Not a low-commitment hobby | VailDaily.com
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Not a low-commitment hobby

Caramie Schnell

How long does it take to get your private pilot’s license? According to Logan that “depends on how proficient the person is and how smart they are; but I’ll tell you what matters more than anything is how hard they try.”

The average student spends between 65 and 80 hours to get a private pilot’s license, Logan said. And the typical cost is about $15,000.

“But it’s a little bit like buying a horse, that’s just the start,” he said. “If you’re going to stay safe, you need to be current, you need to be proficient so you have to fly on a regular basis.”

Safety is the No. 1 priority, and Logan has never had a close call because of that standard, he said.

“All the fun, all the utility, all of that stuff goes away if you don’t keep safety as the No. 1 priority,” he added. “The airplane is not useful if it’s bent and the fun is gone if somebody is hurt.”

Jim Spahmer, a local plumbing and heating contractor, has worked exclusively with Due West and Logan to obtain his private pilot’s license.

“(John) has been absolutely outstanding – once you get in an airplane with him, it’s really easy to feel comfortable; he’s so skilled it puts the students at ease,” he said.

“I’m just really enjoying the learning process and the excitement of flying, there’s nothing else like it.”

– One can begin training at any age, but you must be 16 years old to fly solo and 17 years old to hold a private pilot certificate.

– The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires a minimum of 40 hours flying time, including at least 20 hours with an instructor and a minimum of 10 hours solo practice flying.

– Before flying solo, students must take a medical exam administered by an FAA-approved local physician.

– Prospective pilot must take a computerized FAA knowledge test and a two-part “checkered” in the aircraft, administered by an FAA-approved examiner. The ride includes an oral quiz on knowledge and flight planning skills, and a one-and-a-half hour flight test.

Source: Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA).


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