Let’s face it and no matter where you are in the world, flight training costs will be high (unless of course you go the military training route). Hence, a recent post by Ronn Rapp for his House of Rapp blog (and potentially for an AOPA Pilot magazine article) is a must read by would-be pilots and experienced pilots alike. His 10 tips for reducing flight training costs included the following:
- Fly frequently. Plan on having at least three to four a week because inevitably some of those lessons will be cancelled due to factors beyond your control plus dragging out flight training will increase you likelihood of having to repeat something – or drop out.
- Fly a tailwheel. These aircraft are easier to fly and in Ron’s words, they’re “crazy fun to fly.”
- Pass the FAA knowledge test in advance. Moreover, taking a private pilot ground school course online or at a community college will be cheaper than taking one from a ground school.
- Pick a quiet airport. This will minimize delays due to traffic and congestion. Likewise, learning to fly at a smaller airport will likily be cheaper.
- Learn through a club. Since clubs are non-profits, learning to fly through one should be 10-15% cheaper because.
- Lease an aircraft. Given how many aircraft are now on the market, it might make sense to lease one for a few months while you do your flight training. This will also help to minimize delays caused by the training aircraft not being available when you are.
- Ride shotgun. Specifically, tag along with another student and CFI.
- Get the ‘Net. There are literally hundreds of free online courses and other training resources from the FAA, AOPA and other sources on the Internet now.
- Save up. Make sure that you have sufficient funds to cover flight training before you begin flight training.
- Make friends. Hanging around the hangar and making friends with other pilots might give you an opportunity to fly aircraft that you would not otherwise be able to afford to fly.
Ron wrote about each of these tips in considerable detail but is there anything he left out that might be worth adding and help other would-be pilots to reduce flight training costs?
My husband is thinking of sending our son to flight school as he has always dreamt of flying his own plane. Since flight training is quite expensive, we really appreciate you posting this article on how we can lower the costs. It’s good that you mentioned about passing the FAA knowledge test online or at a community college since it is cheaper compared to taking the course from a ground school. I’ll be sure to let my husband know about this to ensure that our son can still achieve his dream despite the high costs.
Ivy Baker says
This is some really good information about flight school. It is good to know that it would be smart to pick a smaller or quiet airport if you want to have a less stressful time learning. That does seem like a good thing to consider when picking out a place to learn how to fly easily.