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gman!

Learning to Fly

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As you may now, I love aviation a lot and am now I flight sim addict :(, learning various things when I can through the library and internet. I'm highly considering become a pilot (possibly cargo) and after high school, I want to go straight to a flight school to earn my PPL. I have heard that you can get your PPL at your own pace, for example if you are a fast learner and you have probably studied, or knew a lot about aviation before, there is a chance you can get your PPL in 20-30 days (since you need 45 hours), and some people that need to learn at their own pace (I wont call them slow :() may take 6 months. Now, do you think the best thing to do is to go to a flight school after high school?

  1. Should I find a local community college, and get some education somewhere in aviation, or something else I'm good at such as aviation technology, or programming to add to my resume?
  2. Would any education (as in college) in addition to a high school diploma and good grades (3.5+ GPA) make finding a job in the airline business much easier, or will it be the same if I go to flight school or an academy after high school (With a 3.5 or higher, right now I'm at a 3.6 and still have my senior year to go) and build many hours before going commercial.
  3. What licenses, certifications do you need before you can get a job flying planes such as banner towing (to build hours and pay for training). I heard someone say here (2nd post) that they only payed about 20,000 dollars in training, how is this possible? (In terms of what license/training you need). Do you just need your PPL and CPL or do you also need IFR and Multi? I just need right combination to make it cheap, and so airlines would not mark me as the last/low consideration.
  4. What are the jobs you can get other than CFI after training to build hours? I have heard that banner towing can give you hours, but not what airlines are exactly looking for because its usually in VFR conditions. I live in Northern VA and I know banner towing is probably not anything you find in this area unless its spring or summer.
  5. When you finish building up hours weather it be CFI or something else, and want to be a cargo pilot, do you start off flying passengers, or could you possibly fly cargo in a 208? I'm asking because the first year salary for cargo pilots is often a lot higher, and I heard that the co-pilot of the plane that crashed in Buffalo, NY last year was only payed $16,000 a year. I love the job, but I don't think I would want to start of that low if I was paying for my own training.
  6. I'm assuming a cargo pilot safer in terms of threats?
  7. How long does training take from PPL, in the shortest time, all the way to your first job where you get to fly? (With enough experience, studying and/or hours to be a good pilot of course :smile)
  8. With what I know right now (ask me any questions about my knowledge if you must :() and flying in flight simulator (Actually learning... not flying F16s not even knowing how lift or control surfaces work) would that make flight training any cheaper?
  9. Would I be better off joining the Civil Air Patrol's Cadet program. If I interpreted the data correctly, its only 61 dollars correct... and you would get free flight training in return to service for you country? (and for aspiring pilots, I mean service as in looking for an ELT (Emergency Locator Transmitter) on a flight that has gone down, or disaster relief for example, not going to Iraq! B). Look here for more info).I'm very interested in this because it says that you can meet for 2 1/2 hours each Saturday and in the summer there is even more to do, since school is closed.

You do not have to answer all if you don't know all. Thank you very much for the help, and to other aspiring pilots good luck!! BTW, here are some ground school videos on vimeo, for all you people that want to fly, or like to simulate to the fullest. I find learning about these interesting.http://www.vimeo.com/user821005Here is some background information on what I know from flight sim, libraries, and the internet, in case you are wondering...

  • Taking off and Landing ofcourse
  • What the V-Speeds stand for (Vy-Best rate of climb, Vx-Best angle of climb, Vne-Never Exceed, V1, VR, V2, etc etc etc)
  • Interpreting weather. Exp reading weather charts from the NOAA AWC, reading METAR, PIREPS, TAFs
  • Tuning frequencies in the comms
  • Different Airspace Classes
  • Reading IAP charts (Minimum altitude for a NAVAID on approch, MAPs, how to follow radials, reading VFR sectionals.
  • Using radio navigation (VOR, NDB, DME) through the ADF and NAV radio. Intercepting VORs (via the CDI)
  • Instruemnts and interpreting the data on them (Airspeed Indicator, Attitude Indicator, Altitude Indicator, HSI, Magnetic Compass, Turn Indicator, VSI, RMI, CDITachometer, also instruments on complex aircraft such as manifold pressure indicator, etc etc etc)
  • How to cruise properly (using the POH ofcourse) using manifold pressure and prop pitch to adjust RPM
  • Various things on complex aircraft such as what to do after V1, how to fly with an engine out, how to cruise properly ^
  • How control surfaces (ailerons, elevators, rudder, flaps) work, how high and low pressure between the surfaces can cause a plane to turn, to climb, descend, etc.
  • Flight rules such as RVSM, flying even altitudes when flying west, and odd when flying east, IFR and VFR rules (generally 500 below, 1,000 above, 1,000 horizontal, depends on airspace class)
  • Plan a flight depending on flight rules, including using victor and jet airways. (Weather avoidance)
  • ATC phraseology ("Some airport delivery Cessna N123 Alpha-Bravo ready to copy clearance to some airport. Cessna 123AB cleared to Some airport via the ** departure, radar vectors ABC via x radial, climb and maintain 1,000 initially, expect 8,000 in n mins, departure is on 123.45, squawk 7700 (B)). Cessna 123AB Readback correct, expect xx for departure, contact ground when ready to taxi. Ground Cessna N123AB ready to taxi with Alpha. Taxi via A,A1,B,B2 Cessna 123AB. Tower, Cessna 123AB holding short of 01R, ready for takeoff. Switching to departure, good day. Departure Cessna N123AB is out of 1,000 for 8,000. N123AB fly direct ABC, proceed en-course. Contact center blah blah blah, App Cessna 123AB with you on the xx Arrival... D/M 5,000 Cessna 123AB. Fly HDG 240, D/M 2,700 until intercept the localizer, contact tower on 123.85 Cessna123AB... Tower blah is 10nm inbound ILS 01L approach. Blah,cleared straight in, RWY 01L. Cleared to land 01L, blah blah blah blaahhhhhhhhh")
  • How to make transmissions on CTAF (Some airport traffic, Cessna 123AB , departing 01, VFR to the North.)
  • Phonetic Alphabet
  • Performing ILS/LOC, VOR, Visual, RNAV(GPS) approaches whether in a steam gauge or glass panel (I'm not one of the people that only knows how tune and intercept the ILLS in a Boeing, but gets lost when asked to tune and intercept an ILS on a 172 or other steam gauge aircraft.
  • Basic IFR and VFR
  • Holding and their entries (teardrop, parallel, direct)
  • Crosswind Landing in Flight Sim (Crabbing, Slip)
  • Physics behind stalls and spins
  • How to recover from spins
  • and more...

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As you may now, I love aviation a lot and am now I flight sim addict :( , learning various things when I can through the library and internet. I'm highly considering become a pilot (possibly cargo) and after high school, I want to go straight to a flight school to earn my PPL. I have heard that you can get your PPL at your own pace, for example if you are a fast learner and you have probably studied, or knew a lot about aviation before, there is a chance you can get your PPL in 20-30 days (since you need 45 hours), and some people that need to learn at their own pace (I wont call them slow :( ) may take 6 months. Now, do you think the best thing to do is to go to a flight school after high school?
  1. Should I find a local community college, and get some education somewhere in aviation, or something else I'm good at such as aviation technology, or programming to add to my resume?
  2. Would any education (as in college) in addition to a high school diploma and good grades (3.5+ GPA) make finding a job in the airline business much easier, or will it be the same if I go to flight school or an academy after high school (With a 3.5 or higher, right now I'm at a 3.6 and still have my senior year to go) and build many hours before going commercial.
  3. What licenses, certifications do you need before you can get a job flying planes such as banner towing (to build hours and pay for training). I heard someone say here (2nd post) that they only payed about 20,000 dollars in training, how is this possible? (In terms of what license/training you need). Do you just need your PPL and CPL or do you also need IFR and Multi? I just need right combination to make it cheap, and so airlines would not mark me as the last/low consideration.
  4. What are the jobs you can get other than CFI after training to build hours? I have heard that banner towing can give you hours, but not what airlines are exactly looking for because its usually in VFR conditions. I live in Northern VA and I know banner towing is probably not anything you find in this area unless its spring or summer.
  5. When you finish building up hours weather it be CFI or something else, and want to be a cargo pilot, do you start off flying passengers, or could you possibly fly cargo in a 208? I'm asking because the first year salary for cargo pilots is often a lot higher, and I heard that the co-pilot of the plane that crashed in Buffalo, NY last year was only payed $16,000 a year. I love the job, but I don't think I would want to start of that low if I was paying for my own training.
  6. I'm assuming a cargo pilot safer in terms of threats?
  7. How long does training take from PPL, in the shortest time, all the way to your first job where you get to fly? (With enough experience, studying and/or hours to be a good pilot of course :smile)
  8. With what I know right now (ask me any questions about my knowledge if you must :( ) and flying in flight simulator (Actually learning... not flying F16s not even knowing how lift or control surfaces work) would that make flight training any cheaper?
  9. Would I be better off joining the Civil Air Patrol's Cadet program. If I interpreted the data correctly, its only 61 dollars correct... and you would get free flight training in return to service for you country? (and for aspiring pilots, I mean service as in looking for an ELT (Emergency Locator Transmitter) on a flight that has gone down, or disaster relief for example, not going to Iraq! B) . Look here for more info).I'm very interested in this because it says that you can meet for 2 1/2 hours each Saturday and in the summer there is even more to do, since school is closed.

You do not have to answer all if you don't know all. Thank you very much for the help, and to other aspiring pilots good luck!! BTW, here are some ground school videos on vimeo, for all you people that want to fly, or like to simulate to the fullest. I find learning about these interesting.http://www.vimeo.com/user821005Here is some background information on what I know from flight sim, libraries, and the internet, in case you are wondering...

  • Taking off and Landing ofcourse
  • What the V-Speeds stand for (Vy-Best rate of climb, Vx-Best angle of climb, Vne-Never Exceed, V1, VR, V2, etc etc etc)
  • Interpreting weather. Exp reading weather charts from the NOAA AWC, reading METAR, PIREPS, TAFs
  • Tuning frequencies in the comms
  • Different Airspace Classes
  • Reading IAP charts (Minimum altitude for a NAVAID on approch, MAPs, how to follow radials, reading VFR sectionals.
  • Using radio navigation (VOR, NDB, DME) through the ADF and NAV radio. Intercepting VORs (via the CDI)
  • Instruemnts and interpreting the data on them (Airspeed Indicator, Attitude Indicator, Altitude Indicator, HSI, Magnetic Compass, Turn Indicator, VSI, RMI, CDITachometer, also instruments on complex aircraft such as manifold pressure indicator, etc etc etc)
  • How to cruise properly (using the POH ofcourse) using manifold pressure and prop pitch to adjust RPM
  • Various things on complex aircraft such as what to do after V1, how to fly with an engine out, how to cruise properly ^
  • How control surfaces (ailerons, elevators, rudder, flaps) work, how high and low pressure between the surfaces can cause a plane to turn, to climb, descend, etc.
  • Flight rules such as RVSM, flying even altitudes when flying west, and odd when flying east, IFR and VFR rules (generally 500 below, 1,000 above, 1,000 horizontal, depends on airspace class)
  • Plan a flight depending on flight rules, including using victor and jet airways. (Weather avoidance)
  • ATC phraseology ("Some airport delivery Cessna N123 Alpha-Bravo ready to copy clearance to some airport. Cessna 123AB cleared to Some airport via the ** departure, radar vectors ABC via x radial, climb and maintain 1,000 initially, expect 8,000 in n mins, departure is on 123.45, squawk 7700 ( B) ). Cessna 123AB Readback correct, expect xx for departure, contact ground when ready to taxi. Ground Cessna N123AB ready to taxi with Alpha. Taxi via A,A1,B,B2 Cessna 123AB. Tower, Cessna 123AB holding short of 01R, ready for takeoff. Switching to departure, good day. Departure Cessna N123AB is out of 1,000 for 8,000. N123AB fly direct ABC, proceed en-course. Contact center blah blah blah, App Cessna 123AB with you on the xx Arrival... D/M 5,000 Cessna 123AB. Fly HDG 240, D/M 2,700 until intercept the localizer, contact tower on 123.85 Cessna123AB... Tower blah is 10nm inbound ILS 01L approach. Blah,cleared straight in, RWY 01L. Cleared to land 01L, blah blah blah blaahhhhhhhhh")
  • How to make transmissions on CTAF (Some airport traffic, Cessna 123AB , departing 01, VFR to the North.)
  • Phonetic Alphabet
  • Performing ILS/LOC, VOR, Visual, RNAV(GPS) approaches whether in a steam gauge or glass panel (I'm not one of the people that only knows how tune and intercept the ILLS in a Boeing, but gets lost when asked to tune and intercept an ILS on a 172 or other steam gauge aircraft.
  • Basic IFR and VFR
  • Holding and their entries (teardrop, parallel, direct)
  • Crosswind Landing in Flight Sim (Crabbing, Slip)
  • Physics behind stalls and spins
  • How to recover from spins
  • and more...

I'd suggest as a start number 9. You will probably be able to train on a brand new g1000 c182 for dirt cheap, do service to your country, get excellent instruction-an all win situation.

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I'd suggest as a start number 9. You will probably be able to train on a brand new g1000 c182 for dirt cheap, do service to your country, get excellent instruction-an all win situation.
Awesome, and do you think it would be cheap like only a couple hundred dollars or a couple thousand, and do you acquire enough hours to get your PPL? Thank you for responding :(

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Holyyy..... thank you, I'm gonna start saving 700 dollars now :(
Yep-flight training is not cheap but you won't find it cheaper in better aircraft than with Cap.

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gman, I tried to answer as many as I could based off my past and friends experiences. Answers in Red

  1. Would any education (as in college) in addition to a high school diploma and good grades (3.5+ GPA) make finding a job in the airline business much easier, or will it be the same if I go to flight school or an academy after high school (With a 3.5 or higher, right now I'm at a 3.6 and still have my senior year to go) and build many hours before going commercial. Degrees can assist you with some of the major/regional carriers but TBH the majority of regional's and smaller freight mainly care about total time PIC and total multi. Time requirements have dropped like ExpressJet picking up at 350TT, 50ME or Great Mistakes...sorry Great Lakes at 250TT, 25ME. Most regional/cargo airlines are in it for money and just need the nearest thing to a legal guy in the right seat. With that get a college education as something to fall back on. Aviation Sci programs are good (ERAU, UND, etc etc) but leave you little to fall on if you lose you medical or can't find a job flying. Engineering or even business is a good approach. If you want the Aviaition Science degree then look at a MBA after. But get the education to make you better not to get a flying gig. As for the community college route, I did it for two years before going to Riddle to save cash. Best thing I could have done. You normally won't get any better education with your basics at ERAU, UND, Kent as opposed to a community college. Some community colleges even offer associates in aviation. San Juan in Houston and a few others.
  2. What licenses, certifications do you need before you can get a job flying planes such as banner towing (to build hours and pay for training). I heard someone say here (2nd post) that they only payed about 20,000 dollars in training, how is this possible? (In terms of what license/training you need). Do you just need your PPL and CPL or do you also need IFR and Multi? I just need right combination to make it cheap, and so airlines would not mark me as the last/low consideration. Pretty much you will need a commercial. Most banner towing if you are brave enough don't require an instrument or ME. Skydiving is an excellent way to build time as is flight instruction. I would caution you not to look at "cheapest" way when it comes to aviation. It occasionally causes you to make mistakes or wrong choices. If you want to get your ratings in the least amount of time look at pt 141 schools as opposed to pt 61. You can get your commercial in around 190hrs as opposed to 250. 141 has its drawbacks since it is structured and requires stage checks. For the $20k kid, it depends on what school, equipment, and what ratings he had. He might have a Commercial SEL/CFI without an instrument rating or ME. If he learned at a school with cheap rates and used C152's then it is very possible. I went to a 141 school in Houston and did most of my private in the 152 before moving to the 172 during my instrument. Saved me a bundle. Cross countries in the 152 were awful so that was a motivating factor for me. I have two friends who fly for Skywest that did it that way. They got their Commercial/CFI in 152/172RG's without an instrument or ME. Then they instructed and used a portion of their pay to get discounted rates on the instrument and ME. But again I would greatly caution attempting to get your primary cheap and quick.
  3. What are the jobs you can get other than CFI after training to build hours? I have heard that banner towing can give you hours, but not what airlines are exactly looking for because its usually in VFR conditions. I live in Northern VA and I know banner towing is probably not anything you find in this area unless its spring or summer. Banner towing is not bad but not worth the risk IMO. Look at skydiver flying or aerial mapping. Aerial mapping was truly a godsend when I did it way back when. 8 to 10 hrs of flying a day and a bunch of IFR when moving to the next photo area. I did most of it at night to build my night TT. Look for companies that do surveying as you will fly grids with computer controlled camera systems in the back. Most of the guidance systems use a digital CDI that is as sensitive as a loc inside the OM. Look at Landcare out of New York. But be prepared to live out of a suitcase the whole season. Don't be as concerned over your VFR time as actual IFR can be difficult to find. Most newbie right seaters have barely enough actual to get themselves scared.
  4. When you finish building up hours weather it be CFI or something else, and want to be a cargo pilot, do you start off flying passengers, or could you possibly fly cargo in a 208? I'm asking because the first year salary for cargo pilots is often a lot higher, and I heard that the co-pilot of the plane that crashed in Buffalo, NY last year was only payed $16,000 a year. I love the job, but I don't think I would want to start of that low if I was paying for my own training. 208 FO gigs don't really exist so you will have to have pt 135 mins in order to get that job. So a few years instructing or flying mapping. As for salary it will suck royally for years. Poverty line is what most new hires live at for at least 2 years. Most airlines / cargo at $12-16 an hour with 75 hrs guaranteed and 75 reserve. So yeah $16k is about right for regionals. Now imagine 4 years of Riddle tuition with flying and making $16-28k. It is the old pay your dues and has been a part of aviation since the beginning. Good news is most of those regionals bump you to $35-40k after two years. Cargo drivers get more but have a harder time. Most new pilots get a crash pad near the base to save cash. Normally it is 4-6 pilots in a 2 bedroom apartment. Flying won't make you rich for a long time if ever. You do it because you love it. My 727 IP said it best, if you want to be a commerical pilot be prep'd to be furloughed 2 times, be divorced 2 times, and bankrupt 2 times before you get it right. Getting it right was finding a four stripe gig that makes you happy. Not chasing the money or iron. A side note on cargo. There are several companies (Berry Air, Keylime) that offer pay to play FO programs. Try to avoid these like the plague. When you go for your first airline interview you might need to answer a question of it. With that Berry does hire FO's, just avoid the pay to play programs. AirNet had a great FO program in the past.
  5. I'm assuming a cargo pilot safer in terms of threats? Depends what you mean by threats. If you mean terrorist's don't use that fear to determine what/who you fly for. If you mean the safety of flying then they all have their issues. Cargo has bigger safety concerns then pax IMO. You truly never know what is in the ULD/Dem and the flying is mainly night IMC.
  6. How long does training take from PPL, in the shortest time, all the way to your first job where you get to fly? (With enough experience, studying and/or hours to be a good pilot of course :smile) That is impossible to answer. You can go to pilot mill route (ComAir academy, ATP, etc) and be out in 6 months or so. However those programs have disadvantages as well. I wouldn't rush your flying or chose a school because of a guarantee you will be done in X days. That could leave yourself open for frustration or not getting the best education. Instead find a flight schools that runs good equipment, is honest about time (avg PPL is 55-70 hrs), honest about price and most of all you enjoy being there.
  7. With what I know right now (ask me any questions about my knowledge if you must :( ) and flying in flight simulator (Actually learning... not flying F16s not even knowing how lift or control surfaces work) would that make flight training any cheaper? Again you won't know until get there. Flight sims are great learning tools and it helped me with IFR skills, especially with NDB's. However, even if you rock at all things flight simulator doing it in a real aircraft is completely different.
  8. Would I be better off joining the Civil Air Patrol's Cadet program. If I interpreted the data correctly, its only 61 dollars correct... and you would get free flight training in return to service for you country? (and for aspiring pilots, I mean service as in looking for an ELT (Emergency Locator Transmitter) on a flight that has gone down, or disaster relief for example, not going to Iraq! :( . Look here for more info).I'm very interested in this because it says that you can meet for 2 1/2 hours each Saturday and in the summer there is even more to do, since school is closed. Can't really comment on CAP since I was never in it. I can only say I have heard 50/50 on their program. Most of it depends on your wing.

One of the biggest things that helped me during my primary in HS was being a ramp rat. I worked on the airport fueling and moving aircraft I got to meet a bunch of nice pilots. In turn I not only used that money to pay for flying I also got discounts at my flight school since they could see I just wanted to be around aircraft. After I got my ME I snagged numerous FO pt 91 flights in BE200 and Westwind's. Since you are in HS try getting a gig as a ramper at your local FBO. Especially if that FBO has a school or charter division. Hope that helped!

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gman, I tried to answer as many as I could based off my past and friends experiences. Answers in Red
  1. Would any education (as in college) in addition to a high school diploma and good grades (3.5+ GPA) make finding a job in the airline business much easier, or will it be the same if I go to flight school or an academy after high school (With a 3.5 or higher, right now I'm at a 3.6 and still have my senior year to go) and build many hours before going commercial. Degrees can assist you with some of the major/regional carriers but TBH the majority of regional's and smaller freight mainly care about total time PIC and total multi. Time requirements have dropped like ExpressJet picking up at 350TT, 50ME or Great Mistakes...sorry Great Lakes at 250TT, 25ME. Most regional/cargo airlines are in it for money and just need the nearest thing to a legal guy in the right seat. With that get a college education as something to fall back on. Aviation Sci programs are good (ERAU, UND, etc etc) but leave you little to fall on if you lose you medical or can't find a job flying. Engineering or even business is a good approach. If you want the Aviaition Science degree then look at a MBA after. But get the education to make you better not to get a flying gig. As for the community college route, I did it for two years before going to Riddle to save cash. Best thing I could have done. You normally won't get any better education with your basics at ERAU, UND, Kent as opposed to a community college. Some community colleges even offer associates in aviation. San Juan in Houston and a few others.
  2. What licenses, certifications do you need before you can get a job flying planes such as banner towing (to build hours and pay for training). I heard someone say here (2nd post) that they only payed about 20,000 dollars in training, how is this possible? (In terms of what license/training you need). Do you just need your PPL and CPL or do you also need IFR and Multi? I just need right combination to make it cheap, and so airlines would not mark me as the last/low consideration. Pretty much you will need a commercial. Most banner towing if you are brave enough don't require an instrument or ME. Skydiving is an excellent way to build time as is flight instruction. I would caution you not to look at "cheapest" way when it comes to aviation. It occasionally causes you to make mistakes or wrong choices. If you want to get your ratings in the least amount of time look at pt 141 schools as opposed to pt 61. You can get your commercial in around 190hrs as opposed to 250. 141 has its drawbacks since it is structured and requires stage checks. For the $20k kid, it depends on what school, equipment, and what ratings he had. He might have a Commercial SEL/CFI without an instrument rating or ME. If he learned at a school with cheap rates and used C152's then it is very possible. I went to a 141 school in Houston and did most of my private in the 152 before moving to the 172 during my instrument. Saved me a bundle. Cross countries in the 152 were awful so that was a motivating factor for me. I have two friends who fly for Skywest that did it that way. They got their Commercial/CFI in 152/172RG's without an instrument or ME. Then they instructed and used a portion of their pay to get discounted rates on the instrument and ME. But again I would greatly caution attempting to get your primary cheap and quick.
  3. What are the jobs you can get other than CFI after training to build hours? I have heard that banner towing can give you hours, but not what airlines are exactly looking for because its usually in VFR conditions. I live in Northern VA and I know banner towing is probably not anything you find in this area unless its spring or summer. Banner towing is not bad but not worth the risk IMO. Look at skydiver flying or aerial mapping. Aerial mapping was truly a godsend when I did it way back when. 8 to 10 hrs of flying a day and a bunch of IFR when moving to the next photo area. I did most of it at night to build my night TT. Look for companies that do surveying as you will fly grids with computer controlled camera systems in the back. Most of the guidance systems use a digital CDI that is as sensitive as a loc inside the OM. Look at Landcare out of New York. But be prepared to live out of a suitcase the whole season. Don't be as concerned over your VFR time as actual IFR can be difficult to find. Most newbie right seaters have barely enough actual to get themselves scared.
  4. When you finish building up hours weather it be CFI or something else, and want to be a cargo pilot, do you start off flying passengers, or could you possibly fly cargo in a 208? I'm asking because the first year salary for cargo pilots is often a lot higher, and I heard that the co-pilot of the plane that crashed in Buffalo, NY last year was only payed $16,000 a year. I love the job, but I don't think I would want to start of that low if I was paying for my own training. 208 FO gigs don't really exist so you will have to have pt 135 mins in order to get that job. So a few years instructing or flying mapping. As for salary it will suck royally for years. Poverty line is what most new hires live at for at least 2 years. Most airlines / cargo at $12-16 an hour with 75 hrs guaranteed and 75 reserve. So yeah $16k is about right for regionals. Now imagine 4 years of Riddle tuition with flying and making $16-28k. It is the old pay your dues and has been a part of aviation since the beginning. Good news is most of those regionals bump you to $35-40k after two years. Cargo drivers get more but have a harder time. Most new pilots get a crash pad near the base to save cash. Normally it is 4-6 pilots in a 2 bedroom apartment. Flying won't make you rich for a long time if ever. You do it because you love it. My 727 IP said it best, if you want to be a commerical pilot be prep'd to be furloughed 2 times, be divorced 2 times, and bankrupt 2 times before you get it right. Getting it right was finding a four stripe gig that makes you happy. Not chasing the money or iron. A side note on cargo. There are several companies (Berry Air, Keylime) that offer pay to play FO programs. Try to avoid these like the plague. When you go for your first airline interview you might need to answer a question of it. With that Berry does hire FO's, just avoid the pay to play programs. AirNet had a great FO program in the past.
  5. I'm assuming a cargo pilot safer in terms of threats? Depends what you mean by threats. If you mean terrorist's don't use that fear to determine what/who you fly for. If you mean the safety of flying then they all have their issues. Cargo has bigger safety concerns then pax IMO. You truly never know what is in the ULD/Dem and the flying is mainly night IMC.
  6. How long does training take from PPL, in the shortest time, all the way to your first job where you get to fly? (With enough experience, studying and/or hours to be a good pilot of course :smile) That is impossible to answer. You can go to pilot mill route (ComAir academy, ATP, etc) and be out in 6 months or so. However those programs have disadvantages as well. I wouldn't rush your flying or chose a school because of a guarantee you will be done in X days. That could leave yourself open for frustration or not getting the best education. Instead find a flight schools that runs good equipment, is honest about time (avg PPL is 55-70 hrs), honest about price and most of all you enjoy being there.
  7. With what I know right now (ask me any questions about my knowledge if you must :( ) and flying in flight simulator (Actually learning... not flying F16s not even knowing how lift or control surfaces work) would that make flight training any cheaper? Again you won't know until get there. Flight sims are great learning tools and it helped me with IFR skills, especially with NDB's. However, even if you rock at all things flight simulator doing it in a real aircraft is completely different.
  8. Would I be better off joining the Civil Air Patrol's Cadet program. If I interpreted the data correctly, its only 61 dollars correct... and you would get free flight training in return to service for you country? (and for aspiring pilots, I mean service as in looking for an ELT (Emergency Locator Transmitter) on a flight that has gone down, or disaster relief for example, not going to Iraq! :( . Look here for more info).I'm very interested in this because it says that you can meet for 2 1/2 hours each Saturday and in the summer there is even more to do, since school is closed. Can't really comment on CAP since I was never in it. I can only say I have heard 50/50 on their program. Most of it depends on your wing.

One of the biggest things that helped me during my primary in HS was being a ramp rat. I worked on the airport fueling and moving aircraft I got to meet a bunch of nice pilots. In turn I not only used that money to pay for flying I also got discounts at my flight school since they could see I just wanted to be around aircraft. After I got my ME I snagged numerous FO pt 91 flights in BE200 and Westwind's. Since you are in HS try getting a gig as a ramper at your local FBO. Especially if that FBO has a school or charter division. Hope that helped!

That helped tremendous amounts thank you very much. I was considering a summer job to pay for training, while doing flight training around that time as well (Flight training here is usually done in the spring/summer, because of weather, and around the end of summer it gets so hot, it could affect aircraft performance greatly). After much consideration though, I think I may be going with something in computer science or programming. Piloting was not like it once was. Don't get me wrong everyone, I would love to have a cockpit as my office, but with the times, inflation of money and jobs in aviation, the pay is low (no offense to you pilots) and it takes a couple of years, and a lot of money spent in training to climb higher in the ladder. Airline pilot was my 2nd plan, but the job is neglected by America (Government, Airlines, and people), and the CEOs of airlines seem to be just a bunch of greedy, selfish people. Before in the late 1900s, pilots we're paid considerably more, and even if there were less pilots that could fly the glorified glass cockpits, the regional airlines also paid much more. I'm not sure if it is just America lately, but it seems many dreams have been broken lately since the early 2000s. Everyone has forgotten that to keep the economy up, sometimes you have to pay the price, and save when you can... being smart with your money. Now everyone is reluctant when it comes to spending money, and expect everything at a cheap price... If everything was cheap as dirt, how would you expect to make money at your job? Just a question I think more Americans should consider, because I feel that outsourcing of jobs, and just how most use their money in general, is like a crash course for the future economy, and may even effect the dreams of kids today, in the future. I will most likely go with my first plan in the field of Computer Science/Software Engineering or network management, and hopefully train to get a PPL. I guess its win/win. Airlines I'm flying in the sky seeing the beautiful world @ 38,000ft, getting paid to do it, and as a software engineer, I'm doing something I like, and I'm contributing to America's General Aviation. I'm not the kind of guy that would like to miss his son's first game, or be away for long periods, or even work on a holiday. Sometimes looking at the sunset @ dusk from your car on a generally traffic filled night can be beautiful too :( (but it seriously can... especially when your on your way to your local GA airport and can't wait to get a better view!). Thanks for the help everyone, to pilots, many safe flights.To future pilots, do not be let down by this, if you truly enjoy aviation, can put up with its flaws right now, and have the patience, don't give up your dreams! :(At the end of the day its about doing something that you''ll love. Some people make 500,000 dollars a year at some job, but don't love it. If you don't like your job (and this is to people that are in college, I know people with jobs right now most likely cannot switch with the economy), you may make your life miserable. Luckily for me I would like many jobs, software engineer and pilot being two of them. Decent/Good pay + Something you enjoy/love/have passion for = Happiness, less stress, maybe even better relationships with friends & family... and what a coincidence, I just saw on TV that a 90 yr old man still has a job as a mechanic, because he loves it, has faith [in God] for strength, and likes it so much he doesn't want to retire.

