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Private Pilot License??? Should I or Shouldn't I?

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Private Pilot License??? Should I or Shouldn't I?

Old 05-12-2018, 10:22 AM
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Default Private Pilot License??? Should I or Shouldn't I?

I’m pretty sure we have some Private Pilots on THT and I wanted to get their thoughts. I am seriously considering making the commitment to get my private pilot’s license.

What has prompted me to consider doing this is saving time. My company does a fair amount of work in the keys and I need to be there on a regular basis. My corporate office is in Sanford, FL, right down the street from the airport. It takes about 7 hours to drive from Sanford to our Keys shop (if I don’t get stuck in the Miami traffic) and then of course another 7 hours to get home. All of this driving is a big waste of time. If I had the license, I figure I could fly down to Marathon in about 3 hours and get a lot more accomplished. Maybe even get some fishing time in, while I'm there. We also do a lot of work in SW Florida, I could fly into Punta Gorda and be at my SW Fla shop there in 5 minutes. Again saving 3 hours driving time each way.

I’m not doing this to save money and I realize it will not be cheap. But from my point of view, I’m wasting a bunch of time driving back and forth and we all know time is money.

I would plan on renting a plane from the Sanford Airport for my regular trips around the state. This appears to be the most cost effective way to have access to a plane. I have no desire to own one. Owning a boat is bad enough, I can only imagine a plane would be more work and more money.

Another consideration is age. I’m 61 years old and in excellent health. Should age even be a consideration. I spoke about this with one of my neighbors, who is a retired corporate pilot and he thought it was a great idea and encouraged me to get the license.

Does anyone have recommendations for Flight Schools?

So…what am I overlooking? What does the THT Brain Trust have to say about this venture?

Looking forward to reading all of your thoughts and comments.
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Old 05-12-2018, 10:40 AM
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Why do you have to physically be there is there no way to leverage technology?
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Old 05-12-2018, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by bellsisland View Post
Why do you have to physically be there is there no way to leverage technology?
To spend time with customers that are located throughout the keys. It's not a typical office environment.
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Old 05-12-2018, 11:09 AM
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Go for it.

You might not have to get your license to start taking advantage of flying. If your airport has a flying school your CFI can sign off on you soloing cross country before you get your license.

Be forewarned it gets expensive. Most planes rent not only by the flying hours, but also the down hours.

Down time rate is usually cheaper than flying hourly rate, but you have to take both into consideration.
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Old 05-12-2018, 11:15 AM
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Our FBO charges 2 hours wet whether the plane is flown that day or tied down
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Old 05-12-2018, 11:18 AM
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One possible issue is the company policy on private aircraft. If you don’t own the company, or work for a large corporation, you may find a “two engines, two pilots” policy required for business travel. That being said, learning to fly was a lot of fun, but would recommend getting your instrument rating so you are less likely to get weathered in somewhere.
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Old 05-12-2018, 11:28 AM
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What is the cost of ifr now? $8k? I would love to get my vfr at least... maybe even just sport.
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Old 05-12-2018, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Bront Antwoord View Post
What is the cost of ifr now? $8k? I would love to get my vfr at least... maybe even just sport.
5-7k ppl
8500 ifr
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Old 05-12-2018, 11:39 AM
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Do it.

Getting a pilots license is the one thing I wish I done but never got around to doing. I did a bunch of other cool stuff but flying wasn't one of them. It's something you'll always have to enjoy. Regardless of the work aspect, do it anyway.
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Old 05-12-2018, 11:41 AM
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“If you have time to spare. Go by air.” Words to live by. Be prepared to be stuck in areas due to weather. I have a 172 and this will be the type of plane you will be renting. This plane is great for making the world smaller and perfect for your application. But weather can and will have you sitting. So if you have to be home at a certain time, private is not always the best option.
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Old 05-12-2018, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by surveyingdawg View Post
“If you have time to spare. Go by air.” Words to live by. Be prepared to be stuck in areas due to weather. I have a 172 and this will be the type of plane you will be renting. This plane is great for making the world smaller and perfect for your application. But weather can and will have you sitting. So if you have to be home at a certain time, private is not always the best option.
agree most will be c172. But more commonly now is the diamond M20
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Old 05-12-2018, 11:45 AM
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The biggest issue would be weather, if you have to be there specific days. If you go ifr then its less of an issue but more money and time.
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Old 05-12-2018, 11:48 AM
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Had my plane for 7 years.

