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How to obtain a private pilots licence?

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by Toefa, Nov 19, 2007.

  1. Hi there,

    When i was around 13 or 14 years old, i was hell bent on getting my private pilots licence and use to hang around the local flight school in the hope i'd be taken under their wing (no pun intended) - with no success.

    During that time however, I got to fly a single engine Cessna and a friend of my uncle got me into the 747 flight simulators at Qantas. We flew the 747 around Sydney, then under the Harbour Bridge (but hit a 'glass wall' cause we were too low or two close to the bridge) and took off from a few other major airports. I got to stand in the turbine of a real 747-400, open the top hatch in the cockpit so i could stick my head out and look down the fuselage and see all the other interesting sections of Qantas. - which was all sooooo AWESOME and something that i feel pretty priviledged to have experienced.

    Then with the rebellious years that followed, the dream pretty much petered out and i didnt follow up on it :(

    Back then i knew the costs involved in private tuition and building your hours up, but they are also faded memories, so to the people that have or are doing their licence, could you please give me a run down on what is needed nowadays?

    How many hours do you need before you can go for your licence and at what sort of costs etc?

    Stealth :)
  2. I'm out of the loop now... hoping to go back "one day", but IIRC some students can get their people within 35 - 40hours - or was that GFPT??? :-k you know what, I can't remember.

    Either way, the average number of hours the average student took, was above the required minimum hours as set by the regs.

    Have a chat with a flying school. All up, there's not much change out of $10k when you add everything up... and there are many nights studying... especially if you do the intense from zero to hero 18week residential courses some mobs offer.
  3. :shock: :shock:
    Riding a motorcycle isn't risky enuff for ya?, or are you sick of filtering traffic? :p :p
  4. One of my best and bewildering days was riding to my flight school through peak traffic, then flying 70 minutes practicing engine failures, best glides, gliding dives and spin recovery, then riding back home in peak hour.

    It was an extremely 3D day in the air and an interesting 2.5D on the bike - as opposed to my normal 2D existence at ground level... my mind was actually bewildered :cool:

    Aviation like riding has it's inherent risks, but light aircraft are not as dangerous as people tend to make out.
  5. I have about 300 hours and I'm not an instructor but this is basically the process.

    The hourly cost varies depending upon where you learn and what you learn to fly in. City based flying school tend to be more expensive than country based ones and commercial flying schools tend to be more expensive than clubs which also give lessons.

    That tends to mean that a country flying club is probably the cheapest place to learn (and it's where I learnt), but it is probably also true that you will only be able to train to people level in the country (and if you live in the city you'll have to allow travelling costs).

    If you want a commercial license and a job out of all this be aware that a CPL with 150 hours (or even 250) isn't very employable and you'd really need more qualifications and hours than the base CPL.

    There are a few ways to boost hours without costing you a fortune but really the student license and medical is your first step.

    Make sure you are able to pass a medical to a level needed for commercial flying before you go investing thousands of dollars into flying.

    OK... There are Three stages of Learning to Fly


    Student Pilots Licence

    This licence permits you to fly an aircraft either "Dual" when accompanied by a qualified flying instructor, or "Solo" on your own after the instructor has authorised your flight. To obtain a student licence, all you have to do is pass a medical examination and complete an Application for Licence form.


    General Flying Progress Test

    For this test a pass must be obtained in law relating to aircraft radio operations, "Basic Aeronautical Knowledge" and also a flight test with your flying instructor. This test then allows you to carry passengers in the training area where you were taught.

    The average flying time for this licence is 45 hours of which 5 hours is "solo" flying.

    Private Pilots Licence

    Before you can fly "anywhere" you must complete a course of navigation which consists of 24 hours of cross country flying around Victoria, with passes in the following theory examinations:
    * Navigation
    * Flight Rules and Procedures
    * Meteorology
    * Aircraft General Knowledge.

    A flight test is also required at the end of this course.

    Commercial Licence

    This licence allows you to fly and be paid for your services: eg. Commercial Charter Flights. This licence is also the minimum requirement for applying for a flying job with the Airlines. To obtain a Commercial Licence you must pass:

    * Commercial Medical Examination
    * Commercial Theory Examination
    * Flight Test

    A minimum of 150 hours total flight time is required for this licence. On top of this licence you can further add instructor and instrument ratings if you wish.
  6. Thanks very much Robsalvv and ZRX1200R!!!

    I would be content stopping at the people, although if i caught the bug again, i'd probably want to go the whole hog.

    Not much change out of $10k!!!! Jeebaz, according to my financial calculations, that will enable me to sit the theory exams in .... ohhhh .... 2040! Was that just to get to people or were you talking $10k up to a CPL level?

