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Too young for learning to fly?


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Hey guys, this is my first post here so please bear with me if I don't know all of the terminology you guys are accustomed to.

 

I've been interested in flying for a good, long time, and started doing some research into all manners of training, and flight training caught my eye a few weeks back. I haven't flown anything myself before, but I've been in enough helicopters and small planes to say they at least interest me enough that I'd probably like to take an introductory flight to see if they would hold a long-time interest for me.

 

That is, except for the fact that I'm only 15 (turning 16 this Spring), which presents a problem because if I do decide that I'd at least like to earn my PPL, I'd be looking at either ~ 1 1/2 of waiting or 1 year, either of which would be a very unsatisfying wait whether or not I took an intro flight. Obviously, I'm still in high school, so whether or not the necessary hours of flight/ground instruction would work out due to time restrictions is a complete unknown.

 

I'm probably getting far ahead of myself, however, so I guess my real question is "when would it be most appropriate to begin taking flight lessons?" The only nearby place is a helicopter-only training school, though it's expensive (I expected it, but they charge quite a bit more than what most people here talk about). There's a fixed-wing school around the same general area, but I'm not as interested in them, and to my knowledge they've closed up shop.

 

Sorry for the wall of text, heh. But thanks for reading!

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Hey guys, this is my first post here so please bear with me if I don't know all of the terminology you guys are accustomed to.

 

I've been interested in flying for a good, long time, and started doing some research into all manners of training, and flight training caught my eye a few weeks back. I haven't flown anything myself before, but I've been in enough helicopters and small planes to say they at least interest me enough that I'd probably like to take an introductory flight to see if they would hold a long-time interest for me.

 

That is, except for the fact that I'm only 15 (turning 16 this Spring), which presents a problem because if I do decide that I'd at least like to earn my PPL, I'd be looking at either ~ 1 1/2 of waiting or 1 year, either of which would be a very unsatisfying wait whether or not I took an intro flight. Obviously, I'm still in high school, so whether or not the necessary hours of flight/ground instruction would work out due to time restrictions is a complete unknown.

 

I'm probably getting far ahead of myself, however, so I guess my real question is "when would it be most appropriate to begin taking flight lessons?" The only nearby place is a helicopter-only training school, though it's expensive (I expected it, but they charge quite a bit more than what most people here talk about). There's a fixed-wing school around the same general area, but I'm not as interested in them, and to my knowledge they've closed up shop.

 

Sorry for the wall of text, heh. But thanks for reading!

 

Gotta run; can't post a full answer right now, but I just needed to say that for 15 years old, you've got a great grasp of the English language - more so than most! It's refreshing to see.

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I only have a minute for a reply too.

 

I work with a guy who started training at 15. Soloed on his 16th birthday. Passed private checkride on his 17th birthday. Instrument a few months later. Passed commercial checkride, and CFI ride, on his 18th birthday (oral was the day before). CFI-I a month later.

 

He has about a year before he can take his ATP checkride. He works in the Gulf right now, and has around 3000 hours.

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I'm a student over twice your age and can only say that I wish I had started 20 years ago.

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Gotta run; can't post a full answer right now, but I just needed to say that for 15 years old, you've got a great grasp of the English language - more so than most! It's refreshing to see.

 

Thanks! If only I had a similar understanding of Spanish, I'd be much better off in class >.<

 

I only have a minute for a reply too.

 

I work with a guy who started training at 15. Soloed on his 16th birthday. Passed private checkride on his 17th birthday. Instrument a few months later. Passed commercial checkride, and CFI ride, on his 18th birthday (oral was the day before). CFI-I a month later.

 

He has about a year before he can take his ATP checkride. He works in the Gulf right now, and has around 3000 hours.

 

:blink:

 

Wow, that's spectacular. One question down, a million to go, right?

 

I'm a student over twice your age and can only say that I wish I had started 20 years ago.

 

I've had the "I wish I would have..." feeling on countless occasions, which is why I'd like to start early on anything I'm even remotely interested in. The sooner, the better, I suppose.

 

Thanks for the replies everyone, I can sleep better at night knowing that not all desirable information costs $24.99 plus shipping and handling when it comes from the experts :lol:

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A guy I know (ok, we're family!) started flying FW at 14 and switched to RW after about 20hrs. Took his PPL checkride on his 17th bday, commercial shortly thereafter, first flying job same year. Flew all over the country for 6yrs, went back for his instrument rating, still flying....25yo, 4600hrs, finally eligible for ATP :lol:, flies EMS. No such thing as too young. Save your pennies and you'll be a young, high time pilot with no debt...best of all worlds!!

 

HG03

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Started at 13 in airplanes, switched to helicopters at 14 and about 100 hrs. Soloed on my 16th, Private on my 17th. Added on the airplane rating the following year, then commercial and CFI at 19. A&P Mechanic and B.S. in Aviation Management at 20. Then MBA, instrument, CFII, and flying EMS at 22.

 

Start now if you can......

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Started at 13 in airplanes, switched to helicopters at 14 and about 100 hrs. Soloed on my 16th, Private on my 17th. Added on the airplane rating the following year, then commercial and CFI at 19. A&P Mechanic and B.S. in Aviation Management at 20. Then MBA, instrument, CFII, and flying EMS at 22.