Its gonna be more like$10-12k for pp-asel. If you need to be somewhere on a certain date\time plan on ifr at $8-10k.

For that type of travel a 172 will get old quick. Youll want more power and a constant speed prop so plan on complex and high performance endorsements as well.

What kind of aircraft will you have access to?
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Old 05-12-2018, 11:55 AM
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Wanted to add:

When i was docked in key west the guys next to us kept a hatteras down there. They flew down from tampa every weekend in a 182.

For that type of travel a 182 would be alright but something like my uncle's mooney 231 would be the ticket (unless you got cirrus money).
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Old 05-12-2018, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Retiredearly View Post
One possible issue is the company policy on private aircraft. If you don’t own the company, or work for a large corporation, you may find a “two engines, two pilots” policy required for business travel. That being said, learning to fly was a lot of fun, but would recommend getting your instrument rating so you are less likely to get weathered in somewhere.
I own the company, so that wont be an issue.

Originally Posted by surveyingdawg View Post
“If you have time to spare. Go by air.” Words to live by. Be prepared to be stuck in areas due to weather. I have a 172 and this will be the type of plane you will be renting. This plane is great for making the world smaller and perfect for your application. But weather can and will have you sitting. So if you have to be home at a certain time, private is not always the best option.
Originally Posted by myssjeep View Post
The biggest issue would be weather, if you have to be there specific days. If you go ifr then its less of an issue but more money and time.
I can usually set the time I'm scheduled to be onsite. I'm just trying to shorten the time to get there and make better use of my time, instead of sitting in a car for 14 hours (round trip). One good thing about Florida, is that our days are mostly sunny, so I don't think the weather will be too much of an issue.
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Old 05-12-2018, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by rbhankins001 View Post
Had my plane for 7 years.

Its gonna be more like$10-12k for pp-asel. If you need to be somewhere on a certain date\time plan on ifr at $8-10k.

For that type of travel a 172 will get old quick. Youll want more power and a constant speed prop so plan on complex and high performance endorsements as well.

What kind of aircraft will you have access to?
Originally Posted by rbhankins001 View Post
Wanted to add:

When i was docked in key west the guys next to us kept a hatteras down there. They flew down from tampa every weekend in a 182.

For that type of travel a 182 would be alright but something like my uncle's mooney 231 would be the ticket (unless you got cirrus money).
Not sure about the aircraft yet. Something I need to look into.
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Old 05-12-2018, 11:58 AM
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MCO-MTH is about 220 nautical miles as a crow flies. A Cessna 182 will cruise 130-sh knots. 2.5-3 hours total trip time is not unrealistic, all in.

If I were in your shoes, I would do it.
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Old 05-12-2018, 12:03 PM
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I had my license for a number of years, but found it too expensive for what I did, so I let it go. One thing to consider is not just the renting of the plane, but the logistics of the destinations. When you get to your destination airport, what will you do for transportation? What kind of fees will your destination airport charge for tie downs, etc? And yes, a lot of our days are sunny, but also prone to thunderstorms that will ground you.....lightning strike anywhere in the area, even if you don't see it, could ground you for hours.
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Old 05-12-2018, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Classic25 View Post
MCO-MTH is about 220 nautical miles as a crow flies. A Cessna 182 will cruise 130-sh knots. 2.5-3 hours total trip time is not unrealistic, all in.

If I were in your shoes, I would do it.
Can you actually go direct?
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Old 05-12-2018, 12:07 PM
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I'm in Florida too weather will be a bigger issue than you think, depending on the plane as some stated. I'm use to a PA-28 so we watch the weather, but i your flexible you can usually find a good window. Not trying to discourage there is a nice since of accomplishment the first time you solo. If you've got the time do it, but once you start fly at least twice a week until your done.
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