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Old 10-08-2007, 12:29 AM
 
Location: Pa
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I am thinking about going for private pilot. Has anyone here tried?
Any info would be cool. Thanks
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Old 10-08-2007, 05:30 AM
 
12,532 posts, read 18,224,769 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinman01 View Post
I am thinking about going for private pilot. Has anyone here tried?
Any info would be cool. Thanks
My son is almost done getting his now. We just got special clearance from the FAA to go to the ATC Tower to observe his solo. His dad is a commercial airline captain but he is doing it completely on his own. He joined the Civil Air Patrol when he was 14 and is doing it through them. With that we are paying $$$ for fuel. That is the big kicker right now, fuel costs. Even if you aren't affiliated with CAP you might want to give them a call about your area; CAP members usually have the best info on that type of thing. Good luck and have fun!
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Old 10-09-2007, 09:26 PM
 
Location: Arizona, The American Southwest
42,944 posts, read 19,861,196 times
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I have a VFR Certification, which I got in 1989. Obviously it's been 20 years since I took the test and it was easy, at least back then it was, I don't know about now. I also wanted to get a pilot's license, but I never got around to it, plus I am a diabetic, I would have had restrictions with it.
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Old 10-09-2007, 10:26 PM
 
8,292 posts, read 22,065,701 times
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I don't know what MagnumMike is talking about with his "VFR Certification" vs having acquired a "pilot's license". With diabetes, especially20 years ago ... he'd never have passed his 3rd class medical exam to get a learner's permit, which he would have needed to solo, let alone go on to earn his PP Certification. Only very recently has the FAA Medical dept started to issue "special" 3rd class medical cert's to a very limited group of diabetics who can demonstrate consistent clinical blood glucose control. I'm not an expert on this, but I heard that if you are still insulin injection dependent, it's an absolute disqualifier for a medical certificate.

I am a Private Pilot, IFR rated, with several thousand hours total in various aircraft. Most hours in a C-182, which I've owned for over 20 years, with lots of back country small airstrip experience and an experienced mountain pilot. I base my plane at a strip that's 6,000' elevation, which is higher than many pilots across the USA even cruise at.

Anyway ... my thoughts on learning to fly and using your ticket, tinman ....

1) For me, to live is to fly. If you have that passion after an introductory flight or two, you'll be hooked. Be prepared for a lifetime experience that's more devastating than a drug addiction. Every last spare dollar will go into hours in the sky unless you've got exceptional will power or a lot of disposable income.

2) Contact your local AOPA group. Try to find a "mentor" through them that will take you on. You'll have an incredible resource for all the stuff you'll be going through to get your ticket, guidance, advice, information, etc. Join the AOPA ... the monthly magazine is invaluable for it's insight into what you're getting into, and this is also the organization that supports GA aviation.

3) Find out who the local flight training FBO's are in your area. Interview all of them that appeal to you. Find out who's instructing, what their qualifications are ... whether or not they'll stick with you through your entire primary flight instruction through you FAA checkride ... what facilities they have, what aircraft they have in the trainer fleet, how booked up they are to get access for your flight time and instructor time. ASK to visit with other student pilots, find out what they're saying about the quality of instruction and equipment, management policies, phase check flights, etc. Find out how much time and money they project it will cost you to get your ticket. Get a feeling for the flight school culture ... are they there to teach you or are you just helping them build flight time so they can move up to a regional flight job on their way up to the majors?

4) Save up for your ticket in advance as much as possible so that you can concentrate on learning to fly when the time comes. Flight training and success comes in fits and starts ... some days, you won't learn much in the flight, but will realize afterwards what went right and what went wrong. Other days ... you could fly for more hours and it just keeps coming together and together and you need to build on that immediately the next day or as soon as possible. Remember, it's not the "time" that counts in passing that checkride (although the FAA has minimum flight training times and distances and accomplishments you must demonstrate to your chief flight instructor for a sign off to take the FAA checkride) ... it's the skills you've learned and can repeatedly demonstrate safely. You might learn to do it all in the minimum time ... and you might still be working on a solo flight long after the average time, or other skills that must be demonstrated.

