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Bill Greenwood
08-31-2012, 02:04 PM
From the July AOPA Flight Training magazinem by Jason Catanzarti:

My Dad soloed in 5.2 hours in 1946. Sulley Sullenberg soloed in 7.6 hours in 1967.
So just learing to fly a basic around the pattern and land is not hard. Getting the private license of course involves more.
He says he beleives anyone with basic intellligence can learn to fly an airplane.

So what has changed over the years? Not necessaryily the planes, the ariticle doen't say type, but Sulley may have well flown a C150 or 172 back then, same as a student now.

What has changed is that while learning to fly was not unusual back then , that for many people now they think it is unusual and therefore must be hard.

If the CFIs can get folks to take that first intro lesson and they have fun doing it, they may well come back.
That is of course if they have the money and the time and sadly with all the airports that have closed and all the flight schools that have moved away from the big population areas,if the student still has ready access to flight training.

kscessnadriver
08-31-2012, 03:32 PM
If the CFIs can get folks to take that first intro lesson and they have fun doing it, they may well come back.
That is of course if they have the money and the time and sadly with all the airports that have closed and all the flight schools that have moved away from the big population areas,if the student still has ready access to flight training.

The biggest issue will be money. People think it must be expensive, therefore it is. Simply there is no way to just fix general aviation and getting people involved, other than printing money and handing it out for free.

Buzz
09-03-2012, 07:58 PM
The biggest issue will be money. People think it must be expensive, therefore it is.

The drop-out rate for student pilots is 80%. Only 1 out of 5 people that start a license finish it. People don't start a course of study towards something without knowing what it will cost. So they are not dropping out because it's too expensive. They knew the expense before they got started.

If GA could just work on dropping the drop-out rate to 60%, it would double the number of people getting licenses.

One of the biggest things that is lacking, according to a study AOPA commissioned on the dropout rate is the lack of a social support structure during the learning process.

If one looks at homebuilding of aircraft, it probably wouldn't nearly as big as it is without the social support structure of the EAA.

GA needs to create some type of social support structure that is targeted towards those learning to fly. A club organization only for student pilots where they can get together and share notes. That's what will increase the finish rate and help build the pilot population.

My thoughts.

Wilfred
09-06-2012, 02:02 PM
No, flying is EASY ! (Its landing that's the tricky part)

crimer
09-06-2012, 05:59 PM
I think the real problem with learning to fly is not learning to fly -- it's the competing inputs that draw students away. These are, in my own thinking about order of impact:

burdens associated with the hobby in 2012 are substantially greater than they were in 1960;
competing "cooler" options involving powered sports out there that didn't exist before;
much more "all-in regulation" to worry about in 2012.
Burdens: financial, time, and regulatory all add up to...deterrents. I do not feel industry has done nearly enough to force infrastructure change to fight these burdens. It's happened in other industries with success.

Competing options: given the option of flying patterns, taking a powerboat out for a ski, or riding an ATV through rolling countryside, aviation tends to lose out. Flying is not inherently social -- these other sports most certainly are. Golf, boating, and off-roading are all sports that have a radically different approach to attracting newcomers in 2012. Aviation looks a lot like it did in the 60s; not appealing to most I know.

Regulation: considering the regulatory infrastructure (both for the airman certification as well as medical) and the severity with which aviation is treated today given legal precedent and punishment for transgressions, we have taken a good deal of fun out of the GA learning process. Frankly, GA as a whole is suffering from this -- not just new students but with established pilots too.

I firmly believe that the declining interest in aviation is deeper than the burdens of complex airspace in big airport areas like mine (the SF Bay Area). Perhaps it is truly the sum total of so many small inconveniences, fears, or outright negative aspects of flying that turn people away.

That's my take -- additional thoughts if you're interested.

~~

One of these negative elements might be our training fleet --could it be holding us back? Folks I know have no interest in history when learning to fly. They want safe, modern, easy-to-operate machines that track developments in similar "hobby industries". When you consider boating (power & sail), off-roading (ATVs & bikes), or other "expensive hobbies involving machines" the safety, reliability, and *affordability* of those activities continues to improve. Whereas for our industry, it continues to get harder & more expensive.

It's important to inspire our new pilots. Does a 1970 C152 inspire anyone? Really? Be honest! My MINI Cooper inspires people every where I go -- people would rather drive my car than fly a plane. That's the real problem.

It is hard to look through the eyes of a new, potential pilot, but I'd ask you to do just that. When they show up at an airport surrounded with barbed wire, 30-40 year old trainers, old second-hand buildings for training, and a litany of burdens that come before the sheer joy of flight, it's easy to see why 80%+ of students walk away & never come back.

