Author Topic: private pilots and mustachianism?  (Read 15938 times)

Fuzz

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private pilots and mustachianism?
« on: July 22, 2015, 07:32:00 AM »
Flying is a dream of mine. I plan to get my private pilots license when I hit some financial goals next year. Is there any mustachian way to operate a small plane?

There have been interesting threads on horses/skiing/sailing and whether any of those activities can be pursued in a mustachian fashion. I'd be curious to know if there are any mustachian pilots out there, and hear there take.

I live in a rural state, where I have meetings around the state. I also have family one state over. It would be neat to cut down on the travel time. But the main justification is enjoyment, not efficiency. I talked to a pilot yesterday and he told me it cost him around $200/hour to operate a 1980s era Cessna 182. Also, book recommendations on flying would be appreciated.

CommonCents

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Re: private pilots and mustachianism?
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2015, 07:39:33 AM »
As a job?  (teaching people or flying others)

Otherwise, no, I don't think it's a particularly frugal hobby.  From what I've heard from friends who fly (private pilot license in high school then joined the Air Force so you might consider that), flying yourself places saves on convenience but most definitely not on cost.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: private pilots and mustachianism?
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2015, 08:05:30 AM »
I've got some of the same dreams--I want to get my PP license and own my own airplane when I hit FIRE. 

I've done a fair bit of research, and unfortunately, there's no frugal way to do it, as far as I've been able to determine.

--Annual inspections (required) are a minimum of $7-800. 
--If your engine uses AVgas, you're looking at something like $5/gallon
--Hangar rental can be a couple hundred dollars per month
--If you've got a really efficient aircraft, like a Long-EZ, you're looking at maybe 35-40 MPG.  A more common aircraft like a Van's RV-9 will be about 25MPG.  And your airspeed has a heavy impact here--efficiency drops quickly as you speed up or get bigger.
--Aircraft are expensive.  You can get a fairly barebones VFR small aircraft for $60k, but you'll be limited by weather and daylight.

I've heard it said "if it flies or floats, rent it", and that may be an option until you you know for certain this is something you want to commit to.  I've also heard of partnerships/coops where you own a percentage of an aircraft an pay a pro-rated amount for maintenance, hangar fees, etc.

flygal

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Re: private pilots and mustachianism?
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2015, 08:13:45 AM »
Flying is not a particularly frugal thing to do, but if it is your dream don't let it whither. 

Best ways to save a little on the way through the process.

1. If possible, find someone to split costs with.  Find one or several people to go in and buy a plane together.  This will reduce costs to you and help keep the airplane in the air.  An airplane in the hanger is like a boat in the garage, not fulfilling its purpose other than being a hole to dump money into.  If you go this route, do not get suckered into the newest and the shiniest.  Older airplanes properly maintained are still excellent options and won't set you back $750K + like a new Bonanza.  Look at Trade-a-Plane for inspiration.  There you can find everything from bare bones to nicely appointed at a range of prices.  If you go to your local FBO there will be a copy lying around for free.


2. Do your own basic maintenance on your own plane.  Some needs to be performed by an A&P.  Other things can be done by you and signed off by and A&P. Others can be done with no sign off.  If you aren't handy, partner with someone who is (see !).

3. When taking lessons, dedicate time to it.  Try and fly at least 3-5 times a week.  The costs will come at you faster and the natural tendency is to try and take it slow.  My experience as a former flight instructor is that the faster (within reason of course) that the student progresses through the program the less overall time it takes.  Less time equal less money.  Study study study on your own.  Let your instructor fine tune and shape your knowledge.  Don't waste time and money letting your instructor spoon feed you regurgitated knowledge.  Chew your own knowledge. 

4.  Free pubs from the FAA.   https://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/handbooks_manuals/

5.  Remember that using your flying skills to cut down travel time can sometimes cost you more time.  Don't get yourself in a situation that either you or your plane can't handle just to get home/to a meeting.  Even airlines delay and cancel flights for weather and they have infinitely more sophisticated planes and experienced pilots than what you have or will likely be.   Don't be a statistic.

6.  Look into sport pilot qualification.  This came out after I stopped instructing so I am not totally up on the details.  Limits on carrying passengers, but less time and no medical required.  I personally think that more is better in qualifications, but the FAA put this out to make aviation more accessible. 

Good luck on you future in the big blue sky.  It is not cheap, but vote with dollars and put your money towards your dreams. 



waffle

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Re: private pilots and mustachianism?
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2015, 08:16:05 AM »
Insurance is also a pretty big expense from what I understand (not a pilot, but would like to be someday). I really like the idea of a coop setup. If you plan on using it a fair amount that would probably be the way to go.

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Re: private pilots and mustachianism?
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2015, 08:22:05 AM »
We all save money for something. The point of becoming FI is to be able to afford anything you want (but not everything). If you want to fly, then fly!

I don't see how flying not being a frugal thing has anything to do with it, so long as you're flying for the sake of the enjoyment you get, NOT for the sake of transportation. Clearly flying a private plane for the sake of transportation is extremely costly compared to other options.

