Jump to content
Baseops Forums
Sign in to follow this  
PapaJu

Private Pilot License (PPL) questions

Recommended Posts

Just my .02...if you can, train on a Diamond (DA-20) as that's what they fly at IFS. Otherwise, Cessna/Piper is good too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sure any of the pilot's on this forum will tell you that civilian flight training will not help you pass UPT.

Funny, I would never say that.

Civ experience provides no guarantee of "passing" UPT, but it does help. Basic stick and rudder ability, situational awareness, and airmanship in general are skills that can developed long before arriving at UPT. Just remember that a lot of what you learn will be tossed out the window.

Personally, I think the Decathlon is a bit too responsive for a beginner, but take a couple flights in it first to see if you can handle it.

Again, funny. The AF takes people with zero aviation experience and throws them in a T-6, equally if not more responsive and powerful than the Decathlon.

T-6 Fact Sheet

Decathlon Fact Sheet

To the OP: use the search function. Lots of discussion about various types of flight time prior to UPT.

Just my $.02, the 20 hrs I logged in a super decathlon were some of the most helpful of my civ time when I reached the contact/final contact phases of the T-6 program. If you can afford it, do it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

150 or 180 HP? Both are nice. Make sure it is trimmed up to fly wings level in cruise- you can wash the wing struts or shim the aerodynamic shovels/spades. I had the keys to a NICE all electric IFR 180 hp Decathalon. The 180 HP fuel burn is a bit high, but if you have the budget, you will like it. No flaps on the one I flew, which I think is the norm, so you will miss on that part of slow flight and patterns/landings, stall recoveries, etc.

The view over the nose is TOO GOOD to consider it a great tailwheel trainer- you don't need the peripheral scan in the flare of say a Pitts and the taxi obstruction clearance is pretty easy.

You will learn stick and rudder. You can get into spins and unusual attitude recoveries. I started in an ASK-21 glider, a slick 2 place acro mount. I didn't know there was such a thing as aerobatics- I thought loops, spins and rolls were how you burned energy after thermaling when your nickel was up.

A ten hour course in the Decath would be great at the right point. You may want to check the price and CFI availability compared to more traditional trainers. The CFI will have more to do with your outcome and maybe schedule than just the aircraft. Also, there may not be an examiner w/ a good schedule or WILLING to give you the checkride in the Decathalon. Without flaps the full PTS (practical test standards) may be seen as lacking. Do they have a Citabria? Those have flaps.

I would start in a glider to at least solo, then get some Cub time, then do the PPL in a basic C-150 or C-152 as it really flies itself.

Good luck!

Edited by moosepileit

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Lockjaw25

The real person to ask about this is Tim Martins.

But I digress. The civvie flight training I found most helpful in UPT was my instrument rating. Sure, there was a whole new set of AF procedures and manuals to memorize, but I had a good handle on the basics and knew what a VOR, ILS, etc, was while most of the bros in my class were trying to comprehend that while going through the UPT haze. I helped them out every opportunity I could, but I felt at least a little more relaxed.

So my advice from only my own experience, FWIW:

PPL in a Cessna or Piper

Instrument rating (or at least some flight time/ground school)

Good luck!

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's no reason you should not be able to learn to fly in the SD. Conventional gear aircraft were the norm for decades when it came to teaching new pilots.

You will learn a lot more over the course of 100 hours in the SD than you will in a C-152/spamcan.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm gonna go out on a limb here, seeing that everyone else is being responsible and stuff...

You want the Super-D man...screw it, if you can die tomorrow in a freak electrocution accident, or have that really nice stripper slit your throat and wipe herself clean with the 1's you just threw at her, by golly you can face plant that Super-D into Terra-Firma after 14 barrel rolls and an uncontrollable, shit-inducing inverted flat spin.

Time waits for no man my friend. Seize the moment. :rock:

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest GringoBoy87

Thanks for the responses everyone!

The hourly rate for the Decathlon is $133 plus $60/hour for the CFI. It's steep but I think I can manage it since I'm living at home and have few expenses (recent college grad finding his way). I have my heart set now on training in the tail-wheel, but more than likely I'll try and log a few hours in a Cessna or something to add a bit of variety.

