Single Mom focused on Piloting

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by Angelica Bliss, Jun 13, 2019 at 3:14 PM.

  1. Angelica Bliss

    Angelica Bliss Filing Flight Plan

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    Hello everyone,
    I have been trying to find information on how to study and practice on my own to become a pilot. I've researched schools and definitely want to attend to become a commercial pilot but of course costs of $50-100K and my credit is what is currently holding me back from getting a loan. So, while I work and get my credit up I want to earn my private pilots license, then if possible become a CFI so that I can work in piloting while I attend the professional courses. I have 2019 books on order but what I am confused about is the online flight simulator and where or what to buy.
    Please HELP
     
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  2. EdFred

    EdFred Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Skip the flight simulator for now. If you go part 61 (and you probably will if you have to pay as you go) most of your flying is going to be "eyes outside the plane" flying for probably the first 50 to 60 hours (save the 3 flight by reference to instrument required for the private). I would also suggest saving/banking away around $8,000 before you take your first lesson. Because you are going to finish faster and cheaper if you can fly 2-3 or even 4 times a week.

    But before you take your first lesson, make sure you can pass at least a Class III medical. If you have 3 DUI's in the past 5 years, have been taking Ritalin pills for the past 10 years, are a avid, or even casual smoker of MJ, or a number of other things, this whole piloting gig is a dead end for quite a while, if not forever.

    As far as study on your own, you can go that route. Some people will suggest study guides from King or Sheppard, or a number of other palces. I happened to do it all on my own, and just asked my flight instructor when something didn't make sense to me. It was cheaper that way for me. But I was and still am kidless so I didn't have the priorities you probably have with your every day life.
     
  3. Angelica Bliss

    Angelica Bliss Filing Flight Plan

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    That is a good point. I was thinking of taking the medical exam even before I buy the books. Ive heard it was simple. I don't drink, smoke or take any meds. Plus one of my goals on the way to becoming a pilot is to be in my best shape, so I jog and eat healthy. I am worried that as a 40 yr old woman, wanting to be a commercial pilot, will I be looked over for a job. I want to make sure the money and effort I spend reaching my goal will be useful.
    So you have a flight instructor that isn't associated with an actual school? Where can I find one.
     
  4. EdFred

    EdFred Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    My flight instructor was associated with the school I did my training at. I studied while taking flight lessons, but on my own time. When I had questions, I asked him at the next lesson. I was usually ahead study wise than where we were lesson wise. However, there are some concepts that won't make any sense until you put them into action. Now that I'm on the instructor side of things, I've had students that study as we progress, and I've had some come to me with all the book work done, and the "ground school" sign off from an online course for them to take the written test, so I didn't have to teach them much of anything for the written. They generally still had questions on how what they studied applied to being in the airplane.

    As far as getting a job commercially, even starting at age 40, if you can knock out the hours, at this point it's pretty hard to not get hired if you are at least competent. It's not for everyone, and if you are really set on it, get your instrument/Commercial/CFI as fast as you can. Then tack on the CFII, and get those hours from 250-1500 as fast as you can. That first 250 hours is going to be the toughest part. That and eating ramen noodles and mac n cheese every day.

    A lot will advise against financing - as would I, but sometimes it's the only realistic option.
     
  5. alfadog

    alfadog En-Route

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    40-yo should not be a problem IMO even if it takes you 5 years to get a job as anything other than a CFI. Many will advise against financing this but that is ultimately your choice to make. Right now, how much can you afford on a weekly basis to spend on PPL? $200 per week would be a good minimum but even $200 every other week can get you going.
     
  6. DaleB

    DaleB En-Route

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    I would advise caution here, and lots of it. First, get a consultation with an AME (aviation medical examiner) to determine if you can pass a medical. If you want to fly for a living, tell him or her you want to know for certain you will be able to get a first- or at least second-class medical certificate. Only apply for the medical certificate if and when you are absolutely certain it will be issued.

    If you can't get a medical certificate, there are still paths open to you for flying powered airplanes. You can fly Light Sport, and can even become a Sport Pilot flight instructor. Those things are almost certainly not the career path you are looking for, but at least they will let you fly for recreation and enjoyment.

    If you apply for and are denied a medical certificate for whatever reason (and some of those reasons can and do surprise people), you're pretty much screwed unless you like ultralights, gliders or hot air balloons.

    There are a number of options for flight instruction. I started with a flight school, they went out of business (right after I'd pre-paid for a block of time -- don't make that mistake). I finished up in a flying club airplane with a CFI who had a regular job and did flight instruction on the side. There are lots of CFIs that don't work for flight schools.
     
