November 20, 2005
As you can tell from my blogroll on the right hand side of this site there is a long lost of blogs about aviation that I read on a regular basis. I was thinking this afternoon that it would be fun to have a visual reference of aviation blogs. This way a pilot could find an aviation blog written by someone in their area. Or you could look for a blog in a region you hope to fly too. I thought it might bring the aviation blogger community closer.
So I have created a group called Flight Blogs at Frappr. If you publish a blog about aviation create an account and then enter the zip code for your hometown airport. Next in the message area list your blogs URL and your home airports name.
Add your aviation blog today!
November 18, 2005
If you were an airplane what type of airplane would you be? Take this quick quiz to find out. The quiz stated I would be a Cessna 172 which is pretty fitting since I have spent most my recent flight time in that exact plane.
According to the quiz: I am "...a CESSNA 172, a person that knows that things don't have to be extravagant to be nice. You love adventure, but are limited on your ways of achieving it. You live a little bit more on the safe side in life, but you know how to stretch your wings."
Thanks to Charlie Tango's blog for pointing out the quiz. Charlie Tango's match was to a Dehavilland Beaver the workhorse of the Alaskan bush pilots.
November 13, 2005
One of the questions I get most from prospective pilots is "What is the cost of learning to fly and earning a private pilots license?" That is a tough question to answer because there are so many variables that determine the final cost: frequency of lessons, amount of studying between lessons, aptitude, plane rental, and cost of instructor. Estimates for costs of learning to fly range from $4,500 to $10,000. BeAPilot.com estimates the cost to be between $4,500 to $6,000 and Private Pilot Magazine quotes the national average as between $5,000 and $8,000.
A podcast that I have been enjoying recently is Jason Miller's The Finer Points - An Aviation Podcast. Jason is a Certified Flight Instructor and in his most recent episode "Dollars and Cents" he shares his insights for the cost of earning a pilots license. He suggests budgeting between $7,000 and $10,000. He points out that a pilot can take his or her flight test with just 40 hours of flight time and 20 hours of instruction but that in his 10 years of flying he has only met one pilot that earned their license while their total flight time was still in the 40s. One suggestion he makes is that to save money, a student should schedule at least two flights a week and study for three hours between flights.
I completely agree with Jason's advice. I was able to earn my license after 47.2 hours of flight time and spending $4,536.74. Both of those numbers are below the averages quoted by the several sources above. I believe the main reasons I was able to earn the license so efficiently is because I made a point of flying 2-3 times per week and dedicating several hours between each flight studying and preparing for the next flight.
Though, one should not pass on learning to fly if they cannot dedicate the time or money to fly 2-3 per week but should realize it may end up taking more flight hours and instructor time because they may forget some of what they learned between lessons. Therefore their overall costs may be higher in the end if training is more spread out. If you can stick to a plan that involves frequent flights and studying I think a license can be earned for less than $7,500.
November 1, 2005
There is only one day left to voice your opinions on the The FAA's proposal to make the "temporary" flight restriction over the Washington D.C. area permanent. The current Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) was implemented in February 2003 in response to heightened terrorist threat levels.
There are 19 public-use airports used by more than 10,000 pilots that are effected by the ADIZ restrictions. The ADIZ area covers a 40 mile area from ground level to 18,000 feet. The restrictions of the ADIZ have put unnecessary burdens on general aviation pilots. Many pilots have reported frequently having to hold as much as 45 minutes on the ground or in the air to receive the needed transponder code to fly into the ADIZ. It is unfair that the general aviation aircraft that pose the smallest aviation threat must suffer from the restrictions.
Living in Chicago with a mayor who has proven to be an enemy to general aviation, I am concerned about the precedent that would be set by allowing a permanent ADIZ over the Washington D.C. area. AOPA President, Phil Boyer, said "If the FAA makes the Washington, D.C., ADIZ permanent, it will set a dangerous precedent, creating the possibility of IFR-like flight restrictions within the footprint of every Class B airspace."
AOPA has asked its members to contact the FAA and their representatives before November 2nd to make the voices of General Aviation pilots and enthusiasts heard. So far 16,565 have submitted comments. I submitted comments to the FAA, my two senators and my congressman. If you have not submitted comments visit the AOPA website tonight to find out how you can.