Author Topic: Goodbye to my lovely, anti-mustachian hobby: Flying  (Read 4832 times)

Honest Abe

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Goodbye to my lovely, anti-mustachian hobby: Flying
« on: January 13, 2013, 05:56:57 AM »
I've been keeping a secret since the beginning of my relationship here, and it's time for me to come clean. You see, before I met all of you, there was another lady in my life. She and I stopped hanging out a few months ago, but I think about her all the time. I know I can't keep the two of you in my life at the same time, but I thought it was time I let you know about her.

About 3 years ago, I started flying small airplanes for fun. After a year of hard work and studying, I got my private-pilot license. It was a wonderful hobby, with some terrific memories and great friends made. It also pushed you to your limit in a way that had absolutely nothing to do with your job. It was just you and this machine, and the sky/air/earth.

I stopped flying in August, for a few reasons.

1. I was spending $300-400/month on flying. No small potatoes.

2. It was kind of a source of stress for me... I needed to make time for it, and if I was really busy at work I'd actually feel an anxiety that I wasn't flying enough.

3. I'm married now and would like children, and although flying is pretty safe, it's not as safe as, say, walking to the store. I have to think about family first now.

4. I can't possibly expect anyone else in my household to entertain the thought of a Mustachian lifestyle while I'm burning $300-400/month on my hobby. Seems selfish to me.

So there it is.. it's painful, and my flight instructor texted me yesterday to see why I wasn't going up anymore. But It's the decision I've made and I must live with it. Just had to get it off my chest.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2013, 06:29:12 AM by Honest Abe »

Matt K

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Re: Goodbye to my lovely, anti-mustachian hobby: Flying
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2013, 07:54:19 AM »
Don't think of it as good bye; think of it as I'll see you when we are older.

When you are FI, you can look into it again. Then you can investigate less expensive versions (ultra lights, or maybe paragliding, or who knows what will be available in the future). None of them are truly cheap, but an ultra-light that you maintain yourself and uses a motorcycle engine will be less-expensive than a Cessna.

Good for you to make the hard call.

Skyn_Flynt

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Re: Goodbye to my lovely, anti-mustachian hobby: Flying
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2013, 08:03:10 AM »
The number of licensed pilots has been dropping for a long time due to expense, so you're no exception.

My father did sail planes, small props, hang gliders, and ultralights in that order. He gave up hang gliders in his 40s as he realized how easy it was to get injured. (As well as the general lack of sites for the hobby - land owners are nervous about the risks.)

The ultralight he built from a kit and made various modifications to it. He was pretty good with tools having been a machinist. But he also made several emergency landings in it. He told me when he was in the air he kept a mental picture of somewhere he could put down, at all times.

arebelspy

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Re: Goodbye to my lovely, anti-mustachian hobby: Flying
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2013, 08:25:38 AM »
Getting my pilot's license once I'm FI has been something I've explored.

I like Matt's "see you a bit later" attitude.
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Jamesqf

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Re: Goodbye to my lovely, anti-mustachian hobby: Flying
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2013, 12:46:37 PM »
I've pretty well given it up, too, but it wasn't the expense.  After all, one of the main reason I practice frugality in most areas of my life is to have money for the things I enjoy.  Partly it was the increasing regulation after 9/11: having to go through security gates & show ID just to get out to my plane was a big demotivator.  Mostly, though, it was the dogs (and now the horse): I found I'd rather go out riding or hiking with them, than spend time sitting at the controls.

AlexK

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Re: Goodbye to my lovely, anti-mustachian hobby: Flying
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2013, 03:39:11 PM »
I love flying too but only my home made RC helicopter. I fly it FPV (first-person-view) with video goggles. It's very safe :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3qoVK95Fgo

arebelspy

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Re: Goodbye to my lovely, anti-mustachian hobby: Flying
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2013, 05:12:43 PM »
I love flying too but only my home made RC helicopter. I fly it FPV (first-person-view) with video goggles. It's very safe :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3qoVK95Fgo

What's the total cost of that rig?
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AlexK

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Re: Goodbye to my lovely, anti-mustachian hobby: Flying
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2013, 05:18:34 PM »
About $1100.  My intent was to have a side gig doing aerial photography but it turns out it is illegal to make money with RC aircraft. I should have done more research first. It's still a ton of fun though.

FiveSigmas

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Re: Goodbye to my lovely, anti-mustachian hobby: Flying
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2013, 12:13:32 AM »
I love flying too but only my home made RC helicopter. I fly it FPV (first-person-view) with video goggles. It's very safe :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3qoVK95Fgo

That's awesome! How far from base can the helicopter go?

GuitarStv

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Re: Goodbye to my lovely, anti-mustachian hobby: Flying
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2013, 07:35:49 AM »
Check out some of the open source flight sims available . . . some of them are pretty impressive in their detail.

