Ferrying plane across the U.S. cost

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Daven, Oct 15, 2020.

  1. Daven

    Daven Filing Flight Plan

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    New pilot here with about 44 hours (all on an Archer) and just about to purchase an Arrow III. Insurance wants 10 hours dual on it before I can fly it solo, and of course I need to get my complex endorsement anyway. The issue is it's in South Carolina and I'm in Washington State. I'd love to fly it home myself, but from a practical standpoint this seems unlikely to work out given how long I'd probably have to be in South Carolina to knock out the hours with a CFI.

    So, just wondering what typical rates would be to have someone ferry it from South Carolina to Washington State?

    Or is it possible there is a CFI out there willing to give me that training on the way home so I could fly it? It's about 14 hours of flying or so, so would work out there. But not sure if anyone does that.

    Thoughts / ideas?
     
  2. Brad Z

    Brad Z Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    There are a lot of unemployed pilots out there right now who have flight instructor certificates and would no doubt be up for a cross country flight. Costs vary widely, anywhere from free to a thousand dollar a day plus expenses rates. Experienced professional ferry pilots will be more expensive but are more likely do deliver as promised. Whatever you do, make sure you hire someone who is up for the task. Anyone with a commercial single engine land certificate can legally make the flight; not everyone has the judgement and experience to safely conduct the flight.
     
  3. Jumpmaster

    Jumpmaster Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I paid $200 a day plus expenses for my ferry pilot a few years ago flying from just south of Chicago to the TriCities in Washington. He was a CFII and a First Officer at a regional airline so I didn’t incur costs for airline tickets. For me, it was the best money I think I’ve ever spent on aviation. I got 10 hours of dual instruction for IFR (I had to pay him $5 every time ATC asked us to check our altimeter setting; by the end of the flight I was even) and another 10 hours VFR. Never would let me use the autopilot except for brief periods of time. Learned how to file IFR flight plans, copy clearances, obtain pop-up IFR clearance/flight plan, experienced some light icing (which I had never seen before nor have I experienced it since), and flew several instrument departures and approaches.

    If at all possible, I would recommend you fly back with your ferry pilot. You will learn a lot, gain valuable experience, not to mention knocking off the insurance requirements. You will also discover a lot about you new to you airplane. And with so many pilots recently out of work, there must be several who can do what you need at a reasonable cost. I noticed an up-tick in ads on Barnstomers for ferry pilots so they are out there.
     
  4. Wrench978

    Wrench978 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I had a similar situation as you. my Bonanza was in AR and I was in PR. I paid a CFI 400/day plus expenses (he wasnt local to AR either) and our plan was to fly for a day locally, then take a day to fly to FL. I would finish the trip solo to PR. that didnt work out because, despite the mechanic telling me the plane was ready, the plane wasnt ready. so I paid the CFI 800 dollars to talk about flying bonanzas. we finally got to fly the 3rd day, but the plane stayed in AR for another month while the mechanic screwed some more stuff up.
     
  5. Cervieres

    Cervieres Pre-takeoff checklist

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  6. sarangan

    sarangan Cleared for Takeoff

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    If I were you, I would hire a CFI in Washington to fly with you on the way back. You don't need a specialist for this. This should be a routine flight for any CFI. A newly minted CFI looking for work would jump at this chance. Pay him or her a daily stipend ($200?), hotel and the return flight and that should get you plenty of applicants.
     
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  7. MBDiagMan

    MBDiagMan En-Route

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    Picking up the plane with an instructor and getting your insurance instruction time on the way home is not an uncommon approach to this problem.
     
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  8. MacFly

    MacFly Line Up and Wait

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    I only had to bring my plane about 500 miles, but I opted to fly down there with a CFI and we both flew it back, and I picked up that time as dual
     
  9. Llk

    Llk Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I’ve done this several times. No ferry pilot, no “service”- just a CFI flying an airplane back with you. Just consider that if you have an issue (dead alternator, stuck mic/issues on the way blah blah blah), you’ll incur additional expense including possibly airfare.

