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Old 02-28-2016, 08:40 AM   #1  
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Hello all,

I am interested in starting my PPL training this summer. I feel it will be difficult however, because I will be working full 40 hour work weeks and paying as I go. Is there any efficient way to get the training done over the summer while also working a full time job?

For those of you who did pay as you go working full time, how long did it take to finish training?
Did you feel it was more difficult having to balance work and training? Were flight schools in your area flexible with your work schedule?
And would you rather have done training full time while not working?

Thanks for the feedback!
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Old 02-29-2016, 07:02 AM   #2  
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Should be doable. Try to fly at least two to three times a week around your work schedule. If the school can't accommodate that, then find another school. You are the customer in this equation.

The biggest thing you can do to help yourself progress through the training is study ahead of each lesson and visualize or "chair fly" procedures/maneuvers/ATC comm etc. This is a common technique for USAF students. I tried to get civ students to do this (with varied success) and when they did it worked well. After each lesson take detailed notes during the debrief and come up with items you'd like to fix on the next lesson. Write it out " the next time I fly I will..." Read the notes of your last few lessons when preparing for your next lesson.

Last edited by PRS Guitars; 02-29-2016 at 07:03 AM. Reason: Removed quote
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Old 02-29-2016, 12:34 PM   #3  
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Originally Posted by PRS Guitars View Post
Should be doable. Try to fly at least two to three times a week around your work schedule. If the school can't accommodate that, then find another school. You are the customer in this equation.

The biggest thing you can do to help yourself progress through the training is study ahead of each lesson and visualize or "chair fly" procedures/maneuvers/ATC comm etc. This is a common technique for USAF students. I tried to get civ students to do this (with varied success) and when they did it worked well. After each lesson take detailed notes during the debrief and come up with items you'd like to fix on the next lesson. Write it out " the next time I fly I will..." Read the notes of your last few lessons when preparing for your next lesson.
This is excellent advice! Coming from someone who recently finished their PPL with a lot of regrets, do everything this man has said and you'll save yourself a fortune!

Also - I've found that recency of experience is your greatest friend. You'll gain momentum rapidly when you fly consecutively. Sounds somewhat trite, but I was amazed at the significance of this. A few tips for you:

Find an instructor that is strict with you, forget all the oxford pleasantries. It's good to get along with them but aviation is expensive and you don't want to be wasting your time and money.

You're quite likely going to find yourself with a young CFI too, keep it professional. Beware the hour builders. Obviously exceptions to this, but I'd always go with the older more experienced CFIs.

Go to your local airfield and listen to liveATC.net to help you visualize where people are in the pattern. This will accelerate your radio skills.

When you first start out, you'll be learning the fundamentals of flight, climbs, descents and turns. Having a strict instructor who kicks you up the arse will save you a lot of money. Right from the get go they need to be drilling you on straight and level flight. Have him/her cover up the instrument panel. You need to get the sight picture burnt into your brain for Vy and straight and level flight ASAP.

Don't do any unnecessary ground. As someone already suggested, do your homework before you fly. Any ground you do need to do should be specific questions regarding to the material you've already covered at home.

Schools don't have any incentive to save you money. The onus is on you, so take control and above all enjoy it!

Last edited by turbopropulsion; 02-29-2016 at 12:34 PM. Reason: Typo.
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