Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Private Pilot's license

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    2,581

    Private Pilot's license

    I am posting this thread in hopes that some of you on here that are pilots could offer me some knowledge or opinions. Ever since I was a kid I have always wanted to fly planes. Well, I'm starting to get older now (not old, but older) and want to accomplish some of the things that I have always wanted to do.

    This morning I did some reasearch for a flight school at an airport local to me and I am 95% certain that I will begin to take my flight lessons this spring. Hopefully I would be able to afford to do my 50 hours in a relatively short time, provided that finances aren't a problem.

    I just have a few questions...

    1)Is $150/hr (avg based on my calculations) a fair price tag?

    2)Once I have my license, what is usually the going rate to rent a plane?

    3)Is the cost worth it if I would not be able to afford to rent a plane and fly more than a few times a year?

    As I said above, I have always wanted to be a pliot, and would love to have the finances to take the private license further and get IFR, and multi-engine and ultimately passenger cert.

    Any thoughts on this to help in my desicion would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks
    Steve Furst

    View my work @

    Furst Edition Photography
    JetPhotos.net

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    632
    The hourly cost is going to depend quite a bit on the school you choose; at SMQ (where I did my PPL), the plane (a Piper Cherokee) plus instructor for an hour is $129 ($89 for the plane, $40 for the instructor). Is the $150 you mentioned just for the plane, or is instruction included?

    You can continue renting from them after you get your PPL, but since they are mainly a flight school you can only get the plane for a few hours at a time (no overnights, etc.) Your local airport may be different with this.

    For a while I was part of a flying club, and the rate there for a the cheaper C172 was $92 an hour (tach time, not Hobbs, so this was probably a little cheaper than the Cherokee) plus $70/month dues.

    I got my PPL in 2008 and even though I've done very little flying since then (a combination of life factors, but certainly not lack of interest!) I think it was definitely worth it. If you're able to keep flying even a few times a year it's probably even more worthwhile.

    Good luck!
    Phil Gengler - NYCA's "other Phil"

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    2,581
    I came up with 150/hr based on the website for the flight school statign that the total cost was about 7500-9000 for 50-60 hours in instruction to get the license. I am going to call and get some more info and see the actual breakdown of everything as they say that they will work out the schedule and finances to suit any financial situation.
    Steve Furst

    View my work @

    Furst Edition Photography
    JetPhotos.net

  4. #4
    Senior Member megatop412's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Philadelphia(south Jersey, actually)
    Posts
    3,278
    That's so funny, I was actually just last week considering getting back into it and was researching programs here in south Jersey. I built up maybe 10 hours or so about 20 years ago and was wondering if I should do it. I always joked about Flight Sim being 'free' flying, but we all know it ain't real despite the tagline 'as real as it gets'.

    I'm still on the fence about it as we speak, but like you, it's definitely something I'd love to do. A major expense indeed- if I did it I would have to kiss my photo equipment wishlist goodbye(there ain't no way in hell I can do lessons AND save for the Nikkor 200-400mmVR, AND keep the girlfriend happy)

  5. #5
    Steve-

    The price tag depends on a number of factors, but the one I would consider most heavily is safety. I would certainly ask where the maintenance is done and become very aware of the requirements the school must meet to maintain a safe airplane. Any school will tell you that they have the safest airplanes in the sky, but unfortunately some fall quite a bit short. This is not to scare anyone on the forum, but simply to raise a very valid point that (unfortunately) too many people don't consider.

    As far as renting, if you are renting the same type airplane that you were trained in the going rate is generally going to be the same hourly cost as you paid for your training. If you are going solo, you will deduct the cost of the instructor. As a private pilot you will be able to carry passengers (for non-commercial purposes) and you can split certain costs with them (outlined under the FAR part 91). Most light airplanes can carry four average weight adults plus nearly full fuel, so splitting cost is usually a great way to keep flying while lowering your costs. As PGengler said, flying clubs may be a viable option for you as they offer instructors and usually better maintained airplanes with better equipment. However, there is usually an initiation fee plus monthly dues on top of a greatly reduced hourly rate that is usually based off tach time rather than hobbs time (google those for more info).

    A very important point to keep in mind is that although 50 hours is a minimum for your license (I think it may be 45 under part 61), the national average is anywhere from 70-100 hours for the private. Because everyone learns at a different pace (mostly based off how often you fly and study) you may take that long, or very possibly take the minimum amount of time. Just because you meet the requirements per the FAR doesn't mean your instructor will feel that you are 100% prepared to take your practical test with the FAA.

    After going through private, instrument, commercial, multi-engine and now Falcon 900EASy training, I can tell you that maintaining your ratings will be the hardest part about your flying life. Unlike riding a bike, skills become very rusty if you don't keep everything practiced.

