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  #151  
Old 11-05-2011, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Boyo Jim View Post
Are there stats somewhere about GA airports? ... Is that unusual for an airport with no commercial flights?
This Wiki article says [emphasis mine]:
Quote:
General aviation is particularly popular in North America, with over 6,300 airports available for public use by pilots of general aviation aircraft (around 5,200 airports in the U.S., and over 1,000 in Canada). In comparison, scheduled flights operate from around 560 airports in the U.S. According to the U.S. Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, general aviation provides more than one percent of the United States' GDP, accounting for 1.3 million jobs in professional services and manufacturing.
According to the FAA Administrator's Fact Book:
Code:
Airports 
                     Number of U.S. Airports 
                       (As of December 31) 
                                        2009    2008    2007 
Total Airports                        19,750  19,930  20,341 
Airports                              13,494  13,589  13,822 
Heliports                              5,571   5,568   5,708 
Seaplane Bases                           497     503     527 
Gliderports                               35      35      35 
Balloonports                              14      14      15 
Ultralight Flightparks                   139     139     147 
Total Civil Public Use Airports        5,178   5,202   5,221 
Civil Public Use Part 139                559     560     565
Civil Public Use Non-Part 139	       4,619   4,642   4,656 
Civil Public Use Airports Abandoned..     16      16      18 
Newly Established Public Use               5       3       9 
Total Civil Private Use Airports      14,298  14,451  14,839 
Civil Private Use Airports Abandoned.    360     461     297 
Newly Established Private Use	         214     151     274 
Military Airports                        274     277     281
It's not unusual for a municipality to own an airport. I'd guess that most airports you see in a city or town are publicly owned, even if they do not have scheduled flights. I reckon there are a couple of reasons for this. First, land around settled areas is expensive. Municipalities are probably in a better position to make the land available for the Public Good than individuals or corporations. Another reason is that, as stated previously, GA airports contribute much to the economy. Better facilities are more attractive to the pilots and businesses. A municipality tends to have more resources for airport improvements and maintenance. Pilots effectively pay a 'use tax' every time they buy fuel. These fuel taxes go into a fund earmarked for airport purposes. When a municipality wants to upgrade its airport, they can get money from the FAA to help defray the cost. I don't know if that option is available to privately-owned public-use airports.
  #152  
Old 11-06-2011, 09:19 AM
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I thought I'd tabulate the prices of Cessna 172s and Skyhawks over the years. Unfortunately, that information in The Cessna 172 is incomplete and in any case only goes to 1987. I searched for articles to find reviews with prices and was able to fill in a couple of blanks. The 2011 price is from a Cessna retailer who is taking orders for 2011 aircraft.

When the 172 was introduced, it was simply called '172'. Eventually an up-market model was offered called the Skyhawk, which features more complete avionics and trim. Later there were other sub-models such as the Skyhawk II and Hawk XP, not to mention the 172RG Cutlass. To keep the table simple, I've divided the models into two columns: '172 or Basic', and 'Skyhawk or Equipped'. The former is the base model, and the latter is the one with options. That one does not include the Hawk XP with its more powerful (and expensive) engine or 'upgrades on the upgrades' ones. The prices reflect the MSRPs of the base models and the most common upgraded models. I should note that the options list is rather short nowadays, as new Skyhawk SPs are very well equipped. I think that the Garmin G1000 'glass cockpit' is standard now.

Again, there are many gaps in the data. Please PM me, email me, or post here if you can fill in the gaps (preferably with citations) and I'll add the data to my spreadsheet.

So here's the historical MSRP data for the 172 and Skyhawk that I could find:

