Okay, now I get it...

Mail and other feedback from listeners.
User avatar
BudgetFreePilot
Posts: 36
Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2010 3:10 pm

Okay, now I get it...

Postby BudgetFreePilot » Fri Nov 05, 2010 11:54 pm

I've been going about this dream of learning to fly all wrong. I've been posting and inquiring about "cost effective" ways to participate in this aviation community and my goals, though well intentioned, have been a bit misguided.

This all started with my idea to buy a folding wing aircraft and a hangar trailer just to satisfy my need for an LSA that could accommodate me and keep the cost down while I payed the aircraft off. I initially thought I could use a new, low maintenance LSA to get my sports pilot license and store it at home while I paid it off. I considered the Sport Pilot certificate to be the fastest way to becoming a licensed Pilot because I wanted to achieve my goal in the least amount of time at the least cost to me. What can I say, I'm budget conscious. Only now, after realizing that I can train up to a point in any 2 place single engine aircraft towards a sports pilot certificate if I so wish, the need for me to restrict my flight instruction to LSAs with substantial useful loads is useless.

Why would I want to restrict my access to only LSAs, which are few and far between around these parts when I'm surrounded by flight schools that come highly recommended, stocked with an array of available Cessnas and Pipers? More importantly, why am I in such a hurry? Even if I can only afford one flight lesson a week, that lesson is well within my budget and I'll still be flying once a week, right? Who cares how long my Private ticket takes me? Besides, with a PPL, I can eventually fly ANY single engine plane, as opposed to being restricted to flying only the few LSAs available to me.

Wow, I think I've had an epiphany...consider me straightened out.

User avatar
turbo
Posts: 317
Joined: Fri Jun 19, 2009 9:01 pm
Location: stuart, fl / s windsor ct / virgin gorda, bvi

Re: Okay, now I get it...

Postby turbo » Sat Nov 06, 2010 8:29 am

you are right. the fun begins the day you start flying, till the last day. ( havent got there yet) go out and have fun, get involved, meet the other pilots and become an aviator. all else will fall in place for you. keep us posted and learn to post pics. ask for help, pics, if you need it. you may get hooked and get to 3,800 hrs too.
Image
summers s. windsor, ct/ winters stuart, fl RV-6/ R-44 / Gyroplane "The government is a body of people notably ungoverned." Image

User avatar
champguy
Posts: 1413
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2008 9:37 pm
Location: Florence, (Coastal) Oregon

Re: Okay, now I get it...

Postby champguy » Sat Nov 06, 2010 11:19 am

Good move, start flying.
This way you will start finding your way around the field and the people who make it a community.
With time find someone with a hanger with extra space in it. Then you've got a place for your first "budget bird".
Remember, not all who wander, are lost.
Image

gmarshall
Posts: 296
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 1:54 pm

Re: Okay, now I get it...

Postby gmarshall » Sat Nov 06, 2010 9:39 pm

One thing to note, doing it 'on a budget' isn't necessarily the cheapest way.

One flight a week will not be the kind of volume necessary to bring many people to flight test standards. Many people find that flying two or three flights a week gets them ready for their check ride in many less total hours.

I know this personally. As the pace of my training slowed down due to crummy winter weather (I'd figure about 2/3 of my bookings would be washouts in January and February here in Ottawa) I noticed the pace of my progress really diminished. It took me a bunch of infrequent flying to get up to flight test standards after my flying slowed down (and was interrupted by the birth of my first daughter). If I knew then what I know now, I would have taken two weeks off work in November, and gone flying 5 days a week and done my flight test. It took me until well into the spring to get my license, flying usually once a week.

If you can only afford 'one flight a week', put that money aside for 6 or 9 months. At that point, you'll have enough in the kitty to make a real go of it, and do things in a couple months, instead of a year, or more. Make yourself a countdown clock to motivate yourself. Every time you skip a movie or meal out, or work a few extra hours for some $$$, give yourself a high five, get excited.

Another alternative (which I'm not necessarily recommending, I don't know your financial situation) is to get yourself a line of credit. Fly as much as you can, when you can, and pay of the line of credit as quickly as you're able to. It will still end up being cheaper in the long run than doing your training in dribs and drabs.

Jack has posted here before about the idea of buying a cheap trainer (152/172/Cherokee), or a share thereof to do your training. When you're done your training, and are ready to move on to another airplane, you unload your investment, and can get a chunk of it back. Often much MUCH cheaper than renting, if you can swing the funds/credit. Especially in the US there are lots of deals out there, and they'll be LOTS LOTS LOTS cheaper than anything new, LSA or not. This is not without risk. Having an engine go south unexpectedly can be a real hit to the pocket book. Figure $20k for an overhaul. Doesn't matter if that 152 cost you only $30k to begin with.

So the purchase angle only really works if you can afford it.

I rented for my private, and commercial. That's 200 hrs of flying at ~$130/hr (canadian) wet. (Erk, just did that math, and that's without instructor costs!) Easily would have been worth buying a 1/2 or 1/4 share in a 172. The powers that be in the household weren't willing to take on any extra liabilities/risks though. So we made the rental thing work. A certain security in knowing exactly how much you'll be spending week to week, with a good idea of how much it will cost in total.