    I saw somewhere that the introductory flight was $145.00 and then lessons were worked out after that. Would i be safe in assuming that means that a lesson is going to be above $145.00? Also, when you guys have gone out for these lessons, what are the average times you have spent up in the air?

    VCM - :LOL: I have had ENOUGH of cagers... i wanna take to the skies!

    Cheers for the replies! :cool:
  7. I'm with you Stealthassassin. Drifted away from flying with other stuff going on as a young fellah.

    I had about 500 unofficial hours up with my old man by the time I was 13, and was "flying" through the practical and theory of my license with the exception of any solo component (had to be 16 :( ). I'll get back and do it soon enough though.

    $10k certainly wouldnt get you a commercial license. people only.

    10 years ago, the hourly rate for a Gazelle was $100 through my flight school. That was cheap back then.
  8. I have a commercial and instrument rating, but rarely fly anymore.

    Previous post on the sequence of levels is pretty spot on. Costs about $40k to get to this level. Cool if you can afford to buy or share in a plane, but very much a luxury.
  9. Not if we win lotto...not if we win lotto...

    You were meant to fly and I was meant to be right there beside you :wink:
  10. pro-pilot is correct... $40k is about what that lot listed above would cost (assuming you aren't a slow learner like me!).

    There are also other endorsements such as Night VFR, IFR, multi-engine, constant speed propellor, tail wheel and and and etc etc etc (how big is your wallet?) :shock:

    Night VFR can be useful for a private pilot and so can IFR (not that I have either) assuming you have access to suitably equipped planes (more features mean a higher per hour rental as a general rule) :(
  11. There is a much easier and cheaper way of getting into the air than a people, an RAAus Pilot certificate. This enables you to fly 1 or 2 seat aircraft with a single engine and a maximum takeoff weight of 600kg. You cannot fly in controlled airspace, but the vast majority of Australian airspace is class G or E and this means in practice that you are really only stopped from mixing with commercial traffic at major airports. Time logged under a Pilot Certificate counts toward a people if you want to go on and get one. I looked into all this in detail, but reached the conclusion I don't have the time and I wouldn't see it through, but its is waaay cheaper than a people.

    An example of the kind of aircraft you can fly;


    For more info see; http://www.auf.asn.au/
  12. +10 to your posts zrx1200

    I have my people, 140 hours, NVFR, CSU and retractable, currently studying CPL theory modules. Mate don't necessarily make the cost deter you. It's a fantastic industry, and there are big bucks up for grabs if you get a job. Thats where I'm heading :grin:

    There are other ways around the cost gap. If you just want to fly a dick around plane, I would recommend getting an Ultralight licence. I've got one, and there are some pretty decent planes in that category. I'm flying to tassie in 2 weeks time in a Jabiru, very nippy, very new, very simple, and yet high-tech. Since it's ultralight category, training costs are MUCH less, as is depth of theory, as is required flight time. And they are very fun planes. Don't underestimate the cost savings you can make here.

    Another solution. QANTAS CADETSHIPS. Oh lordy me, this makes me drool.
    I will give you the super simple laydown.

    2 forms of cadetship - Ab Initio and CPL entrance level.

    Ab Initio will take you from zero to hero and have you flyin a jumbo in about 18 months, and 120k later. BUT, you will also get an associate degree, and a LOT of those fees can be offset by things like FEE-HELP, HECS, and all those government loans that you pay off later. Which of course, won't be a problem when you're a pilot and shitting cash.

    CPL entrance level (what I'm doing) assumes you have a CPL and a NVFR, will take 6 months to obtain your ATPL (licence for big planes) and will set you back 40k.

    Note that at the completion of both cadetships qantas will give you a guaranteed industry placement in a regional airline (ala Rex/ Qantaslink) for 1-2 years, and then back you go as a second officer to the legacy airline.

    entrace qualifications? Since qantas is getting seriously desperate for pilots, as is the entire industry, their figures at the moment is that they have been accepting at least 50% of all applicants, and that the program is expanding signifcantly this year and into the future. As long as you've got a bit more wits than the very average joe, i reckon you'd get in.
    Either need:
    Any degree.
    Yr12 Maths, English.

    More info on qantas website.

  13. I did it a similiar way. bout 30 per cent of all my hours are RAA. THey count towards CPL and everything, and MUUCH cheaper.
  14. Be wary of the costs. It WILL be alot more expensive than you think. Text books, headset, medicals, license issue fees, AVID/ASIC issue fees, security checks, private tuition for theory (if you need it. people can easily be done without classes tho. I self studied and got 96% on people exam), testing fees etc etc. These things can add thousands of $$$ to the cost of flying.

