Hello from a new member in Maryland

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by pd8, Aug 1, 2018.

  1. pd8

    pd8 Filing Flight Plan

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    After a few months of reading the threads only, I finally signed up for the POA just now.

    I just had a discovery flight in KGAI about a month ago, and I am trying to find a good CFI in Montgomery county, Maryland to start a private pilot training. I have a full time job (my available times are limited) so I am not sure whether the flying school is better than the club for the instruction. I have only seen posts for "bad experiences" with the CFIs -- people with some good or normal experiences do not tend to share their stories. So your recommendation and guidance for a good CFI in my area would be really helpful.

    Thanks for your comments in advance.
     
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  2. tspear

    tspear Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Welcome to POA.
    I moved away from KGAI in 2012, so I am not current.
    But it is very critical you find an instructor you like and work well with, and also planes being available.
    Back in 2012, KGAI had a couple of flying clubs, and they were much cheaper and more flexible than the main flight schools in the FBO.
    Not sure what is the case now.

    Good luck, and keep flying!

    Tim
     
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  3. Ryanb

    Ryanb Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    howdy
     
  4. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Welcome to the madness of POA!

    Club or flight school CFIs shouldn't make a difference. More important to find one you get along with, and who pushes you. Good luck.
     
  5. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Welcome !

    Do you live close to GAI ?
     
  6. Brad Z

    Brad Z Final Approach

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    Welcome from the other side of DC (Potomac Airfield, Ft. Washington MD). There are a few flying clubs that are good options. When inquiring, ask the club if they have a list of approved flight instructors and call or email them individually to see what their schedules are like. Many of us instruct part time and have similar hours to you, so they may be able to take you on as a student. I've trained at WIFA on two occasions, and I honestly wasn't real impressed with the planes or the instructors, but YMMV.

    Good luck. The DC area is good place to learn to fly. The airspace is challenging enough to give you confidence when you fly elsewhere, but not challenging enough to inhibit learning or add additional cost or time.
     
  7. pd8

    pd8 Filing Flight Plan

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    Driving distance to KGAI is about 25 minutes and 30 min to KFDK from where I live. So they both are within driving distance. The only reason I am thinking of KGAI is because it is on the way to my office. KFDK is opposite direction.
    Towered (FDK) vs. non-towered (GAI) and outside (FDK) vs. inside SFRA (GAI) are other things to consider but I guess finding a good caring CFI is the first priority.
     
  8. flhrci

    flhrci Final Approach

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    Pssttt, Its just you. :)
     
  9. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser!

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    All good points. The key is finding a flight school/CFI that works with your schedule. Both airports can be busy, but that's mostly for the first takeoff, to get your TO and landing practice in, you would probably go to one of the smaller places in the area.
     
  10. GeorgeC

    GeorgeC En-Route

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    I trained at KGAI. If I had a do over, I'd take a look at the clubs there.

    Welcome to PoA!
     
  11. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I resemble that!

    image.gif
     
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  12. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    I've been watching episodes of "You Bet Your Life" and "What's My Line" featuring Groucho. Some really really funny stuff.
     
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  13. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    Welcome @pd8 !!!!

    But before getting too stuck in with your flight training, you should make sure all is clear with your medical history. Many times future airmen such as yourself spend thousands on the initial training to get to the point that requires a FAA 3rd Class (or better) Medical Cerificate. Then find out they have a major show stopping landmine in their history that creates a major roadblock in their training.

    Which is why we advocate learning and gaining knowledge about the medical certification system before spending gobs of money on training.

    I have created a few posts that should help you.
    _________________________________________________

    To gain confidence, and more importantly, knowledge, of what is involved with obtaining your first medical certificate, start by reviewing the instruction manual for MedXpress, the FAA's online form for applying for a medical. You can find that here: https://medxpress.faa.gov/medxpress/Content/Docs/MedXPressUsersGuide.pdf

    Scroll down to page 24 of 36. This is where they ask about any medications you are currently taking (Question 17). If there are none, move to the next section. But if there are some, you will be asked to list the names, dosage, and frequency. Most medications are permitted. Some are not and will be a show stopper. Others may be an indicator of a medical item that the FAA will want to know more about. In many cases, the FAA will need a letter from your treating doctor that mention the medications, why they were prescribed, and how well they are helping you. During the examination, the Aviation Medical Examiner will ask questions about the medications and the doctors letter, fill in some blanks, and make notations on his side of the application form.

    Now scroll down to page 26 or 36. This is the medical history section (Question 18). An important phrase here is "Have you ever in your life..." Review these items and see if any should be answered yes. If one or more is answered yes, then definitely do not go to an AME to obtain a medical certificate until you thoroughly know what the FAA is going to want to know about the item you checked as yes.

    Some of these are minor and the documentation required is also minor. Others are big, BIG things, and while they might not be show stoppers, you will have to obtain more things that are the right things and in the right format and order in order to satisfy the FAA.

    Again, do not go to an AME for a live exam until you know what it is the FAA wants.

    How do you find out what the FAA wants? The best way is to have a consultation visit with an AME. This visit does not get reported to the FAA. All it is is a information gather visit with the medical examiner to find out what you need to obtain. If you are unable to find an AME in your area to do this, then reach out to Dr. Bruce Chien in Bolingbrook, IL, www.aeromedicaldoc.com . Dr. Bruce is a member here and can answer your questions online. But direct emails are often more efficient and allow him to discuss things in a way he cannot on a public form.


    Another important area of Question 18 is Question 18v: Alcohol and drug related motor vehicle actions. Question 18v asks about a history of “arrests or convictions involving driving while intoxicated by, while impaired by, or while under the influence of alcohol or a drug.” This would include arrests or convictions for offenses that were reduced to a lower offense, such as careless driving. This also includes offenses that were expunged by the courts after a certain time period. Pilots who have been ticketed for operating under the influence while driving a golf cart or a boat have also been required to report these offenses. Remember, your signature on the Form authorizes the FAA to search the National Drivers Register.

    Do not try to lie or fib or skirt the issue here.... if you are found out... it is major bad voodoo.

    Moving on, look at page 28 of 36 and Question 19, which asks questions about medical professionals. If all of your past doctor visits have been routine things with no major medical issues. Then the FAA will say all is good, thanks for telling us about the visits. But if there were visits for particular medical things, then additional explanations about the reason for the visit, and the doctor's findings will be needed.
    _______________________________________

    However, as hinted throughout the Medical Certification forum, do not go for a "live" FAA medical examination until you are beyond 100% sure you will pass and will be issued your medical certificate before you leave the doctor's office. If there is any questions about your medical past or current medical situation, seek out an AME who will do a consultative visit so that you can review and learn. For more information about a consultative visit, see this post: http://tinyurl.com/ame-consult

    I hope this helps you. Do continue to ask questions as you think of them.
     
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  14. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    I also have some suggestions I like to make regarding the financials of funding flight training. Following this plan will ensure that lack of funds isn't the reason that keeps you from training. And this plan also works to avoid getting you into any debt.

    • Plan for ~$9000.00, plus or minus for regionality. This can include aircraft rental, supplies, testing fees, books, etc. (For Maryland, this might be more like $10,000 to $11,000)
    • Do what is necessary to fill up your money bucket to at least 60% to 66% of the total funds required or budgeted.
      • This includes taking on additional hours at work, part time jobs, neighborhood handyperson jobs, mowing dogs, walking lawns, house sitting, etc.
      • Hold a garage sale. You might be able to get as much as 10% of your funding uncluttering your house.
      • Do anything legal that increases your income
    • Once you have 60% to 66% of the money, open the tap at the bottom of your bucket and start training.
    • As you deplete money from the bottom of your bucket, continue to work the extra income jobs to add to the top of the bucket.
    • If you finish with money left over in the bucket, plan for a celebratory flight with your sweetie to a really nice dinner.
     
  15. genna

    genna Cleared for Takeoff

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    Welcome to POA. Go to FDK. You will like it better :). No need to deal with SFRA much. There are more choices at FDK as well. They have at least 2 schools and I think are a bit less expensive.
     
  16. tspear

    tspear Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Problem with FDK is commute. He stated he lives in between GAI and FDK but GAI is on the way to/from work.
    Trying to get to FDK for an evening training session will likely be a nightmare. That means you are really limited to training on weekends. This slows stuff down a lot, a couple of crappy weather weekends and you may not fly for a month.

    Tim
     
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  17. pd8

    pd8 Filing Flight Plan

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    Thanks @AggieMike88. That's really helpful. I have a quick question regarding the class. Which class should I shoot for? I know 3rd class is enough to get the private license but just wondering if FAA gives whatever highest class possible for me if I apply for higher class? In other words, if I apply for the 1st class, but my body is only good for the 2nd class, are they going to give me 2nd class clearance or will it be just rejected so I have to apply again for the 2nd class? Just curious...
     
