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Boeing757100
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How to balance high school, life, and PPL training

Fri Jun 17, 2022 3:21 am

All, I am currently a rising sophomore in high school, and I have been researching a local flight school near me and I want to start PPL training soon. I'll hopefully sign up for a discovery flight this summer and start taking lessons soon after.

Now, this flight school has weekend classes on saturdays and sundays (as well as weekdays but I'll talk about that later) and the times are flexible based on the student's and the instructor's schedule. Realistically, I may only have time for one flight or so a week, and it will take me a long time to get to 40 hours, and that is the bare minimum. Most PPL students only get comfortable after 60-75 hours I have heard.

Taking this into consideration, how will I have time to balance the stress and workload of PPL training and high school? Already in freshman year, I noticed that I was having less sleeping time, higher stress levels, and less time for hobbies and fun. Combine this with the dedication and time needed for PPL, I am worried that either my grades in school will take a hit, or I may not have enough time for the PPL training and quit in rage.

I already have a little background knowledge because of A.net, some books that I have been reading, and internet sources, but I still have much to learn.

So, to all the folks who earned their PPL in high school, how did you manage the stress? And, is 15 too late to start pilot training?

Thanks in advance
 
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stl07
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Re: How to balance high school, life, and PPL training

Fri Jun 17, 2022 5:38 am

You need 2x a week. And no lol, 15 is not too late. In fact, it might be a bit too early if anything. Once you get adjusted to HS, you will not be as stressed and have more free time. Why not just get working on it this summer where you have no school? That way you won't have to worry about things like HW getting in the way
 
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Boeing757100
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Re: How to balance high school, life, and PPL training

Fri Jun 17, 2022 6:14 am

stl07 wrote:
You need 2x a week. And no lol, 15 is not too late. In fact, it might be a bit too early if anything. Once you get adjusted to HS, you will not be as stressed and have more free time. Why not just get working on it this summer where you have no school? That way you won't have to worry about things like HW getting in the way


I'm away from home for at least 4 out of the 10 weeks of vacation, and even so, I'm taking online classes which take up most of the day anyway. I doubt I will have time to start becoming dedicated to ground school and instructor lessons yet.

Thanks for the insight. I will continue to research the flight school and judge when to get a start date from there.
 
ACDC8
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Re: How to balance high school, life, and PPL training

Fri Jun 17, 2022 9:29 am

Boeing757100 wrote:
And, is 15 too late to start pilot training?

Most people don't start until their 20s, some even in their 30s. IIRC, you can't even solo until you're 16 and you need to be 17 before you get your actual PPL. For your CPL I believe you have to be at least 18 and your ATPL 21 - yeah, you got lots of time. Doing 1 hour a week isn't enough in my opinion, I'd try to get in at least 2-3 hours a week, its hard to learn a new skill by only doing 1 hour a week, it'll probably end up taking you longer and costing you money. Personally, I'd put it off a year, save some money, start hitting the books and learn the theoretical aspect of it, even start ground school. While 40 hours is the minimum requirement, 60 is a more realistic number.

If you're planning on going commercial and fly as a career, I'd focus on your school right now, then when you're old enough to start your CPL, take a summer off and get your PPL then by getting in a few hours a week - if thats your goal though, don't worry about finding a balance with your life because your goal should be your life. There are a lot of commercial programs out there that start you off in the summer with your PPL and then come fall, you do a 2 year course for your CPL along with some other secondary education.

Big part of being successful in life is not just the doing, but the planning.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: How to balance high school, life, and PPL training

Fri Jun 17, 2022 8:27 pm

There’s as many ways as there are successful pilots. I started, with a father’s enthusiastic backing at 15, solo’s on my 16th birthday, PPL at 17+, CPL at 19. Worked throughout senior year at HS and at an airport my last 3 years of college—weekends and summers. Life was flying and waiting to fly or work around aviation. Had part-time flying jobs, which connected me to an ANG unit that sent me to UPT.

Admittedly, that’s an American’s experience many years ago.
 
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TWA772LR
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Re: How to balance high school, life, and PPL training

Sun Jun 19, 2022 5:43 am

Depends on how much extracurricular activities you're doing as well as AP/honors classes.

If I were you, I'd just focus on having fun. You're at a big time in your life and school comes first but having friends is definitely close second. I can't tell you what your priorities are exactly for you but you'll find the balance that best suits you even if it doesn't include flight school at this time.

On the flip side I'd also consider the Air Force Reserve, Air National Guard, or even the Army's "Street to seat" program once out of high school. Be a mechanic or boom operator or loadmaster while in college and eventually your pilot/officer buds will endorse you for a flight slot if in the Air Force. But of course having a PPL helps a lot for that anyway. Have your parents pay for PPL training as a graduation gift lol.
Last edited by TWA772LR on Sun Jun 19, 2022 5:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
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TWA772LR
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Re: How to balance high school, life, and PPL training

Sun Jun 19, 2022 5:44 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Had part-time flying jobs, which connected me to an ANG unit that sent me to UPT.

Admittedly, that’s an American’s experience many years ago.

That still goes on to this day. 2 of the flight ops interns when I did my internship at SWA became military guys, 1 got his hookup by a SWA pilot who's in the Mississippi ANG. And I've had pilots tell me at my airline that's still the way to do it. Man if I knew what I know now...
 
Woodreau
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Re: How to balance high school, life, and PPL training

Wed Jun 22, 2022 1:14 pm

We had many kids start at 14, and get their private glider certificate at 16, and then go on to get their airplane add on at 17.

They hung out on the field helping with the glider flight line during the summer and washed airplanes and lived breathed gliders and airplanes during the summer and the fall.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: How to balance high school, life, and PPL training

Wed Jun 22, 2022 6:25 pm

TWA772LR wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Had part-time flying jobs, which connected me to an ANG unit that sent me to UPT.

Admittedly, that’s an American’s experience many years ago.

That still goes on to this day. 2 of the flight ops interns when I did my internship at SWA became military guys, 1 got his hookup by a SWA pilot who's in the Mississippi ANG. And I've had pilots tell me at my airline that's still the way to do it. Man if I knew what I know now...



Certainly the Reserve/ANG route goes on today, as an ART, I sent probably 15 UPT pilots, all now senior FOs or Captains—DL, UPS, AA, UA, FDX. Working flight lines as a “line boy” is probably a bygone era except at really same grass stripes. I was in Connecticut, so surrounded by airline captains.
 
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Boeing757100
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Re: How to balance high school, life, and PPL training

Sat Jul 23, 2022 9:44 pm

All, I had my intro flight today and enjoyed it a lot (and the instructor flying said I did a great job) and we discussed the frequency of the lessons. They said that in order to get started I have to commit to 3 lessons per week. Now, summer vacation is almost ending for me and I'm going to be a sophomore, so I think during first semester of school I should be fine with 3 lessons a week (maybe I can do 2 on the weekend and one on friday?) but I know for sure it's gonna get tougher in the second semester of 10th and beyond, as I take more APs and Honors. Does anyone have advice for not overburning myself? I do have some prior knowledge of basic PPL stuff from reading a book and these forums but I still have much to learn. If anyone did their PPL lessons 3x a week during high school, how did it go?

Thanks

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