View Full Version : What does it take to get a pilots lic.

jack grebe
09-06-2009, 07:27 AM
I am thinking (dreaming) about learning to fly.

Just something small, big enough for the wife and I.

09-06-2009, 07:33 AM
Depending on your aptitude, you can solo in as little as 5-6 hours of flight training, but at least 40 hours of combined solo and dual time is needed before you can test as a private pilot and carry passengers....
I might mention that the most accidents occur between 40 and 200 hours of flight time, the period when new pilots get their private license and can take friends and family up to show them what they can do....
It's been half a century since I got my tickets, spins and spin recovery were part of the training, as was recovery from stalls. I don't think they do that anymore, but the written exam may be a bit harder.

09-06-2009, 07:52 AM
Everything Chuck said and $MONEY$


09-06-2009, 08:02 AM
I did it in 66 hours, but I was delayed several times because the seasons kept changing. And then you should to fly roughly twice a month to stay current. It's an expense I'd rather be without, but it's great fun and overall less work than a wooden boat (of course, you wouldn't give up wooden boats, would you?)

jack grebe
09-06-2009, 08:12 AM
I would be walking into this cold....Where do I
get study material and what would I need.
Are there courses?

As for $$$$$, how much are we talking?

Nicholas Scheuer
09-06-2009, 08:48 AM
I did it at age 65 just because it was something I always wanted to do.

Have soloed in Cesna-140, C-152, C-172, and the Piper J-3 Cub.

It is expensive, even when renting aircraft.

It took me awhile longer than usual because I was flying only 3 or 4 times/month, minus scrubs due to bad weather, and my instructors kept leaving for their first airline jobs (I had a total of 8 CFI's).

I "fired" one CFI who was a jerk, and ended up soloing for the first time with the next CFI.

I had some fun, before running into a medical problem.

Moby Nick

09-06-2009, 09:10 AM
My first ex-wife and I both trained back in the 80s...I'm thinking it was around $2000 each from start to license. I went through a couple flight instructors before it was over. My last one was getting too old and would have put us in danger the last time we flew together if I had listened to him. Less than a year later he died in a crash when his personal a/c lost power on takeoff. I never flew again after that and wouldn't dream of taking it up again at this point in life.

Michael s/v Sannyasin
09-06-2009, 09:27 AM
I looked into this a few years back and calculated it would cost between 2K and 4K to get the license. Then, as mentioned, you'd want to fly a couple of times a month just to stay current.

Most local airports have flight schools (I believe). I think there is a national association of some sort. There is a number, something like 1-800-BE-A-PILOT (I guess that's too many letters), that you can call and they can tell you the name of the schools near you. I don't know how far South you are in Florida, but there is an airport in the Keys that I'm sure would have a school.

The schools usually have an introductory flight lesson, something like $50, you could go for that and see if you really do like it.

Good luck. Let us know how it goes and you might inspire someone (like me) to try it.

09-07-2009, 08:50 AM
I looked into this a couple years ago. The guesstimated total cost (from a guy who just got his license) was about $50,000.

09-07-2009, 09:03 AM
Depends on what you want. Used light aircraft prices are depressed right now so a good option is a purchase if it is well thought out.
Many instructors will charge a nominal fee and your options will be open in that regard. A good ground school is essential and again you can pick from many.
Like Chuck I would want a qualified older instructor who will give you spin training. I think its the one thing dropped which was essential.
Try and get as much instrument instruction as you can as it could be the difference if you get caught in weather.

My best advice would be to find a nasty SOB who smokes cigars and yells a lot. Pressure is a good training aid. Trust me when you need to handle a crisis you will be thankful for it. Good instruction has nothing to do with personality's being compatible.

After the ticket, work on an instrument rating and take an aerobatics course. Become a Aviator, not a pilot.