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So I am currently taking my PPL because flying was always a passion. But, as I am sure all who do such can relate, it is an expensive license to hold on to. None the less we go through simply for the joy of flying. But I am wondering if we can transform, somehow, or how fast could we, make this investment something we could have as a possible weekend job? So, what would be the path to take starting from a PPL to be able to fly an airplane and also make a profit out of it? Thank you all for your experience sharing and patience!

PS: Apologies for missing this one out, countries around Europe, though more specifically UK and Portugal :)

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    $\begingroup$ In what country? In the US, you can tow gliders and banners with a PPL, but not much else. $\endgroup$ – Ron Beyer Jun 25 at 3:25
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    $\begingroup$ It's probably worth mentioning that you'll be competing against other people who also just want to fly for free, or build hours towards other qualifications. Some of those will already have a separate source of income, others might see it as an alternative to a minimum-wage job. It's a tough market. $\endgroup$ – Robin Bennett Jun 25 at 14:18
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    $\begingroup$ If you are planning to carry people (skydivers, passengers etc.) the aircraft will need appropriate insurance and to be covered by an Air Operator Certificate, I think $\endgroup$ – Dave Gremlin Jun 25 at 17:55
  • $\begingroup$ You guys are amazing! Thank you so much for this share of information ^^ I do have a separate source of income, was just thinking if possible to also use this passion as a possible source of income as well or at least break nearly even to its costs. $\endgroup$ – Diogo Santo Jun 26 at 15:08
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This depends on your jurisdiction a bit since the nuances vary from country to country but in general to get paid to fly (or get paid enough to break even) you need to have at least a commercial pilots license. This would allow you to get paid to fly. With a CPL you can do lots of things like:

  • Tow banners
  • Fly charters
  • Fly cargo
  • Fly sight seeing flights
  • Tow gliders (can be done for compensation with a PPL and proper endorsements as well see Rons comment)

What many pilots go on to do if they are only looking for weekend break even fun, is to get their Certified Flight Instructor ticket and teach others to fly. This is a nice way to make some money, fly some beat up planes, and pass along the hobby to others.

The speed to any licenses is hard to predict. It varies based on your time, money and aircraft availability as well as how good of a study you are. You also need to accumulate the hours required for a CPL which can take time. With good weather and a consistently working and free plane you can get through it in months. If you are a weekend warrior and only have access to busy rental planes and live in an area with weather it can take a few years to get everything done.

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  • $\begingroup$ You can be paid as a PPL in the US to tow gliders with proper endorsements. $\endgroup$ – Ron Beyer Jun 25 at 3:36
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for all your input! This is great and gives me a way better idea on the path to follow! I love flying but it is an overwhelming world to go through and I know it takes time to absorb everything and reach a certain level. But I also wanted to understand what was needed in order to try and make a passion investment into something that can also provide, even if just a little :3 $\endgroup$ – Diogo Santo Jun 25 at 13:03

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