And now, I'm in the market for a 172. No rush, sometime in the next few years. If I'd bought one 5 years ago when I started my private, it would be paid off by now, and I'd be in a much better position. On the other hand, if it had swallowed a valve 10 or 15 hours into ownership, I likely wouldn't be a pilot now, and would probably have taken a bath unloading the airplane at a loss. So really, no regrets. Whatever gets you in the air.

Whatever decision you make, if you *really* want it, you'll make it work. Only 1/3 of the people that solo get their private ticket. It's not (mostly) about aptitude, or strictly speaking means, it's often about desire.

If for some reason I never got to fly again, it would have all been worth it. I love that I can call myself a pilot. It's something I wanted to do from the time I was 2 years old (I've been told).

User avatar
jackhodgson
Site Admin
Posts: 1289
Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2007 5:07 pm
Location: Lookout Point, Nottingham, NH / Nashua Airport (ASH)
Contact:

Re: Okay, now I get it...

Postby jackhodgson » Sun Nov 07, 2010 8:30 am

BudgetFree,

I never thought of it that way. Consider flight training as a Zen thing. It's not about completing the training, it's about doing the training. As we used to say at Apple, "the journey is the reward."

Don't focus on the checkride, your next lesson is all that matters.

One way to think about it is, if you take a flying lesson this week, you'll have done more flying than most of the licensed private pilots out there.

I need to think about this some more, but I like it.

// Jack

User avatar
turbo
Posts: 317
Joined: Fri Jun 19, 2009 9:01 pm
Location: stuart, fl / s windsor ct / virgin gorda, bvi

Re: Okay, now I get it...

Postby turbo » Sun Nov 07, 2010 11:38 am

bf, we are waiting here to get the info on your first flight. mine was in 1981 at palm beach airport which was a small airport back then. chandelle aviation was the school. i was so into it. read everything, went to local collage for the ground school and scored a %100 in 45 minutes on the written test. the teacher asked if i would help correct some tests. i was on top of the world and hadnt even taken a flight lesson yet. go for it, start flying, meet the other pilots, fly with them, find a mentor to help you along, and keep this post alive. the real bonus is the people you will meet. see what i mean. turboImage
summers s. windsor, ct/ winters stuart, fl RV-6/ R-44 / Gyroplane "The government is a body of people notably ungoverned." Image

User avatar
ATC_Ben
Posts: 192
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2010 6:31 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Okay, now I get it...

Postby ATC_Ben » Tue Nov 09, 2010 4:20 am

Wow Ed if that's the reception RV drivers get... I need to find one! :D
Caelus latus sursum

User avatar
champguy
Posts: 1413
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2008 9:37 pm
Location: Florence, (Coastal) Oregon

Re: Okay, now I get it...

Postby champguy » Tue Nov 09, 2010 11:31 am

It's always like that when I show up in my Champ.
Remember, not all who wander, are lost.
Image

User avatar
BudgetFreePilot
Posts: 36
Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2010 3:10 pm

Re: Okay, now I get it...

Postby BudgetFreePilot » Tue Nov 09, 2010 5:54 pm

Thanks for the great advice and encouraging words.

Okay, so I've talked to the wife on our 18th anniversary(I led with jewelry, so she was sort of at my mercy) and I got her blessing with one exception. She said I can't fly our children no matter how excited they are until SHE'S ready to trust me. One hurdle cleared.

After cold writing a mass email to a list of area CFIs I got off of NAFInet.org, I've received quite a few responses. One suggestion I didn't consider was joining a flying club. Not sure if the monthly fee will undermind the rental savings, though but I'll run the numbers. If I can gain greater access and build some friendships in the process by going the flying club route it might be worth the dues. I'm also considering waiting a bit in order to buy 10 hour blocks of time at a 10-15% savings. In the meantime, I'm continuing with my home ground school. I figure the more I show up to the FBO knowing, the more plane time.

Oh, for the resources to take on a jalopy like this...talk about your ugly beauties...

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayI ... MEWAX%3AIT

My father always taught me to "have a guy", whether it's a plumber, mechanic, electrician, his thought was you can do wonders just knowing people who love what you love, need what you offer and are willing to barter. Now I need a GA guy....

User avatar
isnoop
Posts: 42
Joined: Sat Jul 24, 2010 8:23 pm
Location: Seattle (KBFI/KRNT)
Contact:

Re: Okay, now I get it...

Postby isnoop » Fri Nov 12, 2010 1:17 pm

Flying clubs are a great way to go. I'm a member of a no frills club with dues of $20/mo. The hobbs rates are also the cheapest around. The interiors may remind you of your first car, but they are well-maintained and flown often.

Being an analytical person, I went to great lengths calculating the rent vs buy problem. For me, I found that most local clubs monthly dues made made buying slightly more beneficial in the best case scenario. However, the variable factors in buying proved too much. Replacing one inop gauge would tip the scales and the possibility of major engine work on the price range I was looking at seemed pretty high. With this club, there's always a plane when you want it if you plan ahead--except during AirVenture.
--Ian


Return to “Listener Mail”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests