Finally Going To Happen!


I’ve been reading, lurking, and occasionally posting here for awhile now, and I’ve been saying the whole time I was going to start flight training, but conditions were just NEVER right (things come up…). Well finally I have everything in place to start!
I should start flying in mid-October!
Anybody have any advice on training, equipment I should buy, books, etc? I think the school will give me a lot of that advice, but I like to ask you guys about it.

You have no idea how excited I am. I rode up with the jump plane (King Air 90…Be awhile before I can fly that!) and back down a week or two ago and it just increased my excitement.


I recommend the Gleims written test book.
The Gleims books are great as they are the actual questions from the written. Every question is inthe book. The thing I eally like about them are the answers. It not only tells you the correct answer and why, but also why the incorrect answers are incorrect.
The ASA oral Guide is a good guide for the possible questions you’ll be asked in the oral. Not to say these questions will be asked, but if you have no problem answering any of them, you should do well.

The other recommendation I have is the FAA Airplane Flying Handbook.
Which you can find at Barnes and Noble or Borders, or as I just found out, a PDF version at FAA Airplane Flying Handbook and other books in PDF at
FAA Library.

Another great place to learn is AOPA Air Safety Foundation which has online interactive lessons on many safety topics.

The last book I’d recommend is a copy of the FAR/AIM. You’ll need to know it, and while the FARs are somewhat hard to read, the AIM is very informative and is essential knowledge.

GOOD LUCK! You’ll love it. Remember on those days where nothing went right and you’re to the point of quitting, don’t give up. You’ll have flights like that, but it’s the flights that everything goes right that make up for it!


I would go with what the school uses, although pfp has some good ideas and the extra reading certainly won’t hurt.
As far as training goes don’t be afraid to change instructors if need be. He/she may be good but if you don’t click, change to a different person.
What airport are you going to be at? just so we can avoid it while you are there…lol. Just kidding, good luck. Flying can be a life changing experience.

John in Saudi


Remember on those days where nothing went right and you’re to the point of quitting, don’t give up. You’ll have flights like that, but it’s the flights that everything goes right that make up for it!

I second this. And when those days come up (and they will!) re-read … 754#119754


Don’t worry about that… I won’t give up on it easily, especially with the amount of money I’ll end up spending.
There are going to be bad days in everything you do, but you can’t let it get you down. Live one day at a time!
Also, flight is amazing and has never ceased to put a smile on my face and I’ve never really flown a plane before…I’m sure flying is even more fun than riding in one.

I’ll be flying around KSLC, KU42, and KTVY probably (all in the Salt Lake City area), so if you want to avoid me, stay away from those airports!

Anybody have any opinions on what kind of headset I should start out with? I could go straight for a Bose headset, but those suckers are $1000…A bit steep. A friend who is a pilot recommended a David Clarke.


Go with the Clarks!


Add the word aviation to any product and you can count on the price going up 500 bucks. Bose top of the line for everything IMHO whether it be headsets, noise cancelling headsets, or even speakers , so you do get what you pay for.

As Beechluvr said DC’s (David Clarks) I think are a good entry level headset to start with. I still use my first and only DC’s and I bought them 10 years ago.


Headsets hadn’t been invented when I learned to fly, we just talked loud.



I remember a flight I had with a neighbor years ago in a Piper Arrow and yeah…It was VERY loud. I’m sure you’d get tired of shouting.

Any suggestions on a model of DC? Is the active noise cancellation worth it on those? I tried a Bose aviation headset (owned by the same pilot friend who suggested the DC to me) and it was GREAT.


:open_mouth: is that for real? :laughing:

I needed an instruction book on using that thing with a PTT doo hickey that hung from the instrument panel with a coiled telephone cord attached to the bottom of it :stuck_out_tongue:

I thought it may phone home to ET but nada, no side tone, nothing.


The one with the velcro? I remember the first one too.
Only airline pilots had headsets, the rest of us couldn’t afford them.


Was velcro invented in 1976? :laughing:

I musta had an upscale flavor in the Sundowner as it had a rusted hook on the back of that doohicky thing that latched into the panel.


Yep. I remember when I first started training back in '86, seeing a headset was a rare occurrence. Nobody I knew ever wore 'em.


Anybody remember the old cheap Telex’s with the boom mic that would’ve made an operator from the 40s envious? (AND YES VELCRO PTT wrapped around the yoke)… :laughing: yes I had one when training in a Trauma-hawk many many yrs ago… :blush:


Exactly the one I mean, maybe it was after 1976 though.

I delivered an early trauma-hawk (an apt description) with the girlfriend of a friend of mine. She flew several legs, on one of the early ones we thought it would be a good idea to see what the stall characteristics were like. (Delivery flights from the factory involve NO check out). Anyhoo, I looked back during the stall to see what it looked like. I’ll never do that again. That T tail was see-sawing back and forth about 6 feet. or so it seemed.


On a semi-related note, I have 2 friends that have expressed an interest in fractional ownership in an airplane…One of them is a pilot (His certificate is not current at this moment), and the other one has an interest in getting his PPL.
I’d much rather pay the monthly cost of an airplane I’ll eventually own, rather than have to pay the quite expensive rental fees.

A few questions for you experienced guys:

-What kind of plane would be a good all-around plane for training but also for building time/leisure once I/they have their licenses? Prefer something that is 4 seat and decently quick (Obviously we’re not going for Lancair or Mooney speed here, just faster than a 150, etc)

-Is storing a plane outdoors in the elements just a generally bad idea? I found out I can get a tiedown spot at KTVY for $15/month. A hangar around here runs $800+/month unless it is hundreds of miles from the city, then it is still a few hundred. KTVY is 30 miles West of SLC, so that would be ideal.

