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Pilots - need some advise

Old 08-31-2017, 09:44 AM
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Default Pilots - need some advise

I know there are some pilots here so i thought I would ask for some advise. Please forgive me if I say something incorrect because this is not my field of expertise.

A good friend of mine who is a local Bahamian that works his butt off 6 to 7 days a week fueling planes at the airport is trying to get his pilots license.

He has about 15 or so hours experience but they are not official. Hes been flying with people who own a plane, a few other pilots but no real instructor hours. He's trying his best to try and find an instructor who could be able to give him the OK to solo so he can start building real hours and get more experience. He has access to a plane so it's just really about getting signed off for solo as i understand.

There is no instructor here in Exuma. There are a few in nassau but sounds like that is not reliable and some times they take advantage of people to make them spend more. Seems that in the Bahamas very few pilots get their instructor license they just work toward commercial. I understood that in the US instructor was usually the first job for many but that isn't the case here.

I'm looking for suggestions how to help him. I don't mind pitching in but at the same time I don't want it to be about $.

I don't know if he could swing going to the US for a few days because he has 2 kids plus one on the way so he needs the work hours to pay bills.

What would you suggest? He's highly motivated and sees this as a huge opportunity to be able to move up in life.

Am I misunderstanding something?
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Old 08-31-2017, 09:51 AM
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One idea I had was if I could find someone who could do this is to use his connections with pilots who fly over and bring an instructor as a passenger on their trip then I could put them up at our place for a few days.

Not sure where or how I would go about finding someone and what qualifications or rules I may need to be aware of?
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Old 08-31-2017, 09:59 AM
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You are correct, Instructing is a beginner job in the US.
Florida is full of flight schools and if this guy has the basics and has been studying his books, it won't take him long to solo, 7-8 hours and 3 days if he is sharp.
For rock bottom $$ look for an instructor with his own plane, less overhead than a fancy flight school.
Same in Nassau, there may me a free lance instructor/pilot with access to an old airlplane.
Still, figure around $100 per hour, hence the solo may cost him $800-$1000 at least.
Even with the first solo out of the way he still need supervision to continue training, need sign-offs and instuction for cross-country trips, etc.
If the planes he is dealing with in the Bahamas are US registered, a US CFI on vacation could teach and sign him off.
(My instructor ticket expired recently, if not I would work with the guy next time I boat in the Exumas)
Tell him now is the perfect time to do pilot training, there is a real pilot shortage all over the world.
Wish I was 19 again.
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Old 08-31-2017, 10:25 AM
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Good points. Reminds me of a couple things from our conversation.

The plane he has access to is US registered and he's able to fly it for very reasonable $. I think he's hoping to find someone who is down here for vacation as you mentioned and spend a day or two with him. But that's much easier to think about than actuality - most of the pilots who come down that he's been able to speak with (or have the time while they are here) don't have instructor license because they got it to fly for themselves or otherwise didn't need it (went from military to commercial, etc)

Thanks!
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Old 08-31-2017, 10:37 AM
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The problem with getting signed off for solo is that it is not a one-time process, but a continuing process. My advice would be to save up some $$, head to the states and knock out the private pilot rating. If he's small enough to fit in a 152 he can get it done for about $4500 all-in. Especially if he has some of the fundamentals down already.
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Old 08-31-2017, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by dell30rb View Post
The problem with getting signed off for solo is that it is not a one-time process, but a continuing process. My advice would be to save up some $$, head to the states and knock out the private pilot rating. If he's small enough to fit in a 152 he can get it done for about $4500 all-in. Especially if he has some of the fundamentals down already.
Can you elaborate for my benefit? So would he not be able to get solo and then build some hours locally until the next time he needs an instructor to sign off on something?

That kind of $ is really hard for most locals to save up. Wages here are low and cost of living is very high. He's been trying to save up to get a $3000 (all in, shipped and duty paid) car from Japan so he doesn't have to keep putting $ into a junker but that's not had much progress either.
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Old 08-31-2017, 11:11 AM
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Not a pilot here but doesn't he need to take some ground school before he gets in a plane?
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Old 08-31-2017, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Walleye Guy View Post
Not a pilot here but doesn't he need to take some ground school before he gets in a plane?
Depends on the school.

Some you can fly all you want with an instructor while you study, some want you to pass it before you get in a plane.

No license though without passing written.
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Old 08-31-2017, 11:25 AM
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As I understand it, he will need ground school before getting his license but can solo without it if he gets checked out to the instructor's satisfaction.

He's bright, has flown with a number of pilots who have come down including commercial private jet pilots and spends a lot of time on simulator at home to build his skills how he can. His eyesight is pretty incredible - when we've been fishing he can spot fish, birds, etc way before anyone else can. I believe he's also flown multi engine already.
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Old 08-31-2017, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by crazybeard View Post
Can you elaborate for my benefit? So would he not be able to get solo and then build some hours locally until the next time he needs an instructor to sign off on something?
He could get a 90 day solo endorsement from an instructor. My guess is that the instructor would want to fly with him for a minimum of 4-5 hours prior to giving this endorsement. The normal solo process is you get signed off for flights in the local area, generally the instructor would put limitations on your endorsement that would be removed as you progress. Also the student would need individual sign-offs for cross country flights, so you would meet with the student before each of these flights and sign them off specifically for them.

It's the instructor's ass on the line if the student does something stupid or gets in over their head. So if you are an instructor with a student signed off to solo, you generally want to be checking in on them, flying with them regularly to make sure they are progressing and not developing bad habits or making bad judgement.

