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Private Pilot License anyone? Advice needed.

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Private Pilot License anyone? Advice needed.

Old 02-07-2018, 09:18 PM
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Default Private Pilot License anyone? Advice needed.

So Iíve decided that owning a boat doesnít already cost me enough money and would like to get into flying...I think. The idea of unplanned weekend getaways and flying across the state for lunch just seems like a lot of fun. Iíve been a boat guy since birth but recently Iíve been looking for a new hobby. Flying has really been the only thing that has made me sit down and actually do some research. Yes, I realize that it can be expensive but so is owning, maintaining and storing 2 boats (30cc and a 22 bay boat) that really donít get used as often as needed to justify owning them. Iíve done a lot of reading on the Cirrus SR22 and while small, itís a very capable aircraft perfect for island hopping. There are quite a few local clubs that rent planes at decent rates for recreational flying. Iím in the process of looking at flight schools in south Florida and will probably do an introductory flight within the coming weeks. Any advice or recommendations on schools in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale area?

Someone please talk me off the ledge. I donít owe anything on my boats and If I sold my current fleet, I wouldnít be very far off from the cost of a nice used SR22!
Old 02-07-2018, 09:29 PM
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Don't do it.

But if you do, start with a nice 172.

Old 02-07-2018, 10:04 PM
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Flying can be fun, did it for a number of years.
Busy airspace around this town, keep moving your head to look for traffic, don’t stay “inside”.
Not sure I would buy an airplane if I was in your shoes. Rent for a few years and see how that goes.
(If I was buying a plane it would be a C-185, more fun than anything else in that size group, think of it as a Ford Raptor, high performance, go anywhere)
Got questions? PM me. (Been flying for 37years, from C-120s to B-747s)
Old 02-07-2018, 10:45 PM
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I have flown off and on for years. I enjoyed it and had a half or a third ownership of a 1978 Piper Warrior until recently. If you can find a buddy to own half or 2 buddies to each own a third that is how I enjoyed aircraft ownership. And owning an old Warrior was a lot easier on the budget than owning a Cirrus but everyone has to do his own thing.

Statistics show that per mile travelled small plane flying is as dangerous as motorcycle driving. Be careful!

I learned to fly at Tamiami Airport. That is probably a bit far for you in Fort Lauderdale.

One of my happier memories is flying from Tamiami Airport to Bimini, Chub Cay, Long Island, Rum Cay, Georgetown, Freeport and the Abacos. (Several different trips). I did my flying to the Bahamas in a Flying Club's 172.

You mention a flying club. That would be a great way to start and is how I started flying. I used one of the flying club's instructors to get my pilot's license.

Last edited by Lobstercatcher229; 02-07-2018 at 10:51 PM.
Old 02-07-2018, 11:07 PM
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If it flies, fu$ks, or floats, rent it.
Old 02-07-2018, 11:38 PM
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Buying an airplane is one thing on the budget. Maintaining one properly is another. Forget about mechanically working on it unless your FAA rated I think.
Old 02-08-2018, 12:10 AM
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You don’t need an A&P to wrench on your plane. You do need an FAA inspector to inspect and sign off work done. Unless you are friends with one and he’s familiar with your work you won’t find one who will do it.

Go over to Ft. Lauderdale exec and see who offers flight training. Make sure you’re going to fly often enough to keep personal proficiency and not just FAA mandated proficiency. You’ll want to get your instrument rating as well.

If you own a plane it can sometimes be very expensive to comply with airworthiness directives.
Old 02-08-2018, 03:48 AM
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You obviously understand flying is expensive so my advise is go and try it. Do a few hours training and if you love it go for it. I've loved flying for as long as I can remember.
If you do decide to go ahead with it and get your license don't ever push limits or weather. Be prepared to stay on the ground if all is not good even if it means you don't get to you destination on time. It will happen at times.
Old 02-08-2018, 06:24 AM
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Got my private pilots license just out of college. Flew for a some years after I got it. If you are going to benefit from having your pilots license you need to fly on a fairly consistent basis. It's not something that you can do every couple of month's and maintain proficiency.

Insurance requirements for my FBO at the time required 3 takeoffs and landings every month (if I remember correctly). When I was driving to the airport once a month to do touch and goes in the pattern to keep current I decided to hang it up.

Flying is like boating and driving, experience and diligence are what make you safe. Getting experience and maintaining diligence are much harder for the weekend warrior to accomplish. Much more unforgiving if you get into a difficult situation.

Until you are IFR rated you are subject to the weather.

I got to a point where I felt the reward wasnt worth the risk for the amount of time I was flying. Wouldn't trade the experiences I had though, taught me alot and I enjoyed it. Pretty good pucker factor on that first solo.
Old 02-08-2018, 06:40 AM
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make sure you can get a class 3 medical first. If you can't get one of those you are going to be limited in what you can fly.

Also...start doing research on how the progression from being a newbie to a seasoned veteran works. It's a very time consuming process and you have to be 100% committed to it.

You also have to approach flying with a great deal of respect.

I am a student pilot on a long hiatus. FWIW
Old 02-08-2018, 07:21 AM
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Just know that as a very vague rule of thumb, if you don't fly at least 80 hours a year it is probably cheaper to rent a piston single.

Rental vs ownership has many more factors than money though. The biggest one for me is the fact that I couldn't find a local place that would let me rent a plane on Friday afternoon and return it Sunday evening. If you could find a place to let you do that, you would really hate to be out in the Bahamas, having a great time, decide you want to stay an extra night, but have to return because the plane was booked by someone else.

Can I ask what's got you hooked on the SR22? The SR20 is more than capable for what you describe here; and probably an easier plane to learn on.

unplanned weekend getaways and flying across the state for lunch
Old 02-08-2018, 07:43 AM
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I just finished up and got my certificate last month. In fact just yesterday I flew (from KLNA) to a meeting with Intrepid in Largo, and then down to a meeting with West Marine in Sarasota. Left at 9:00 and home by 5:00 - It is pretty liberating.

Although I'm obviously a newbie in the field it sounds to me like you've gotten some great input so far. The training is more involved than I had anticipated. I've been called a little 'Type A' so I went in thinking I'd be done with everything in 39 hours and breeze through my check out flight. I did all my written work first (without any flights, and using an online course), passed that w a 90% and jumped into flight training. After about 20 hours I kind of decided I was more interested in really learning the material thoroughly and safely, and stopped looking at logged hours. I ended up right in the 'average' of 60-70 hours. I now have a little over 100 hours, and when I do flights like yesterday I take my instructor along because there is still so much to learn. Regardless spend time FINDING THE RIGHT SCHOOL AND INSTRUCTOR. A good number of instructors seem to be young people starting out a career in aviation. In my experience many lack maturity and general experience, and (just in my experience) are not well equipped to teach.

The Cirrus is an incredible aircraft and in fact I was supposed to start the transition training for that this week (unexpected Superbowl tickets/trip threw my week's plans into the mixer so that's put off). I considered doing all my training in the Cirrus but was advised against it. There are obviously pro's and con's and you'll hear both. I guess the 'best' approach is different for different people.

As others have said it's definitely a commitment. Since I'm so new I make it a point to fly every week, even if it is just for an hour with a few different takeoffs and landings. Once I'm more experienced I'm sure I'll go without flying for longer periods but I can definitely see where one would quickly get rusty.

As you've surely already determined it's not cheap. And if you buy an airplane (like you I've shopped the SR22) it gets even more costly. But if you're a multi-boat owner like I am you've perfected the art of distorting the true costs of certain things .

Good luck!
John
Old 02-08-2018, 07:59 AM
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I worked for a life insurance company for a number of years and developed a personal philosophy that "if it made a life insurance premium more expensive, I should really think carefully about taking it up as a hobby"

It's an interesting list. And being a private pilot with under 500hrs a year was on the list. If you flew a lot or were a commercial pilot, not problem.

FWIW, other things on the list included cave diving, high altitude mountaineering, and driving race cars as a hobby.

Moral to the story, I think learning how to fly an airplane would be really cool, but unless you can afford to dedicate the time to being highly proficient, it's a dangerous hobby. Just ask JFK jr...
Old 02-08-2018, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Kenny Powers View Post
Can I ask what's got you hooked on the SR22? The SR20 is more than capable for what you describe here; and probably an easier plane to learn on.
That's a good point - and it will save you $200k +/- in purchase price. And it's not high performance / insurance will be lower. For me the big driver is I have 3 kids, so the SR22 is unique in that it seats "5" (more accurately, 2 adults + 3 kids). If that weren't a driver there are a few other planes I'd consider.

Also, lots of good information on Cirrus Owners and Pilots Association (COPA) website. Great forum with active, knowledgeable members and minimal drama.
Old 02-08-2018, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Prospective View Post
I worked for a life insurance company for a number of years and developed a personal philosophy that "if it made a life insurance premium more expensive, I should really think carefully about taking it up as a hobby"

It's an interesting list. And being a private pilot with under 500hrs a year was on the list. If you flew a lot or were a commercial pilot, not problem.

FWIW, other things on the list included cave diving, high altitude mountaineering, and driving race cars as a hobby.

Moral to the story, I think learning how to fly an airplane would be really cool, but unless you can afford to dedicate the time to being highly proficient, it's a dangerous hobby. Just ask JFK jr...
I thought Jr. Was preoccupied with other things, while flying, as a result lost his bearings and crashed. He was a multi-tasker just like his daddy.
Old 02-08-2018, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by niteatnicks View Post
I thought Jr. Was preoccupied with other things, while flying, as a result lost his bearings and crashed. He was a multi-tasker just like his daddy.
Lol... well I didn't see that on the episode of "Why Planes Crash" but who knows. And given his sister-in-law was with them that would be something. Most acknowledge that his lack of experience and of an IFR rating coupled with heavy fog over the Sound was a primary cause.
Old 02-08-2018, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Prospective View Post
Lol... well I didn't see that on the episode of "Why Planes Crash" but who knows. And given his sister-in-law was with them that would be something. Most acknowledge that his lack of experience and of an IFR rating coupled with heavy fog over the Sound was a primary cause.
Yeah I seem to remember the sky was clear when he started, but got foggy when he finished.
Old 02-08-2018, 11:10 AM
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JFK Jr. flew in terrible conditions, I've seen them up here many times -- you can't tell where the ocean ends and the sky begins on days like that. He didn't keep an eye on his altimeter and artificial horizon and flew straight into the water (CFIT).
Old 02-08-2018, 01:24 PM
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I work as an aviation underwriter at USAIG. I can fill you in from start to finish on plane ownership, risks, costs, training, medical requirements etc.

Send me a PM and Iíd be happy to give you a call to discuss.
Old 02-08-2018, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by tdk72 View Post
If it flies, fu$ks, or floats, rent it.
fornicates is the way I like to say it. I enjoyed my period of ownership, renting has its downs. I also have a wife and a boat so that is how I roll.

The JFK crash makes for interesting reading. It is classic for rich folks to buy more airplane than they can handle. He certainly did need an instrument rating for the fatal flight.

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