Did your parents/family support your journey to get a sport pilot or private pilot license?

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by N918KT, Jun 17, 2017.

  1. MassPilot

    MassPilot Cleared for Takeoff

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    I tried to get my parents to pay for lessons when I was in high school but they were not willing to spend the money. As soon as I graduated college and got an engineering job I started taking lessons. My mom was nervous about it, but both my parents acted very proud when I hit a milestone (first solo, passed checkride). I was single at the time, and I don't think my wife would have approved of me spending so much of my income learning to fly if she was in the picture. We didn't start dating until shortly after I got my license and she loves to fly with me. My parents flew with me for the first time last fall.
     
  2. GeorgeC

    GeorgeC Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Indirectly; had my parents not put me through undergrad, I might not have had the means to pursue aviation as an adult. My kids, however, will have direct and emphatic support should they express interest in flying.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017
  3. yak-aviation

    yak-aviation Filing Flight Plan

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    I was in my early 30's back in 2001. Armed with limited funds (sufficient for license and perhaps a small a/c) I decided to enrol on a 3wk course and off to Florida I went. The folks at Orlando Flight Training at Kissimmee were great, there was a good mix of students from the sub-20's to the mid-50's. Parents and family showed some interest but just mainly thought I was doing something life threatening. Upon arrival at OFT, a chap was being berated for a wheels up landing in a twin. I went solo on September 11, 2001, and landed as everyone was grounded. Needless to say, I didn't get my license in the US and with work/life circumstances, it took another year back in the UK. In the interim, I bought a Yak 18T from Lithuania and all throughout, to keep on topic, parents and family were only really interested to hear progress but seldom keen to come flying as a passenger.
     
  4. wayne

    wayne Line Up and Wait

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    I started when I was 40 or 41, so my parents didn't pay for it; maybe indirectly by paying for my undergrad degree. :)

    My wife has been great with me learning and flying, and therefore spending lots of money we could spend elsewhere. As the kids have all done a study abroad in college and been to about a dozen countries or so, I don't think we've missed out on too much. ;)

    My mother hasn't flown with me, she's not wild about small planes, including turboprops. Back when the airlines flew more of them she and my dad would pick specific flights to go on jets over turboprops. She used to worry about it at first, especially when I flew the kids with me. Now it's just normal for us. I'm sure she's still concerned at some level, but no where near as much and the kids like it, so she's not going to say much. My father has flown with me one weekend. He'd go again with me, but he knows Mom won't go, so it's just be a guy's trip. We flew from Atlanta to Fayetteville, AR to see an Auburn-Arkansas game. He graduated from Arkansas and I graduated from Auburn. We looked for our old house there, but couldn't find it. Things had changed, and it had been since he graduated that we were there last.
     
  5. yak-aviation

    yak-aviation Filing Flight Plan

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    Oh yes, the wife, I met mine in the process of buying the Yak, so in terms of support from her, it has all been positive but post learning. She's not keen for us to fly with the kids, yet, she is happy with just the two of us??? Logic ? :)
     
  6. N3368K

    N3368K Line Up and Wait

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    My folks were both commercial rated pilots. Dad owned/operated an Aerial Application business and we lived on field. Mom was a CFI. Dad taught both my brother and me to fly in a J-3 he restored when we were young kids. There was never any question my brother and I would become pilots. Neither sister ever learned, despite their being dragged around the country in dads Stinson SM-6000 Trimotor or SM-8A.
     
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  7. Zeldman

    Zeldman Final Approach

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    My dad graduated from high school in 1942, then went to the Merchant Marine Academy. After graduating from the Academy in '43, he joined the Navy. After he signed the paper and raised his right hand, the recruiter mentioned that the Navy might not take him as an officer. My dad had planned on becoming a Naval Aviator.

    The Navy did not take him as an officer, so he spent the rest of the war getting ready for the invasion of Japan, which fortunately did not happen.

