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Getting ready to start classes have have some questions.


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Hello, I will be starting classes in August for my private license. Have a couple of questions and not sure if jumping the gun or if these are valid questions. The community college uses simulators to help cut down on the amount of in plane time you will need. For the in plane portion, how does a person go about contacting a instructor? Would that be something the classroom instructor would go over, or is that an individual thing. Also, would there be any equipment that I would need for in the plane, or once again that something the instructor would tell me about? I am meeting with the head of the program next Saturday. Are there any question that you guys know that a beginner should ask? Thank you for all the help.

 

 

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I presume you are in the US of A. Simulators are helpful and full vision and motion ones are very much like the real thing. If you have ground and flight instructors there would need to be a good correlation between what you had covered and what you are doing with your flying sequences at the time. General aircraft and aerodynamics, flight law etc can be done any time. but better before the other stuff. You don't want to complicate your initial training but the basics should be sound. You would normally get a briefing before and after flight. Must pilots get their own headset. Enjoy the experience. Nev

 

 

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When I started I didn't think I would want to have any of my training in a simulator. For private you are required to have minimum 3 hours flying by instruments. I think that's what the simulator was great for. You can simulate weather conditions that you wouldn't normally fly into if you are doing it in a real plane. Having an idea what it will feel like if I ever accidentally fly into zero viability is invaluable. Also by the time you do the instrument portion you know how to fly the plane anyway, so I didn't find it detracted from my experience of learning to fly the real thing. So personally I would learn to fly the real thing before getting any simulator time.

 

Do you already know that the community college does not have planes or instructors for this program? For getting an instructor I would first ask if the community college has an recommendations. They may partner with someone. If not look for flying schools or flying clubs around your local airport or airports. You can walk into any of them and they will be glad to help you find an instructor right for you. You may not want to take the first one they give you. Its important that the 2 of you can work well together and you feel comfortable with the instructor. It might be a good idea to talk with more than one instructor and take a introductory flight with more than one to get an idea of how they teach. Here is a link for a tool to search for flight schools in your area http://www.aopa.org/learntofly/school/index.cfm.

 

If you ask the instructors they will definitely go over with you what you will need to buy and have with you. At a minimum you should have your own headset. If your not so sure about flying yet you can buy a cheap headset for $100. You can buy a decent headset for $300-$400. Another thing I would always have is a bottle of water especially in the summer. You don't realize how quickly you can get dehydrated flying a plane. For cross country flights you will need charts and a kneeboard, but you don't need to buy these right away as you will get to that later in your training. Also a very simple pen and piece of paper can be very useful. When you get to night flying, you might want a flashlight with a red bulb so as not to blind you while your flying.

 

One big thing you might want to figure out is the cost vs quality. You don't necessarily have to go to a community college to learn to fly unless you are looking at a career and need the degree. Most flying schools at your local airport will have everything you need to learn to fly, have great quality instruction, and possibly at a much cheaper price than a community college. You might want to check reviews of local flying clubs and flying schools online to get an idea of quality and then compare some prices.

 

I would ask them the basic questions of whats required to get your private pilots certificate. By going over the requirements it will give you an idea of whats ahead in your training and might spark some more questions. Don't be afraid to ask your instructors at the college or your flight instructor any questions. That's what they are there for. If they are unwilling to answer your questions find someone else immediately.

 

 

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Be very wary of the simulator training - the basic simulators anyway. Many instructors find that those who have spent time on flight sim actually take a lot longer to learn to simply fly the aircraft. Basically if they have a lot of time with simulators it takes a lot of time to get them in the habit of ignoring the instruments and simply looking out the window and flying the plane. I had a lot of trouble with this in the early stages and it wasn't until we did an hours circuits with the ASI, VSI and turn indicator covered up that i broke the habit!

 

 

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Thank you for all the input. I believe the college doesn't own an airplane. I spoke the the coordinator and I asked about the estimated cost per hour for flight time and he said it would be between 140 and 150 an hour. According to the coordinator, they use the simulators to cut the minimum in plane flight time to 40 hours. One of the big reason that I looked at the community college is due to having a 529 plan. Basically, the only cost that I will have to pay for is books, equipment and fees. I know the college has been teaching for at least 30 years and they are partnered with a local university's flight program from commercial pilots. The certifiicate consist of flight theory, part 1 private flight training, simulator private, part 2 private flight, and flight meteorology. Thank you. I was wondering if anyone has used the Airclassics HS-1 headset? I saw Wicks has them listed for about 115 with a lifetime warranty. Thank you.

 

 

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So is your flight time completely free or just ground classes? If so, that is a great deal for you. Also as stated above, the simulator has it place but make sure you start your training in an actual plane first.

 

 

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Just the ground classes would be free. I'm figuring that I'm looking at about $8500 max for flight time just rough estimate from the prices the coordinator told me. I figured that's not to bad.

 

 

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