Should I pursue a pilot's license?

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Offline AMC

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Should I pursue a pilot's license?
« on: April 04, 2012, 02:11:19 PM »
I am sitting on the fence, should I or should I not????

Flying is something I have considered since high school and attending EAA Oshkosh, where I lusted after Long Ez.

I know it is a HUGE commitment to get a PPL and am wondering if it is worth it. Even if I had the PPL, would it be worth having?

1.   Renting a plane is about $100 per hour and would not really be conducive to just flying for the fun of it and taking cross country trips.

2.   Joining a club would still be about $50 per hour plus other club dues and flying less efficient aircraft.

3.   Owning a Long Ez. It seems I could own one of these for $35,000 for a good one. I would not want to build. I am handy enough to do things like swap motors in my AMX, so I am a bit mechanical and could maybe maintain an aircraft. There are other things to consider, like hanger space $$$ and dues. I am sure there are many other things to consider that I have no idea of and that is why I am posting here.

All thoughts are appreciated.

Any Long Ez in Minnesota? Maybe I can help you with maintenance in exchange for a bit of advice. I would just like to hang around some pilots and airports to get the feel of if this is right for me.

Thanks

Offline Bruce Hughes

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Re: Should I pursue a pilot's license?
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2012, 12:30:17 PM »
Hi whoever you are (I did not see a name)

I would suggest that you join the CSA.  You will get a directory which will tell you who is in
Minnesota, as well as the Jan. and April newsletters.   It is $30 per year.  If you cannot
afford $30, how will you pay for 5 gallons of gas?   The newsletters should give you a lot of
understanding of the group of canard aviators.

Bruce Hughes   :)
Yelm, WA
Longeze N199BH
retired
taught at Maui Community College

Offline Bill James

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Re: Should I pursue a pilot's license?
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2012, 01:31:58 PM »
Do it. Who knows what your situation will be in 5 yrs, 10 yrs...
Whatever your level or station in life, piloting an aircraft well is immensely gratifying and satisfying. Building and flying the plane has dramatically changed my life. Like most things, if you are already happy, the pilot stuff will open up even more vistas of joy. If one is determined not to be happy, well, you know.
Find an enthusiastic instructor and go for a couple of flights. Great fun. Then play it from there.
Go for it.  :)
Bill James
Bill James, Fort Worth VariEze N95BJ
Downdraft Plenums, QuickCowls
There was supposed to be anhedral?
ATP, Society of Flight Test Engineers

Offline AMC

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Re: Should I pursue a pilot's license?
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2012, 10:27:22 PM »
I was kind of determined not to be happy  ::)...

On top of the prospects of flying, I am interested in just learning, as I am facinated with learning about mechanical things. I also like the prospects of procedure and flight planning.

I am also kind of scared S-less of all the things that could go wrong in a hurry, forgetting to do something like heating the carb, inducing a roll too low...How safe is a private pilot? How safe are Long Ez?

I really fell in love with the Long Ez, I wish flying clubs had them...It would be nice to find a small group and form a flying club around a Long Ez here in Minnesota.

Offline GlennBob

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Re: Should I pursue a pilot's license?
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2012, 01:09:46 AM »
Dear Mr.  AMC.

You didn't mention your age.  That may be a determining factor.  If you're  85 , . . .well then . . .you might just want to watch them fly by, . . .but . . if you're any less than that ! ! !    GO  FOR  IT  ! !   =  ).

Where else in the WORLD  can you build and fly your own airplane ? ?   This is a fantastic privilege, and there are few who can consider it and fewer who actually do it ! !  When else in history, has man had the opportunity to join the birds in winged flight ? ?  You OWE it to yourself ! !   Leonardy Davinchi (sp?)  said  " Once you taste flight  . . . you will forever walk around looking skyward " ! ! 

Cheapest way to obtain your pilots license is to buy a good used Cessna 150,  with some hours left on it, and find a cheap flight instructor.  Get your ticket, and then sell the bird. You can probably achieve all that (if you're a good shopper and seller), for about 5 K.   Flying is expensive, but if you want to do it, . .cut something else outta your budget.  I don't think I know too many folks who have said, . ." Boy, . .I wish I'd never gotten my PPL ! !  "   ! !   =  ). 