Rightflyer

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Re: private pilots and mustachianism?
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2015, 08:25:02 AM »
If you have the cash (don't borrow) you can buy the aircraft and rent block time on it.

That way you own the asset. If you buy a popular, easy-to-fly certified aircraft...think Cessna 172 or if you are flush a 182...AND look after it, it is very possible you will not lose money on it when you come to sell/trade up.

Partnerships can work...they are a lot of work and need the right combination of people...i.e. Not everyone can take their families to Oshkosh on the same week.

Be very careful buying a homebuilt...homebuilts are great...if you know what you are doing.

For selling block time: There are always Commercial pilot students looking to build time cheaply.

This comes from my experience as a former partner in a Piper Cherokee and a full owner of a Cessna 185.


 

Rightflyer

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Re: private pilots and mustachianism?
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2015, 08:47:54 AM »
Flying is not a particularly frugal thing to do, but if it is your dream don't let it whither. 

Best ways to save a little on the way through the process.

1. If possible, find someone to split costs with.  Find one or several people to go in and buy a plane together.  This will reduce costs to you and help keep the airplane in the air.  An airplane in the hanger is like a boat in the garage, not fulfilling its purpose other than being a hole to dump money into.  If you go this route, do not get suckered into the newest and the shiniest.  Older airplanes properly maintained are still excellent options and won't set you back $750K + like a new Bonanza.  Look at Trade-a-Plane for inspiration.  There you can find everything from bare bones to nicely appointed at a range of prices.  If you go to your local FBO there will be a copy lying around for free.


2. Do your own basic maintenance on your own plane.  Some needs to be performed by an A&P.  Other things can be done by you and signed off by and A&P. Others can be done with no sign off.  If you aren't handy, partner with someone who is (see !).

3. When taking lessons, dedicate time to it.  Try and fly at least 3-5 times a week.  The costs will come at you faster and the natural tendency is to try and take it slow.  My experience as a former flight instructor is that the faster (within reason of course) that the student progresses through the program the less overall time it takes.  Less time equal less money.  Study study study on your own.  Let your instructor fine tune and shape your knowledge.  Don't waste time and money letting your instructor spoon feed you regurgitated knowledge.  Chew your own knowledge. 

4.  Free pubs from the FAA.   https://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/handbooks_manuals/

5.  Remember that using your flying skills to cut down travel time can sometimes cost you more time.  Don't get yourself in a situation that either you or your plane can't handle just to get home/to a meeting.  Even airlines delay and cancel flights for weather and they have infinitely more sophisticated planes and experienced pilots than what you have or will likely be.   Don't be a statistic.

6.  Look into sport pilot qualification.  This came out after I stopped instructing so I am not totally up on the details.  Limits on carrying passengers, but less time and no medical required.  I personally think that more is better in qualifications, but the FAA put this out to make aviation more accessible. 

Good luck on you future in the big blue sky.  It is not cheap, but vote with dollars and put your money towards your dreams.

+1 on the good info above. (Great post flygal!)

Especially Item 3. In a former life, I had students who flew 5-6 times a week, sometimes 2 slots a day, weather permitting. I was honestly amazed at how quick they soloed and how soon they were ready for their ride (flight test). You really do save money...and likely become a better airman by doing it in a condensed timeframe.

Fuzz

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Re: private pilots and mustachianism?
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2015, 02:59:08 PM »
Thanks everyone for the good advice. It's not a frugal activity, and that's okay sometimes. I do think that renting the plane is a better way to go than buying one outright. Maybe a plane share with the right like minded people. I have a cousin who is airframe mechanic, maybe he can help me with some little things. Doing it as a co-op, seems like a better route. As far as doing it safely, there are some books that compile accidents (sort of like what the american alpine association does for climbing fatalities), which I'll get from the library.

The idea of going through the class quickly makes sense. I figure it's a use it or lose it skill. And doing it regularly keeps you sharp, which keeps you safe.

I remember flight sims used to be a big thing. Maybe an old copy of the MS flight sims would be something to practice on too.

Thanks again.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: private pilots and mustachianism?
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2015, 08:27:52 AM »

I remember flight sims used to be a big thing. Maybe an old copy of the MS flight sims would be something to practice on too.
There's a well-regarded one that's free: Flightgear

hodedofome

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Re: private pilots and mustachianism?
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2015, 08:51:38 AM »
My boss owns and flies a '60s Cherokee 180 that I think he bought for around $60k. He's put tens of thousands into upgrades over the years and is now considering a Seneca twin which would most likely be at least $100k. We are in the middle of Texas, do business all over the state and driving to the corners of the state would take at least 6-8 hours. In his plane, it seems flying 1-2 hours is better than driving that much, but trips over 2 hours are not very fun in such a small plane. Not to mention, we get grounded by weather quite often, and sitting on the runway when it's 100* outside, and inside the plane (with no air conditioning) is probably 130*, is pretty stressful.

We've been getting more business in Arkansas and Louisiana which is why he's looking at the Seneca, we'd get there a good bit faster. Mind you, it's not like you just show up to the airport and take off. There's at least an hour or two of planning beforehand. Depending on the aircraft and distance, you may or may not save that much time. It all just depends on what you got and where you're going.

