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Flight Hours at PPL?


JCM5
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Hopefully this question isn't too redundant, but my current situation and slightly mild anxiety prompts the simple question...

 

How many hours did you have when you passed your PPL check ride?

 

Seventy-something. Don't worry about it - with the weather it tends to take us a little longer. More time in between flights tends to result in more flight time necessary. I think in Feb/March of the year when I was working on PPL, I flew like 6-7 hours a month. Love those windstorms.

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I took my PPL checkride at about 45 hours.... BUT! My father was a helicopter pilot, so I had flown with helicopters a few times throughout my life... I had about 2-3 hours of stick time on ferry flights, so mostly straight and level stuff, but he would give me small assignments each time (e.g. keep everything steady, climb 200, descend 300, go 90kts, etc), and about a half an hour of a lesson type of flight (hover, pedal turns)... None of that was logged of course, so that's why I only had 45 hours on the log book.

 

but I am pretty sure that I am probably the person with most chair-daydreaming "flight" hours in here... from as young as I remember myself, up until to a few minutes ago... If only I could log these ones, too. Oh, and I am also sure that a few dozens of hours that I spent in a link trainer didn't hurt either... (although I was probably like 10-13 years old at that time)

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Ditto the 70 something. Seems to be the average, most guys fall into the 60-80 range. A lot of factors can change how fast you pick it up such as how much you study, how much chair flying you do, how often you can get in to school and fly. Students that can manage to get in and fly multiple times a week will have an easier time getting their PPL in minimum hours versus the the student that comes in once a week.

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I'm at 50 right now and will be going up for my check ride in a few weeks. If conditions had been ideal, I would have gone up already, but winds and those days where your head just doesn't seem to be in the game set you back.

 

Example? 2 of those 50 hours were on a dual cross country in preparation for my solo's. We made it to the first airport. Winds were 18 gusting to 28 at this airport (home airport was 14 gusting to 22), and it was in the mountains (light turbulence, R-22, we got pushed around like the red headed step child). It made for a very interesting ride. The second airport was on the leeward side of a very tall mountain. I discontinued the flight because I didn't feel like dealing with that at the second airport. Truth be told, the turbulence was making my instructor uncomfortable as well.

 

Don't get me wrong, I handled it like a champ, but some of it was just nuts (as in almost in an autorotation and I'm still in a climb). It was an awesome learning experience, but it kind of felt like a waste of the hours since I had to do that cross country again on another day.

 

And as I said, the day your head isn't in it and you just can't seem to pull it all together. It's discouraging and makes for a flight where you just don't really get anything out of it due to frustration. I've had a few of those, too.

 

Any ways, I'll be going up for my check ride right around 60 hours (maybe a bit before). I hope before that, but we shall see. Haven't had the chance to do any run on landings yet (towers fault), and I have a few other maneuvers to hone in on. Another friend will probably be going up around 55, and a few others will probably be pushing 64, which is the VA cap at this school.

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It took me 55 hours. The industry standard I believe is flawed. I decided as a young instructor to make my contribution to the industry and I've been successful in getting students their ratings as close as possible for "that student" to the minimums. I worked at a 141 flight school for a while and was getting students there private pilot ratings at 35. yes point, something to 40 hours. I even trained a commercial airplane pilot and got him his Add on rotorcraft commercial/private licenses all in 55. some hours. I believe if you have an active and out going instructor that knows their stuff, they can get you completed as close to the minimums as possible for you. Remember this is a minimum. More is generally better but the industry is flawed with the new teaching the new (blind teaching the blind). But our wonder government (no matter how screwed up it is) has decided that the minimums under part 61 is 40 hours. Well my friend they have decided that is an acceptable minimum. Some are able to do it if they have the right instructor (which are few and far between) and some students take longer to meet the standards to pass the check ride and fly to a standard that the Instructor is comfortable to let them loose. Don't be dishearten by my comments. Every one is different, your in it this far, press forward and get that license and then start accumulating those PIC hours. Your probably in this for the long haul (for a CFI/Career) so hang in there. You'll need the total time anyways to instruct in the robinson aircraft since your probably working towards those 200 hours when you finish the CFI. Which I failed to mention the aircraft I am able to teach students to the minimums is in a Schweizer/sikorsky 300 and 333. Its my job and I teach ab initio military pilots. My personal goals as an IP is to solo students at 10 hours. If my company says no and they have to do it at 20 hours, no problem, I know I had them ready at 10 and they have plenty extra time to prepare for the more advance maneuvers sooner. I've soloed several students in the 10 to 15 hour level at other companies and this takes a good experienced instructor. Again, keep your chin up and push through, you'll get that license if you stay positive!