I'm 15 years into my ticket, and flying modern Cirrus and am IFR current and proficient. Couldn't be happier myself! But alas, I have yet to successfully see one friend through training from start to finish. All I have brought have dropped out; it's the reasons I state above that has turned them away.

If we can make flying fun again, students will finish. It's not about the money -- look at the cost of boating & off-roading and you'll see that plainly. It's about a spark that refuses to ignite despite our best intentions. Time for us to re-think the approach to "learning to fly".

dewi8095
09-07-2012, 06:07 AM
Crimer, a note to say that your assessment is one of the best I have read, especially the points on the weakness of flying as a social outlet, excessive regulation, and the "run down" condition of airports and training aircraft.

Don

martymayes
09-07-2012, 07:05 AM
The biggest issue will be money. People think it must be expensive, therefore it is. Simply there is no way to just fix general aviation and getting people involved, other than printing money and handing it out for free.

isnt' that what the gov. is doing?

martymayes
09-07-2012, 07:40 AM
Crimer:

Flying can be a social activity. But it takes participants. To have participants, have to make airports accessible - even to non-participants.

I used to fly at a very social aero club. I can tell you the DAY that it started on a downhill spiral; when the airport locked the direct access gate. That forced everyone to enter through the FBO and be scrutinized like a piece of meat in the supermarket cooler. No more parking right at the gate and walking 50' to the viewing deck.

Aviation really needs to wake up and back off some of the ridiculous access restrictions. It's much easier to go to the lake or hop on a motorcycle and take a Sunday ride than it is to gain access to an airport and instant gratification is what it's all about.

D.A.R.E.
09-07-2012, 10:40 AM
Well said crimer.

1. Z06, ZR-1, F-430, FR-S... Cool!
2. S1000RR, CBR-1000RR, 1198... Cool!
3. CRF-450R, KX-450R... Cool!
4. Cessna Aerobat, Super Decathlon... Ewww. Cold, maybe.

What?? It doesn't get interesting till you fly an EA-300 or at least a Pitts?? Forget it then...

In the eyes of a modern youngster: forget 4, they'll just stick w/ their (name your electronic game of choice) and someday save up for 1-3.

It's sad. The 'cooler' vehicles 1-3 pull significantly less Gs than the said aircraft in 4 can do.

Maybe the thread should've been called "Learning NOT to fly.". We need to FIX this.

IAC 434430 (IAC chap 38)

pilotgirlbuf
09-08-2012, 10:06 AM
I can definitely say and agree that money is one of the biggest problems, as I am going through that myself right now. It's almost $180 an hour to fly in a small single enging plane learning my private certificate!! Hardly affordable. :(

jedi
09-08-2012, 10:47 AM
It's almost $180 an hour to fly in a small single enging plane learning my private certificate!! Hardly affordable. :(

You should be able to find something less expensive than $180 per hour. Look around for the less well known sources. Clubs, shared ownership and free lance CFIs. I expect the $180 includes $40 for dual of which the CFI gets $10. There are many individuals with airplanes that need to be flown more. Individual insurance will generally allow the owner to list 3 additional pilots. There may be an incremental increase in insurance cost since you are a low time pilot and the owner likely has more more hours and may get a lower rate. Renter's insurance is another way to go.

Unless you are in the New Your/ Washington DC area I think there should be aircraft and instructors available for $140 or less. Let us know what you find. Go to the smaller and friendlier airports. They need the business.

Eddie King
09-08-2012, 06:40 PM
I'm a Student pilot 82 yrs young and going for a Sport License. wanted to fly all my life but coudn't afford the cost. but have saved up a few dollars and going for it. I joined the father john flying club at Dalton airport at Flushing MI. I'm flying a Taylorcraft BC12 that meets the lite sport rules. It costs 36 dollars an hour Tach time that ends up less than Hobs time plus fuel with a 60 cent a gallon discount for being in the club and chapter 77 EAA. my instructer is charging me $25 an hour. the Taylorcraft burns about 4 1/2 gallons an hour, So my cost is around $75 an hour +or- a few bucks. we allso have a Cherokee 140.
Right now the club is looking for a few more members.

jedi
09-09-2012, 09:53 AM
I'm a Student pilot 82 yrs young and ...... I joined the father john flying club at Dalton airport at Flushing MI.... flying a Taylorcraft BC12 that ..... cost .... $75 an hour +or- a few bucks. ...Right now the club is looking for a few more members.