I agree with the previous posters that it won't save you any money, the maintenance and gas alone will kill you. But, if you own a business and can put most or all of the aircraft expenses under the business, you enjoy flying, and it saves you some time on most days, then it can be a worthwhile endeavor. My boss has no debt, lives in a paid off modest house, I'm sure he has over $1 million in savings, makes probably $150-175k/yr between him and his wife, and spends his extra money on toys like his aircraft, motorcycle and travel trailer. If flying is your thing (and we all have one, don't lie), then it could be fine.

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Re: private pilots and mustachianism?
« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2015, 12:01:02 PM »
Pilot, though I haven't flown much lately.

My long term plan involves flying a lot more, partly because I love the sky, partly as a way to get myself & my family around on longer trips (just not on a particular time schedule - if weather is bad, we'll hang out where we are).

Operating costs are heavily dependent on the aircraft & how you fly, but it's an expensive activity no matter how you cut it.  If you want to keep costs down, fixed gear and a fixed pitch prop help a lot (mostly in annual costs, but also in insurance).

What's the point of having money if you can't do what you want? :)

zolotiyeruki

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Re: private pilots and mustachianism?
« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2015, 03:35:21 PM »
Pilot, though I haven't flown much lately.

My long term plan involves flying a lot more, partly because I love the sky, partly as a way to get myself & my family around on longer trips (just not on a particular time schedule - if weather is bad, we'll hang out where we are).

Operating costs are heavily dependent on the aircraft & how you fly, but it's an expensive activity no matter how you cut it.  If you want to keep costs down, fixed gear and a fixed pitch prop help a lot (mostly in annual costs, but also in insurance).

What's the point of having money if you can't do what you want? :)
Out of curiosity, what's the incremental maintenance/inspection cost of using a CS prop vs FP?  I'm thinking I'd want a CS in order to get both climb performance and cruise efficiency.

Syonyk

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Re: private pilots and mustachianism?
« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2015, 04:48:42 PM »
Out of curiosity, what's the incremental maintenance/inspection cost of using a CS prop vs FP?  I'm thinking I'd want a CS in order to get both climb performance and cruise efficiency.

It depends on the airplane, but in general, "A lot."  It's a couple grand a year, at least.  The annuals are a lot more expensive with a CS prop (they're usually found with retractable wheels, which doesn't help things any), the prop needs rebuilding every now and then, and there's more to go wrong.

If you're not doing brush flying, get the cruise prop, accept that you might not be able to get out of a 1000' grass strip in the afternoon, and go fly. :)

zolotiyeruki

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Re: private pilots and mustachianism?
« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2015, 07:32:25 PM »
It depends on the airplane, but in general, "A lot."  It's a couple grand a year, at least.  The annuals are a lot more expensive with a CS prop (they're usually found with retractable wheels, which doesn't help things any), the prop needs rebuilding every now and then, and there's more to go wrong.

If you're not doing brush flying, get the cruise prop, accept that you might not be able to get out of a 1000' grass strip in the afternoon, and go fly. :)
I just see myself retiring, the DW and me moving to Colorado, and operating out of a strip there.  In something like an RV-9.  So density altitude would be a concern.  So fixed gear but CS prop.

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Re: private pilots and mustachianism?
« Reply #15 on: July 23, 2015, 08:40:57 PM »
This is my dream, too!

Is it realistic at all to get a commercial license and try to make back some of the $$ by flying photographers, surveyors, ranchers, etc?

Syonyk

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Re: private pilots and mustachianism?
« Reply #16 on: July 23, 2015, 10:09:17 PM »
I just see myself retiring, the DW and me moving to Colorado, and operating out of a strip there.  In something like an RV-9.  So density altitude would be a concern.  So fixed gear but CS prop.

Then absolutely go with a CS prop - that type of use definitely justifies the weight and cost.

Is it realistic at all to get a commercial license and try to make back some of the $$ by flying photographers, surveyors, ranchers, etc?

Probably not, but you'll have excuses to fly a lot more and do more interesting flying out of it.

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Re: private pilots and mustachianism?
« Reply #17 on: July 23, 2015, 11:41:50 PM »
This is my dream, too!

Is it realistic at all to get a commercial license and try to make back some of the $$ by flying photographers, surveyors, ranchers, etc?

Not really..:)

Exflyboy

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Re: private pilots and mustachianism?
« Reply #18 on: July 23, 2015, 11:51:44 PM »
So I have about 1200 hours plus an instrument rating.

I built an airplane (actually 2 of them).

The last one was a Vans RV7a. Economy Cruised Lean of peak (google it) at 160 knots at about 7.5 Gallons per hour. I engineered the fuel system to use Auto fuel.

If you build your own airplane you can do your own annual inspections.

Annual Hangar rent around here is $150/month

Insurance (relatively high time with an instrument rating.. but fast and the airplane was worth $90k) was about $1400 a year.

Instrument calibrations were on average $160 a year.. can't avoid those.. every 2 years for $320.

