Pilot Wannabe With Questions...


I’ve been lurking on the forums for most of today and finally decided it was time to register an account and ask some questions…
I have been interested in getting my private pilot’s license now since I think I was about 12 (I’m 26), but circumstances were just never right for it to happen. Circumstances are looking more in my favor in the next 6 months to a year to have the money and time to pursue the dream…
I have some questions that you guys can answer:

How difficult was it to get your license (Just private, not instrument, commercial, etc)? Was it easier or harder than you expected?

How often do you fly? Do you just fly around locally or do you go long distances?

I have a brother that is an avid skydiver, and I’ve jumped once myself. What licenses would you need to be able to fly a King Air 90 jump plane?

If you have ever played any of the MS Flight Simulator series, how accurate would you say the basic flight dynamics, instruments, ATC, and such are compared to real life?

Finally, if any of you live in Utah, would anybody be willing to take me on a demo flight? :smiley:


Answers in order of questions-

  1. Depends on how much time and money you have to invest. the more time and money you have the easier it is. here is your first flight lesson- Pull back on the stick the trees get smaller, push the stick forward and the tress get bigger, left is left and right is right.

  2. once again it depends on how much MONEY you have (can you see a trend forming?). if you are poor you can do what I did and hang out at the local airport and offer to wash, re-cover, seal floats etc. in exchange for flight time. You can use an airplane for a nice Saturday viewing the country side of use it to go camping for a few days once again depends on the amount of time and money you have.

  3. to fly a C90 in jump operations you’ll need a multi-eng rating along with a commercial certificate.

  4. it’s pretty real with out the actual feel of flying. I’m still believe you need to have a feel for flying. IE seat of your pants flying

  5. Sorry I live in sunny South Florida, where today we are having a “cold front” move threw its cold (68 degrees)


For money?

Arrrgh, must be headed here soon then…


Welcome to Flight Aware!

Hard for me. Both in book work and flying. But the goal was ever so worth it! Figure on 10K for training as a good base figure to start with.

Both locally and long distance for me. Furthest trip was to Baltimore MD. I live in MS. I fly once a week or more if the opportunity comes up.

Multi engine rating would be needed if you are flying solo. As flyboy97222 indicates, a commercial would be needed if you are hauling jumpers.

I’d say the instrumentation is accurate and good for training. Basic flight dynamics is good, but for VFR flight training in my opinion, MSFS does not compare to real life as you don’t get the physical feedback. For “instrument work” where you need to learn procedures, MSFS is a great supplement to real life training.

I would love to, but Utah kinda far from Mississippi :smiley:


Yeah, it would be hauling jumpers up to 13,000AGL for Skydive Utah. No idea how much money, but something! They actually also have a Cessna 182 they use for lower jumps, but because it is for money I’d still need my commercial rating, right?

Is it legal to drop a jumper out over a non designated skydiving area, but still away from a populated area? I’m assuming you’d need to get clearance from the local ATC and also you’d need an airplane that is capable of flying sans one door.


Sometimes yes, sometimes no!


Then you’ll need a Commercial with a Multi-eng. You can figure on spending about $60k for all that and the pay-off for hauling jumpers is not going to justify spending that kind of bread on the tickets. Dropping off jumpers is a job you find most low-time pilots looking to advance do to further their qualifications


Yeah I don’t know if I’d spend $60k just to be a jump pilot :slight_smile: I don’t know if I’m looking to spend that much at all honestly. Probably just up to instrument rating would be fine, but getting my commercial license so I could maybe be a pilot for hire would be cool.

Do you have to get certified on every plane you fly? If I had my twin-engine rating (complex airplanes?), could I fly any two engine aircraft, or would I need to get certified specifically for say a Beech Baron?

Nice pic, fholbert :slight_smile:


“Why would you want to jump out of a perfectly good airplane?” Sorry, somebody had to say it.

RE:MSFS IMHO it’s fun and good in some ways (it helps you think in flying terms esp navigation) but not in terms of flight dynamics. Flying a real plane is much easier plus you can turn your head to look left you don’t have to think to toggle your thumb left then wait for the view to turn to the spot you want it. The instrumentation on MSFS is pretty real but the use of it is more complicated than real world. The other big thing is eye/hand/foot coordination… that can’t be replicated on the computer. I have a friend who is a 737 Captain and he can’t land on MSFS to save his life. I’ve had every version of MSFS since it was introduced and I can hardly land on FSX.

