THE COST OF BEING A PILOT..
But then what? Once you pass the check ride and get the license, what comes next? Often it is the desire to get an Instrument Rating. But then how do you justify another $6000 - $8000 in expenses to get there? How do you get past the almost $9000 in expenses to get that Private Pilots License. Most people answer the good old fashioned way, save up or get two jobs. We do a great job promoting General Aviation to get to the Private Pilot level..but then what? How many of you have had that pilot as an Instructor or Check Airman with 4 or 5,000 hours and they are in their 60’s.
So this is why I am writing about this topic. Those pilots, the experienced ones who have been around forever..They are like encyclopedias and full of information. But when the book stops flying all that knowledge leaves with them. We can celebrate when they retire, or give them a plaque, but when they are gone they are gone. I ask you as a community how are we pushing/promoting the pilots we already have to become better? The answer is too often we are not! We get them to Private Pilot status and then maybe one or two will become Instructors someday. I could promote my site some more and ask for funding/donations at fundapilot.com. But bottom line is, so far only $36 has been donated. How many pilots currently can find a source of funding to go to the next level? How many options are there for our general aviation community to take it to the next level? The economy is freezing funds for things like this. But the community is and will be in the need for Instructors and Check Airman for as long as we fly.
I can’t pretend that my idea or website will fix the problem. However the more I read the less I find or read about guys going to the next rating or level. I know one thing; I am going to keep writing about this every place I can find. You get booted from Blogs like the Professional Pilots Rumor Network for bringing up the idea or problem. So how do we fix the future, before it really gets out of control? The LSA category has brought a great new excitement to our community, and I am thankful! But let’s start to get some guys moving up, to train the Instructors we will need for the future. Do any of you have better ideas? I know it seems crazy, but if 39,000 people donated a dollar..one flight instructor would be created. If 6,000 people donated a dollar an instrument rating would be created. We can as a group make changes, and the change can be of little pain for everyone. IN the end the Aviation community wins and continues to grow. If the 1500 hour/ATP requirement goes into effect..how many young people will be looking to Aviation as a future?