Market research - Seeking private pilot feedback

Aviation chatter - For ALL Pilots and Aviation Enthusiasts

Moderator: Moderators

Gooby
Aircraft in Hangar
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2014 5:57 pm
Closest Airfield: Fisantekraal
Location: Paarl
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0

Market research - Seeking private pilot feedback

Unread post by Gooby » Tue Mar 12, 2019 10:13 am

Hi,

I have been away from aviation for too long, and it's been weighing on me lately. I have come up with some of the reasons I haven't been flying much, and have thought about some of the challenges that really make it hard for me to do the things that I wanted to as a general aviation enthusiast and private pilot.

I'd love to know if there are other individuals out there who experience the same challenges. I'd like to chat to someone who doesn't fly as often as they had imagined, or who doesn't get to do the kinds of things that they imagined their PPL would give them access to. I'm happy to share my reasons and challenges, but in the interest of conducting a clean survey I'd like to reserve those until after the survey is completed.

The goal here is to identify potential bottlenecks that keep people from flying, and hopefully come up with a solution that gets people like myself off the couch and into the cockpit. My focus is not on any aspect of commercial aviation, but I won't exclude pilots who are hour building.

If you feel like there are reasons or challenges holding you back from flying as much or how you want to, please send me a pm so that we can schedule a short call. I'm very interested to see where this goes..

Sincerely,
Jacques
User avatar
Deanw
Six Tousand
Six Tousand
Posts: 6282
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 1:37 pm
Closest Airfield: FACT
Has liked: 8 times
Been liked: 43 times

Re: Market research - Seeking private pilot feedback

Unread post by Deanw » Tue Mar 12, 2019 10:43 am

I'd imagine lack of disposable funds will feature highly on the list.
How come every time my ship comes in I'm at the airport?

http://www.SAairforce.co.za
Typhoonza
Flight Planning
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2018 3:51 pm
Closest Airfield: FAGM
Location: Johannesburg
Has liked: 2 times
Been liked: 1 time

Re: Market research - Seeking private pilot feedback

Unread post by Typhoonza » Tue Mar 12, 2019 10:51 am

Got my PPL at 18, planned to do CPL then priorities change, family situation changed had to get a paying job.. managed to fly the odd hours to keep license valid - not good at all -, then just eventually had to make the decision to let it lapsed.. 20 years later opportunity arise and I'm busy re-validating my PPL and a HPPL is also a maybe in the furture
Mustang
Rotating
Posts: 203
Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2011 2:00 pm
Closest Airfield: FATP
Has liked: 7 times
Been liked: 1 time

Re: Market research - Seeking private pilot feedback

Unread post by Mustang » Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:15 am

For practice I like to fly at least two times per month spaced approximately 15 days apart. If I am not flying for business I will take 1 hour to do circuits and another 1.5 hours in the GF of which I will do some circuits again. Flew a 7.2 hour business flight last month and another one is being planned now. I have started off to get my PPL due to my passion for aviation and now I am incorporating my business travels with my passion. Yes, it is many times more expensive to fly than to travel by road but the lesser time spend travelling and also not having to cope with traffic on the roads (especially through JHB / Pretoria) makes it much more enjoyable for me to fly from Bloem to the Northern parts of the country and I am much more relaxed and at ease when landing at my destination. This is indeed a huge benefit of private aviation and I am happy to pay a premium for this. I would have liked to fly every week but one must also be realistic on the expense involved.

What I want to get to is that one must decide if aviation is going to work for you and your business by using it to make it easier on yourself... or are you going to work for it by just paying out money for each flight to realize one day that you have spend much more than you thought to and could rather have spend it on buying a better car or even a house.

It is everyone's choice for himself. I have made my choice in passion and also to make aviation work for me by making my life easier when traveling longer distances. Many businessmen indeed regard their personal time as "expensive" and spending one or two days less on the road gives them the time back in the office to concentrate on making more money. Indeed aviation also allowes a businessman to schedule more meetings with current and potential customers in a day as he does not have to set aside too much time for traveling or spend at least 3 hours at two different airports waiting for a commercial flight that are sometimes also delayed. He departs from his office and the departing airport on the time he wants to and arrives at the nearest proper airfield destination he likes at the time that suits him. A car or lift is already arranged as needed at the destination airport and less time is spend as a whole on the road. This is what I mean when I say that aviation should work for me. Although it costs me money it also provides me with more business time on the road with the pleasure that I am able to enjoy flying myself.

