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Portland Groupon: $89 for a One-Hour Scenic Flight or $115 for Two-Hour Lesson

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Joe Link, Feb 7, 2011.

  1. Joe Link

    Joe Link Portland, OR Well-Known Member Staff Member Lifetime Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    I think tomorrow I'm going to buy one of the two-hour lesson packages. I've never been up in a small plane in my life, but I've always wanted to learn how to fly and it seems like this would be a cheap way to whet my appetite. Anyone else been up in one of these little planes? Did you take lessons or was it just a sightseeing trip?

     
  2. powersbj

    powersbj Seattle Area Active Member

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    Cheap and flying dont belong in the same paragraph. Do it and have fun, a full hour is about the right amount of time. Generally its a bad idea to bring someone along in the back seat if you going to do manuvers, the movements are more pronounced back there and people tend to get sick.
     
  3. WhyteCheddar

    WhyteCheddar East of Moscow by the Willamette Well-Known Member

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    Commercial jets are like time machines. Getting in a light single is really like flying.
    Everyone should do it at least once.
    Who knows, your next site might me 'Northwestflying-dot-com' or something like that. :thumbup:
     
  4. Keane

    Keane Hillsboro, OR Active Member

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    I'm a private pilot, and end up flying friends up all the time :) Those prices are pretty low, though the 'value' is a bit inflated. At Twin Oaks in Hillsboro it is about $100 for an hour ride, probably closer to the $89 for the demo ride.

    Instead of doing that Groupon, I would encourage you to check out Twin Oaks Airpark (I can hook you up with a fantastic instructor if you'd like!), it is near by to you and is a bunch of fun.
     
  5. glockguy

    glockguy Albany Oregon Well-Known Member

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    how about you just take us up!!
     
  6. Keane

    Keane Hillsboro, OR Active Member

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    Any time :) I am always up for burning fuel! I've done some cool trips for fun, such as a trip to Astoria for smoked salmon, and a flight to Newport for Moe's and Rogue.
     
  7. Contract_Pilot

    Contract_Pilot Vancouver, Washington Active Member

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    Being a commercial pilot and knowing the cost to run such aircraft $115.00 seems a bit cheap for 2 hour flight lesson? Are you sure it is not 1 Hour Flight 1 Hour Ground? A Cessna 172 Burns About 8-10GPH depending on how it is flown.

    Lets look at the basic costs?

    Fuel $4.45 a gal at KSLE 2 Hours 9GPH = 18 Gallons = $80.10
    Pilot Average $30-$40 lets pick $35.00 an hour X 2 = $70.00
    Aircraft Maintenance Reserves/Insurance/Drug Testing/Parking/Etc. $20.00 hour X 2 = $40.00

    General Operation Costs Should Be About $190.10

    Average older Cessna 1970's to 1980's 172 Rents for about $95-110.00 an hour wet (With Fuel) + pilot.

    Unless what is affecting my business right now is dribbling down to the flight instruction / sight seeing that is new or laid off pilots willing to fly for free or next to nothing to either keep current or build flight time. I would not doubt it! Aviation is an industry where company's will charge a pilot to fly for them just so the pilot can log the valuable time! The pilot’s that fly for free or cheep to build time only hurt and bring down the wages of the industry where there are experienced pilots that worked and paid for their time to earn that living wage.

    Figure a Flight Instructor only gets Paid When they are Instructing? Most places that charge $35.00 an hour for a pilot the pilot only gets about $20.00 or less after taxes an hour the rest pays for the drug testing, insurance, etc. Insurance is the killer.. Now, for my Cessna 150 it is about $450.00 a year if I wanted to instruct in it (I do not) it would be $4,500+ a year. Most flight instructors instruct to build time and make a small living or reinvest the funds into more flight time to move on to airline or freight operations.

