Training in advance?

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by Eli Musgrove, Oct 31, 2018.

  1. Eli Musgrove

    Eli Musgrove Filing Flight Plan

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    Hello,

    I am going to start sport pilot license training Summer 2019, and I want to work ahead if possible. Are there any good resources I could use to get a head start (free/paid), or things I could learn ahead of time?

    Thanks!
     
  2. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Head to www.faa.gov and look for the following two books (Free to download). Much of your book knowledge and much of your flight knowledge is contained there in.
    • Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge
    • Airplane Flying Handbook
    During this winter, find and join your local chapter of Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA). It is a good way to make some people networking connections and expand your list of useful resources.

    Find local pilots (where are you located anyway?) that are willing to take you flying. Just going on flights and experiencing what happens during flight can add context to what you are reading and training on.
     
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  3. Eli Musgrove

    Eli Musgrove Filing Flight Plan

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    Thanks! I am located in central Iowa. My choices were either a training in Ames or Boone, Iowa. Since I am first focusing on getting a sports license, I am considering Farnham Aviation out of Boone, Iowa. (The Ames training options didn't have any lightsport aircraft available to rent).
     
  4. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Out of curiosity, why sport pilot now versus full bore Private Pilot?
     
  5. Eli Musgrove

    Eli Musgrove Filing Flight Plan

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    I guess I want to find a good flight school I can trust before dropping 8-9Gs, but I still haven't fully decided what I want to do- the sport license seemed like a good introduction. I am a college student and don't have time to fly during the year, and I am also not sure if I would finish the license in time (length of summer).
     
  6. Kansas Flyer

    Kansas Flyer Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Assuming you can get a medical, you really should look at going private. You can do so much more with it and while I don't know for sure I would bet you won't save as much as you might think by going light sport.
     
  7. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Fortunately, you don't need to drop the complete money on the flight school all at once. It is totally normal to dole it out a bit at a time.

    What is also normal is for the school to offer a discount (often $5 to $10 per hour of airplane rental) if you fund an account with $500 to $1000 at a time. This is known as block time. Doing it this way can decrease the cost of training without risking the entire amount of training cash.

    What is ALWAYS a bad idea is paying for the entire amount of training up front. There are too many stories about schools going out of business, keeping all of the money paid in, and the students who paid that money being S.O.L.


    This is a cut and post of mine is regarding the financials of primary flight training for the private pilot's license (PPL). Hopefully it might help you get all the money you need ready so lack of funds isn't a reason you need to push the pause or stop button.

    PS, this is discussing starting from zero hours. With you already having some time in your book, your target dollar amount will likely be less than the $9000 I mention.


    One suggestion I like to make regarding the financials. 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.
    • 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.

    As a college student at this point in the year, you should still have the means and budget room to save up for PPL training via a plan like this. You may have to curtail any/all entertainment expenses, but it's doable.
     
  8. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    As Kansas Flyer posted, one of the first "milestones" for the Private Pilots License is obtaining your medical certification. It can also be one of the major "shoot yourself in the head" roadblocks if done wrong.

    So here is one of my cut and paste about obtaining the medical certification....



    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 of 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 information and documentation the FAA wants for the item(s) you marked "yes"

    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.

    If you do have an alcohol offense in your past, it is not a showstopper. But there will be some added steps to demonstrate to the FAA that you are worthy of the certificate in spite of alcohol being a part of your past life.

    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.
    _______________________________________

    I hope this helps. Do continue to ask questions as you think of them.
     
  9. brcase

    brcase Cleared for Takeoff

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    Figuring out where you want to do your training may dictate if you want to do Sport Pilot or Private Pilot.
    Some areas, Sport Pilot training just isn't available due to a lack of Sport Aircraft for rent, Or is prohibitively expensive.
    You might find it would cost the same to get your Private as it would to get you Sport Pilot, Just depends on what is available in your area.

    Once you are sure if you are doing Sport or private. You could order something like the ...
    Gleim Private Pilot Kit
    or
    Gleim Deluxe Private Pilot KIt
    https://www.gleimaviation.com/shop/ppkitso/

    or
    Gleim Sport Pilot Kit
    or
    Gleim Deluxe Sport Pilot Kit

    These are about the least expensive kits around that have every thing you need (minus Maps, Chart Supplement, and Headset)
    There is a slight chance the school you select will require or strongly recommend a more expensive (different brand) kit, but Most should accept this one.

