finally about to start working on getting my PPL

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by punkture, May 17, 2007.

  1. punkture

    punkture

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    i have a cessna discovery flight set up in a week. i've been putting off getting my pilot's license for a while now. it started with plans of going to comair academy/usaf, neither of which ever came to fruition. now with graduate school and getting my business off the ground behind me, i've finally found a chance to start working on it.

    the flight instructor explained they always give a maximum price range, so students can't get mad at them if they don't progress quickly. $8500 was his ceiling price. from what i've found from asking around and research the entire web, is 40hr min (60-65hr avg) and ~$6000-6500 in total. the ground school was right at $500 for 9 weeks, half of which is books.

    i grew up around planes. my stepdad had a biplane, helicopter, and a cropduster i helped him piece together in our living room. my plans now are to get my license, get a cessna 150/172, rack up on flight time, and see where it goes from there.

    any words of wisdom before i jump into this head first?
     
  2. hokieglock

    hokieglock Proud Infidel

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    a great start-my ppl grew into a great usaf career(not yet done with) and employment with a major airline. whether your ppl grows into something else doesn't matter, flying is the best thing one can do with your pants on.
     

  3. hapuna

    hapuna Trusted Member

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    Have you considered starting off with the new sport license???
    Supposed to save some bucks and the new planes are way better than the 152.;)
     
  4. Sambolijah

    Sambolijah .

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    Do it as quickly as you can, in the shortest amount of time possible.
    It will save you time and money and frustration.
     
  5. punkture

    punkture

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    thanks guys. nearly everywhere i've read, the advice has been speed, for the reasons you just mentioned. good advice, i hope. it's certainly changed my mindset going into this.

    also, i've been entertaining the idea of buying a 150 with which to get my license and selling it (only if it puts me into some sort of unforeseen financial bind) to save some money on the license itself. is this an idea worth pursuing?

    what are the advantages/differences of the sport license, other than money and planes?
     
  6. flyandscuba

    flyandscuba

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    Go private rather than sport license (unless you have a medical reason). You'll be able to do more with the private and the progression to higher ratings simpler.

    Buying an aircraft (the right aircraft) for use in your training can be a cost savings opportunity under the right circumstances. Much has to do with the condition of the airplane (times before TBO, etc.) and the avionics on board. If you plan to get your instrument rating within a short period of time you might want to consider an airplane with a basic IFR package.

    As you evaluate the options, realize there is more involved in the total cost of the aircraft than just the price tag. A budget should be developed for maintenance (annuals, routine, and unplanned). Insurance -- especially for a low-time pilot -- can be pricey. Declaring the aircraft's use for flight training will most likely create an insurability problem for you as an individual. You'll probably have to work out a lease-back agreement with the flight school, so the aircraft will fall under their insurance coverages. Finally, you'll need to consider where the airplane will call home -- a hangar or tied down on the ramp. Trust me, you'll want to have hangar space.

    Airplanes remaining outside to the elements will have higher overall maintenance costs than one residing in a hangar. Oh, and remember when you register the airplane under your name -- you state Dept. of Revenue will find out....and they will be contacting you shortly for a sales tax payment on your aircraft -- an unexpected surprise for many first-time aircraft owners.

    Good luck! :thumbsup:
     
  7. punkture

    punkture

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    just got back from my discovery flight (cessna 172), which was a blast! a bit overwhelming though with holding bearing while maintaining altitude while keeping the plane level while enjoying the view. its definitely something that is going to take time. i'm definitely overwhelmed, but not scared off from going through with this. overall, i had a BLAST!
     
  8. New

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    What flyandscuba said. Don't get fooled by the sport class. FYI, if you have a medical issue and have been turned down for a class 3, you will not be able to use your drivers license without clearing the issues you have been salmoned for. But, if you know you are not going to pass, and you let the medical expire, then you may use your DL in lue of your medical, operating in the sport. I think the whole idea with the sport is dangerous, we have to pass a medical for a reason.

    Defiantly look into the purchase of an airplane for your training. Put an add out in your local airport and flight school to look for a partner to share expenses. You WILL SAVE MOONEY buying a plane to get your rating. It is a daunting task, but with a lot of support and a bunch of homework it is not so hard. By the way, in CA you have to pay property tax on the rented hanger as well, on top of the tax on the airplane.

    Glad to see another future aviator.
    Good luck, and have questions, don't hesitate to post. Getting the RIGHT information is key.
     
  9. c6601a

    c6601a

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    Many a private pilot has looked back and thought that if he had bought an airplane when he started flying, he would have saved money. That process only makes sense when looking back, it rarely works out moving forward.

