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Way back when I took a few hours of flight instruction (about 5 or 6 IIRC). I stopped because I didn't really have the money at the time to continue (was fresh out of high school and still kind of figuring out what to do from there, etc.). Never continued since then, but it was still worthwhile.

If like me, you've always loved aircraft and flying, you'll love it. I assume you've read/are reading books on the basics of flight/aircraft/flying lessons, but if you haven't then you should. It'll help you learn faster and familiarize yourself with the process and know what to expect.

What are you looking to do ? Get your private license to fly for recreation ?

Have fun and remember, the number of landings should always equal the number of takeoffs ! (yuk yuk, I've got a million of 'em...) :p
 

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Physics will ensure the number of landings equals the number of take-offs.:p

Remeber, a good landing is one you can walk away from, a great landing is one where you can reuse the plane.

I haven't taken lessons myself since cars have taken control of my budget, but it's still on my to-do list.
 

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mikester said:
Way back when I took a few hours of flight instruction (about 5 or 6 IIRC). I stopped because I didn't really have the money at the time to continue (was fresh out of high school and still kind of figuring out what to do from there, etc.). Never continued since then, but it was still worthwhile.

If like me, you've always loved aircraft and flying, you'll love it. I assume you've read/are reading books on the basics of flight/aircraft/flying lessons, but if you haven't then you should. It'll help you learn faster and familiarize yourself with the process and know what to expect.

What are you looking to do ? Get your private license to fly for recreation ?

Have fun and remember, the number of landings should always equal the number of takeoffs ! (yuk yuk, I've got a million of 'em...) :p
I've yet to pick up any books... though I do plan to. This has been something I've been thinking about doing for a couple years now, and I just remembered that I wanted to do it when I drove past that flight school the other day after karting.

My current goal with it is basically just to see if I like it enough to dedicate most of my free time to it. The flight school I'm signing up with has a free first lesson deal going on right now, so I figured why not give it a try :)
 

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Okay, so what's going to happen for your introductory lesson (basically all flying schools have an introductory lesson which is nominally priced or free - kind of like the friendly neighborhood drug pusher, the first one is free...:p ) is this:

Your instructor may talk with you a little bit very generally about the fundamentals of flight and aircraft, show you around the aircraft, the flying surfaces (wing, horizontal and vertical stabilizers) the control surfaces (ailerons, rudders, elevators), propeller, landing gear etc., he/she will introduce you to the cockpit and the instruments, controls etc. Together you'll inspect the aircraft, touching and wiggling stuff to make sure it does what it's supposed to do, check fuel level visually, then you'll jump in, start up, and take a short flight in the local area. In the air the instructor will make sure that you are doing much of the flying and will talk you through what to do, performing some basic maneuvers such as a "2-minute turn", perhaps), maybe even demonsrating a power-off stall, if the area you're flying in permits this. Then you'll head back to the field and land the aircraft, with the instructor talking you through it. It'll be a blast, you'll feel like the master of the universe, but also probably a bit shaky from the adrenaline. The instructor will explain the next steps, if you want to continue.


Remember this: in flying, it's not the wings or the engine that keep the aircraft in the air -- it's money. If you've got the money, the plane will fly. No money, the plane stays on the ground...;)

Have fun, and I'd definitely say go to your local independent bookstore (or Barnes and Noble) and pick up a good introduction to flying book, also the latest copy of Flying magazine, to get a taste for this, to see if it's really for you.
 

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I once went to an airport for my first lesson. By they rudely said I need to be sober before I could fly a plane. At which point, I gave them the "bird" and jump into my car and drive off. ;)

Seriously, the Discover Wings Channel had an advertisement for $50 introductory lessons, which prompted me to check some of the local flight schools.

www.beapilot.com/indexfl.html

I believe the cost of a "recreational license" is about $1500 to $2000. A private license is about $3000. They also had airplane rental ranging from $56 hourly to $124.

www.arizonaaviation.com/rentals.htm

Personally, I would love to learn to fly a plane and rent one occasionally. Maybe after a recooperate from the Elise purchase. :)
 

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The expensive part is maintaining your proficiency (because the reason pilots get themselves into trouble is failing to stay sharp, getting lazy). Flying ain't cheap, and it's not something you do "halfway". That's what I learned about flying....
 

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mikester said:
The expensive part is maintaining your proficiency ....
Mike, is there some sort of proficiency exam that you have to take X years after you receive your license?
 

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There's a minimum number of hours annually, IIRC. Don't think there's any regular "recertification" process like a driver's license (aside from a periodic phyisical by a physician certified as a flight surgeon) but honestly I'm not sure, without checking on that. Beyond the basic "power" rating that most everyone gets as part of their basic pilots license, there are additional "type" ratings, including IFR, multi-engine, turbine, instructor, commercial etc.
 

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Allan Gibbs said:
Mike, is there some sort of proficiency exam that you have to take X years after you receive your license?
There are all sorts of currency requirements. For example, to fly at night with a passenger you have to have ahd three night landings in the past ninety days. Lots of stuff like that. Plus there's the BFR (biennial flight review, although I think they've changed the name) where every two years you have to get checked out again. The big problem, what keeps me from flying, is that the minimum requirements are just that, minimums. I personally don't think that you can be a safe pilot without flying much more than what is required. Once I did the math based on what my instructor told me and what I read in respected avaiation guides, I figured that I could afford to get my ticket but I couldn't afford to keep it. Hence the Elise that is hopefully soon to be here.

