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View Full Version : Student - Private - IFR = Job


gacri
01-16-2015, 07:44 AM
Hello everyone. I would like any insight in addition to what "I think" is my plan of attack when it comes to earning my pilot ratings.

Here is my scenario.

I am 40 years of age with about 20 years law enforcement experience. I was fortunate enough to have been selected to a new investigators (Agent) position in a unit that also has aviation unit as part of its mission.

The agency currently employs one (Agent) Chief Pilot and a few "contract" pilots. I have other duties at this time but get up in the aircraft as a TFO on occasion when the other more senior Agents are off.

It has always been a long term goal of mine to No. 1 earn my PPL and No. 2 fly as part of my LE duties.

So I have set the stage and it is now really in my hands to pursue this 100%.

I have about (10) hours logged training in a 172. I have a current Class 3 Medical. Like many others, I have been on and off with my training due to life and never finished.

In speaking with the Chief Pilot, his recommendation was to first set aside the money to achieve my PPL. Second, save up enough vacation time to take (3) weeks off of work. Find a good instructor at the local airport and arrange to hit it hard for (3) weeks and get your PPL.

Then work on the instrument rating. He also recommended building hours possibly with the local civil air patrol.

I have purchased Sporty's Ground School Course in an effort pass written before getting back in the airplane for instruction.

I am open to any other insight especially any reputable accelerated schools out there that are quality.

My goal is to earn my ratings and within the next five years or so be a attractive candidate when the Chief Pilot here retires.

Thanks


Firsttimeflyer
01-16-2015, 08:21 AM
Is there an hourly requirement they want? What kind of flight experience does the chief pilot and the other pilots have? All this will be very relevant when you go to apply for the job. You might have to have your commercial license for that job. Better get more info from the chief pilot as the commercial will cost you a good chunk of change.

If you go to a local flight school, meet with a few instructors and let them know your plan. Let them know you want to knock out your private in a month and see if they would be willing to do something that fast and have the schedule flexibility to do so.

There are fast track schools out there, but I never attended one so have no advice.


Getting an early start on your written is good, just remember the examiner will also be giving you an oral examination to test your knowledge applicable to the private pilots license.

rickair7777
01-16-2015, 08:40 AM
I would suspect the chief pilot position would need a commercial pilot ticket (and a 2C medical)? As Firstimeflyer mentioned, you need to find out what the minimum required qualifications are, and also what the competitive qualifications are. Sounds like you'll have time to do what you need to. I ask because you generally need a CPL to get paid to fly, and I trained some LE types who were trying to break into their flight department and they all needed a CPL.

Taking time off to get each rating done in a block will probably be more cost-effective. Folks who train part time often end up taking two steps forward/one-step back if they train less than several times/week.

Regarding the IR...flight experience in actual IMC is invaluable...if you're going to try to knock that one out all once as well, try to pick a time/location such that there will be ice-free clouds to fly around in.

The FAA written tests are not exactly aligned with what you will be asked on your checkride. For that reason I recommend getting the written done early in the process so you can set aside the multiple-choice mentality and focus on real knowledge for flying/checkride. Do not take the written the day before the checkride...


Cubdriver
01-16-2015, 09:06 AM
Rather than plunge ahead blindly, take some time to tap the minds of existing LEOs who are already doing what you want to do. You may find out that it's not feasible to gather competitive credentials holding your current position, or you may find that it's quite feasible on the one hand but there is some preferred way to go about it. We had this kind of question a few times in the last few years here as well so search older threads to see if any apply.

bedrock
01-16-2015, 10:20 AM
In my experience, most people need time to internalize what they are learning in flight training--at least for the first 20 hours or so. Flying every day MAY be counterproductive at first. It might be a good idea to start on the PPL locally up to solo (or get a sport pilot certificate). Later, on your vacation, I would probably go to someplace that specializes in intensive PPL training. Somewhere that will guarantee you can fly everyday, to get your req'd cross-country, solo time, AND time to work on your ground reference maneuvers and various T/O+landings types. A local FBO with a couple of planes probably will not be able to do that, esp. on weekends when people want to rent a 172 for several hours at a time. Practicing on MS flight sim is also particularly beneficial for learning VOR nav, and hood work--even use it to familiarize yourself with your cross country before you fly it.

JohnBurke
01-16-2015, 04:59 PM
The fastest I took someone through their private was 30 days. It could be done quicker, but it's not enough to eat; you need to digest, too.

You didn't state what type of aircraft your unit is flying or the nature of the flying (type, amount, etc), but unless you're doing a lot of flying and getting some broad experience, it may be a leap to go from zero time to chief pilot in a short period of time.

Good counsel above; talk to other LEO's who have taken the same path. It sounds like your chief pilot is willing to give you the time of day and some counsel; the more information you can get, the better.

doublerjay
01-16-2015, 06:16 PM
Not saying it is impossible, but students at "puppy mill" flight schools are 'normally' scheduled for 60 days to do the zero to private pilot thing, and thats all they do full time.
While I'm not shooting down your plan, you'll need to consider schedule/weather/aircraft availabilty/maintenance issues associated with your vacation plan. The CAP also has their own processes and procedures for becoming a flying memeber, usually requires several training missions as an observer before 'moving' up.

