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Flight Aware

Joe Echo-Hawk CFII, MEI, AGI, IGI, A&P Mechanic

How To Get The Most From Your Training

Private Pilot

Flight training is expensive! It is no secret that it costs a good amount of money to learn to fly. Flight schools must cover the cost of airplane maintenance, insurance, avgas, and all the other expenses that go along with running a business. The number one question I get from people when they are looking into flight training is, "How much does it cost?"

Controlling the cost of your training is a responsibility that is shared by both your instructor/flight school and by yourself. Instructors should have a plan for how they will conduct your flight training. Flight schools should be charging fair rates and not over-inflating them.

I would also beware of the cheap deals in flight training. Well maintained airplanes cost money. If you are getting an incredible deal on a plane rental I would be paying attention to this. Is this plane going to have maintenance issues that will delay your training? Is it a safe plane to fly? Is the plane equipped well?

There's a point where being cheap becomes expensive.

The training you receive is important and you don't want to short yourself on that. Here are some things you should expect from your flight training:

- Good and consistent ground and flight instruction

- Well maintained airplanes & equipment

- Reasonable rates. Compare around and make sure you know what you are getting and that you are paying a fair price for what you are getting.

- Reasonably equipped airplanes. Do they have GPS and good navigation equipment? Are they such junky looking airplanes my friends and family are not going to want to fly in them?

- Is the scheduling such that I will be able to train at a consistent pace?

- Are they friendly? Do these instructors want to be here teaching?

These are some of the basics that you should be thinking about when you begin your flight training. Sometimes it is difficult to get everything figured out over the phone or the internet. When you have it narrowed down, take an introductory lesson and try out the flight school and the instructor that you think you may want to go with. The cost is relatively inexpensive for an introductory lesson, and it can give you the perspective you need on if you are choosing a good flight training experience or not.

You as a renter, or student pilot have the responsiblity to be your own advocate. If you are worried about the cost of flight training, make sure you are doing your part to study, research, ask questions, and show up on-time and prepared to your lessons. If you are doing those items, and you're not feeling you are benefiting from your flight training in proportion to the cost you are investing, it may be time switch flight schools or flight instructors.











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