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Thread: Some real-life aviation experiences and milestones today

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by HornetAircraft View Post
    nice! welcome to the club! I started with flight sims and got my PPL at 18. 19 now working on my instrument rating! if I can take one thing away from my PPL training, this is to learn to fly without a GPS. using a non electronic E6B and not having a GPS or foreflight but rather a paper flightplan is one of the best things I was told to do. don't get me wrong, I love using a GPS, and I've used a good few, (Gtn400, Gtn430, Gtn530, Gtn650, Gtn750, and soon G1000nxi) the ability to use paper and find your way is a far more valuable skill becoming a child of the magenta. good luck!!
    Great advice.

    My first flight sim was the original 1982 version. My dad got it for me. It came on a giant "floppy disk," the ground looked like an empty chalk board, there was only one plane available (Cessna 172), the coolest graphics image to see was a skeleton version of Chicago's John Hancock building (but absolutely no other buildings or structures), and Garmin was not a company that existed yet. So the only way to navigate was using VOR. To your point exactly, I've forgotten a lot of those lessons now because I have gotten used to GPS technology in our sim planes.
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  2. #12
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    I'm looking more at used Cessna 172s on some future day, or these "flying club" situations that some hobbyists seem to participate in.
    Real world flying clubs do, indeed, make it cheaper to fly. The L-21 in my avatar was owned by a club with 8 members, organized as a stock-holding corporation. In 1995 it cost me about $6000 to buy someone's shares (not all equally divided), and I got a number of good years of flying it before the club changed it's direction in a way I didn't like (and the 'spark plug' had died, too), so I sold my shares for around $7500. When I first bought in, 34A had a 125 HP Lycoming O-290 and a max 1500 lbs gross weight. After a couple of years, a guy wrecked it, so during the rebuild we bought the STC to install a 150 HP Lycoming O-360 and beef the bird up to a 1750 lb. max gross.

    When I started we charged ourselves $45 per hour (wet) by tach time* for each hour we flew, with a minimum (average) of two hours per month, paid even if you didn't fly it. So It cost me $270 per quarter for the first 6 hours (whether I flew them or not), then $45 per tach hour for any additional time flown. Later we raised it to $50/hour and then to $55/hour, due to increasing costs, both fuel and fixed costs. We also assessed each member some additional money for the engine change. This was at a time when a C-172 might rent for $70 per Hobbs hour*, often more.

    And all the above included 34A staying in a hangar just north of Denver at what is now Erie Municipal (it was Tri-County at the time), 48V in FSX, since changed to KEIK. Of course we did all of our own work on the aircraft that the rules allowed, including oil changes, helping the A&P with the annual, and much else, helping to keep costs down. I'm guessing it would have been another $8-10 per flight hour (at least) to have someone else do all the work.

    Of course it would be more expensive now, and not all aircraft would be able to be done that cheaply, even then. But hopefully this will give you an idea of costs as of about 15-20 years ago.

    =================================================

    * Hobbs time vs tach (tachometer) time: A hobbs meter runs an hour for an hour by the clock, usually measured in tenths of an hour, and starts running when the oil pressure comes up. An aircraft tachometer, in addition to showing RPM, also records "hours" of operation at a rate that at a typical cruise RPM (2200-2500 RPM, usually, depending on the aircraft) would show an hour matching with a clock hour. But at any lesser RPM it will run at a proportionally slower rate, so that at idle (700 RPM, or so) it will register maybe 1/3 of an hour for each clock hour, an obvious advantage when taxiing, etc.

    Larry N.

    As Skylab would say:
    Remember: Aviation is NOT an exact Science!

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by lnuss View Post
    Real world flying clubs do, indeed, make it cheaper to fly. The L-21 in my avatar was owned by a club with 8 members, organized as a stock-holding corporation. In 1995 it cost me about $6000 to buy someone's shares (not all equally divided), and I got a number of good years of flying it before the club changed it's direction in a way I didn't like (and the 'spark plug' had died, too), so I sold my shares for around $7500. When I first bought in, 34A had a 125 HP Lycoming O-290 and a max 1500 lbs gross weight. After a couple of years, a guy wrecked it, so during the rebuild we bought the STC to install a 150 HP Lycoming O-360 and beef the bird up to a 1750 lb. max gross.

    When I started we charged ourselves $45 per hour (wet) by tach time* for each hour we flew, with a minimum (average) of two hours per month, paid even if you didn't fly it. So It cost me $270 per quarter for the first 6 hours (whether I flew them or not), then $45 per tach hour for any additional time flown. Later we raised it to $50/hour and then to $55/hour, due to increasing costs, both fuel and fixed costs. We also assessed each member some additional money for the engine change. This was at a time when a C-172 might rent for $70 per Hobbs hour*, often more.

    And all the above included 34A staying in a hangar just north of Denver at what is now Erie Municipal (it was Tri-County at the time), 48V in FSX, since changed to KEIK. Of course we did all of our own work on the aircraft that the rules allowed, including oil changes, helping the A&P with the annual, and much else, helping to keep costs down. I'm guessing it would have been another $8-10 per flight hour (at least) to have someone else do all the work.

    Of course it would be more expensive now, and not all aircraft would be able to be done that cheaply, even then. But hopefully this will give you an idea of costs as of about 15-20 years ago.