    If you only want to do your unrestricted people then you will do a GFPT. The GFPT can be skipped if doing a full time CPL course.

    So as far as exams are concerned you have,
    Pre solo exam - short and simple
    Pre area solo exam - lil more complex but usually consists of the CFI asking you questions to see if you are mentally retarded or not...
    GFPT exam (BAK) - approx 2 hours i think from memory. Cost about $100
    people exam - up to 4 hours and all multi choice. Cost about $300? i think to take regardless of pass or fail.

    Also i think there is a radio operators license exam in there somewhere too. Simple, short and easy.
    The minimum hours required for the issue of a people are ridiculous. Id say closer to double that for the majority of people.

    40hr minimum for the issue of a people. Most people would be closer to 80hrs unless doing it full time.

    Based on the bare minimums for the issue of a license you would be looking at about $12k for flight costs and then add probably about another $2k in books, exams, medicals, documents (maps, ersa, CAAP etc)

    Realistically, to get a people these days, budget around $20k.

    Ive been flying planes since i was 15 or 16 and god only knows how much ive spent on this hobby!! :LOL: Wouldnt take it back tho!! Still love it and now im getting the bug again!! May have to wander over to the airport and check out the glass cockpitted C172s....
  15. Stealth,

    A TIF (trial introductory flight) will cost you about $145 for a 45minute flight. Basically showing you how things work and what goes on up there. ITs a way of either sucking you in, or weeding you out.

    If you decide to take lessons from there, realisitcally you would be looking at around $240 per hour if training in something like a PA28 warrior. Will be cheaper (approx $210 per hour) if training in something smaller like a cessna 150 or 152. These are fine for up to a GFPT level (and a shite load of fun too!) but you really want something bigger when you commence the navigation part of your traning. Something with better instruments, better range and better comfort.
  16. Also keep in mind that once you have it, it costs money to keep it. It isn't like a car licence where you can just hop back in after a few years out. The people/CPL licence itself lasts indefinitely but restrictions are placed on you depending on how much you have flown recently. Assuming you have a people, to be able to carry people you need to have done 3 takeoffs and landings(can do them solo) within 3 months. This isn't a big deal as it is 30 minutes of flying to do that. But every two years you need to do a review which is like a slightly less stressful people test all over again. You need to work for that and it will cost some bucks - maybe a couple of hours of flying plus the fees. Also, you have to pay bucks to maintain the flight publications you need to pass the review.

    So you can work through it in one hit and get your people(as I did) but then you have to make a decision about making the outlay to keep it up. In my case, I got my people and then said "Right, what else can I get a licence for....MOTORCYCLE!" And here I am. I haven't flown since as all my money has gone into my motorbikes.

    As far as light aircraft being dangerous, as with all things it normally comes down to how you fly them. Don't accept a dodgy aircraft. If something seems wrong, ALWAYS ask someone about it. If still unsure, refuse to accept the aircraft. I can tell a couple of stories about doing this and finding out later that I had made a VERY good decision. Same applies for the decisions you make in flight. If something seems dodgy or iffy, then run away. This is how people end up crashing in bad weather. Things get marginal and they don't turn around. Instead they try to push through, find themselves in a dead end valley and plough in. Either that or they end up in cloud and lose control and crash. Which is another thing - for a day people pilot, ask to do some instrument flying training every now and then. You don't need to pay enough to do an instrument rating but if you know the basics, it may save your life if you screw up and find yourself in cloud.
  17. Have a look at this website. Its in victoria but the training is all the same australia wide. These guys are more of a flying club rather than a "we'll guarantee you a job in the airlines in no time" type of school. Their website goes in to a reasonable amount of detail regarding the proceedure of learning to fly.

  18. $7000 on average...
  19. In 1975 maybe.....its now 2007.
  20. Well.... Thank you all for the very informative replies!

    I guess i had it in my mind to complete the people for recreational purposes, but that really doesn't seem to be the way to go. I can envisage a period where i wont go flying for one reason or another and get so far away from it again, that my training/licence/abilities would lapse.

    I also couldn't imagine that the commercial pilots would be that sought after, and to learn and study flying for vocational reasons would be a pretty big life change and a serious commitment :shock:

    It's a shame that the costs involved are so huge, because thinking about it more, if i had the money i would do it in a heartbeat.
    gegvasco - I can really understand where you are coming from. At least you have all your qualifications now though, so when you do decide to get back into it, it's not going to be such a difficult process.

    BruiserMadden - Man, go for it!! You've got a pretty damn successful career ahead of you. Its cool to see someone young following through with their dreams.

    I guess i'll stick with my bikes for a little bit longer in the hope that as Starlet says... we win lotto!

    On a side note, it's a positive shock to see how many Netriders can fly!