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View Full Version : True Cost of Flight Training


Boing797
11-20-2018, 12:08 PM
Hi Everyone,

My goal is to eventually fly for the airlines so I've been doing research on flight schools in my area. While looking at schools I noticed a few price inconsistencies. I live in a major city so all local flight schools are about a 1hr 30min drive. To give you a general idea of costs I'll refer to the flight schools' quote on a PPL. Most flight schools said that I should expect to pay 13,000 to 16,000 for a PPL. Some flight schools a bit farther from the city (about 3hr drive plus toll costs) are saying 8,000-10,000. Jason Shappert of MzeroA wrote in his book that a PPL should cost $6,000-$10,000. So, $6,000-$16,000 is a HUGE range and all flight schools I looked at use similar equipment (C172, PA28, and a few C152s on the cheaper end).

Another thing I noticed is that the national average of hours needed to get a PPL varied from school to school. Some said 60, 65, 70, 75, even 80. Hmm... I thought a national average is only one number, not five. I get the feeling that some instructors focus heavily on getting to their quoted "national average" and would be reluctant to sign off a student below that number. So if an instructor tells you that the average is 80 hours and trains you to 77-83 hours, how do you know that the school isn't just taking more money from you and that you weren't ready 20 hours ago, closer to the 60hr average another school quoted.

I am not sure who to trust at this point. Perhaps a packaged flight training program is better than an hourly? So why the large differences in price and average hours? How much should I be paying for my flight training, and how many hours should I expect to complete it? What is the best option for flight training (except buying an airplane)? Can anyone recommend a program anywhere in the US? Thank you all for your help!


deftone
11-20-2018, 12:45 PM
You will find a huge difference in prices depending on school and location. For example, a mom and pop school at a small uncontrolled field in Arkansas are going to be a lot cheaper than a large school in SoCal.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both, its hard to advise on what is best for you, only you can decide that. I would say that if you have a desire to go into the airlines then the fastest method with the lowest amount of debt is best!

For what its worth, I was around $7500 for my private in South Louisiana

TiredSoul
11-20-2018, 05:31 PM
National average is about 75-80 hrs.
Reasons are the very young and the very old and the very unmotivated.
Also a lot of people start/stop/start/stop their training, usually because of funding issues.
Part time training increases the news for repetition.
All that drives up the average.
Training in very busy airspace can lead to quite a bit of travel time to and from practice areas which reduces the ‘effective’ learning time in a lesson.



Let me break it down:
Start up and taxi 15 min
Checks in run up area 5 min
Travel time to practice area 15 min
Travel time back from practice area 15 min.
Single traffic pattern and landing and taxi and shutdown 10 min.
In a 1.5 hr lesson that leaves you 30 min effective practice and training time.


misterpretzel
11-20-2018, 05:50 PM
If only they would use national median...

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SonicFlyer
11-20-2018, 05:59 PM
For a PPL? $10k.


From zero to hero, about $90k.

misterpretzel
11-20-2018, 09:57 PM
If you decide to go part 61, and you're not in some ridiculously expensive city, then 50k is a reasonable starting point

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kingsnake2
11-21-2018, 07:46 AM
National average is about 75-80 hrs.
Reasons are the very young and the very old and the very unmotivated.
Also a lot of people start/stop/start/stop their training, usually because of funding issues.
Part time training increases the news for repetition.
All that drives up the average.
Training in very busy airspace can lead to quite a bit of travel time to and from practice areas which reduces the ‘effective’ learning time in a lesson.



Let me break it down:
Start up and taxi 15 min
Checks in run up area 5 min
Travel time to practice area 15 min
Travel time back from practice area 15 min.
Single traffic pattern and landing and taxi and shutdown 10 min.
In a 1.5 hr lesson that leaves you 30 min effective practice and training time.

Indeed there is a huge difference for full time, motivated students versus people doing it part time as a hobby or because their parents want them to.

For full time students, I've generally seen averages of 50-55 hours for domestic and 65-70 hours for international students in private.

For part time students, I usually quote 60 hours, which everyone thinks is very high. That said, I'd say the average is near what you said at 65-75 hours. The company that I work for really doesn't accept students that fly less than twice per week though.

For cost, I'd say $12-16k in North Texas, depending on the factors mentioned above and if you fly a C172 or C152.

Zero to hero, 0-MEI, is $74,495 including check ride fees, books, supplies, etc at US Aviation.

JohnBurke
11-21-2018, 03:22 PM
The true cost of flight training won't be found in the money paid for rental, or instructors, or examiners fees.

That's just part of the cover charge.

There's more than a two-drink minimum.



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