    There is a lot of knowledge that you need in order to be able to successfully buy and own an airplane. As a typical private pilot, you have not been around airplanes enough to be able to navigate the decisions successfully. As you embark on the process, those you encounter will soon realize that you are a novice and someone somewhere will take advantage of that and take you to the cleaners. It happens far more often than you think.

    There are a lot of people here and elsewhere, who have nothing to gain financially from your decisions, that will sincerely encourage you, egg you on and in the process give you bad advice. It is not because they are malicious, but because they want to live vicariously through you and loose sight of the fact that you are not them and the decisions that they are willing to make with your money they will never make with their own, if they had it.

    Advice about getting a partner is one such advice. So you are willing to take on the liability of another person’s inexperience or misjudgment? You will not care if you see the idiot take off in the flight school's airplane in weather conditions that are just too dangerous, but what happens when your partner decides to take off in them in your airplane? Worse, what happens when you decide to take off in conditions that you think are good enough but your partner does not think you can handle? By the time you go through all the legal hocus pocus to create an illusion of insulation from liability, you will have spent far more than the most expensive rental.

    Have you considered what insurance will cost on the airplane for one or two student pilots? The flight school spreads the cost over 100 members, you get to pay it all on your own. Same for the cost of the annual inspection. As an owner you do not get to share it with others. Lets add the cost of the hangar or tie-down, the personal property tax (every state has it, from a few tens of dollars flat fees to several thousand), in some cases county taxes, the risk of theft/vandalism, the risk of damage due to weather, the list is long.

    All of that is expected. Now lets talk the unexpected. Do you have the financial resources if you need an engine overhaul unexpectedly? What if there is a costly AD? What will you do if you find out 30 hours into it that you are not really into flying after all? Someone looking back over the last two year in which they flew 200 hours does not take any of this into account or remember the 9 other guys that took ground school with him, 5 of whom quit and 3 are still working towards their private.

    My suggestion: rent till you get your private and have a few hours beyond that. If, at that point, you are still into flying, consider buying. Right now, buying an airplane is the surest way to make you sour on flying.
     
  10. dozing4dollars

    dozing4dollars Plasticized ! CLM

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    Buying an aircraft, as a student pilot, has got to be one of the most ill conceived notions I have ever heard of.

    The expenses could be extraordinary, taking on a partner, insurance issues, lack of aptitude, loss of interest, ad infinitum...

    Having been around airplanes for some 30 years, there are only about two that I would have bought myself- a T-38 for solo trips and a 747-400 for family trips.:laughabove: I just didn't have the spare millions to spend.

    I appaud your interest in flying but I would suck up the aircraft rental costs until you are rated and have a few hundred hours before I would even consider buying an aircraft.

    We have a saying in my industry, born of experience: If it flies, floats or f___s, RENT IT, its cheaper!;)
     
  11. New

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    This is typical information from a person whop has made bad decisions on a purchase of an airplane, or has have a bad experience in a purchase from making a bad decision.

    I have had several students purchase planes on my advise and all of them have earned their rating much less that renting, and in my experience with flight schools, had a much more pleasant experience with the aircraft. Weather it be not having a time constraint, or scheduling issue.

    Much of what c6601a have said, has nothing to do with purchasing an airplane. You can have bad ADM weather you own or rent an airplane, bad ADM doesn't discriminate. Taking off in bad weather conditions is a pilots bad call, not the aircraft's fault. It is up to YOU the pilot to make a decision, and to KNOW ALL OF YOUR EQUIPMENT in your airplane. In fact, I have spent countless hours teaching helping students move to another aircraft and get familiar with equipment.

    As far as insurance is concerned, it depends upon what airplane is going to be your first. Yeah, if you buy a C182TC with a G1000 and you are pre-solo, you will be paying about 80K a year (I have had a student do this), if you can get the insurance. On the other hand, if you purchase an N model 172, that has no fancy equipment and have been tested through time, you are more likely to be paying around the 3K mark, and maybe under. You have to realize to, aircraft insurance is no different from vehicle insurance, they are in business to make $, not be a nice guy. You make a claim, your rates will go up, and yes, they may even drop you. But if you are smart, make good decisions, take aviating seriously and be a fair weather flyer, your risk is greatly lowered.

    As far as AD's are concerned, don't buy a plastic new airplane. Get a good ole tried and true 150/172. They have had no new AD's, they are very affordable and great stable trainers. The worst thing I have about the 172, doing spin endorsements, the airplane is so stable. They are great platforms, and gear you to get to know the most available airplane on the market today, and you can easily move up to a higher performing airplane with having less to familiarize yourself with.

    Maintenance, aw yes, the dreaded annual. Yes, airplanes are expensive, parts can be close to if not more than an arm and a leg. It comes up every year, along with other things you need to be responsible for. But, if you participate with annuals, and you do your research and not buy the first airplane you see, annuals can be very affordable. Much of the maintenance you as a pilot can do yourself. I encourage every one of my students to "get under the hood" of the airplane they are flying. Understanding equipment will make you a better pilot. Many repair shops out there allow "hands on" annuals.

