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Hello aviation friends! I'm looking for some advise on getting started on learning how to fly. Basically, I would like to know the approximate cost, time investment, etc. I would like to get my general aviation license with hopes one day of getting instrument rated, multi-engine and possibly commercial license. The commercial license would be for a business idea! My current career as a veterinarian has been great but I've had the flying bug for years! My wife does not want me to start flying which is another story for another thread :) I finally have the money to at least get my private license but as with everything else in my life, I would like to go higher. Any advise regarding do's and don'ts' would be awesome. Thanks in advance
The very first thing I would do is ask questions (as you are doing). Research different flight schools in your area, interview prospective flight instructors to insure that your learning style and their teaching style mesh together. The cost for obtaining your prviate pilot license is going to vary based upon a number of factors including which school/instructor you use, the type of aircraft you choose to train in, and how long it takes you to become proficient in the private pilot maneuvers. Generally speaking, I would say that a PPL license will run you somewhere on the order of $3000-$6000 US starting in a 2 or 4 seat single engine piston aircraft. I won't say that having a spouse who is unsupportive of your flying endeavours will preclude you from obtaining your license. However, I will say that having a strong support group behind you does do wonders for your morale during those difficult times during the training process. I am a mentor in the Project Pilot program over at AOPA ([url]www.aopa.org[/url]). If you find yourself beginning lessons and need someone to bounce ideas off or lend general support, feel free to contact me.
Related question. If I wanted to get a Sport Pilot license, what would the cost of that be in time and money? In addition what options do I have as far as owning and operating an LSA (e.g., is their such a thing as an LSA timeshare, and how much would that cost annually?)
Thanks a million!
Regarding the Sport Pilot question, in brief, the minimum requirement for hours is 20 hours (15 hours of dual and 5 of solo), but most people will take longer (a least 30 hours) unless they are able to fly daily or at least 5x a week, and to study for the written along the way. Any Sport Pilot school you interview should be up front with you about that right off. If they're not, keep looking. Then there's a written test that will require study time in addition to the flight hours, and at an additional cost. Schools should factor this into their estimate, so be sure to ask if it is included in the total they give you...again, if they don't include it or at least outline extra costs outside of the flight training, shop elsewhere. At any rate, you're looking at around $3,000 if you achieve it in the minimum hours, so plan on spending more. Look at the hourly rates and that will give you the best comparison.
If you can't afford an airplane alone, it's becoming very common for the schools to rent their LSAs to their certificated students (or any one who's a sport pilot) and if you want to share ownership in an airplane, it shouldn't be too much of a search to find others who would be interested. A good place to start asking around is where you end up training. There are people in the same position as you are right there in front of you!
Good luck and have fun!
I am fifteen and interested in a career in flying any suggestions on where to start, also is there many pilot jobs available in this economy perferably corperate pilot jobs I appreciat any answers
You're on the right track right now; you're asking questions. I apologize for the long post—hope fully it's helpful. I just got my Private license last August, and here are a few things I learned:
1. Get a good instructor. He (or she) has to be someone you get along with, at the very least. Most people just walk into the airport, tell the person at the front desk that they want to fly, and take whatever instructor is first on the list. This may work for you, but consider that not likely. DO NOT get an instructor who is instructing merely to build time for the airlines. His heart will likely not be in the game, and your experience will suffer. I had a single experience with this when, on a business trip, I flew with an instructor who matched this description. He was a great guy, but was disinterested and "checked out" for most of the flight. I was thanking God the whole time that both my primary instructors taught for the love of it.
Before I started training, I interviewed several instructors at different airports. It is my opinion that your training will only be as good as the teacher. A couple of the instructors expressed surprise at wanting to be interviewed by a potential student. In fact, one of them said that in all his 15+ years as a CFI, he'd never been interviewed by anyone. That says a lot, to me. Interview a potential instructor.
2. The philosophy of the instructor an school are only second to the personality and character of the instructor. During your training, you're learning judgment, responsibility, and a very elusive skill. Pick a school that emphasizes "stick and rudder" flying. When you're finished with your training, you want to be on a good footing to pursue you other flying goals. The best way to do this is to have a firm understanding of the way an airplane works, and above all, a seat-of-the-pants "feel" for all attitudes of flight. A pilot with this skill can fly any airplane.
3. Work hard and LOVE it, no matter how hard it gets. That's the bottom line, to me. You have to absolutely be in love with flight and every airplane you get into—even your lowly little 150 trainer. Personally, I've dreamed of flying for as long as I can remember, so this wasn't difficult for me. Whatever happens, keep at it and don't lose that magic. Watch the movie "One Six Right" to rekindle it if you ever lose it. :-)
My experience: I started in January '11 at a non-towered, laid back airport (I73) with an instructor who had a good balance between seat-of-the-pants flying and "flying by the numbers". I developed a good relationship with him, and am happy to count him as a good friend now. Unfortunately, after my first solo, he had heart trouble and I had to go elsewhere to finish my training.
So, after repeating the interview/selection process again, I started taking lessons with another great guy (and amazing pilot) at a small grass strip (40I). This airport emphasized stick and rudder flying. Primary training is done in Cubs and a lone Aeronca Champ, and post-solo work in 150s. Since I was post-solo, I started right off in the Cessnas (something of a disappointment for a guy who's loved the Cub since he was born!). I can't say enough about how the ethos of the field and the attitude of the instructor I had formed me as a pilot. He expected the best from me, but was not in the least difficult to please or unreasonable. And he was always pushing my perceived limits. I came into training with a lot of misunderstandings about airplanes and aviation in general, and through my training, that changed. Oh, and I did end up doing spin training in both the Champ and the Cub, which gave me a valuable lesson, great feel for the airplane, in addition to sparking a desire to dabble in aerobatics!
So...hope this all helps. I got my license in about 6 months, which required flying about 3 times a week. It took 65.5 hours and $7500. That's about average on the hours side, but way below average on the cost. Guess I was lucky; instructor was $27-$35/hr and the airplane was $65-$79/hr. But focus on the quality of the training, not the cost. It was one of the best times of my life, and I'm sure it will be for you as well.
joshh, good for you for considering this at your age. Perfect time to do that. And you've come to the right place. I'm sure there will be many answers for you here.
As a quick answer to your question.....Yes. We are facing an impending pilot shortage, so you're well positioned to take advantage of that.
I'd recommend that you twist the arm of someone around you who has money (unless you can pay for it yourself) and start training for your Private Pilot certificate. That's usually the first step.
If you're looking for a career in the airlines, you'll need an ATP (Airline Transport Pilot) certificate and 1500hrs of flight time to even be considered for a First Officer position, which is where every pilot starts. If you're trying to get a job as a corporate jet pilot (which I believe you are if I read your question right) then you'll likely at least need the ATP cert. (someone more knowledgable will have to correct me if I'm wrong.
Since you need all that time to get started, I would say you should start on your Private license now (you can solo at 16), then get your instrument rating as soon as possible afterwards. Many airlines require a college degree, so that is likely something you'll want to consider, probably with a major in something "aviation related."
After that, it's up to you how to go. You need time, so I'd recommend that if you can, get your Commercial license and start getting paid to fly. Most pilots with similar aspirations get their CFI license and teach, but I'm of the opinion that they make bad teachers (you're the best judge of yourself though :-)).
It's a long road, and requires a lot of time (and money!), but if you're persistent, then you'll get there.
Make it a habit to check your fuel gauges to ensure the tanks are even.
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