Code:
Year	172 or Basic	Skyhawk or Equipped
1956	  $8,995.00	
1960	  $9,450.00	
1963	  $8,985.00	 $11,590.00
1964	 $10,245.00	 $11,995.00
1967	 $12,450.00	 $13,300.00
1968	 $10,950.00	 $12,750.00
1970	 $12,500.00	 $13,995.00
1972	 $13,425.00	 $14,995.00
1976	 $16,055.00	 $17,890.00
1978	 $22,300.00	 $29,950.00
1982		         $33,950.00
1985		         $44,000.00
1987		         $49,600.00
1998		        $124,500.00
2005	$171,250.00	$229,750.00
2008	$197,000.00	$297,000.00
2009		        $297,000.00
2010		        $297,000.00
2011		        $307,500.00
  #153  
Old 11-06-2011, 10:09 AM
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I was making minimum wage doing data entry in 1982. The price of a new Skyhawk was less than five times my income. Around 1987 I was making around $25K/yr, so a new Skyhawk was about twice my salary. Today I make what I think is an 'average' wage, and the price of a new Skyhawk is more than six times my income. So a new Skyhawk was actually more affordable when I was making minimum wage, than they are now with a middle-class income. (Or is that ?)
  #154  
Old 11-06-2011, 02:09 PM
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How much does it cost to own an airplane? I made a spreadsheet. Of course I fudged a bit. You can burn 6 gph or nearly 10 gph, depending on your power setting. AVGAS prices vary with the market. Some engines burn more oil than other engines. Maintenance costs per hour are a total guess. I found an older figure online and added a little to it. I don't know how they arrived at that number. Engine overhaul costs were derived by picking a somewhat-close cost for an overhaul and dividing it by 2,000. I don't know how much the prop 'overhaul' is (actually there is no TBO on the prop; it's either good or it isn't, and is replaced when it isn't serviceable), so I rounded up a figure I found online. Insurance? who can say. I'm not calling a broker to make a post on a message board. That number is totally anally-derived. Tie-down costs are what they are here, per year. Hangars (if you can get one) are about $2,400/year. Prices for tie-down/hangar vary depending on where you are. The more you fly, the cheaper the hourly cost is (within limits, of course). I've heard it said that one needs to fly at least 300 hours/year before the cost of owning is lower than the cost of renting, so I used that number. That's 6 hours a week, or three hours a day for weekend flying. Quite a lot, actually -- especially up here in Rainland where weather doesn't always cooperate. Not to mention the total cost of flying that much in a year. (Flying fewer hours the hourly rate would increase, but the annual cost of flying would go down.)

Based on the numbers I used, owning a Cessna 172 Skyhawk and flying it 300 hours per year is a couple of bucks more expensive per hour than renting one for the same amount of time. I've probably missed a couple of items, too. For example, interest on the loan you used to buy the plane in the first place. Does that count? It would if you put the plane on leaseback. But a personal flying flivver? Maybe not.

Anyway, this is what I came up with. You can copy and paste it into your own spreadsheet and play with the numbers effective in your area, and for different airplanes if you know their specs.

Code:
Fuel (GPH)	                            9.00
Fuel price/gallon	                    6.50
Fuel cost per hour	                   58.50
Oil consumption qt/hour	                    0.10
Oil price/qt	                            7.50
Oil cost per hour	                    0.75
Maintenance cost/hour	                   30.00
Hourly engine reserve	                    9.00
Prop T/R reserve	                    2.00
Total Variable Costs/Hour:	          100.25
Annual insurance	                 3000.00
Hangar/Tie-down	                          480.00
Total Fixed Costs:	                 3480.00
Hours/year	                          300.00
Total Variable & Fixed Costs/Year:	33555.00
Fixed Cost/Hour:	                   11.60
Total Costs/Hour:	                  111.85
  #155  
Old 11-06-2011, 06:38 PM
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How much does it cost to own an airplane? I made a spreadsheet.
That would be for something with a Lycoming O-320 engine. Figure an O-235 would burn 6 gallons an hour.
  #156  
Old 11-06-2011, 06:44 PM
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The Skyhawk uses an O-320.
  #157  
Old 11-06-2011, 07:01 PM
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The Skyhawk uses an O-320.
as do many aircraft. I was just adding info.
  #158  
Old 11-07-2011, 09:14 AM
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Code:
Fuel (GPH)	                            9.00
Fuel price/gallon	                    6.50
Fuel cost per hour	                   58.50
Oil consumption qt/hour	                    0.10
Oil price/qt	                            7.50
Oil cost per hour	                    0.75
Maintenance cost/hour	                   30.00
Hourly engine reserve	                    9.00
Prop T/R reserve	                    2.00
Total Variable Costs/Hour:	          100.25
Annual insurance	                 3000.00
Hangar/Tie-down	                          480.00
Total Fixed Costs:	                 3480.00
Hours/year	                          300.00
Total Variable & Fixed Costs/Year:	33555.00
Fixed Cost/Hour:	                   11.60
Total Costs/Hour:	                  111.85
In the last decade I've paid as little as $50/month for a tie down and as much as $300/month for a hangar.
My insurance is closer to $1200/year.
Hourly engine reserve seems about right except most engines are actually 2000 hours OR 10 Years. Most pilots I know fly fewer than 200 hours a year so the 10 years TBO comes up first raising the cost per hour.
Don't forget a reserve for painting the plane. It's a major cost and it'll need it about every 20 years at a minimum. More often if kept outside.
If you have a certified GPS you'll be paying for a data card subscription. If the GPS gets weather via satellite radio that's another subscription.
Maintenance cost is probably closer to $15/hour if you're really flying 300 hours a year. I have definitely paid over $30/hour in a given year, but that was because I was flying closer to 100 hours/year. I think it's probably better to estimate that for that type of plane after annuals and all the stuff that breaks during the year you'll probably average around $3500/year in maintenance no matter how much you fly it.
  #159  
Old 11-07-2011, 09:18 AM
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I was making minimum wage doing data entry in 1982. The price of a new Skyhawk was less than five times my income. Around 1987 I was making around $25K/yr, so a new Skyhawk was about twice my salary. Today I make what I think is an 'average' wage, and the price of a new Skyhawk is more than six times my income. So a new Skyhawk was actually more affordable when I was making minimum wage, than they are now with a middle-class income. (Or is that ?)
The $10k a skyhawk cost in 1960 is only about $70k in today's money, so I'd say you're right.
  #160  
Old 11-07-2011, 08:51 PM
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The $10k a skyhawk cost in 1960 is only about $70k in today's money, so I'd say you're right.
I'm curious: Where did that figure come from?

