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I'm trying to decide when the best time to start learning to fly is.
My concern is that I don't want to start learning premature without
adequate margin for time and cash.

That said, what do you (or anyone else out there for that matter)
consider a safe minimum amount of time in the air as pic to stay
current and skilled as a pilot? I want to factor in at least that
minimum when making my decision to start working on my PPL.

Bobby in KCMO

-- Bobby Hubbard, April 25, 2008


It depends on the pilot's level of experience. The FAA minimums are generally designed for the most experienced pilots, e.g., an airline captain. The FAA says three takeoffs and landings within 90 days and one hour with an instructor every two years. If you are a newly minted private pilot, it would be safer to establish personal minimums of three takeoffs and landings every 30 days and a challenging lesson with an instructor every 6 months.

As far as instrument currency goes, the FAA says six approaches within the preceding six months. A personal minimum of six approaches within the preceding three months is probably better for most people.

-- Philip Greenspun, April 25, 2008

I am a student pilot with 20 hours, and faced the same questions that you are now for many years prior to my start date. The truth is, the more you can fly the better. This time of year is tough because of weather, but you should try for two to three times a week. When you are not flying, you read. You have found a good resource here and there are plenty of others. I have heard of the perpetual student, slowly and arduously working toward the certificate. This to me is crazy. If you cannot commit fully to your training, wait until you can - then your flying will be much more rewarding and safer.

-- Scott Zodin, May 1, 2008

I just came back to flying after a 10 year break, bought a Malibu, and got curren. My goal is now to fly at least once a week with a minimum of 10 hours a month. Flying high performance aircraft like the Malibu demand even more...

-- Robert Kunz, May 4, 2008