We had our son start on a regular basis at 15. Remember, you can solo on your 16th birthday. It really comes down to the amount of money you want to invest in a PPL. We had our son begin infrequent lessons at 14 in a 150 at our local FBO, just to see if he was really interested. Then, at 15, he started taking a lesson a week. He just turned 16 in May and soloed a few days after his birthday with about 70 hours. If we keep up the schedule, he will have around 120 hours by the time he does his checkride. It's more expensive the way we're doing it, but we think more hours is better for a young person. His instructor is going to work more instrument lessons in this year, so the transition to the next step will be easier. You should begin preparing for your written exam, I think it is good for 2 years. (This is all assuming you are going to do your checkride at 17.) Also, you can get your medical done anytime you want so that you know you don't have anything that would prevent you from pursuing your dream. I know we are spending more money than we need to, but we have only one son and want to make this process as safe as possible! Also, we've looked at and visited ERAU and even with the way we're doing it, it's not that much more than having him get his PPL there--considering the instrument training he'll get over this year. Best advice--get your written done asap if you're going for a 17th birthday checkride date. It will make your training easier. And when you decide you're ready to go, fly at least once a week. Your skills diminish really quickly at the beginning of your training, so two or three weeks between lessons will mean you'll be going over a lot of stuff again and again. Hope this helps.
Thaks alot for the info,it really helps me in determining what I want to do. Now you said that you went to Erau, may I ask which campus did you go to? and what did you think of it. Was it big? did the staff seem professional? Sorry about the barrage of questions but I really want to know some info about the campus. Which Ive already got alot of info from the presott vs/ Daytona borard. Thanks
We visited the Florida campus. We thought the people were great--we were on vacation and some of the students worked at the hotel we stayed at--each one of them offered to help our son in any way they could and gave us their e-mail address if he had questions. We were not that impressed with the dorms or the campus in general. I'm sure you've read all the stories about the scheduling problems for flight students--Daytona is a very busy airport. The flight line looked very professional. ERAU is a very expensive place to go and we thought the atmosphere was not college-like at all. Daytona the town is pretty crummy most of the year--except fpr spring break. The students we talked to all complained about the flight line scheduling problems, but other students spoke highly of the place. Another place we visited was Florida Institute of Technology, in Melbourne, and we liked that school much more. I've posted our reaction to that visit in the college aviation section. The town is quieter, the airport is smaller, and there is a wider mix of student interest there. We're very impressed with their admissions dept. We got on their mailing list and hardly a week goes by that they don't send our son an e-mail about something going on. The have an excellent engineering dept. there. We're also going to look at University of North Dakota. There flight program is top notch--even the fellows we talked to at FIT were impressed with the quality of their student pilots. I have been told by a pro pilot that airlines like to hire UND grads because they get much more weather flying. We're going to visit there as well as Purdue, which has a great reputation.
Your choice will depend on whether you want a traditional college atmosphere or more tech oriented, focused school. Location and total dollars also matter a lot. Hope this helps. Don't take anyone's word for it though--visit the place yourself and send for their admissions material.
I agree, start flight training now, and be ready to solo at 16.
Regarding ERAU, I would check out the Prescott campus, you get more twin time there. I did not have a bit problem with scheduling, and the college is great. There will be some delays, but you get those at any flight schools (mechanical, weather, sick, etc)
Ok sorry it took me so long to respond, ok well now im 15 and 9months old. So if I start training in February, and lets say I finish the actual course in July. What am I suppose to do until I can legally graduate at 17? or more so, what can I do to keep up my skills.