I sneaked (snuck?) over to SDMB from work today. (Not logged on there, as they don't like 'social' sites.) Using IE-whatever-is-on-the-new-computer, the columns on my tables are messed up. They look fine here at home, using Safari. I probably should have deleted the tabs. So my apologies if anyone is seeing misplaced numbers.
  #161  
Old 11-08-2011, 12:50 AM
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Not to worry, I have misplaced whole airplanes & airports.... You're good.
  #162  
Old 11-08-2011, 08:51 AM
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I'm curious: Where did that figure come from?
http://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/cpicalc.pl
  #163  
Old 11-13-2011, 01:41 PM
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Full-size replica Nieuport 28 didn't sell on eBay.

Now that's a pretty airplane. The kit costs about $13,000 I think. The engine (which is a radial and not a rotary) cost $19,500 in 2005. Here's video of one like it in flight. It purportedly can be built in 400 hours or so in a single-car garage. But what I'd really like is a full-size SPAD...

Homebuilts. Just another aspect of General Aviation.
  #164  
Old 11-13-2011, 02:13 PM
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... It purportedly can be built in 400 hours or so in a single-car garage. ...
For most people, it will end up looking a lot like this.
  #165  
Old 11-13-2011, 02:16 PM
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For most people, it will end up looking a lot like this.
Pretty bad if they're building a Niewport. Everyone knows Snoopy flew a Sopwith Camel!
  #166  
Old 11-13-2011, 02:20 PM
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Yeah, but it all depends on design of the garage. Here's a homebuilt version of the Fokker Triplane.

Last edited by Boyo Jim; 11-13-2011 at 02:23 PM.
  #167  
Old 11-13-2011, 02:43 PM
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Ah! The airplane is inside.

That is exactly the way I wanted it! Do you think that this Triplane will have to have a great deal of gas?
  #168  
Old 11-13-2011, 06:12 PM
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Ah! The airplane is inside.

That is exactly the way I wanted it! Do you think that this Triplane will have to have a great deal of gas?
I think you're supposed to pick one of the three doors. Before you get to see if the airplane is behind that door, you are shown that it isn't behind one of the other two doors, and then you get to change your choice (to the remaining door) or stick with the door you chose first. If you finally choose the right door, you get the airplane.

Otherwise, you get a goat.

Last edited by Senegoid; 11-13-2011 at 06:13 PM.
  #169  
Old 11-13-2011, 06:24 PM
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Otherwise, you get a goat.
No, a sheep.
  #170  
Old 11-13-2011, 06:34 PM
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I would settle for Carol Merrill in her prime.
  #171  
Old 11-13-2011, 09:27 PM
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Back to actual flying... (at least in theory...)

I am not in a position to resume flying on a regular basis, nor do I anticipate recreating that happy state of affairs in the foreseeable future, BUT -

I still want to fly.

