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Hey John,

that's a wonderful undertaking you're planning on! You don't have to start with PPL if you can't afford or don't have the time, because there are many other certifications that require less effort but enable you to get a profound knowledge of aviation so that once you're ready you'll have an easy time to get your PPL. See info about the diffferent types of certificates on this FAA Handbook starting on page 1-16 (or 33 in the PDF page display):

http://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/handbooks_manuals/aviation/phak/media/pilot_handbook.pdf

 

Greetings!

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Hi John,

 

I mostly fly a Cherokee, and occasionally rent Cessna 172s both in Canada and the States.

 

If you have a good simulator setup (rudder pedals, yoke, a few physical switches from Go-Flight or similar, etc.) you can supplement your time between real world lessons quite successfully (that's what I did when I went through the process of getting my license and ratings). This means that instead of having to take a couple of real world lessons per week to stay "sharp", you can extend the time between those lessons to two or three weeks, and supplement all the between time with lots of sessions on the simulator to stay familiar with tasks and procedures. Using this method, you stretch the costs of achieving your certification over a longer period of time, thereby easing the financial pressure. YMMV, but this tactic worked well for me. And as Bermuda states, there are other milestones along the way to the PPL (Recreational/Sport license etc.) that are achievable with less investment. 

 

When you feel that you're ready financially (and time-wise), it's a goal you won't regret accomplishing!

 

Enjoy the ride,

Michael

 

Edited by Michael Copp

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Yes, there are a number of pilots here, I believe. I've been flying since I was 14. That's a very long time ago now. 

 

It it is very expensive to train and fly now, but as Bermuda said, there are less expensive ways to get into the air. Depends on what kind of flying you want to do. Over the years, as airways have become more crowded, I've been less and less interested in the typical GA $100 hamburger, A-B-A kind of flying. I've enjoyed grass patch and home-built/ultralight, keep her in class G airspace kinds of flying. Low and slow in the extreme, tree-top low and follow the rivers kind of IFR. I've also enjoyed soaring, and a sailplane ticket is both pretty inexpensive to train for and fly if there's a gliderport near you. Flying the wings rather than an engine is both quite enjoyable and a great way to learn the fundamentals of aerodynamics. 

 

Find a school and take a "discovery flight" and see what you think. Learning to fly is a challenge, and there is a lot to know in today's GA environment. In the meantime, you can simulate the experience and practice that learning as accurately as you're willing to if you put in the effort. Grab an addon plane that lets you pre-flight. Grab the free FAA handbooks on flying (they're actually quite wonderful), get some charts and sectionals and start learning.  The sim can't simulate everything, but it can simulate a good bit if you put in the effort to learn and follow the rules and procedures. 

 

Have fun. 

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I dind't use rudder pedals in my sim and still don't use them. This affects my current flight training as I need a lot of practice on these, especially considering the taxiing in our Cirrus works by employing the differential brakes. So definetely invest in some proper hardware! In case you don't know (I dind't know until yesterday) Class G airspace is bascially everything, which means the area around all other airspaces (A,B,C,D,E). The only entry requirements for class G are:

Class G during the day:
1200’ (MSL - mean sea level) or less above surface:
1 SM (statute mile) visibility
Clear of Clouds
More than 1200’ above surface but less than 10,000’ MSL:
1 SM visibility
500’ Below, 1000’ Above, 2000’ Horizontal from all clouds
More than 1200’ above the surface and at or above 10,000’ MSL:
5 SM visibility
1000’ Below, 1000’ Above, 1 SM Horizontal from all clouds
Class G at night:
Same as Class E

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6 hours ago, John Zeggert Jr. said:

  is there any real life pilot s out there on here or what 

 

Yah i may get my Ppl eventully wen i can afford it but for now simulator is the best ican get  

 

The good news is that "the best you can get" today is pretty darn good.  Sims today do a really good job of simulating flying, especially compared to what I started out using.  Take a look at some of the "flight simulator history" videos on YouTube, compared to P3D with Orbx scenery today!

 

Real flying is a blast, but it is expensive.  If you can't afford a PPL right now, you might still go to your local airport and get a flight or two.  Many places that offer flight instruction will give a relatively low cost "introduction" flight, so you can see if you like real flying.