I sold the airplane for almost what I cost me to build it with about 800 hours on it and 7 years old.

Airplanes in the hands of low time pilot are just expensive toys. If you try to use them as transport you be spending a lot of places you'd rather not in a hotel.. At least you had better.

Never believe the lie you are more at risk driving to the airport.. flying is dangerous, just had two low time friends make a very basic mistake and it nearly cost them their lives!

Is it Mustiacian.. Umm, no not really..:)

Rightflyer

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Re: private pilots and mustachianism?
« Reply #19 on: July 24, 2015, 07:05:45 AM »
This is my dream, too!

Is it realistic at all to get a commercial license and try to make back some of the $$ by flying photographers, surveyors, ranchers, etc?

As Syonyk and Exflyboy said...That would entail jumping through some regulatory hoops. It's doable but you would actually be starting an air service.

That said, there is a lot of value in pursuing your Commercial licence. Insurance will likely go down. Your airmanship and confidence will go up.

Add to that an Instrument rating and you will find yourself stranded at the local airport Motel 6 less often...although then your aircraft will become the limitation (anti/deicing equipment, lack of turbo/supercharging, pressurization etc.).

Everything in aviation is a trade-off...and it's all expensive.

That said. A late evening, summer flight, at low level over the countryside with the window/door open is probably as fun as it gets.


 
   

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Re: private pilots and mustachianism?
« Reply #20 on: July 24, 2015, 11:22:02 AM »
Posting to follow, since learning to fly is on my list for when I'm done learning to sail.  Also, for being a very unmustachian hobby, we sure do seem to have a high representation of pilots here.

That said. A late evening, summer flight, at low level over the countryside with the window/door open is probably as fun as it gets.

Did not know you could open the window while flying on small planes, that's awesome.  Having never been on one, what's the noise level like?  Do you have to communicate to others via headphones?  Or are they fairly sound dampened?

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Re: private pilots and mustachianism?
« Reply #21 on: July 24, 2015, 11:31:02 AM »
Posting to follow, since learning to fly is on my list for when I'm done learning to sail.  Also, for being a very unmustachian hobby, we sure do seem to have a high representation of pilots here.

That said. A late evening, summer flight, at low level over the countryside with the window/door open is probably as fun as it gets.

Did not know you could open the window while flying on small planes, that's awesome.  Having never been on one, what's the noise level like?  Do you have to communicate to others via headphones?  Or are they fairly sound dampened?

I have a couple of friends who used to own a plane together. They took me up in there a couple of times and also in Cessnas that they rented. They tend to be pretty loud, you need to communicate through headsets. I think the occasional rental, while expensive, can be a more frugal option than ownership if you're only using the plane occasionally. Then once you FIRE and have more time for such things you might look into buying something.

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Re: private pilots and mustachianism?
« Reply #22 on: July 24, 2015, 12:08:49 PM »
Posting to follow, since learning to fly is on my list for when I'm done learning to sail.  Also, for being a very unmustachian hobby, we sure do seem to have a high representation of pilots here.

That said. A late evening, summer flight, at low level over the countryside with the window/door open is probably as fun as it gets.

Did not know you could open the window while flying on small planes, that's awesome.  Having never been on one, what's the noise level like?  Do you have to communicate to others via headphones?  Or are they fairly sound dampened?

You need headsets even without the windows open. With the windows open, you need headsets for your headsets. = ) Plus, it gets a little windy.

Mr Dumpster Stache

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Re: private pilots and mustachianism?
« Reply #23 on: July 24, 2015, 12:12:41 PM »
Also, for being a very unmustachian hobby, we sure do seem to have a high representation of pilots here.

Must be all those Alaskans. :D

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Re: private pilots and mustachianism?
« Reply #24 on: July 24, 2015, 12:27:20 PM »
I know a couple of pilots who donate a chunk of their time.  They fly dogs from kill shelters to no-kill shelters.  One flew back a professional acquaintance with a broken hip because the guy couldn't fly home commercial and couldn't afford to fly home on a medical flights.  There are families that need to get to specialty hospitals for treatment.  I know I can deduct car mileage on my taxes for driving I do for volunteer activities.  Not sure if you can take a tax deduction for flying you do for charity.  It might be a way to enjoy the hobby while getting a discount on your taxes.

Rightflyer

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Re: private pilots and mustachianism?
« Reply #25 on: July 24, 2015, 12:42:48 PM »
Posting to follow, since learning to fly is on my list for when I'm done learning to sail.  Also, for being a very unmustachian hobby, we sure do seem to have a high representation of pilots here.

That said. A late evening, summer flight, at low level over the countryside with the window/door open is probably as fun as it gets.

Did not know you could open the window while flying on small planes, that's awesome.  Having never been on one, what's the noise level like?  Do you have to communicate to others via headphones?  Or are they fairly sound dampened?

You need headsets even without the windows open. With the windows open, you need headsets for your headsets. = ) Plus, it gets a little windy.

Actually, on the airplane we used to do that in (a Piper L4...military version of a J3 Cub) it didn't really make much difference with window/door open or closed on noise levels.

