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Thread: How many hours before you fly passengers?

  1. #1

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    How many hours before you fly passengers?

    I'm not a pilot and while I have thought of getting my licenese I don't know if it will ever happen. In reading the thread about the IL plane crash there are a few comments in there that he didn't have enough hours to be flying passengers. I read one person say 500 hrs and another say 1000 hrs before they fly passengers.

    If I do the math on this I was told once it makes sense to own your own plane if you fly 100 hrs a year or more. That means 5-10 years if you fly 100 hrs a year. How many people can afford 100 hrs a year to begin with? By me a 172 rents for $92 an hour wet. 500 hrs is $46,000 while 1000 hrs is $92,000. Using rough numbers and 1000 hours then I'm being told I need to spend 100K before I can fly with anyone.

    I have a feeling this is going to be more of a debate and personal preference on when you feel you can fly others. From someone with little knowledge in the field I had assumed that once you get your license you are good to go and trained. Knowing I couldn't fly others around for another 5-10 years seems and $92,000 is a lot of money and a very long time. It would be like saying once you get your auto license that you can't drive others until you reach 50,000 miles for example. I do understand that a lot more can go wrong with flying then driving.

    I guess the question is how do you know when you are ready to fly passengers with you when you go flying?

  2. #2
    Auburntsts's Avatar
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    Brian,
    You can fly passengers as soon as you earn your private or sport pilot certificate. There's no way to quantify when a given pilot is "ready" to fly pax. Technically the FAA says you're ready when they issue the airman's cert. Whether you feel you're ready is just a matter of confidence. Back in 1986 I earned my Private with 55 hours in my log book. Hour 56 was my first flight with a passenger -- my dad who had helped me with the bill for my training.


    EDIT: I finally went back and read the thread you were referring to. Look, there's no substitute for sound aeronatuical decision making. If you don't have it or don't exercise it, no amoujnt of hours is going to save you from making potenially life threatening mistake. If a pilot say's he's not comfortable taking pax with anything less than 500 or a 1000 hrs, OK but that's HIS or HER choice. But that is definently the exception to the rule.
    Last edited by Auburntsts; 12-24-2012 at 06:48 AM. Reason: Added info
    Todd Stovall
    Aka tsts4 on POA & Matronics, and Auburntsts on VAF, RV Airspace, AOPA, & Purple Pilots
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    WAR DAMN EAGLE!

  3. #3

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    Todd - I guess that is what my thinking was. I'm sure that some people will take a few more hours of time after their license but 500-1000 hrs seems like an extremely long time. On the other hand if the person feels they want more hours under their belt that is fine to.

  4. #4
    Auburntsts's Avatar
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    Absolutely! Flying is not a one size fits all activity. I seen guys with tons of hours that I wouldn't trust to drive me around in a golf cart much less in a plane and I've seen low timers that I'd have no problem letting them take my kids up. Once you start flying, you'll know where you fall in the spectrum and I'd be willing to bet you'd be flying pax soon after earning your certificate.
    Todd Stovall
    Aka tsts4 on POA & Matronics, and Auburntsts on VAF, RV Airspace, AOPA, & Purple Pilots
    PP ASEL
    Building an RV-10 N728TT
    My builder's log (which is woefully out of date): www.mykitlog.com/auburntsts
    WAR DAMN EAGLE!

  5. #5

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    Major airline will not hire a low time pilot for a reason. One can take the checkride pass it and start flying people, friends, family, is it safe or smart, I would say no. But understand when I say fly a passenger I am not talking about around the patch. I am talking x-country.

    Read through the NTSB data base and you will see for yourself. We have restrictions on passengers in a car with a new driver. Why is this? Because its not safe.

    When that bird went down in the Hudson, thank God a new pilot was not at the controls or acting as PIC.

  6. #6

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    Ask yourself this.
    If you where setting in a 747 getting ready for takeoff and the PIC came over the radio and said to everyone, I just received my pilots license yesterday. Would you stay aboard that bird?

    Or lets say he says, I have flown for 70 hrs, would stay aboard that bird? Iknow my answer, I would be running for the exit.

  7. #7
    Auburntsts's Avatar
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    OK, let's not confuse part 121 or 135 ops with part 91. Sure ops under those parts are safer then under part 91 for a whole lot of reasons beyond pilot total time, but that doesn't mean it has to be that way. Experience helps but that's not a panacea for bad decision making and stupid pilot tricks. You've advocated one position and that's fine, but its not the norm. I think it's over kill and it won't turn a bad pilot into a good one. Can we in GA do better -- without a doubt. Could we in the experimentall world, which has GA's worst safety record do better -- absolutley!!!!! However, I don't think setting arbitrary min hours for flying with pax is the way to do it.
    Todd Stovall
    Aka tsts4 on POA & Matronics, and Auburntsts on VAF, RV Airspace, AOPA, & Purple Pilots
    PP ASEL
    Building an RV-10 N728TT
    My builder's log (which is woefully out of date): www.mykitlog.com/auburntsts
    WAR DAMN EAGLE!

  8. #8
    Auburntsts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1600vw View Post
    Ask yourself this.
    If you where setting in a 747 getting ready for takeoff and the PIC came over the radio and said to everyone, I just received my pilots license yesterday. Would you stay aboard that bird?

    Or lets say he says, I have flown for 70 hrs, would stay aboard that bird? Iknow my answer, I would be running for the exit.
    OK that is simply rediculous. Equating flying a 162, or 172 or a PA-28 under part 91 verses a 747? This is starting to make more sense now.
    Todd Stovall
    Aka tsts4 on POA & Matronics, and Auburntsts on VAF, RV Airspace, AOPA, & Purple Pilots
    PP ASEL
    Building an RV-10 N728TT
    My builder's log (which is woefully out of date): www.mykitlog.com/auburntsts
    WAR DAMN EAGLE!

  9. #9

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    Traditionally, when a pilot comes back to home base after being awarded their Private Pilot Certificate, their next flight is with their Mother, girl friend, Father, etc. Thousands of pilots have done this.

    Don't over think this. If you were not safe to carry a passenger, the examiner would not hand you a pilot certificate.

    Flying into crappy weather is a whole 'nother issue. Too many pilots restrict their flying to really nice days and then go on a trip, find that when they want to fly home the weather has deteriorated, and get their weather experience as they "gotta" get home. These are the guys that you read about. My best advice is to make a point of every so often pick a day when the weather is stable or improving, but maybe 1500' and 5 miles, to go do touch and goes and a tour of the local area. Get used to how the vis gets worse close up below a cloud layer and better further down away from a cloud layer. Look at some virga up close. Do all this close to your home airport so that you can stop and land when you start to get uncomfortable. Do this a bunch of times and when you are trying to get home you will be much better equipped to look out the windshield in the direction of your destination and know when it is time to land and rent a car.

    Best of luck,

    Wes
    N78PS

  10. #10

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    Today we have passenger limits for those with new drivers license. I believe we should do the same with a PP. Its all in the name of saftey. If we want to see better numbers in the forum of saftey we need to change our thinking. Its the fool whom does the same thing but expects different outcomes. If you want different sftey numbers you must also act different.

    This all started because someone posted an NTSB report about a man whom just passed his PP, took his children up with a friend and killed them all. not the first time and wont be the last. So tell those young ladies whom died....its ok for a low time pilot to fly family and I bet they would have a different answer then..Its ok....I bet they would run like the wind.

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