Big Green Egg - EGGhead Forum - The Ultimate Cooking Experience...
Welcome to the EGGhead Forum - a great place to visit and packed with tips and EGGspert advice! You can also join the conversation and get more information and amazing kamado recipes by following Big Green Egg at:

Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram  |  Pinterest  |  Youtube  |  Vimeo
Share your photos by tagging us and using the hashtag #EGGhead4Life.


In Atlanta? Come visit Big Green Egg headquarters, including our retail showroom, the History of the EGG Museum and Culinary Center!  3786 DeKalb Technology Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30340.

OT - Any Pilots Out There?

MattBTIMattBTI Posts: 352
I own a small business specializing in UAS based aerial imagery for agriculture. I am seriously considering learning to fly manned aircraft. I have access to the King Schools private pilot ground school that I took once in prep for my part 107 certificate. I would like to fly eventually as part of my business collecting aerial imagery, from what I understand I will need a commercial pilot certification to do so. Im looking for advice and just general discussions regarding earning ones private pilot certificate for now. I am relatively young 27 yrs. I don't make a ton of money at my day job, however plan to start saving after my wedding next month. 

Thanks
Pratt, KS

Comments

  • A private pilot certificate will probably cost you somewhere in the ballpark of $10,000.00.
    You are looking at a minimum of 35 hours of flying at probably that much more in ground school.  Any plane worth renting is going to be well over $100.00 an hour plus the cost of the instructor.
    I started life as a pilot, have commercial and CFI ratings. Happy to answer any questions you may have!
    Kansas City, Kansas
    Second hand Medium BGE, Second hand Black Kamado Joe Classic, Second hand Weber Kettle, Second hand Weber Smokey Mountain
  • MattBTIMattBTI Posts: 352
    @tenpenny_05 I have some friends and acquaintances who are pilots, it has been suggested to me to save up and buy a plane to learn in as well, rather than rent. They thought I would be ahead in the long run to purchase something like a Cessna 170 (I've also been told to start on a tail-wheel) then sell it after learning if I want to move into something more capable.

    I've taken the ground school online prep program through King schools, however would need to go back through it to freshen up. I did skip past the section on cross country planning, as it didn't pertain to sUAS operations at that current time. 

    At the moment money is the limiting factor, however if my colleague decided this is a branch he would like to pursue though his business, the financial strain would not be a factor. 

    Aviation has always fascinated me. Any time I get an opportunity to get in the air I take it. The opportunities that personal air travel open up are enticing as well. 

    At the moment my colleague and I purchase manned aircraft imagery through a third party, but if we go full bore on this endeavor, we would like to move the collection to in-house. 
    Pratt, KS
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 28,182
    You can buy planes cheap.  The service will kill you.  You can not do it yourself.  (there are limited things you can do to your plane yourself).
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.  Love me or hate me, I am forum Marmite.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr, Akorn Jr, smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.  Registered republican.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • MattBTIMattBTI Posts: 352
    You can buy planes cheap.  The service will kill you.  You can not do it yourself.  (there are limited things you can do to your plane yourself).
    I understand this as well. I have looked into annual fees as well such as insurance, annual inspections etc...
    Pratt, KS
  • MattBTIMattBTI Posts: 352
    MattBTI said:
    You can buy planes cheap.  The service will kill you.  You can not do it yourself.  (there are limited things you can do to your plane yourself).
    I understand this as well. I have looked into annual fees as well such as insurance, annual inspections etc...
    I have also read, I think through AOPA, that an aircraft owner should plan spend about $100/hr (that includes fuel) to cover ownership costs. so say its costing $50/hr in fuel the owner should budget in another $50 every hour in the air to cover annual expenses. 
    Pratt, KS
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 28,182
    If you fly A LOT it can be economical. 

    What many people do is go in with other people as a collective.  Share the costs.

    Once you get your flight instructor certification, if you go that route, you can build up hours in the air and get paid (a little bit) for it.  Work up to various commercial licenses.

    My buddy is doing that right now with the GI bill.  He was a navigator in the AF for 13 years.  He's going in the reserves right now.   They have more work than pilots and crew to fill.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.  Love me or hate me, I am forum Marmite.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr, Akorn Jr, smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.  Registered republican.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • YEMTreyYEMTrey Posts: 6,074
    How about a nice drone?!
    Steve 
    XL, Mini Max, and a 22" Blackstone in Cincinnati, Ohio

  • MattBTIMattBTI Posts: 352
    I've looked into sharing an aircraft as well nola. I've done a lot of research, right now it isn't much more than a dream, however in all honesty may become a reality in the near future. My colleague has the capital, I have the desire to pilot. We will see how it works out I guess.

