Investment

Investment

So how much is all this going to cost? How much do you want to spend? You can buy a set of plans for under $100 and build an airworthy plane totally from scratch. Or you can spend $50,000 or more on quick-build kits that will have you flying in no time. Actually, it’s the…

Wings

Wings

If you’ve been to the airport (and I’m sure you have) you’ve seen a variety of types of aircraft, large and small, high wing and low. Maybe some older planes with two sets of wings. What’s that all about? Wings, obviously, are one of the major differences between cars and planes. I tell you how…

Initial Costs

Initial Costs

Again, the initial costs depend on how you “own” your wings: rent, lease, partner, or buy. For most folks, the initial investment dictates ownership form. That is, if you really don’t have enough saved up for a down payment or initial lease payment, you’re stuck with renting. If you do have more in the piggy…

Buying Time Blocks

Buying Time Blocks

Let me give you one more cost-effective option that many pilots haven’t considered: buying a block of time. You simply find an aircraft owner who’s willing to let you fly his or her aircraft for a specified number of hours during a specified period. Your local FBO or aircraft rental business also may offer block-time…

Passing the Test

Passing the Test

Hopefully, when you land from your checkride there will be two certified pilots in your aircraft — the examiner and you! The examiner will tell you right then whether you passed or not. The examiner will also give you a test debriefing after the flight, telling you what you need to work on. Few pilots…

Descent

Descent

What goes up must come down, including your plane. That’s good—as long as you do it safely! As you’ve probably figured out already, the trick to descent is reducing your airspeed to normal descent speed, which varies between aircraft. Here’s the typical process: Abeam (90 degrees from) the end of the runway, begin the plane’s…

Air Traffic Service

Air Traffic Service

Any airspace that is controlled or reserved is marked on the charts to tell you what and where. Fortunately, the chart legend will help you figure it out. Here are some tips: Wide blue lines encircle Class B airspace; remember, there are multilayers or circles, solid and shaded. Wide magenta lines encircle Class C airspace;…

USUA

USUA

The United States Ultralight Association (USUA) was formed in 1985 when ultralights were becoming quite popular in the United States. It has become the primary voice for ultralight pilots and manufacturers, encouraging knowledge and safety. The USUA has regional chapters, as well, to help bring together ultralight pilots and those who want to know more…

Weight Limit

Weight Limit

The performance of aircraft is greatly affected by weight. A heavier aircraft requires a larger engine and wings. Also, the weight limit tends to restrict the distance the aircraft can fly because each gallon of fuel weighs about 6 lbs., deducted from the useful load the airplane can carry. LSAs are limited to a maximum…

Flying Club Types

Flying Club Types

The oldest and most common type of flying club is called a shareholder club. Members purchase a share in the club with their initiation fee and actually own a percentage of what the club jointly owns. The club takes care of maintenance and other fixed costs out of monthly dues. Members pay the variable costs…

Airspace Endorsements

Airspace Endorsements

The major differences between sport-pilot and private-pilot certification is that sport pilots can start off with fewer training hours and lower-cost aircraft, then add endorsements as their interest and training expand. The sport-pilot certificate gets you flying faster! Let’s take a look at how sport pilots can spread their wings with endorsements. An earlier Flight…

Getting Your Private Pilot Certificate

Getting Your Private Pilot Certificate

So what’s it going to take to earn your private pilot certificate? Just like earning anything worthwhile, it’s going to take some effort and some money. Fortunately, it’s not like going to college—or trying to pay for college. This website as well as StudentPilotGuide.com will show you how to get your private pilot certificate in…