had a good amount of time on the controls. Did some shallow and medium bank turns, and some cruise climbs and descents. I really like the instructor I had.

 

But I'm still looking at the $$$ money part of this and making sure it's something I can commit to. I'm pretty sure I can get the money to get the license, but now I'm also trying to figure out what it will cost just to fly enough to stay current and safe afterward. Anyone have any thoughts on this? Is 1 or 2 hours a month enough? Or is it more like a few hours a week? A couple 1 hour flights a week can add up to an extra $1000 a month.

 

Another thing I'm trying to figure out is whether or not this time of year is a good time to start. For the next month and half or so, I can probably get lessons in after work. So, I should be able to swing 2-3 lessons per week. After that, clocks get set ahead and it's dark by the time I get off work. Lessons at that point would be limited to weekends. There's a possibility I can save up some PTO and take a half day every couple of weeks to get some extra time in, but lets just assume I'm only flying 4-6 times a month between November and March (Weather's also questionable that time of year). Am I just wasting money starting now, only to have to slow down in the winter and then start up again in the spring? The other option is to wait until the spring to start. At that time I should be able to get lessons in during the week (most of the time).

 

Yeah, these are subjective questions. I know. But I've found the people here usually don't have a hard time voicing their opinions on subjective matters :biggrin:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know about fixed wings but for choppers winter is prefferable. At least here in Moscow. Few currents, air is more stable... Sure, it gets overcast once in a while and the snow vortex is an arse, and the engine takes longer to warm up, and you can't see most of the landmarks under the snow.. but the air is calm :biggrin:

In summer it's more of a bumpy ride.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One more question - After you solo, you need so many hours solo before you get your license. What is the instructor's role at that point? I'm looking at total cost and trying to figure out how many hours of the instructor I'd need to pay for. As long as I'm flying with the instructor, I'm basically assuming I'm charged for flight hours x 2, to account for brief and debrief (1/2 hour before hand, 1 hour flight, and 1/2 hour afterward). But I don't know what to assume once I solo...

 

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Two of your posts back you asked a VERY important question. There is a huge difference between CURRENCY & PROFICIENCY. With currency you just need to worry about your landings (if you're taking passengers) and your flight review. Those are just boxes to check off. However, proficiency is what YOU and/or your CFI determine needs to be done in order to keep YOU and your PASSENGERS SAFE (and the airplane usable). This is just an off hand guess, but as a new pilot, you may want to figure at least one flight a month, granted life always throws a curveball.

 

Concerning when to start flying.... yes, wx will play a significant part in your training. You'll need to get used to all kinds of weather, and most importantly, making the GO/NO-GO decision as PIC. I'd say start now, because those CAVU days can be far and few between.

 

After your first solo, it's not just building hours, but accomplishing different objectives before your checkride. On the solo flights, you'll be required to complete flight maneuvers, go on cross-country flights, etc. I'm not sure how your FBO will be charging you when you are solo. Most solo flights (depending on where you are, where you're going) require the CFI to sign you off for every solo flight. Some places might charge you CFI time on solo's, others might not. Though the CFI is required to be at base when one of their students is flying solo. When solo, the a/c billing is the same as when you're with a CFI.

 

Hope this helps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Two of your posts back you asked a VERY important question. There is a huge difference between CURRENCY & PROFICIENCY. With currency you just need to worry about your landings (if you're taking passengers) and your flight review. Those are just boxes to check off. However, proficiency is what YOU and/or your CFI determine needs to be done in order to keep YOU and your PASSENGERS SAFE (and the airplane usable). This is just an off hand guess, but as a new pilot, you may want to figure at least one flight a month, granted life always throws a curveball.

 

Concerning when to start flying.... yes, wx will play a significant part in your training. You'll need to get used to all kinds of weather, and most importantly, making the GO/NO-GO decision as PIC. I'd say start now, because those CAVU days can be far and few between.

 

After your first solo, it's not just building hours, but accomplishing different objectives before your checkride. On the solo flights, you'll be required to complete flight maneuvers, go on cross-country flights, etc. I'm not sure how your FBO will be charging you when you are solo. Most solo flights (depending on where you are, where you're going) require the CFI to sign you off for every solo flight. Some places might charge you CFI time on solo's, others might not. Though the CFI is required to be at base when one of their students is flying solo. When solo, the a/c billing is the same as when you're with a CFI.

 

Hope this helps.

 

That is extremely helpful information.

 

One flight a month should be totally do-able. Early on, I would definitely shoot for more to gain experience and help drill everything in. That is also a different perspective on starting in the winter - something I never thought about.

 

I'll just have to ask the instructor then, about how solo hours are billed. Based on my calculations, the difference comes out to a few thousand dollars in the end.

 

Thanks again!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've decided to pin this as it might prove useful to others in pursuing the dream of flight.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Malibu, like the others have said, do another intro/discovery flight, just to be sure.

 

After that, I'd recommend going all the way through to the instrument rating. It will help you to be a more professional pilot, as well as giving you more tools to succeed in the air. It's a bit more $$$, but it's worth it. The endorsements are also good to get (tail wheel, High Performance, etc) are also challenges to seek, as well as other add-on ratings (MEL, seaplane, Commercial, etc).

 

Of course, like everything else, it's one step at a time! :smile:

 

If you have any questions, please ask!

 

 

Phantom-> I'm not sure of any flying clubs based @ GDM, but if you're willing to fly out of BED again, I'd recommend East Coast Aero Club. I'm doing some flying with them out of the KASH office, and I've found them to be friendly and professional.

 

Rico,

 

I'm in the process of re-joining the Hanscom Aero Club as soon as I get my Class III medical done. You're right about the East Coast Aero Club, but the Hanscom Aero Club has cheaper rates on their aircraft.

 

Phantom59

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rico,

 

I'm in the process of re-joining the Hanscom Aero Club as soon as I get my Class III medical done. You're right about the East Coast Aero Club, but the Hanscom Aero Club has cheaper rates on their aircraft.

 

Phantom59

 

 

Well, ya can't beat that! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, ya can't beat that! :)

 

Once I get my medical I'll have to do a biennial to get current again. I'm primarily checked out in Piper Cherokees, but have some time in C-172, 182, and Citabria.

 

Phantom59

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For anyone who's interested, I'm going to take advantage of the blog feature here at CA to give periodic updates on my progress. I'll probably post back here if I have any questions or comments that I think would be helpful in the sticky.

 

*edit* - OK, can someone tell me how to start a new blog?

Edited by malibu43

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Try via your profile settings. There's a tab Blogs in the top row and a two-step form to create one there.

Edited by Gr.Viper

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK,

 

Here's post number 1:

 

http://forum.combatace.com/index.php/blog/6-malibu43s-ppl-bolg/

 

Again, the blog will be kind of rambly and just describe where I'm at. If I have major updates on cost, good/bad time of year to learn, how long it's taking, etc..., I'll post that here. That way someone else thinking of doing it could come here to get a quick summary.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've added another new post to my Blog (#11, now). Do people check out the blogs for updates, or should I post here to notify when updates are posted?

 

Just curious...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue..