Need guidance/reality check

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by Ilyes, Jan 23, 2022.

  1. Ilyes

    Ilyes Filing Flight Plan

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    Hello,

    My name is Ilyes, 35 years old and looking to change profession in the next 6-10 years. My background in aviation consit only of doing silly jumps from a PC-6.

    I always dreamed of being a cargo pilot. Nothing fancy, just looking to get a C206 and do short distance trips. I just wonder if it is even possible to create a small cargo company. I would own a older aircraft and have a base in Philadelphia.

    So my questions are:
    -Do I need a commercial license or are there any exceptions for a one man show type of deal? If not, would I need more than the 250 hrs required for the license or 1500 hours like I see everywhere.
    -Is there an app like uber freight for air travel?
    -Does the FAA has requirement on how new an aircraft has to be for commercial transport?

    Financially, the PPL is ok, but a commercial license will require serious planning to be in the realm of possibility.

    Thank you for your input.
     
  2. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Yes, you will need a Commercial Pilot Certificate.

    You will also need an air operator certificate under Part 135 even if you are a single pilot/single plane operation to do what you want to do.

    Your aircraft only needs to be airworthy and maintained that way. Aircraft age is not an issue. Have you ever seen where they still use a DC3 for cargo?

    If the getting the commercial pilot will be financially difficult, I would think getting your desired operation up and running would be insurmountable until you gain more experience and are able to save money.

    Good luck.
     
  3. Jose Colmenares

    Jose Colmenares Filing Flight Plan

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    Ilyes, my advice is don't jump into big plans, dip your feet in the water. Commercial flying is a rewarding career, anyone I know who does it for a living loves it, but it also comes with great sacrifice. I was in your shoes two years ago when my marriage collapsed and I wanted a new start. Why don't live my childhood dream of getting my pilots license and work as a pilot for a living? I quickly snapped out of my dream and decided to start small to test the water and I'm now I'm close to getting my sport pilots license on a piper cub.

    Honestly, I am glad I didn't drop my current career to go commercial. Flying turned out to be harder than I thought (and I'm an engineer who aced calculus in school) this is just a different skill set, a lot of very fine spatial orientation skills, multitasking under pressure, is not for everyone. It is fun and rewarding when you do it right, but at my age (40) I rather keep the safety of my current stable career other than taking a big risk. Maybe you go for your PPL or sport pilot ticket and love it, do well and then you won't be able to do something else for a living, then by all means go ahead!!! but again my advice is start small.

    Today I received a discontinuation notice on my check ride and I am bummed. S-turns of all things!!! is a maneuver I had a lot of problems with at the beginning and then left behind worrying about other things like landings etc. The DPE (examiner) said I could probably retake it in 30-45 minutes tops, but feels like a huge set back and my moral is very low. I know is not the end of the world even if it feels like it. I just need to fly with my instructor a few more times and get my act in order and I'll be fine. But again I am happy my career and livelihood don't depend on this. If I had issues with a sport pilot license (on a taildragger I must say which is in many ways more difficult to fly than Cherokees or Cessna 150/172's) I can't imagine the stress for an instrument rating with all those timers and headings and complications. Or Worse an airline checkride which can be intense from what I hear. Many people in this forum excel them and do well and they should be proud of their result but I have learned is not a career for everyone, and is expensive as you know well. Good news if you get your PPL and do good and decide to invest on the 250 hours of commercial there is a looming pilot shortage so the jobs will definitely be there when you have a clearer picture of whether it is for you or not.
     
  4. Salty

    Salty Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Don’t beat yourself up. A checkride is just a chance to demonstrate you are capable. You didn’t do that yet, but you will. Go do it.
     
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  5. mandm

    mandm Line Up and Wait

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    Not saying that an airplane is cheap, but if you have the money to buy a 2 seater Cessna Piper Grumman or other cheap aircraft, that is a great way to log hours. Since getting my plane, I have logged a lot more hours than I normally would, since you can act on your own time and just hop up for a quick flight, go here to eat, or what not. I’m sure when it’s down for mx, I’ll be on here in the reverse position. Ha

    Get your hours in, commercial time, act as a safety pilot for other pilots, join on cross countries with other pilots, then get your commercial and CFI, from there you can teach and get paid to fly and you’ll quickly build your hours to the 1500+ mark that most people are aiming for.
     
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  6. TCABM

    TCABM En-Route

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    A point in time snapshot, not a cumulative judgement.
     
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  7. Salty

    Salty Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Something popped out at me about the OP

    The expense of buying, flying, and maintaining a C206 (which you seem to think is more easily attainable) so dwarfs the cost of earning a commercial ticket (which you seem to think is less easily attainable) that I think maybe your assumptions are out of whack. We’re talking orders of magnitude differences here. A commercial is fairly cheap and easy compared to owning and operating a c206. Heck, one bad annual will pay for a commercial ticket easily.
     
  8. martym

    martym Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Good news! You'll only need 1200 hrs for Part 135 IFR (in the right portions). You'll need capital and know-how to get started. You'll need an ATCO certificate, which is a lot of red tape. You'll need a plane that is up to spec, you'll need to do checkrides every 6 months with the FAA and most of all you'll need customers.
    Ask yourself why someone would hire you to fly their freight a short distance if they can put it on a truck and just drive? Or, why would they choose you over one of those other freight companies? What would you do if you have a customer with a big order and your plane breaks down? Cancelling or late means losing the customer. What if the weather shuts down your limited capability airplane and everyone else is still flying? Customer is not going to be impressed.
     