    After the war, my dad stayed in the Navy reserve, then took advantage of the G.I. Bill and got a college degree. That and along with an act of congress he became a gentleman in the Army. The Army only offered him a reserve slot, so he switched to the Air Force. The AF gave him a reserve slot with a promise for active duty. By the time he was offered a active duty slot, he knew he would not be able to pass the flight physical due to his eyes.

    Instead, my dad took a job with the Agriculture and Mechanical College of Texas (sometimes called Texas A&M now) as a associate professor, later a professor, text book writer and research scientist working to mechanize small farms to make them more profitable and produce more yield per acre for less cost. A job he stayed with for 39 years. While working full time he finished his masters degree, then PHD.

    In the mean time he stayed with the AF reserve, making LTC. He retired in I believe 1978.

    My dad never did achieve his dream to fly. As with so many others his age, the war, college and real life took priority over anything else. But he really supported me as I went through flight school. He wanted me to become an airline pilot. That was the only time he pushed me towards any type of career. (besides farming)

    Sadly, he passed away 10 weeks after I got my first flying job.
     
  8. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 En-Route

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    "Hey mom and dad, I got my pilot's license."

    Dad - "You did? Well alright...did I tell you about the deer I saw in the woods..."
    Mom - "That's nice dear, I'm proud of you."

    That's pretty much how it went.
     
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  9. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow En-Route

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    My parents paid for my schooling and ratings.
    I was fortunate, but part of the reason they paid was because it was "schooling for an aviation career". Ie an aviation degree.
     
  10. bluerooster

    bluerooster Cleared for Takeoff

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    Well, let me think about it for a minnit. Not only was flying supported, it was bred in. The guy in my avatar is my Granddad with his brand new 1932 Eaglerock longwing. I was born in the back seat of a Stinson V-77 with my Dad flying it. As I was growing up, I didn't realise that not everyone had an airplane project in their basement, untill I was about 10 or 12, because untill that time, everyone that we knew did.
    Dad courted Mom in a PT-19 because he didn't have a car. Dad built C130s, an uncle flew for the airlines, another uncle worked for NASA on some project to put a man on the moon.
    So in short I would suppose that not only was it supported, but expected.
     
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  11. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 En-Route

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    You win.
     
  12. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Wow, what odd timing.
     
  13. Skip Miller

    Skip Miller En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Nope, did it on my own. I did get to give him a ride before he passed, though. -Skip
     
  14. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Final Approach

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    Paid for all of my flying myself.
    No other aviator in my family tree to my knowledge.
    No one in my family seems to be the least bit interested in flying.
    None of my "accomplishments" seem to impress them at all.
    For some reason, I find all of the above satisfying.
     
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  15. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Of course!

    I was raised around planes, and I also got into some other things like computers, wrenching on cars, guns, etc that my family isn't super into, but they support it and are always down to learn or come out to the range, or help hold a wrench because they love me, trust me, and I was raised properly, and that's what friends and family do.
     
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  16. Lindberg

    Lindberg Pattern Altitude

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    Got my cert in high school. My mom was not enthusiastic, but was at least supportive enough to pay for lessons as an incentive. I think the fact that my late dad would have been excited about it helped her along.

    Got back into it as an adult. My wife would be much happier if I didn't fly, and she hasn't gone up with me. Both kids have, one loves it, one doesn't.
     
  17. CARLOS W

    CARLOS W Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Well I am 37 years old and started this past February. I at the near end with my ppl. I have about 42 hours.. all I have left is my solo xcountry and prob few mock checkrides. My brother is very supportive and his in laws are as well. His father in law was a col In the Airforce and mother in law is also a CFI which they both have thier own flight school in Florida. But my wife in the other hand is not. At first she was bad. You can read an old thread of mine on that. But now she is just going along with it. But still hates the idea. Oh well
     
  18. kayoh190

    kayoh190 Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    My Mom grew up around GA and was really supportive (typical Mom though - she's the type to support anything I did!). My Dad's a tech guy and brought me up in that world, so he was disappointed to see me pursue aviation as a career. He can't imagine why someone would do it for work, much less for fun. That said, he knew I loved it, and did his best to outwardly support me. They never had a ton of money, but they'd get me a flying lesson every year on my birthday and if I was lucky, another one on Christmas. When I was old enough to legally work (15), I scraped together enough money to ratchet up my training and knock out my PPL before heading off to college.