5) Interview your flight instructor with an eye toward how well you can relate to their teaching style, language, and communication. Take an "intro" flight with several to find your best match. Assume that all instructors know their subject material, but make them prove to you that they can communicate what you need to know effectively to you. The instructor that makes you uncomfortable, embarrased, or angry by working your "buttons" is not a necessarily good fit for you. You need someone who will let you make mistakes within your envelope ... and then some to push it in a manner that is instructive to you. The best instructors I had could always keep things important, but not confrontational ... some even had us laughing as I did things right, as well as some things wrong (but they made their point very well). Recognize that you're the one hiring them for their professional skills and teaching and you're going to be spending a lot of time and money under their guidance; they can make or break your outcome very quickly. Don't let any instructor "scare" you or showoff in a way that frightens you ... you can progress through the training without any machismo or bold stuff.

Consider up front what you want to do with your ticket. Do you want to just be airborne, low and slow for the pleasure of flying? Do you want a serious cross country capability? Do you want to travel into remote places? You'll need to buy an appropriate plane (or two ... ) for your needs if you plan on getting a lot of time in the air, or you'll need to locate a flight club, FBO, or partnership that gives you access to the aircraft (wet rental, dry hourly shared, or ?) you need for your purposes. Or, are you thinking of flying for a living? Make sure that one of the above scenarios can be met or your ticket and expenses will go for naught ....

Be sure upfront that you can afford to fly enough to keep your skills up to a proficient and safe level, otherwise you may want to reconsider starting out or flying now and then with an instructor to keep your skills up. It's not a very forgiving environment if you allow yourself to get sloppy or fly past your skillset envelope ....

I'm happy to answer your questions re aviation, as I'm sure many other pilots on this forum would also be happy to assist. Don't hesitate to ask here ... or head to your local GA FBO and hook up with the staff and instructors for a bit of hangar flying.

It's a wonderful hobby that can be very useful and challenging for a long time ... the wonder doesn't wear off and it's always a learning experience.

Last edited by sunsprit; 10-09-2007 at 10:39 PM..
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Old 10-09-2007, 11:49 PM
 
Location: Spots Wyoming
17,919 posts, read 22,632,969 times
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Thats funny. I don't want to date myself but I almost got my license in a J-3. I spent about 38 hours flying that tail dragger. Gauges??????? Yeah, we had some. But I had to land, get the stick out from under the seat and stick it in the tank, then I knew how many hours I had left. Dirt runways, no lights. But that's been a while ago. We wondered at people that had "Night" rights. Hell, we flew in and the only thing we watched was the weeds swaying. We didn't have a tower where I come from. It wasn't until the 90's that they actually paved our runway. We threw a fit because our skid needed grass to glide on. haha Like I said, I don't want to date myself. hahahahahaha.

Give me 30 knots and I can land on a pick up truck.
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Old 10-10-2007, 05:54 AM
 
8,292 posts, read 22,065,701 times
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C'mon, jg .... it couldn't have been that long ago if you had problems with the paved runway in the '90's.

It sounds like you had the J-3 pretty well figured out.

Why didn't you finish up your ticket? that's an insight into private aviation that I'll bet the OP would benefit from .....
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Old 10-10-2007, 09:03 AM
 
Location: Arizona, The American Southwest
42,944 posts, read 19,861,196 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunsprit View Post
I don't know what MagnumMike is talking about with his "VFR Certification" vs having acquired a "pilot's license". With diabetes, especially20 years ago ... he'd never have passed his 3rd class medical exam to get a learner's permit, which he would have needed to solo, let alone go on to earn his PP Certification. Only very recently has the FAA Medical dept started to issue "special" 3rd class medical cert's to a very limited group of diabetics who can demonstrate consistent clinical blood glucose control. I'm not an expert on this, but I heard that if you are still insulin injection dependent, it's an absolute disqualifier for a medical certificate.
...
I am an insulin dependent diabetic, and I didn't have any problems obtaining the learner's permit, and after I took the flight lessons at a school here in Phoenix on a Cessna 172, I remember somebody at the school told me that I might be able to get some sort of a restricted private pilot's license, which would have more than likely required me to have a licensed pilot with me all the time. I did inquire about it in 1991 and I knew back then that it was very tough for somebody with type II diabetes to obtain a pilot's license, that's why I never pursued it.
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Old 10-10-2007, 11:16 AM
 
