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rec.aviation FAQ
Section - Learning to fly

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Q3: I'd like to learn to fly.  How do I do it, how much does it cost, how
    long does it take?

A:  Learning to fly a single-engine airplane is usually accomplished by
    visiting an FBO (see acronym list below) or two and selecting one for
    your instruction.  Costs vary widely, not only by geographic area, but
    also because different individuals take different amounts of time to
    learn to fly.  You should expect that learning to fly in the U.S. will
    cost you between US$3,000 and US$5,000, and it will take about 60-80
    hours of flying of which about 20-30 hours will be solo (on your own) and
    the rest with an instructor, spread out over a period of 3-6 months.

    For further information, send e-mail to geoff@peck.com (ask for the
    private pilot handout), and you can receive a helpful and comprehensive
    handout.  [Note:  sometimes, due to mail system problems, you may not get
    a copy of this handout when you ask for one -- if you ask and don't get a
    response within a week, or if you've asked before and didn't receive it,
    send me e-mail again, preferably containing some "alternate" e-mail
    addresses!]

    If your goal is to fly a glider or a helicopter, you need not start out
    by learning to fly a single-engine airplane.  Learning to fly in a
    helicopter will cost about twice as much as learning to fly in an
    airplane.  (In U.S. metropolitan areas, a typical trainer helicopter
    rents for about US$100/hour; a typical trainer-class airplane for
    US$30-50/hour.)  Learning to fly in a glider will vary in cost from
    significantly less than the cost to learn in an airplane to about the
    same as learning to fly in an airplane.  If you plan to learn to fly
    airplanes as well as gliders or helicopters, it is typically less
    expensive to do the airplane first and then the other aircraft type.
    If you're interested in flying gliders (soaring), in the U.S., contact
    the Soaring Society of America (SSA -- see below) for information on
    glider sites around the country.

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Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:11 PM