    I brought spare battery bricks for the phone, My handy 696, iPad, spare headphones...

    For my 172 when I was a young puppy pilot, I hired a nice gentleman near 70. He and I became lifelong friends- his, not mine...I had the pleasure of helping to say goodbye.

    For my Mooney, I hired the inimitable Don Kaye, who has nearly 10,000 in type. Fabulous guy and still a good friend.

    L39? I hired a great military gent...

    You can always place an ad on Barnstormers. You could also place an ad on here...or on your type forum.
     
  10. MooneyDriver78

    MooneyDriver78 En-Route

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    I just spent 2 days with CFI at location and then flew home. If ferrying then you will pay
    Airfare
    Hotels
    Meals
    For 2 people....and you could be delayed by wx and breakage.

    Another option is to get training at home... if the school has an Arrow.
     
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  11. Hang 4

    Hang 4 Cleared for Takeoff

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    I had the same experience with Full Throttle. Very professional. I wanted to fly along to get familiar with the plane, but work got in the way. Got a full report on a couple issues that got missed in pre-buy and got regular updates on progress during the flight.
     
  12. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Pattern Altitude

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    You should be able to do the required 10 hours in 2 days with a local CFI. But a 44 hour pilot flying VFR all the way across the country with only 2 days/10 hours in type is probably not the safest decision one could make. I think I'd opt for finding a CFI that's local to you who wants to take a trip. Buy and airline ticket for yourself and the CFI to get out to the plane and fly it back together. Great learning experience and much safer option IMO.
     
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  13. Jim Carpenter

    Jim Carpenter Pre-takeoff checklist

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    As you can see from the above posts, the cost may be highly variable. At a minimum, you'll have one one-way airline ticket, and the CFI/ferry pilot expense and flight time to pay. If you can swing the time away (from work, etc.), seems like the best scenario, regardless of extra expense, would be to find a CFI you like from your home area, both of you head to SC, and bring the plane home. The experience, in general, even beyond the required Arrow time, IMHO, would be immeasurable for you as a "new" pilot.
    (Just as a data point, $450/day plus expenses wouldn't be unheard of, but you could undoubtedly find someone for less).
     
  14. RussR

    RussR Pattern Altitude

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    I will add on to the idea that flying it back with a CFI is a great idea, and it's done all the time. I would expect to pay at least $400 a day for an experienced CFI, which of course is the type you want. Not just experienced in the airplane, but experienced with real XC flying and handling situations that may arise. This is an awesome trip and will be a great experience!

    I will also additionally caution you to build in lots of leeway in your time frame and your budget. Consider how you're going to resolve delays. For instance, you land in Kansas for fuel and the starter quits. You need to have another one shipped in, it will be a minimum of two days delay. As the instructor/ferry pilot, I know it sucks, but I will be charging for those days (to include hotel room, etc.) even if we're not flying, or be provided with transportation back home if the delay is long enough. That's pretty standard, the pilot/instructor is "on the clock" for all days away from home, whether or not you're actually flying. This kind of thing should be spelled out in a contract.
     
  15. TommyG

    TommyG Pattern Altitude

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    Everything in aviation costs money, so do what you want to do. Whether it’s just get someone to ferry it, or get a CFI and knock it out yourself. I would say if you have the time go that route just for the experience. You spent how much on an airplane, what a couple more thousand either way you decide to get the plane home.
     
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  16. sarangan

    sarangan Cleared for Takeoff

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    We are not talking about flying across oceans or to different countries and customs. This is an ordinary cross country flight. It is also not a typical dual flight with lesson plans and checkrides. Most of the time you will be sitting and watching the scenery go by. It makes no sense to hire to a CFI at the usual dual rate, plus hotel and flight etc... unless spending more money is your primary objective. But that's just me. You might even be able to find a retired pilot who is eager to fly and take him along. The whole thing might be free.
     