Congratulations Eddie. I have fond memories of Dalton from the 60s. I impressed my future and present wife by flying in to have dinner at the Squire restaurant which was located right across the street north of runway 18/36. I still like to tell the story of watching a P51 depart overhead from the sod on r/w36. Watching P51s from a mile away at OSH operate from 10,000 feet of 200 foot wide r/w does not hold a candle to operations from a 1,800 foot (if I remember right) grass strip with wires. Also got a ride in a Ryan PT - 22 from that airport. It was the same PT-22 that was later purchased by Buck Hilbert. Dalton is one of the great survival stories of GA thanks to a lot of dedicated individuals.

martymayes
09-09-2012, 09:59 AM
Way to go Eddie. Too bad Flushing is 2+ hrs away for me.

jedi
09-10-2012, 10:00 AM
Way to go Eddie. Too bad Flushing is 2+ hrs away for me.

Clarklake is a great place to fly with many nice airports in the area, at least it used to have nice airports. Within 10 miles or so was the Al Meyres aircraft factory as well as the Maule factory. You are also within 60 miles of many other historic aircraft facilities. Stinson and Ford factories, the first paved runway in the US, the first airport hotel and the first radio beacon airway in the US goes overhead, Detroit to Chicago.

What is it like now?

martymayes
09-10-2012, 10:45 AM
Clarklake is a great place.....
What is it like now?It is a great place...The Meyers-Diver airport is still in operation, not much activity outside of Skydive Tecumseh. There's still an old building with some tooling from the Al Meyers days and a handful of guys that develop heavy aircraft mods. Not much left of the Maule facilities at Napoleon. The airport owner had B.D. Maule's old house on the corner demolished a few yrs back. Reasonable amount of local/transient traffic, all things considered.

Bill Greenwood
09-10-2012, 11:04 AM
What kind of plane and where are you that you have to pay $180/hr for a lesson?
That sounds high, even for one of those places at tower airports where the CFIs wear ties, and call you Mr.

Here in Boulder, a Diamond wet, with CFI is $180. When they get a 172 they expect it to be $140 and when they had a 152 it was $110.

Yes, flying someone else's airplane, with CFI, is expensive. But there are so many less fun, to me anyway, things to do like play golf that cost over a $100 per day. Skiing is about the only over $100 thing that I know that is as much fun or more so than flying, and you often have to travel a long ways to ski, with the expense of getting there. Being able to fly somewhere to ski is a great combo.

You can minimize the total costs of getting pilot license by studying and being very prepared for each flight lesson. One poster on here said it took him 85 hours to get a sport pilot license. I admire his persistence in sticking with it, but in the long run he paid over twice what it cost me to get mine in 43 hours (not counting inflation of course).

The computer courses or DVD or CD rom courses are at most about $299, so less than the cost of 2 flight lessons, and many libraries even have older courses in book forms for free, which are certainly adequate, or a local pilot who had finished his course may sell or give you his CD when he is finished.

Buzz
09-11-2012, 04:52 AM
You can minimize the total costs of getting pilot license by studying and being very prepared for each flight lesson. One poster on here said it took him 85 hours to get a sport pilot license. I admire his persistence in sticking with it, but in the long run he paid over twice what it cost me to get mine in 43 hours (not counting inflation of course).

re:preparation. Bill is dead-on. I earned a Private License at 16 [took the test 2 wks after my 17th] in 53 hours. I had been in a GA cockpit 2x before that, so no other instruction.

I borrowed a neighbor's self-study Jepp ground school course and worked on that immediately. I took the Written very early into my flight training, which gave me a very good theoretical base to work from in each lesson.

I was also motivated to use every flight hour [including the solos] effectively. [I was making $1.25 an hour cutting laws and an hour of dual cost me $21.56.] I think that helped.

I also flew every Saturday. I started in October and got the license in June. No breaks.

I think it also depends on the quality of your instructor. Mine had been a pilot in WWII and been instructing on the weekends since. I think he had over 25,000 hours, mostly instructing.

I also flew at a unicom field [had 2 paved runways], so there was not a lot of flight time wasted transitioning out to the training/practice area.

Those are the factors I think resulted in finishing the Private in 133% of the FAAs required minimum hours at that age. A lot of reducing training hours is understanding what factors subtly contribute to increasing the # of hours one requires.