  18. pd8

    pd8 Filing Flight Plan

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    @genna, just wondering what would be the pros and cons between FDK and GAI. If FDK has better environment to learn to fly, I would like to consider.
     
  19. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    For initial training, just Third Class. You can always upgrade later.

    Second and First class are for general revenue pilots and airline transport pilots respectively. At your stage in the game, these aren't needed.

    Also, Second and First have more restrictive requirements than a third. If you go for those and fail, it's bad, very bad.

    And they only examine for what you chose. So if you choose First and don't meet the criteria, it is a fail. There is no automatic downgrade to the lower level.

    So stick with a Third Class for now.

    Remember, the big take away is to not go in for the real live exam until you know with beyond 100% and more that you will be issued the certificate in office.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2018
  20. genna

    genna Cleared for Takeoff

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    1. Assuming you are not joining a flying club, FDK has 2 schools, so you have more than one option.
    2. FDK is not in SFRA, so you don't have to worry about related restrictions and required calls.
    3. FDK is in a less populated area away from class B. Your training area is likely to be closer.
    4. As far as Tower is concerned, it's a toss up if you want to learn with or without one. FDK tower is a simple thing.
    5. FDK is larger airport with 2 runways and generally less traffic(in my limited experience with GAI)

    EDIT: I don't fly out of FDK. I've been there on many occasions and I use it for IFR practice(they have ILS). I've only flown to GAI a couple of times.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2018
  21. genna

    genna Cleared for Takeoff

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    Really, the only advantage i can think of GAI has is potentially better driving location for you. Lots of students from GAI fly north to train in FDK. That's a 15 min flight each way you don't need to pay for if you start at FDK
     
  22. GeorgeC

    GeorgeC En-Route

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    Yeah, if you train at GAI, you'll just fly out to the cement plant near FDK anyway. You could always come to the dark side and train at W00... we have donuts.
     
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  23. spiderweb

    spiderweb Final Approach

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    Hello fellow Marylander! I’ve flown from most airports in the state, for the past 18 years.

    Recommend svhools at both GAI and FDK. Also good CFIs at BWI. PM me for names.
     
  24. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Welcome
     
  25. GeorgeC

    GeorgeC En-Route

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    ltns Ben.
     
  26. spiderweb

    spiderweb Final Approach

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    Good to be back :)
     
  27. Allen Epps

    Allen Epps Filing Flight Plan

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    I finished my private this spring. I flew out of Fredrick at Frederick Flight Center.

    It's a little drive depending on traffic for you but it's DC so everything is. On weekends it's a piece of cake.

    I chose it for a few reasons.

    1) Full time instructors including a couple who are not building hours to go to the airlines and might not be around to help you finish.

    2) A decent selection of airplanes. It was easy to schedule a plane when I wanted and they have a 172RG and an Arrow for high performance/complex rating.

    3) Outside the capital SFRA - While many fly inside this restricted zone, as a student I did not want to deal with it and any potential violations and FAA actions from a simple mistake on my part.

    4) Towered field. While dealing with a tower is kind of a hassle in the beginning, it is a huge learning experience that will help you later. (I was more comfortable with towered due to my background)

    5) Close practice areas so you're not doing a lot of transit time to begin your training evolution.

    Just my 2 cents and good luck!
     
  28. pd8

    pd8 Filing Flight Plan

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    Hi Allen, thanks for sharing your experiences. Actually I saw your name in their webpage! Congratulations on becoming a private pilot. While I am still debating between two airports, I would start my medical first based on the recommendation from @AggieMike88.

    Thanks for your comments!

    Kevin
     
  29. KzSheikh

    KzSheikh Filing Flight Plan

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    Hello, how're ya, how's the training going, i keep getting distracted with a lot of other things, job, kids and whatever. I think i am ready to go for a 3rd class medical, but i guess before that i should go for a regular medical at my doctor. just to make sure everything's alright, and not find that out at the live medical.

    How did the things start with you, looking at your posts it seems like you're almost the same age as i am. which path did you take, did you find yourself a personal instructor and did the ground school yourself? or are you paying a flight school for the whole thing beginning to the end, sort of like a package. have you given any thought to maybe buying a cheaper plane and then doing the training on that?

    I am in leesburg, near KJYO but would rather go a little bit away from it, so i am close to the boundaries of the SFRA.
     
  30. Arbiter419

    Arbiter419 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Welcome! All sorts of good info here. I fly for a company based at DMW. I know folks who have done training at FDK and haven't heard a whole lot bad about it. There seems to be a good assortment of aircraft available for you and haven't heard that there's much of an issue regarding instructor availability. Beyond that, stay as far away from WIFA as you can.

