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Fox

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Learning to fly! Anywhere done it?

I met a girl here in Poland who is one of only 35 women with a pilots licence in the whole country (or so she said ha). It kinda has given me the flying bug.

I have emailed the local flight school to see if I can learn here in English and am waiting to hear back.

Seem it will cost about 10k all in with doesn't seem bad. It would be quite cool to be able to get in a plane and fly with a few people to another country.

I have actually flown copilot on about 10 twin otter flights before so I have a tiny bit of experience but not much.


Has anyone here done their private licence and has some insight/thoughts to share?

Also, I have been looking at the little home simulator setups online and they look super fun to get started.
 

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Haven't done it, but always wanted to. I'd be particularly interested in learning to fly helicopter, but from what I understand that is an order of magnitude more expensive than even getting instrument rated in planes.
 

Monkeycom

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Learning to fly! Anywhere done it?

I met a girl here in Poland who is one of only 35 women with a pilots licence in the whole country (or so she said ha). It kinda has given me the flying bug.

I have emailed the local flight school to see if I can learn here in English and am waiting to hear back.

Seem it will cost about 10k all in with doesn't seem bad. It would be quite cool to be able to get in a plane and fly with a few people to another country.

I have actually flown copilot on about 10 twin otter flights before so I have a tiny bit of experience but not much.


Has anyone here done their private licence and has some insight/thoughts to share?

Also, I have been looking at the little home simulator setups online and they look super fun to get started.
My uncle was a pilot, and an instructor. It'll change your life, for sure! Enjoy it!
 
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Ocean Man

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@Scot Maybe I’m wrong but I think Scot has some experience with flying?
 

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Oh man, this is something I really want to do - but where to start ...
 

Scot

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@Scot Maybe I’m wrong but I think Scot has some experience with flying?
I do yes. Got halfway through my license before I ran out of money, have been focused on building the business in the meantime.


@Fox $10,000 is pretty standard for a PPL in the States. I'm not entirely sure on reciprocity of licenses obtained in Europe at all, i.e. if you get your license in Poland, is it valid in Ireland, or the rest of the EU, or even the US. I would definitely check that first.

Technically... all flight operations in the world are mandated to be conducted in English. It's the international language of flight. So when ever you fly into a controlled airport anywhere in the world, the ATC's are supposed to be speaking english. Whether this is actually practiced or not depends on the airport.. With that being said, you should be able to find an English speaking CFI because of that.

Simulators are cool, but I wouldn't recommend getting one until after you get your PPL. And when you do, get the really expensive ones that mimic 100% characteristics of flight. The last thing you want to do is build bad habits when flying. Especially learning for your PPL, you're flying very small, low stability aircraft. If you're not getting into the habit of using rudder at the right amount during certain turns because your flight sim doesnt have that, you're going to be in for bad times when you're up in the air.

@Kak also has a love for aviation and some experience too if he wants to chime in.

Something that makes learning to fly much more affordable and a better experience is actually buying your own plane and finding a CFI to teach you in that plane. This helps because you'll be more familiar with it and you're not dropping $100/hr for aircraft rental or whatever the going rate is for planes in Poland. I did the math, and as long as you were doing more than 2 hrs per week training, it ends up saving you money. Something to consider...
 

VentureVoyager

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@Fox I've always had this thought that IF I was ever going to get a job, it would be a pilot. High status, good money and you get to play with awesome big boy toys and travel.
But my vision is not good enough and overall health could be better to put it mildly.
Are you from Poland?
 

Rawseed

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@Fox That's great!

I've never wanted to be a pilot. But recently, I've been wanting to learn how to fly an ultralight trike.

I don't know if you need a pilot's license to fly one of these.
 

c4n

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I'm a pilot by day (run my software "hobby" at night :)) as well as a flight instructor. Much has been said already, so perhaps just a few pointers:

- PPL is only the upfront cost. There will be additional costs down the road (medical exams, rating renewal, renting airplanes, gear, additional ratings ...) that you should take into account as well.

- get a good flight instructor, preferably an ex-military one, and ask him to make you work your @ss. I got my PPL in a civil flight school before joining the air force; the training, standards, and experience military guys have are levels above what most PPL instructors have to offer.

- the worst thing people do is they get their PPL then fly 5 hours in 2 years just to renew their rating. If you do get your license, make sure you fly at least 20 hours per year. Anything less and you will be a danger to yourself and to the people who fly with you while thinking you've seen it all.

- do your PPL in an as short period as possible - fly as often as you possibly can. This will greatly improve your learning curve. We have cadets flying 2-3 sorties per day 5 days per week.

- like everything else, flying takes hard work and commitment. And it's one of the most rewarding experiences ever!
 

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I used to fly, but haven't done it since the kids came along...

In the US, $10K is about right to get you to your check flight (get your VFR license). But, as @c4n mentioned above, that's only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to costs. You'll spend about $100-200 per flight hour to rent a typical small plane (Cessna 172 or something in that range), you'll have equipment costs, ongoing education, ongoing testing requirements, medical exams, etc.