    I think the main component is the FAA Test Prep Online they offer which allows you to study and take actual tests for the Knowledge test.
    You could potentially have the knowledge test completed before you ever start flight training.

    Brian
    CFIIG/ASEL
     
  10. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    @Eli Musgrove .... as a college aged person in today's world, there are three "common" items that should be "called out" to make sure they are and won't be a problem....
    1. Law enforcement activities involving alcohol or other controlled substances
    2. Inadvertent diagnosis of ADHD (as in, you did not or do not have it, but got tagged by parents or school officials or family doctor who didn't evaluate you properly.)
    3. Prescribed and consumed medications for depression and/or anxiety

    If any of these apply, DO NOT PROCEED to an FAA Aeromedical Examination.... There are things you need to learn and know to mitigate these situations so that you can increase your chances of being granted a medical certificate.
     
  11. Eli Musgrove

    Eli Musgrove Filing Flight Plan

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    Thank you for the information everyone! Medical tests won't be an issue- I wasn't and am not into partying or anything of the like... As for the budget, I am mostly prepared to begin this summer. I am working now, but would it be feasable to continue to work throughout the summer part-time (maybe 20-30 hrs) and still finish the license by the beginning of the next term (about 3 months of time overall)? I am very lucky to have amazing scholarships, this is the only reason I am able to consider getting the license. From what everyone is saying, the private license seems like the way to go, although the estimates I'm seeing from multiple area schools are well below $9,000 (obviously they are showing favorable data rather than actual number of hours, etc..). Thanks again for the advice!
     
  12. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    $9,000 is sort of an average across the land. Some regions and schools, it can be much more. That you were told less in your area is a good start.

    However, keep in mind that what your were quoted min be slightly misleading. For Part 61 schools (which many are) the minimum number of flight hours before you can go for your checkride is 40. So often the schools base their quoted price from this.

    The "other shoe" they often don't elaborate on is that doing it in 40-45 hours is pretty uncommon. The national average to get your private pilot license is more like 55-60 hours. And there may be many ground training hours beyond what was included in the quotation you got.

    All that adds up and can push he total closer to the $9,000 mark.

    With all that said, here are many good ways to try to keep the costs within reason and not blow the budget. Being well prepared for your lesson and training two or three times a week are two of them.

    Another is try not to get caught up in all of the gadgets. A few items are essential, but items like the anodized metal landing calculator are not. You will need some flightline, but that can be purchased in bulk for a big savings.

    Keep asking questions as you think of them.
     
  13. DonJinIA

    DonJinIA Filing Flight Plan

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    Hi Eli,
    I'm located in NW Iowa and back in September, decided I wanted to get a Sport Pilot License also.
    Looking around at the cost and after speaking to the local airport manager (he's a Sport Pilot Instructor), I decided to go the private pilot route.
    A little more cost but I realized that if I achieved my Sport Pilot Certificate, I would want to advance to Private Pilot, so I might as well save money and go the PPL route right away.
    I purchased the "King School" ground school course and seems to be working well for me. This saved me a little money versus going to a ground school course at a flight school.
    Also, I've learned, it does pay to shop around for instruction. Prices can vary quite a bit but the old adage "you get what you pay for" can definitely apply here too.
    Whatever you do, don't rush it and enjoy the journey.

    Good Luck,
    Don
     
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  14. Eli Musgrove

    Eli Musgrove Filing Flight Plan

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    Thanks for the info!

    If I pass the FAA information test, which I could do completely before I even start flight training, would I only be left with getting the required number of hours and passing the flight test? It seems like there would be a good amount of savings ($50 per hours for ground school near me)
     
  15. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    In theory, yes. But it's often advised to get a few flight hours in your book before doing the test. There a many knowledge items that won't make much sense until you experience their context.
     
  16. Eli Musgrove

    Eli Musgrove Filing Flight Plan

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    Ok, makes sense. From the research I am doing, it seems like King Ground Schools and Gold Seal are the top 2. I spoke with the best local flight school and they recommended Jeppeson (Jepp Direct), so I am leaning toward them. They use their curriculum in their ground school, so it would help to maintain continuity. I suppose if I complete the ground school I can wait a few flight lessons in then take the oral and written test. I'm assuming that's only in-person. Thanks again for all the help!
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2018
  17. Kansas Flyer

    Kansas Flyer Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Yes, the written will be in person. The oral will be part of your checkride.