    Enjoy!
     
  31. KzSheikh

    KzSheikh Filing Flight Plan

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    haha,, I heard a lot of the same about WIFA, apparently it's not so popular with anyone here; but if you go to groupon it looks like the best there is. Actually i looked up KFDK it's much closer to me than KGAI, I think I will pay them a visit over the weekend, but need to get the medical in first.
     
  32. KzSheikh

    KzSheikh Filing Flight Plan

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    Honestly, the Ideal situation would be to create a three way partnership and buy a cherokee 180 for 45K or something and do the training on that, maybe two learner guys paying 20k and the CFI paying 5K; and sharing the time equally, and the CFI taking the two of us on as students. what do you guys think, is it totally a crazy idea that none of the CFIs maybe interested in?
     
  33. GeorgeC

    GeorgeC En-Route

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    It's not a 180, but go look at the bulletin board at Leesburg, there might be a 1/3 share of 2941L for sale, I wanna say for $12k.
     
  34. Sundancer

    Sundancer En-Route

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    The GAI clubs are pricey per hour, dues, and initial fees. Not sure about the cost at FDK: if you're a Fed employee, or DoD, or a first responder, or a bunch of other things (CAP, etc.) the Fort Meade Flying Club (at FME) is worth looking at, though it might not be conveniently located for you? It is heavily training oriented, for PPL, CPL, CFI, IR, etc. I think they broke the chains to the Fed sponsor at Fort Meade, so they are a lot more independent than before.

    They have (or had) light dues (I think something like $40 per month) and a decent Hobbs rate. A 172 takes about $85-87 dollars per tach hour to operate - clubs and FBOs have to charge more, of course; in DC anywhere from about $120 on up to in excess of $150. Our non-profit club charges $87 per tach hour wet, but we don't have to make a profit. . .

    If saving every penny isn't top of your list, maybe try both GAI and FDK? Clubs usually let you have a no-fault "divorce" if it doesn't work out in 60-90 days.
     
  35. pd8

    pd8 Filing Flight Plan

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    Welcome. Great to have a buddy in the same area. I directly went to the local AME for the 3rd-class Med and he did not allow a "dry-run". If you are taking any medication, search the web and find out if it is approved by FAA beforehand. I am not sure if the regular family doctor cares about this. I am working on the written part by myself using online+book. My CFI will endorse me if I bring 3 example test results over 80 % (85? I don't quite remember). I won't take the written test until after my first cross-country. I started my training with one of the schools in KFDK because they are the only school offers C-150 in this area to bring my training cost down. But I need to find less windy day for this small airplane. I also like to be trained in class D airspace to get familiar with the ATC comms. I only have ~10 hours in my logbook but hopefully I can fly more often.

    I guess buying an airplane for training is a good idea, but I am not sure I want to go that route like now. I'd like to consider investing once I know for sure I can build time regularly. Also I would be more comfortable having more information on the total cost of ownership (maintenance + hanger + insurance + etc...) before I jump in. Maybe for my instrument rating??

    Good luck with your training and keep me posted!
     
  36. Pugs

    Pugs Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Fort Meade club is no more. There are two new clubs tat have formed out of them, Phoenix and another one (?) but they only have one plane each I think.

    I belong to a club at GAI (but we no longer take students I believe) and I am still mostly flying at KFDK working on instrument. There is no way as a student I would have wanted to deal with the stupid stupid stupid SFRA. Frederick Flight Center or Bravo at FDK would be my choice.
     
  37. Sundancer

    Sundancer En-Route

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    Don't think so - I believe they re-constituted as the Fort Meade Flying Activity, with six aircraft, or at least that's what I heard from a buddy just a few weeks back. Just looked at their web site, and it looks current, with slides from the March 2019 safety meeting, and they have meetings scheduled out through 2019. Still based at KFME, which used to be Tipton Army Airfield, but was handed over the the county some years back. Looks like they occupy the same spaces as before, kept the same fleet, except maybe for the Dakota (or was it a Saratoga) they bought a few years back. . .

    Anyway, they appear alive and well. . .
     
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  38. GeorgeC

    GeorgeC En-Route

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    Ah, it's a Dakota. Unfortunately I'm not aware of any PA32 clubs...
     
  39. Pugs

    Pugs Pre-takeoff checklist

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    OK, must have changed since I checked last year. Glad they're back.