Edited by HeliFun
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I had 54.1 hours TT. That includes two flights I did in the R-44 helicopter, and Bell 47 G2 helicopter that my instructor brought me along on to get some free time. 51.6 hours is how long I had in the R-22 helicopter when I took my checkride, It took me about a year and two months to get my rating due to the fact that my flight training was funded by two part time jobs. Like the above posters said, keep positive because in the end you will need all the time anyways.

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Hopefully this question isn't too redundant, but my current situation and slightly mild anxiety prompts the simple question...

 

How many hours did you have when you passed your PPL check ride?

 

Believe it or not, it is possible to hit whatever flight hour goal you set, plus or minus 10. However, one of the required elements to make this happen is motivation. Most CFI’s aren’t motivated enough to make it happen. Therefore nowadays, 70, 80 or even 90 hours’ is viewed as acceptable. IMHO, it’s not.

 

http://helicopterforum.verticalreference.com/topic/15029-private-rating-check-ride-what-did-you-spend-time-andor-dollar-wise/

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Hell, I had 70 hours fixed wing time and still no license. In fact I failed my PPL check ride! Joined the Army, got through training near the top of the class and was one of the fastest to progress to RL1 in my troop. There are so many factors going into how many hours it takes and it seems like ability is one of the smallest ones.

Edited by SBuzzkill
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J, there is no right answer. Everyone doing this has different circumstances. When you combine all of the standard variables e.g. schedule, instructor, finances, weather and aircraft, then add into the equation one's own personal hiccups e.g. prior knowledge/experience, outside commitments, finances, family, health, etc etc ad nauseam, the matrix of possibilities is fairly infinite between 40-80hrs. Amongst my immediate friends and colleagues, 60hrs is pretty average for full timers in R22s despite the massive variation in training obstacles. It'd be nice to start building PIC time but those first 200TT are your primary goal now outside of the individual ratings. Don't set yourself up with a psychological hurdle on top of everything else. At this point it's a waiting game and you just don't want to blow through your funding on hours that aren't contributing directly toward proficiency or requirements. You have solid instruction, plenty of commitment/motivation/ability and good advisors. Enjoy your summer plans, you just have to let it all shake down :)

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Thanks Em, and everyone else.

 

Without getting into it too much and for those who don't know - I am currently at 50 hours TT and have passed my written exam, but have been dealing with obtaining a special issuance medical certificate since December that has been the only thing holding me back from completing my solo flight hours and taking my check ride. I expect my certificate to come back within the next 4-6 weeks.

 

I only fly about once a week right now in an effort to not regress in my flight training and also avoid over-spending on dual instruction time, otherwise I could easily be flying 3+ times a week.

 

When I first started my training I was hoping to complete my ratings near the minimums. I know in the long run it's all relative and I'll still be able to get my ratings done at or under my planned budget. I am only 26 - a full time student in my last year at UW and working so I've got enough on my plate to help me stay busy and patient.

 

Appreciate everyone's input, as always.

 

J, there is no right answer. Everyone doing this has different circumstances. When you combine all of the standard variables e.g. schedule, instructor, finances, weather and aircraft, then add into the equation one's own personal hiccups e.g. prior knowledge/experience, outside commitments, finances, family, health, etc etc ad nauseam, the matrix of possibilities is fairly infinite between 40-80hrs. Amongst my immediate friends and colleagues, 60hrs is pretty average for full timers in R22s despite the massive variation in training obstacles. It'd be nice to start building PIC time but those first 200TT are your primary goal now outside of the individual ratings. Don't set yourself up with a psychological hurdle on top of everything else. At this point it's a waiting game and you just don't want to blow through your funding on hours that aren't contributing directly toward proficiency or requirements. You have solid instruction, plenty of commitment/motivation/ability and good advisors. Enjoy your summer plans, you just have to let it all shake down :)

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I don't understand how anyone who is not a full-time flight student who can devote his full attention and focus to flight training can even fantasize about completing his rating(s) in or near the minimums. It is not realistic, and the flight school should have advised you of that, um, fact.

