How long might it take to earn a private pilot's license? And what sort of aircraft are you permitted to fly once you have one?
Is it worth the money? Or only if you're either A. Filthy rich. or B. want to make a career out of flying? I'm 19 so I'm still finding out what I really want to do with my life. I've always been interested in flying, but, I hear that the pay for most flying related jobs is mediocre at best.
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Re: How long might it take to earn a private pilot's...
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.
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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.
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.
i am a pilot. I flew helicopters and fixed wing aircraft. I am afraid of heights. but that means i am terrified to look down from a high building or a cliff. when i strapped into a 23,000 pound 45 foot long helicopter i feared nothing.
Many colleges offer flight training. Two that come to mind are UND and University of Cincinnati but there are many others. You might look into that as most airlines want a degree also. Regional airlines pay is garbage but you get raises pretty quickly as your time builds.
Getting your aircraft pilot's license takes work (and money), but it is well within the reach of anyone of normal intelligence and physical ability. I've known college students who basically collected pop bottles for the deposit, and picked up part time work on weekends, and managed to get an hour or two of training every month or so. Took them a couple of years to get their license, but they managed it.
For a normal category license, you are looking at about 40 to 60 hours of flight training (actual time in the plane). Not all of that requires an instructor. Once you "solo," you will be allowed to fly by yourself (with the instructor's approval). Often the training aircraft will be older and very basic planes - but that's just fine. It's the basics that you are learning.
It takes lots of practice, and there is a lot of book learning (weather, regulations, principles of flight) as well. But you can do it if you want to. Most things that are really valuable take work.
Go to your local airport and talk with an instructor. That doesn't cost anything and they'll be happy to answer any of your questions. You can go for a sport pilot license first because it's the quickest cheapest way to get in the air. Then if you "catch the flying bug" you can progress to a private pilot certificate.
The license or "certificate" does not expire, however you must have a flight review every 24 calendar months with an instructor in order to continue to fly. The flight review consists of at least 1 hour of ground school and 1 hour of dual flight with the instructor to ensure you haven't developed any bad habits.