(edited for spelling)
"Aviation is a passion towards greater achievement in life!" - Julius Klokow (Mustang)
lawotschkin
Radio Call
Posts: 288
Joined: Wed Oct 05, 2011 2:10 pm
Has liked: 5 times
Been liked: 1 time

Re: Market research - Seeking private pilot feedback

Unread post by lawotschkin » Tue Mar 12, 2019 2:50 pm

Hi Jacques,

interesting question - especially if you look beyond the typical suspect of 'low funds' ..

1) Maybe some people don't have a clear understanding of the administrative effort and burden that goes along with maintaining a PPL (not even to speak of owning a plane) and get tired of it ..

2) Being a pilot looks cool on TV and in your dreams .. reality actually is not that cool, lots of sweat and work required to get there .. and some people may be overwhelmed by the complexity & 'stress' involved (starting the X-Box surely is easier than pre-flighting an aircraft and the oily fingers that go along with it..)

3) There is no 'instant gratification' in aviation - it's a loong way before you do these perfect landings and see those spectacular destination ..

4) SA is a huge country .. to get somewhere you need a proper aircraft. I had that 172 for 13 years, after taking it to Lake Malawi I realized - 'that's it' - not much more you can do with a 172 down here so I went for an upgrade .. not everybody can afford that .. alternative is doing the weekly coffee run to Parys - but that gets boring quickly ..
User avatar
jimdavis
10000 and still climbing
10000 and still climbing
Posts: 15602
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2008 7:46 am
Closest Airfield: FAGG
Location: Wilderness
Has liked: 184 times
Been liked: 167 times

Re: Market research - Seeking private pilot feedback

Unread post by jimdavis » Tue Mar 12, 2019 4:22 pm

Cause of problem - whisky India foxtrot echo.
Cure - unknown.
Caution - divorce increases problem.

jim
"PPL Manual"
"Flight Tests"
"So Others May Live"
"Flying in Africa" Vol 1
"Flying in Africa" Vol 2
Look inside these books, or buy them at: www.jimdavis.co.za.
Jean Crous
Tree Tousand
Tree Tousand
Posts: 3067
Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 10:10 pm
Closest Airfield: FASX
Location: Barrydale Western Cape
Has liked: 73 times
Been liked: 33 times

Re: Market research - Seeking private pilot feedback

Unread post by Jean Crous » Tue Mar 12, 2019 5:53 pm

jimdavis wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 4:22 pm
Cause of problem - whisky India foxtrot echo.
Cure - unknown.
Caution - divorce increases problem.

jim
OOoooohhh boy !!! Uncle Jim , keep your whereabouts secret......the wives have a "Hit" out on you :lol: :lol:
Jean.
Cubby Aircraft Factory
New front seat solo Cubby MK2
Powered by a Rotax 912 engine
Email: cubbyaircraftfactory@gmail.com
Jean Crous
Tree Tousand
Tree Tousand
Posts: 3067
Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 10:10 pm
Closest Airfield: FASX
Location: Barrydale Western Cape
Has liked: 73 times
Been liked: 33 times

Re: Market research - Seeking private pilot feedback

Unread post by Jean Crous » Tue Mar 12, 2019 5:59 pm

Jacques, I do not fly nearly as much as I would like to, simply because of TIME. I do have my own aircraft, and my own hangar so no need to move heavy aircraft out of the way before going flying.
I run two full time businesses , both of which demand my attention most of the day. The airport at which my aircraft is hangared is 46km away, so a trip there and back just to go have1-3 hours of flying......and then of course the weather ......
My sollution is to move my aircraft to my hometown where my w/shop is. That is the plan later this year....... when there is space open to keep my aircraft there :roll:
Jean.
Cubby Aircraft Factory
New front seat solo Cubby MK2
Powered by a Rotax 912 engine
Email: cubbyaircraftfactory@gmail.com
Wlotzkas
Take off Clearance
Posts: 130
Joined: Thu Dec 05, 2013 3:45 pm
Closest Airfield: Nelspruit
Location: Nelspruit
Has liked: 1 time
Been liked: 4 times