So, CFI's - how often do you get someone who shows up totally non-current with just enough bucks for an hour (with you as babysitter), itchy to hold the controls again but not able to spend the money to get current.

Yeah, basically a ride where I get to drive fly.

Is that totally outrageous? Maybe for my birthday?
  #172  
Old 11-13-2011, 09:38 PM
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So, CFI's - how often do you get someone who shows up totally non-current with just enough bucks for an hour (with you as babysitter), itchy to hold the controls again but not able to spend the money to get current.

Yeah, basically a ride where I get to drive fly.

Is that totally outrageous? Maybe for my birthday?
I've had that happen a few times. If that's what you'd like for your birthday, why not?
  #173  
Old 11-13-2011, 09:40 PM
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Why not, indeed? I'll have several months to save for it, starting now...

Just feel a bit odd, to show up saying "I haven't flown in four years, and can only afford one hour" but I guess we all understand the aviation itch, don't we?
  #174  
Old 11-13-2011, 09:58 PM
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Ah! The airplane is inside.

That is exactly the way I wanted it! Do you think that this Triplane will have to have a great deal of gas?
There will surely be enough gas for it. It is a very small triplane.
  #175  
Old 11-13-2011, 09:59 PM
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There will surely be enough gas for it. It is a very small triplane.
But not very aerodynamic.
  #176  
Old 11-13-2011, 10:03 PM
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There will surely be enough gas for it. It is a very small triplane.
  #177  
Old 11-14-2011, 09:03 PM
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Why not, indeed? I'll have several months to save for it, starting now...

Just feel a bit odd, to show up saying "I haven't flown in four years, and can only afford one hour" but I guess we all understand the aviation itch, don't we?
Is your medical current?
  #178  
Old 11-14-2011, 09:18 PM
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Oddly, I've never heard the Rotec 9 cylinder running and I'm sure I've seen one of these replicas at a fly in. Count me intrigued.
  #179  
Old 11-14-2011, 09:21 PM
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Is your medical current?
No.
  #180  
Old 11-14-2011, 09:23 PM
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Is your medical current?

No.
Doesn't matter if you're taking instruction. So there's another reason to go for it!

Last edited by Llama Llogophile; 11-14-2011 at 09:24 PM.
  #181  
Old 11-14-2011, 09:31 PM
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Doesn't matter if you're taking instruction. So there's another reason to go for it!
You can get current without a medical? I'm hoping AOPA can convince the FAA to extend driver's licenses to 3rd class and 1 passenger.
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Old 11-14-2011, 10:07 PM
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You can get current without a medical? I'm hoping AOPA can convince the FAA to extend driver's licenses to 3rd class and 1 passenger.
I thought she was talking about just taking a lesson for fun, not getting back full privileges.
  #183  
Old 11-14-2011, 11:38 PM
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I thought she was talking about just taking a lesson for fun, not getting back full privileges.
I thought maybe she wanted to log some time. Sounds like she wants to go on a hamburger run.
  #184  
Old 11-15-2011, 04:09 AM
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You can get current without a medical? I'm hoping AOPA can convince the FAA to extend driver's licenses to 3rd class and 1 passenger.
If you pick a sport plane and fly under sport rules that already applies - sport category only requires a valid driver's license (and not having failed your last medical). Would also apply to glider pilots, who self-certify.

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I thought she was talking about just taking a lesson for fun, not getting back full privileges.
Yep. Just for fun - can't afford full privileges at this point.

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I thought maybe she wanted to log some time. Sounds like she wants to go on a hamburger run.
Logging time is nice, but it's never been a big priority with me, as I'm strictly a for-fun pilot. No hamburger run, though - just got done losing 10 pounds, don't want to reverse all that hard work and deprivation! Some of the stick time I could have logged in the past I just didn't bother with, I'm not obsessed with squeezing every possible tenth out of my flight time.
  #185  
Old 11-15-2011, 11:26 AM
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*ahem*

"Hamburger run"?
  #186  
Old 11-15-2011, 11:34 AM
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*ahem*

"Hamburger run"?
$100 Hamburger.

Ha! I once had a $300 Pepsi. And I prefer Coke!

Dad and I used to fly to Las Vegas 'for lunch'. Really, it was just an excuse for each of us to get a couple of hours of stick time.