The first time I went for a ride in a buddies plane . .I asked " Can anybody do this ? "  I couldn't believe it was free for anybody to do.  I thought you hadda be somebody.  Now I AM  somebody ! !  =  )  Think of all the heads that turn when you tell somebody you're a pilot ! ! (unless you're at the airport).

As for the bird,  Long ez, . .you won't find a club that has one.  This is strictly an owner pilot program.  You might however find a partner to share your fun and expenses with.  There are a few partners out there.   If you watch and keep an eye out, . .you can find something you can afford to get started with.  I've been amazed at how cheap some of these things go for.

Go for it.  Life's too short to sit around and watch.  And don't worry about how dangerous  airplanes are.  anything worth doing has some risk, but the media blows it out of proportion. If you don't believe me,  . .go to an airport and watch planes take off and land all day long ! !

Good luck. And you'd better get started ! !   I'm sure there are some EZ owners in Minn.

Glennbob














N600EZ  O-320-E2A,  Hertzler prop, Trio AP, Narco HSI, Custom headers, Oil heat.

Offline Rick Hall

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Re: Should I pursue a pilot's license?
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2012, 02:03:46 AM »

I am also kind of scared S-less of all the things that could go wrong in a hurry, forgetting to do something like heating the carb, inducing a roll too low...How safe is a private pilot? How safe are Long Ez?

Scares the crap outta me when I hop in my truck for my weekly trip into town for beans, flour and salt-pork. All them idjuts with their garage door opener thingy glued to their ear while they're driving.

'Events' are, for the most part, due to a bone head move by the pilot or builder. Don't be a dope and you'll be fine.

I flew PAX from Kansas City to Rough River (greatest canard fly-in in the world) with flight following last year. We saw one plane on our path.

Get you ticket. Stay current if you like. "Just do it". My only regret is not starting sooner.

Rick
Cozy MK-IV, plans #1477. 90% done, 70% to go!
Currently working on the canopy, side windows just installed.
My hobby at: http://zggtr.org My plane at: http://cozy.zggtr.org/

Offline AMC

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Re: Should I pursue a pilot's license?
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2012, 12:40:52 PM »
Dear Mr.  AMC.

You didn't mention your age.  That may be a determining factor.  If you're  85 , . . .well then . . .you might just want to watch them fly by, . . .but . . if you're any less than that ! ! !    GO  FOR  IT  ! !   =  ).

 

Cheapest way to obtain your pilots license is to buy a good used Cessna 150,  with some hours left on it, and find a cheap flight instructor.  Get your ticket, and then sell the bird. You can probably achieve all that (if you're a good shopper and seller), for about 5 K.   Flying is expensive, but if you want to do it, . .cut something else outta your budget.  I don't think I know too many folks who have said, . ." Boy, . .I wish I'd never gotten my PPL ! !  "   ! !   =  ). 

The name is Brian and I am 32 years old, too late to learn to fly?

I am also trying to figure out the best way to learn to fly. There is an airport 5 miles from my house that has a flight school. That seems like an expensive option. When you say buy a used Cessna 150, it is not that simple. Where do I store it? Hanger space is $$ and where does one find a CFI unattached to a school who will charge less and not require me to rent their plane for $90 per hour?

Offline easyrider

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Re: Should I pursue a pilot's license?
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2012, 01:57:31 PM »
If you are making excuses for not learning to fly maybe you don't want to
Age is not a problem I learnt to fly at 67 and then went from a Cessna 150 to a Long EZ
I have over 1,300 hrs. on the LongEZ and 2 deadstick landings, one off field and one on field
I don't recommend deadstick landings as part the curriculum but the rest is pure heaven
Easyrider

Offline AMC

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Re: Should I pursue a pilot's license?
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2012, 04:25:43 PM »
I am not making any excuses. I am looking for the best path. I found this Cessna 150 http://www.barnstormers.com/cat.php?mode=listing&main= only an hour from my place.
What is the best way to learn to fly?
How hard is it to transition between aircraft.

