new to flying

surefly

Not just a fly on a wall
Joined
Aug 31, 2005
Posts
20
Total Time
0.00
Hey everybody. I'm 25, based around KVNY/KLAX, and ready to turn my desk into a cockpit within the next year. I've been a passive viewer for the last week and I've read a lot of stories on here from people that have said the first few years of persuing an ATP career are the most difficult/financial burdening of them all, yet the most rewarding because you get to do what you love (not to mention seeing the world from a new perspective/beauty). I've heard it's never to late to learn how to fly and persue a career in it, whether it's regional or with a major commercial airliner.

I just picked up the Jeppesen Private Pilot Manual - so I'm tearing through that - then to the Gliem Private Pilot Written Test Book. I don't think I'll be financially ready to start training until January '06 at this point. But I think that should give me enough time to learn as much as I can on my own.

There's a couple FBO's in the area worth checking out, and I've heard to go with the school that has the best/good quality flight instructors and the most well-maintained planes.

Anyways, that's my brief story for now. I look forward to sharing my adventures in flight training with all of you. :)
 
Last edited:

Flying Illini

Hit me Peter!
Joined
Mar 9, 2003
Posts
2,291
Total Time
6000
Welcome! You won't regret learning to fly. It may be financially burdoning, but it's worth every penny.
 

mar

Remember this one?
Joined
Nov 27, 2001
Posts
1,929
Total Time
9500
Good luck and welcome

I learned to fly at Fullerton, CA. Soloed at Compton. First job at Van Nuys Flite Center.

Have fun. Good luck. And for God's sake, if you're in the practice area west of VNY please watch out for the jet traffic going into Burbank!
 

surefly

Not just a fly on a wall
Joined
Aug 31, 2005
Posts
20
Total Time
0.00
mar said:
I learned to fly at Fullerton, CA. Soloed at Compton. First job at Van Nuys Flite Center.

Have fun. Good luck. And for God's sake, if you're in the practice area west of VNY please watch out for the jet traffic going into Burbank!

lol i'll keep that in mind Mar. :)
do you still work at VNY? VNFC is one of the schools i think i'll be favoring based on what i've been hearing/reading about the CFI's and the aircraft - even if the PPL training is slightly more $$ than other schools.
 

Almerick07

Professional Surf Bum
Joined
Jul 29, 2005
Posts
407
Total Time
.02
First thing is first, go get yourself a 1st class medical/student pilot certificate...just to be on the safe side before you spend thousands upon thousands of dollars. Second off, go find a local FBO that offers a PPL-CFI course...package deals like that usually save you a thousand or two. I'm not sure of your situation in specific but if you can devote the time to be a full time student do it, if you fly 1-2 times a day you should be able to get your CFI within a year easily. Flight instruct for a year or two, but be prepared to earn $6-7k a year. I would flight instruct until you have atleast 1000 hours before you go job hunting especially if this happens by year 2 of your aviation career. Just make sure you can financially support yourself on $6-7k for a year or two and $20k a year once you have your first "real" flying job. Goodluck and keep us posted, flying is a truely unique and rewarding lifestyle.
 

surefly

Not just a fly on a wall
Joined
Aug 31, 2005
Posts
20
Total Time
0.00
Almerick07 said:
First thing is first, go get yourself a 1st class medical/student pilot certificate...just to be on the safe side before you spend thousands upon thousands of dollars. Second off, go find a local FBO that offers a PPL-CFI course...package deals like that usually save you a thousand or two. I'm not sure of your situation in specific but if you can devote the time to be a full time student do it, if you fly 1-2 times a day you should be able to get your CFI within a year easily. Flight instruct for a year or two, but be prepared to earn $6-7k a year. I would flight instruct until you have atleast 1000 hours before you go job hunting especially if this happens by year 2 of your aviation career. Just make sure you can financially support yourself on $6-7k for a year or two and $20k a year once you have your first "real" flying job. Goodluck and keep us posted, flying is a truely unique and rewarding lifestyle.
thanks for the insight! yah, I heard it can be quite rough during the first couple of years - most people seem to pull out of it and get by it seems, which is somewhat hopeful lol.

I'm planning on getting a reference to a AME at the FBO which seems to be the most reputable, even before I take a discovery flight. I guess the main thing for me is getting up on the basic knowledge and 'shopping' around for a decent school. :)
 

NoPax

NoPax NoMore
Joined
May 25, 2005
Posts
362
Total Time
5250
If you work at a good FBO as an instructor, if that's what you want to do, you'll make more than 6-7k. In fact you should make more instructing full-time than your first 'proper' job.
Don't instruct if your heart's not in it. The last thing aviation needs are more SJS inflicted instructors, doing a half-a$$ed job.
There are plenty of other opportunities - Traffic Watch (out of Whitman and Fullerton) and sight seeing, tuna spotting, and banner towing
If you need any info on flight schools in the area let me know, I once worked in the area too
 

mar

Remember this one?
Joined
Nov 27, 2001
Posts
1,929
Total Time
9500
I'm no longer in the Basin

surefly said:
VNFC is one of the schools i think i'll be favoring based on what i've been hearing/reading about the CFI's and the aircraft - even if the PPL training is slightly more $$ than other schools.
The VNFC was more spendy than the rest but the owner had a reason for it.

Flash back to the recession of the early '90s. Nobody was learning to fly because it had finally become too expensive. But this place was doing ok because it really catered to the higher end of the market.

We had the occasional "professional student" in there but mostly it was a bunch of doctors and lawyers with loads to blow on nice airplanes. They didn't want to rent some beat up Cessna. They had the money to rent turbocharged Saratogas, Trinidads and Senecas.