Incidentally, pancake breakfasts are fairly popular excuses to fly.
  #187  
Old 11-15-2011, 11:58 AM
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The first article linked from the Wikipedia page was an entertaining read. I'm hoping that I get to a point in training where I can fly out to KCNO for a meal at Flo's, which I'm already familiar with, but no longer live near. It is, by far, my favorite breakfast location (breakfast served all day, of course) in Southern California.

Sure, it would only take me about an hour to drive there from home, but where's the fun in that? I begin to understand this $100 Hamburger concept.
  #188  
Old 11-15-2011, 12:22 PM
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The CFI logs the flight time as dual in my log book.

He loved getting to go fly someplace besides the practice area and getting to do all the sight seeing while I was flying around getting pictures I wanted with the leaves off the trees.

I got to play with steep turns, stalls, S turns, different approaches, slow flight and no one paid any attention to the AH. Once he was sure I was still able to fly pretty good he loves it when I schedule and hour or two of dual..... I also got a great guy who is willing to learn from my experience as I did show him a few things that he had never thought would work that way.

I am poor now & old & this is the best way to get some flyin in except for rich friends buying me T-6 time or some other flying present for special occasions. Don't get as much stick time & never a landing that way either.

Never was all that bold cause I prefer old.....

Save your coins Broomstick and pick an understanding instructor. You will have a blast...

Last edited by GusNSpot; 11-15-2011 at 12:23 PM.
  #189  
Old 11-15-2011, 12:50 PM
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Shoeshine tips. I am now saving tips I get from shoeshines and emergency shoe repairs. Not that I get that many, but once in awhile.
  #190  
Old 11-15-2011, 01:24 PM
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Now that I've been thinking about this...

If I do buy my hypothetical hour of flight time, what should I do? I actually don't want to go on a hamburger run or eat anything. I guess what I want to do is flight-seeing, but I've pretty much been everywhere locally there is to go, aside from Really Expensive Landing Fee airports and, frankly, venturing into Class B isn't my idea of a fun and relaxing time.

I dunno.... maybe it would be worth it to drive sufficiently far so as to get an hour in a new sort of airplane, but that would be about two hours each way as I've sort of exhausted the local choices.

An hour of rotor time? Well, half hour, perhaps... just switching to rotor would increase the cost by a factor of 2 or 3 but some chopper stick time is on the aviation bucket list. Except the spouse would probably turn green, as he's the chopper enthusiast in the family.

What could I do with an hour I haven't already done? Or do I need to do something different?

Folks who aren't currently flying (and who aren't current) what would YOU do with an hour in the cockpit?
  #191  
Old 11-15-2011, 01:45 PM
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An hour of rotor time? Well, half hour, perhaps...
I endorse this idea.
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just switching to rotor would increase the cost by a factor of 2 or 3
Generally, an R22 costs twice as much as a C172. For example, up here a C172 costs $110/hour and a Robbo costs $220/hour. A Hughes/Schweizer/Sikorsky 269/300 usually runs about $20/hour more. I'm not sure what a C150/152 rents for.
  #192  
Old 11-15-2011, 02:52 PM
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Now that I've been thinking about this...

If I do buy my hypothetical hour of flight time, what should I do? I actually don't want to go on a hamburger run or eat anything. I guess what I want to do is flight-seeing, but I've pretty much been everywhere locally there is to go, aside from Really Expensive Landing Fee airports and, frankly, venturing into Class B isn't my idea of a fun and relaxing time.

I dunno.... maybe it would be worth it to drive sufficiently far so as to get an hour in a new sort of airplane, but that would be about two hours each way as I've sort of exhausted the local choices.

An hour of rotor time? Well, half hour, perhaps... just switching to rotor would increase the cost by a factor of 2 or 3 but some chopper stick time is on the aviation bucket list. Except the spouse would probably turn green, as he's the chopper enthusiast in the family.

What could I do with an hour I haven't already done? Or do I need to do something different?

Folks who aren't currently flying (and who aren't current) what would YOU do with an hour in the cockpit?
This strikes me as a difficult question to answer given some of the restrictions you're facing (having seen all there is to see in the immediate area, particularly). If it were me, I'd likely choose, in this order:

1) to make a day of it by driving the two hours each way to be able to fly something different in an area I haven't spent much (or any) time flying previously. Two kinds of new for the price of one (plus a tank of gas); or,

2) to wait and save up enough to get two hours of flying time instead of one so you'd have the time to get far enough to explore somewhere new while still flying out of your home area. Leaving the eating aside, maybe you could fly to a destination that would allow you to explore somewhere new and/or interesting on the ground as well as in the air (I don't know where you live, so I don't know if there are any neat spots to shop or hike or just explore that would fall within a reasonable radius).