-Buzz

[If I were taking lessons again today and wanted to do the Private in even less time, I would have done practice sessions in my head between lessons to cut down my hours required with the instructor or in the air. I would imagine doing all the steps I had learned up until then. [the walk around, start-up, taxing out, climbing out, turning, etc.] I'd get a copy of the aircraft checklists and go through them imagining me doing the activity. Do I remember the steps and the numbers [climbout, over the fence.] Everything I forget between a lesson the instructor has to reinstruct me on the next lesson. If I use what I have learned in my head between lessons, I won't waste time having the instructor refresh my memory the next lesson. Any layoff between lessons adds to the total instructional time. ]

jedi
09-15-2012, 08:23 PM
Bill Greenwood ask "Is learning to fly hard?"

It is time someone answered this Question. No, it is not hard to learn to fly but it does take considerable time and money!!! I do not know anyone that cannot fly the plane on the first lesson. Learning to land takes a little longer but it is not difficult. Difficult is something that no matter how hard you try it cannot be done repeatedly. Something like a hole in one. The pilots I know are able to land every time they fly and most do it successfully each time.
More importantly, not only is it easy, it is enjoyable and fun!!

malexander
09-16-2012, 06:22 AM
To me, learning to golf would be harder than learning to fly. Not to mention, less convienient. Since I live on an airpark, with my hangar & airplane 20' from the my house, it's easier and less work than going to the lake, and cheaper!!

aabreu
09-16-2012, 07:42 PM
I learned to fly in through an airplane club in Toledo Ohio. We have a Pietenpol Aircamper. The club charges me $10 per our plus I supply the 87 octane car gas. Conventional landing gear amplifies any bad flying techniques, so you are forced to learn how to fly correctly. Took my check ride with Martha Lunken in fall of 2009 in southern Ohio. Is flying hard? I wouldn't call it hard. I would call it challenging. I still fly the Piet. In fact, I flew it today. Check it out. Are you jelly?
http://cloudahoy.com/cgi-bin/fltShare.cgi?share=18UrYBpASVnhBvUCo2ER1HB

Later,
Andy

Frank Giger
11-09-2012, 10:36 AM
Learning to fly isn't horribly difficult - it's akin to learning to drive (I'm teaching my son to drive right now and I think I was a better student pilot than he is a student driver).

One does have to be prepared for every lesson and take it seriously, though.

What all the noise about money is about is that in order to really learn, one must be trained regularly and consistently. One lesson a month is a huge waste of time and effort.

How I did it was to sit down, research, and come up with a financial plan to pay for my training BEFORE I began, always estimating high.

As a Sport Pilot, 20 hours is the minimum. Ha! Fat chance, since I wasn't raised around aircraft and had no observational experience (like most do with driving a car), I bumped it up to 30 hours. Plane and instructor was $180 an hour, so that went into the spreadsheet.

And books.

And gas to and from the airport.

And "other," which I randomly threw $500 at, as I knew there would be some weird hidden costs I wouldn't know about (like a headset, EAA/AOPA memberships, sectionals, etc.).

I figured $6,000 for my little piece of plastic, which is a lot of money for a guy like me. But when one really wants something, one can find a way.

Well, two days a week (with a break for maintenance issues) and 26 hours of flight/instruction time later and I passed the check ride, four hours and three hundred dollars less than budgeted.

And then budgeted actual flying on my own and endorsements - tailwheel, for example.

It's not hard, actually; just put optional expenses in terms of flight time. Pizza delivery for the family is twenty minutes in the air. Sometimes the pizza just has to be ordered for quality of life, but I find that I've cut down on a lot of BS spending by putting into flight time equivalents.

I also don't worry too much about drop-out rates, though I'm suprised how long it takes people to do so. I figured that about hour three either the bug has bitten or it hasn't; if it has, nothing will stop one from wanting more.

For me it bit about the time I revved the engine and turned the switch from "BOTH" to "RIGHT;" YMMV.

rosiejerryrosie
11-10-2012, 11:34 AM
For me it bit about the time I revved the engine and turned the switch from "BOTH" to "RIGHT;" YMMV.

:) For me, it was the first time I got to holler "Clear".....

David Pavlich
12-12-2012, 12:55 AM
I just joined and the first thread to read is this one. Very interesting replies. What keeps people away from learning to fly initially is first cost, then time which is my case. I'm at a point now where I just may jump in and get my ticket. I'm 61 and just put my business up for sale. Upon that sale, if and when it happens and after the transition helping the new owner, I just may do it. My thought process is since I'll be "unemployed for the first time since I got out of high school, I can accelerate the process since I'll have time. I've read ads about the "2 week private license". That seems a bit much on the surface. However, there is something to be said for total immersion. My hope is that I can do a sort of hybrid of the traditional path and the 2 week super duper acquisition.