    One other piece of advice is to NOT follow certain regulations (if there are any FAA employees reading this, don't have a stroke just yet). Under part 91 you will be required to do 3 takeoffs and landings to a full stop within a 90 day period to carry passengers at night. If you have your instrument ticket you will be required to do six instrument approaches plus holds, radial intercepts and tracking within a six-month period to maintain your license. Regulations like these simply do NOT keep you safe as a pilot, regardless of experience. The point of this advice is that although you can meet the requirements according to the FAA, it is very often not safe to do so.

    Another option to consider is a sport pilot license. If you are only planning to fly perhaps a few times per year and don't place a high value on your personal safety, this license may help you reach your goal. I don't know all the particulars, but the training is far less stringent and you can get to fly much faster but with far greater limitations.

    Also, where are you located and where are you looking to fly? I can most certainly help you find a good school if you're anywhere near Caldwell (CDW) in Fairfield, NJ.

    Best of luck!

    Mike
    Have you ever seen a grown man naked?

  6. #6
    Senior Member chrisparypa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Brooklyn, NY & Ocean City, MD
    Posts
    523
    whoever will get that license first can please give me a lift to take pictures of Manhattan ?? PLEASE.....

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    2,581
    Mike,

    I'm located in eastern CT. I was looking into Coastal Air Inc out of the Groton/New London Airport. THey have been around for years and I had heard that they have a good reputation. The number of hours that I put in the post was an average from what their FAQ said. According to their site, you can get your license in a minumum of 40 hours, but the 50-60 hours that I put has due to them (as you did) saying that some people take longer due to how their lesson frequency is structured. It sucks, because it ends up costing more, but oh well.

    And as far as renting a plane from them once I get my license, I believe they said it was based on only the time the prop is running.

    And Megatop, I definitely agree with you. If I decide to do this, I can just take and throw my photo gear wish list right in the trash. No way I'm going to be able to pay for flight lessons and more Canon glass and accessories. I wouldn't even be able to afford the stuff that isn't Canon.

    Thanks for all the info guys. I appreciate it.
    Steve Furst

    View my work @

    Furst Edition Photography
    JetPhotos.net

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    272
    Steve,

    I'm an independent CFI based at FRG and ISP. My suggestion to you is to ask yourself what type of flying do you plan on doing? Is it just to be able to get and up and fly to some local places occasionally? If thats what you want you should look into the new Light Sport license. You will be able to fly a 2-seat aircraft, during daytime only, with one passenger, and the plane will weigh less than 1320lbs. There are no other restrictions on where you will be able to fly or how far. What's good about it is that all the hours count toward the private pilot license, should you decide to pursue it at a later date, and you can have the license in a lower amount of hours. You should most definately be able to obtain it in the 40 hour range.

    With a PPL, there are basically no restrictions on the type of single engine plane you will be able to fly, how many passengers, and night flying. But it will take longer, and cost more. You realistically should plan on taking AT LEAST 65 hours maybe more to obain the license. The rental rates range anywhere from $115/hr for a C-152, $125/hr for a Piper Warrior or C-172 etc... The rate for the instructor is about $40-45/hr. You pay for the plane only when the engine is running and a typical lesson will be 1.2 to 1.5 hours. You will pay about 2 hours total for the CFI's time for pre and post flight briefing.

    A LSA will run anywhere from $105-125/hr for the aircraft. So again if taking 3 people flying and flying at night is not important, look at LSA. Like I said you can always upgrade later when money and time allow. Shop around! You may have to drive a bit for the best deal. And don't forget to look into Independent CFI's! You can start by checking listings for your area by going to websites like AOPA, NAFI and SAFE to find instructor listings. You will find instructors with access to planes you didn't know were out there, and may get a better deal than going straight to the first FBO you see at the local airport. Also many indy CFI's like myself teach 'cause we love to do it, not 'cause we're looking to get an airline job. Instructor turnover is a problem for students and ends up costing them more money, if the school doesn't manage the training records and instructors well.

    Contact a few CFI's. Interview a few of them. Ask to see the airplanes they have available, choose someone you will feel comfortable with in the close confines of a cockpit. Find someone you will get along with personality wise. Ask them for references. Ask them about their background. Who knows you may end up meeting a retired airline pilot CFI, who is not done flying and has a wealth of knowledge to pass on to you!

    Once this snow melts head out to some of your local airfields. Go up and ask people if they know anyone they can recommend. And don't forget GRASS STRIPS!!

    Good Luck in your search! I hope you fulfill that dream and join our numbers one day!

    Pete

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    59
    Jeez you guys have it cheap!

    Here in Australia a C152 is about 200 per hour Dual instructional flight, a PA44 Seminole Twin is about 500-600 Dual!!

    Glad im finished my training- prices are soaring!
    Qantas orders 188 narrow body aircraft!!!

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    2,581
    Thanks for the info Pete. I will definitely consider looking into an independant CFI.
    Steve Furst

    View my work @

    Furst Edition Photography
    JetPhotos.net

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •