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3 Answers

Low time, medium time, High Time?

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Private Pilot

I hear a lot of podcast refearing to several Pilots as low time Pilots....And even some 120 hour Pilots refering themselves a low time Pilots.....What is a low time verses a Medium time or a high time pilot in number of hours?

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3 Answers

  1. Nathan Parker on Oct 22, 2012

    It really depends on context. 120 hours is high time for a student pilot, but low time for a private pilot in general. For a private pilot, 1,000 is quite a lot, but it’s low time from the perspective of someone who flies professionally. For an airline pilot, “high time” might be 30,000 hours.

    So there might be two working definitions. Someone is low-time when 1) they have much less flight time than you do, or 2) are inexperienced considering the activity they’re engaged in.

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  2. Will Liebhaber on Oct 23, 2012

    Judging yourself based on the flight time of others is pointless. You may have 100 hours, which is high time for your peer group. You may have 5,000 hours which is low time for your peer group.

    The only matters where time is really a relevant factor are insurance and employment. If you want to purchase insurance they are going to group you into a flight time block based on their experience with pilots of differing flight times. Aircraft rental falls into this category due to the insurance rates charged to the companies providing the rental and requirements the insurance company may impose on renters.

    Commercial pilots often have to meet flight time requirements based on both insurance requirements of the employer, and a general sense of experience gained from a specific amount of flight time.

    Outside of those 2 situations, take your time and enjoy it. You may not have gotten all of the experience yet, but a lifetime of flying regardless of your hour level will provide you with a lifetime of experience.

    I love meeting pilots with “low-time” and hearing their stories of adventure across the countryside. Often they are much more interesting than the guy with 30,000 hours at 39,000 feet.

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  3. Bob Watson on Oct 24, 2012

    I’m a “long-time” pilot. I fly a little-bit each year, but I’ve been doing it for many years. That provides, yet another perspective.

    IMO, the number of hours isn’t nearly as interesting as the quality of hours (except to maybe the insurance company). I’ve heard it said that, “there’s a bIg difference between 1,000 hours of experience and 1 hour of experience repeated 1,000 times.”

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