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Private pilot check ride!

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It wasn't pretty, but I passed today. The wind was brutal over the Chicago area, 240@14G22 when we took off in the early afternoon--quite a lot for a novice pilot in a Cessna. I thought beforehand that I must be crazy to go through with it. But go through with it I did. I definitely broke a sweat on the soft and short-field landings. If anyone is familiar with Palwaukee (PWK), you probably know there always turbulence as you cross over the trees on short-final to runway 24, even with moderate wind. Fortunately the inspector was very fair and took conditions into account.Actually, although the experience was nerve-racking, it was also kind of fun. The inspector is a captain for a major airline, and I think I learned a lot just from talking with him and noticing what he noticed. We had a great conversation afterwards. I told my wife beforehand that pass or fail, I would almost be willing to pay the fee just for the experience of sharing the cabin of a small plane with an airline pilot.Anyway, I'm elated. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to find a second job to pay for all this!

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<240@14G22>You done good... real good.Congrats :-beerchug

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Way to go! Now you have a license to learn. A good DE can, and should, make a checkride a learning experience. The one I flew with a couple of times was a WW II B-17 pilot, a former airline pilot, etc., etc. During my PPL ride, he showed me a better way to do steep turns and asked me to let him make a landing since he hadn't landed a C152 in a while. I found out later that he prided himself on being able to tell if a candidate was going to pass by the time they had climbed out of the pattern. Then the rest of the ride was used to impart his wisdom.

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Congratulations!Welcome to the club, fellow birdman. Give yourself a pat on the back you have accomplished something few others even dare to try.Enjoy your new found freedom and continue to climb the ratings ladder when able, you

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I'm 31 years old, I work as Engineering manager for a fortune 500 company but I always dreamed been a pilot. I have simmed for almost 17 years (My first Flight Simulator was on a IBM PC Jr machine) I don't remember the version (I think it was version 2.0) but i'm considering on getting my PPL. I just don't know aproximately how much it will cost me. I consider myself a hard core simmer.. ya know, the 747-200, Iron Knuckles, 727 no FMC type of guy. But I learned PSS Airbus and PIC767 systems almost completely just for the satisfaction on knowning how to fly them. I don't think learning would be a problem. But cost is my main concern. Can somedoby give me rought estimates on how much will it cost me to get a PPL? including ground school, flying time, books and whatever is required? thanks,

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To tell you the truth, I'm curious about that myself. It's been a few thousand dollars since I last dared to tally it up. As soon as the success buzz starts to wear off, I am going to sit down and figure out just how much it has cost when you figure everything in--books, equipment, instructor's fees and plane rental, gas and mileage on the car. Pointless even to estimate the time invested.One thing I have been curious to know is whether it would eventually cost more to take the incremental approach as I did, building up hour by hour over seven months as time permitted, or enroll in some set program like American Flyers advertises. Any thoughts?

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bojote,If you have always wanted to be a pilot you should pursue it. I have wanted to be an airline pilot for a few years and I have always obsessed over the 747-400. I too am an engineer (electrical) and started taking PPL lessons last August. I lost my job in September and started to realize how miserable I was working as an engineer (only 3 years though at this profession) so I made the decision to make a career change. I am starting at Comair Aviation Academy in February. Some people say I am nuts and others think it great. Personally, I don't care because I have never been so excited to do something in my life and I 2 years from now I will be an FO for a regional flying either an ERJ or CRJ. I am keeping my fingers crossed!!!

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The final cost will depend on a few variables.1. The type of aircraft you choose to fly. Depending on how big you are you may not have a choice, but as an example learning in a 150 Vs A 172 or a PA-161 is about $30 cheaper per hour.2. How much effort you can put into it and how often you can fly. On average people who attack the training as full time as possible will get their PPL with much less time. If you can only fly every week or two you will spend much of each flight reviewing rather than getting on to new material.3. Individual aptitude for flying. Go take an intro flight or two and see how you take to it. (Maybe you have already).Also every school or FBO has slightly different rates, but in general it will cost you between say $4500 & $6500 if you keep at it flying a few times a week or more. These are rough estimates but most folks will fall into this range. I know folks who have done it for less as well as a whole lot more! Basic Break Down:Aircraft Rental- Low $40's to $70's on average per hour for a typical trainer wet (no other costs like fuel) If you train part 61 the bare minimum is 40hrs before you can even take the test, but the national average is 50-70 hrs last time I checked.CFI- As low as $20 and can be above $40 per hour for all of the duel training. You will probably have 30+/- hours duel. $15-$20hr for any ground trainingHead Set- Buy something good that will last and protect your ears as much as possible like some David Clark 13.4's or the like. $250-$350. Books- I would recommend the Jeppesen private pilot kit, which has just about all of the texts and study materials you will need. There are a few versions, but a fairly complete one is about $150 Throw in another $100 or $200 for a few other books, odds and ends, and a flight computer.Medical- You need a Third Class Medical from an FAA Authorized physician which also doubles as your student pilot certificate once endorsed by your instructor. Should be around $75 but it varies.Written Exam- About $75 for a LazerGrade or similar testCheckride- Up to $300 for the big day.Thats a quick and dirty break down. Again much depends on you and what pace you train at. If you have the option consider training full time and getting it done in 4-6 weeks. Plus you can easily home study for the private pilot written exam.aca_dia (Comercial single/multi, Instrument, & CFI)feel free to email me if I can give you more specificsaca_dia@yahoo.com

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I don't see how it would be possible to stay in the $4500-$6500 range, at least here in the Chicago area. Maybe other places are cheaper. I spent considerably more than that.