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First remember that it is different for everybody and that it does not necessarily reflect how intelligent you are or how good of a pilot you will become.

 

My DPE was really busy and when I was ready he wasn't, so I went ahead and got signed off in the R44 also and that landed me at 46.6 hours when I passed my check ride.

 

Don't worry about a timeline, just make every hour you fly as much of a learning experience as you can and glean as much info as you can from the pilots with more experience than you.

 

Good luck!!

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I know of some one that applied themselves whole heartedly to the training and went from zero to CFII in 10 months and one month later has gotten the first instructing job at a school on the other side of the country.

 

How long does it take to get a 4 year degree at a university if you attend one class a week? You can say the university is just there to take your money and they do not get you a job afterwards.

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I know of some one that applied themselves whole heartedly to the training and went from zero to CFII in 10 months and one month later has gotten the first instructing job at a school on the other side of the country.

 

How long does it take to get a 4 year degree at a university if you attend one class a week? You can say the university is just there to take your money and they do not get you a job afterwards.

 

I know someone who applied themselves wholeheartedly to flight training and went from 0-CFII in 6 months,...then went back to work at Home Depot. Two years later he moved back home and started saving up for a re-training program to be an electrician.

 

The right university degree can get you a job in many different fields, not just your major of study! A degree can also allow you to move up in your present job, opening doors that would otherwise be closed!

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I know someone who applied themselves wholeheartedly to flight training and went from 0-CFII in 6 months,...then went back to work at Home Depot. Two years later he moved back home and started saving up for a re-training program to be an electrician.

 

The right university degree can get you a job in many different fields, not just your major of study! A degree can also allow you to move up in your present job, opening doors that would otherwise be closed!

 

Yep, people who don’t make the right decisions, with any career, can find themselves working in another field. Nothing new here….

 

Furthermore, just like airmen certificates, degrees guarantee nothing. Shoot, I wanted to be a multi-billionaire but had to settle for flying for a living…

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Yep, people who don’t make the right decisions, with any career, can find themselves working in another field. Nothing new here….

 

Furthermore, just like airmen certificates, degrees guarantee nothing. Shoot, I wanted to be a multi-billionaire but had to settle for flying for a living…

 

This is partly why I made the decision to finish my college degree (graduating next Spring).

 

Regardless of whether or not I use it, it can never hurt to have regardless of what I end up doing.

 

 

And regarding finding the time to fly full time while having other responsibilities - I don't think it would have been impossible at all for me to have finished my PPL near the minimums had it not been for the delays resulting from obtaining my special issuance medical certificate. I was flying 3 times a week minimum and studying ground without much trouble while still maintaining a 3.5GPA at school. I was certainly on track to meet my goals, and my flight school never gave me any delusions about it.

 

Not sure I would say that the case is the same for an instrument or commercial rating, but I'm not there yet so I can't really comment. All I know is that for me, I have been held back by circumstance, not ability or time management.

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Good luck cryesis, although it could be argued you are a performer, as you will have to perform satisfactorily for a DE or the equivalent. In that case, break a leg.

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It took me 79 hrs for PPL. I'm now at about 200, working on CFI.

 

I'm an older student (spent 20 yrs in the Air Force as a logistics officer before starting helicopter training). When I was younger (and even more stupid) I probably would have progressed thru training much more quickly than now. But as you get a little older (and maybe wiser) you try to do things more thoroughly...and maybe understand the Whys and Hows instead of just passing the tests . Similar to officers that get promoted early...I pose this question: What do you call a Private Pilot that gets his rating 10 hours early? You call him a Private Pilot...just like the guy who used 80 hours. Both of them have an equal opportunity for success.

 

Back to studying!

 

Keith

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