BTW, I'm in Atlanta. The total cost for my private is going to be somewhere around $8K if I were to try and use the Decathlon the entire way through. This is assuming I complete my PPL in 40 hours though. I think it'll be worth it in the long run, since I've been told trying to check ride a tail-wheel after a conventional PPL will add a few more thousand on to the final cost. I figured I'd kill two birds with one stone.

Moospileit, I don't know the specifics on the aircraft. I did get to check it out in person but didn't note if it had flaps or what the HP was. I'm a total novice when it comes to flying, I was too excited imagining what it would be like floating around in the sky to really pay attention to those details.

Container STS, you're friggin awesome :beer:

Edit: And thank you for moving my original post to the more appropriate thread, to whoever did that

Also, regarding the DA-20 (to dml02b), I figured I could just check ride one after I get my license. I really want to learn on the Decathlon.

Edited by GringoBoy87

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not a bad idea...do what'll be the most fun to you. Either way, it's not going to make THAT much a difference when it comes to UPT, so have fun. Definitely plan for more than 40 hrs...unless you live out in the boondocks, you're not going to get your PPL in min time. Period dot. The mins are 60 anyways unless you're going to a Part 141 school. Lucky for you, 8k is still less than I paid for mine in a 152...but in communist California we had the fun tax...any type of a fun comes at a premium out there.

Nice thing is that you'll have more SA about the rudder by learning on a tailwheel.

Check around or with your CFI and make sure there's an examiner nearby that can do a checkride in the tailwheel.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest GringoBoy87

Check around or with your CFI and make sure there's an examiner nearby that can do a checkride in the tailwheel.

Yeah the school that has the Decathlon does checkrides (or has done checkrides) in the tailwheel. Before I left the owner was showing me the wall with all the cut t-shirts and pointed out the ones who did so. They got special recognition because they're special. I want to be special.

Edit: I couldn't help but notice that someone rated this post negatively. I apologize if that individual was offended, although I can only imagine what about my post is offensive...

Edited by GringoBoy87
  • Downvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah the school that has the Decathlon does checkrides (or has done checkrides) in the tailwheel. Before I left the owner was showing me the wall with all the cut t-shirts and pointed out the ones who did so. They got special recognition because they're special. I want to be special.

You are so very special my son...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gringo,

First off, my vote on your original question is "FVCK YEAH!". You've already explored most of the why's and how-to's so I won't belabour the issue, but I'll add something to consider.

It's been a while since GA in this country (or anywhere for that matter) has had an experience base in conventional gear primary flight trainig. The school that you are looking at may have some CFI's that are experienced TW instructors, but they may have never taken a stud from 0-PPL in TW. I had a student walk through the door when I was teaching at an FBO that wanted to do the same as you. Luckily (since I was the only TW-CFI there) I got the job. But he and I fought an uphill battle with issues that the typical trike pilot doesn't have to deal with on the way to a checkride.

Checkride day: It was the chief pilot from the university I'd been attending that came over to give the ride. After he opens the guy's logbook, he paused, and raised an eyebrow in my direction... Needless to say, we went well over the 40 hour goal (and well over the 55 hour average) to PPL. Worth it? In hindsight, I'm not so sure. To him, well, he could afford it (he was retired) and it's what he wanted to do. He's gone on to his retirement dream job flight instructing at Ohio State.

fwiw

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's no reason you should not be able to learn to fly in the SD. Conventional gear aircraft were the norm for decades when it came to teaching new pilots.

You will learn a lot more over the course of 100 hours in the SD than you will in a C-152/spamcan.

2!

post-1866-127033671435_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's no reason you should not be able to learn to fly in the SD. Conventional gear aircraft were the norm for decades when it came to teaching new pilots.

You will learn a lot more over the course of 100 hours in the SD than you will in a C-152/spamcan.

