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Looking for Advice

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Looking for Advice

Unread postby chrisbuck243 » Sun Mar 20, 2016 10:20 am

Looking for advice on my next course of action for flight training:

A little background: I am currently ASEL private pilot certified with 45 hours but looking to move into a career in aviation. I don't really want to fly airlines so not looking to go ATP or anything, I'm more interested in flying small planes, float planes, doing training, charter flights, and whatever else flying work I can find.

Also, I am currently living in Europe and working as a teacher. This means that I am not able to fly all year round. I am hoping to go back to the US this summer for a lot of flying and then the next summer hopefully be ready to start instructing but I am trying to figure out the best path to get there.

I want to get my IFR, CPL in ASEL, AMEL, ASES, AMES, and both CFI and CFII certifications. The order is not necessarily important to me I just want to figure out the "best" way to go about doing this and I would like to do this in a cost efficient way but also in a way that I can get quality flight experience and preferably some experience working with the planes so I can eventually get my A&P license.

I would theoretically like to do as much of this as possible this summer so that next year I can finish up and then hopefully find a place to start instructing. Any advice on order, methods, or anything in general will be happily received.
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Re: Looking for Advice

Unread postby chrisbuck243 » Sun Mar 20, 2016 3:12 pm

Also, just to throw this out there...I may be willing/interested in buying my own plane (if I can find one cheap enough) to do much of my flight training in instead of only renting since a lot of my time will be hour building. Just another option to think about.
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Re: Looking for Advice

Unread postby Stevesbrother » Sun Mar 20, 2016 5:14 pm

Love to help you Chris ..... But it's been so long since I went thru the program and its changed so much. I doubt any of my advice would be timely. My first thoughts from what I've seen of you (read on this website) you'll figure it out and get it done. Just started and you already have your own seaplane magazine and a good one. I'm betting on you!!
"Still dreaming and hoping to die young at heart with a bar room story that will close the place"
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Re: Looking for Advice

Unread postby RKittine » Sun Mar 20, 2016 7:52 pm

The total amount of time required for the Commercial and instrument (which has been considerably reduced over the years) means that buying an inexpensive plane to "Build Time" may not be so important. For the commercial and complex endorsement, you are going to need a retract. Fore the Hi-Performance Endorsement, you will need something over 200 hp. Since you are not concerned about the ATP, then total time is again, not that critical. For the MEL and CFMEI you will need a twin. For the SES you will need a float plane and for the MES you will need a twin on floats. With all the ratings you want, buying an inexpensive aircraft, does not necessarily seem like a best way to spend your money. Just my humble opinion. What you might want to consider is buying into a club or partnership. Ownership will cost you, the purchase, insurance, tie down or hangering, maintenance and 100 hour or annual inspections depending on how it is used. Oil changes and regular hourly maintenance. For the instrument rating you will also need equipment / avionics, required to fly IFR and the subsequent 24 month certifications. Since with the ratings you are looking at, I do not see you needing any more than a few hundred hours of single engine, fixed gear, fixed pitch prop time, I think it might not be the best approach.

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Re: Looking for Advice

Unread postby chrisbuck243 » Tue Mar 22, 2016 1:30 pm

Thanks for the advice so far...

I'm thinking that finding an individual CFII or one working at a small flight school may be better than at a big place since I would like to fly most every day. Anybody have any suggestions for anyone to contact to maybe start a discussion about this?
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Re: Looking for Advice

Unread postby RKittine » Tue Mar 22, 2016 5:20 pm

If you are going to fly every day, which means less relearning every time, you might want to consider a Part 141 School where the program is more structured and less total time is required. Some times it is also good to have input from the other Phase Check instructors, though I am a believer in using one instructors as much as possible. The potential issue of using one instructor only is that if that instructor is at the beginning of his or her career and gets the chance at a job with a Part 121 or even 135 carrier, you might get left high and dry (not good for a seaplane pilot! :lol)

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Re: Looking for Advice

Unread postby Bill Rusk » Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:01 am

I too would probably recommend a part 141 school. They are set up to get you through the ratings in min time and with min chance of getting a pink slip. They know how to double and triple up the rides to cover the max "requirements" in the min time. If you go to a small mom and pop operation, it might be more fun but it will likely cost more in both time and money. Furthermore, it is common for the 141 school to hire you as a CFI and then someone else is paying to build your time. That takes a lot of the financial pressure off.
Best of luck, Chris. It can be tough to break into but it can also be a great way of life. It has been a long time since I went to work, because I enjoy may career so its not really work.