  17. MacFly

    MacFly Line Up and Wait

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    In my case, the CFI is the father of a colleague of mine. He's my age, a recently-retired Anesthesiologist, and was going a little stir-crazy in retirement...looking for a project. I'm extraordinarily lucky that my new plane and I have become his "project". We've become great friends. He's spent probably 20 hours on his back under the panel adding, removing, and re-wiring avionics, but more importantly, his instruction has been invaluable in making me a better pilot. The two-hour transition-training that the insurance company required was done on the flight back, but it has since become almost 20 hours of dual that has gone beyond transition and into PPC flying and a lot of instrument work. He lives about 90 miles from here, so I fly down there once or twice a week and we do a couple of hours of instruction. The really lucky part is that he won't take any money. The ferry flight did cost me a plane ticket for both of us, but we flew first class with a slug of airline miles and a companion certificate. I also had to shell out for a hotel room and meals. Those costs were a minuscule drop in the bucket compared what he's done for me. In return, I did name him on the insurance policy and he uses the plane when he needs to (he pays for his fuel). He's the luckiest connection I've ever made.



    Good advice. On my ferry flight back, we landed at a little field in Iowa for fuel and restarting to depart demonstrated that the engine-driven fuel pump had gone TU. It was a Sunday, but we did fine a mechanic. He did have to order a replacement pump. It was a hassle, but a great learning experience. As my CFI-buddy said..."welcome to aircraft ownership".
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2020
  18. iamtheari

    iamtheari Administrator Management Council Member

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    For me, the options seem to be, in this order:

    1. Fly to SC with a CFI who lives near you, ferry the plane back together. You will gain good experience flying across the country with a CFI, you will get your 10 hours of dual a couple times over, and you will be able to do pattern work at a few different places along the way rather than just at one runway. Using a CFI local to you will also help if you need to leave the plane somewhere for a couple weeks and go back. Plus, if you don't already have a local CFI for BFRs and whatnot, now you do. If you need a BFR, you can do the ground portion in the air en route to SC.

    2. Find an experienced pilot friend who meets your insurance requirements in the plane to fly it home with you as a road trip. You won't get the dual time but it will be less expensive option and a bit of an adventure.

    3. Pay someone to ferry the plane to you, then get dual with a local CFI. This eliminates your own time away from home, gets the plane to you faster since you don't have to coordinate anyone's schedule with your own, and probably saves money.

    4. Use a CFI in SC for 10 hours of dual and then fly home alone. This would be the most demanding of your flight planning and ADM skills and would maximize your time away from home.
     
  19. Kristin

    Kristin Cleared for Takeoff

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    You have a higher opinion of newly minted CFI's than I do when talking about taking light plane through the Rock Pile in October or early November. I would recommend getting a CFI with a modicum of relevant experience.
     
  20. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I took my wife's CFI with me to get the Navion. We test flew it. He pulls the heater knob out (it was March in Wisconsin) and the heat came on. He says, grab a gallon of hydraulic fluid and lets get out of here.
     
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  21. RussR

    RussR Pattern Altitude

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    It's a "literal" cross country flight. From South Carolina to Washington state seems to me to be a little more than an "ordinary cross country flight". Don't understate the significance of the flight, or the value of having someone knowledgeable about crossing the Rocky Mountains. Or dealing with weather, including actual IMC. Even icing. Remember, the OP is a brand-new pilot.

    Maybe the CFI isn't doing the normal "flight instruction" tasks, but if I'm spending a couple days on this ferry flight, then that's a couple of days I'm not making other flights - whether they're with students or other contract work. If we get stuck somewhere, then that's more business I'll have to turn down.

    Yes, I have done this exact type of flight before. And I charge my normal hourly or day rate, as appropriate. Why wouldn't I? My time is my time, it's worth the same to me regardless of what we're doing. In contract flying, I (and I'd guess most others) get my day rate whether the actual flying is an hour or 8 hours. I think my best was about 1.5 hours of flying (and of course some sitting around). Why would a ferry-flight-with-some-instruction be any different?

