General Question

scars2b's avatar

Is it difficult to fly an airplane?

Asked by scars2b (111 points ) August 6th, 2008

how long does it take to learn—get certified and stuff?

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11 Answers

jballou's avatar

I’m not sure, but from what I understand (I’ve never flown) is that it’s not so much hard to fly as it is to take off and land the actual aircraft.

xxporkxsodaxx's avatar

It can take a while, you have to get lessons and all your hours signed off by a licensed instructor. I don’t know how old you are but you have to be 17 to have your license but you can take lessons anytime. If you get an ultralight you can fly it with only a driver’s license but if you want a private pilots license then you have to have a minimum of 40 hours(just about no one can complete it all in 40 hours, it usually takes 100+) or 45 in the UK, and there are other things like night flying, twin engine ratings, and instrument ratings that require more hours and tests. As for flying the plane itself, it’s easy if you know what your doing as jballou said, and taking off and landing is easy with a little practice, after you have enough it’s like driving a car.

Randy's avatar

If it was easy, everyone would do it.

zarnold's avatar

@Randy – I agree somewhat, but I think it has more to do with the impracticality of flying (as opposed to driving, or just paying for an airline ticket), and the money it costs to get a license. The thing is, there are lots more places to park a car than a plane [:-), so until the personal aircraft/hovering thing/repulsorlift vehicle is within technological and financial reach, people don’t see a reason to spend the money on a pilot certification.

Randy's avatar

@zarnold- Good point, but if everyone had certification to pilot a “flying” vehicle, then maybe they would try to invest on a market sooner, if you know what I mean.

xxporkxsodaxx's avatar

@Randy, well it can cost upwards to $200+ an hour to rent the plane, and would cost more to rent the services of a trainer, also there are many other things that the FAA will try to exploit so you won’t have a license. Not to mention that avgas in the city can cost 7 dollars a gallon or more depending on where you live and where you buy at. I’m afraid private flying vehicles are going to remain a hobby until we can grasp a cheap, strong material and cheaper fuel. Depending on the plane, an enclosed one can be a nice car and you still have to build it yourself, even then it’s not the best for cross country flights and would kind of defeat the purpose if you ask me. From there if you want a nice “sedan” of aircraft then it can run you from 700 thousand and up (those are Bonanzas which aren’t extremely fast, about 180kts true air speed at most) if you want an L-39 which is a jet trainer you can find some for around 200K and up or even a MiG which can be 50K and up. Since jet fuel is more expensive than avgas it would run up more expenses and would just not be efficient compared to conventional driving or commercial flying. By the way I didn’t get into the expensive jets, twins, turbo props or old warbirds.

Randy's avatar

I agree, I’m just “stirring the shit” so to speak. My friends dad used to own a plane. Nothing facncy of course. I believe he sold it for about 30K. But yeah, I don’t have the funds or hookups to become a pilot, but like I originaly said, I’m sure everyone would if it was easy.

XCNuse's avatar

Learning to fly by itself is ridiculously simple, anyone can fly if they know how to control a joystick (don’t even need the rudder at the beginning honestly)

Getting certified and all the law stuff on the other hand is the hardest, actually no I take that back, radio chat is the hardest thing when it comes to flying an airplane, certification is relatively cheap for the capabilities, but the prices are only going up.

Just keep in mind you have to do so many hours though to keep your certification etc.

xioioix's avatar

It is simple to fly an airplane. And in the US it has recently become quite cost effective.

The most economical way is a license type called a “light sport” This will limit you in the weight and speed of the aircraft but it is still flying. This you can accomplish this license with a minimum of 20 total hours of flight. (15 Dual and 5 Solo) This license has been created to help make aviation affordable for your average person. By seeking this license you should be able to accomplish your license for approx. 4–5K (this includes testing fee’s, a little extra time etc.)

If you want to do it economically I would suggest King Air Schools for a home study program, webexams.com to make sure you pass your exam the first time and maybe Microsoft Flight Simulator to get familiar with some basic principles. These are all things you can do on your own time and would help you learn the material more quickly. And as already been mentioned, the external things like; communication, navigation, weather, etc are the most challenging part of aviation.

And if the cost still puts it out of range check out pilotfinance.com

mssasham's avatar

Not setting foot off ground…I’M PARANOID OF FLYING!

Futomara's avatar

It’s only difficult when you are too drunk or high.

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