    Pratt, KS
  • MattBTIMattBTI Posts: 352
    YEMTrey said:
    How about a nice drone?!
    I've got those. Not so much the drone that important, It's the sensor on board doing the work. In my case anyway. I've got about $10K in my main one doing most of my work in agriculture. A little over half that is in the sensor and analytics package for interpreting the imagery collected. 
    Pratt, KS
  • MattBTIMattBTI Posts: 352
    YEMTrey said:
    How about a nice drone?!
    The problem is scale, I can cover about 1000 acres each day with my drone. I could get over a much greater area with a manned aircraft, which is why we buy imagery from manned providers as well. 
    Pratt, KS
  • HeavyGHeavyG Posts: 5,481
    YEMTrey said:
    How about a nice drone?!
    Really.

    I can't imagine that in the near future that drones won't be the prevailing platform for aerial photography/surveillance/analysis of most things.

    Between drones and the availability of high res satellite services like Digital Globe for analysis of larger acreages the cost of a plane/pilot likely becomes less affordable.
    Camped out in the (757/804)
  • Something to consider when doing manned aerial photography, especially sensor work: Anything mounted outside of a manned aircraft requires what called a supplemental type certificate (STC) which can get expensive and not guaranteed to be approved. Not to mention you would need a commercial certificate to be able to make money doing it.
    Kansas City, Kansas
    Second hand Medium BGE, Second hand Black Kamado Joe Classic, Second hand Weber Kettle, Second hand Weber Smokey Mountain
  • MattBTIMattBTI Posts: 352
    HeavyG said:
    YEMTrey said:
    How about a nice drone?!
    Really.

    I can't imagine that in the near future that drones won't be the prevailing platform for aerial photography/surveillance/analysis of most things.

    Between drones and the availability of high res satellite services like Digital Globe for analysis of larger acreages the cost of a plane/pilot likely becomes less affordable.
    I think they will be. I think swarm technology will make the sUAS scalable, right now one unit collecting imagery is limited to crummy battery life. The problem is working out the bugs and the governing laws to make that a reality.
     
    The next limiting factor is image ground sampling distance, or the physical size of a pixel represented in the image. Farm tools such as sprayers, and nutrient applicators are becoming controllable right down to the individual nozzle. The GSD needed for an accurate prescription to be written is beyond the ability of a satellite. Granted satellites are getting better. Manned and sUAS platforms are where I see the most practicality. I can buy 12 manned flights for $2/acre total over the course of an entire growing season. 
    Pratt, KS
  • I've been here before brother. I left manned flying to pursue a career in unmanned systems. The tech and the regulations weren't there to make a living then, now I'm back on the manned side edging my way back into unmanned.
    Kansas City, Kansas
    Second hand Medium BGE, Second hand Black Kamado Joe Classic, Second hand Weber Kettle, Second hand Weber Smokey Mountain
  • MattBTIMattBTI Posts: 352
    @tenpenny_05 Looks like you are in the KCKS area? I live west of Wichita about 70 miles. I'd love to bounce some more thoughts off of you sometime. 
    Pratt, KS
  • Yea, I'm in Olathe. I lived in Salina for about 10 years so I'm familiar with that part of the country. I'd be happy to help however I can!
    Kansas City, Kansas
    Second hand Medium BGE, Second hand Black Kamado Joe Classic, Second hand Weber Kettle, Second hand Weber Smokey Mountain
  • MattBTIMattBTI Posts: 352
    Small world, my fiance is from Salina.
    Pratt, KS
  • bucky925bucky925 Posts: 1,211
    My wife drives a pilot.  Wait I don't fly, that didn't sound right did it?

