Thinking of getting a pilot certificate. Looked up the cost is about 10k with c152. Is it recommended to use a more updated plane to learn? How much time should I devote to it per week in order to get certified within half a year? Also if you could share your awesome experience in flying that’ll be great! Bad experiences are welcomed too! 😊
- Just to give you an alternate perspective: I got my PPL in about 4 months one summer while working full time. I got permission from my boss to come into work around 11am three days a week (not that I needed the permission really) so I could be at the field to fly at 8am. I blocked off time for the airplane way way in advance to avoid scheduling conflicts and I managed my schedule around flying. I was also very aggressive about flights up front until the instructor signed me off for solo after which my instructor’s schedule became less of an issue. If you are in Seattle, the summers are excellent flying weather and thus wx only grounded me a few times. I also self-studied ground school which made the required ground portion I had with my instructor more fulfilling since we could talk through more interesting scenarios.
- Yup. I had almost no problems with weather in a Seattle summer. Even on cloudy days, the ceilings are usually high enough to head to the practice area, and if not, plenty high to stay in the pattern doing touch and goes. The thing that might get you is a bad weather day on a required Xc, but there are only a few of those so just book ahead and get it done once you can.
Realistically, the parts of flying that will come hardest to people in our field are likely to be fine control of the plane in a rapidly changing environment—in other words, being in the pattern. The cross country exercises are relatively easy for people with good math skills and who did the due diligence on studying.
So for me, I did my check ride at just above the minimum hours and frankly I spent most of my time just grinding out touch and goes when the weather wasn’t great or dicking around on unnecessary XCs to do more touch and goes at uncontrolled airports because I needed to build the time.
- Nice! V good job.
I noticed I progressed a lot more if I flew regularly (>= 2 times a week). But life put some long breaks in the middle... Some, very brutally right before the stage checks.
But flying with an instructor with poor wx is a very learning experience. You really appreciate all the things you are taught when winds at 35kts are gusting or that time when we had to request a special vfr on our way back.
- The planes I’m most interested in range from 100k-175k. The 100k ones would probably need another 50k invested in them within a few years. There are plenty of trainers that can be had for under 50k easy—and plenty of opportunities for partnerships for even less. One thing you will learn early in training is that the utility of a plane is limited by more than its number of seats, so those less than 50k planes, you better not have friends you want to take places.
One thing that is fun and is kind of enlightening: join the larger Facebook groups like ‘Avition Buy and Sell’, ‘Airplanes for Sale’, etc.. you’ll start seeing a variety of planes come on and people discussing the pros and cons of them and analyzing the prices. It will help you build a sense of what you might want/need. Looking at airplane classifieds like controller.com is wading through a lot of overpriced garbage.
Also join the ‘flights above the Pacific Northwest’ Facebook group. It’ll help you pick up on the community up here and also provide you some inspiration to actually get out there and do it. And that’s the hardest part of flying—getting yourself out to the field.
- You would need to be logging 5-8 hours of flight and ground instruction a month, pass all stage checks, and your check ride to pass your private check ride within a year. It’s doable, but with a full time job, would probably be challenging, unless you spend your vacation/PTO logging time as well.
- What would be your end goal?
You would more or less need to be flying and in ground school full time to get your ticket within 6 months. The FAA has minimum hour requirements but many pilots spend almost twice as much time. Your instructor’s availability, your availability, weather, and how you progress on your ground and flight knowledge are all variables that come into play that’ll determine how long it will take.
Cessna 152/172 are typical standard trainers at flight schools. 152 might be a cheaper route compared to the 172.
Flying is a challenging but rewarding experience if you put the time, energy, focus and commitment towards it. I encourage anyone interested to take an intro flight.
- Q is what do you want to do after getting your license? After a while, scenic flights for friends and family visiting the city become boring. Family and kids and wx will keep you away from flying.
Working in Instrument rating may keep u busy for a while.
That said, it's the best thing I ever did even if it burnt a big big hole in my pocket ...