-How much total time is TOO much for an airframe? On Barnstormers, I’ve seen as high as 10,000 hours (was used by a flight school), and as low as 1000. I am already aware of the ~2400 hour overhaul on the engine…

-From you guys that own a plane: What kind of expenses were there that were unexpected once you bought the plane you did?

I saw a Grumman Traveler on Barnstormers for $30,000 with pretty low time. Any thoughts on the Grumman line of GA aircraft?


Very subjective here :laughing: but my Sundowner did more then I ever needed. 110 knots, could carry 4 passengers and luggage with almost full tanks (I planned 600 pounds with full tanks). Outside my subjective opinion, C172 would be my next choice (downgrade from Beech product!)

Does it hail a lot in your area? Tstorms always had me on pins and needles especially the hailers. Summers in MS are brutal for interior when outside in my experiences and will fade paint if you don’t keep on top of waxing the plane. Give my druthers, I would have hangared, but like you it’s expensive proposition that I rather put that expense into flying rather the sitting on the ground. Winters, well, need to reserve that opinion for our northern folks.

TBO is actually 2000 for most Lycoming engines. I bought mine with 1960 and it got overhauled at 2040. Can’t answer on airframe as mine had 1960 on airframe.

If there is anything you need to heed from my post and don’t want to make the mistake I did NEVER buy an UNDERused plane! **NEVER! ** Reason. Airplane parts need lubrication including instrumentation. Everything in my plane that needed some lubrication (even sealed instrumentation are lightly lubricated in some fashion to keep parts moving ) I replaced or got overhauled the DG, Turn Coordinator. Attitude indicator, the servos in the single axis didn’t work from lack of usage all the way down to the wheel bearings were replaced due to lack of lubrication from non movement. I haven’t even started into the engine problems from lack of lubrication (including a exhaust valve biting the dust, suspected cause rust)

Adding all this up well, if you have to ask, then you can’t afford an airplane :wink: Seriously though in the first 3 years, I think outside “normal” maintenance / annuals, I put down an extra 5 to 7 AMUs.

Not familiar with Grunman, but my one flight in one. Well, suffice it to say, the I think 95 to 110 HP or along that line of power was not one of my better aviation experiences. Owner had to take out gas so we both could be in the plane and we launched on 7 gallons of gas with an ambient temp of 90.00. I could see the veins of the leaves on the trees as we climbed out on 17 at KMBO.


Not really, but we have a harsh winter, that’s for sure… Subzero temps, ice, snow, etc.
We also have a harsh summer…100F temps at times. Low humidity though! It got down to 10% humidity last weekend here.

How much is that overhaul every 2000 hours? What about the yearly inspection?

Good advice! I’ll keep that in mind.

Yeah I’ve heard the ‘If you have to ask you can’t afford it’ thing before…When people tell me that, I just find it as a challenge and a goal to do what I have to do to be able to afford it at some time! :smiley:

Wow, now that sounds bad. I’ve heard that Cessna 150s are pretty underpowered at this elevation (4200MSL).
I think a 172 is sounding better the more I think about it. With 3 people in on it, it drops within the affordable realm (as long as it isn’t brand new, obviously). Still not a ‘meh, just a bit of money’ purchase by any means, but it certainly is doable.


Mine was 13.5K inclusive with de-install and reinstall of engine (engine was FEDEXED down to Mattick in I believe Florida. 4 weeks down time.

Beech is very pricey in parts, so my annuals may not be representative of norm. Highest was 5K, and my lowest was 1.8 K. Some repairs not annual required were caught during the inspection so I had it repaired. Insurance was incredibly cheaper then my 1996 Dodge Ram. I had 60K hull insurance with 1 mil liability through AOPA. Speaking of AOPA, awesome resource to consider besides here in the forums. I used their title services to check for prior damage and title search to make sure there were no liens against the plane before I bought it.

Note, if you get a prebuy and you should, it’s not even close to an annual but may take a full day to do it. On my plane, all inspection plates were pulled, engine oil filter cut for metal analysis, engine compressions check and log book review for AD compliance was done. It ran $500 for the prebuy so when you get to that point, you need to be pretty seriously considering buying the plane (unless you have $500 to toss away and if you do, feel free to mail some to me at the FAA address of record on me!) :stuck_out_tongue:

Awesome. I know I was a “low end” when it came to affording to owning an airplane. I also know if I had lived anywhere else outside MS due to a higher cost of living, that I wouldn’t have been able to share my stories. I realize others probably handled their finances differently by setting aside money, but I didn’t buy until I had the money set aside. It’s a huge investment, not always counted in dollars.

My take, if I can do it, ANYBODY can do it but it will take some blood sweat and tears along with a massive amount of discipline for aircraft ownership.

You will learn a whole new realm of aviation not experienced by renters such as intimate knowledge of service bulletins (SB’s), Airworthiness Directives (AD)s and more FAA alphabet soup you may care to digest. While PIC is responsible for airworthiness including compliance with AD’s (not sure about SB’s?) it’s a bear trying to interpret 1/10 of the stuff tossed with the airframe and aircraft logs when you get the keys and title to your new plane.

Not to discourage you any, but just like boats, there are two best days of airplane ownership. The day you buy it and the day you sell it.

Before purchasing, if you know a person that owns a plane, ask them if you can peek at how they keep the above straight. May give you good insight that it’s a lot of work to stay in airworthiness compliance.

If I was in your position, nothing less then 180 HP would be acceptable with my limited experiences under my belt. I get a touch squeamish here when density altitude on the surface is 3000 and my field elevation is 325! I run an extremely conservative ship when it came to crunching numbers on performance so others may get a good chuckle on my thoughts…