  7. IK04

    IK04 Line Up and Wait

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    It helps to know your location. There are lots of us concentrated near large urban ares with lots of airports. It would narrow down the suggestions...
     
  8. Angelica Bliss

    Angelica Bliss Filing Flight Plan

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    Its coming together now. What I'm understanding is that I will have to at least sign up for an online course, get through the written tests just like with a drivers license and then get the actual AIR time with possibly a private instructor. The flight simulation really wont be necessary at all?
    I will tell you this.. My grandpa and My dad both have PPLs but talking to a deaf 91 year old and a stubborn 69 year old make it very hard to get the information I need. My dad got his license when he was 19 and just barely found this out. Hes in a different state but I might still be able to ask him questions.
    The Flight Academy I talked to said that their full 10 month course is $80,000 but by studying on my own for the PPL I could save about $13-15000 but I see where the cost of about $8,000 comes in to have the actual landing lessons, Considering the take off and flying is the easy part. ;)
     
  9. Angelica Bliss

    Angelica Bliss Filing Flight Plan

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    Right now I am looking at about $200 a month if I'm lucky. but if that's what it takes, once a month might be more useful then waiting for 2 years to get my bills paid off. I want to be actively working toward my goal not just paying bills until I can start at square 1. As far as the medical exam, this is very helpful because you're right, I don't want to waste the money or the opportunity to get my Medical Certificate. I will do that first, Consultation only and go from there.
     
  10. Angelica Bliss

    Angelica Bliss Filing Flight Plan

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    I'm in Salt Lake City, UT.
     
  11. Ryanb

    Ryanb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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  12. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

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    It's not that the flight simulator is "not necessary", the flight dynamics are not the same as those of a real plane, plus you will get bad habits learning on your own that will have to be broke.
     
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  13. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    A 3rd class medical is all you need to get a private. But I'd recommend getting a 1st class right from the get go. Most upper tier jobs will require a 1st class medical. If you're getting into this with the intent of going pro, you'll want to know up front if you'll have a problem getting a 1st class.

    You say you want to be a commercial pilot but you didn't mention what type of flying you ultimately want to do. Are you thinking airlines? If so, how are you kids going to feel about their mom being on the road 15-20 days a month?
     
  14. Angelica Bliss

    Angelica Bliss Filing Flight Plan

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    Thank you for that Information. Its
    I do ultimately want to be an Airline Pilot. I have a 22 year old daughter and a 12 year old son. Both are my life. My son wants to travel and go to school in Japan as a foreign exchange student. We made a deal that we will go to Japan for vacation as soon as I complete school. Even with my goals and time frames I expect that to be over the course of 3-4 years. At that point I plan on also helping my son get his pilots license. He is an amazing kid and if you are worried that I will be leaving my kids, that is definitely not the case. They encourage me to follow my dreams as much as I encourage and support them in theirs.
     
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  15. Angelica Bliss

    Angelica Bliss Filing Flight Plan

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    Thank you! :)
     
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  16. Angelica Bliss

    Angelica Bliss Filing Flight Plan

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    Also a very good point. My singing teacher always said you perform the way you practice, better to do it right from the start.
     
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  17. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Welcome,good luck on your quest.
     
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  18. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    It helps to have contacts. But that's true of any job.
    My 65 (if I did the math correctly) year old little brother just got a gig in the right seat of a King Air. He had a metric pile of hours from years as a private pilot, but just got his multi ratings.
     
  19. Jon Huxley

    Jon Huxley Filing Flight Plan

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    I did most of my instruction for ab initio 0 to PPL 3 week intensive courses. This is arguably the cheapest route to getting your PPL, and because it's rigorous you'll get a feel for whether professional training is still of interest to you once you've finished up your PPL. If you do this route, get the written out of the way first. If you have a day job and taking 3 weeks off is not realistic, flying twice a week as opposed to once a week will still get you done in fewer hours and will save you money. After getting your PPL you're looking at some serious cash to getting your commercial / ATP licenses and ratings and hours in. Some good advice posted here, but the one thing I would add is to have a contingency plan. I went down the professional pilot training road and when I was ready to move onto the airlines no-one was hiring (which was not the case when I started out). Pro pilot opportunities are very cyclical. That's hard to imagine in this hiring climate, but even so this career is only as good as your ability to hold onto a class 1 medical and at 40+ that's every 6 months. I hope this doesn't sound discouraging (it isn't meant to be) but it's quite a long road with quite a few bumps on it.
     