    Now, with the new higher flight time rules coming out. This past Fall the FAA has proposed raising the minimum number of flight hours needed to be hired as a first officer for the airlines from 250 "Average is about 500-800" to 1,500. The new rules are not yet set in stone but are coming really soon. Flight schools and other operators know about them also and will take advantage of this requirement and not hire pilots of 1,500 hours and hire and pay low time pilots next to nothing worse charge them to instruct so they can log the flight time. I think when the new rules come out we will see a lot more of this due to the value of the flight time. So I think this company either has to be skimping on Pilot Wages or Maintenance?

    If I am going to support a company it will be like Gorge Winds in Troutdale, Twin Oaks In Newberg, and there are a couple schools in Aurora that are good or you can look for an independent aircraft Owner/CFI it will cost more but you know the pilot is earning a wage he/she can somewhat survive on possibly stay out of the breadline. See PBS Frontline Flying Cheap Also look at Flying Cheaper.

    Also getting a Letter Of Authorization from the FAA for a part 91 sightseeing operation is not verry hard just have to comply with the rules and ask oh have money and about 2 to 3 months of time to!! Then you have to keep up with the rule changes etc. Now if you stop someplace other than the departure airport or go over 25NM or that your LOA allows that requires a FAR 135 Certificate and if your plane weighs 2,400lbs expect 2,400lbs of paperwork and about $24,000 in expenses getting it going. The FAA is hip to what we call 135 ½ company’s calling a Charter or Other Flight a Instructional Flight.

    Sec. 91.147

    Passenger carrying flights for compensation or hire.

    Each Operator conducting passenger-carrying flights for compensation or hire must meet the following requirements unless all flights are conducted under Sec. 91.146.
    (a) For the purposes of this section and for drug and alcohol testing, Operator means any person conducting nonstop passenger-carrying flights in an airplane or helicopter for compensation or hire in accordance with Sec. Sec. 119.1(e)(2), 135.1(a)(5), or 121.1(d), of this chapter that begin and end at the same airport and are conducted within a 25-statute mile radius of that airport.
    (b) An Operator must comply with the safety provisions of part 136, subpart A of this chapter, and apply for and receive a Letter of Authorization from the Flight Standards District Office nearest to its principal place of business by September 11, 2007.
    (c) Each application for a Letter of Authorization must include the following information:
    (1) Name of Operator, agent, and any d/b/a (doing-business-as) under which that Operator does business;
    (2) Principal business address and mailing address;
    (3) Principal place of business (if different from business address);
    (4) Name of person responsible for management of the business;
    (5) Name of person responsible for aircraft maintenance;
    (6) Type of aircraft, registration number(s), and make/model/series; and
    (7) An Antidrug and Alcohol Misuse Prevention Program registration.
    [(d) The Operator must register and implement its drug and alcohol testing programs in accordance with part 120 of this chapter.]
    (e) The Operator must comply with the provisions of the Letter of Authorization received.
     
  8. Keane

    Keane Hillsboro, OR Active Member

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    The point of GroupOn is that they charge about 1/2 of what it really is, in order to get you back! I'm thinking it is basically an 'intro' flight that they are giving an additional discount on (taking a loss) so that you'll become a student.

     
  9. kenjo

    kenjo Washougal Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    It's been a couple of years since I retired as an airline pilot, but I'd be very surprised if this proposed flight rule is adopted. The airline industry has struggled for several years to find experienced pilots to hire as first officers, which is why the minimum hour requirement has decreased down to 500 to 800 hours. If the airlines could find pilots with 1500 hours, they would have held to that standard. If the rule is adopted, the supply of qualified applicants will drop to practically zero. This could be a good thing as far as raising the entry salary for new hires, though, as airlines have to compete for fewer qualified applicants.
     
  10. deadeye

    deadeye Albany,OR. Moderator Staff Member

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    Dont let my wife know about Moe's trips......I'll have to get a licence just so she can have a shrip melt more often........
     
  11. Keane

    Keane Hillsboro, OR Active Member

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    Lol, we could always pick you up in Albany on the way out :)