    Are there people that would be willing to do this flight for no pay? Of course, just ask at the local flight school or the local collegiate aviation program and the OP will be able to find someone, certainly. Is that the best choice, or even a wise choice? That's not as certain.
     
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  22. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Pattern Altitude

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    Its a multi-day flight across the entire continent by a VFR pilot with less than 100 hours total time and minimal hours in type. Trying to do that solo is asking for trouble IMO.
     
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  23. guzziguy

    guzziguy Pre-Flight

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    Now this is a damn shame. I am sitting in the Jax terminal waiting to fly to Oregon to pick up my own arrow nd fly it back to Florida. Could’ve flown your archer to Washington easily. too bad
    I did your trip before. Took the southern route then up California Took 4 days.
     
  24. Possum

    Possum Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Just curious where in South Carolina the Arrow III is located?
     
  25. idahoflier

    idahoflier Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    +1 Find an Arrow locally and get your 10 hrs and complex endorsement and then go get it. Moving up from an Archer to an Arrow is about as easy of a transition as there is...
     
  26. iamtheari

    iamtheari Administrator Management Council Member

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    Moving up from 44 hours TT to a 20+ hour cross-country is the bigger issue here than Archer to Arrow. It can be done safely but takes a lot of patience. If bad weather rolls through or the alternator goes out, you might wait a week someplace like Valentine, Nebraska, with no commercial air service to get home. I think it would be a fun trip if the OP can handle that level of flexibility.
     
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  27. TheFB

    TheFB Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I just bought a Bonanza. Planned to ferry it back with my CFI but weather and IFR conditions kept me from being able to get dual. I learned a ton still.

    Now I’m building my dual time . In my opinion, just ticking off the ten hours is not best spent on a long cross country. Landings, slow flight, steep turns, practice engine outs, gear failures, etc is the best way to get the dual time. That could be done on the XC but most would motor home. Just my newbie $.02.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2020
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  28. sarangan

    sarangan Cleared for Takeoff

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    It is understandable that a newly minted private pilot might be hesitant to make this flight. However, there is nothing lacking in his training that should prevent him from doing this trip. Weather will be the biggest factor, and he should be willing to wait out bad weather. A CFI on the other hand, should be capable of doing this flight, VFR or IFR, except IFR in the mountains. What else is a commercial and an instrument rating for? Yes, I have flown at sea level and also in high mountains. True, you have to prepare, but it is not rocket science. You just need to have patience to wait out the weather, and make sensible choices. You don't need to land at 1000 ft gravel strips in Idaho to make this trip. You don't need to carry survival gear, flotation devices or satellite phones. You'll be in radar coverage for most of the route.
     
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  29. idahoflier

    idahoflier Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    Maintenance issues will inconvenience a 44 hour pilot or a 30K hour pilot the same. Of course sound judgement with respect to the weather is necessary, but that should have been part of the PPL curriculum and evaluated by the DPE. POA just had a new PPL member make an arguably harder trip in a Luscombe.

    If this was back in the 90's, then yeah, maybe getting a little more experience and seasoning would be in order. But today it's practically impossible to get lost and WX and flight planning info is readily available.
     
  30. MacFly

    MacFly Line Up and Wait

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    I disagree. Without the fund of knowledge that a more experienced cross-country pilot has, even piddly little maintenance issues at remote locations can be a very confusing and every inconvenient management problem. I'm not talking safety (although the dangers to a 44 hour pilot are real and should be readily apparent), I'm talking about about how to resolve the issues efficiently and minimize inconvenience.
     
  31. schmookeeg

    schmookeeg Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    I do these sorta flights as a CFI. I charge $600/day. For an archer you should have tons of viable choices available to you. :) Definitely do the flight if you can, it's great experience.
     
  32. Marshall Alexander

    Marshall Alexander Pre-Flight

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    It's not rocket science. It's just a series of cross-countries, just like your PPL training.

