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Anybody out there a pilot?
Old 03-08-2008, 11:53 AM   #1
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Anybody out there a pilot?

Lots of posts as to what folks own as motorcycle organ donors and sportscar fanatics, is anyone a general aviation pilot? If so what do you own and where do you fly out of?

I own a Mooney 201 and fly out of Roanoke VA.
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Used to fly choppers...
Old 03-08-2008, 12:23 PM   #2
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Used to fly choppers...



Flew Bell 206Bs and an old UH-1B while in the NYPD. Also owned a Piper Cherokee (PA28-140).




This is an accidental double exposure. First pic is me clearing the main rotor, next shot is me starting her up. Notice the large float on her. We used her for Search and Rescue until getting a couple of Bell 412s. I think those floats were inflated to 1/2 lb of air per square inch (or something ridiculous like that). Loads of fun in a cross-wind landing...

Just a note: I was somewhat younger then....
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Old 03-08-2008, 12:30 PM   #3
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Nope, just a wannabe. I'm planning to start work on my private pilot's license in about a year. I've got about 100 hours of time in C-152s, T-37s and T-38s (plus sim time), but that was about 20 years ago, so I'll be effectively starting from scratch. I'll begin training when I can dedicate enough time to it--I've seen lots of folks try to get their ticket flying once a week and I don't think that makes any sense.

Another goal: Building an airplane. I'll be building a two-place plans-built fiberglass acft, the "Vision." American Affordable Aircraft, Vision, Experimental Aircraft, Sport Aircraft,homebuilt aircraft,vision The web site isn't glitzy, but the plane is well thought out and builder support is superb. Plus, a plans-built approach fits well with a LBYM lifestyle. Building an airplane is not, in general, a cheaper way to get into the air, you have to want to build one for the sake of the project.

So, do you fly for business, or just for the occasional $100 hamburger? The Mooney 201 is a very nice ride, good on ya!
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Old 03-08-2008, 12:55 PM   #4
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Use to fly, don't now, I have thought about taking it up again, however, I find a long nap usually gets rid of the urge!

If you can get someone else to pay for it, flying is great! However, I would think it would not be conducive to FIRE. Planes are too expensive to own. Like a boat, they are a pit you throw money into. Renting? Well I have seen how people treat their rental cars, at least with a car it rolls to a stop.

As a hobby, great, however, you should fly at least 10 hours a month, more would be better. Less, and you are not safe, no matter how good you think you are! That's a good sum of cash for a hobby.
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Old 03-08-2008, 01:18 PM   #5
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No longer current, used to fly Skyhawks, a Cardinal in a flying club, trained on Beech Skippers and 152s.

I loved it, but never got my instrument rating.
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Old 03-08-2008, 02:25 PM   #6
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Used to fly a PA-28 140. I decided to save for retirement instead.
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Old 03-08-2008, 02:36 PM   #7
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I started in a J-3 when I was 15 spending lawn-mowing money on it, but didn't solo until I was about 22. Picked it up again after an AA degree. Later had a Tri Pacer in the mid '70's, put about 300 hours on it.

I could afford a house or an airplane but not both. Tried occasional renting for a while but like Rustic23 I realized that I was forgetting too much not flying enough, making little mistakes, so I gave it up. Got halfway to the instrument rating and took about 6 hours of acrobatics, then real life intruded.

Assuming this promised job ever materializes and can't talk DW into a travel trailer, I'll buy something light to bore daytime holes in the sky. Without winning the lottery a Mooney will never be in my budget. Avgas is what, about $4.50/gallon, guessing 12/gal/hour, $54/hour for fuel alone. Ouch. I don't want to think about insuring it.
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Aviation, the enemy of FIRE
Old 03-08-2008, 02:43 PM   #8
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Aviation, the enemy of FIRE

I'm a private pilot (not current) I flew Cessna 152s, 172s, sailplanes and various light sport aircraft. I even have my own dirt airstrip and owned a plane for a few years. I concluded that I was going to have to w*rk several extra years if I continued to take to the skies. Now I just rent a Cessna and an instructor once in a while to scratch my itch. I miss having my own plane but can't see owning another unless I find myself with lots of extra money later on.

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Old 03-08-2008, 03:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rustic23 View Post
Use to fly, don't now...

If you can get someone else to pay for it, flying is great!
Like Rustic, I used to fly but don't any longer. Guess I was spoiled since not only was the equipment, fuel and insurance provided at no cost, I got a paycheck to do it. Only flew once when I was footing the bill and not getting paid. It wasn't nearly as much fun.
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Old 03-08-2008, 03:18 PM   #10
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I only know of one ER private pilot-- Philip Greenspun. He just got back from a couple weeks down the east coast to Bermuda...
Philip Greenspun’s Weblog Bahamas to Boston in a Cirrus SR20 (boring diary, part II)

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Like Rustic, I used to fly but don't any longer. Guess I was spoiled since not only was the equipment, fuel and insurance provided at no cost, I got a paycheck to do it. Only flew once when I was footing the bill and not getting paid. It wasn't nearly as much fun.
Maybe it was just not being able to use ordnance anymore. Those feral hogs would avoid your property!
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Old 03-08-2008, 03:39 PM   #11
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Seems like there's quite a few of us who have a private pilot's license, but aren't current, and I'm another. 152, 172, 182, Cherokee, and a few hours in an A36 Bonanza. Expense and a long drive to my home FBO have contributed to my inactivity, along with mild hypertension. I sure loved it when I was doing it, though. I guess today a $100 hamburger trip would be more like a $300 hamburger trip....
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Old 03-08-2008, 04:20 PM   #12
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You think the neighbors would mind? If not I'll bet the FAA would have a thing or two to say. Besides it is really hard hitting something with an M16 out the window.
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Old 03-08-2008, 07:19 PM   #13
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I got my private pilots license before my drivers license 17. My dad built a wooden home built airplane a Falco and we use to go to Oshkosh as well as West Coast flyin on a pretty regular basis. I haven't been up flying since my dad passed away a decade ago.