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Re: Looking for Advice

Unread postby chrisbuck243 » Fri Apr 01, 2016 9:32 am

Thanks for the advice. I've looked into some 141 schools but I don't think it's going to be possible to squeeze it into the summer break that I have. The "fastest" school that I've found is 12 weeks and I've only got around 7-8 weeks. I've been looking at hours and requirements and I think if I do an accelerated IFR rating as soon as I arrive in the US (8 day course) and then book an accelerated CPL course (5 days) to finish up the hours with an instructor at the end of the trip that will leave me around 4 weeks to fly 100 hours. I know that's a lot of hours but it breaks down to less than four hours a day and I don't foresee me not being able to fly more than that most days. The biggest issue I see with this plan is the fact that I'll basically need a plane every day for 8 weeks and I don't see many flight schools giving me that leeway.

Any thoughts on this?
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Re: Looking for Advice

Unread postby jjbaker » Sat Apr 02, 2016 11:40 am

There are some "accelerated schools" who claim to be able to get it done. Unfortunately they may not.
It can be done with all written exams passed 95% or better, but you're still going to hammer through everything.
Plus you will need to build time while not taking lessons. XC time is still required AFAIK.

IMO, you're loading too much into the available time window. I didn't take my older friends advice and thought I'd know better.
Get just the basic ratings you need to be employable as a CFI. Instrument, Commercial, CFI. That is doable in 7-8 weeks.
Add the ratings as you see opportunities, make contacts and gain time. Teach for a year (800-1000 dual given) and then add to it.

The problem with the fast track schools is that you come out with minimum + 5 - 10 hours (if lucky) and are basically unemployable. In 2008 I took a time window of 3 months to go from Private to Instrument, Commercial SEL/MEL/SES - AGI/IGI + CFI in Florida. My Chevy broke down on the way South (trucked back to Maine) and a need for a rental car in FL) I had 700+TT at the start of this regimen and a job offer to go fly tourists in AZ on the day of my passed Commercial. This was turned down with the healthy help and advice of one of our members here.

The CFI training stopped a week prior to check-ride with an involuntary emergency visit to Germany and subsequent 4 week stay. I was at the time 3 months over my time window due to flight school changes in Florida. Got caught with a shady outfit and ended up watching others fly.

You will find flight schools who will block-time you for the required time, but any small deviation (MX, Instructor turnover) can put a dent into your plan.
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Re: Looking for Advice

Unread postby RKittine » Sat Apr 02, 2016 11:52 am

There is a lot to consider Chris.

If you are going to use a plane every day for 4 hours, I think most schools that have multiple planes will be happy to do it. It usually the people who want to take a plane for the day to go somewhere and only put 1 or two hours on it. Most trainers will have some kind of minimum billable time per day. Much of the Instrument instruction can also be done in an approved simulator, which all of the Part 141 schools have. Most have the Multi Simulators also or have the conversion modules for their modern simulators.

Make sure you also take into consideration where in the country you are looking at. There are a lot of schools in Florida and Arizona because they get sun shine almost every day and not a lot of heavy wind. Even in Florida with Thunderstorms they come and are gone in minutes.

A lot depends on the time and cash you have. I did the accelerated complete course at what was then the Aerospace Technological Institute - ATI ( in Melbourne Florida in the mid 60s. It became the FIT (Florida Institute of Technology flight training program). It was Originally Campbell Aviation. The program was a little more inclusive than some of todays training mills and included:

