Getting PPL before military deployment

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by Ethan S, May 18, 2020.

  1. Ethan S

    Ethan S Filing Flight Plan

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    My flight school opens back up soon from all of the COVID crap and I am gonna start my PPL. I want to fly for a living so after my PPL I would of course get all my other ratings. But my problem is I'm in the National Guard and have been asked to volunteer for a 13-14 month deployment in about 5 months. I think if I grinded before the deployment I could get my PPL. I just don't know if it is wise to get my PPL then right after not fly for a little more than a year. But I also dont want to wait till after the deployment because I know the sooner you get all your ratings and into the aviation industry the better. I just wanted some others opinions on my situation if I should try to get it before or if I should wait till after.
     
  2. bobmrg

    bobmrg En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Without knowing where you will be deployed it is hard to give advice. When I was on Okinawa I joined the Kadena Flying Club (but I had a pocketful of certificates/ratings at the time). IF you are deployed to a place with a military flying club it might work out. Get your PPL first and hope for the best.

    Bob Gardner
     
  3. mcmanigle

    mcmanigle Pre-takeoff checklist

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    If you can (timing and finances wise) get your PPL before deploying, there's no downside to it. If you can fly while deployed, all the better. If not, you can either brush up on your stick and rudder skills when you get back and start working on your instrument rating.
     
  4. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    My advice, is to knuckle down and get it done. And plan on getting it done a month or two before you deploy. If you wait until you are done with your deployment another will come up. Do it.
     
  5. Van Johnston

    Van Johnston Cleared for Takeoff

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    Agree. Knock it out now.
     
  6. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    @Timbeck2 and I were also in the Kadena Aero Club.

    F0F4A140-A13C-4F92-8A6F-85DBC7A367ED.jpeg
     
  7. jbarrass

    jbarrass Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    Now is always the best time to start.

    Don't know where you're going or the options there, I started in the Osan AFB club in Korea.
     
  8. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Yes we were! I'd like to see what they have now since those were sold to Australia. To Bob....deployments are just that - deployments and they aren't anywhere with an Aero Club. They are the armpits of the world and a lot of the time, you live in a tent.
    I was deployed 4 times in my career and the only one that was enjoyable was the one in Northern Iraq where I got shot at. ;)
     
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  9. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    When were you there? I was a a controller there Jan 2001 - Jan 2002.
     
  10. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Kirkuk sucks!
     
  11. Bill

    Bill Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Another vote for knocking it out now. Even after a lay-off all you’ll need is a flight or two to get your FR and be back in the game.
     
  12. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    But the suck was a lot less than Jiddah or Prince Sultan AB Saudi Arabia or Al Udied. A whole lot cooler (temperature wise) too.

    Edit: But then again, I wasn't in charge at the sucky places. I was chief controller at Kirkuk.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2020
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  13. AKBill

    AKBill En-Route

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    Another vote PPL sooner than later
     
  14. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Actually bought my TV/DVD combo from Kirkuk BX. Of course they were always good for a Pizza Hut lunch spot. ;)
     
  15. simtech

    simtech En-Route

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    dude PSAB was awesome...140 degrees and could never leave base. what more could you ask for? Well I did go from Alaska so the warmth was nice haha.

    OP, get your PPL now and brush up once you get back. The price will only get higher if you wait.
     
  16. jbarrass

    jbarrass Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    83-85 and 88-92. I ran the 2ID skydiving club and hitchhiked on the black hawks to Humphries many Saturday nights. Taxi to Osan, fly, return. I liked the controllers there. They’d always check in and say hi if you flew too far north. :)
     
  17. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Foal Eagle ‘97. Had to evacuate tent city because one of the Patriots “fizzled” in its tube. :eek:
     
  18. AKBill

    AKBill En-Route

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    I deployed to Kadena a few times with the Navy, P-3 (ground ponder). Was never there long enough to join the club. Heck we barely had enough free time to go to town to see the sights
     
  19. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Yep. Nothing like walking to the porta john in that heat. Peeing disturbed all the flies from their dookie walks and the only place they want to land is on your lips. It was awesome. ;)
     
  20. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    I was at Kadena most those years. 84-89
     
  21. Mason

    Mason Pattern Altitude

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    Do it now.
     