    =================================================

    * Hobbs time vs tach (tachometer) time: A hobbs meter runs an hour for an hour by the clock, usually measured in tenths of an hour, and starts running when the oil pressure comes up. An aircraft tachometer, in addition to showing RPM, also records "hours" of operation at a rate that at a typical cruise RPM (2200-2500 RPM, usually, depending on the aircraft) would show an hour matching with a clock hour. But at any lesser RPM it will run at a proportionally slower rate, so that at idle (700 RPM, or so) it will register maybe 1/3 of an hour for each clock hour, an obvious advantage when taxiing, etc.
    I appreciate these details and have a question about the way yours or other flying clubs operate: Since you charged yourselves per hour, does this mean you were typically flying the plane somewhere for day trips only? It seems like flying it to New Mexico for the weekend, for example, would make this whole arrangement not economically worthwhile, no?
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  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by neilends View Post
    I appreciate these details and have a question about the way yours or other flying clubs operate: Since you charged yourselves per hour, does this mean you were typically flying the plane somewhere for day trips only? It seems like flying it to New Mexico for the weekend, for example, would make this whole arrangement not economically worthwhile, no?

    It helps to understand that, when we talk about "per hour," that's per hour of time that the engine is running. So a four hour flight into New Mexico (and, of course, 4 hours back) might mean you're good for (at 2 hours per day) 4 days (we might fudge a little if there were no scheduling conflicts).

    Of course we had many by-laws to help ease potential conflicts, including how many trips, how many days per trip per "X" hours (in other words, a minimum of two hours flown for each day you're gone, or some such), and much more -- several pages worth of legal stuff -- after all, we were actually incorporated as a non-profit corporation, so such stuff was needed. But other clubs may do partnerships or other legal mechanisms -- there are many ways to do it. My main point was that, properly handled, a club can be a (relatively) inexpensive way to go, at the (other) cost of having to share with the other members. We even had currency requirements beyond what the FAA required, X hours in Y time frame or else have to get checked out again, for example.

    There's so much more, but I can't put it all here. Check out AOPA and EAA websites -- both have info on clubs, partnerships and much more.

    Later: It occurs to me that you may need to know that the per hour costs "wet" means including fuel (reimbursement, if needed), while "dry" means you pay for your own fuel separately.
    Last edited by lnuss; 02-22-2021 at 03:20 PM.

    Larry N.

    As Skylab would say:
    Remember: Aviation is NOT an exact Science!

  5. #15
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    That's great info, thanks. I will dig into this further as you suggest if it's the route it looks like I might be taking.
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  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by neilends View Post
    ...there's a gentleman in England who will hand-craft a livery for you for 10 bucks (USD). Below is his creation for me, which I am totally in love with (pictured near KSEZ as well). Link to contact him below the picture.

    Attachment 225505

    Finally, today is another big IRL milestone for me because I can officially call myself a student pilot. I signed up for ground school, through an online program....in the first 4 hours of coursework I have gone through so far, it's all material that I am already very familiar with because of MSFS and previous sims. I know that will change very soon but MSFS has clearly given me a leg up in understanding some basic concepts.
    First, does your custom livery indicate you work for the Ariz. AG? Don't let it get out. The legislature might take it literally and start an investigation. :-)
    Second, congratulations on going IRL. Are you already pricing your first IRL plane?
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  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aptosflier View Post
    First, does your custom livery indicate you work for the Ariz. AG? Don't let it get out. The legislature might take it literally and start an investigation. :-)
    Second, congratulations on going IRL. Are you already pricing your first IRL plane?
    Don't get me started on the legislature and its ability to conduct "investigations" on diddly squat.

    As for an IRL plane, I do admit that I googled how much planes cost and ended up staring at the computer screen for a solid 2 minutes without blinking. Good lord. A flying club seems much more realistic for someone in my position, who will not be investing in this hobby interest for purposes of a career but just for the sake of a hobby. I mean, literally, a forty-year old Cessna 172 goes for the same price as a brand new Porsche.

    At least if I ever pitch the idea of a Porsche to the wife, she could drive it too!
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  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by neilends View Post
    Don't get me started on the legislature and its ability to conduct "investigations" on diddly squat.

    As for an IRL plane, I do admit that I googled how much planes cost and ended up staring at the computer screen for a solid 2 minutes without blinking. Good lord. A flying club seems much more realistic for someone in my position, who will not be investing in this hobby interest for purposes of a career but just for the sake of a hobby. I mean, literally, a forty-year old Cessna 172 goes for the same price as a brand new Porsche.

    At least if I ever pitch the idea of a Porsche to the wife, she could drive it too!
    I see what you mean, did a search and found a 1973 Cessna C172 J Rocket for sale at £129,795 ($182,660)!! it did say that it was "totally refurbished all new" but still a lot of money.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by PAULCRAIG View Post
    I see what you mean, did a search and found a 1973 Cessna C172 J Rocket for sale at £129,795 ($182,660)!! it did say that it was "totally refurbished all new" but still a lot of money.
    Yep. Per this 2018 article, a brand new Cessna 172 goes for a minimum of USD$369,000 (£262,146).

    https://www.flyingmag.com/story/airc...till-relevant/
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  10. #20
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    And to bring this all back to the core structure of this forum -

    The ENORMOUS expenses involved in real-life aviation are why MSFS 2020 is an absolute bargain and 'cheap' thrill even at the Premium version price, and just IMHO even including what it DOES cost to get a good enough PC rig and accessories to use it. YES, VR is also 'expensive' and having a good graphics card is spendy, and a yoke/throttle quadrant/rudder pedal setup isn't free either but for that one time entry fee you get a world of global flight sim experiences.

    Just imagine how much you would have to spend to experience in real life any of the adventure flights folks have taken in MSFS for 'free' outside of their home State/Country.
    "Don't believe everything you see on the internet." - Abraham Lincoln
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