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Flying.

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BoogieMonster
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« on: March 02, 2011, 18:18:36 PM »

Split from here: http://forum.skeptic.za.org/off-topic/photography/msg18804/#msg18804

Quote from: Deezil
my dream is to fly but I'm still looking for free PPL lessons


Dude, I'm going to be a real dick here, but I've made the mistakes and I feel a duty to inform. I was there, I dreamt that dream, and I chased it. And the result was a profoundly depressing realisation.... it aint worth it.

You have to be very rich to even contemplate private flying. It is a great dream, it is my lifelong dream, and it feels like you're always on the precipice of being able to "just" afford it. But my experience is it's more expensive than that times 10. Then add 150% for fudge factor.

Flying schools like to market to you that it's "doable by anyone". But it aint. I'm sorry, but I'm in a situation where I started the lessons, I went solo, I broke my finances quite thoroughly, and now real life has caught up with me and I've had to discontinue the training. And I do NOT earn peanuts ....

This means I "lose" some of my flying hours because next time I can pick up the mantle I'll have to "fly the rust off" with an instructor first (pay the plane, the fuel, and the instructor), and then re-do my solo test-flight, only then can I continue with training from where I was. That will cost, probably upwards of R10k. Just that "refresher" (I estimate wildly, but reckon it's accurate). And I'm LUCKY because I haven't got my license yet, which has yearly minimums of hours you have to fly... Can you rent a plane for 40 hours a year at the wet rate? During a bad financial year? When you buy a house? A new car? Can you buy a plane, pay for the 50hr and 100hr inspections/services, and pay fuel, hangar it, so that you can fly 40 hours minimum a year? Could you overhaul it's engine for the ~R100k it'll cost when the time comes? (The only real way is...) Do you have rich buddies who won't mind you clocking up hours on their hugely expensive-to-maintain planes (you pay the fuel, of course) in order to maintain your license? - I DO have friends like that, I've HAD the offers of "pay fuel only" hours, and it's still too expensive for me at the moment. Fuel is the #1 expense in getting a PPL and no-one will pay it for you.

Your only option here is: Lay out about R100k to qualify for your PPL, pay the above to fly your minimum hours, live at the airport (because a lot of the time you won't be able to fly, so when the weather is just right, you'll have to). The schools will tell you less, but they don't count expensive items like headsets, etc. Nor the petrol you'll drive out to get to the airport only to realise the crosswinds are gusting too much, a storm is coming up, the plane fails the pre-flight because of arb maintenance issues, someone has just planted their plane next to the runway and it's out of service, .... the list just goes on....

Lastly: This is time consuming stuff. After you've got all the money, you'll find yourself living at the airport (yeah redundancy is redundant) with not much other life to speak of while doing your PPL, doing it part time will take many months, if not a year, or more. This has an effect on loved-ones and friends, they don't like it, your S/O REALLY won't like it.... My flying buddies have had divorces over planes. Calculate the true cost to your lifestyle.

DO:
Make buddies and go flip with them.
Visit airshows and dream.
Become part of the community and learn about it.
Go for an intro flight at a local flying school.

Lastly: The private airplane scene seems to be dominated by older folk. I couldn't find many young friends to share my passion with. Probably because they can't afford it either. It's a lonely road. (Young pilots are usually pro pilots and PPL guys are "beneath" them.)

Ok I'm done ranting now.
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Faerie
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« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2011, 07:14:12 AM »

Damn, that's just thoroughly depressing... I'm sorry BM...  Undecided
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Deezil
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johan.burke DeezilDude
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« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2011, 10:51:38 AM »

Oi Boogie ... my apologies for eliciting such an elaborate response to a rather tongue in cheek comment!!! (maybe I should have mentioned free SAP or Cisco certification?)

My comment was more aimed at letting our gothic female feline fanatic know that it's unfortunate but true that sometimes in life one has to pay for a service, especially after all your pleading and begging has fallen on deaf ears. I deliberately mentioned something "expensive" to try and get my point across (although that attempt clearly failed miserably *facepalm*)

Anyway, thanx for your so called rant and although I've written off this "dream" of mine many, many moons ago the information you've given is still very informative and something to consider should I win the lotto within the next 20-30 years.

Ta!   
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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2011, 11:13:39 AM »

Indeed, that's the point. Sometimes you get what you pay for.

Oh and you needn't quote "expensive". Flying is expensive without any quotes required. Tongue
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cyghost
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Carpe diem


« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2011, 11:18:22 AM »

Great rant anywhichway!
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