I’d suggest going out to your local airport and taking an introductory flight with a CFI rather than a pilot friend. You can find introductory flight info via AOPA.


There are no perfectly good airplanes! :stuck_out_tongue:
Or the classic response “Because the door is open!”.
I still think skydiving is the most amazing thing I’ve done…
And in response to going for an intro flight, I just found out through AOPA that Bountiful Skypark, an airport to the North of where I live has a free introductory flight lesson program. I’m going to check that out ASAP.


In the U.S. once you have the multi-engine rating the FAA says you can fly any multi-engine airplane that has a maximum takeoff weight less than 12,500 lbs and that does not require a type rating, the same rule that applies to the single engine rating.
The insurance company will have other ideas. To act as the Pilot in Command (PIC) you will need a reasonable amount of total time, some multi time over and above getting the rating as well as a checkout in the particular type. For a turbine aircraft like the King Air the insurance requirements get even higher.
Even to fly as a co-pilot (to get the time mentioned above, you need to have:
The appropriate class rating (single engine land, multi-engine land etc.),
To be paid you need a Commercial or ATP,
If the flight is on an IFR flight plan you will need an instrument rating.

As we have discussed here on other threads the instrument rating is the most useful and the most important one you can get. It makes you a better overall pilot.

Good luck,



I have a question about how the commercial license works…Let’s say I go and get my private license and my instrument rating, then a friend of mine asks if I can take him on a flight just to see what it is like (Just a local flight, take off and land from same airport so it wouldn’t be like I was taxiing him somewhere). I don’t own an airplane, so of course I’d have to rent one. If I ask him to spot some of the cost for the rental and fuel costs, am I in violation of anything?


Nope - not a violation. Sharing the cost is acceptable. If your total cost of renting is $100 an hour, you take three friends up for an hour, you can be paid $75 for the cost of the plane.
Plane rental price USUALLY includes gas (“Wet”). If you have to fill up at another airport, you’d deduct the cost of the gas from your plane rental bill.


$75? You can’t be reimbursed 100%?


Nope, you must pay your share of the expense. 100 divided by 4 is 25 per person, so you would have to pay 25.


How would anyone ever know if it’s all done in cash?


That’s called ethics. :exclamation:


Just like our log books, honor system and concience… :wink:


Sorry - some people who have accused me of giving incorrect, misleading, or partial truth in the past are doing it here.

If you are going to share the expenses, there is NO requirement that you pay a pro rata amount. However, you CANNOT pay less than the pro rata amount.

If you fly with three friends, you do not have to pay 1/4th of the costs. You can pay any amount of the expenses as long as it is at least 1/4 of the total expenses. There’s no regulation against you paying 3/4 of the expenses and your friends dividing up the remaining 1/4. Hell, you can even pay 100% of the expenses if you want to.

The specific regulation, with emphasis added by me, is Title 14, Part 61: Certification: Pilots, Flight Instructors, and Ground Instructors; Subpart E: Private Pilots;

Paragraph 61.113 states:

61.113 Private pilot privileges and limitations: Pilot in command.

(a) Except as provided in paragraphs (b) through (g) of this section, no person who holds a private pilot certificate may act as pilot in command of an aircraft that is carrying passengers or property for compensation or hire; nor may that person, for compensation or hire, act as pilot in command of an aircraft.

(b) A private pilot may, for compensation or hire, act as pilot in command of an aircraft in connection with any business or employment if:

(1) The flight is only incidental to that business or employment; and

(2) The aircraft does not carry passengers or property for compensation or hire.

© A private pilot **may not pay less than the pro rata share **of the operating expenses of a flight with passengers, provided the expenses involve only fuel, oil, airport expenditures, or rental fees.


Not going to lie, $100/hour is pretty expensive, and I’m sure $100/hour is going to get you something like a 172 or similar, right? I wouldn’t try to get my friend(s) to pay all of it…I would be willing to divide it evenly. If you paid in cash, nobody would know you were charging for the flight, but would you really want to risk it?

How much would a Cirrus SR22 cost to rent per hour? Those look like pretty nice planes although the flight control looks a little…odd, if you ask me.