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"I am starting at Comair Aviation Academy in February. Some people say I am nuts and others think it great."This is the perfect time to begin training for an airline career. The airline biz is cyclical and parallels the economy. You need to train when the cycle is low so that you will be ready for the inevitable upswing that follows. Do not let people discourage you.Good luck to you.Tim13

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Hello Bojote,Flight training is quite expensive but you are lucky to be able to do it in the USA.A PPL license in Israel is 3 times more expensive (on average), the curriculum is based on the British program (a legacy from the past ?) - You need to pass 7 theory exams (each involving around 60 questions) and 2 practical tests.The ground school takes around a year to complete ( Radio-Telephone license included ).The examiners are generally former fighter pilots who work as airline captains - needless to say that their standards are extremely high...On average, a student needs around 80 hours of instruction (in the air) due in part to the complexity of the local airspace (extremely congested).So, as you can easily understand, expensive is a relative term...Many people go to the US for flight training because it is comparatively cheap and fast...Good luck with your training !Twister

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Arthur,Godspeed. Maybe I'll hear your voice from the cabin as one of your passengers. Press.Dave Vega

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Cost me about 5500 GBP all in in the UK (50 hours at 100 pounds per hour and 500 for the rest of the stuff). That was fairly cheap, as I learned at a small place with no landing fees.Richard

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Well, I guess i'm lucky. i've been living in the US for two years now (I'm originally from Venezuela) here in Miami there's lot of oportunities to get the PPL. But I was under the impression it was extremely expensive. Besides, I consider myself old for flight training. I guess my dream of become Airline pilot is something out of reach now i'm 31, so what's left is earn enough money to get my PPL, ATP, buy a used 727 and have my own transport. The good thing is that I have a clear objective: To earn enough money in my new business venture so I can train to be a pilot and buy me a big airplane ;) life is wonderfull when you have something difficult but achivable to pursue.Thanks guys for you answers.

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I got my PPL in 1990 and I think it was around $3000.00Did it at a nice school in florida :>)

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"I don't see how it would be possible to stay in the $4500-$6500 range, at least here in the Chicago area. Maybe other places are cheaper. I spent considerably more than that."Like I said it depends on many variables and I know many people who have spent 10K on private training. BUT!If you go about it in a way that lets you fly frequently and you are a good student thats about what it should cost. Example for a person who has to use a 172 or a PA-161 type aircraft that costs in the $70 per hour range (so the high end... yeah you can pay $120hr if you want but most folks dont). 60hrs C-172 @ $70hr = $420030hrs Duel @ $30hr= $900 (30 hours is generous for many students)20hrs Ground @ $15hr= $300 (Again an estimate most of my students have less)Medical= $75Written FAA= $75Checkride= $300 (Frequently less, but thats the high end)Headset= $300 (David Clark H10 13.4 as an example)Books= $145 (Jeppesen Deluxe Private Kit)All that is $6295. Several of my students now are training in a C150 or a flying club C172 that is $42hr so take $1680 off of the rental for them and they are down around $4600.If you only fly now and then and need more duel and rental time then yup the cost goes up. So if you are at the high end of total time before the checkride like 80 hrs in a 172 you are now in the $7500 range, but if you were in a 150 you would still be under $6000.All depends on you! This is all based on average costs in the U.S.

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Hi Bojote,You have a lot of ambition - that's a good thing - so good luck with your "727" project...You know, flying GA aircraft just for pleasure is a fine thing in itself, quite satisfying I can assure you...(not that I want to discourage you or anything...LOL)Take careTwister

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Hi Shay,My brother got his PPL in California (he lives there) and according to my calculations, it cost him roughly a third of what I paid in Israel.Of course, there are some really gifted students who manage to make it under 50 hours (I don't know anybody that falls into this category...)If you add all the expenses (books, theory + Radio Telephone courses , flight instruction, equipment, fees for exams, etc..)you will be close to 85,000 NIS ( based on a average of 80 hours of flight instruction).I live in Zichron Yaakov (5 minutes from Pardes Hannah) so you are welcome to contact me (6293108).By the way, I began my flight training in Haifa (Golden Wings) and later moved to Megiddo.Good luckTwister

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Good for you, now the fun continues. On the second job, I understand that, it's very pricey doing all this stuff, especially if you decide to quit renting and buy your own aircraft. There's nothing like being able to go grab your airplane and launch out to where ever for that $150 hamberger or for that trip to see friends and relatives. Blue skies and tailwinds, but when you get your instrument ticket, it's really a much better "ballgame" and tons of fun flying in IMC.

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Interesting. If those are national averages then prices in my area must be on the high side. I haven't seen 172s or Cherokees for rent anywhere in the Chicago area for much below $100 an hour. If anyone is aware of them, please let me know since I am on the lookout for an affordable place to rent, preferably out of the south suburbs. Also, instructor fees seem to run higher here. I paid about a third more for dual than the number you quoted. When I was shopping around I noticed that instructor fees varied from school to school. Some were slightly lower than what I paid--some were higher, too--but nowhere did I find that magic combination of low instructor fees and low rental charges. I settled on a place that had slightly higher instructor fees but slightly lower plane rental charges. However that entailed a considerable drive, so I must figure in gas and mileage on my car among the hidden charges of the adventure. When I get up the nerve, I am going to sit down with a calculator, logbooks, receipts, etc. and try to figure the total cost of my certificate. I am assuming it will be closer to 10K.In what part of the country do you instruct?

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I admire your courage. Robert Randazzo of PMDG has written a number of good threads entitled "the life" in which he talks a lot about making a similar decision to the one you made. Interesting reading and I am sure you will find them affirming.Best of luck. Colin

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