Yes...headsets, preferably noise cancelling, are a must.
 
Also very little wind in the cockpit...unless you left it open for landing and had to slip to lose height on final (no flaps). Then you realize how much dust and dirt there is in the cockpit!


john c

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Re: private pilots and mustachianism?
« Reply #26 on: July 25, 2015, 06:24:10 AM »
If you have the connections, you can lease your airplane to a flight school.  If it flies 40-50 hours per month, it will pay for itself, and you can fly it during the times it's otherwise idle.  You will still need to cover maintenance and inspections, but you can do a lot of that yourself.

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Re: private pilots and mustachianism?
« Reply #27 on: July 25, 2015, 07:11:21 AM »
If flying for fun is the priority, maybe consider sailplanes, powered sailplanes (so you don't need someone else getting you up into the air), and even hang gliders/paragliders, powered or otherwise. There are directories for sailplane clubs, and there are also clubs for flying small planes.

http://www.ssa.org/WhereToFly

A few years ago I found a local bicycle shop owner  that does sailplane lessons for the cost of getting a lift into the air, ~$30. My wife found that she wasn't afraid of flying when she had the controls, just of being flown by others. She felt better behind the controls of the 2 person sailplane than in the passenger seat of a large commercial airline.

Bob W

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Re: private pilots and mustachianism?
« Reply #28 on: July 26, 2015, 09:40:39 AM »
Our flying club had a 1941 aeronca tail dragger.  You had to manually spin the prop to start it.   Buy in was $500.  It used regular gas and dues were $20.     It was fun enough to get the pilot thing out of my system.

Rightflyer

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Re: private pilots and mustachianism?
« Reply #29 on: July 26, 2015, 10:08:50 AM »
Our flying club had a 1941 aeronca tail dragger.  You had to manually spin the prop to start it.   Buy in was $500.  It used regular gas and dues were $20.     It was fun enough to get the pilot thing out of my system.

Yes, we had to hand prop the L-4 as well. Pure simplicity.

Nothing like a taildragger to sharpen up the ol' hands 'n feet!

Syonyk

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Re: private pilots and mustachianism?
« Reply #30 on: July 26, 2015, 02:24:38 PM »
Ah, the old Armstrong starter. :)

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Re: private pilots and mustachianism?
« Reply #31 on: July 26, 2015, 02:38:20 PM »
If flying for fun is the priority, maybe consider sailplanes, powered sailplanes (so you don't need someone else getting you up into the air), and even hang gliders/paragliders, powered or otherwise. There are directories for sailplane clubs, and there are also clubs for flying small planes.

http://www.ssa.org/WhereToFly

A few years ago I found a local bicycle shop owner  that does sailplane lessons for the cost of getting a lift into the air, ~$30. My wife found that she wasn't afraid of flying when she had the controls, just of being flown by others. She felt better behind the controls of the 2 person sailplane than in the passenger seat of a large commercial airline.

Sounds like Ed G. down at CL on Hillsborough....

+1 to this thread! Awesome discussion!

brainfart

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Re: private pilots and mustachianism?
« Reply #32 on: July 26, 2015, 03:47:07 PM »
Build your own once you fire.


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Re: private pilots and mustachianism?
« Reply #33 on: July 26, 2015, 05:21:22 PM »
This was once a serious passion of mine.  And I dumped "a house payment" a month into it.  About 20 years ago, I got to the point I just couldn't do it anymore (from a financial suicide point of view).

I did find a couple of sweet deals that were "inexpensive" -- but still were sort of pricey.  I had a friend that went out of the country for 2 years and left me to "babysit."  He didn't want it to sit idle the whole time.  I believe my cost was $150/month hanger rental + gas for unlimited flight time.  This was at a very expensive Dallas airport, so this was an insanely cheap price.  (He was paying for a portion of the hanger rental himself and it was in a business hanger that had 15+ other planes stacked in it.)

Your best bet (as described above) is some sort of sharing or leaseback.  The hard part of this is you'll have inexperienced pilots that will do hard landings in your baby.  I've heard it described as "like sharing your wife."

cacaoheart

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Re: private pilots and mustachianism?
« Reply #34 on: July 26, 2015, 06:43:09 PM »

Sounds like Ed G. down at CL on Hillsborough....


That's him :-) Loved being up in the air with him and his little dog.

Rightflyer

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Re: private pilots and mustachianism?
« Reply #35 on: July 27, 2015, 06:44:24 AM »
This was once a serious passion of mine.  And I dumped "a house payment" a month into it.  About 20 years ago, I got to the point I just couldn't do it anymore (from a financial suicide point of view).

I did find a couple of sweet deals that were "inexpensive" -- but still were sort of pricey.  I had a friend that went out of the country for 2 years and left me to "babysit."  He didn't want it to sit idle the whole time.  I believe my cost was $150/month hanger rental + gas for unlimited flight time.  This was at a very expensive Dallas airport, so this was an insanely cheap price.  (He was paying for a portion of the hanger rental himself and it was in a business hanger that had 15+ other planes stacked in it.)