  20. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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  21. Angelica Bliss

    Angelica Bliss Filing Flight Plan

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    What country is he flying in? I know in the US its 65 and done commercially, but there are possibilities of flying for airlines in other countries. Personally I would like to be done working at 65 but I will still want to fly to travel.
     
  22. Grum.Man

    Grum.Man Pattern Altitude

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    You can fly corporate for as long as you can pass a medical.
     
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  23. Angelica Bliss

    Angelica Bliss Filing Flight Plan

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    Not at all, this is great information. Either way, at my age, its getting harder to find the right job. I do have a plan and I also am a licensed hypnotherapist. I could always help others with their fear of flying.
    Pros and Cons are a must in all career choices so its good to have all of this to think about. Its also why I am doing so much research for schools or programs. Is there something specific about the Medical Exam that I should be worried about? When I wanted to go into the Air Force they said I couldn't fly because I had Lasik. That isn't the case with Commercial but I am wondering if there is something that they will test me for that can be prevented. As I mentioned in another comment, I don't use any substances, I eat well and exercise, and I'm pretty sure I'm mentally stable. (pretty sure)
     
  24. Angelica Bliss

    Angelica Bliss Filing Flight Plan

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  25. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

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    When I was in high school, our next door neighbor was a Navy doctor (I grew up on Navy bases all my life) and his wife was a 40-ish woman raising four kids. She decided to get her PPL, turned it in to a CPL, got a commercial gig, then with the airlines, and finally a high ranking FAA staff position from which she retired, and is somewhat famous now. So, it can be done.
     
  26. mryan75

    mryan75 Line Up and Wait

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    Hey Angelica,

    There are a lot of good books on the FAA website:

    https://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/handbooks_manuals/aviation/

    The Airplane Flying Handbook and Pilot's Book of Aeronautical Knowledge are great places to start for someone wanting to get going in flying. They're free and you can read them on an iPad or computer.

    I would also recommend going out to the local airport and having a look around. There may be a flying club there, and those are great places to start. There will in all likelihood be pilots more than happy to talk to you and give you advice. And who knows, maybe take you flying?

    In fact, I just did some googling, and this looks like a fantastic opportunity:

    https://www.sopwithcamelflyingclub.org/

    They're in Salt Lake City, and with a $2,700 buy-in, their rates are tremendous. You could train in the 150 for $40 an hour plus whatever the instructor charges. Flying clubs are great, and these guys can almost certainly recommend an AME for your medical exam, etc. Worth a shot!

    Best of luck to you!
     
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  27. kath

    kath Line Up and Wait

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    I am one! Of course, I live several thousands of miles from you... but the point is: they are out there. Sometimes they don't advertise and are hard to find, and the way to find one is to "lurk" around your local airport and talk to the local pilots, the local mechanics, the local airport-bums.

    A quick primer on flight-school "lingo" you'll hear in this forum... There are two ways to get flight training. One is to go to a formal flight school, where they will set you up with some kind of ground school program (either live classes, or an online thing) as well as the flight instruction. There will be quizzes and stage checks and a syllabus that everyone follows, and the kind of structure that will remind you of "school". This is called "Part 141". The other style is less formal, where you and an instructor can train any way you like -- well, any way the instructor likes -- and can sometimes look more like "Here's a free book from the FAA, go read it, and on Thursday we'll talk about Chapter 4 and then go practice in the air." This is called "Part 61." Neither style is better or worse than the other. Do you like structure, or do you prefer to be more self-directed?

    In the end, they're less different than they sound... both involve a combination of ground training and flight training. There's no rule that says you have to complete ground first (pass the "written" test) before you can start flight, nor is there a rule that you have to take them together in parallel. Depending on where you live, there may be a municipal airport nearby with a Control Tower and a flight school with a fleet of shiny planes... or there might also be a quiet little grass strip with no Tower and a freelance instructor with a plane. You can "go intense" and try to do everything in a few weeks. Or you can squeeze it in between the other parts of your life, like one would for choir practice or going to the gym, spread over months.

    Getting the sense that there are a lot of options? :) Asking around on a forum like this one, you'll find people have done it all sorts of ways. So don't let any one school tell you that their way is the only way. Personally, I am a fan of a) doing ground and flight in parallel, and b) squeezing it amongst the rest of life, even though it will take much longer, it's easier to pay-as-you-go and adjust to life as it happens. But that's just me.