  22. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Kind of a difficult question to answer because we don’t know your particular situation. I know just prior to deployment, some are looking at spending their spare time with family and friends. A lot of things to get in order just prior to deployment as well. Even work related exercises could interfere.

    If you can make training somewhat of a priority and there aren’t any scheduling issues, then I say knock it out now. I knocked out my instrument before I deployed. Blocked the aircraft for 2 weeks straight. While I deployed, the school closed up shop and took all the govt $$$ and ran. Those who waited to get their ratings upon returning were SOL.
     
  23. Schokie

    Schokie Filing Flight Plan

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    I agree with the general consensus to get it done first. However, two considerations not mentioned yet:

    1) Check that your instructor has the availability to support your schedule, particularly with a deadline. I would hate to get halfway through and then have to deploy. You'd basically be starting back over after a year of no flying. The hours still count, but you'll lose the proficiency and have to repeat much of that training.

    2) Does your current financial situation support forking out $10K cash NOW? If not, might be best to do it after the deployment. For me, deployments have always been great for saving up a lot of money. Your expenses will be waaay down.
     
  24. bobmrg

    bobmrg En-Route PoA Supporter

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    For those with memories of Okinawa, I was there 1963-1964 and was responsible for the 625’ tower at the USCG loran station at the north end of the island, 60 miles north of Camp Schwab (the end of the paved road back then). I still remember the Koza steam baths.
     
  25. geezer

    geezer Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Kruse'n
    I consulted my log book.
    2 hours training.
    2 year pause in the Army
    1 hour training.
    2 year pause getting back into civilian life.
    10 year pause, getting married and starting my family.
    35 hours in 4 months.
    PPL completed. Total time to PPL, 41 hours.

    8 year pause, plenty of flying for fun and travel.
    80 hours training in 4 months.
    Commercial and Instrument completed.

    Many more years flying for fun and occasionally for profit.
    The pauses never hurt me, an hour in the air, and back where I was when I stopped.

    The very best wishes for the coming deployment. I would have accepted a discharge on any day one was offered, but did enjoy my non volunteer service in the Army. I only met 2 people that I wish that I had never met, and for at least one of them, the feeling was mutual (Our meeting cost him a lot of money and prestige).
     
  26. Schokie

    Schokie Filing Flight Plan

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    The important take away there is your 35 hours in 4 months. That's a decent pace AND with proper focus and scheduling would cover all the required training and provide proficiency. The 3 hours you flew ten years prior did little to nothing. But what I'm talking about is flying 20 hours now and then coming back in a year and expecting to pick right back up where one left off.

    No matter how good of a pilot you are or how experienced, if you take a break from flying there WILL be SOME degradation in skills. You can lessen that degradation by amassing experience prior, and by studying and chair flying during the break. But if someone says they can not fly for a decade and then pick right back up where they left off, they either have terrible memory or they were a terrible pilot to begin with.

    Certainly the OP can deploy in the middle of training and still become a great pilot eventually. It's just not the most efficient use of resources, both time and money. Not saying don't do it now by any means, but it is a consideration.
     
  27. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    One thing to think about is examiner scheduling. Is there an examiner willing to do the checkride during this Chinese virus outbreak.?
     
  28. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Speaking of scheduling the DPE. I tried to knock out my glider rating just before PCSing to Okinawa. DPE cancelled at the last minute and never did get signed off. One of these days I’ll start back up again.
     
  29. red4golf

    red4golf Pre-takeoff checklist

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    If you are a NG Soldier without full Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits you may want to wait until you return from your deployment so you have a higher benefit amount.
     
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