Learning to fly, or thinking of learning? Post your questions, comments and experiences here

Moderator: AndyR

By zie
Hi all,

How often a week/month should I fly for my PPL?

I'm practically free at any time as my family members can cover my work shifts.

Thank you for your help.
zie wrote:How often a week/month should I fly for my PPL?

That's not really a question that can be answered on your behalf by others. There are several factors which will determine how often you will fly. Some you will be able to control and some you simply won't. Those you cannot control will frustrate. Your personal circumstances will influence how often you fly.

So, my take on it.

I concluded that the inevitable cancelled flights for the whole range of possibilities, weather, aircraft tech, instructor availability, my own life getting in the way, would frustrate me to the extent it would detract from the experience. So, I opted to go to the US and concentrate on learning to fly. Although the reasons above are what lead me to do it full time, I had never considered the enjoyment of being immersed in aviation every day. Spending all day every day at the airfield, flying every day, mixing with a dozen or so other students, indeed living and breathing aviation. :thumright: Not to mention not having any personal issues getting in the way, added significantly to the whole experience. :thumright:

If I had to choose again that's exactly how I would do it. Maybe not in the US though. I would take the time out and immerse myself in it. What I would do differently is to get the exams out the way before flying. Flying two or three times a day and spending the time in between and evenings with head in books and sitting exams made it much more difficult than it needed to be.

I did it in Florida over Xmas and New Year. I experienced all sorts of weather from very hot humid days which created very thermal and rough flying conditions, ice on the wings a couple of mornings, winds that had us laugh at the trucks on the interstate below pass us… :D Irrespective of how or where you do it there will be compromises.

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By johnm
Flying requires a measured and thoughtful approach. In the early stages you'll be completely frazzled after an hour's flying, so start relatively slowly and build up the rate as your time, instructor time, weather and aircraft serviceability allows.

As a rule of the thumb an hour's flying will take at least an hour's planning, 30 mins aircraft checking and 30 mins debrief afterwards.

So allow half a day per lesson.
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By Rob P
I planned a Saturday and a Sunday flight every third weekend as it suited both my work and personal situation.

With the inevitable weather interruptions I completed training for the licence in a bit under eighteen months and fewer than fifty hours logged.

You are differently situated, your solution will be different.

Rob P
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By Gertie
CherokeePete wrote:You should have an idea of your budget for training and post initial issue so the math is quite simple in any event.

Disagree. Until someone has tried it, or unless they ask, they won't know things like

"If you only fly once a month you will quite likely spend most of each lesson getting back to where you were last time."
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By Rob P
Gertie wrote:
"If you only fly once a month you will quite likely spend most of each lesson getting back to where you were last time."

The myth that refuses to die.

Rob P
Rob P wrote:
Gertie wrote:"If you only fly once a month you will quite likely spend most of each lesson getting back to where you were last time."

The myth that refuses to die.
Rob P

Not exactly true, but not a complete myth either. How many of us would think it a good idea to plan and set out on a eurotour with the family having not flown at all for 6 weeks? When the last flight previous to that was four weeks earlier and your last flights were a 30 minute local bimble? Hell, you might not even have done the 3 TO/Ls in 90 days to take pax...

If you can feel the rust as an experienced pilot, surely when you are learning its also possible?

Regards, SD..
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By Rob P
My comment is meant to convey that it is a fairly useless generalisation.

Some people may find they can't retain teaching over a few weeks lay-off, some can.

"Quite likely" was the myth I referred to.

Rob P
CherokeePete, neilmurg liked this
In another thread the OP asked "How do I get my PPL ASAP."

If money and time are freely available. Fly every day study the books, keep going until you pass.

If there are some time and money constraints maybe book 2 lessons a week safe in the knowledge the half won't happen.
By evanscm3
The PPL course is enjoable and I might feel short changed if i smashed through it in too short a time frame, so bear that in mind... though obviously you want to get on with it and don't want to drag it out excessively. I did mine in 6 months locally which felt about right.

If availability isn't limiting then go for something like 2-4 bookings per week and expect half of those to come off due to WX, tech, covid :cry: etc. Remember the flying is only half of the time with the instructor (briefings etc) so factor in at least another hour at the field non flying.

Any more than 1-2 hours in the air a day will exhaust you in the early days so I wouldn't try to do multiple lessons in a single day early on - a good school and instructor will discourage you from doing this as well.

Once you get the basics done and get onto nav then those can easily be 2 hour sorties so you could increase the hours by taking longer navex lessons / solo XC etc

Obviously you need to commit to the studying at the same time - not massively onerous if you are keen but a commitment nonetheless. Above all enjoy it... I'm sure you will :-)
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