Couldn't agree with you more sir,

A lot of guys make a tailwheel out to be this beast that cannot be tamed. The 8KCAB flying qualities are docile... but the student just has to take it seriously... and so what if you spin it... it's not going to screw up some top of the line auto-pilot doo dad.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest kingneptune117

hey everyone. im a senior in HS right now. Lets say I gain 8 hours of flight time. Four years or so down the road, i apply for a upt slot. Will those hours still be good, or do they expire after a certain amount of time?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

hey everyone. im a senior in HS right now. Lets say I gain 8 hours of flight time. Four years or so down the road, i apply for a upt slot. Will those hours still be good, or do they expire after a certain amount of time?

Yes, it will be good. Flight time doesn't expire. However, IMO I would try to go all out and get your PPL if you want to be competitive for a UPT slot later on. You are young with several options open to you, and there is a lot of good advice in this thread for getting flight training.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest kingneptune117

Yes, it will be good. Flight time doesn't expire. However, IMO I would try to go all out and get your PPL if you want to be competitive for a UPT slot later on. You are young with several options open to you, and there is a lot of good advice in this thread for getting flight training.

a ppl is a lot of money. And I want to fly for the military, thats it. If I get my ppl, find out im medically DQ'ed from flying for AF, im screwed out of 5 grand...

besides it doesnt help that much from what ive read. I mean sure it helps, but I heard lots of guys get slots without a ppl. I want to go rotc route by the way not the ots route, which would make a big difference.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

a ppl is a lot of money. And I want to fly for the military, thats it. If I get my ppl, find out im medically DQ'ed from flying for AF, im screwed out of 5 grand...

You're not screwed out of 5 grand, you will have a PILOTS LISCENCE!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you are worried about the cost, look at getting a Sport Pilot's License. Only 20hrs are required and you can still fly lots of cool airplanes under 1320 max takeoff weight. Lots of taildraggers meet the LSA (light sport aircraft) requirements including the mighty J-3 Cub! And Techsan is right, you will still have your PILOTS LISCENSE (whatever that is)! :beer:

Check out this tool from AOPA to compare requirements and costs between PPL, Sport pilot license, and recreational pilot certificate

http://www.aopa.org/letsgoflying/cert_comparison.html?keepThis=true&TB_iframe=true&height=530&width=675

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I get my ppl, find out im medically DQ'ed from flying for AF, im screwed out of 5 grand...

It's an investment.

How bad do you really want to fly?

$5K is too much, but an 11-year commitment isn't?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kingneptune, wrong attitude my friend. I completely agree with you that flight training is expensive. But there are ways to get around that. I started hanging out at airports when I was 15, and you wouldn't believe some of the flying opportunities I have had by just talking to the pilots there. When you see a guy pulling his plane out of the hangar, offer to help him out. Hang out in the restaraunt and ask questions to the pilots that come walking in. "Excuse me sir, but I saw you taxi up in that cool plane out there. How fast does it go?" Just ask a question or two, and more than likely he will go on and on talking about how great his plane is and how awesome he is at flying it. Sit there and look interested in everything he says and be proactive in the conversation. You want to take note of things like whether he or his buddy is a CFI, and owns there own airplane.

Next thing you know he might say something like, "I'm going to be flying it this Saturday to test my new altimeter/transponder/VSI etc., wanna come along?" After the flight, tell him that you are very appreciative of him taking you flying and that you would like to express your gratitude by washing his plane, sweeping out his hangar space, etc. Things like this speak volumes about your character and love of aviation. If you stick with it, you can eventually get a PPL for cheap. You will also probably meet AF pilots who, if you play your cards right, you can get an LOR from them later on.

Now, why did I mention all of that? Because you will be competing for AF pilot slots with guys who busted their butts to pursue the aforementioned route with success. You mention about going ROTC. That's fine. Back in my ROTC days, our Det. Commander told us something to the effect of, "If you guys want to get a pilot slot, I had better see some serious attempts by you to get your butt off of the ground." Sure, there were guys in my detachment who didn't have a PPL that got slots. However, EVERYONE who had their PPL got pilot slots (as long as their other scores measured up ofcourse.) Coincidence? Maybe, but I personally don't think so. Getting a PPL says a lot about a person. Besides, there are several on this forum, myself included, where ROTC didn't work out.