 

Start now if you can......

 

 

...damn.

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If you have the bug and can't shake it, try your hand at Gliders. You can do it at age 14! The hours count for some of the training you will need later, and it does not cost as much.

 

I started flying while riding to job sites with my Great Uncle while I was 8 years old. I was hooked after day one. Soloed before my driver's license and did helicopters later when I was a Marine. It has been fun, and the whole family flies, or is married to a pilot. Once it is in the blood, it never leaves. My brother in law gave up a law practice to fly commercially as a Part 91 pilot for various airplane owners.

 

Live by the Nike theory of life: JUST DO IT!!!

 

:D

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There's nothing that says you can't go take a few hours here and there and get a feel for it. If you like it, start your training now. I had the chance to start FW flight lessons at 15, and I kick myself frequently for passing it up.

 

Go do it, and take it at a leisurely pace. It's only the coolest thing in the world, ya know. :D

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I guess I'm going to mirror everyone else. It's never too early to start.

 

I wish I could have started at your age. One thing though: Take your time with it. There is no rush. Learn all the ground material backwards and forwards. If you feel confident in it, start your CFI training manual when you have the time. Once you hit 18, you will blow through everything rather quickly that way.

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Made a call to the helicopter flight school I referenced in my first post, and, surprise! $420 per hour regardless of whether it's dual instruction or solo, and what they said was their "usual" total price for a PPL at 3-6 months is about $20,000, and that's if the person is already eligible to get one. Seeing how I'd need to keep what I learn for at least a year, that cost will probably be much, much higher.

 

Though if I did start now, I assume my hours would carry over and make getting a CPL somewhat less expensive.

 

Asked about the introductory flight, and they said I'd get a call back, so now it's down to the waiting game. Typical.

 

Guess it's time to start saving :)

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Made a call to the helicopter flight school I referenced in my first post, and, surprise! $420 per hour regardless of whether it's dual instruction or solo, and what they said was their "usual" total price for a PPL at 3-6 months is about $20,000

 

Why in the world would it cost that much!? What are you learning to fly in?! Perhaps I live in a "cheap" part of the country, but I sincerely doubt it.

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Hell man, come out to Central Cal and I'll give you a free intro flight.

Made a call to the helicopter flight school I referenced in my first post, and, surprise! $420 per hour regardless of whether it's dual instruction or solo, and what they said was their "usual" total price for a PPL at 3-6 months is about $20,000, and that's if the person is already eligible to get one. Seeing how I'd need to keep what I learn for at least a year, that cost will probably be much, much higher.

 

Though if I did start now, I assume my hours would carry over and make getting a CPL somewhat less expensive.

 

Asked about the introductory flight, and they said I'd get a call back, so now it's down to the waiting game. Typical.

 

Guess it's time to start saving :)

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I know at our school we have an amazing 14 yr old that will sit in on ground lessons, and flies the sim amazingly and has even taken the controls of the helicopter a few time and does amazing to my understanding for his age. So i agree with the previous posts that it never hurts to start early and get prepared!

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Why in the world would it cost that much!? What are you learning to fly in?! Perhaps I live in a "cheap" part of the country, but I sincerely doubt it.

 

Your guess is as good as mine. They're R44's, though after looking through countless other schools, it seems that $420 an hour is a pretty significant overcharge.

 

Also, more good news: this helicopter school, which practically has a monopoly in this area (lack of competition of any kind within ~100 miles), also is a 55 minute, 33 mile drive away. Isn't life wonderful?

 

Hell man, come out to Central Cal and I'll give you a free intro flight.

 

If I could, I would, but unfortunately I'm only 15 and live on the other side of the country (South Carolina, to be more precise), but thank you for the offer!

 

I know at our school we have an amazing 14 yr old that will sit in on ground lessons, and flies the sim amazingly and has even taken the controls of the helicopter a few time and does amazing to my understanding for his age. So i agree with the previous posts that it never hurts to start early and get prepared!

 

Oh, trust me, I have every intention to get a head start as soon as possible, as long as it doesn't cost me more than an arm and leg to do so.

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Hell man, come out to Central Cal and I'll give you a free intro flight.

 

Ooh, free flight time?

 

I'll take you up on that one. Just let me know when and what airport and I will meet you there.

 

I'm not 15 anymore but I have been told that I have the mental maturity of a 15 year old, if that counts for anything.

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Ooh, free flight time?

 

I'll take you up on that one. Just let me know when and what airport and I will meet you there.

 

I'm not 15 anymore but I have been told that I have the mental maturity of a 15 year old, if that counts for anything.

 

I'm not quite sure having the mentality of a 15 year old would get you anywhere :lol:

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Friendly,

 

I've been looking around and a few thoughts came to mind: First off, join the AOPA, the aircraft owner and pilot association. They're geared more towards fixed-wing general aviation, but they have some really good resources on their site regarding flight medicals, flight training and finding a school, among other things.

 

Also, since you've got a while before you're in a position to go out and get a job, why not consider getting your fixed-wing PPL? It'd certainly be cheaper than throwing down gobs of money for R-44 time to maintain currency.

 

Anyway, good luck on your endeavors.

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