Private Pilot - Part 141 - 35 hours minimum.
Commercial Pilot (Only required 160 hours in those days and you could get it without the instrument rating, which in those days was a minimum of 250 hours of PIC before starting the training and you could fly for hire in VFR Weather within 25 miles of your departure airport - Basically sky rides, but it gained time toward the Instrument. And remember that X-C time is any time that you land at a different airport then where you started off. Most people early on think that 50 miles is required to log cross country, but it is not. The Private requires "Cross Countries of 50 Miles Perleg" just like the long Commercial Cross Country and the long Instrument cross county, but you log any time that you land somewhere else to your Total XC Time even if the other airport was only 5 miles away. We would take students to a local uncontrolled field for touch and goes and the to and back portions was always logged as cross country. Today you need a lot more of it then you did then though.
CFI
Basic Ground Instructor
Commercial SES
Instrument
CFII
Multi-Engine including instrument.
CFI ME
Advanced Ground Instructor
300 Hours of FREE Twin time in a Cherry Hill ex-Marine D-18 (Free but it meant flying mail around Florida at night and loading and unloading the plane.)
Turbo Prop Transition - Mitsubishi MU-2
LR Lear Jet Type Rating in a Model 23
The examiners were on staff. So the instructors really know exactly what to teach for the check rides.
Then some instructing in C-150 and Piper 140s for the commercial. No Retract Time needed in those days or Hi Performance or Complex endorsements, but it was sure covered in the MU-2 and Model 23 Lear. A few hours instructing in an Apache with 160 HP engines.
At 1,200 hours you got the ATR, which was the equivalent of todays ATP. Airline Transport Pilot was not a class of license then, but a rating on the Commercial. You also only had to be 19 in those days not 23.
Then graduation with a Associate Degree in Aviation Technology. Two year program accelerated by weekend and evening classes. No time for a part time job.
Then off to fly Beech 99s with Executive Airlines, a regional carrier then in Florida that did not go out of the state and therefore did not have to meet interstate commerce laws. It became one of the American Beagle regionals for AA.
Some of my classmates when to Tree Top Airlines, Trans Texas, also affiliated with the school like Delta does with their region. That became Southworst Airlines when they moved into other states.
750 hours of B-99 time, 500 right seat and 250 left, total of 2,000 and it was off to the majors.

Purdue University has a pretty intense aviation program or at least did in the 80s and 90s. When I had two Beech Duchess's and a Turbo 310 and was doing Multi-Engine and ATP courses in a suburb of Chicago in the late 80s, I wrote their Part 141 Training Syllabus for the Instrument Multi-Engine Rating in a BE-76. That is one place where a part 141 school takes more time. From a part 91 school there is no minimum time for the multi, but there is for the Part 141 version, which by the way I believe in. At Purdue the minimum time for the Commercial / Instrument Multi is 13 hours.

A very intense program at the time.

Bob

Oh, to be that young again. For now I have gone all the way up and back down to LSA.
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Day I Took My Type Rating Ride in the LEAR and my first solo in the MU-2
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Re: Looking for Advice

Unread postby chrisbuck243 » Sat Apr 02, 2016 1:03 pm

Thanks for the additional input. I agree that I was probably looking at too much. At this point I'm thinking I'll be lucky to get Instrument and Commercial in this summer. But I'm hoping that I can find a way to make that happen.
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Re: Looking for Advice

Unread postby RKittine » Sat Apr 02, 2016 2:15 pm

There used to be a company, PIC I think it was called, that would send a CFII to you along with his own simulator and would work with you to get you the instrument rating in about 8 days. I don't know if they still exist or not.

The bigger schools will usually have more training aircraft too so scheduling will be easier. I did over 100 Multi-Engine Ratings in my BE-76s and almost always had two students at a time. One would sit in back and observe (The Ad-Hoc Schools for some of the European Majors are doing this too) and get some experience without the expense and also provided another set of eyes.

When you are instructing for the Commercial / Instrument in a twin, the student is under the hood and if the instructor is start is watching the students hands almost at all times. Does not allow for a lot of time for correctly looking for traffic.

Where are you on the written exams? You could do those in advance.

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Re: Looking for Advice

Unread postby splash » Wed Apr 20, 2016 12:38 am

baby steps first or you may vapor lock. After the CFI I can most likely get you teaching in New Orleans, LA (armpit of the US lol).

Just starting out a pilot crashpad here in NOLA too if needed a place to stay for cheap. Pilots only! no :B.S.:

Get work permit, it's a must.
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