…private pilot…

Well, it is official. Today I was issued my FAA Private Pilot license. 31 January 2008. Cool date.

(Side Note of interest) 50 years ago today was the successful launch of America’s first satellite, Explorer 1. See the news article here: http://www.news.com/2300-11397_3-6228251-1.html

And, back to me. I completed the training with 50.0 hours of total flight time, and 41.5 hours of dual instruction. Not too bad. Now I need to decide what to do next… instrument? dual engine? hmmm. At least I’ll have more disposable money for my other hobbies.



2 comments so far

  1. Rich on

    If I may be so bold as to ask, what was your estimated total cost for the license? I’ve always wanted to study for a pilot’s license, but is seemed so expensive for me at this stage of life. How much can one study before the cost begin to appear? Is it possible to do all the book study independently before needing flight time to progress?



  2. bloodhound on

    Flight hours and instruction: $8000+
    Student flight kit: $300
    Class 3 medical exam: $80
    Additional random items: $50

    Taking a friend or family member to see the worlds tallest sea cliffs (north side of Molokai) from the air: Priceless.

    If it cost $20,000 – it would have been worth it. I did it at http://www.flightschoolhawaii.com. My instructor was Paul Miko. There are slightly cheaper flight schools on the island, but going through Flight School Hawaii was worth the extra few hundred dollars.

    They are a Cessna based curriculum. You buy a student kit which has 28 CD-Roms with all the lessons. You can start that while you get your medical certificate. You do them on your own time on your own computer, and have to have the appropriate lessons complete prior to the associated flight. You can do all the lessons before your first flight, if you want.

    The best way to do this, and minimize cost, is to fly a LOT. There were several times when I didn’t fly for 2+ weeks. When that happens, you have to relearn things the next time you go up. If you fly 1 to 2 times a week, your muscle memory builds each time and you maintain a better proficiency. The more often you fly, the better.

    It gets expensive to try and fly that often. I went and got a loan, funded the account, and flew that off. If you fund your flight account with at least $6500, then you get 10% off your flights.

    Since I started, I’ve seen a lot of people who are interested, but never start. The cost of flying never gets cheaper. Time never becomes more abundant. Our responsibilities never taper off. I finally convinced myself that I didn’t care how much it cost or how much time I had to put into it – I was just going to do it.

    I wish I’d done it 20 years ago…

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