 

If you decide you want a PPL, here are my 2 cents:

- I highly recommend saving the $ to pay for all of the program before you start.  

There are many stories of people who got started and then ran out of money.  When they eventually had more money to continue, they wound up re-flying a bunch of flights (wasted money) because they had forgotten what they previously learned.

 

- Try to fly at least a couple training flights per week.

Give yourself a couple/few days to prepare between flights.  When you are first starting out, if you spend more than a week between flights, you may find you have lost what you had learned.  Flying regularly reinforces what you previously have learned and helps you feel "current" in the aircraft.

 

- When you finally have your PPL, fly regularly as you build your hours and experience.  

Say your budget is 3 flight hours per month.  Flying a 45 minute flight each week will reinforce your new flying skills better than one 3 hour flight per month.

Eventually your basic flying skills will be set and more time between flights won't be as big of a deal.

Bottom line is that the FAA rules for "currency" do not equal "proficiency".  It is your life up in that cockpit after all!

 

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Well John, I have flown real lighties for over 20years and IMHO good sim aircraft can give you a reasonably close experience. I use the sim to get on top of instrument flying and in that respect some planes are quite accurate. If you can master say an A2A C182 in all its aspects you will go a long way to help speed up your PPL and maybe a bit towards CPL and IFR ratings. Gets you on top of Constant Speed Units and basic IFR flying. All good stuff.

 

I wish I was starting out again!

 

I owned a Beech A23-24 Musketeer Super III and went all over Australia in that terrific airplane. I wish some sim company would make an FSX version of that!

 

Good luck with your flying. It is just the best thing.

 

Bernie

FWU at Hobart Open Day Feb2002.jpg

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I just retired after 40 years in various cockpits. I flew both fixed and rotary wing. A few thoughts:

 

-Find a school that teaches up to and including commercial, multi and IFR. Try to find out what their track record is as far as students going on to make flying a career. In my off season from fire suppresion I used to go teach IFR at a local professional(multi IFR only instruction there) flight school in their simulator section....got me off the couch, kept the brain active and topped  off the toy fund. Plus when you teach a subject you really learn it.Also, try teaching someone a complicated subject whose first language is not English.

 

-Try and stay with just one instructor as much as possible. Being moved from instructor to instructor is not the most efficient way to learn and this will end up costing you more money.

 

-Be prepared for each lesson before you start the engine. FSX/P3D can help immensely*. If you can find your training aircraft available for use in flight sim that'll be helpful.Running checklists, abnormal/emergency procedures, learning visual(map), vor or adf navigation. Anybody can fire up a gps and hit "direct to".

 

* For quite a few years I flew fixed wing fire suppression aircraft and usually had 5+ months of the year off. The flying while requiring an IFR rating was mainly VFR. Luckily for me I came from a back ground of a lot of IFR(regional airline capt..Saab340, HS748). Every spring a PPC checkride had to be passed and more than a few found it a challenge. I really like flight simming and did it all winter so come the spring I was just fine with the IFR stuff. Eventually some of my coworkers saw this and got into flight simming to prepare for the spring training.Though it has its detractors I found flight sim really helpful.

 

If you're considering it as a career there's going to be a real shortage over the next 10 years with all projected retirements. There are more than a few articles/studies out there on it....try searching Google. It's a good time to be getting into it. There will be those individuals who bitch that it doesn't pay enough to start. Well, not many careers do but the potential is there for a very good living. Its a very satisfying way to pay the bills.

 

This has been king of a long answer to s short question....

 

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Living in a remote Alaskan location back in '65, you were either a pilot or wanting to be one.  I bought a Cessna 140 and became one.  Now, well past my piloting years (so the flight surgeon said), there's a fair amount of nostalgia in flight simming and, while flight dynamics are still weak, the environment inside the cockpit and surrounding world is becoming almost real.

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I started flight sim in 1983 and it has been life long hobby. It did lead me to go to flight school from 1994 to 1998 which I enjoyed immensely. Eventually the cost of flying and other life obligations catch up to you but now that I live in New Zealand I will take it up again probably when I am mortgage free

Edited by Matthew Kane

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