Your best bet (as described above) is some sort of sharing or leaseback.  The hard part of this is you'll have inexperienced pilots that will do hard landings in your baby.  I've heard it described as "like sharing your wife."

I think you're on to something here...I hadn't thought of this until you triggered a connection between "recreational flying" AND "mustachianism".

I used to pump gas at the local airport in my early 20's as I was getting my licences and ratings. I got to know a lot of the aircraft owners in that time. Once I had my commercial licence, I found that a number of them started asking me if I would like to go up with them for a ride. While that offer was usually under the guise of "doing something nice for the poor slob/kid who drags their aircraft around and fuels it" it didn't take me long to realize that they just wanted another pilot along. They had bought too much airplane and didn't fly enough to keep up their proficiency, so they were, quite correctly cautious about blasting off solo. (Any pilots here will understand.) I ended up getting checked out on several complex (for me at the time) aircraft (Beech Bonanza/Mooney 201/Cessna 182). In the end a couple of these guys put me on the insurance for the aircraft and let me use the aircraft. It was great. Flying for the cost of fuel.

There are literally thousands of light aircraft sitting at regional airports everywhere, begging to be flown. As someone above noted, probably the worst thing that can happen to an aeroplane is to leave it sitting.

I'm sure there are some enterprising Moustachians here who could devise a way to make flying a "moustachian" enterprise.

 
« Last Edit: July 27, 2015, 06:46:06 AM by Rightflyer »

Syonyk

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Re: private pilots and mustachianism?
« Reply #36 on: July 27, 2015, 09:04:18 AM »
There's no way it's ever going to be as cheap as biking around a small town, but the point of independence is to do what you want, and if you want to fly, there's very little that can convince you otherwise.

*longs for the sky*  :/  Seattle area is not a great place for a VFR rated pilot who learned to fly in Iowa where the most complex airspace was Class C.  Being 45+ minutes away from the nearest airports (much more in traffic) doesn't help any either.

Once I move, though... 18 minutes from a municipal airport, and a state full of uncontrolled airspace.

Spork

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Re: private pilots and mustachianism?
« Reply #37 on: July 27, 2015, 10:15:17 AM »
This was once a serious passion of mine.  And I dumped "a house payment" a month into it.  About 20 years ago, I got to the point I just couldn't do it anymore (from a financial suicide point of view).

I did find a couple of sweet deals that were "inexpensive" -- but still were sort of pricey.  I had a friend that went out of the country for 2 years and left me to "babysit."  He didn't want it to sit idle the whole time.  I believe my cost was $150/month hanger rental + gas for unlimited flight time.  This was at a very expensive Dallas airport, so this was an insanely cheap price.  (He was paying for a portion of the hanger rental himself and it was in a business hanger that had 15+ other planes stacked in it.)

Your best bet (as described above) is some sort of sharing or leaseback.  The hard part of this is you'll have inexperienced pilots that will do hard landings in your baby.  I've heard it described as "like sharing your wife."

I think you're on to something here...I hadn't thought of this until you triggered a connection between "recreational flying" AND "mustachianism".

I used to pump gas at the local airport in my early 20's as I was getting my licences and ratings. I got to know a lot of the aircraft owners in that time. Once I had my commercial licence, I found that a number of them started asking me if I would like to go up with them for a ride. While that offer was usually under the guise of "doing something nice for the poor slob/kid who drags their aircraft around and fuels it" it didn't take me long to realize that they just wanted another pilot along. They had bought too much airplane and didn't fly enough to keep up their proficiency, so they were, quite correctly cautious about blasting off solo. (Any pilots here will understand.) I ended up getting checked out on several complex (for me at the time) aircraft (Beech Bonanza/Mooney 201/Cessna 182). In the end a couple of these guys put me on the insurance for the aircraft and let me use the aircraft. It was great. Flying for the cost of fuel.

There are literally thousands of light aircraft sitting at regional airports everywhere, begging to be flown. As someone above noted, probably the worst thing that can happen to an aeroplane is to leave it sitting.

I'm sure there are some enterprising Moustachians here who could devise a way to make flying a "moustachian" enterprise.

Along those lines...   If you just want hours, there are plenty of IFR pilots that want a safety pilot.  I still log a few hours here and there flying with friends that need to make approaches.  From my interpretation of the FARs you just need to be "at least a private pilot certificate with category and class ratings appropriate to the aircraft being flown."


TheInsuranceMan

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Re: private pilots and mustachianism?
« Reply #38 on: July 27, 2015, 02:39:50 PM »
Flying is a dream of mine. I plan to get my private pilots license when I hit some financial goals next year. Is there any mustachian way to operate a small plane?

There have been interesting threads on horses/skiing/sailing and whether any of those activities can be pursued in a mustachian fashion. I'd be curious to know if there are any mustachian pilots out there, and hear there take.

I live in a rural state, where I have meetings around the state. I also have family one state over. It would be neat to cut down on the travel time. But the main justification is enjoyment, not efficiency. I talked to a pilot yesterday and he told me it cost him around $200/hour to operate a 1980s era Cessna 182. Also, book recommendations on flying would be appreciated.

