Episode #158 "Mach Point Five Six"

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Episode #158 "Mach Point Five Six"

Postby eaglepilot » Fri Nov 06, 2009 7:37 pm

When we are talking about "How much does it cost to become a pilot?" We might ask ourselves "relative to what?"

An answer that I give is "About the cost of a modest vacation, however the entertainment lasts much longer."

Another potential answer might be "Same as a flat screen TV, but the view is better"

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Re: Episode #158 "Mach Point Five Six"

Postby jackhodgson » Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:57 pm

I'm still working on my answer to "How much does it cost to learn to fly?", but I'm thinking along the lines of...

"It varies from person to person, but you can learn to fly for about $250 a month over as little at 10 months."

Something like that, maybe.

-- Jack

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Re: Episode #158 "Mach Point Five Six"

Postby Comancheguy » Sat Nov 07, 2009 7:40 am

I think "learn to fly" is when you "solo". I think pilots get tunnel vision that learning to fly requires a private pilots license. If you solo,.. you have learned how to fly!

So the answer that AOPA should be giving. You can learn to fly for as low as under a $1,000... and aviation like other hobbies or activities ,.. "the sky is the limit" as to how far you want to go after that.


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Re: Episode #158 "Mach Point Five Six"

Postby Andrew B » Sat Nov 07, 2009 8:26 am

Good point Comancheguy,

when you solo you've learned how to fly. Im looking forward to that day myself which is to come in the future. I bet you can learn to fly (solo) for under $1000 but I will never know that because I started flying way before I was able to solo because of age. Now I just trying to stay current enough to solo when I turn 16. I think that the wrong message was sent by AOPA on this article. It was a good article promoting aviation but the price "quoted" could be lightyears outside someone's budget in this economy. I liked Jack's mention that they should have talked a bit about LSA.

And Jack,

BE200 UCAP airplane? I love the idea! hahahaha. I saw the video I think you were referencing and that sure would be a sweet plane, but I don't think that hanger in Stanford you were talking about a while ago would be big enough! And I think were all happy they made more than 2!

- Andrew
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Re: Episode #158 "Mach Point Five Six"

Postby hmltnrgr1 » Sat Nov 07, 2009 12:49 pm

My 2 cents worth:

The bulk of potential PPL students that GA is hoping to attract do not have enough familiarity to be able to "game the system" and as a result do in fact pay close to the #'s quoted by AOPA.

There may be some students that are fortunate enough to have friends & relatives that can lead them to less expensive alternatives but for the bulk of aspiring pilots it's a costly affair. For those that are well connected, there are many more such as myself that had to go the more costly route to earn a chance to fly...

Relative to motorcycles, kayaking, etc the cost of flying is exhorbitant for most Americans, particularly given the state of our current economy.

While on the subject of attracting support for GA I'm also of the opinion that mosf of GA's effort, ie: AOPA, EAA etc are all too inwardly-directed and amount to nothing more than "preaching to the choir". If it were not for my involvement in aviation, if I were a "typical" non-GA citizen I can honestly say that I would never be exposed to GA supporting programs...it does no good to attempt to expand GA by running ads in Flying or Plane & Pilot. :idea:

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Re: Episode #158 "Mach Point Five Six"

Postby kbob » Sat Nov 07, 2009 7:10 pm

I have to agree with comancheguy, but to go one step further why not stress that the process of learning to fly is an adventure in and of itself and presents huge opportunities for personal growth. Sure, getting your license or soloing is a great milestone, but every step along the way to one of these milestones can be as rewarding and enjoyable as the outcome itself. For example, I myself spent WAY too much time trying to figure out when to flare, but the sense of triumph I felt when it clicked rivaled that of passing the check ride. It's not always the destination that makes the trip worthwhile; sometimes (in this case) it can be the journey itself.

I'm just sayin'...

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Re: Episode #158 "Mach Point Five Six"

Postby champguy » Sat Nov 07, 2009 9:54 pm

"A journey of personal growth,"
That sounds so much better than say getting a license to go zoom over your girlfriends house.
Each step of the way is rewarding, even the weather takes on new meaning when you can think about flying through it.
Remember, not all who wander, are lost.

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Re: Episode #158 "Mach Point Five Six"

Postby PilotBillFromTexas » Sat Nov 07, 2009 10:00 pm

A lot of really good points have come up on this thread.

In any other business, you want to appeal to people's emotions and create a driving demand on their part for your product. After the customer is starved for your product then you can hit them up with the cost and they will see the value. If you jump right to the price then they start doing the math and comparing a plane to a kayak.

Marketing flying as a challenge like climbing a mountain is a great idea. Like climbing a mountain, there can be many entry levels where people can get in. There are many, many ways to conquer aviation. Genius.

I think that even we forget that the sport pilot license is really the second tier of pilot if you count the first solo as the first. I agree that someone who has soloed has every right to think of themselves as a bona fide pilot. I could have used an IFR rating today. I got shut out just because of a 600' ceiling.

I completely agree that a lot of effort and resources, too much, are put into preaching inwardly. AOPA and the rest of the alphabet groups should be advertising in outdoor life and golf digest. Maybe they do for all I know.

We need to get Flying Magazine to quit profiling their "typical" reader who is always a captain of industry or a top NASCAR race car driver.

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Re: Episode #158 "Mach Point Five Six"

Postby ruckin » Sat Nov 07, 2009 11:08 pm

I was told the question "How much money does it cost to fly" has a very simple answer... "All of it"

For about $100 (way back when) I was able to teach myself to "fly" a glider. I believe it was 69 for the radio, and 20 for the box full of balsa wood and a little bit more to finish it off. I was able to get many hours of fun out of that plane... I am still searching for an affordable full sized plane near me. Heck even the intro flights are expensive around here.
Last edited by ruckin on Sat Nov 07, 2009 11:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Episode #158 "Mach Point Five Six"

Postby Mike » Sat Nov 07, 2009 11:09 pm

I tried to do this fairly inexpensively.
I’m almost at 65 hours and just about ready for my practical test.
Just under $6k so far. Worth every penny.
I found an great instructor after interviewing 6. Although I didn’t pick him on price, he is very reasonable.
After a couple months of lessons I joined the small flying club my instructor belongs to. The club has a 1958 Cessna 172 ($50 Hr) and a great group of guys. It may be old but she flies great.

I track my hours and cost of airplane/instructor on a spread sheet.
Here it is as of today:

The flying club plane is N8959B as you can see it has cost me much less overall than the other planes I have rented.
If I would have gotten into flying the club plane in the beginning it would have saved me a bunch. Also if I could have flown more every month it might not have taken me as many hours.

Twitter: Mike_Flys
Mytransponder: MJD

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