The third option, of course, is to not do anything new at all, but just enjoy the opportunity to be in the air and in control. But I say that not having not even spent two full hours in the left seat, so I have no idea how dull it may get for someone to fly and do basically the same thing they've done so often before.
  #193  
Old 11-15-2011, 02:57 PM
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Aerobatics? Save a little longer and rent a pricier plane with a glass cockpit? Or some other more exotic plane that you've wanted to try? I think you can get a half an hour in a Mig 29 for like 10 grand.
  #194  
Old 11-15-2011, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Boyo Jim View Post
Aerobatics? Save a little longer and rent a pricier plane with a glass cockpit? Or some other more exotic plane that you've wanted to try? I think you can get a half an hour in a Mig 29 for like 10 grand.
Hell, that makes the MiG-15 training at this place sound downright affordable!

I've flown that MiG - lots of fun, but save your pennies!
  #195  
Old 11-15-2011, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Broomstick View Post
What could I do with an hour I haven't already done? Or do I need to do something different?

Folks who aren't currently flying (and who aren't current) what would YOU do with an hour in the cockpit?
If I wanted something different I'd try an ultralight and fly really low and slow. Been there done that in an emergency and I'd like to try it without my wallet pulled into my large colon.

Unfortunately you just missed out on fall foliage flying. If you're planning down the road then look for a fly-in to go to or a museum to fly to. Wright Pat allows pilots to land at the museum once a year but of course I can't find a link. A hot air balloon event. Flying around an amusement park at night. Going to Put In Bay......
  #196  
Old 11-15-2011, 05:00 PM
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Aerobatics?
While I have thought of doing aerobatics, I suspect it would fall under the "it's good for me as a pilot" category rather than something I'd enjoy. I don't like the sensation of unusual attitudes (I alluded to this in the discussion where I mentioned my dislike of stalls). It took a couple weeks for me to get into a mind set for spin training and while it was pretty painless as such things go I can't say I really liked it. The best that could be said for it is that I didn't dislike it particularly intensely.

No, airsickness was not the problem. The only time I've felt the least bit nauseous or ill while flying was the time I was coming down with the stomach flu and subsequently spent a few days on the ground reviewing prior meals. I just don't like the sensations. I don't like being upside down or sideways. I can tolerate it when necessary but seeking it out just doesn't make a whole lot of sense if you're me.

I realize that may be difficult for some aerobatic enthusiasts to understand, but one advantage to having 10 years and several hundred hours under my belt is that I do have a pretty fair idea of what I do and don't like about flying.

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Save a little longer and rent a pricier plane with a glass cockpit?
I've flown two different glass cockpits already.

Quote:
Or some other more exotic plane that you've wanted to try?
I've flown a Stearman, at least a half dozen different kinds of homebuilt, a glider, a powerglider, retractable gear... I'm not sure what sort of exotic remains in my price range. Did I mention I spent 10 years flying as many different types of fixed-wing aircraft as I could get my hands on? Of course, suggestions are welcomed.

Quote:
I think you can get a half an hour in a Mig 29 for like 10 grand.
If I had 10 grand to blow on flight I'd get current again - I could probably get 18-24 months of regular flying out of that!

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Originally Posted by Magiver View Post
If I wanted something different I'd try an ultralight and fly really low and slow.
Well, I started in ultralights.... about 40-50 hours there, although it's not officially loggable time and I wasn't particularly anal about tracking it.

Quote:
Been there done that in an emergency and I'd like to try it without my wallet pulled into my large colon.
I agree, it is MUCH more enjoyable when it's not an emergency!

Quote:
Unfortunately you just missed out on fall foliage flying.
S'alright - I've been there done that. Actually, I prefer winter flying over snow for scenery... um, closed cockpit on that one, frostbite is no fun, and neither is hypothermia. I've even paid extra for pre-heats to spare the wear and tear on the airplane (also because the FBO's required it below a certain temperature).

Quote:
If you're planning down the road then look for a fly-in to go to or a museum to fly to.
There are a couple museums I'd like to fly to, but the distances would be cost-prohibitive under my current finances.

Quote:
A hot air balloon event.
Done the hot air balloon thing, in 1996 in Arizona. I'd consider it again, but I want to be in control and frankly, I don't know how to fly a balloon. Learning would be interesting, but not right now.