I'd like to do something like getting 3 or 4 flights a week in. Prior to that, have my studies already completed for the written portion. One of the posts mentioned getting the written work done early in the process which makes sense. I've already been reading several FAA books and looking at a few video tutorials. Does something like this make sense or am I really missing something?

My Dad got his ticket after WWII, he was a flight engineer on a B17G. We all have regrets and one of mine is that I never pursued my license. My hobby is astrononmy and when I think of the money I've spent on it, i could have been flying a 747 now. :-) Well, I would have at least been instrument rated. I've even thought about selling some of my astrophotography equipment to finance this effort, but even though i have the money, finding the time was the real hangup. But if the business sells (I say if because of the economic conditions), I'm going to do it. Any thoughts that you veteran pilots have concerning my idea as to how to get to that point would really be appreciated!

David

rosiejerryrosie
12-12-2012, 07:44 AM
Hi David,
You have the right idea. I too think the crash two week courses are just a bit too accelerated, but if you can fly 2 to 4 times a week, it should be about right. I started training at about the same age as you - after I retired and only planned on flying once a week. With weather interruptions, etc. once a week actually turned out to average every other week, which is too drawn out. In the process, the flight school went out of business and I had a long dry period until I discovered Ultralights. To shorten a long story, I finally got my ticket at age 72 and love it. Go for it my man, go for it! I was told by a very good CFI that younger kids learn faster but us older guys learn better. An 18 year old may be able to solo with less time than a 60 year old, but, in his opinion, the 60 year old will end up a better pilot becaause of the better judgement earned over the years of making mistakes and learning from them. The prime directive is "Have Fun"!

Bill Greenwood
12-12-2012, 12:05 PM
David, if you have the money and the time go do it. I would probably do one of the 2 week courses. You don't say where you are or where they are. They seem serious about getting your rating.
By the way , nothing wrong with a sport/LSA rating, but if you know and can afford to be a pilot, why not go for the private from the first.
You can certainly learn to fly at 61.
Good luck

David Pavlich
12-12-2012, 12:29 PM
David, if you have the money and the time go do it. I would probably do one of the 2 week courses. You don't say where you are or where they are. They seem serious about getting your rating.
By the way , nothing wrong with a sport/LSA rating, but if you know and can afford to be a pilot, why not go for the private from the first.
You can certainly learn to fly at 61.
Good luck

Thanks for the replies! I have two flight schools within a 45 minute drive. One is a Cessna school and the other is a private school. Cessna advantage: newer equipment with G1000 equipped 172s plus a simulator. The other has older planes, no simulator but a good reputation with the locals. I met a couple of the instructors at the Cessna school, but other than meeting them and having a short discussion, I don't know much about them. The Cessna school actually offers an accelerated course. When the time comes, I'll have to do more research. Having newer equipment in and of itself is only one selling point. I'd rather be comfortable with the instructors even if the equipment isn't the latest and greatest.

I have every intention of getting a private license. Why stop half way? Down the road, perhaps an instrument rating as well. Time will tell!

David

Bill Greenwood
12-12-2012, 03:10 PM
David, if you want to fly airplanes find the best instructor around. If you want to play with a computer on the panel of an airplane, go to the Cessna place.
Just a guesstamate, but I'll bet the Cessna place has some nice young men, maybe in coats and ties, that have very little real flying experience in something more exciting than a 172 and much past the home airport.
Go ask the students who have just learned at each school how much fun they had and how many hours it took them to get the rating, and thus how much money.

David Pavlich
12-12-2012, 04:56 PM
Truth be known, I'm leaning toward the school with the older equipment based on their reputation. Funny that you mentioned "young" in reference to the Cessna school as one was a very attractive young lady about 25 years of age and the guy wasn't much older. Heck, my son is older than they are. :-) Also, the airspace at the "older" school isn't as crowded. It's at a non-towered field and the FBO is owned by one of my customers. There are ongoing discussions with the town about a tower being built to attract more business. But that's down the road.

At any rate, I'm hoping that I'll be posting here at some point in the very near future that I've started on a path that I should have taken a long time ago.

David

Baz
05-24-2013, 07:02 AM
Agreed money is the biggest obstacle and numerous budding pilots are put off from the start. Suggest accessing the link below which is a ready reckoner styled 37 page free download document: www.barrierecommends.info

somorris
05-25-2013, 07:09 PM
AOPA's study was good, no doubt. But, the CFI's I have talked to believe money is the primary deterrent It is very expensive.

aerocowgirl
06-15-2013, 01:30 PM
Well said. Thank you for this.:)