Matt K

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Re: Goodbye to my lovely, anti-mustachian hobby: Flying
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2013, 08:21:10 AM »
Check out some of the open source flight sims available . . . some of them are pretty impressive in their detail.

I know this suggestion is well intentioned, but I don't think it is a cure for what ails the OP.

While those flight sims and the similar high quality race sims are far cheaper than the activity they replace, great training aids, and fun in their own right; I have to say, they aren't replacements for the real activities. If you can't feel the momentum and forces at play, it just isn't the same.

I'd much rather ride a beat up 50cc scooter than play the best grand prix motorcycle race game. I expect this is true for the OP as well (well, Abe may not be interested in taking a 'beater' into the sky, given the inability to pull over mid-flight).

Sometimes the easiest thing is to simply remove yourself from the activity, and media surrounding it, cold turkey. Stop playing the sims, reading the magazines, visiting the websites. Get it out of your mind, be busy with other things you enjoy, and you move on surprisingly quickly.

Posthumane

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Re: Goodbye to my lovely, anti-mustachian hobby: Flying
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2013, 09:47:31 AM »
Abe, I feel your pain. I've been contemplating giving up my flying hobby for a while now, though I haven't been able to do it. I have, however, managed to reduce the expenses considerably. For the last few years I've owned a C172, though it's always been my goal to eventually have a homebuilt. It was costing me over $10k/year in operating and ownership costs, with the biggest item being maintenance. This past year I did two things that drastically brought the cost down:
1) I found a private mechanic who was willing to work *with* me, showing me how to do what needed to be done then letting me do the bulk of the work, and inspecting it when it was done. This allowed me to do a thorough annual inspection, including replacement of an instrument and a few other items, for less than $2k. My previous annuals ranged from $3k to $9k.
2) I found some people to share the plane with. There were a few students who my friend was teaching who were looking for an aircraft to use to get their PPL. In giving up the use of my plane for a few months I basically covered the bulk of my maintenance and insurance.

I like the suggestion of calling it a "so long for now" rather than a "goodbye" with the option to do an occasional flight here and there. You can do a quick refresher every 6 months or so to stay current and get a bit of flying in if you don't want to give it up entirely, which will allow you to seize opportunities that may come up such as someone needing their airplane used a bit while they're unable to fly due to temporary medical issues.

James

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Re: Goodbye to my lovely, anti-mustachian hobby: Flying
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2013, 09:54:48 AM »
About $1100.  My intent was to have a side gig doing aerial photography but it turns out it is illegal to make money with RC aircraft. I should have done more research first. It's still a ton of fun though.

I did aerial photography when I was a teenager, we would rent an expensive large format camera, lean out of a small airplane to get photos of farms and houses out in the country, and then sell them door to door.  Made good money, but took a lot of time and effort.  I also soloed when I was 16 and was over half way to my license when I stopped taking lessons.  Never got back into it, but I loved flying a lot.  I got into sailing for a while also, which is a cheaper way of getting some of the same feelings I found in flying.  I would love to get back into either of those sports at some point if the opportunity lent itself at the right price.

BlueMR2

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Re: Goodbye to my lovely, anti-mustachian hobby: Flying
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2013, 10:04:11 AM »
The whole reason that we save money so aggressively in other areas is so that we can maintain our flying (yeah, my wife is a pilot too).  :-)

In the interest of reaching FI sooner though, we've made some decisions about our flying.  We'll probably never buy our own airplane.  It's just too expensive.  Unless you're flying 100+ hours a year there's just no financial way to justify it at all.  Therefore, we're in a club (with monthly dues, but cheap hour rates).  Another benefit of the club is offering multiple types of airplanes, so we can choose the one with the right capacity for the job.  Sometimes we'll take a couple people with us on a trip and need the gas sucking 6 seater.  Most times we just need the little trainer...  The club covers the bulk of our flying at a cost less than rental (fly about an hour a month to make the dues worthwhile).  For the very rare occasions we want something that the club does not have, we will rent (local FBOs have retracts & twins available).

I do a lot of sim time, but it's not even close.  I only do flight sims to help keep my instrument procedures up to date.  The rest of the flying experience simply can't be had in anything resembling an affordable sim.  I have the same problem with racing sims.  I've got a lot of real life track hours and I can't stand using even the nicest racing sim, it's a very poor substitute.  You'll need to substitute a completely different hobby, such as cycling.  :-)

Jamesqf

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Re: Goodbye to my lovely, anti-mustachian hobby: Flying
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2013, 11:52:50 AM »
Another way to cut costs is a partnership.  Ours worked well for about 20 years, through a couple of partner changes, until one partner died and another decided to retire and move out of state.  For me the big advantages were being able to do most of my own mechanical work, and being able to land on backcountry strips (or no strips at all), which most club/rental agreements prohibit.