Where to start?

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by frefoo, May 17, 2004.

  1. frefoo


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    Apr 4, 2004
    Northen VA
    I would like to start flying (as a hobby).

    Can someone point me to the right direction as far as who I contact or better yet "Where do I begin"?

  2. Texas T

    Texas T TX expatriate CLM

    Likes Received:
    Jan 25, 2000
    Read through the site. Take an intro flight. Ask your instructor lots of questions. Then come here and we'll explain everything he/she told you. :)

    This is the NRA of the aviation world.

    This is where you go to get your free copies of Flight Training magazine.

    This is also a great site; not specifically for beginners, but it will help give you an idea of what you can do in aviation for a hobby.

    That should be enough to get you started on your way to poverty. ;f

    edited for late night/early morning typo

  3. Wulfenite

    Wulfenite The King

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    Jun 1, 2000
    Pretty Fly for a White Guy
    Get out the phone book look up the couple of nearest businesses that do flight training. They will all have some sort of "Discovery Flight". This disco flight will usually be a 1/2 hour or so and cost 30 or 40 bucks. After the'll have someone there to answer all your questions. Investigate their rates, their equipment, try to get a feel for the place. Also look for flying clubs in your area. Usually the clubs will be cheeper than the flight training outfits.

    There's a thread here on Studentpilot.com on how to choose a CFI (certified flight instructor). Lots of other good info on SP.com. Its not the biggest pilots forum out there but its dedicated to students and has a good atmosphere. Its really worth your time to find a CFI that you like. You'll be spending a bunch of intense time with this person.

    You should also realize this about flight training and CFI's. For many CFI's teaching is a steping stone for bigger and better things. CFI'ing is very much "dues paying" type of career. Your instructor will probably be making $10-15/hour; if he's lucky he'll be clearing $15k/yr with no benifits. Many instructors do this because all the time you spend in plane getting trained counts as flight time for your instructor. If he's a "time builder" you should expect that when he gets 1500-2500 hours he'll be leaving. So as a student you'll probably come across a couple different kinds of instructors.

    1) The new CFI. This guy will probably be very enthuastic and very available schedule wise. Assuming you make a steady training effort you'll get your license before they get the hours they need to move on (if that's their plan). Down sides are they dont have the track record, expierence, and fully developed teaching skills of a veteran CFI.

    2) The veteran CFI. These guy have the skills but they may be burned out and they may show up one day and say "Hey I got a job with XYZ Cargo. It was nice flying with you." Then you get to develop a relationship with a new CFI and bear the costs associated with you two getting up to speed with one another.

    3) The hobby CFI. These are guys that have a real job, or are retired, and teach because they enjoy it. If they have a real job it could be tough to get on their schedule. But they may be super instructors, they may be like a new CFI but with a lot slower learning curve for you and them.

    4) The career CFI. Probably the best way to go (skills, stability, and intensity) but dont be suprised if they're hard to find and cost a bunch more than the others.