Re: Market research - Seeking private pilot feedback

Unread post by Wlotzkas » Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:38 am

I did my PPL because I always wanted to fly, and in addition to that, I thought that the skill might help me in business life. The reality is that if you want a PPL VFR qualification to make business sense, you need to have:
*A relatively fast aircraft, owned or at least controlled by yourself. Getting to/from airfields and doing pre flight & tie downs take time. Flying short routes does not really always make sense.
*Flexible commitments. If you have to be somewhere at a specific time, drive. Weather seldom plays in your favour.
*Relatively low running costs.

If you have all three above, the country becomes a small place, and business can really benefit from flying. And it is a lot of fun, and I love the challenges flying brings. It also assist in personal life (kids to sporting events, etc.)

Having a plane and a PPL is like having a TLB on the farm. It is not required (most people are just fine without it), but it is a very nice tool to have.

For me flying is only fun if you do it often enough (for me not flying for 2 weeks is pushing it). I hate the additional stress that comes with the flight just after a longish non flying spell. I can see how this stress factor can result in someone flying less and less (since it is less fun), and eventually give it up altogether.

But for me flying for work is one of the most satisfying things there are because it can be very efficient, and on top of that it is GREAT fun. I love it, and continue to look for ways to fly more and more. There are very few things more relaxing and enjoyable than being current on an aircraft, and then go and do a few touch & go's (alone) just before sunset on a Sunday afternoon.
He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose. – Jim Elliot
ZU-ORG
User avatar
JimmyZ
Fuelling up
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2017 3:27 pm
Closest Airfield: Kitty Hawk
Has liked: 2 times
Been liked: 1 time

Re: Market research - Seeking private pilot feedback

Unread post by JimmyZ » Wed Mar 13, 2019 3:50 pm

For me, the constraints are in the following order:

1. Money
2. Weather
3. Time

I'm not sure for how many private pilots #1 would be an issue, but I'd wager about 50%. Most people work hard for their PPL, but a lot need to work hard to be in a financial spot where they can afford to work hard for their PPL, without sacrificing medical aid, retirement funds, investments etc. etc.

#2 and 3 is much less of an issue for me, but there has been times where I had money to fly, but the time slot I could fly (weekend or day off from work) the weather didn't allow.

Other than that there has not been a time yet when I didn't want to get off the couch to go fly. I'm not short of things I want to achieve with my flying (specific type endorsements I want to get, places I want to visit, sights I want to see), and I can't currently imagine a situation where creativity or lack of ideas of what to do with my PPL will keep me from flying.

As a side note, I've realized very quick into my PPL training that flying won't have a utilitarian benefit for myself, at least not as a VFR only pilot. I don't like to take chances with weather, so I only fly for fun (whether it be circuits, navs, scenic flights or breakfast), and never because I have to be somewhere (meetings, events etc.). Maybe I'll do that someday when I'm a much better pilot, but I'd rather not introduce any possibility of gethereitis into my flying at the moment.
Gooby
Aircraft in Hangar
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2014 5:57 pm
Closest Airfield: Fisantekraal
Location: Paarl
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0

Re: Market research - Seeking private pilot feedback

Unread post by Gooby » Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:38 pm

Thanks for all the replies, much appreciated! Some of the things mentioned here are very true for many of us who hire and fly, and some I didn't even realise. Like how I get stressed out before a flight when I haven't flown recently.

Some of you have also mentioned that having your own plane makes life a whole lot easier, but I assume that owning and maintaining an aircraft comes with its own set of challenges? Is there a place where I can learn more about the ins and outs of aircraft ownership? There seems to be a fair amount available on the internet for overseas markets, but not many locally..

Return to “General Aviation Chatter”