training & gaining experience

johnpeace

#199 of 201
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Maybe you guys can help me make some decisions:

I am working toward my Commercial & CFI ratings and trying to progress as quickly as I can. I'm at about 140hrs and just about to take the instrument checkride.

From there, I'll do my HP/Complex and the commercial maneuvers (20-30 hrs) plus some XC flights including the comm long XC (say, 8-15 hrs).

That still leaves quite a few hours I need of total time to qualify for my commercial certificate. Naturally, I am trying to satisfy that requirement for the least amount of $$.

I want to do part of those hours at the glider club. Not only are glider hours less expensive than the 172, it's also very good experience. The club also is in need of tow pilots (towing only experienced glider pilots, they don't do any training), and with 50hrs of tailwheel time I can check out in the pawnee.

Now, I'm trying to decide if it's worth earning my tailwheel endorsement, doing 20hrs of dual and 30hrs of solo in a Champ so that I can qualify for free time in the pawnee. I am figuring the tailwheel experience (50hrs) will cost me about $5000.

About the same as 50hrs of 172 solo time.

If I don't do that...no free pawnee time, no tailwheel experience and my weekends at the glider club won't yield nearly as much total time logged.

I think I just answered my own question but would love to hear your opinions.
 

Lead Sled

Sitt'n on the throne...
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That still leaves quite a few hours I need of total time to qualify for my commercial certificate. Naturally, I am trying to satisfy that requirement for the least amount of $$.

I want to do part of those hours at the glider club. Not only are glider hours less expensive than the 172, it's also very good experience. The club also is in need of tow pilots (towing only experienced glider pilots, they don't do any training), and with 50hrs of tailwheel time I can check out in the pawnee.

Now, I'm trying to decide if it's worth earning my tailwheel endorsement, doing 20hrs of dual and 30hrs of solo in a Champ so that I can qualify for free time in the pawnee. I am figuring the tailwheel experience (50hrs) will cost me about $5000.

About the same as 50hrs of 172 solo time.

If I don't do that...no free pawnee time, no tailwheel experience and my weekends at the glider club won't yield nearly as much total time logged.

I think I just answered my own question but would love to hear your opinions.
Excuse me, I'm still trying to wrap my brain around the concept of $100 an hour for a Champ. :eek: (I learned to fly in one. It cost me $4.00 an hour wet.)

Flight time is still flight time and nothing says it has to be in something like a C-172. Do I think it's a good idea to get your tailwheel endorsement, do some towing and get as much glider time as you can? Yes, absolutely, without question. If I were king of the world I would make it mandatory for all pilots to spend time in a glider and get some taildragger time as well as some aerobatic training. The glider will teach you things about airmanship and finesse that you can not learn any other way. The taildragger will teach you what your feet are for. On top of that, you'll never have as much fun in anything with wings as you will in a glider. Cruising around in a Champ is a hoot as well.

I've also done my share of towing gliders back when I was a Glider Club CFI and one of their tow pilots. It's not a very effective way to build time - a couple of 10ths at a time, but it's still worthwhile experience.

At this point in your career, putting time in your logbook is your major goal. When it comes to getting that airline job, remember everyone at that level is pretty much equally qualified and basically a clone of everyone else. When I was hired by one of the majors, the fact that I had learned to fly and had a bunch of time in tail draggers and also had a glider rating set me apart from the crowd - go figure? (The chief pilot was a soaring enthusiast and he told me once that he could always spot guys with taildragger time when they flew a B727.) My advise for you guys wanting to break into the business is to concentrate on the "total package", not just the licenses, ratings, and flight time.

'Sled
 

johnpeace

#199 of 201
Joined
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~1800
Excuse me, I'm still trying to wrap my brain around the concept of $100 an hour for a Champ.
It's $70/hr wet...$100 dual, which I have to have 20 hrs of to solo.

Yes, it's different now, and it sucks more in a lot of ways but $100 dual is WAY cheaper than what I've been payign throughout my instrument training.

Do I think it's a good idea to get your tailwheel endorsement, do some towing and get as much glider time as you can? Yes, absolutely, without question.
OK, great. I thought so too.

I've got about 100hrs in hang gliders and you are oh so right about the unique, hugely valuable experience of soaring flight. I can't wait to fly one of those composite, high performace sailplanes the club has!

When it comes to getting that airline job
lol.

I hope I never have to resort to that.

I'm hoping to spend some time teaching, spend some time flying in Alaska (hopefully in something on floats) and if I can crown my career with a PIC position in a Lear or Citation working with good folks I'll be the happiest man in the world.

Thanks for the advice.
 

Lead Sled

Sitt'n on the throne...
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johnpeace said:
I'm hoping to spend some time teaching, spend some time flying in Alaska (hopefully in something on floats) and if I can crown my career with a PIC position in a Lear or Citation working with good folks I'll be the happiest man in the world.
I tried the airline thing a little over 20 years ago. Once the novelty of flying a "big" airplane wore off I realized that, compared to what I had been doing in the corporate world, it was a pretty crappy flying job - boring and not a lot of challenge. We had a merger going at the time so it was time to leave. I really enjoyed the "hand's on" aspects and variety of corporate flying so I went back and I've never regretted it.

Get you glider rating, get your taildragger endorsement, get your time in the Champ, do some towing, and by all means get your CFI ratings to help you reinforce all of that "book learning".

'Sled
 

Pilot_Ryan

Tiller Twirler
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Jul 19, 2004
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Brunch
johnpeace said:
I think I just answered my own question but would love to hear your opinions.
Sounds like a good plan to me! Tailwheel flying makes a real pilot out 'o ya.

Have fun.
 

check6

Well-known member
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May 20, 2005
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Hmmm. . . . wouldn't towing gliders be considered compensation or hire if you were being paid. . . .or is it your own Pawnee??
 

Lead Sled

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check6 said:
Hmmm. . . . wouldn't towing gliders be considered compensation or hire if you were being paid. . . .or is it your own Pawnee??
It would be if you were being paid to tow the glider. At most clubs that I ever hung out at it was just something you did (if you were qualified). Some guys walked wings, some guys handled the schedule, some guys flew the tow plane and some guys instructed. There are a lot of clubs where you just do what you can do and you don't get paid for any of it. In fact, you paid to be a member of the club.

'Sled
 

johnpeace

#199 of 201
Joined
Nov 17, 2003
Posts
841
Total Time
~1800
61.113(g) is an exemption, allowing private pilots to tow gliders for 'compensation' (in the form of flight time).

You can read about the details from Doc here:
http://www.propilot.com/doc/bbs/messages/4172.html

Great, I'm going to do 25 hrs of dual and then 25 solo in the champ. Sounds like the dual will be in the pattern (cool!) where I'll learn to really land the plane, in grass and on concrete.

And it'll be the cheapest 50hrs I've done, which is another blessing. So, for about $3800 I'll get:
a) enough in the taildragger to really get proficient, rather than just a 6 hr tailwheel endorsement clinic.
b) 50 hrs closer to the 250TT for commercial
c) the 2 hr, day VFR XC for commercial...maybe I already have that actually.
d) qualified to check out in the pawnee, which I can then fly for free on weekends, albeit for .4 hrs at a time...but it'll still keep me sharp in the taildragger and help me trickle toward the commercial TT requirement.

Thanks guys.
 
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