    My brother and I just flew out to Pocatello, ID from OKC in his RV9A to buy a Rans S6S. He flew his RV home, and I flew the S6 (I got an hour of dual in it before we left with it) home. Now granted, we each have in excess of 1000 hrs. in airplanes from a C-150, 172, Sling 2, and the RV. But we are only VFR pilots.
    It was NOT nearly as difficult as I had anticipated. It was actually a ton of fun and I learned a lot about "mountain flying". I NEVER felt like we did anything dangerous or questionable.

    I would recommend some (or maybe a lot) of dual in a like airplane first though. Surly you have a pilot friend that would like to see the country that would just go along for the ride. I'd go with if you were closer, lol.
     
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  33. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Pattern Altitude

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    I agree with the rest of your comments so I think we're on the same page for the most part, but I disagree with this statement. There is almost nothing in the private pilot curriculum that properly prepares a 44 hour pilot for airplane ownership. Airplane piloting? Sure. Airplane ownership? Nope, not even close.

    When you're a renter and you're on a trip, the moment some mechanical anomaly you've never experienced happens, you've got experts a phone call away who can advise you on what to do and arrange professional help if appropriate along with payment for it while you wait with almost no requirement of lifting a finger on your end beyond that phone call. When you're dong that trip in the plane that you now own but don't really know, you don't have that option. If it develops a noise or a weird feel in the controls or anything else out of the ordinary, you're on your own to figure out whether you should get a mechanic involved and you're on own your own to pay the bill.

    That's not to say that it can't be done. But it is to say that chances are a 300 hour VFR only private pilot would probably be much better prepared for such a trip vs a 44 hour VFR only private pilot. Put another way, private pilot training teaches you enough to fly a plane without supervision, but it most definitely does not teach you enough to fly that plane on every trip in every circumstance. If that were the case, there would be no need for instrument or commercial certificates.
     
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  34. idahoflier

    idahoflier Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    Well now you have piqued my curiosity. Please provide some examples of "piddly little maintenance issues at remote locations" that will befuddle a low time pilot while an experienced pilot will breeze through the issues.

    Also I think it's worth noting that it's pretty easy to flight plan around getting stuck in Nowhere, U.S.A. if that's really a concern... ;-)
     
  35. schmookeeg

    schmookeeg Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    First to my mind are things like foulled plugs, stuck starter bendix, how to jump a battery if you leave the master on... some might have been covered as part of the PPL, but there's a bunch of nuisance items that if you don't know a field remedy for, you'll need an A&P.

    To your point, though, just flight plan to only use airports with services on field, and bring the wide-form checkbook, and then it's just a bunch of XC flights masquerading as "the joy of plane ownership" :D

    (edit, wasn't someone else's point, that was your other point :D )
     
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  36. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Pattern Altitude

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    I can't and won't provide examples. But I will say that as someone who once had less than 100 hours under my belt and now has many more hours under my belt,
    the less than 100 hour me would have been WAY less prepared and way less safe making a solo VFR cross continent flight in a plane I had minimal hours in than the plus 100 hour me would have been. My opinion only, you can argue it if you like.
     
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  37. TommyG

    TommyG Pattern Altitude

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    I do have to say, I don’t feel 44 hours would be suffice to do a x country of this level. Most private pilots now get complete garbage training just to pass a checkride. Most weather being taught now is read a metar and a TAF, nothing on prog charts or fronts. I get students for instrument and commercial that are severely lacking the basic fundamentals that should have been taught on the private level. Outside of the whopping 150NM x country, most students don’t leave their home airports. Just look on this forum of pilots that are afraid of D,C and B airspace or a uncontrolled field.
     
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  38. Daven

    Daven Filing Flight Plan

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    All relative. :) I solo'd at 6-ish hours, first solo cross country not long after, and after about 20-ish instructor said I was ready for the test and then just burning hours to get to the 40 hour min for the check ride- not because I'm some exceptional pilot (faaaaaaaaaaar from it I can tell you), but because I was so freaking overly cautious and massively over prepared for every little thing that my instructor never worried about me in the slightest, and I was slightly ahead of the curve on the knowledge parts of things.