    Personally, the idea of investing $80K all at once for the whole kit and kaboodle seems risky and extreme. It has to start with the PPL whether you are going for an airline career or not, so just start there. It's such a long journey, you'll learn *so* much just from that first step in it, including what works and what doesn't. Talk of "styles" and "options" aside, the most important thing is to find a good instructor, since you'll be entirely in his or her hands at the beginning when it is the most important. So it is totally OK to "shop around" for a good instructor, too. They shouldn't mind.

    No matter how you go about it, never pay a school a whole bunch of money "up front" for all the training. And also don't get frustrated if you ask a question like "how much will this cost?" and they can't give you a straight answer... because the cost is by the hour and no one can know how many hours it'll take you. Everyone is different, and it'll take however long it takes. In fact, if someone guarantees a license with a certain dollar amount, I'd consider that a warning sign.

    Good luck!!
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2019 at 6:59 PM
  28. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz Line Up and Wait

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    How to do the consult on the medical http://tinyurl.com/ame-consult. Following this procedure can save you a lot of time, money, and heartache. The present aeromedical system is full of land mines and gotchas. Do the consult first.
     
  29. alfadog

    alfadog En-Route

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    The cheapest I know of outside of befriending someone with an airplane (and that is not as difficult as you might think) is about $80/hr for the plane and $40 for the instructor. So 20 hrs @ $120 and 20 @80 = $4000 plus another $1000 for books, tests, headset. $5k is the bare minimum to get your PPL if you have to rent. Most would need closer to $7k. At only 1.5 hours/month you will make progress but it might be slow but, and others might not agree, I think any flying is better than none.
     
  30. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz Line Up and Wait

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    My $.02. If I was on this type of budget and with other responsibilities, I think this is what I would do.

    Try to hook up with friendly pilots in your geographic location, perhaps through PoA here. Also works to ask around at the local FBO. Ask to be taken on some introductory flights to start seeing how you like it. A surprising number of pilots just want to go out and fly a hamburger run and would be glad to have some enthusiastic company.

    You can also get in touch with the local Experimental Aircraft Association. They have a 6 month free membership. Meet pilots at their regular meetings or at their VMC club meetings.

    You can also start learning to fly gliders first and then do a powered plane add-on later. This is actually a great way to learn how to fly since it really teaches how a wing and controls fly in the air. The Wright brothers learned that first before adding an engine. It takes fewer hours to get to private in gliders. There are often local glider clubs where you can join for a small fee and help out with the gliders and fly very affordably. This works well if you aren’t in a hurry and the social aspects bring you into contact with a lot of pilots.

    Then also study the FAA books that have been mentioned. They are free downloads.

    Site with links to some glider operations in Utah. Looks like a good place for learning to glide and soar - http://soarwest.com/fssites.html

    http://www.utahsoaring.org/
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2019 at 7:33 PM
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  31. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    Its none of my business what happens between you and your kids so no, I wouldn't say I'm worried about it. My comment was more of the 'make sure you know what you're getting yourself into' variety because believe it or not, many people get into that industry not really knowing or considering what the lifestyle is like. Low seniority line pilots are gone. A lot. Holidays, birthdays, graduations, all of those things happen whether you're there for them or not and if you're a low seniority line pilot, its possible you won't be there for them.

    Obviously its entirely possible that you're already realized and discussed with your family of how much family time you could miss by taking an airline gig and good on you if you have. I only mention it because like I said, its surprising how many get into aviation never really considering how much away time is involved.
     
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  32. SToL

    SToL Pre-takeoff checklist

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    There's tons of information on the internet. Start with:
    https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-i...true&tpl=/ecfrbrowse/Title14/14cfrv2_02.tpl#0
    Dig into 61, 67, 91 for starters. (NOTE: Part 67 tells you the medical requirements)

    Also many of the FAA flight books are available for free as PDFs, Check out: https://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/handbooks_manuals/aviation/

    These are just a smattering of what's available out there. Also Youtube has many excellent aviation videos.

    Learning on your own is no problem for those who have desire and discipline. It's totally doable without taking a single ground school or online class. I've never been in a ground class. I've got about 10 different certificates and ratings all through self study.

    Also, I know money can be tough, but here's food for thought. The more you can fly, i.e., the faster you can go through it, the less it's going to cost you in the long run, because every thing will be fresh. No having to go back and go over stuff you learned 6 months or a year ago. If you have the money, and the time, the toughest of certificate can be completed within a month or less. I doubt this will be possible for you, but the theory still applies. Try to do as much as you can, as fast as you can.

