I've been trolling these forums and pprune for a while and trying to gleam as much information as I can but about earning an RPC and PPL. I've always contemplated taking to the sky for probably the last 15 years, but cost was always a prohibitive factor especially for a PPL ($>25k) and couldn't justify the investment. Given that I've left my interest at FSX and mirroring the flights I do for work.....so sad.
So....some years ago I ran into an old CPL acquaintance and probed him about a PPL and he suggested RAAus. At the time it didn't sound like it married up to my expectations (e.g. being able to fly in controlled airspace or aerodromes). I looked at gliding at one stage as a legup to GA, but as interesting as it is the ambition always was powered flight. So with changes in personal circumstances and slight opening up of legislation, RAAus path is starting to make a lot more sense. I see it as a way to do things with the family as well as achieve a personal ambition. My plan is to start with an RPC, PAX, XC etc, then convert to RPL. From there work towards controlled airspace and aerodrome endorsements, with the end goal of being able to take the 4 of us to short jumps across the state or Australia. In between the dabble in GA (or even if I don't progress that far), RAAus sounds like the ideal place to keep skills, knowledge and smiles up without the cost...which of course leads to one of the biggest drivers, the budget needs to be maintained.
So a few questions.
1. Are my ambitions and plans reasonable?
2. Should I park any attempts to start until the other side of winter given the unfavourable VFR weather?
3. Gawler is my closest flight school by far so always will be a home base. And from my research volunteers keep hrly costs down which helps the budget. From reading here it sounds like it's pretty busy with training? How hard is it to book training slots?
4. I can probably spare a half day on the weekend every week to two weeks. What are the typical hours to reach RPC then get through endorsements? Some people look to nail it close to the minimums, but looks like others took 3x the hours?
5. Is there much difference in flights schools, or some that could be considered better than others? If/when I get to an RPC level, I'd probably look at few hrs at another school to broaden horizons and get different perspectives.
6. Has anyone converted to RPL in Adelaide, and if so who did they go through on the GA side?
7. What are the typical hrs to convert to RPL, and on top earn the endorsements? I've read the thread here about being milked and if that's the standard it's well beyond budget.
8. Can the RAAus radio endorsement be migrated to a FROL? Or does it just substitute the need for a FROL? Or do I need to do it all over again (in which case I'd consider earning a FROL first and bringing that to the RPC).
8. Are there free publications available (e.g. BAK type publications) that are good reads to prepare?
Looking forward to being shot down and my dreams somewhat grounded :) But also looking forward to maybe dipping a toe in and booking in a TIF if I can realistically achieve what I set out to do.