    Writing code paid for the degrees and everything through CFI/II/MEI, and I finally took the plunge - leaving a fairly lucrative programming gig to flight instruct full time. My Mom loved it, while my Dad pretty well lost his mind. :)
     
  19. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    My mom was not supportive initially and overall I think wishes I hadn't done it, but long ago learned that telling me not to do something didn't do her any good. When I started working in aviation she told me "If you get your pilot's license, don't tell me." I was in my early 20s when I started flying, and told her after I had my first solo.

    When I told her, she told me if I'm going to fly, I should get my instrument rating since JFK Jr. died because he didn't have an instrument rating. I was going to anyway, so that was easy. Then she told me I should fly twins so I had a second engine to get me home if one quit. Well, that was easy, I was going to do that.

    I tend to think that, while parents can have their influence, ultimately as an adult it's your decision. I wouldn't look to them for permission. Use your judgement in talking to them.
     
  20. N3368K

    N3368K Line Up and Wait

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    No way. My mom was pregnant with me when my dad (WWII B-24 pilot) taught her to fly in a J-3...she took her checkride less than two months prior to my birth. I grew up in my mom's C-170 with her flying. :rolleyes:o_O
     
  21. spiderweb

    spiderweb Final Approach

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    I learned in my early 30s. My parents supported it, though they knew it was my decision. My wife semi-supported it. Her concerns were money, a concern which I shared, as well. On the flip side, she appreciates the convenience of flying, and respects the instructors and training I've had.
     
  22. jonnyjetprop

    jonnyjetprop Line Up and Wait

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    I was an Aeronautical Engineering student at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo when I learned to fly. I did it in secret and never told my parents until after the check ride. My parents flew with me once afterward. I continued on to the instrument and commercial single without my parents knowledge. I dropped out of college and returned to So. Cal. I informed my parents of my intention of becoming a professional pilot (or running away to join the circus). They took it well, but were very worried. I got my CFI and started instructing. My parents financially assisted me for my multi-engine ticket. The next time my parents flew with me was when I was a captain at a commuter airline and I flew them to Vermont to visit me and my girlfriend. My mother wasn't impressed with the Metroliner and she jokingly told me the next time I better get her an upgrade to first class with free drinks. Because of the airlines I worked for, I haven't gotten her an upgrade. My airline was the type where the flight attendants instructed the passengers as to the proper storage of their weapons.

    The real answer is that my parents always supported my flying and my decision to be a pilot. Yes, I'm the black sheep and my three siblings have done better than me. It's more because they really excelled, not the lack of success on my part. When my long term airline ceased operations, they paid the tuition so I could finish my bachelors degree. I hope to still score an upgrade for my mom.
     
  23. spiderweb

    spiderweb Final Approach

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    What airline did you fly for? Are you planning on flying for the majors?
     
  24. evapilotaz

    evapilotaz Pattern Altitude

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    We must had the same parents
     
  25. jonnyjetprop

    jonnyjetprop Line Up and Wait

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    I spent 18 years at World Airways. I'm currently starting over at Piedmont. I'll flow to American unless I can get on at another good airline.
     
  26. spiderweb

    spiderweb Final Approach

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    Sounds good!
     
  27. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    What's the flow time to AA now?
     
  28. Zeldman

    Zeldman Final Approach

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    Same as always....12 steps....:rolleyes::lol:
     
  29. jonnyjetprop

    jonnyjetprop Line Up and Wait

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    5.5 years for me assuming zero attrition.
     
