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How often and why do we fly ?

I decided to get my licence 9 years ago, in 2006. It took me a little bit more than a year and I had a really great motivation in the fact that I would succeed.

Once I got my licence, I started to fly on my own, brought my friends along and bought half of a small 4-seater with a friend. That lasted for a few years and I was flying between 40 to 80 hours every year. Then, my job and the fact that the airplane was quite far from home got in the way and I spent 2-3 years without flying more than 15 hours.

Now, I have 350 hours and I fly around 50 to 90 hours every year, sometimes with my friends and only for fun and I know how I get the motivation : I love to travel, cross borders and I want to visit every single airfield located within Europe. I started with France, obviously, and the UK, but now, I am heading towards Germany, Czech Republic and even further to come.

I would like to do a quick survey : How many hours do you fly every year ? What do you do ? And what is your motivation ?

Thanks for your answers !

LFOZ Orleans, France, France

My first flight was in Jan 2006 and I now have about 360 hours (incl. sim) which makes it roughly 38 hours per year. However I’ve had my ups and downs in hours, mainly depending on the training I was doing at the time.

I am probably not a good example though because I like to fly goal oriented – when I have a training, I push hard and fly often. When I don’t have a goal, I only fly when I have friends with me or just to keep current. I’ve never done long trips although I’ve always wanted to (and still hope to do). Also I don’t own a plane which makes it a bit harder on the planning side.

LSZH, LSZF, Switzerland

I completed my PPL in 2003 and now have just over 415hours. In the first five years I really didn’t fly much at all with the club as I couldn’t take the plane for more than a few hours a day, one year I had to take another skill test because i hadn’t flown enough hours!

I really kick started my flying again when I brought a 1/25th share in a really well run group at my home airfield and at the same time stopped working as a lawyer (often working away from home and late) and started working for myself!

Like Vladimir I like a goal and have flown a lot more since i completed my IR(R) and took the plunge to buy my own plane. Last year I flew just over 150hours. Mostly abroad to France, Belgium and the Channel Islands. I also fly occasionally for work but mostly to see new places,friends and family.

I’m supposed to be reading for the CBIR TK… struggling for motivation while the sun is shinning and I’d rather be flying!

Shoreham (EGKA) White Waltham (EGLM)

I’ve been very lucky in my flying: right after completing my PPL in December 2011 I bought a cheap TB10 and then quickly took the UK IMC rating. I now have a total of around 500 hours – which works at at around 125 hours/year.

Since taking the full [CB] IR last year my rate has rapidly accelerated – now most of my trips are >2.5 hours each way. The furthest distance I’ve travelled was to the Faroes for the eclipse in March, but there have been many trips to Germany, Denmark, Switzerland and Scotland, not to mention regular hops to the Channel Islands, Holland, Belgium and Northern France.

The vast majority of my flying has been for pleasure, initially bimbling locally, but these days almost always with a real destination. Since May, I’ve also had a couple of lessons in a cub that lives in the hangar with us. This is bringing me back to bimbling, but in a very different style than in a TB! My post-PPL instruction hours are only just over the minimum necessary to receive the CB-IR.

This year I’m planning a Norway trip (weather permitting…) in August and perhaps a Morocco trip in the autumn.


My first lessen was 11 jan 2014 and I completed my PPL in august 2014. Now I have about 155h and still learning a lot.
I am busy with my atpl theorie in distance learning and want to gat an IR and CPL just for flying around.

I now fly small trips in Europe (Sweden, Helgoland, Germany, UK, … just a day or two days away and fly some procedure training,…
- I still want to learn to fly a taildragger (husky), get a basic aerobatic rating and an easa mountain rating if the ATO’s are ok with the administration.

Next week I will go to Courchevel and in September I will hopefully make my fist big trip from Belgium to Istanbul.
I rent a plane from a club, but it has a very very good availability. I can almost always take the plane on trips on the date I want.


How do you find people to go on such trips? I think it’s a real challenge getting people to tell their boss & wife they are gone out to play for a few days…

Started 1994, did the german PPL in 8 weeks, theory and flying. Did MEP, CVFR, Aerobatic, IR all until 2002 and have flown around 1500 h total by now. Try to fly +100 hrs/year since i bought the SR22 in 2013 to become a better IFR pilot.

Last Edited by Flyer59 at 20 Jul 21:15

Got PPL in 1964 – couldn’t afford to keep it up. Regained in 1987. Bought share in a Jodel DR1050 at the start of 1990. Still in the Group. 82 hours in year to 15 July, all in Scottish Highlands, looking at landscape. No A/H, so IMC rating is long lapsed. 2000+ total hours solo.

EGPE, United Kingdom

2000+ hours and I do about 100hrs a year instructing / examining now around full time career and family commitments. I rarely fly more than an hour away from home base, but I get to fly a range of aircraft, at a variety of airfields and meet lots of great people – I love the rewards of teaching and passing people. My solo flying is mainly some fun aeros for myself. Touring flying doesn’t interest me at all, if I go overseas ill use a big orange bus and chill out with a book and beer on the way! Personally I don’t do single engine over water either though.

Now retired from forums best wishes

Got a SPL in 1983 and a PPL the next year, IR in 1987, quit flying in 1996. In this period I did about 50 hrs/year, most of it on trips. I did a lot of business trips back then as it was almost always cheaper than commercial air travel. Also, the rules for Swedish government employees were explicit that you would be reimbursed for traveling using “owned or rented aircraft”. I did pleasure trips with my family as well, both domestic and abroad. My wife also had a PPL, which helped. :-)

I started flying again in 2013. It’s a bit slower now since opportunity for business travel is not as good. CAT is cheaper, AVGAS is more expensive, and the government rules have changed. My university employer flatly refuses to reimburse my own flying even when cheaper; ostensibly because of an environmental policy, but I believe it is actually because the admins won’t be bothered with something non-standard. (The billing process for CAT is electronic through our travel agency.) My wife and I have a small consultancy on the side and for that we make our own rules, of course. So far, I’ve been flying about 30 hrs/year, but my target is 40-50.

My total time now is approaching 700 hrs.

ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden
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