I think some of the questions people post here are a bit nuts. 
1) Can you afford the license?
2) Can you afford the plane?
3) Can you afford to operate the plan?

If you can do all those 3 things, without any financial pain or sacrifices that you can't live without in your life, then do it!  I don't understand why people would come here and ask if they should or should not pursue a hobby if you are already financially set up. 

It's like the post below about a guy asking if he should sell his DREAM truck, that's paid for, and he has 500k in the bank.  Stupid. 
If you can afford it, and you are saving a good portion of your income, and are hitting your goals (which it appears you are), then do it!  Live a bit.

RyanAtTanagra

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Re: private pilots and mustachianism?
« Reply #39 on: July 27, 2015, 02:47:27 PM »
Eh, there are many ways to go about a hobby.  Some hobbies that are assumed to be expensive can be done cheaply by those who know how to look for alternate paths (which is a defining trait of mustachians).  For a year I wanted to learn to sail, but wouldn't do it because the best close place I found was $3000/yr for a membership to the club, plus the lessons.  Then I found a volunteer co-op in the same marina for $300/yr which gets me unlimited lessons and I can take the boats out for free any time I want once I pass the tests.  It was hard to find because it was in the shadow of the most trodden and well lit path.

It's a fair question.

Teddy25

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Re: private pilots and mustachianism?
« Reply #40 on: July 27, 2015, 02:56:42 PM »
join a club. it is cheaper and you don't have to worry about up keep.

there is a buy in and monthly due, but more than likely than not it is cheaper than renting from a FBO(if you once a month).

I belong to a club in the Midwest with 172s/182s and a cirrus, I never have issue with scheduling or long trips. 
« Last Edit: July 27, 2015, 03:02:27 PM by Teddy25 »

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Re: private pilots and mustachianism?
« Reply #41 on: July 27, 2015, 09:00:04 PM »
Flying is a dream of mine. I plan to get my private pilots license when I hit some financial goals next year. Is there any mustachian way to operate a small plane?

There have been interesting threads on horses/skiing/sailing and whether any of those activities can be pursued in a mustachian fashion. I'd be curious to know if there are any mustachian pilots out there, and hear there take.

I live in a rural state, where I have meetings around the state. I also have family one state over. It would be neat to cut down on the travel time. But the main justification is enjoyment, not efficiency. I talked to a pilot yesterday and he told me it cost him around $200/hour to operate a 1980s era Cessna 182. Also, book recommendations on flying would be appreciated.

I think some of the questions people post here are a bit nuts. 
1) Can you afford the license?
2) Can you afford the plane?
3) Can you afford to operate the plan?

If you can do all those 3 things, without any financial pain or sacrifices that you can't live without in your life, then do it!  I don't understand why people would come here and ask if they should or should not pursue a hobby if you are already financially set up. 

It's like the post below about a guy asking if he should sell his DREAM truck, that's paid for, and he has 500k in the bank.  Stupid. 
If you can afford it, and you are saving a good portion of your income, and are hitting your goals (which it appears you are), then do it!  Live a bit.

I'm with Fuzz on this. Once upon a time, when my license was hot in my hands and super-current, I was "betweeen jobs". I flew to Santa Ynez and spent the week camping in a VW camper bus and flying the test time off of a friends EXPERIMENTAL airplane. It was one of the best times of my life.

Incidentally, if I had died, my wife would have gotten zippo. There was a clause in my life insurance that prohibits flying test time off an experimental aircraft - I found it when I got back from my week in heaven.

And you know what? It was worth every minute....that week goes down as one of the best weeks of my life, right below getting married, having my kids, graduating college and seeing them graduate college....

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Re: private pilots and mustachianism?
« Reply #42 on: July 31, 2015, 08:21:29 AM »
I too am quite interested in this. I would say it's 50% the idea sounds awesome/ 50% convenience for transportation. I live on the west coast of FL but make constant weekend trips to the east coast for boating. We also go to the bahamas and the keys quite often. If I could cut a 4/6 hour trip down to 1/1.5 it would make those trips much more enjoyable.

Being able to afford flying is still a few notches down on my list and I would have to clear a few financial hurdles to get there but it's on my list. The thing that's on my mind is maybe it's a good idea to get your license now, before flying becomes a legit possibility,more than later so you have more experience when the time comes.

Either way, you're spending 10k to get your license....it's just whether you get it now or later.

My thoughts are to get your private license in case you want to transport 4 people but fly primarily LSA to get hours/experience/have fun. I think I would rent/possibly partnership in a LSA but find a good way to rent a 172 or 182 when you need it.

Syonyk

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Re: private pilots and mustachianism?
« Reply #43 on: July 31, 2015, 09:43:46 AM »
A 172 isn't a real 4 place airplane - at most, it's a 2+2 (2 adults, 2 kids).  A 182 can be, depending on the people.

KiloRomeo

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Re: private pilots and mustachianism?
« Reply #44 on: July 31, 2015, 11:47:18 AM »
A 172 isn't a real 4 place airplane - at most, it's a 2+2 (2 adults, 2 kids).  A 182 can be, depending on the people.