Offline Rick Hall

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Re: Should I pursue a pilot's license?
« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2012, 10:56:48 PM »
... Age is not a problem I learnt to fly at 67 ...
Sweet :) I just turned 58, have yet to do my check ride :) Thanks for the mondo dose of good mojo :)

What is the best way to learn to fly?
How hard is it to transition between aircraft.

Take lessons ;)

A CFI (certified flight instructor) should be able to offer training in any certificated aircraft, even your own. If they will is another story, most will though. The exception is training in an experimental aircraft. When you start training, you (or your instructor) will pick a plane. 172, 150, PA-28, ... And for the remainder of your training you will be flying the same model. It may be a different plane, maybe, but will be the same model. You can switch from a PA-28 to a Skyhawk, but additional 'familiarization' hours will be required. Piper handles differently than a Cessna, and a 152 is different than a 172.

Transition is generally painless, elevators still elevate, throttle still produces power. Differences may include location of the controls, stall/landing speeds, how the controls behave (eg: power vs manual steering, hi-cube V8 vs Yugo, etc.). Performance characteristics are listed in the POH (pilot owners manual, all planes have them), so is the operation of the controls. It's best a person gets a little stick time with an instructor (CFI or your pilot pal Ralph) before flying a new-to-you plane.

You may be able to save some bux by owning your own training plane, but ownership presents it's own problems as you've noted (hanger rental, if you decide one is needed). Of note is insurance (big $ for a new pilot), annual maintenance, and you'll still have the $30-?? bux your instructor(s) charge per hour for their time. And if you need to take a break from your flight training for skool, jay-oh-bee, family, ... the monthly/yearly costs for your 'trainer' keep adding up and need to be paid.

Head down to the FBO at your airport, grab a chair and watch the planes. When you get bored of that, head inside and talk to someone. Bring up the weather, mention flight school, how many instructors... Next day pick a different airport. Might run across a flight school that offers rentals at a discount if you buy blocks of time. Might even run across a canard owner with time to ratchet-jaw. Tip: look for two fins in a hanger ;)

Sorry if I'm patronizing.

Rick
Cozy MK-IV, plans #1477. 90% done, 70% to go!
Currently working on the canopy, side windows just installed.
My hobby at: http://zggtr.org My plane at: http://cozy.zggtr.org/

Offline GlennBob

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Re: Should I pursue a pilot's license?
« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2012, 09:56:19 PM »
Hey !!   Kudo's  to the dude who got his ticket at 67 and then flew 1300 hrs in an ez ! !  Whoa ! !   Nice job ! !   What an inspiration ! !

No time like the present, . .and soon it will be the past ! !   Like some said, . .only regret is not starting sooner.  32 is a good age to start ! !  Not as good as 22 or even 15, but hey we all start naked and go from there ! !  At least you're not 67 or 85 ! ! 

Yes, there are challenges to getting the ticket, but here are some helps.   

# 1)  Just about every pilot would  LOVE  to do all they can to help you get your ticket ! !  We're a family and we love new members ! !  Find a pilot you know / like and ask him for some help.  (be brave).  We're all family.

#2)  If you're a good negotiator or investigator,  you can find ways to lower your expenses of ownership. Some FBO's will let you help with the annual work.  Or . .you can hire your own A&P to do the annual with you.  You might find someone with a hangar that will rent you a spot.  Or buy a hanger and rent out a spot to others and help lower your costs.  Be creative, . .think outside the box !

#3) The most important thing you can do in keeping flight training expenses down is to self educate.  A lot of what you'll learn can be found for free or cheap in books and tapes.  Do the book work first, then do the flying   ALL  AT  ONCE ! !   Don't let it drag out.  Even if you hafta borrow money to finish.  Do it all at once to stay fresh till you're done.  I did my instrument ticket that way.  I spent about a year with books and tapes.  Then I went flying for about 6 weeks almost straight.  I ACED my written, ( I was a D student in high school), and passed my instrument check ride a few weeks later.