Quote:
Flying around an amusement park at night.
Done that, too.

Quote:
Going to Put In Bay......
Hmm... that's an idea. Distance might be a problem though, I suspect the time required would exceed my budget.

Some ideas I've been considering include

- another glider flight (about 110 mile drive for that)
- driving up to the northwest suburbs to fly a J3 Cub (about two hours)
- flightseeing along the Chicago shoreline, which is a good distance, something I'd want another set of eyes along for anyhow, and I could bring the spouse with a camera for pictures
- rotor intro-flight (probably only a half hour, but whatever)
- saving up for another Stearman flight, although this time I probably wouldn't be doing any landings and it wouldn't be on my birthday, as it's still too freakin' cold up there in March in this area.

My inclination is to opt for a lower-tech aircraft that is also presumably lower in cost to maximize flight time. The rotor craft half hour would be an exception, but trying new things is very attractive to me, and is actually how I most frequently used the license back when I was a regular flyer. I'll try to research FBO's in a 1-2 hour drive radius for aircraft I haven't flown yet, as it's been four years someone might have acquired something new.

I'm tempted to go for something like a powered parasail or tandem hang-gliding, but there are issues with that and the spouse (his first and only experience with a parachute was very negative. No injuries, but it started with two "buddies" literally dragging him out of the airplane when he changed his mind and no longer wanted to jump. Contrary to some tellings, he was not actually still clutching the seat cushion on landing, it was supposedly found about 500 yards away from where he touched down). Given how tolerant my mate has been about my aviation activities I am hesitant to get stubborn over that.

Actually, if I plan it right, he can come along and enjoy the ride, too. Depends on how many seats we rent.
  #197  
Old 11-15-2011, 05:56 PM
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Gyrocopter? One of those winged suit things that you finish off in a parachute landing?

Come to think of it -- sky diving?
  #198  
Old 11-15-2011, 06:00 PM
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Come to think of it -- sky diving?
A guy I used to work with jumped once. He said he wanted to experience all aspects of flying he could.
  #199  
Old 11-26-2011, 06:30 PM
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In light of the crash in Arizona and this one near Chicago earlier today, I'm wondering what the closest calls or scariest moments have been for the Doper pilots. Would any of you care to share your stories?

Also, has anything ever happened to you while flying that has made you seriously considering giving it up (and I realize your answer could be the same as the story you share)?
  #200  
Old 11-26-2011, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Asimovian View Post
In light of the crash in Arizona and this one near Chicago earlier today, I'm wondering what the closest calls or scariest moments have been for the Doper pilots. Would any of you care to share your stories?
While doing solo work in prepration for my private pilot checkride I was overtaken by bad weather and forced to land in a field that, strictly speaking, wasn't really long enough but thanks to the knee-high grass the airplane stopped in a remarkably short distance. It was pretty damn scary to be only about 400 feet off the ground and the grass beneath disappearing in the fog. When I entered the field and touched down - which, by the way, was a lot like driving a pick up at 75 mph over a vacant lot, but a lot less stable - the fog was so thick I couldn't see the other end of the field.

But I did land successfully, I wasn't hurt, the airplane wasn't damaged, the nice person who's backyard I commandeered was kind enough to tell me which state I had landed in and let me use his phone to call the airport. For about a half an hour after the owner and the state police came out they weren't sure if they could fly the C150 out of the field or would have to trailer it out, but the owner managed to get it out, I got a free helicopter ride (that makes a Huey, an R-22, and R-44, and a Hughes 300 for me for chopper rides now), and an audience with The Authorities the next day.

Among other things, the next day my CFI simulated the same situation and told me to attempt to fly to the nearest airport on instruments (which would have been the only alternative). I couldn't do it. If I had been unable to land in that field most likely I would have died on that August day back in 2000.

Moral of the story: Very very very Bad Thing for a VFR pilot to blunder into IFR conditions.

Quote:
Also, has anything ever happened to you while flying that has made you seriously considering giving it up
No.

Nor has seeing bad things happen to people I know, witnessing crashes first hand, assisting in dragging bloody wrecks off runways, or attending funerals.

ETA: The burning airplane incident DID, shall we say, discourage me from flying for about 6-7 years, but taking flying lessons was my way of getting over that.

Last edited by Broomstick; 11-26-2011 at 08:13 PM.
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