Based on the costs of flying here in Seattle, and the fact that the average student takes about 60 hours to finish, you're looking at something more like 6 to 8 thousand bucks to get your ticket.
 

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Here are some answers and thought some of the questions posted:

1. Private Pilot License does not expire.
Example for VFR...
2. Your flight privilege are only valid if:
a. 3 Take-off's & landing in 90 days to carry passengers
b. Landing to a full stop for night qualification
c. Current Medical
d. Pass Bi-Ennial flight review

I strongly suggest against a recreational license. In todays complex flight environment a Private is bare minumum one should acheive.
 

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andykeck said:
I personally don't think that you can be a safe pilot without flying much more than what is required. more like 6 to 8 thousand bucks to get your ticket.
I completely agree with you. A good friend of mine got his license, but let it lapse after a year or two, for exactly these reasons. I'm sure he'd still say it was worth the achievement, because it was a lifelong goal, but it's tough to be a good, safe pilot unless it's really a passion for you, because of the committment involved. It is, after all, serious business especially in today's crowded skies and busy, busy airports. The days of the small, private airstrips and wide open skies are almost all gone, by and large. At least near the urban centers.
 

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Flying lessons are definately worthwhile, but it does get very expensive to fly often enough to stay proficient. If you decide to give it a try, make a commitment to yourself to get a certain number of hours or make a goal of soloing, that way you'll have the chance to really see if it is something you want to invest a lot of money into.

I've gotten out of private flying since it is what I do at work, and I have a lot of other projects taking my time and money right now.

Staying proficient is really the key. You really need to enjoy the practice work, doing approaches and landings, simulated instrument and the like. Because that is what you'll be doing mostly when you start. It is kind of hard to just take off and go somewhere for the weekend unless you own your own plane. But I still enjoy flying visual patterns in a four engined jet, it gets me back to the basics that every pilot needs to practice.
 

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Lumn8r said:

I've gotten out of private flying since it is what I do at work, and I have a lot of other projects taking my time and money right now.
Good thing Lumn8r, because I just recently went for that $100.00 hamburger to which I had long forgotten how much fun it is. Imagine actually going where you want to. :D GA flying will always be blast for me no matter what I fly the beef in.

PS The burger is more like $150.00 now :eek:
 

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1FASTMX5 said:
Here are some answers and thought some of the questions posted:

1. Private Pilot License does not expire.
Example for VFR...
2. Your flight privilege are only valid if:
a. 3 Take-off's & landing in 90 days to carry passengers
b. Landing to a full stop for night qualification
c. Current Medical
d. Pass Bi-Ennial flight review

I strongly suggest against a recreational license. In todays complex flight environment a Private is bare minumum one should acheive.
Because there were so many deaths due to VFR pilots inadvertantly ending up in IFR conditions and drilling holes in the ground, I felt that an IFR rating was essential to safe flying. I hadn't intended to do a lot of IFR, just wanted the skills.

However, I found that the more you learn, the more you understand how vital it becomes that you have skills that you can use without even thinking...just reacting. Those skills can't be maintained without a lot of seat time in those kinds of conditions. Takes a lot of time and money.

I have a Commercial license with IFR and a few other ratings. When I flew on business, it was great, but when I had to pay for it myself, I just couldn't keep up with what I considered the necessary skill level. Minimums can be hazardous to your health.

However, the experience was great and I have absolutely no regrets about learning to fly. Getting the Private license was a lot of fun. Getting the Commercial license and IFR rating was a lot more work and, occassionaly, very scary.
 

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I was the local airborne news and traffic reporter for FOX and many local radio stations for 7 years.


I loggedf 6 flight hours a day, 5 days a week for those 7 years. My time was spread equally between a cessna 172 and a Bell Jet Ranger.

Our company has a policy where the reporters cannot also fly the aircraft so when I first started I didnt have to know how to fly. All our pilots were also instructors. During my tenure I logged enough hours to be a commercial pilot but never got my license. :huh: I'd like to get a taildragger rating and fly citabria's.

We used to have BIG fun, up and overs, flat spins, even constant G rolls. LOL, I'd be reporting a news story and sometimes we wouldnt even be near the scene anymore.....we'd go out of the city flight space and do tricks and play around. The "BIG" game was trying to get me to screw up while on the air by doing nutball stunts while I was talking. I'm proud to say I never flubbed up once. :)
 

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spezielle Soßekopfsalat mit zwei legt aller Rindfleischpastetchen Zwiebeln auf einem Sesamsamenbrötchen in Essig ein

Yum, yum !

Actually I understand about 80 % of the ingrediants in that menu item, but murky on what a Sosekopfsalat - sauce head salad ? is ...
 

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mikester said:
spezielle Soßekopfsalat mit zwei legt aller Rindfleischpastetchen Zwiebeln auf einem Sesamsamenbrötchen in Essig ein

Yum, yum !

Actually I understand about 80 % of the ingrediants in that menu item, but murky on what a Sosekopfsalat - sauce head salad ? is ...
lol, I was waiting for someone to understand my sig line. Two all beef patties special sauce lettuce cheese lettuce onion on a sesame bun. LOL.

Head salad is I guess the term for lettuce?
 
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