  9. Ilyes

    Ilyes Filing Flight Plan

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    Thank you for answering so quickly.

    Maybe I'm wring but from scouring the internet, it seems a CPL cost about $100,000 give or take on your aptitude. I don't want to get a loan for that so I need to save money. I would think by having that precious certificate, it would be really helpful to convince a bank to give me a business loan.

    I work full time and if flying commercially doesn't seem in the cards, I will most likely still get a used plane for fun and family travels here and there. I understand a plane is quite expensive but I can still sale it and recoup most of my $$$ if it doesn't work out.

    The business model side of this dream is still on the ground. I need to understand everything required to see if it is possible to move forward. That is why I'm asking you guys. I spoke to a couple flight schools but I had the feeling they just said what I wanted to hear in order to get business. Again, that is why I'm posting here.
     
  10. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

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    I may have missed it, but do you have an IR?
    If not, you will also need that to make your operation viable.
     
  11. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

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    The CPL does NOT cost $100k. That’s probably a school that is zero to hero.
    A couple thousand give or take.
     
  12. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I got the impression that the OP hasn’t taken a lesson yet, so
    Zero to hero sounds like what he’s planning.
     
  13. Ilyes

    Ilyes Filing Flight Plan

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    You guys are correct, I have no experience flying an aircraft. I have been in a DC-6 quite a lot so I know I will love flying buy doesn't mean I will be able to.
    I want to be as informed as possible before I give it a shot if that make sense.
     
  14. brcase

    brcase Pattern Altitude

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    Agree best plan is get a rating to test the waters and educate yourself about what is involved before committing to a career change. $200/hr average could be a bit high or low depending on where you located for the dual and solo hours required to get a commercial rating that normal line requires $250 using part 61 rules. Part 61 is usually cheaper but slower than part 141. 250hrs * $200/hr = more like $50,000.

    Being a pilot and running a cargo operation are two completely different skill sets.
    If you want to fly probably best to work for someone else.
    If you want to start a business then educate yourself or go to work for a 135 operation to educate yourself one the requirements and develop your business model. There are some single plane/pilot 135 operations but most are bigger multi plane operations, that will have everything from window washers to pilots to a Business manager.
    Most important, who Is going to be your customer and how are you going to get them to come to you. Just hanging a sign out saying ABC Cargo flights probably won’t last long.


    Brian
    CFII/ASEL
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2022
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  15. Albany Tom

    Albany Tom Pattern Altitude

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    Agree with this. I don't know that it's impossible, but sounds to me, running out of Philadelphia, that you will be competing against every form of transportation there is. Especially including diesel trucks that aren't much slower than a 206, are way cheaper, and work in almost any weather. Suggest working in the business before starting one. The transportation industry is incredibly competitive in the US. I can't speak to aviation, but over the road can be cut-throat tough.
     
  16. Ryan F.

    Ryan F. Cleared for Takeoff

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    I suggest you sign up for a discovery flight, and if that goes well, try another 5-10 hours to see if you like flying. After that, maybe distantly consider business objectives.
     
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  17. tsts4

    tsts4 Cleared for Takeoff

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    IMO, instead of trying to operate your own freight business, which as mentioned has significant requirements beyond just the piloting side, if you're looking for a career change get your ratings and fly for someone else who already has a charter business. Otherwise this is will end up being a classic example of turning a large fortune into a small one, best case.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2022
  18. texasclouds

    texasclouds Pattern Altitude

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    Find a quality Part 61 flight school and start flying. If you keep passing checkrides and aren’t broke then keep going. You could probably get to commercial for closer to $50k and 2-3 yrs while keeping your current job.

    A fast track Part 141 school probably could you you there in 1.25 yrs for $80-100k
     
  19. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Ejection Handle Pulled

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  20. Ilyes

    Ilyes Filing Flight Plan

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    Thank you for the advice. I'll start with a few lessons and see how I feel about it.
     
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  21. texasclouds

    texasclouds Pattern Altitude

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    August ‘18 I took mu first flight lesson.
    May ‘20 I was a CFI.
    May ‘21 a first officer at a charter operation.

    This March I start my ATP and type rating.

    Then hopefully I can start paying all my bills, lol. Gunning for that captain pay!
     
  22. BladeSlap

    BladeSlap Ejection Handle Pulled

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    For what you’re talking you’re going to have to start or buy a basic 135 first

    Plus look at the requirements for the key positions in a 135

    Probably best to build your hours and fly for a operation like the one you want to start, get that experience and then look into finding a unserved market where you could fit in and keep the plane busy, then buying a 135 and aircraft that will conform and filling all the other positions.

    Read up here

    https://www.faa.gov/licenses_certificates/airline_certification/135_certification/general_info/

    14 CFR § 119.71 - Management personnel: Qualifications for operations conducted under part 135 of this chapter.
    c) To as Chief Pilot under § 119.69(a) for a certificate holder conducting any operation for which the pilot in commandis required to hold an airline transport pilot certificate a person must hold an airline transport pilot certificate with appropriate ratings and be qualified to serve as pilot in command in at least one aircraftused in the certificate holder's operation and:
    (1) In the case of a personbecoming a Chief Pilot for the first time ever, have at least 3 years experience, within the past 6 years, as pilot in command of an aircraftoperated under part 121 or part 135 of this chapter.”

    https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/14/119.71
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2022
  23. Ilyes

    Ilyes Filing Flight Plan

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    Thank you very much for the link.
     
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