the license: what can i do with it?
Where can I go?
Once you get your private pilots license a whole world awaits you to be discovered. Many people will fly short trips to Easton airport for breakfast or lunch, Hagerstown for dinner, or Ocean City for a night out on the boardwalk. All of these places are within an hours flight time of the DC Metropolitan area. You will be able to fly day or night. However, many people elect for longer trips ranging from a few days to a few weeks. You can fly to Key West, Montana, Texas, or California. Anywhere in the U.S. is open to you.
You can fly internationally as well. Flying to the Bahamas, Mexico, Canada, or even Europe is possible. You will need more planning for international flights in order to obtain proper paperwork and customs clearances with those countries you intend to fly over or to, but it is within your abilities.
Where do I get a plane?
As a Private Pilot you will be able to rent aircraft from Freeway or any other FBO (Fixed Base Operator). There are many flight schools and other aviation businesses in the U.S. that rent aircraft to licensed pilots. In order to rent an aircraft you will likely have to undergo a check out in the type of aircraft you wish to rent from the company that owns the aircraft so they can determine that you are indeed competent and safe. This usually consists of a two hour flight or less. Once they determine that you meet their insurance requirements the plane is yours to rent for as long as you have it scheduled.
Of course you can buy your own plane if you so desire. There are may options available in this area ranging from single ownership to four or more people in on the same plane. There are quite a few books out there covering this subject alone. Aircraft prices range anywhere from $10,000 upwards to and above $500,000. Aircraft types cover a wide range as well, ranging from small, economical two seat pleasure planes to high performance, high speed fuel hungry cruising planes designed for long trips. Your budget and needs should be carefully studied and balanced in order to end up with the type of plane that best suits your needs. I recommend renting for awhile before purchasing a plane in order to determine just what your needs are. Whatever your needs, there is a plane out there that should fit within your performance and budget constraints.
What you can’t do as a Private Pilot.
While you are able to do many things as a private pilot there are still things that you can’t do. As always, refer to the current edition of the FARs (Federal Aviation Regulations) in order to determine what you are qualified as a private pilot to do.
Fly for hire, unless it is incidental to business. For example if you are a real estate agent you can fly to a location in order to meet clients. You cannot work for the real estate agency as a pilot to fly their clients around. In order to be paid as a pilot you must have a Commercial Rating.
Fly in instrument conditions. (Clouds, fog, etc.) For this you must have an instrument rating.
Fly a multi-engine airplane. This requires a separate rating called a Multi-Engine Rating.
While there are some limitations, as a private pilot you will have plenty of options available to you. If you so choose you can go on and get other ratings necessary to do what you need to do . Freeway, as well as many other flight schools, offer these ratings. Or, like thousands of other people, you can remain a Private Pilot and enjoy a lifetime of flying and adventure.
for my new year’s resolution / goal, i am going to work on getting a private pilot’s license. ^-^
SMART goal structure:
specific: i will work towards a private pilot’s license (or get one if i have the time / money to do so)
measurable: i will have started toward this by the end of 2003
rewards: i will be on my way to (if not achieved) the ability to fly myself
time: i have between now through december 31, 2003 to begin (and hopefully complete)
at the very least, i’ll have taken the learn-to-fly experience at the airport (flying with an instructor to learn the basics of flying, and since it’s with an instructor it all counts toward getting licensed) to be sure that flying and myself agree with each other, hehe