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I'd suggest the original poster go military. Much better training and paid for by taxpayers, but military can be dicey with gov't cutbacks probably coming.However, with the military, the military selects you, whereas in civil aviation the only barrier to entry is the size of your credit card limit.Also, you should consider rotary. I sat in an Apache not too long ago. If I was 18 again, I'd consider going that route. That Apache looks like a lot of fun.

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I'd suggest the original poster go military. Much better training and paid for by taxpayers, but military can be dicey with gov't cutbacks probably coming.However, with the military, the military selects you, whereas in civil aviation the only barrier to entry is the size of your credit card limit.Also, you should consider rotary. I sat in an Apache not too long ago. If I was 18 again, I'd consider going that route. That Apache looks like a lot of fun.
Thanks for the suggestion. Being in the military doesn't mean automatic deployment to Afghanistan though, correct? That is the only thing that scares me...

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Thanks for the suggestion. Being in the military doesn't mean automatic deployment to Afghanistan though, correct? That is the only thing that scares me...
By the time you will be ready Afghan shouldn't be an issue hopefully. You would need 4 years of college, 2-3 months for your class (unless you ROTC/Academy), 3-4 months OCS/OTS (add more for TBS if USMC), 2-3 years for flight (Navy/USMC will take longer then USAF/USCG/US Army) then you might be combat ready. Also the average fighter driver ends their 8 year investment with avg 1000hrs, tankers/COD/MAC drivers have a tendency to end with less. However, multi-crew environments are looked higher upon in the airlines. Rotorheads normally end up with the most TT. The biggest issue with military aviation is the quota on the pipeline. Even if you want Hornets or Apaches there is a chance you might not get it. For instance when I got through USMC primary in 2000 the pipeline was rotor strong yet the class behind was Prowler strong. Just remember it is what they want to give you if you don't wash. Scuttlebutt is the USAF is giving 45% to UAV slots. Just be prepped to drive rotors, fly COD's, or an aerial gas station. Also when in war military pilot slots are easy and plentiful. In peace time the military downsizes greatly and pilots/planes are the first to go. We saw it in the 80's and late 90's. Overall join the military to serve not to fly and only fly. There is a chance you won't get selected for flight or you could get a Non-flying Officer slot or worse be a ground pounder. Remember the Marine slogan, infantry man first! USN, USAF and US Army are no different. Now with that gloom and doom. If you truly want to be a military officer and fly go Coast Guard. The Coasties have a direct pilot slot program, blue water I think, that will take private pilots with a college degree and put them left seat in the HU-25/C130 after completing OCS/API. Some are required to complete Primary/Advanced before going to Mobile for trans training. Quality of life is much better compared to other services and you are serving the citizens of this country in more positive manner. Plus you get all sorts of low altitude IMC flying. Take flying, equipment, crews, bases, and quality of life and the USCG wins in my book. It was actually the approach I took after getting stalled after primary due to money concerns within the USMC. I transitioned to the USCG through a new (new in 2000) pilot program to fill the Coasties needs. Just follow my advice, don't get in any training accidents while going through flight. Good luck in whatever you chose.

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Thanks for the suggestion. Being in the military doesn't mean automatic deployment to Afghanistan though, correct? That is the only thing that scares me...
Well, if the thought of getting deployed to a war zone bothers you, the military might not be for you...But maybe you can get lucky and get stationed in Japan or Korea... and you can spend your days chasing Hello Kitty and the Wonder Girls!

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I've never been fond of the idea of flying for the military myself; but the commercial/civil flying route would definitely prove a costly one.If you're really dedicated though, I'm sure you'd do whatever it takes to fly.

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