PerfInit
01-17-2015, 04:37 AM
To the OP-

Sounds like a good plan!


The type of operation that the OP is describing is "Public Use Aircraft"(Aviation Unit within Law Enforcement/Public Service). The "rules" are different for public use operations. For one, a CPL most likely is not required as he is being paid to serve as a LEO. At a minimum, the PPL plus IR would be appropriate. There may be some insurance requirements.

pat67
01-17-2015, 05:03 AM
When I got my private, I took four weeks vacation and got it done within that time frame. I had no flight experience at all before I started. Since you already have 10 hours logged, it should be doable. I scheduled two flight lessons each day, with a two hour break in between, during which I had lunch and hit the books. On days we couldn't fly because of the weather, we did ground.I did not go to a pilot mill, but picked a small FBO with four flight instructors. They knew I had a time limit and worked with me. I also picked a school far away from home, so I had no distractions, and nothing else to do other than study.
For me personally, that was the way to go. When I started with my instrument, I took one lesson a week. That didn't work for me at all. There was just too much time in between.

rickair7777
01-17-2015, 07:07 AM
Not saying it is impossible, but students at "puppy mill" flight schools are 'normally' scheduled for 60 days to do the zero to private pilot thing, and thats all they do full time.
While I'm not shooting down your plan, you'll need to consider schedule/weather/aircraft availabilty/maintenance issues associated with your vacation plan. The CAP also has their own processes and procedures for becoming a flying memeber, usually requires several training missions as an observer before 'moving' up.


The puppy mills cater to the lowest common denominator...early 20's frat boy funded by the 'rents.

A motivated adult can readily do a PPL in three weeks...fly twice a day (average 4-5 hours/day) five days a week. Study in the evenings and weekends. You do need guaranteed good weather and available airplanes...the later means you'll want a larger club/school that has a fleet. The instructor will need to committed essentially full time, including ground school sessions each day, and probably Saturday as well. If the instructor is airline-bound, get a written commitment that he won't leave...this is actually easier to plan for now since they need 1500 hours so if he has less than 1400 it should be a non-issue. Actually this sort of training plan might be best served by an older professional instructor vice a time builder (costs more though).


Knock out the written before you start and ideally read a PPL text-book...front-load the academics as much as possible. I've done this for multiple profession adults.

rickair7777
01-17-2015, 07:13 AM
To the OP-

Sounds like a good plan!


The type of operation that the OP is describing is "Public Use Aircraft"(Aviation Unit within Law Enforcement/Public Service). The "rules" are different for public use operations. For one, a CPL most likely is not required as he is being paid to serve as a LEO. At a minimum, the PPL plus IR would be appropriate. There may be some insurance requirements.

I though it might be something like that, but the OP should find out for sure. This is similar in concept to a businessman flying himself (and others) incidental to business travel.

The cops I trained were all required to have a CPL by their agency, although the agency may have been being conservative.

gacri
01-19-2015, 06:52 AM
I appreciate those who took time to respond. I currently live about a half mile from a small airport that offers flight training. It is a nice community airfield with both a grass strip and asphalt runway.

They have two 172s and a Piper Sport LSA for training. The CFI staff there consists of I three instructors, on part time who simply still enjoys teaching and the two others I believe are good but building time with hopes of a career.

I have considered the LSA route, the rental rate is the same as the 172, but I know it burn much less fuel.

Also I am a LSRM so I considered trading off some maintenance for flight time?

Anyway still considering my approach. Also the plane in our agency is a Gipps 8 Aero. Kind of the Australian version of the Cessna Caravan.

With this plane being a bigger high wing aircraft, I thought it might be best to train in a 172?

JohnBurke
01-19-2015, 06:34 PM
High wing v. low wing really makes no difference.

To trade maintenance for a flight time, most places will want you to have your FAA mechanic certificate with both airframe and powerplant ratings, as well as your own tools. Those tend to be a fairly significant investment.

gacri
02-10-2015, 04:50 AM
I had a discussion with my boss and it sounds like the agency is behind me and supportive in my endeavor to get my ratings. They have spoke about once at minimum earning my PPL, doing some right seat flying as I progress through my ratings.

I ordered the Sporty's PPL program and have watched several of the video lessons. I am not sure if I will be able to grasp what I need to know solely from this type of teaching but am willing to give it a go. I might be geared more for a "formal" ground school where there is question and answer available ect... My plan at this time is:

Try and prepare and pass my PPL written by April 1st.

Set the money aside to fund my PPL training.

Speak with the local FBO a mile from my home and devise a schedule to fly a minimum of three day per week to earn my PPL.

Once obtaining my PPL, speak with my agency about logging time in the right seat.

*Research the feasibility of partnering on a Cessna 150 or possibly a Cessna 170 for the purpose of building time over the next couple years.

Once I have gained some flight time, tackle earning my IR.

Thanks again for all the professional help and advise.

joepilot
02-16-2015, 12:49 PM
It has been a while since I was an active CFI, but in addition to the self study, I believe that you need a sign-off from a CFI to take the written test. If you are very well prepared, this could be done in a one to two hour ground school with a local CFI.

Joe