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  1. #1
    Senior Member filburt1's Avatar
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    I'm very strongly considering getting a private pilot certificate, which would allow for VFR (visual flight rules; "see and avoid") flights in single-engine propeller planes. No, I'm not about to buy a plane, but the common thing for private pilots of my potential nature to do would be to join a flight club where you pay monthly dues (varies wildly from free and up) but a lower hourly rate (~$50 to $120, depending on many factors) for renting the plane.

    I've been talking to a friend at my previous workplace who is also a pilot and got a lot of good advice, but I'm wondering if anybody else is either a pilot (hint hint, I know at least one of you is) and has gone through this sort of training before.

    The FAA requires 40 hours of training, although my friend says it tends to be about 60 until you're truly ready for the FAA-administered exam. Wikipedia lists the full requirements; it includes specific flights that are required, like cross-country, certain numbers of take-offs and landings, night flights, etc: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pilot_c...#Private_pilot.

    The only upkeep on the certificate is every two years a review by the FAA which takes a couple hours, and a medical certificate renewal every three years. Also, to carry passengers, you need at least three take-offs and landings during the past three months. A private pilot also is not allowed to operate for hire.

    As for the training school, this is what I'm thinking of: http://www.frederickflightcenter.com/ . It's very (very) close to my office, is apparently highly rated, and personally recommended by another friend at work.

    I'm most likely to start the actual training in May this year due to financial reasons: it's likely to cost about $8k to earn the full certificate, spread over about six months.

    So, any suggestions?
    filburt1, Web Design Forums.net founder
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  3. #2
    WDF Staff smoseley's Avatar
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    Rosland was an airforce pilot in Norway for many years. He can probably give you some good advice. Shoot him an email.

  4. #3
    Senior Member rosland's Avatar
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    Here I am

    Left a post in the mod lounge.
    S. Rosland

  5. #4
    Senior Member filburt1's Avatar
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    Registered for the ground course and my first of many lessons is Thursday.
    filburt1, Web Design Forums.net founder
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  6. #5
    Senior Member filburt1's Avatar
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    Here's a random update: I finally was granted my medical certificate by the FAA (slow government processes...) and pending a review flight and a checkride with the flight center's head instructor, will be soloing. I have about 20 hours of flying time now and something like 100 landings. :thumbsup:
    filburt1, Web Design Forums.net founder
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  7. #6
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    Sounds cool. A friend took a helicopter lesson recently. Said it was brilliant.

    I would like to take to the sky one day.

  8. #7
    Senior Member Shani's Avatar
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    I assume none of your landings ended like your Avatar ;-)
    Shani

    I have an eye for detail like you'd never believe.

  9. #8
    WDF Staff smoseley's Avatar
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    Let's hope not! :-D

  10. #9
    Senior Member filburt1's Avatar
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    There have been some hard landings (crosswind landings are annoying) but for the most part, they're pretty good now. It's strange, though: the technique for landing is to actually try to float above the runway for as long as possible by pulling up every time the plane sinks--at least for a prop plane; a jet is a bit different.
    filburt1, Web Design Forums.net founder
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  11. #10
    WDF Staff smoseley's Avatar
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    Arien,

    Yeah, that's due to the odd aerodynamics that occur when you approach the ground. There's something called "ground effect" that creates a big surge of lift when you break a certain altitude threshhold. When you get really good, you can account for it, but as a noob, make a few waves / dips. It's really pronounced with model planes, because they're so lightweight. Fun stuff.


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