    Live fast. die young, and leave a well marbled corps. 
  • A Lease back is another option for cutting the cost of aircraft ownership.  Lease the plane to an FBO and fly it when you can. 
    Simi Valley, California
    LBGE, PBC, Annova, SMOBot
  • I've looked at getting my Private license but just as a hobby. A common theme that keeps coming up is the old "boat analogy". Second happiest day of life is when you buy the plane, first is when you sell it. Others have eluded to it but my sense is $10,000 to get the license and the at least that annually to keep yourself current. 
    You are young so the medical is probably not an issue but don't overlook that. The FAA is still pretty stringent on current medicals to my knowledge though there has been some talk of relief on that for the Private license. 
    Having said all that, I may still do it. Think it would be a blast. I just think it would be REALLY difficult to justify the cost for the business application you outline. As noted satellite and drone competition would make it an expensive option. 
  • MattBTIMattBTI Posts: 352
    @Vegas Eggus That very well maybe the case. Right now manned aircraft imagery is pretty inexpensive. I wasn't aware of the STC that @tenpenny_05had mentioned above. Piloting is a personal goal of mine that I would really enjoy fulfilling one of these days. I don't want to keep telling myself "one of these days" and realize im 50 yrs old and have not gotten around to it. Granted that's certainly not too old. I've had a conversation with a new pilot who was in his late 60's and had just retired. 
    Pratt, KS
  • stlcharcoalstlcharcoal Posts: 3,326
    edited August 2017
    I started flying in the early 90's and it was expensive then.  I got my private in helicopters, then added airplanes, then commercial, CFI, CFII, A&P / IA, etc.  Flew for 5 yrs as aerial photo, recon, instructor, charter pilot, then 10 as an air ambulance pilot, and part-time TV/news/traffic pilot & business jet mechanic.

    I've been out of the private level training industry for a long long time, and haven't flown in three years, but I can tell you one very good piece of advice.  NEVER EVER prepay for training.  Do NOT buy block time, do not sign up for a loan that the school can draw from without you signing the check, do NOT leave your logbook there, do not spend thousands on ground school BEFORE they let you fly, etc.  There is a long list of schools that have taken off with students' money and left them on the hook for the loan payments.  The most famous pyramid scheme was Silver State Helicopters.  They sold the dream of being a professional helicopter pilot saying they would hire you at the end of the training--take a $70K loan, they would burn through more than half of it before you ever got in the helicopter, and there were never enough jobs to begin with.  They declared bankruptcy and locked the doors at 5pm on SuperBowl Sunday about 10 yrs ago.  It took years of litigation to get those loans forgiven.

    The King courses are good--they have been good since the early 90's.  I've met the King's at Oshkosh before.  I think they hold every single instructor rating there is.  But whatever school you end up at may already have the courses that you can use.  No reason to buy them now.

    Going part 91 vs. 141/142 is kind of a decision.  91 is a lot less regulated and tailored to you, the other is an approved FAA training course and has to have every box checked.  You can get loans for the FAA approved courses, whereas pt 91 can be hard to finance.  Neither is better than the other, so don't let anybody use it as a selling point.  Really depends on your schedule, funds, and what's available locally.  If you were trying to be a professional airline pilot through a college, needed loans, and needed the discipline / set schedule, then go 141/142.  But if you're paying it out of your pocket and have a job, then 91 might be the better path.

    One other word of advice, fly often.  Don't try to train 1-2 a month, it's a waste of time.  You need to plan to hit this 2-3 times a week, but if it only happens once a week, then it's ok. This hold true more in helicopters because of the muscle memory, but airplanes too.  You need to knock out the private in about 3-6 months so you're not wasting time/money.  Get your private so you can start logging PIC time when you're instructor is with you.  You're going to need a lot for the commercial, and then you can start training for your instrument.  Dual time before your private only logs as total time which doesn't mean much.  You need to be PIC.

    Everything comes down to insurance, not FAA minimums.  Less PIC time and/or less time in type/make/model means exponentially more $$$$$.

    Final bit of advice someone gave me, "If it flies or floats, it's cheaper to rent"  He inserted a third verb that started with F as well.


  • AviatorAviator Posts: 1,738
    I second every thing STL said above. 
    Adding to it, again my 2 cents worth.
    Learn in a tricycle plane not a tailwheel. Disaster waiting to happen. 
    Learn for the first many hours using a school plane. Landings can be hard and you dont want to hurt YOUR plane. 
    I have had one for 20 years and in the end I can say one thing. You cannot ever justify airplane ownership. Its like any other passion or hobby. I will eat up resources. But its what you want to do. 
    I just took my plane yesterday for its annual. $$$$.
    I am still scouring the market for a reasonable way to get ADS-B compliant before 2020, and its gonna involve a whole lot $$$$
    As NOLA said, get your private ticket and some hours in and look for a partnership or club. 
    My Avatar is my airplane, completely redone long time ago. 

    ______________________________________________ 

    Large and Small BGE, Blackstone 36 and a baby black Kub.

    Chattanooga, TN.

     

Sign In or Register to comment.
Click here for Forum Use Guidelines.