Which is perfect for me. But having the option of LSA/172/182 is what interests me. I wouldn't want to own only one of them.


Judging by the number of times Ive crashed my RC plane,.....maybe I shouldnt have access to any...

Spork

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Re: private pilots and mustachianism?
« Reply #45 on: August 01, 2015, 04:01:31 PM »

Judging by the number of times Ive crashed my RC plane,.....maybe I shouldnt have access to any...

It has been years since I tried RC planes.  By years I mean: probably 40 of them.  But: I found RC to be much harder to fly than an actual plane.  The controls were super sensitive and overly fast to respond.  And then there's the mental exercise of putting yourself in the pilot's seat to determine up/down/left/right when you are inverted/headed inbound.   In a real airplane, it just all makes sense.

Syonyk

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Re: private pilots and mustachianism?
« Reply #46 on: August 01, 2015, 04:43:54 PM »
RC is definitely harder than full size.

clifp

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Re: private pilots and mustachianism?
« Reply #47 on: August 01, 2015, 05:16:14 PM »
So I have about 1200 hours plus an instrument rating.

I built an airplane (actually 2 of them).

The last one was a Vans RV7a. Economy Cruised Lean of peak (google it) at 160 knots at about 7.5 Gallons per hour. I engineered the fuel system to use Auto fuel.
...

Airplanes in the hands of low time pilot are just expensive toys. If you try to use them as transport you be spending a lot of places you'd rather not in a hotel.. At least you had better.

Never believe the lie you are more at risk driving to the airport.. flying is dangerous, just had two low time friends make a very basic mistake and it nearly cost them their lives!

Is it Mustiacian.. Umm, no not really..:)

I echo what ExFlyBoy says.
I learned to fly when I was young, Air explorers a branch of boy scouts.  I almost got my pilots license before my drivers license at 17.  I actually reinvigorated my dad's interest in flying (WWII fighter pilot) and it became his big passion.  My family progressed through the whole process. First renting time in C172 and C182, then joining a club. Then my dad bought 1950s era plane with his best friend.  I flew with him to the monster airshow in Oshkosh a couple of times in it and we flew together a lot.  Eventually, my dad a very skilled woodworker, built his own wooden airplane, a Falco from plans.  He actually retired early to built it. (There was  fairly appalling lack of financial planning on my parents part, but what the hell it worked out.) . It took him 7 years and at least 50-70K to build it. Many of the folks in his EAA chapter were building RV6 or RV7 (a far more sensible plane). I also flew with him back to Oshkosh in the Falco a few times. 

 Flying is a lot of fun. Leaning to fly was a sense of accomplishment.  Flying over many over our most famous national parks is some of my fondest memories.   I actually enjoyed flying right seat more than left seat. You meet some really interesting people, Buzz Aldrin, Chuck Yeager, to name drop two. But the adage "if you have time to spare go by air" really applies.   We once spent 3 days trapped in Bluefield, West Virgina waiting for the weather to clear.  My mom was really anxious to see her new granddaughter.  If my dad or I had an instrument rating maybe we could have gotten out. But flying a light plane is dangerous under any circumstances, flying a light plane in bad weather for a low time pilot is really dangerous. 

My dad died pretty young, so I inherited the plane.  It was a beauty http://www.falcoaircraft.org/falcos/n25rp/. I seriously thought about keeping it.  I probably had the money but still would have cost 20-30K/year to operate and keep in a hanger in Hawaii (about 50% more than my dad was spending in Oregon).  That doesn't include they money I would have to spend to get trained to fly a high performance aircraft, and insurance and common sense requirement.

But ultimately I decided to sell. The money was definitely factor, but probably bigger was the safety. Maintaining proficiency as a pilot requires a lot more than couple hours every 90 days the FAA requires.  Yet it is essential. I don't know a single person who has died in automobile, but I know at least 8 acquaintance who've bought the farm in general aviation planes.

Don't mean to drown your dream, but make sure to research the subject thoroughly.

gergg

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Re: private pilots and mustachianism?
« Reply #48 on: August 01, 2015, 10:15:00 PM »
Pilot here as well.  I would strongly advise you not to purchase an aircraft until you get your certificate.  Then look for a good flying club to join. I bought a 1/10th share of a plane for $4,500 and pay $70/month in fixed costs and $85/flight hour.  It's a lot easier to swallow a big repair bill when it's split 10 ways!  Expect to spend about $10,000 - $15,000 to get your private cert!

Rightflyer

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Re: private pilots and mustachianism?
« Reply #49 on: August 02, 2015, 08:27:52 AM »
It was a beauty http://www.falcoaircraft.org/falcos/n25rp/.

Falco!!!

Always been my dream aeroplane. I used to send away for the info package from Sequoia every few years just to drool over the parts list etc.

I saw one at Oshkosh (1999?) built by a father and son. They said they had almost 1000 hours in the finish (paintjob) alone. It cost them over $100,000 NOT including the engine. It was then that I realized I would have to make do with the info packages.

Still, amazing aeroplane.

Thanks for the memory.