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Part 141 vs. part 61 (and how did you pay?)

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Part 141 vs. part 61 (and how did you pay?)

Old 11-08-2011, 11:49 PM
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Default Part 141 vs. part 61 (and how did you pay?)

Hello everyone!! This is my first post on the forum, and I just wanted to say THANK YOU to all of the knowledgable and experienced pilots that frequent this section and answer questions for us newbs.

I started my flight training this year at a part 141 school, and at the time I was thinking "this is a really good deal!!" because I found a school that would allow me to charge my ground credits through financial aid, and pay for my flying 1 lesson at a time, so that I could work my way through the program day by day. Ok, so for those reasons I am still relatively "stuck" here (cant afford it otherwise) , but as I am about halfway through my private pilot, I have realized that I may have not picked the best school for the money...

Some things that bother me about my current "value" school. YES the school is considered a 141 and therefor does not require as many hours to get to each rating, but from talking with most of the instructors here, they literally plan on students taking 50 hours to get PPL etc so the hourly savings dont really matter until the commercial license. Part 141 commercial single only requires 190 hours, so initially I was thinking it would be a much better deal. Well, today I was reading through some of the part 61 schools websites and noticing that they charge alot less per hour after the private stage. One example is a school that was mentioned here a couple of days ago that rents a fully equiped IFR Piper with an instructor for around $115 dual. They also have a C-150 (which I am paying $85/hr for right now) for less than $50 per hour!!! The school I am at basically "locks" us into the planes that the school has listed in the program (because the planes have to be 141 approved and inspected to a higher standard as most of you know), but then charges quite a bit more for rentals. Our Cessna 172 rents for $125 and the instructors here charge $50/ hr for instrument dual time. Not only that, but when I asked if it would be OK to fly other planes in the local area (a $100/hr Cessna 172 which was the IFR training plane at another FBO) I was told that our school would completely ignore those hours and would not count them towards our requirements.

I guess the point (and question?) here is.. What options, besides the military, are there for someone who has bad/decent credit (cant borrow $30,000 for one of the "cheap" part 61 schools) but really wants to do this for a living? I would really love to have the cash to attend a 4-5 month program and be done with it, but I am living on my own, and paying my own way. I am sorry, but I have a hard time believing that ANY of the pilots I am in school with are doing this the way I am trying to do it. I am working 50 hours per week right now just to pay for the lessons.. I am not sure I will even have enough cash to finish the instrument rating when they expect me to, but I have literally minimized every cost possible already. I am sure I am not the first person who has been in this situation... how did you guys work through your training years, and what advice can you offer? Living with the parents or borrowing from a relative are not options that I will consider... Oh and one last thing.. I am sure that I AM going to finish my licenses, so packing up and going home is not an option either. There is simply nothing else I want to do, and I know that I will make it if I can get past the pay-to-play stage.

Thanks in advance
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Old 11-09-2011, 12:20 AM
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I did a part 141 course for my IR and CPL. Some differences I noted:

Part 141 IR course is all dual instruction, part 61 will require you to go fly with a safety pilot
Part 61 IR course requires quite a bit of cross country before you can get the rating. Part 141 eliminated this
Part 141 allows a minimum of 190 hours, but that is of you do everything in the minimums. If it takes you 50 hours to get to PPL, you are already looking at 205 hours.
Part 141 means you have to do everything prescribed in te syllabus in order of the syllabus. Part 61 is more flexible.

For what it is worth, my part 141 school was also part 61, and the syllabus for both programs was the same for CPL except the part 61 required more hours and was completely flexible without needing approval from the chief pilot for deviations.

Go to the cheaper school. I only did part 141 because I was able to use the GI Bill. If you do the math, you will see that paying less per hour will save you a lot of money, even if you end up with more hours.

Think about it ... Let's say that you are paying $35 more per hour at your current school on average.
205hrs (total time at end of 141 course) x $30(what you overpay) - 45hrs (addl hours to get finish 61 course) x $50(Cessna 150 rate at other school) = $3900 savings.

Last edited by zondaracer; 11-09-2011 at 12:31 AM.
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Old 11-09-2011, 12:32 AM
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By the way, where is this place where you can find a 150 for $50/hr?
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Old 11-09-2011, 06:16 AM
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If the plane is really $50/hour, some major cost is being cut somewhere. The gas alone is 5 GPH X $5/gallon (if the airport has cheap gas and you fly slow). That leaves $25/hour to pay for MX, insurance, storage, acquisition cost, and profit? No way.
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Old 11-09-2011, 01:40 PM
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General Information - Prairie Air Service

That is the website I was looking at earlier with the $50 Cessna. You are totally right... it doesnt seem logical unless they have some great connection to lower the cost of fuel. It also says that their cheif pilot is a licensed A and P mechanic, so I am sure he does save a bit on maintainence. Either way, I must be missing something unless this is just old information! Thanks for the responses !
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Old 11-09-2011, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by zondaracer View Post
By the way, where is this place where you can find a 150 for $50/hr?
Originally Posted by Duckdude View Post
If the plane is really $50/hour, some major cost is being cut somewhere. The gas alone is 5 GPH X $5/gallon (if the airport has cheap gas and you fly slow). That leaves $25/hour to pay for MX, insurance, storage, acquisition cost, and profit? No way.
Originally Posted by Jazzland View Post
General Information - Prairie Air Service

That is the website I was looking at earlier with the $50 Cessna. You are totally right... it doesnt seem logical unless they have some great connection to lower the cost of fuel. It also says that their cheif pilot is a licensed A and P mechanic, so I am sure he does save a bit on maintainence. Either way, I must be missing something unless this is just old information! Thanks for the responses !
Or the web designers are smart enough to add that catch all disclaimer
Due to the recent volatility of fuel costs the above prices are subject to change without notice. The above prices include the applicable sales tax.
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