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  30. Doug F

    Doug F Pre-Flight

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    I'm a parent and our son started flight lessons in high school. He'd wanted to fly from the time he was 3 years old (not an exaggeration...he once pointed at a plane flying by and yelled 'MY FLY'). We totally supported his desire to fly. We made sure he was invested in the process (i.e. he had to chip in on the expense). He never finished his PPL; weather was horrid toward the end of his training and he just ran out of time...seems the Navy wouldn't wait for him to get to boot camp. He now flies back seat in a Rhino so you just never know where stuff will end up!

    As to how to convince a parent to let you fly; I can't offer any specific advice since it depends on the complex relationship between child and parent as well as the specific objections of the parents. If the kid just popped up out of nowhere wanting to fly, I might be concerned about dedication. In the case of our son, that was not the issue.

    I'd guess most folks would be concerned about safety and cost. Cost is gonna be high so helping defray the costs is about the only way to approach that argument. Safety can be handled by looking at stats and keeping the parents out of aviation forums (holy crap...the bad flying/crash discussions are scary as...). Everything we do in life includes risk. Flying is no different.

    And, quite frankly, if a kid has to wait from the time they're in high school until they're out on their own (like you), it's only a couple of years so just sit tight and don't turn it into a fight you can't win. FWIW, I'm about to turn 63 and just started flight lessons...good on you to start early, you young whippersnapper!

    Just out of curiosity, what types of objections are your folks putting up?
     
  31. N918KT

    N918KT Line Up and Wait

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    It's what like you said: Safety and cost. Mom thinks flying a small plane is dangerous and my step father and my biological father both said it's expensive and that at my age, I should be saving for the future like retirement, buying a house/apartment, etc. In addition my step father is unsure if I am able to fly on my own safely.

    Mom & step father said I could take lessons with a CFI but am not allowed to solo nor get a license. Biological father said I could learn to fly once I am settled like in my 40's & 50's. In addition, my biological father said a pilot's license is not useful if you are not seeking a professional pilot career which I cannot become a commercial pilot or ATP for certain reasons.

    Funny thing is that they do fully support my non-flying aviation career. I work in airport operations at a major international airport where I drive in an airport operations vehicle around the airfield inspecting runways, taxiways, & ramp areas. This involves maneuvering safely around large airliners moving on the airfield while talking over the radio with ATC and they do not have a problem with that.

    If I really want to become a pilot it's going to be hard to afford it. With my current disposable income I cannot afford flight training if I do not work any overtime shifts per month without losing money every month. So if I am really dedicated into paying for my own flight training I will likely have to work quite a few overtime shifts every month to afford it (which shouldn't be a problem because there is always plenty of opportunities for overtime at my airport).
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2017
  32. Mason

    Mason Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Work the overtime, take the lessons.
     
  33. Doug F

    Doug F Pre-Flight

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    Preface: I'm old. I like to ruminate on topics. The conversation below is relevant to more than just flying. Use what makes sense, ignore the rest. TL;DR - There are no 'right' answers and no guarantees. Life is about the choices we make and only we can make them. The results of our choices may not manifest for decades.

    Safety: Do some research and see if you can find a way to relate GA vs other fatality rates for things everyone does. Here are some starter stats. Since the activities are fundamentally different, you're not going to find a one to one comparison.
    http://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/t/general-statistics/fatalityfacts/state-by-state-overview
    https://www.aopa.org/about/general-...l-aviation-safety-record-current-and-historic
    https://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/motorcycles/
    http://www.afn.org/~savanna/risk.htm
    The problem with air crashes is that local crashes can make the national news. They are spectacular and get people's attention. Humans suck at risk assessment so something that's relatively safe (flying) seems more dangerous than something we do every day (driving) when it's not.