    The purchase of an airplane. What I tell anyone who is looking to buy an airplane, "Read all the information you can find." Do your homework, when you finally find that could be plane, find a reputable THIRD PARTY shop to do a repurchase inspection/annual. Here in CA, they run from a $1,000-2,000. Best money you will spend. I would have to say that most of my clients that have purchased a plane and followed this advise, they saved triple in the purchase price as compared to the cost of the inspection.

    Buying an airplane is not for everyone. But if you are intelligent, have some time, witch you should have if you are embarking on getting your PPL, and you have some capital to invest, buying an airplane is a good investment, but like anything in life, it is not for everyone. Keep your options open, and fly safe by using good judgment through up-to-date training and excellent instruction.:thumbsup:
     
  12. dozing4dollars

    dozing4dollars Plasticized ! CLM

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    You must have some "well heeled" students ...

    Although I have not taught civilian students, I was one once and I had friends who came up thru that community.

    Obtaining funds for the next flight and ground school session was a constant preoccupation. Of course, most of these students were young, college age kids. Perhaps today's average student is an older, more financially stable student-at least yours would seem to be.

    Even as a financially mature, experienced pilot, I do not think there is an airplane in my future. A number of my cohorts have had them over the years, but most were senior Capts. on widebody aircraft. These days, our guys are selling off assets to make mortgage payments and send their kids to college. I bet some of them have aircraft to sell to your students.

    :sad:
     
  13. New

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    Aircraft ownership, like I said, is not for everyone. Yes, most defiantly a lad without the financial backing should not be in the market for an airplane. If someone is living paycheck to paycheck to pay for or go through a rating, then that is pretty obvious, he/she should not buy an airplane.

    But, like punkture said in his first post,

    "now with graduate school and getting my business off the ground behind me, i've finally found a chance to start working on it."

    It sounds like he may have the finances to do such. If he buys the right aircraft, and does his homework and listens to a many reputable third party people with solid information, there is a great chance he can earn his rating, faster, and much more economical. It still will not be cheap, but then again, we all know how to make a million $'s in the aviation business, right?

    We start out with two.

    I have had many students buy an airplane to earn a rating and I do not know, to my knowledge any of them that had a bad experience. Except for the people who did not listen and take the third party's advise. I have, for the record also talked a few students out of aircraft ownership for various reasons.

    Be safe, keep flying, stay current.
     
  14. CRDNLPLT

    CRDNLPLT Guest

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    You thought about joining a club? That is generally a good mix between renting from the FBO and owning.
     
  15. c6601a

    c6601a

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    I think you are being really optimistic if you think you can get a quality annual on a C172 for $1,000 anywhere in the country. A paper annual: yes. A quickie annual with no repairs, just an inspection: maybe. A quality one with repairs of things one would typically find broken: no way. In California: you have to be kiddidng me. But let me use your numbers anyway....

    So you spend $3K for insurance, and $3K for two pre-purchase inspections (one dud and one buy). Without taxes, gas, hangar/tie-down, unscheduled maintenance, engine reserve, you are already out $6K and you have not flown one second. What is your break even point? 400 hours year? Using your own overly optimistic numbers, the math does not add up for buying an airplane to save money.

    I am on my 3rd airplane and have my eyes on #4. The only reason I own is because I can not rent a high performance airplane like a Bonanza/Mooney/C210 anywhere nearby and because I take extended trips and you can not do that with a rental airplane. I have been lucky with my airplane ownership, but I have had close calls and I have seen a lot of financial disasters -- 500 hour engine requiring an overhaul 3 months after a pre-purchase by a reputable independent shop (I avoided that one because I got laid off the day before the pre-purchase was to start, bought the same plane from the next owner for significantly less than what I had offered 6 months earlier).

    Bottom line: Advising a student that is just getting into aviation to buy an airplane is being extremely irresponsible.
     
  16. New

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    The thinking behind the pre-buy, you get a.) a lower purchase price, b.) repairs done, and c.) a fresh annual.

    But like I said, aircraft ownership is not for everyone, but if you do it right, and yes a lot of homework is needed to be done, and the RIGHT airplane purchased, you can definitely get your rating done saving some time and money. You are taking a chance any time you purchase a plane, that's without saying, but I have seen this work out very well for many people. All the primary students stuck with a 150, or 172, and they ended up breaking even on the aircraft after they earned their rating.

    Options are options, and owning to earn a rating opposed to renting or joining a club should not be ruled out because the lack of experience. I am sure that your decision to purchase your fist airplane was not based entirely on YOU. Not the second third or the upcoming one. By the way, what are you thinking of getting?