Getting my private pilots license info/help.

Discussion in '' started by .M3, Dec 18, 2008.

  1. .M3

    .M3 Rookie

    Dec 14, 2008
    Hello, this is my first post on ferrari forums actually. Just to give a brief history....A friend of a friend, Jon Walton (turbos7903), and i randomly met and went on a 2 hour long drive. After, he invited me to our local Cars and Coffee with his friends. From this, i became a member of ferrari chats to check up on c and c meetings. I am currently 18 years old and drive a 2004 e46 M3. I saved my money for for several years to get the M3, and now work at our local BMW dealership, and am finishing my senior year :)

    Now, aviation....
    This current semester i am not doing any team sports. Long story short, a dream of mine was brought back in front of me and i am now looking into getting my private pilots license during my season off/into summer. I was wondering what knowledge people would like to share on their journey to receiving their licenses. I am looking to get my license to be able to rent a plane on weekends and honestly, just fly for the fun (just like how we'll "just drive"), and or every now and then take a friend out. I have been researching online a lot ( and so far have found: most people under estimate the commitment it takes, it does cost a good amount, and all in all people normally always come out happy! I am looking into classes or hiring a private instructor at our local airport (not major airport, PHL), and going from there. I would love to have any comments or suggestions people can think of!

    Thanks! Dave.
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  3. saleenfan

    saleenfan Formula Junior

    Mar 26, 2006
    No Where
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    My first big piece of advice would have to be go to an FBO and ask for an introductory flight (they usually will be discounted too) just to make sure that it is indeed what you want to do. I have had had know of quite a few freinds who wanted to do it and and made it about half to 3/4 (and a few grand) of the way through it and realized you know what this isnt for me. If it is indeed what you want to do go for it but dont expect it to come easy. Many people strugle right out of the gate but progress quickly after the first solo and its worth it and I love it! Also make sure that you and your flight instructor 1) are compatible 2) are on the same page for what you want to get out of the training.

    the last thing i would tell you is to not necessarily quit with your private pilots at the least do some instrument training. Now to scare you straight, the average life expectancy of a private pilot who flies into a cloud and has no instrument training is 13 seconds!! (yes thats right) So for your sake take atleast some training on how to fly instruments.

    I hope that it is everything you expected it to be cause I love it!!!!
    Good luck and enjoy.
  4. rob lay

    rob lay Administrator
    Staff Member Admin Social Subscribed Miami 2018 Owner

    Dec 1, 2000
    Southlake, TX
    Full Name:
    Rob Lay
    #3 rob lay, Dec 18, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2008
  5. saleenfan

    saleenfan Formula Junior

    Mar 26, 2006
    No Where
    Full Name:
    That is a great write up man! And congrats on joining the club
    I read the whole thing and I kept on going I did that too or hey my students are doing that now.

    CRUSING Karting

    Oct 31, 2002
    Jupiter, FL
    Take the intro flight, but beware, if you are already considering getting your licenses, you will get hooked after the flight.

    It can be expensive so make sure you think about what you want and what you will use it for. A career is a little rough these days. If you are doing it for fun there are clubs you can join and have access to an airplane for a reasonable amount. But realize that if you are not going to be flying often after you get your licenses it may be a bit of a waste of money. Flying skills go away fast if you are not flying often and it can become dangerous to only fly a couple times a year. I've seen it first hand as a safety pilot with wealthy guys who have their own planes and fly enough to think they are good and they are only putting themselves and their family at very high risk.

    That said, if you are going to do it, go for it. And don't waste your money going to some flight university. Get your licenses from some local school or a local instructor - much cheaper and you will need to learn the same info to pass the FAA checkride.

    Best of luck - you can message me if you have any questions

    CR -
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  8. Island Time

    Island Time F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    Dec 18, 2004
    East TN
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    My only comment is how happy I feel for you. It never ceases to "warm my heart" anytime I hear of anyone getting their ticket.

    "Instant identification" w/ them.

    Keep us posted!

    (+1 on the instrument, the one, best ticket to make you a better pilot, imo...but, that's not a decision for you right now. Maybe with you, like some others, a private will meet all of your aviation needs).

    By all means, good luck, and keep us all posted on your progress.
  9. DrStranglove

    DrStranglove FChat Assassin
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Oct 31, 2003
    Google Maps
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    Start to first solo flight, what is the cost?
  10. rob lay

    rob lay Administrator
    Staff Member Admin Social Subscribed Miami 2018 Owner

    Dec 1, 2000
    Southlake, TX
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    Rob Lay
    Avg. 15 hours = $120 hr. plane / $40 instructor + medical/student license + renters insurance + ground = apx. $3,000
  11. loflyer47

    loflyer47 Formula Junior

    Sep 28, 2004
    Phila. area, Pa.
    Full Name:
    I might first suggest you go to at least 2 or 3 flt. schools in the area and meet with the instructors there. Every one of them is going to have a different personallity, find that one that suits're going to be spending many 1 on 1 hours with this person, you 2 had better hit it off... Subcribe to AOPA "FLIGHT TRAINING" Mag., it's free for the first 6 months. Take that intro. ride...It's a are real "HIGH", in more ways than one.. Finances, expect your training to take about 65 to 75 hours before you go for your check ride, that's the national avg. I got my license out of Quakertown, but now fly out of Wings field in the PHL area.
    If I can be of any more assist., please let me know....AND GOOD LUCK, AND ENJOY!!!!!!
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  13. ScuderiaShield

    ScuderiaShield Karting

    Sep 20, 2008
    Full Name:
    +1. I toured a few FBOs and acadamies and found the best fit at an academy. Just take a look around, do some research on the web and trust your instincts.

