Private Pilots License

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Stoichiometry2020, Apr 22, 2018.

  1. Stoichiometry2020

    Stoichiometry2020 New Member

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    Hi everyone,

    I have really wanted to get my private pilots license for a long time for a couple of reasons, first I think it might improve my chances of getting into USAFA in the future and second I really like flying and have always wanted to pilot. My main concern is that my parents won't let me because they'll think it's too dangerous or something like that. Distance isn't much of an issue as I live about 10 min from an airport nor is money because I have a lot saved. Any ideas on how I could convince them to let me? Facts and statistics would be nice if you've got any.

    Thanks.
     
  2. jaglvr

    jaglvr Member

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    do you have civil air patrol near you? great organization to join and they may help convince your parents
     
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  3. Stoichiometry2020

    Stoichiometry2020 New Member

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    I do actually, I'll make sure to look into it. Thanks for the advice.
     
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  4. fencersmother

    fencersmother 10-Year Member Founding Member

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    My eldest son got his PP BEFORE HE GOT HIS DRIVERS' LICENSE!!! We figured it was far safer for him to fly because there was far less for him to hit up in the air than there was on the ground, plus, we didn't have to pay insurance for him to fly.

    Get your Private ticket. It may or may not have any influence at all on your appointment, but it is great to have and will provide a lifeline of enrichment.

    Caveat: It does cost a TON of money to fly - > $100/hour. Are you sure you want to spend those hard-earned dollars flying when in just a year or two, a college may be demanding you send just those dollars into its coffers?
     
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  5. ders_dad

    ders_dad Member

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    My son, who recently turned 17, has started PPL using money he's been earning from his job (has just about enough saved to cover - $10K). My brother soloed on his 16th birthday and also got his PPL before his drivers license. He was in CAP and also an active member of EAA (Experimental Aircraft Assn. - he and my dad built a single-engine plane that was almost a bridge too far for my mother). My wife was not keen, at first, in letting DS go for PPL but my brother (who lives out of state) arranged for a childhood friend of ours who is a commercial pilot, retired FAA, and lives by us to come over and talk to my wife about flying and flying safety. That seemed to do the trick. You might want to think about visiting with an instructor and have him/her talk to your parents.

    Here's another tactic (that may work - worked for our childhood friend when he was 17) - ask your parents if you can take up sky diving. When they say "no" (which I assume they will), provide them with the safer alternative - PPL. It's a nasty little trick but parents rarely want to say no to two alternatives (realize I'm sharing with you super-secret parents stuff).

    I assume you will be part of a flying club (typically much cheaper route for plane rental). Talk to them and they may have someone who can share info with your parents. Many single-engine sport and rec planes are now equipped with parachute systems for the entire plane and your club may have such aircraft. Could be a selling point.
     
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  6. Old Navy BGO

    Old Navy BGO 5-Year Member

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    First, earning your pilot's license in and itself is unlikely to improve your chances of admission to a Service Academy, and does not necessarily give you a head start towards being a military pilot. In fact, many military flight instructors will say that it is preferred to get someone with no experience so you don't have to unlearn bad habits.

    That being said, if you are so inclined ..there are benefits. First, it shows a level of maturity , goal setting, self confidence and achievement that can be leverage when writing a personal statement. In addition, having a level of comfort in the aircraft may help you in flight training. I was in your position long ago, started flying lessons through Civil Air Patrol and earned my private pilots license in high school. I was a Naval Flight Officer after graduation from USNA, and I felt that I had an advantage during the early phases of flight training when I was comfortable in the air, and able to view the aircraft as a platform necessary to perform a task rather being distracted by the thrill of flying.
     
  7. Humey

    Humey Member

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    However if you go AF Rotc, number of flight hours regardless of a license or not does help improve you chances of getting a pilot spot. The PCMS score (one of the things they look at when going for pilot spot) which is based on the TBAS test as well as your Pilot score on the AFOQT test, is enhanced by the number of flight hours you have. For example, my sons PCMS score without flight hours was 70. With 201 flight hours,his score was 98. 99 is the top score
     
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  8. afrotc2022

    afrotc2022 Member

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    LOL, I did the same (PPL before driver's license)! It's a great feeling; glad to hear of others who've done it! :)
     
  9. afrotc2022

    afrotc2022 Member

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    All good answers!
    Civil Air Patrol is definitely an awesome idea. I joined 7 years ago and never regretted it. I received FULL funding to and beyond my PPL thru flight academy and scholarships. Absolutely worth the $31/year membership!
    As to helping you get to USAFA...it helps (how could it hurt?), but GPA, SAT/ACT scores, fitness ability, and basically everything else is MUCH more important! I had my PPL when I applied, and I was not accepted (did get a full AFROTC scholarship, though!). It was nice to say I had it, but I definitely did not bank on it.

    When it comes to convincing parents, I sort of/kind of understand. My parents were never hesitant about me flying, but when it came time for my solo cross-country flights, my mom got just a little nervous. My instructor assured her he wouldn't let anyone go solo whom he didn't trust his kids to fly with. That's probably one of your best options: make connections with flight instructors/aviation people (impossible NOT to do if you're in CAP), and they can help educate your parents on the safety of flying. CAP gives you 5 free flights with an experienced, usually search & rescue mission qualified pilot. Hard for parents to say no to that; if they see how much it means to you, and how safe it can be and is, they might change their minds.
    Personally, like mentioned above, I feel safer (in some ways) in the air than on the freeway. Yes, flying is more complicated and therefore one can screw up easier, but the fact is that the average pilot is considerably better trained than the average driver, and we are held to a MUCH, MUCH higher standard. People are safer and smarter in the air.
    Yes, flying is potentially hazardous, but so is driving, walking on the sidewalk next to a busy street, or swimming. Stuff happens. You just have to do the best you can to be safe.

    The Southwest Airlines flight that had an engine explode is a good example: the pilot was an exceptionally well-trained, former Navy fighter pilot (one of the first female F-18 pilots). She was trained to fly the 737, and she handled the emergency with absolute calm. Just listen to the radio recording on LiveATC.net
    Okay, you'll start in a Cessna or something, not a 737, but you will trained, just like her, to deal with any emergency calmly and quickly. And most of the time an instructor will be with you anyway (only 10/40 required hours are solo).

    Some stats: 2016 was apparently the 2nd safest year in aviation history, and it's only going to get better. The FAA website has a lot of good info, such as the fact that aviation accidents have decreased 41% since 2001. Additionally, they outline a plethora of ideas/plans to improve safety. Tie that with the fact that GPS, better radios, and ADS-B are available now and only getting better. I don't remember the full regulation, but ADS-B (a system that tracks almost every aircraft in the air on your GPS) will soon be mandatory on all aircraft (with some exceptions). And the Cirrus aircraft with parachutes are cool, too! ;) thanks ders_dad!

    Another thing: the one person safety relies on most is YOU. My parents and my instructor trusted me to take a plane worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, ensure that it was airworthy, fuel it, fly it safely and responsibly, and bring it back without smashing it, someone else's plane, or myself. If your parents trust you to handle serious stuff, then hopefully they'll see that you can be trustworthy to fly safely.

    Sorry for this ridiculously long reply...I think I broke a PR! It's just my passion, so that's my excuse!

    Finally: if you want to be a pilot, NEVER, EVER, give up. Respect and obey your parents, definitely. They're doing what they think is good for you. But show them that you can be safe, and find people to help them learn about how safe flying is. Then go for that license! Aim high, and have fun!
     
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  10. Stoichiometry2020

    Stoichiometry2020 New Member

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    Thanks for all the advice everyone, I just asked my parents today and they said that its probably a yes and the primary concern is that I'm going to have a busy summer (volunteering, football, studying, ect.). I'll know in a week or two.
     
  11. afrotc2022

    afrotc2022 Member

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    Sweet! That was easier than I thought! :) Have fun!