    Honestly you don't really need to purchase a formal ground school program. Like AggieMike said, you can get everything you need right off the FAA's website for free. This is what I used and I also scheduled a couple of ground sessions with my instructor during training to clear up areas that I had questions about.
     
  18. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Small clarification....

    Written test is first, and can be done before flight training starts or during flight training (recommended). An instructors sign off (called an endorsement) is required before you can take the exam. The exam itself is taken at a testing center, usually and often at a flight school), and is a multiple choice test done at a computer.

    The oral exam is part of the checkride process, and can only be scheduled once flight training is complete and your instructor says you are ready for the exam. Multiple endorsements are done by your instructor saying you have completed the required items, and the exam is scheduled with a Designated Pilot Examiner, or DPE. The DPE is usually an extremely experienced pilot and instructor who himself has gone through lots of training to become an examiner. The checkride will consist of an oral knowledge exam and then a flight demonstrating the flying skills you have learned.
     
  19. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The Jeppessen private pilot ground school is very thorough, but very, very dry. Try to get a sample before you purchase.

    In my opinion, many of the other products out there, including those you mentioned, better fit the learning styles of today's students. All have the same material, especially the free FAA books. The difference is the writing style, organization, and presentation.

    Since there is no "every student learns the same way" method of learning, neither is there a "only one way of teaching this material". You need to evaluate each of the offerings to see which one best fits the way you learn best.

    Me, I do well with a mix of video, reading, and classroom lead instruction.

    Again, try to obtain samples of the ones you are evaluating before purchasing.
     
  20. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    PS. With King Schools, you can build a drinking game out of John King's bald spot growing and shrinking between video segwments. And then there is Martha and her hairstyle.

    But even with the good natured grief the Pilot world gives them, their method was effective for me
     
  21. Eli Musgrove

    Eli Musgrove Filing Flight Plan

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    I watched about an hour of their older DVDs online and I can definitely agree with that...

    I saw their introduction video and it is definitely meme quality ;) If I had to choose among the packages (https://www.kingschools.com/ground-school/private-pilot/courses), it seems like only the written preparation would be necessary.
     
  22. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    And for where you are now, I agree. Your instructor will help set you up for checkride success when that time happens.
     
  23. Doug F

    Doug F Pre-takeoff checklist

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    That '20 hour' thing? Nope unless you move into the flight school, fly every day, and push like hell. I was probably ready for the practical at between 40 and 50 hours but got screwed up with weather multiple times and ended up with nearly 100 before I passed the check ride. (fair disclosure: I'm officially an old fart at 64 so YMMV you young whipper snapper!).
    You can start sport and, if you find you're whipping through the syllabus, just switch to PP.
    I'm happy with sport. It has everything I want and need in flying so I'm not looking to go PP. PP adds options I don't need (night/instruments/more passengers).
    Best of luck.
     
  24. DonJinIA

    DonJinIA Filing Flight Plan

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    My original plan was to 1) Get my class III medical "done". 2) Do ground school online and take the written (almost ready for the test). 3) Start flight instruction.
    I feel I'll be ready to test in a few weeks, so I'm probably going to get started on flight instruction.
    As several people stated above, I think a few flying lessons will help me to do better on the knowledge exam.
     
  25. Doug F

    Doug F Pre-takeoff checklist

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    2) Do ground school on line
    2a) Get a CFI endorsement to take the written
    2b) Take the written
    Can't take the test without an endorsement in your log book.
     
  26. DonJinIA

    DonJinIA Filing Flight Plan

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    When you complete the practice exams on the "King School Course" you receive CFI endorsement from John King.
     
  27. Doug F

    Doug F Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Ahhh...that makes sense. I took the course, printed out the completioin certificate, showed it to my CFI, he seemed unclear about its intent, and then he put an endorsement in my log book. I kept the printed cert but the DPE only looked at the log book endorsement.
     
  28. Cici

    Cici Pre-Flight

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    Sportys is another excellent option. Many say it is dry, but the information is there and the graphics are better than the kings. It is also cheaper and they have the interactive ACS that I appreciated during checkride prep.
     
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