If you're worried that spending all of that money for a PPL would be wasted if you get Med DQ'd from AF pilot training later on, then you had better do some serious soul searching and ask yourself if flying is really what you want to do. I have yet to meet an AF pilot who didn't have a strong passion for flying in general. Another common characteristic is the fact that they would do whatever it takes, for as long as it takes, for the opportunity to fly. That attitude is a strong contributing factor for success at UPT. It seems to me that you are more focused on having those shiny wings on your chest, as you face the sky with a silk scarf fluttering in the breeze. If you should get Med DQ'd for something that can't be waived, wouldn't you feel better going through life knowing that you gave it everything you had? I suggest doing some research and asking questions about what AF pilot life is really like as well as what it takes to get to that point.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest kingneptune117

Kingneptune, wrong attitude my friend. I completely agree with you that flight training is expensive. But there are ways to get around that. I started hanging out at airports when I was 15, and you wouldn't believe some of the flying opportunities I have had by just talking to the pilots there. When you see a guy pulling his plane out of the hangar, offer to help him out. Hang out in the restaraunt and ask questions to the pilots that come walking in. "Excuse me sir, but I saw you taxi up in that cool plane out there. How fast does it go?" Just ask a question or two, and more than likely he will go on and on talking about how great his plane is and how awesome he is at flying it. Sit there and look interested in everything he says and be proactive in the conversation. You want to take note of things like whether he or his buddy is a CFI, and owns there own airplane.

Next thing you know he might say something like, "I'm going to be flying it this Saturday to test my new altimeter/transponder/VSI etc., wanna come along?" After the flight, tell him that you are very appreciative of him taking you flying and that you would like to express your gratitude by washing his plane, sweeping out his hangar space, etc. Things like this speak volumes about your character and love of aviation. If you stick with it, you can eventually get a PPL for cheap. You will also probably meet AF pilots who, if you play your cards right, you can get an LOR from them later on.

Now, why did I mention all of that? Because you will be competing for AF pilot slots with guys who busted their butts to pursue the aforementioned route with success. You mention about going ROTC. That's fine. Back in my ROTC days, our Det. Commander told us something to the effect of, "If you guys want to get a pilot slot, I had better see some serious attempts by you to get your butt off of the ground." Sure, there were guys in my detachment who didn't have a PPL that got slots. However, EVERYONE who had their PPL got pilot slots (as long as their other scores measured up ofcourse.) Coincidence? Maybe, but I personally don't think so. Getting a PPL says a lot about a person. Besides, there are several on this forum, myself included, where ROTC didn't work out.

If you're worried that spending all of that money for a PPL would be wasted if you get Med DQ'd from AF pilot training later on, then you had better do some serious soul searching and ask yourself if flying is really what you want to do. I have yet to meet an AF pilot who didn't have a strong passion for flying in general. Another common characteristic is the fact that they would do whatever it takes, for as long as it takes, for the opportunity to fly. That attitude is a strong contributing factor for success at UPT. It seems to me that you are more focused on having those shiny wings on your chest, as you face the sky with a silk scarf fluttering in the breeze. If you should get Med DQ'd for something that can't be waived, wouldn't you feel better going through life knowing that you gave it everything you had? I suggest doing some research and asking questions about what AF pilot life is really like as well as what it takes to get to that point.

I know for sure thats what I want to do. I have no doubt. Ive already attempted to get it, by getting a few lessons, but I had to stop due to financial concerns. Im working a job right now to save up, but like I said, I still do not have the money. Ive only saved around 2K where as I need around 5. And yes hanging around the airport is awesome, but at my local airport you cant really get anywhere near the airport unless you have a registered parking place. I even contacted the airport since ive heard of kids washing aircraft/taking care of them in exchange for cheaper lessons, but they wouldnt let me because of "security reasons". I live near o'hare and go there all the time to watch the planes take off and land, which is great, but never see any of the pilots for some reason. I mean, I would LOVE to get my ppl. It would be awesome to be able to take my friend up, or take a girl on a first date in the air, that would be awesome. Its just that it would cost a crap load of money, which I litterally dont have, and gas would be expensive (although I heard that CAP pays you gas if you join, which ive been considering doing.).

