Guaranteed BEST Way to Cut the Cost of Flight Training!
Few will argue that learning how to fly can be expensive. Curiously, it can be far more expensive for some than for others. It all depends on one important factor. No, that factor is NOT how much the rental airplane costs or how much the instructor charges. Nor is it the basic intelligence of the student (though some IS required). It is certainly not weather factors, because we can always find adequate days to train. I'd like to think it all comes down to the skill of the flight instructor. While this is a factor, of course, it's not the biggest factor.
The biggest factor in reducing training costs is . . .
. . . frequency of training!
Yep, those flight students who train every day, or even four to five times a week, can get through the private pilot training curriculum and become SAFE pilots with less total training hours than are required for students who train less frequently.
Meet John Kalonaros of Hamburg, NY. John began his primary flight training with me one week before Oshkosh this year. He finished up three weeks after we both returned. His total logged dual and solo time was within minutes of 40 hours.
How did he do it?
John did it just like another of my primary students that I trained this summer, Kyle Randall, of Akron, NY. Kyle, too, completed his primary training and obtained his private pilot certificate in just 40 hours. So did Darren Karjama, of Toronto, Ont. and many others before them.
How did they do it? Easy. Each of these young men trained with me four to five days a week, with each session running between four and six hours in length!
Unlike the practice of scheduling flight students for one or two hours at a time, once per week, this concentrated form training not only imparts the required knowledge, attitudes, and maneuvering skills, it permits these necessary attributes to become engrained in the mind and body of the student.
There is little need for re-learning at the beginning of each training session. Each flight starts fresh with new material, thus the rate of learning is far faster than when dragging the training out over months and, in some cases, years!
Every flight is a cross-country flight.
Again, unlike performing repeated maneuvers in the "practice area" and repetitious takeoffs and landings at the home or one or two nearby airports, our training is conducted while on cross-country flights.
Every airport is new to the student, the airspace is always different, the controllers are different, the terrain is different and, yes, the many airport cafes and restaurants, where most of our ground instruction takes place, are different! By the time these "40 hour wonders" are finished, they have been into every class of airport. To them, cross-country solos are non-events. They're not intimidated by rapid-fire controllers or complex airport diagrams. Getting lost is a term they've never heard before. Special use airspace or TFRs? Not even an issue!
As for weather training, these students see or experience it all.
Most importantly, folks like John, Kyle, and Darren are better pilots for it. But for them, the best part is that they saved a ton of money in the process!
Any down sides?
You bet. Some of us put on a few pounds in the process of doing ground school instruction in airport cafes! Instrument training? Works even better! This form of concentrated flight training works even better for instrument students. There is nothing more costly than s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g your instrument training out over several months (and years). The amount of re-learning between sessions can become VERY costly.
Sure . . . it's a sacrifice!
Finding a hole in your week large enough to train like this is difficult to achieve for busy, working adults. Be creative. Take a two week vacation and learn to fly . . . or least get most of it done. If that cannot be arranged, commit at least one FULL day a week to flight training. Even that arrangement can speed your training considerably. But there can be another problem . . . like finding a flight school or flight instructor willing to train like this. This form of concentrated training may not fit the schedule of many busy flight schools or part-time CFIs. If that's the case, look around. Travel to a different city (or different country as several of my Canadian students did) to get what you're looking for.
Bob Miller, ATP, CFII