8,292 posts, read 22,065,701 times
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MagMike ... it's not "tough" for a Type II insulin dependent diabetic to get a 3rd class medical ... it's absolutely a disqualifier for any class of FAA medical certificate. Then in 1991 and now. You can google the FAA website and check out the absolute disqualifying medical conditions listed where it's not possible to "special" waiver under any circumstance.

MM, I suspect that in your ignorance of aviation that you don't know the extent of the criminal and civil violations that you're posting here if ... in fact ... you ever solo'ed an aircraft in the USA as a Type II diabetic. The only training you could have ever received would have been dual instruction at all times.

You're stating in no uncertain terms that an FBO operator or instructor knew that you had a major disqualifying medical condition ... you don't have a clue as to how serious all the violations (criminal and civil penalties for them) would be for them if you'd ever solo'ed in one of their aircraft. That's in addition to them having serious difficulties with their insurance carrier, without which the FBO is out of business. I doubt that any FBO would risk all that just so you could fly. It's simply that serious. You couldn't possibly have ever held any form of a PP license.

Your claim of not having any problems getting "the learner's permit" is so laughable on the face of it, you simply have no idea. I appreciate that you wanted to be a pilot, but it simply could not have been. You could have only operated the controls of an aircraft with a licensed PIC in the aircraft at all times; you could never have been a solo PIC or a licensed pilot in any form.

The overall point here is that one of the first steps the OP should take in pursuing a PP ticket would be to contact an AME and get that 3rd class temporary certificate in hand for the learner's permit and the knowledge that they qualify to go on with their training. Absent that medical, you're not going anywhere with flight training requirements to a Private Pilot certificate.

The second point here is that any pilot wanna-be should know: every certificated pilot has had to study the rules for their written exam and knows them to pass the written exam for their ticket. Those rules are sometimes a bigger part of aviation than the actual mechanics, knowledge, and skills of flying.

Last edited by sunsprit; 10-10-2007 at 11:32 AM..
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Old 10-10-2007, 02:51 PM
 
Location: Spots Wyoming
17,919 posts, read 22,632,969 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunsprit View Post
C'mon, jg .... it couldn't have been that long ago if you had problems with the paved runway in the '90's.

It sounds like you had the J-3 pretty well figured out.

Why didn't you finish up your ticket? that's an insight into private aviation that I'll bet the OP would benefit from .....
Well, it's a long story so I'll try and keep it short. My dad had a J-3 and a partner. They were flying groceries to snowbound farmers and dropping meds and groceries in gunny sacks into a snowbank close to the farm house. They decided to pick up some extra cash and they hunted coyotes. Dad was front seat chasing a coyote and he flew it into a hill. He was in a full body cast for 18 months. He got out of flying after that. haha But the guy in the back walked away. Later he started a charter service, crop dusting, air ambulane and such. Years later I met him and he invited me to learn. All it cost me was fuel. I flew a J-3 for about 30 hours and then he put me in a Cesna trike. Wow, what a difference. But I had to go back to school in the fall so I stopped my learning. Course, back at home the cost to get the rest of my hours was astronomical so I never finished. It was 1969.

I have pictures of my dad's plane taken in 1951. Before and after. haha I'll post them in a few.
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Old 10-10-2007, 02:55 PM
 
Location: Spots Wyoming
17,919 posts, read 22,632,969 times
Reputation: 10956
My dad was front seat in this plane.



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