Volunteering for an aviation museum, I do a lot of hanger flying with real pilots (Air Force and commercial pilots with many thousands of hours ). But I don't think I can justify the expense or the danger now days. I agree 10 hours a month is what you need to fly and at $150-$200 hour that is a serious chunk of change.
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Old 03-08-2008, 07:46 PM   #14
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I got my private pilots license before my drivers license 17. My dad built a wooden home built airplane a Falco and we use to go to Oshkosh as well as West Coast flyin on a pretty regular basis. I haven't been up flying since my dad passed away a decade ago.
The Falco is a gorgeous machine, and building one is a true long-term labor of love. Your dad must have had a lot of determination and patience to finish such a project.
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Old 03-08-2008, 09:50 PM   #15
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Like Rustic, I used to fly but don't any longer. Guess I was spoiled since not only was the equipment, fuel and insurance provided at no cost, I got a paycheck to do it. Only flew once when I was footing the bill and not getting paid. It wasn't nearly as much fun.
I was interested in seeing what your response was. I'm always suprised how former military pilots mostly fall neatly into two groups.

We have a family friend who flew a Sea Stallion for the Navy. I asked him if he flies anymore and he said he's barely even comfortable flying commercial. He said he knew that they day he left the Navy he would never get into a cockpit again.

Then I have a friend of a friend who flys an F/A 18 for the Marines. He says that for the rest of his life he will never work a job that doesn't involve flying until the day they take his license away.
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Old 03-08-2008, 09:53 PM   #16
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You think the neighbors would mind? If not I'll bet the FAA would have a thing or two to say. Besides it is really hard hitting something with an M16 out the window.
His fellow Texans were more concerned about maximizing the ratio of pound of porker felled per ounce of ammunition... an airborne delivery system would be an unexpected bonus of the "Here, Bubba copilot, hol' ma beer and watch this'n!" variety.
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Old 03-08-2008, 10:10 PM   #17
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I was interested in seeing what your response was. I'm always suprised how former military pilots mostly fall neatly into two groups.

We have a family friend who flew a Sea Stallion for the Navy. I asked him if he flies anymore and he said he's barely even comfortable flying commercial. He said he knew that they day he left the Navy he would never get into a cockpit again.

Then I have a friend of a friend who flys an F/A 18 for the Marines. He says that for the rest of his life he will never work a job that doesn't involve flying until the day they take his license away.
Yep. There are those who live, eat, sleep and breathe flying, and then there are the rest of us.

That reminds me...

My commercial flight was delayed one evening and I killed a couple of hours in the airport lounge. While I nursed a beer, a guy wearing a stained white jumpsuit sat down beside me at the bar and ordered a drink. We struck up a conversation and I asked him what he did for a living. He told me he drove a "honey wagon", one of those small trucks that pulled up to a commercial flight after landing to 'service' the toilets. He seemed an intelligent, clean cut guy who could find a much better job, so I asked him why he didn't change careers. His reply: "What? And get out of aviation?"
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Old 03-08-2008, 10:14 PM   #18
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Thanks Sam yes they are.

it took my dad seven years, the last 4 year basically full time, I figure it took him 15,000 hours. This is from a man, who could add a room to a house working weekends in a month or so, whipped out a walnut living room set for me a few months.

It flew better than it looked which is saying something. Unfortunately, it spoiled me from every wanting to fly a Cessna again.


There were a dozen homebuilder projects at my dad's small airport in Oregon, including another Falco and several RV4s. My mechanical ablities are close to nil so I never considered building an aircraft. But if I did the RVs would be on my list.

Best of luck with the Vision. I know Rahm been involved with homebuilt for many years. Its is nice looking basic aircraft perfect for a low time pilot. (The reason my mom and I sold my dad's Falco is it was way too high performance for me.)

I am sure you've done your homework, but my only advice is to make sure you've talked to and preferably visited with everybody in your area who is building one and join your local EAA chapter. I can't tell you how much having a buch of fellow homebuilders helped my father. Later when he was President of his EAA chapter he helped out plenty of guys also.
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Old 03-08-2008, 10:19 PM   #19
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Yep. There are those who live, eat, sleep and breathe flying, and then there are the rest of us.

That reminds me...

My commercial flight was delayed one evening and I killed a couple of hours in the airport lounge. While I nursed a beer, a guy wearing a stained white jumpsuit sat down beside me at the bar and ordered a drink. We struck up a conversation and I asked him what he did for a living. He told me he drove a "honey wagon", one of those small trucks that pulled up to a commercial flight after landing to 'service' the toilets. He seemed an intelligent, clean cut guy who could find a much better job, so I asked him why he didn't change careers. His reply: "What? And get out of aviation?"
Hmmm - I think I meet a few of those guys during my 30 yrs in aerospace.

No big boats, planes, or motorcycles - I managed to afford ER and still have all my body parts intact.

heh heh heh - I rode in other peoples planes and boats and did slip with sports cars(two) for a while.
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Old 03-09-2008, 10:55 AM   #20
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I soloed in a glider, then gave up gliding. I earned a private pilot's license, then gave up flying. I enjoyed the learning more than the doing.

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