If you don't plan to fly every couple weeks (or more), you're also going to find that you'll need refresher time with an instructor between flying. Expect to spend somewhere in the $50-150/hour for this, depending on where you live and the quality of the instructor.

It's not an inexpensive hobby, and it takes dedication. But, if you're going to do it often, it's definitely worth it, in my opinion!
 

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Okay - great advice here, thanks, everyone.

Ya, I was reading today that getting a plane can be cheaper long run and sometimes you can even make back some money on reselling the older planes. I think I will commit a bit first before I buy my own cesna though ha.

I called around this morning and the flight school in Warsaw, Poland teaches in English. And it seems like everything is one on one too which is cool.

@Scot I was going to get the home simulator set up but from what you said it sounds like is best to leave it for now.

Next stage is my aviation medical examine which I might try to do Monday. I got to travel down to Warsaw for the day to do that at the aviation military hospital. I got one weak eye so hopefully, that isn't an issue.

Thanks, everyone.

(I am Irish too since someone asked!)
 

V1Pilot

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Hello Fox,

I’ve been and still in the flying industry. I work for a three letter agency here in the US and have my own aviation educational company. Aviation and flying is my passion and profession. I’m willing to help with your goal of flying if needed. Just pm me.

Blue skies and Tailwinds,
Nick
 

Kak

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I used to fly, but haven't done it since the kids came along...

In the US, $10K is about right to get you to your check flight (get your VFR license). But, as @c4n mentioned above, that's only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to costs. You'll spend about $100-200 per flight hour to rent a typical small plane (Cessna 172 or something in that range), you'll have equipment costs, ongoing education, ongoing testing requirements, medical exams, etc.

If you don't plan to fly every couple weeks (or more), you're also going to find that you'll need refresher time with an instructor between flying. Expect to spend somewhere in the $50-150/hour for this, depending on where you live and the quality of the instructor.

It's not an inexpensive hobby, and it takes dedication. But, if you're going to do it often, it's definitely worth it, in my opinion!
This is exactly my experience with this. Now we do have the light sport option as well however which is probably $6000-7000 all in... The thing is, you are already limited to what you can do with just VFR and even more so with light sport.

I was in the middle of training when my travel needs changed a bit and so did my bug to "GET IT DONE ASAP." It is a HUGE commitment. Also, I am colorblind, so I have to go through some extra crap that most of you won't have to.

I have a new plan. Like @Scot alluded to, but maybe take things even a little bit farther. I am going to skip the 120kt Cessna crap. I will buy a REAL airplane like a TBM or Meridian that can go places, I will hire a pilot with a CFI. Pilots are CHEAP these days. My plan is to log hours while traveling for legitimate business purposes in that airplane and continue with the pilot/cfi in my own plane until I have all of the ratings including instrument, certifications, and hours necessary to insure it for single pilot, owner operations. Until then I am just going to have a pilot.

Obviously there will be early checkrides and solos along the way that I am not going to be doing in a TBM... But still. This route produces less redundant travel and seems like the better fit for my life. Not to mention, safer airplanes.

For those of you that want to do the PPL route, I can HIGHLY reccommend x-plane 11 and also the Sporty's ground school course. If I were you, I would complete the whole thing before I went to my first lesson.
 
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For those of you that want to do the PPL route, I can HIGHLY reccommend x-plane 11 and also the Sporty's ground school course. If I were you, I would complete the whole thing before I went to my first lesson.
Ya I was looking at x-plane and the funny phone pretend set up (pedals and fake instruments etc).
I actually downloaded the demo and did a few lessons the other night. With just a mouse and a keyboard though it sucks.

What are the thoughts on this - bad habits or good practice?
 
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c4n

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PC simulators are good for learning procedures, but you obviously won't learn how to fly.

For example, when I was doing IR (instrument rating) training I flew all the sorties a day before on Microsoft flight simulator and it helped immensely. I really learned how to use the VOR, HSI, ADF, scanning techniques, I flew all the planned departures, arrivals, approaches ...

However, because my joystick was way more sensitive than the real thing I was moving the stick too abruptly making the airplane very "nervous" (overcorrecting everything).
 

V1Pilot

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Ya I was looking at x-plane and the funny phone pretend set up (pedals and fake instruments etc).
I actually downloaded the demo and did a few lessons the other night. With just a mouse and a keyboard though it sucks.

What are the thoughts on this - bad habits or good practice?
With the students I instruct, it’s a good tool to teach flight procedures. You don’t get much as “feel” of the aircraft, but memorizing procedures in a aircraft that is representative of the aircraft you’re flying can save you time and money in the long run. As in my past careers with military and airlines, one of the first few stages is memorizing flight procedures and applying it on the “ paper” cockpit mock up , then moving into a partially animated simulator and finally onto a full motion simulator and aircraft.
 

Kak

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PC simulators are good for learning procedures, but you obviously won't learn how to fly.

For example, when I was doing IR (instrument rating) training I flew all the sorties a day before on Microsoft flight simulator and it helped immensely. I really learned how to use the VOR, HSI, ADF, scanning techniques, I flew all the planned departures, arrivals, approaches ...

