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View Full Version : OT:Need some help from light aircraft pilots (or pilots in general)



hamrtime
10-11-2006, 11:19 PM
Latly, I realized that in about a year I will be eligable for a pilots' lisnce (sorry,
cannot spell). I turn 16 on the 27th and have been wanting to learn to fly for years. But
alas, I have a problem: you see, I've been looking online at flight schools, and frankly,
it ****ing expensive! Adverage cost of geting a private piolets certificate runs between
$7,000 and $9,000 that I don't have.... I did see a sport certificate available, and the
requierments where noticably less. So here are my questions about the differante lisences,
and some other stuff too:

1. What is the differance (in privalages) between a private pilot and sport certificate?

2. If anyone knows, what is the cost differance (I know its noticable, but how much cash
would I be saving?)

3. It is possibal to upgrade certificates, right? (yes, it's a stupid question, but please
humor me) and if yes, any idea how much work it entails?

4. I know that you need to be 16 to solo, but does that mean if you're say, 15 1/2, you
can still go up supervised? (I have a friend who would join me)

Yes, I did try the FAA website, and no, I couldn't navigate it (or at least not well
enough). I'm asking these questions here before I start harrasing the local flight school.
Much thanks in advance!

[Edit]: all info I have is from the flight school websites that I've been to

darkhorizon11
10-12-2006, 12:04 AM
Lucky you I'm a CFI...

I'll tackle these with relatively short answers...

1. Sport pilot's license is very restrictive, you can only fly during the day within a certain distance of your "home" airport (25 miles I think) and you can't fly an aircraft with more than 2 seats. And a few other things... I'd have to look up...

2. Price is hard to say... your looking at probably at least 2500 for a sport pilots license too... its really variable because it all depends upon how the FBO charges you and what fuel and instructor costs are excetera...

THE TWO WAYS you are charged for the aircraft per hour...

a. "Wet": you pay more for the aircraft, but fuel is incorporated into that cost
b. "Dry": you pay a lot less, but that doesn't include fuel, so your flight costs vary with fuel prices

3. It depends upon the "upgrade" or rating you want, it can be very pricy... some things such as the complex endorsement (meaning you can fly a complex plane with retractable flaps, gear, and controlspeed/variable pitch prop) only require the instructor to sign you off when he "feels" your ready...

other more advanced things such as an instrument rating require lots of study and work since there is TONS of new material to learn and there are stringent hour requirements to get it

4. You need to be 16 to solo and 17 to be eligible for a private pilot's license, yes. But there is no minimum age to recieve flight training or take the controls, my buddy has a 6 year old son that can hold altitude and track a VOR radial pretty well...

I don't know your situation friend but I'll give you a piece of advice I wish I had from the start.

If you do decide to train make sure that you have 50% more cash available than the FBO says you need. the hours and costs they give you are the BARE minimums since remember they're running a business and don't want to sound to pricy. ANDDDD make sure that once your START you can finish it, flying isn't like riding a bike, if you go even a week or two without flying you'r skills WILL degrade A LOT! Fly as often as possible until you get your license, it willl save you A LOT of money since you wont have to review as much in preperation for your checkride. (CHECKRIDE is your flight with the FAA instructor when they decide if your good enough to get your license or not)

Either way, good luck.

Oh and one more thing, look into joining a flight club... they commonly will rent aircraft real cheap and will have instructors available to help you that really aren't biased and working for a company. They'll still charge you but its often less hassle and selling. The key is they ussually make you pay a monthy fee to be in the club but if you have the money and the time and really want to persue flying its worth it!

Esel1964
10-12-2006, 12:13 AM
If you have the ability to go to the airfield and 'hang out',then do go "harass" the flight school.If you have a small strip,that has a flight school,handy start there.
Obviously,a large airport won't allow you to hang out/wander around;but smaller fields will often actually allow you to walk around the rental hangars and you can strike up conversations with plane owners.Then you ask if they'd like their plane washed or the hangar swept up.
I've gotten free rides in several different planes,by being a 'hangar rat'.And I've never ridden right seat with any pilot that didn't offer me the controls.

I don't know where you are,but a group called Wings For Christ used to give lessons for the price of fuel;if you agreed to be 'on-call' to fly missionaries around,and deliver supplies to them.That's how my dad got certified.I have NO clue as to whether they still do this or not.

Another way to get your foot in the door,and log some flight time,is the Civil Air Patrol (http://cap.gov/).I earned an Observer's badge which added up to alot of right-seat time.Plus,I do believe they've got a pilot training program(depends on your local squadron-if you're in USA).

I realize none of this gets you the certificate,
but seat-time is learning time-regardless.

The deal on the Sport license is you can fly only 'light' a/c:i.e. Piper cub,Taylorcraft,Aeronca,and I think Ercoupe(which is one of the coolest small private planes ever made.)

BM357_Sniper
10-12-2006, 12:18 AM
I'm going to try to answer these questions by looking them up in the FARAIM.

1. I believe you only need 20 hours of flight time, 15 of which must be with an instructor. Can't carry more than one passenger or fly at night. You can't fly in airspace other than E and G, without an endorsement from an instructor. You're also limited to aircraft that have a CAS of 87 mph, unless you recieve an endorsement. You can't fly over 10,000 feet.

2. The cost I would assume would be about half of a private.

3. You can upgrade your sport to a private later.

4. FAR 61.305 says you must be 17. You can be 16 for your private.

Buy a FARAIM and look under part 61. Thats where I got the info. One of the big reasons for the coming of the Sport Pilot relm was for guys that were already pilots, but lost their medicals. They can continue to fly. I wouldn't suggest it. Go for your private. Trust me I know how much it costs, but there is no way around it. Try getting a job at an FBO. Being in and around the community helps a lot more than you may know.

One insteresting fact though, all you need is a private to instruct for sport pilots. lol

vocatx
10-12-2006, 12:22 AM
Some of the other restrictions on Sport class are you can't fly a "complex" aircraft, ie, no constant speed prop and no retractable gear. There is also a gross weight limit, I believe it's about 1200 pounds.

You might go to the AOPA website to get more info.

Good luck. I was going to try to get my private pilot ticket a couple of years ago, but I still haven't gotten around to it.

BillyTheKid_22
01-21-2007, 08:11 AM
Originally posted by Esel1964:
If you have the ability to go to the airfield and 'hang out',then do go "harass" the flight school.If you have a small strip,that has a flight school,handy start there.
Obviously,a large airport won't allow you to hang out/wander around;but smaller fields will often actually allow you to walk around the rental hangars and you can strike up conversations with plane owners.Then you ask if they'd like their plane washed or the hangar swept up.
I've gotten free rides in several different planes,by being a 'hangar rat'.And I've never ridden right seat with any pilot that didn't offer me the controls.

I don't know where you are,but a group called Wings For Christ used to give lessons for the price of fuel;if you agreed to be 'on-call' to fly missionaries around,and deliver supplies to them.That's how my dad got certified.I have NO clue as to whether they still do this or not.

Another way to get your foot in the door,and log some flight time,is the Civil Air Patrol (http://cap.gov/).I earned an Observer's badge which added up to alot of right-seat time.Plus,I do believe they've got a pilot training program(depends on your local squadron-if you're in USA).

I realize none of this gets you the certificate,
but seat-time is learning time-regardless.

The deal on the Sport license is you can fly only 'light' a/c:i.e. Piper cub,Taylorcraft,Aeronca,and I think Ercoupe(which is one of the coolest small private planes ever made.)


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