    Break it down into Certs and ratings.
    1. Private
    2. Instrument
    3. Commercial
    4. CFI and/or CFII

    Again, if you have the time and money, there are ways to do the flight training to save a little more money. It helps to know what your ultimate goal in aviation is? For example, if you want to fly for the airlines, then you definitely want to begin getting twin engine time as soon as possible.

    Also, in your case, I would definitely advise a Part 61 school rather than Part 141.

    Your age is not an issue. Many started much older than you.

    No doubt, there will be more that will pop up or has already been mentioned, but this will help.

    Best of luck to you, and welcome to PoA and Aviation.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2019 at 7:39 PM
  33. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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  34. MuseChaser

    MuseChaser Pre-takeoff checklist

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    As a professional musician, amateur pilot, and amateur sailor, I can safely say, with complete and total certainty, that none of those three things are anything at all like I, or the vast majority of people, picture(d) them to be. Don't get me wrong.. I love all three things, but the reality of each is so far removed from public perception or over-romanticized media representation as to make them unrecognizable.
    Forgive me for saying this, because I certainly don't want to rain on anyone's dreams, but reading your consideration of trying to find an $80K loan to become a pilot before having some real-world experience in a cockpit struck me about as logical as someone liking Kenny G's records and deciding to go into jazz for the money. Along the way, you'll learn the aviation equivalents of the following...

    1. Kenny G is an absolutely terrible example of what true creative, sincere, quality jazz playing really is. Look up "Pat Methany Kenny G rant" sometime for a good read.
    2. 99.9% of jazz musicians either do something else for income, or play lots of gigs other than jazz to subsidize their "Jazz habit."
    3. "This is going to take a LOT longer to get employable than I thought..."
    4. Sailing is a lot of fun. More than half of sailing is working on the boat, fixing stuff, maintenance, and sitting around waiting for better weather. Very little of it is actually sailing on a beautiful day holding a rum drink. Virtually none if it, except for a select few, is sailing to Tahiti where soft breezes flow.

    Enough.. you get the picture. I love to fly. I've been flying off and on for about 15 years. I now own my own very inexpensive (as planes go) plane, and am spending a lot of time and money making it a better plane. Working on my IR, and would like to explore commercial and CFI eventually. However, I'm partly retired (still actively performing) and don't need the income. If you have a good job/stable income now and a happy life, just start taking some flying lessons from a local instructor and see if you like it. Give it time. Get your PPSEL, or at least a very good way towards it. If you're STILL gung ho about being a commercial, professional full-time pilot and can't see doing anything else at THAT time, then go for it. Until then, well... it'd be sort of like marrying someone you've never met, but looked good and told you he/she enjoyed the same things you do. Who knows what the truth really is.
     
    JeremyW and redtail like this.
  35. SToL

    SToL Pre-takeoff checklist

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    SToL
    [QUOTE="mryan75, post: 2741507, member: 21002"I would also recommend going out to the local airport and having a look around. There may be a flying club there, and those are great places to start. There will in all likelihood be pilots more than happy to talk to you and give you advice. And who knows, maybe take you flying?/QUOTE]

    @Angelica Bliss

    This is an excellent point. I hate to sound sexist, but come on, facts is facts.

    A 40 year old woman showing up at the airport saying she want's to learn to fly. Better carry a big stick with you.
     
  36. SToL

    SToL Pre-takeoff checklist

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    SToL
    Hi
     
    Eric Stoltz likes this.
  37. Cap'n Jack

    Cap'n Jack Final Approach

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    Cap'n Jack
    @Angelica Bliss I've nothing to add, other than good luck & welcome to the group.
     
  38. texasclouds

    texasclouds Line Up and Wait

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    Mark
    Howdy, go for it!
     
  39. IK04

    IK04 Line Up and Wait

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    LNXGUY
    If you are in the center of SLC, then head on over to South Valley airport and ask around for information. Look up Cory Robin and see if he'll take for a ride...
     
  40. Mike Smith

    Mike Smith Pattern Altitude

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    Fresh Prince of PrattVegas
    You will find a variety of experiences here about training. I had a friend who was a PP, I asked him who his instructor was, got the number and called him up. He set me up with the FBO to rent an airplane. After a few lessons I was hooked. I was one of this who paid in advance to get a better rate. I trusted my instructor and he trusted the FBO, it worked out great for me. Others have had different outcomes, beware. So pretty much each lesson I took had a ground lesson and a flight. Then a debrief and homework for the next lesson. It took me 8 months to go from zero hours to PPC. One instructor and one airplane. I had a great experience. That was four years ago, I met with him today to schedule my flight review. I hope it works out for you, good luck!