Now, on the other hand, this CD (money) just matured thats worth 30 grand. Im about to go to college in a year, so I want to save most for tuition, but I might be able to get some of that money for lessons right now, or for sure get some for lessons during college. Flight lessons are definetely in my future, just not now. I am 100% dedicated to flying, i have no doubt in my heart this is what I want. I am obsessed with it, almost to an unhealthy point. I would die to go live near an AFB, unfortunately the nearest one is scott afb which is hours away. Oh well, chicago air and water show is coming up so that should be pretty awesome.

*edit* ive been looking into those flight training scholarships, but cant seem to find any. One of my friends got his ppl through a few of these that I know personally, but he says that the scholarships no longer exists. can someone maybe point me in the right direction?

Edited by kingneptune117

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know for sure thats what I want to do. I have no doubt. Ive already attempted to get it, by getting a few lessons, but I had to stop due to financial concerns. Im working a job right now to save up, but like I said, I still do not have the money. Ive only saved around 2K where as I need around 5. And yes hanging around the airport is awesome, but at my local airport you cant really get anywhere near the airport unless you have a registered parking place. I even contacted the airport since ive heard of kids washing aircraft/taking care of them in exchange for cheaper lessons, but they wouldnt let me because of "security reasons". I live near o'hare and go there all the time to watch the planes take off and land, which is great, but never see any of the pilots for some reason. I mean, I would LOVE to get my ppl. It would be awesome to be able to take my friend up, or take a girl on a first date in the air, that would be awesome. Its just that it would cost a crap load of money, which I litterally dont have, and gas would be expensive (although I heard that CAP pays you gas if you join, which ive been considering doing.).

Now, on the other hand, this CD (money) just matured thats worth 30 grand. Im about to go to college in a year, so I want to save most for tuition, but I might be able to get some of that money for lessons right now, or for sure get some for lessons during college. Flight lessons are definetely in my future, just not now. I am 100% dedicated to flying, i have no doubt in my heart this is what I want. I am obsessed with it, almost to an unhealthy point. I would die to go live near an AFB, unfortunately the nearest one is scott afb which is hours away. Oh well, chicago air and water show is coming up so that should be pretty awesome.

*edit* ive been looking into those flight training scholarships, but cant seem to find any. One of my friends got his ppl through a few of these that I know personally, but he says that the scholarships no longer exists. can someone maybe point me in the right direction?

If you want to fly and all that jazz... you need to point yourself in the right direction and make it happen. I did what Vne was talking about (i.e. sweeping hangars, etc to pay for flight training) - A modest amount of initiative paid off big time! CAP can get you some flight time... but you have to be persistant in every area - it is what you truly want to do?

There are creative ways to earn money to fly. Dude, you have a CD worth $30k? That's waaay more than I started with to pay for school and fly. I'm sure with a little effort you can make great things happen... it may take a sacrifice in a couple areas, but it can happen - if you get out there and make it happen.

As far as the medical route goes - you can go into an AME get a FAA 1st class med - granted, it's not the same as the FC1 - but if there's anything major, you'll know (i.e. eyes, etc). Plus, if you work hard to get an FAA Private Pilot Certificate... and you don't get a slot - you still are flying. You're not just going to give up because of the possibility of getting Med DQ'd right?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's important to remember that you aren't going to earn a commission let alone a pilot slot if you can't finish your degree because you ran out of money paying for flying lessons.

Many, if not most, of the people I know who received pilot slots through ROTC hadn't done any appreciable work towards earning a PPL beyond a few PDT/CAP orientation flights. Some Detachment commanders might consider the dedication or maturity having one shows when ranking your class but a PPL by itself probably isn't gong to be a magic ticket to UPT. As the many people I've known who've received slots without a PPL shows, it's far more important to have your act together and play the ROTC game while keeping your grades up than spend all your time hanging out at the Airport or working a second job to pay for a PPL. Every Detachment commander views things a little differently so your mileage may vary though...

It would have been great to have earned a PPL before applying for an ROTC pilot slot but it just wasn't in the cards financially without significant financial hardship. I'm still waiting for my UPT dates so obviously I can't comment on how much of an advantage having a PPL would be in IFS and UPT but I can at least attest it's possible to get a slot without a PPL.

Edited by Odium

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...