Where do I start?

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by obxemt, Sep 29, 2005.

  1. obxemt

    obxemt Chaplain of CT

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    I thought there would be a sticky here but haven't found anything.

    What are the requirements to start flight lessons just for personal interest and growth? A local (small city) airport says they can start you off at $50 per lesson.

    Any websites, links, threads or references would be appreciated.
     
  2. IslandHopper

    IslandHopper

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    You'd be better off going to your local (small city) airport to get your info than on here ;)

    Just do it ... expect to spend several thousand $$ to get the license. (4-5k minimum.)

    Where are you ?... you might get better suggestions if we knew where you were located.
     

  3. obxemt

    obxemt Chaplain of CT

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    I just wanted advice from people who were familiar with the process and had been there rather than someone in business trying to make money.

    I'm in Charlotte, NC.
     
  4. CaptainOveur

    CaptainOveur

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    Well, you have to cover the rental of the airplane, and then the salary of the instructor. Some instructors work freelance, so they have to live off of their wage, as well as pay medical and other "benefits" from their wage. There's a lot of factors here that come into play, but expect around $50-100 an hour for aircraft rental, and around $30 an hour for the instructor. The "$50/hr" aircraft may not have enough usefull load for some students, or it may be something really old and tired, the more expensive planes will sometimes have more gizmos and maybe go faster, but sometimes things like that aren't necessary for students either. Most lessons in the air seem to average about 1.3-1.5hrs, much smaller than that and you aren't really able to get out of the local area and do many manuvers, and much more than that and a beginning student gets overworked and the results start to deteriorate.
     
  5. GlocknAK

    GlocknAK

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    obxemt,

    Like was posted before, to get real details you'll have to call or go to the flight school(s) you want to check out. Rates can vary significantly airport to airport, but they're is usually not a whole lot of variation between schools on the same field.

    That intro lesson is probably just $50, but I'm pretty sure that the hourly rate (with instructor) is going to be more. Hate to burst your bubble ;P

    Keep in mind that the cheapest airplane by the hour may not be the cheapest airplane for you to conduct training. A Cessna 172 will cost more than a Cessna 150 per hour, but because of it's higher speed and better climb rate (with the same payload; ie, 2 people and fuel) it may allow you to do a lot more in your hour of flying. Just a thought. With me and my instructor and enough fuel to get off the ground I don't think we would have been legal in a C-150 anyway.

    Remember that the more time you spend studying your airplane's manual and private pilot book, the more you'll get done in the air since you already understand the theory behind what is going on.

    Good luck and fly safe when you get there. There's nothing like taking off for the first time :cool:
     
  6. arrowdriver

    arrowdriver

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    AOPA Learn to Fly

    Might want to take a look there too, should be some good advice in general.
     
  7. IslandHopper

    IslandHopper

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    Keep in mind.... our "FREE" advice might be worth exactly what you're paying for it ! :)
    Also ... MOST flight instructors will give you good advice... they want your business for the full course, not just for a couple lessons. They don't want to give you bad advice ... that would only cause you to go somewhere else after a couple lessons and start bad-mouthing them... bad for business and they know it. (Try not to be so cynical! ;) )

    Sorry, I can't help you out in NC ...
     
  8. MichonRAFW

    MichonRAFW

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    $50 is usually for the "discovery flight". Basicall it is short flight maybe 20miles from the airport just to give you a taste of flying.

    Actual lessons are usually around $100/hr for aircraft PLUS around $45 - $50/hr for instruction.

    Like has been said before, typical lessons average between 1.3 and 1.5 hours

    FAA requires minimum of 40hrs of instruction. National AVERAGE is 60-70 hours. (If you fly 3 or more times per week you probably will finish in 45-50hrs. If you fly less than 3 times per week, it will most likely take over 65 hours to complete. See below)

    Depending on actual cost of the aircraft I would expect to spend $10,000. Especially after all of the extras: Headset, flight bag, books, charts, etc.

    The biggest question to ask yourself is whether you want to fly for fun or for a career. If for fun, will you eventually buy your own aircraft or always rent? If you intend to buy one- buy one now to train in if possible.
    If for career- at a minimum you will need an instrument rating, commercial rating, and multiengine rating. Each averaging between 7 and 10 thousand depending on actual cost.

    Regardless- unless you want to piss money away, plan on flying a MINIMUM of 3 times per week. I made the mistake of getting my private flying 1 time per week (was in high school and only could fly on th weekends). First, you WILL forget the finer things over a weeks time. Second, the weather may force you to cancel multiple flights leading you to fly maybe once or twice a month. Don't expect to retain much or advance through the course with such sporadic flying.

    Make sure you have the free time available to devote to training.

    If you have any other questions please feel free to ask here or e-mail/pm me.

    Ryan Michon

    Flight Instructor- Epic Aviation, New Smyrna Beach FL
     
  9. jegoodin

    jegoodin CLM #51 CLM

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    I made the mistake of keeping track of exactly what it cost me to get my license.

    As was mentioned here, the more often you fly the less time it takes because there is less to forget and have to re-learn between lessons. I did my flight training in a C-172 (At 6'5" I just don't fit in a C-152 very well). I solo'd in 9 hours and had 75 hours in my logbook when I took my checkride. 75 hours is pretty high, but I was not trying to do it in any kind of minimum record. (My brother did it in 40 hours and paid his instructor in beer. He works for the FAA as a controller so didn't have to learn the basics of the ATC system and radio comms.) If it was a nice day and I wanted to go flying, I went flying. The people at the FBO kept remarking, "you're wasting money". Well, it was my money. They just didn't get it. I love to fly and as long as I wasn't carrying passengers I didn't need a private license all I needed was a properly endorsed student ticket.