However, because my joystick was way more sensitive than the real thing I was moving the stick too abruptly making the airplane very "nervous" (overcorrecting everything).
With the students I instruct, it’s a good tool to teach flight procedures. You don’t get much as “feel” of the aircraft, but memorizing procedures in a aircraft that is representative of the aircraft you’re flying can save you time and money in the long run. As in my past careers with military and airlines, one of the first few stages is memorizing flight procedures and applying it on the “ paper” cockpit mock up , then moving into a partially animated simulator and finally onto a full motion simulator and aircraft.

I agree. It teaches great airmanship, but not how to fly. I like to apply ground school lessons on the sim too.

Evidently microsoft is coming out with a new sim soon that will be amazing.
 
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Kak

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What home set up do you recommend? I got a mac and super widescreen monitor.

Thanks.
You probably need a PC honestly. Unless you have a hot rod Mac Pro. You’ll need an 8GB graphics card minimum.

Processor speed matters more than core count.

I am hopeful that Microsoft Flight Sim can use more cores than X-Plane. I have an 8 core computer, a GTX1070 and X-Plane only uses 2 of the cores and begs for more power.

Beyond that a cheap Logitech joystick is fine for learning navigational and overall procedures as long as you understand the limitations of a simulator, which I am sure you will.
 
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V1Pilot

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At home I use the:
Logitech G PRO Flight Yoke System
Dell Aura A7 PC computer with:
Intel Core i7 Processor Kabylake-R Label
Windows 10
16GB Dual Channel DDR4 at 2666MHz (2X8GB)
NVIDIA(R) GeForce(R) GTX 1070 with 8GB GDDR5
 

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Kak

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At home I use the:
Logitech G PRO Flight Yoke System
Dell Aura A7 PC computer with:
Intel Core i7 Processor Kabylake-R Label
Windows 10
16GB Dual Channel DDR4 at 2666MHz (2X8GB)
NVIDIA(R) GeForce(R) GTX 1070 with 8GB GDDR5
We have roughly the same level of computer performance. Would you agree that there is large room for improvement? I am not really thrilled with mine. It works OK.

I am viewing mine through at a 4k monitor at 1080 resolution. I get 30 FPS with decent scenery settings.

I would get a GTX1080Ti or an RTX2080 and a Ryzen 9 if I was taking this really seriously. I am optimistic, however, that Microsoft FS will use more of the horsepower I already have.

This computer is beyond overkill already for everything else I do.
 
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mattwins

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What home set up do you recommend? I got a mac and super widescreen monitor.

Thanks.
I have some recent time toward my PPL. I recently built a home flight sim to help re-enforce the principals. It's certainly not the same as far as controls, but it's helpful for a lot! I hear it becomes most helpful if you get IFR certified after your Private.

There is an X-Plane 11 Service called "Pilot Edge" that acts as ATC so you can learn how to communicate properly. They also help with flight plans, training, VFR + IFR, etc.

I think my build was ~$1500 and I built it to handle the game well (I can send you everything I went with if you want). On top of that I also got 3 21.5" monitors ($100 each), Logitech Rudders, Yoke, + throttle quadrant (~$300). The 3 monitors are nice because they make it that much more immersive :).

I'll attach a pic!
 

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V1Pilot

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We have roughly the same level of computer performance. Would you agree that there is pretty large room for improvement? I am not really thrilled with mine. It works OK.

I am viewing mine through at a 4k monitor at 1080 resolution. I get 30 FPS with decent scenery settings.

I would get a GTX1080Ti or an RTX2080 and a Ryzen 9 if I was taking this really seriously. I am optimistic, however, that Microsoft FS will use more of the horsepower I already have.

This computer is beyond overkill already for everything else I do.
Like you, I’ll be checking out the new Microsoft Flight Sim when it releases. Depending on the new software performance on my existing system, I may upgrade as necessary. I would definitely consider a higher graphic card for my system as it seems the newer software is pushing the limits, but that’s just me and the love of technology.
 

SteveO

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@Fox That's great!

I've never wanted to be a pilot. But recently, I've been wanting to learn how to fly an ultralight trike.

I don't know if you need a pilot's license to fly one of these.
You need a special license if it is a 2 seater. None for the single.
 
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advantagecp

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Haven't done it, but always wanted to. I'd be particularly interested in learning to fly helicopter, but from what I understand that is an order of magnitude more expensive than even getting instrument rated in planes.
IMO any piston-powered helicopter is a deathtrap. And a gas turbine powered helicopter is very expensive to rent/buy/maintain/operate. If you can afford it, something along the lines of a Bell 206 Jet Ranger type bird is a dream to fly. If you can't afford that, then stay away from helicopters.

I am a bit biased because I learned to fly in a Beech T-34C (aerobatic turboprop), but the entry level Piper/Cessna 140HP airplane is not very much fun or very interesting. I would fly ultralight before I would get into one of the grossly underpowered fixed wing entry level airplanes.
 

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