The check outs were very thorough. The CFIs wore a uniform shirt and slacks. And the saleman would try to pitch a shiney new Trinidad to these guys.

Anyway, things change, and I don't know what it's like now but there could be better options for you out there.

At the top of my list I would put Sunrise Aviation in Orange County (John Wayne).

Reasonable prices, a very strict and dedicated owner who is fixated (?) on quality control and a nice diverse fleet.

I realize that's a bit of a drive for you from west LA.

Santa Monica and Long Beach also have some good schools. If you have some friends that are learning to fly you should get some recommendations from them. In lieu of that, you may need to shop around a little and go through a few instructors until you really find one that you enjoy working with.

I might recommend just going for a few "introductory flights" to see who you like rather than walking in a putting down a huge deposit somewhere.

Good luck, if you can filter out the bickering this website is a good resource.
 
Last edited:

Kream926

pimpin' aint easy
Joined
Feb 28, 2003
Posts
1,196
Total Time
1.21
holy crap you have a blog
 

surefly

Not just a fly on a wall
Joined
Aug 31, 2005
Posts
20
Total Time
0.00
mar said:
The VNFC was more spendy than the rest but the owner had a reason for it.

Flash back to the recession of the early '90s. Nobody was learning to fly because it had finally become too expensive. But this place was doing ok because it really catered to the higher end of the market.

We had the occasional "professional student" in there but mostly it was a bunch of doctors and lawyers with loads to blow on nice airplanes. They didn't want to rent some beat up Cessna. They had the money to rent turbocharged Saratogas, Trinidads and Senecas.

The check outs were very thorough. The CFIs wore a uniform shirt and slacks. And the saleman would try to pitch a shiney new Trinidad to these guys.

Anyway, things change, and I don't know what it's like now but there could be better options for you out there.

At the top of my list I would put Sunrise Aviation in Orange County (John Wayne).

Reasonable prices, a very strict and dedicated owner who is fixated (?) on quality control and a nice diverse fleet.

I realize that's a bit of a drive for you from west LA.

Santa Monica and Long Beach also have some good schools. If you have some friends that are learning to fly you should get some recommendations from them. In lieu of that, you may need to shop around a little and go through a few instructors until you really find one that you enjoy working with.

I might recommend just going for a few "introductory flights" to see who you like rather than walking in a putting down a huge deposit somewhere.

Good luck, if you can filter out the bickering this website is a good resource.
Awesome, thank you very much for the insight! I'll let you know what vibe I get from these places :)
 
B

buttercup

mar said:
I learned to fly at Fullerton, CA. Soloed at Compton. First job at Van Nuys Flite Center.

Have fun. Good luck. And for God's sake, if you're in the practice area west of VNY please watch out for the jet traffic going into Burbank!

Did you have a bullet-proof vest on when you soloed at Compton????
 

mar

Remember this one?
Joined
Nov 27, 2001
Posts
1,929
Total Time
9500
Walk on by

as214 said:
Did you have a bullet-proof vest on when you soloed at Compton????
No sir. I just practiced my Vx climbs! :cool:
 

Goose Egg

Big Jens
Joined
Jul 21, 2004
Posts
1,719
Total Time
3k-ish
NoPax said:
Don't instruct if your heart's not in it. The last thing aviation needs are more SJS inflicted instructors, doing a half-a$$ed job.
That's the truth!

-Goose
 

FN FAL

Freight Dawgs Rule
Joined
Dec 17, 2003
Posts
8,573
Total Time
7,000+
Whatever you do, don't quit your day job untill the economy is better...
 

TransMach

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 8, 2003
Posts
492
Total Time
>12K
Absolutely the most important factor in learning to fly is picking the right instructor!

The right instructor is a guy or gal who is dedicated to completing the instructional task in a quality, real life manner. While nearly all CFIs are teaching in order to build time to move on to another flying job, your job is to find one who is gonna be a CFI long enough to get you through your rating/program.
If I were you (knowing what I do know) I would take a "few" introductory flight lessons at a couple of different schools and get to know a few of the available instructors. From there, I'd select my CFI/school.

TransMach

P.S. I'll be going over to my instructor's house on Saturday for a cold brew, and he, his older son, me, my older son are going fishing 16, 17 and 18 Sept. We've known each other for more than 30 years now. I picked the right guy.
 

pilotyip

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 26, 2001
Posts
13,629
Total Time
14000
Remember, no matter what anyone tells you you do not need a college degree to have a successful career as a professional pilot. You need flight time.
 

surefly

Not just a fly on a wall
Joined
Aug 31, 2005
Posts
20
Total Time
0.00
FN FAL said:
Whatever you do, don't quit your day job untill the economy is better...
i lend my heart out to the people effected by Katrina and other circumstances out of their control, but i gotta tell you living in L.A. has the biggest dissadvantage for cheap cost of living (factor in how you can't get around without a car, gas prices, and the mass transit system here). i'm 25 and still living at home while i make 35-40k a year and it's still rough if you want to move out on your own. i commend people that have the financial ability to do that. so by all means, getting my PPL with a part 61 is my goal while i hold down my current job in the publication industry.
 

surefly

Not just a fly on a wall
Joined
Aug 31, 2005
Posts
20
Total Time
0.00
pilotyip said:
Remember, no matter what anyone tells you you do not need a college degree to have a successful career as a professional pilot. You need flight time.
really? i've read that a degree (in aviation, not nessecarily in some cases) is reccommended for the majors after about 1500hrs. my plan after a PPL and CFI certificate is to attend ATP in LGB and transfer credits to UVSC to take courses online and get an associates in aviation. i suppose it will have to depend on my financial situation at that time though.

do you think that's a reasonable plan? or is it more of a "who you know" type thing?
 
Top