    For example, I had already gone through not one, but TWO separate flight school video and text book series to completion + read Stick and Rudder and The Killing Zone- How and Why Pilot's Die, and watched just about every Air Safety Institute accident case study video available :) all before hour 1 of flying. Then during flight training I more or less did most of that again. :)

    And my instructor was exceptional too. Career military pilot and military pilot trainer for a long time who then transitioned into owning/running a flight school which he's been doing for many, many years since. Absolutely phenomenal instructor and a great guy. :)

    I actually used to drive him crazy (like literally he yelled at me about it a couple times) about how overly cautious I am in the air. Haha, he said one of the only students he's ever had where he actually encouraged to be LESS cautious. Not because I wasn't being safe in my over-cautiousness, but because I was driving him crazy with certain aspects of my flying where he felt like it was "Flying Miss Daisy". ;-)

    So anyway, not too concerned about such a cross country trip myself. My propensity to be MASSIVELY overprepared and just as overly cautious means that plane wouldn't leave the ground unless everything looked amazing and was confirmed such with every tool available. :) And the whole country to divert to if anything seemed off at any point during. :) Bound to be a good path somewhere. And, if not, no problem just sitting on the ground waiting. :)

    Flying with an instructor just I think would be a lot more time efficient, both as with an ultra-experienced pilot along, I can feel comfortable toning my caution down to more reasonable levels ;-), and knock out the required time on the plane itself at the same time for insurance :) Plus I imagine given a whole lot of time to do nothing but mostly stare out the window with an exceptionally experienced pilot sitting next to me, I'd learn a lot just gabbing. :) Probably things I'd never even have thought to ask about. :)

    As for the transition time itself to the new type, from everyone I've talked to, including my old instructor who knows my experience best, it will take me approximately 2 seconds to get a feel for the Arrow vs the Archer (much heavier controls mainly and whereas the Archer drops like a refrigerator when you cut the power, I'm told the Arrow is more like a refrigerator with a big rock tied to it ;-), so leave a titch of power in until right before touch down from what I'm told). And, being my nature, I've already obsessively researched/watched countless videos on every facet of flying a complex aircraft (and the Arrow III). So just, you know, remember to put the gear down ;-), and all the rest seems pretty straightforward as well. :) Just GEAR GEAR GEAR. :)

    So anyway, not really worried about the new type much either. :) Especially as with 10 hours before I'm allowed to solo in it, that's going to be way more time than needed to get comfortable no matter how I get the plane home.

    That's all not overconfidence in my ability to fly (I know I'm a newb pilot who shouldn't be trusted in anything but clear, bright shiny skies and extra long and wide runways where nobody else is around in the air at the time ;-)), but supreme confidence in my desire to not die and keep my airplane insurance agent happy, ;-) and thus, that my nature of being overly cautious and always MASSIVELY overly prepared will continue to shine through here. ;-)

    But just for time efficiency, thought it would be a good idea to do it this way of killing two birds with one stone. :) VERY glad it sounds like I shouldn't have problems finding someone good willing to do it. :)

    Main downside vs training first and flying across the country by myself, beyond adding more days sitting in South Carolina and extra expense in some ways, is if I was flying home by myself, I might take a more meandering route for fun instead of getting home as directly as possible. :)
     
  39. N1120A

    N1120A Pattern Altitude

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    N1120A
    Pay a CFII to give you instrument instruction on the flight. That is the sweet spot.
     
  40. Wrench978

    Wrench978 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Wrench978
    that was recommended to me by the CFI who did my transition training. I was planning on flying the leg from FL to PR with a buddy of mine who was an instructor. it would have been close to 7 hours simulated instrument. looking back, I kinda regret not doing that because of the hours I will have to fly now to get my instrument time, but at the time I flew down here, I wanted to see the views of the bahamas as we flew over them.