The short version is that it might be hard to find someone to sign a student off for solo in another country where it will be difficult to supervise him, and it would only be good for 90 days.

Not trying to discourage your friend and if its something he is really interested in he should keep at it, it can make a great career and pilots are in demand. But saving up and coming to the states might be his best option if he can't find someone local who is reliable.
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Old 08-31-2017, 11:34 AM
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how do medicals work in the Bahamas?

Would he need one?

In the US, if you don't have a 3rd class and are in a certified aircraft (i.e. non LSA or simiar stuff) you aren't allowed to solo with out a medical.
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Old 08-31-2017, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by midcap View Post
how do medicals work in the Bahamas?

Would he need one?

In the US, if you don't have a 3rd class and are in a certified aircraft (i.e. non LSA or simiar stuff) you aren't allowed to solo with out a medical.
Yeah that is a good point. I have no idea what the bahamas regs are on medicals or soloing. Everything I wrote is based on US regs and norms.

http://www.btvi.org.bs/jhome/index.p...to-take-flight

This school in the bahamas teaches classes to get FAA ratings, so maybe they just mirror/use our system.
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Old 08-31-2017, 11:54 AM
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Dell30rb, Thanks for explaining it more.

Yes, he does need a medical and is planning to go to Nassau to get it soon.

As I understand (which is possibly incorrect) there are some differences between the US and Bahamas but he is wanting to be able to get FAA certified so essentially he can do his training here with what the differences in the Bahamian system is. Then when he's ready and able he can fly the plane (US numbers) to the states and take the check ride in that to get FAA licensed.
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Old 08-31-2017, 12:01 PM
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I don't know if you could get some more infomation from http//www.pilotsofamerica.com ./ They would know more about flying than here. I have a pilot's license but don't know the rules for Bahamian Training.


Sorry that I can't get the link to work. It will work if you type into google.
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Old 08-31-2017, 12:11 PM
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This guy is about to have three kids and cannot save up enough to get decent transportation, he needs to shelve the pilot idea. He is a LONG ways from earning money flying a plane.
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Old 08-31-2017, 12:17 PM
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In the United States, there's nothing subjective about this. The requirements to be met prior to solo flight are clearly stipulated in CFR 61.87.

No certificated instructor is going to endorse a student for solo flight without ensuring the requirements of of 61.87 have been met. This is done is by administering the instruction required to satisfy these requirements and providing logbook entries indicating each of the required tasks and knowledge have been satisfactorily demonstrated.

How any of this applies to the Bahamas, I have no idea.

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Old 08-31-2017, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by csy man View Post
You are correct, Instructing is a beginner job in the US.
Florida is full of flight schools and if this guy has the basics and has been studying his books, it won't take him long to solo, 7-8 hours and 3 days if he is sharp.
For rock bottom $$ look for an instructor with his own plane, less overhead than a fancy flight school.
Same in Nassau, there may me a free lance instructor/pilot with access to an old airlplane.
Still, figure around $100 per hour, hence the solo may cost him $800-$1000 at least.
Even with the first solo out of the way he still need supervision to continue training, need sign-offs and instuction for cross-country trips, etc.
If the planes he is dealing with in the Bahamas are US registered, a US CFI on vacation could teach and sign him off.
(My instructor ticket expired recently, if not I would work with the guy next time I boat in the Exumas)
Tell him now is the perfect time to do pilot training, there is a real pilot shortage all over the world.
Wish I was 19 again.
There's a huge pilot shortage, but regional airlines still pay absolute crap. I am not sure if the guy posted the fellow's age who's seeking training or not, if if you're over 30, IMO it's too late to start an airline career.

If he's considering commercial aviation, remember a few things
1) Hourly pay is block to block, if the door is open, you're volunteering for the airline. Your commute time to base is unpaid.
2) You cannot live in base very easily because you'll want to switch seats (left/right), as well as switch bases based on seniority and how efficient the trips are.
3) Expect to get laid off a few times during your career.
4) Get your own disability insurance. Most airlines give you disability insurance that requires you to seek alternative employment if you're disabled. This could mean working at Subway or McDonalds.
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Old 08-31-2017, 12:18 PM
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Thanks for the link, Lobstercatcher. I'll check that out. Might be a good place for him to discuss the challenges and see if others have dealt with the same kind of situation and what they did.

Knowing him, I think he'd be super stoked to get even 90 days to solo. It would give him an opportunity to get a lot of hours in during that time. I'll talk to him about that idea as well.
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Old 08-31-2017, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by aFORDable View Post
This guy is about to have three kids and cannot save up enough to get decent transportation, he needs to shelve the pilot idea. He is a LONG ways from earning money flying a plane.
I won't say he should shelve the idea, but I sorta agree. A private license is only the beginning of the road. Instrument training will cost just as much as the ppl. Then the commercial license will be twice that cost again. Throw in a headset, plates, etc and he's looking at a $50k plus investment. If he can't find $3000, he'll be hard pressed to find $47k more.
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Old 08-31-2017, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by jj1987 View Post
There's a huge pilot shortage, but regional airlines still pay absolute crap. I am not sure if the guy posted the fellow's age who's seeking training or not, if if you're over 30, IMO it's too late to start an airline career.
They are paying decent now.. a friend of mine just took the plunge and is now flying for PSA. Something like 35k yr with a 20k signing bonus. You move up fast. A former roomate of mine started about 6 years ago, he upgraded to captain at a regional after about 3 years, then about a year ago got hired at virgin america
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