    Not sure if I can plug other sites on here, but I recommend visiting It's a great forum for aspiring pilots, whether you plan to make a career out of it or not. There's a wealth of knowledge and a great bunch of minds to pick. GOOD LUCK!!!
  14. rob lay

    rob lay Administrator
    Staff Member Admin Social Subscribed Miami 2018 Owner

    Dec 1, 2000
    Southlake, TX
    Full Name:
    Rob Lay
    That is the way it once was, but not anymore. There will still be many that drag it out and take that long, but the national averages are coming down because of 141 programs. It is mostly the fault of the schools for students that take 65-75 hours, do they have incentive for the students to take longer? Reasons for the longer time besides just the student going slow are… revolving door instructors, using multiple instructors, planes not available for students schedule, poorly followed curriculum, and metro areas where you spend a ton of time just going to and from practice area or waiting to take off.

    Even if you don't do the 141 programs, schools that can do 141 have met strict guidelines for curriculum and professionalism. If you fly 2 times a week and half way competent then 50 hours would about be the longest.
  15. James_Woods

    James_Woods F1 World Champ

    May 17, 2006
    Dallas, Tx.
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    James K. Woods
    #12 James_Woods, Jan 26, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2009
    Is there still a minimum of 40 hours? I ended up using 65 to 70 hours back in the late 1960s because I was paying for it myself and could only save enough for the long cross-country flights after a while. To keep currency, I would just go fly around for an hour or so once a week, because that was all the money I had. My FBO and instructor were not trying to milk it out, they knew I would be renting from them anyway.

    Then, having spent the money, it was back in the circle - save up for the CXC, need to stay halfway current, (and getting the want to fly bug) - spend the money...

    BTW, the original poster would be very smart to do this at his age. I got my single engine land in 1967 or 1968 (age 19) and it is amazing how much easier it is when you have great eyesight and reactions, no wife and kids, and so on. Just get enough money saved all at once for that cross country!
  16. rob lay

    rob lay Administrator
    Staff Member Admin Social Subscribed Miami 2018 Owner

    Dec 1, 2000
    Southlake, TX
    Full Name:
    Rob Lay
    Part 61 is 40, Part 141 only 35. Another reason many take 75 hours, can't afford to fly twice a week, but get stuck flying once every week or two to stay current. Even between lessons if you go 2 weeks or more some or all of the next lesson will be repeat.

    If in 141 program, one instructor, planes available when you want, fly 2-3 times a week, and can afford to go straight through then it will be closer to 35 than 45 hours.

    My instructor left half way through and bad weather the final 3 weeks for my final XC, chief instructor check, and final check ride. I had to add 2-3 short flights to keep sharp between the weather cancelations. Still did it in 45 with that.
  17. ralfabco

    ralfabco Two Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa

    Mar 1, 2002
    banana republic of america
    Full Name:
    Israel Beiteinu
    I don't know if this information was mentioned in the previous posts.

    Make sure you have budgeted all the money you will need, for at least 60 hours of flight time. You will also have to include the price for instruction. I would guess, that the process of learning to fly, is somewhat similar to learning to play the piano (I watched my sisters learn to play the piano). If you take lessons intermittenly, it will take quite some time to become proficient at it. If you take ten hours of flight instruction, and wait three months to take another five hours, it will take a long time to obtain your license.

    When novice students resume flying after a three month wait, the instructor will have to review quite a bit of the previous instruction. It is financially in your best interest, to try to take as many lessons and flights, as soon as possible. Perhaps you can fly every day ? or every other day ?

    It will also help, if you show up for both the ground and flight instruction, prepared and organized ahead of time. The instructor will spoon feed you, if you want to pay for it.
  18. ferrari_kid

    ferrari_kid Formula Junior

    Jul 5, 2003
    It took me about 50 hours for my private, but I blame that on the 10 hours I wasted at Riddle not learning anything. I've learned my lesson and am currently working on a commercial license at a smaller school. I think the biggest thing is budget for at least 60 hours. It only takes longer and costs more if you do it piecemeal. Around here, in the Aloha State, it's about $185/hr for a DA-40 with G1000 glass cockpit. I think the C172 G1000 is going for about the same. Blame that on the gas prices. I would also suggest an instrument rating if you have the time and expenses. It just makes you a better pilot in cockpit management and proficiency. Not to mention it's a lot more convenient in high traffic areas and flights to unfamiliar airports.

    Just a few tips, find an instructor that you can work with, and don't be afraid to find another or two if you have two. A friend hated his instructor and wanted to quit because of him, don't let that stop you. Just make sure you trust him and he's thorough. It's better to get someone who is a stickler through training than failing the check ride later. And like some of the other guys said, keep up the proficiency. Go up with an instructor every so often and fly to unfamiliar airports, it'll keep things interesting, not to mention you'll stay on top of your game.

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