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Re: Do you need a type rating to fly your own Bitchcraft...
For any jet powered airplane, the pilot in command must have a type rating -
That is for your own jet plane, or anybody else's jet plane operated privately or commercially -
A type rating is required for the second in command if the airplane is flown internationally -
That applies for airplanes of U.S. registry -
In other ICAO countries, both pilots must hold a type rating
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It's quite permissible to do so, however a general aviation pilot in a low performance plane should be ready for fast instructions and quite a bit of maneuvering to stay out of the way. The best time to do it would be at night. Here's a youtube video of one doing it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKvWn317tpU
If you're going for a Private Pilot Single Engine Land (PPSEL) certificate you don't need to know anything about IFR approaches. You will learn to fly traffic patterns and all the maneuvers and procedures required for that and for safe flight, learn how to navigate, and learn about airplane systems. You can get a huge head start by looking at websites and you tube links from places like Boldmethod.com, MzeroA.com, and UND aviation.
Older planes are usually very good purchases, IF they have been well maintained over the years. Airplanes have to be inspected annually by an A&P mechanic with an Inspection Authorization so they are usually very well maintained. Any purchase should include having an A&P mechanic review the airframe and engine logs and evaluation of the plane, including looking at how many hours the engine has since overhaul and checking compression. I had a 1966 Cherokee 140 for several years and finally sold it when I bought my current Experimental aircraft (a BD-4). It helps a LOT if you can get an A&P license and maintain you own plane though.
160 is the final approach heading to runway 18. You notice that this approach does not align exactly with the runway, you make a slight right turn to land. 115deg is the outbound leg heading for a procedure turn and 295 is the return heading from the procedure turn, from which you would turn 160 on final and fly the 160 line to the missed approach point. DME is required for this approach so you would either need DME or a GPS that can supply distance information. To fly this full approach (from southerly directions) you would fly to the VOR, fly outbound at 3000' MSL on a 340 heading for about 7 miles then turn left to heading 115 for 1 minute then right turn to 295 and intercept the 340 radial, turn right to 160 and descend to 2300' by GRAMA and continue descending to 1220" at 1.6 DME from the VOR. From that point, if you have the proper visual cues you may descend below 1220' to land, if you can't see the runway environment from 1220 feet at 1.6 DME then you must stay at that altitude until you do see it or you reach the missed approach point at .3DME. There's a very real reason that an instrument rating is required for IFR flight. It takes a lot of training and practice to learn to do it right - and even then you may not have it all correct. (I may well have missed something on this approach but I haven't been IFR current in several years)
Usually, once you have a private pilot certificate you would go for an instructor rating and work as a flight instructor to build flight time (while making money). Along the way you could also be working on your commercial, multi engine, and air transport pilot ratings and certificates. It takes time to get into the airlines, mostly because you need to build flight time and experience. Even when you first break into the airlines the pay is kind of pathetic, but it builds quickly over time.
Using the old (pre GPS) method you would use the sectional and plotter (aviation ruler) and measure the distance. Using a GPS you can usually turn on distance rings on the screen or if you have the airport selected as destination you can read it right off the screen. If it's your home base you should learn the landmarks and their distances from the airport. In the Miami area, there are so many airports and landmarks, if you're flying there, during your preflight preps you should measure out distances to some landmarks that you plan to pass over and mark them on the chart or flight log.
Flying becomes a passion if it's what you're meant to do. Once you take that first lesson you will never see an airplane again without yearning to be in that front seat. You should go up for an introductory flight at your local airport and see how it goes. You can get a sport pilot certificate to start if you want. It's cheaper and would meet the needs of most any recreational pilot.
Students and certificated pilots both are required to remain current and to have a check ride (flight review with an instructor) every 24 calendar months. The ones you're seeing are probably going out to the practice area to practice their flight maneuvers. If a pilot doesn't practice regularly his or her skills can deteriorate rapidly.