Yeah,  it's expensive,  but I don't think you'll ever look back and be sorry.  Once you get your ticket,  you can " share "  your flying expenses with others who want to go for a flight.   I had a GREAT partner for 6 years.  It was a good experience for me.  Slashed all the fixed costs in half ! ! And my partner rarely flew ! Talk to other pilots and they can give you ideas. Sport aviation and Aopa,  Flying magazines often give hints to help keep costs down.  Go for it.  It's the best ride of your life ! ! 

Glennbob
N600EZ  O-320-E2A,  Hertzler prop, Trio AP, Narco HSI, Custom headers, Oil heat.

Offline AMC

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Re: Should I pursue a pilot's license?
« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2012, 11:38:54 PM »
Thanks Glennbob. I have been reading and watching a bunch of videos on the internet. I am just eating it up. I am really interested in learning about flying. I am trying to find a good deal. I can afford it, I am a CPA and do well enough, but I am far from rich....I like a good value. I really wish I could find a partner or two to split a Long Ez. That seems like the way to go.  I want to find some pilots around just to BS about flying with. I do not see pilots just hanging round the airport and am I even allowed to just hang round in the hanger area? The road is fenced off.....

Offline Rick Hall

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Re: Should I pursue a pilot's license?
« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2012, 12:57:20 AM »
.... I want to find some pilots around just to BS about flying with. I do not see pilots just hanging round the airport and am I even allowed to just hang round in the hanger area? The road is fenced off.....

You drive in, you park, then you walk. Unless you have the code to DRIVE into the hanger area. Flying Cloud is fairly secure, Robbinsdale/Crystal not so (assuming you in the Twin Cities). Go to the FBO and ask!

I'm near Longmont (KLMO), knew I wanted to build a canard of some sort. Drove in the access road to Vance Brand one day, saw two fins sticking out of an open hanger. The owner/pilot was up near the line (FBO) watching the planes. So I ask...

Don't spend a pile of time doing a cost analysis to save a buck, just do it. You already know you want to.

Rick
Cozy MK-IV, plans #1477. 90% done, 70% to go!
Currently working on the canopy, side windows just installed.
My hobby at: http://zggtr.org My plane at: http://cozy.zggtr.org/

Offline AMC

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Re: Should I pursue a pilot's license?
« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2012, 10:54:50 AM »
I live about 5 miles from Crystal Airport. I was going to call Thunder Bird Aviation.

There are places I can't go right? People will not call security on the guy wandering around the field?

I would like to fly into Oshkosh this year...

Offline Micah

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Re: Should I pursue a pilot's license?
« Reply #14 on: April 09, 2012, 03:28:35 PM »
Well here's my two cents worth.

 I would say its never too late to learn, it will be a lot of work and there is a cost, but its the most rewarding thing you can do.

Buying an airplane to train in is a great way to save money. Who knows, if you buy it right you may even sell it and recoup some of the training cost.

As a noob to this website I don't want to offend but I would disagree with the advice given earlier to find a cheap CFI. As with most things, you get what you pay for, a CFI willing to work below the going rate is indirectly making a statement about his abilities. I've yet to know a CFI who is independantly wealthy!

It sounds like you are not planning on flying for a living, so my advice would be to find a good general aviation airport with a group of active pilots and get to know them. Look for a older CFI who has been in aviation for many years, perhaps a retired professional pilot. Be willing to pay a bit more if he asks that, trust me its worth it! Looking at your area I would check out Buffalo airport (KCFE), its too small for any major charter or corperate ops. I cant say for sure but I think it'd be a perfect place to learn. Chances are that the instructor and airplane rental rates will be lower at the smaller airport too. If you do go for the smaller airports you can probably get to know the maintenance guys, and they can help educate you about airplane ownership.

Hope that helps, I'd be happy to try to answer any additional questions you may have.

Micah DeLeeuw
CFI CFII