    My "bottom line" was $8600. That included the King DVD's for Private ground school and checkride, headsets, Jeppesen starter kit, etc.

    That was 4 years ago. I could have done it for less at the time, but with the cost of avgas going up my guess is that you are looking at $8-9000.

    My advice is just do it. It won't get any cheaper and flying is flying. It is still fun even with a CFI sitting next to you.
     
  10. excitingleopard

    excitingleopard

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    I wouldn't be so quick to ascribe a definite price to your training. It depends on where you do it. You don't necessarily need all those headsets and gadjets. I agree that a small-town instructor will be much cheaper though, and will probably suit you better.

    There really are no requirements to learn to fly. You don't even need a driver's license. Just go find an instructor and he'll tell you what you need to learn.

    Like some people here already mentioned... King's video courses are helpful, especially in concert with Sporty's pilot videos.
     
  11. RamShooter

    RamShooter

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    Whatever you do, choose your instructor carefully. Not all instructors are created equal and there's a few out there who just plain flat out suck. I made the mistake multiple times during my private training of keeping instructors who only had their minds set on building hours to fly for the airlines and didn't give a hoot about whether or not I was learning what I needed to learn to pass my checkride. I ended up getting my license after 73 hours because I didn't recognize the problem soon enough and almost didn't even get a license at all because of it. Thankfully, I was able to find a much higher quality instructor who was helpful in getting me finished with my training.

    I'm not saying I have anything against instructing to move into higher level flying jobs, but I do have a problem when it is done at the expense of student pilots as a result of instructor incompetence.
     
  12. geoffinak

    geoffinak

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    All good posts, the only thing I would add; read as much as you can. You do not want to struggle with the ground school learning and the flight learning.
    Now some of the information will make more sense when your actually flying and be a bit abstract but keep reading and you will fully understand flight and the RULES.
    In addition to flying, I also taught college ground school private and IFR, most students were doing as I advocate get the head work out of the way first, then fly. Trips to real airplanes at certain intervals helped the private class.

    Hang out at a few flight schools maybe pay an instructor for an hour here or there to explain things your learning in your ground training. It also gives you a chance to look for a good instructor. If you have the written down cold and the oral, you will save money when it comes time to strap in in and do the second best thing in the world. Then do your training as these other suggested . As much as you can in a week, with out exceeding 1.5 hours per flight. Reasons were listed

    When I did my com mel inst. ses. I flew twice a day, once in the am with the CFI and the afternoon to practice myself.
    Having read and prepared for 2 years, reading and studying anything and everything I could get my hands on. I was able to blow through the training in 90 days. No free tickets here, real FAA examiners from the FSDO, they will check a Flight School from time to time and this school was it . I did not mind, actually helped me down the road, 5 years later became Chief Pilot and then Director of Operations. Not fun, but you know everything about what your seat sits on. I did have my private previous to this so that put me a little ahead. Knowing what is happening all around you is the essence and knowledge of flight, the rest is fly the wing.
    Good luck, great advice, I never met someone I took up that said this is not for me.
    Geoff
     
  13. Wulfenite

    Wulfenite The King

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    First off, its pretty rare to find someone who's into flight training for the money. The long standing joke about aviation starts with, "You know how to make a small fortune in aviation?" Your odds of coming across a scalliwag used car salesman type CFI at your local FBO are pretty low.

    I think you'll find that amongst the general aviation crowd a much LOWER level of Cynicism is waranted. Pilots, Instructors, mechanics, etc. are a much better lot of people than you'll find in general society. That's one of the best reasons to be involved in GA.

    In terms of straight scoop on flight training costs, the thing you have to realize is that the final ammount you end up spending will vary much more on how you perform than anything else. If you put in the leg work to find a good CFI that you click with that fits your schedule your cost will go down even if his hourly rate might be higher. If you put in a generous ammount of independant study time before each lesson so you understand what you're going to fly, how you're suposed to fly it, why its in the lesson, and what the aeronautical principals are behind it and then review all that after you've experienced it, you will get your license at much closer to 40hours than not. If you fly regularly throughout the process with no breaks you'll save money. If you show up for each less mentally and physically "fresh" you'll save money. If you train at a small airport with light flight opps you'll save money. (as an aisde, I chatted with a CFI that had instructed at Van Nuys in So. Cal. He said it was taking students that trained there close to 100 to finish. He said that in addition to lots of ground taxi and waiting for clearance time, they had trouble learning to land cause ATC would very rarely give them a standard approach; they were always extending downwind legs, turning in early for a short approach, making a right 360 on final, etc. The flip side of course is that when they were done they were unflapable in a complicated airspace)

    There's also the issue of quality to contend with. You can be a minimally trained pilot with just enough skills to pass the check ride, or you can spend a little more effort and be a pilot with a better developed set of piloting skills.
     
  14. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine

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    Probably not many but like in any reasonably complicated profession some incompetents slip through the cracks.

    Right before solo my Wife's instructor was flying and warning Her about the high trees at the end of the runway.
    On short final he clipped a tree with the aft end of the fuselage.
    Then unbelieveably he got out and sent Her solo.

    I didn't find out about this until we were driving home and talking about Her solo flight and She told me She was a little scared after hitting the tree.;P
    I started to turn around and go rip that instructor's head off but by then it was late and there would be no one at the airport, so I resolved to take it up next trip.

    I was still boiling when we got to the airport but the airport owner said they had fired the instructor that evening after seeing the airplane damage and hearing the story.