    You as a safe pilot: I don't know you. If you are 20 and have had 5 car accidents, been in jail for public drinking, and smoke weed...as a parent I'd be suspicious that you had what it takes to be a pilot. If you've got your head screwed on right and can stick to a complex project until it's done, then I (personally) can't see any objection. Only you and your parents can figure that one out.

    Your relationship with your folks - money: As long as you are financially connected to your parents, then they are in a position to affect your life. If you stand to inherit a scadzillion dollars and you care, then you may not want to **** them off. If you're like most of us and won't get or you just don't care about a huge inheritance, then once you control the money, it's your money and you can do what you want. Today high debt levels early in life make the situation different from when I was your age. I entered the adult world with a BS in chemistry, no debt, and none incurred by my folks. Again, i don't know your situation so what happens here is based on your life status and your choice.

    Your relationship with your folks - emotional: If you have parents who raised you to be an independent human who takes responsibility for your actions, then you're likely to cause them concern if you fly but they'll get over it. If you have parents who are likely to consider you a child your whole life then you could be walking into a lifelong nightmare. It comes down to how you relate with your folks and how much the relationship means to you.

    Money: Dear FSM flying is flying expensive. I'm doing sport pilot and it's $190/hr for plane and CFI. At a minimum I'll spend $7000 for the plane/CFI, $300-$400 for insurance, and a couple hundred more for books and software. Once I get through that, it's $120 for every hour I'm in the air. And that's just sport pilot. If you want to actually do anything where you might make money flying, then just keep ramping up the costs. I suspect there are ways to cut costs; the folks who work the desk at my flight center are all working on different certs so they may be getting a break on costs. Go talk to some, scratch that...talk to a LOT of people who are doing what you want to do and see how they're made it work. One bit of advice...NO credit cards; there leads a path to hell.

    General musings: Nothing we do happens in isolation. If flying is something you really want to do, you'll find a way to make it happen. Will you wind up as an ATP and living the life? Who knows. My CFI got his ATP rating right when Eastern airlines went under and the market was flooded with experienced pilots needing work so his chance to fly for the bigs disappeared. My son never got his PPL but now he's back seat in a front line fighter. Life is weird like that. Be open to opportunities and work hard at what you do. You may never wind up where you intend or you may land somewhere better.

    Side note: If flying is something that is in your blood, go talk to the military or the police (state, county, local, or game warden if they have aircraft). The recruiter will tell you sweet lies to get you to sign but it's worth a conversation. You'll need a degree to fly but there are ways to get your education paid for by Uncle Sam. This route is long, complicated, has no guarantees, AND you may wind up with a job where people are actively trying to kill you (and man will that drive your folks nuts!)

    Good luck. May you lead an interesting life!
     
  34. edo2000

    edo2000 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I got my PPL when I was 17. Wasn't really leaning that way at the time but my twin brother was. He got his license at 16 and convinced me that I needed to partner with him on an airplane. We bought an older Citabria; I took my first lesson in it and got my license in about 6 months. Did commercial, multi and CFII later, flew and instructed for for a local Alaska FBO. After a few years I ended up at university going on to a completely unrelated field. My parents didn't pay for it but were supportive of anything constructive that we tried to do.
     
  35. mattnday

    mattnday Filing Flight Plan

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    I am a dad to a 15 year old son who lives aviation and the military.

    For his 6th grade graduation instead of a trip or video game system he asked if we could build a cockpit he saw plans for on the internet.

    Add a computer(with a limited budget) I had him build form scratch and choose components based on how it worked with FSX.

    HE earned every penny of the money spent on controls to get the setup he wanted.

    Fast forward 3 years and he is now 15 and 20 hours in to his flight training.

    He is doing very well and his goal is to solo on his 16th birthday.

    We trade flight lessons for good grades and continued citizenship.

    I know Kids change but his dream is to be a pilot and I am going to support him along the way to help make that happen.
     
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