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  1. #1
    Whs2012 Guest

    Flight Training Cost?

    So I convinced my mom to let me fly, but the major question is how am I going to pay for flight training? First off I'm 15(almost 16)...

    I really want to go to this flight school called American Flyers, it cost about $10,000 to get your private pilot certificate though! The flight instructors are really cool and I feel like I would learn the most with them. They require a minimum of 25 hours dual to get your solo endorsement and a minimum of 70 hours total to sign off for you ppl checkride. There are some cheaper options, but I really don't like the flight instructors at the other flight schools at Hooks Airport, so....

    saying my parents don't help me pay for it....

    Is there anyway that I can get the $10,000 by the summer time? Or really $5000 by the summer time, because I can't get my ppl until I'm 17 anyways.

    I remember one time watching on the news, there were these kids that volunteered and got flight training as a reward. Is there anything like this in the Houston, TX area?

    Are there any scholarships available? If so what are they?

    Could I get a loan or am I too young?


  2. #2
    Tegguy Guest
    Honestly there really is no way to get 10K or even 5K by next summer unless you can find a really good paying job and have 0 expenses. You can try to get a loan but you would need a cosigner (I could be wrong on if you can even apply)

    Now I know you didn't ask for this is your post but I am going to touch on it anyways.

    Do you really want to spend 10K just to get your PPL? With 70 hours you are talking 142.85 an hour on average. I pay about 110 with instructor and fuel in a 152 for mine. This price seems way high although I don't know the flight school. You can try to volunteer around the flight school and they might give you a discount pretty much work in trade for flight time but I don't know if this will be much of an option (I don't know min age for work where you are) What type of aircraft will you fly? Do you have to pay for fuel? Part 141 or Part 61? Have you looked at all the flight schools in the area even if you have to travel a little?

    I would have to say think really hard and make sure it's the flight instructors you like and maybe not the prestige about the school. What is it about the other schools you don't like?

  3. #3
    Whs2012 Guest
    First, the age limit here is 14...Actually I was a lifeguard last summer (when I was 15)...

    I was thinking that, because thinking about it, $500 biweekly paychecks during the summer if I work alot, thats a lot of flight training....there is this one flight school that said I could probably get my solo endorsement for about $2000 (8 hours), but I don't know....I should I guess...One of the flight instructors at American Flyers was the one who convinced my mom to let my fly, so its like if I go somewhere else....she might say no again....

    but you make a good point.

  4. #4
    Tegguy Guest
    there is this one flight school that said I could probably get my solo endorsement for about $2000 (8 hours),
    First off 2K for 8 hours is 250 an hour! When I was looking for an instructor I didn't ask anything about how long before I can solo and this and that of course I asked about the requirments but I wanted a good school that would be there for me and I would be able to learn as much as possibly from. The amount of time it takes depends on the student and how well they grasp the concepts and how much the put fourth to it. You should look at an instructor that is going to be best for you from their teaching styles and your ability to get along. I would first look at possibly doing some intro flights at different places with different instructors to see if you like it. This is going to be the real test of what instructor is best for you. I was lucky that the first person I flew with was a great instructor and I can't wait to go back to see her to finish up. Just make sure you do a ton a research of what exactly you are getting into and what it is going to take. If you are truely serious about it there are a ton of books out there that I would grab up during the winter when you have nothing to do and if you start early about stuff you need to know you will have a great start and this will help you out more in the plane. I personally wish I would have done this. Since I joined the military and have experience on aircraft I have understood a lot more about them.

    One of the flight instructors at American Flyers was the one who convinced my mom to let my fly, so its like if I go somewhere else....she might say no again....
    Why is it that she doesn't want you to fly? There is tons of information out there on statistics of aviation. Personally it kind of sounds like you feel you have to go through them or you are choosing to just because they were able to convince your mom so you feel like you owe them something. If she said yes to one place there should be no reason she shouldn't say yes to another.

    Ironically my mom was never with me when I talked to these flight schools I just brought the information home and we talked about it. Wow now that I look back on this it's crazy cause she worries so much about stuff but not when I fly.
    Last edited by Tegguy; 11-22-2009 at 19:20.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    182 you plan on going to college? Pick an aviation college...a...maybe your parents have a college fund for can take a school might qualify for finacial aid ,,,and there is always the air force and navy....or the gi bill...good luck...if you want it bad enough you will find a way

  6. #6
    motormadness Guest
    25 hours minimum for a little solo endorsement? Are you kidding me? Kid, go part 61. There is no way it could even possibly cost 10k if you're talking 70 hours TT for a sign off. This school has a history of getting people such as yourself sucked in. In the end, you'll be at least twice over what they say and it's just not worth it.

    Find a local airport and go part 61. Find a nice cheap 2 seater with a good quality instructor and for goodness sake, take a discovery flight or two. Who even knows if you'll even like this. Not to mention, you've still got over a year before you can even take your checkride so that's another pro of ma & pop part 61. Save up, pay as you go, and be efficient.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    KRVS (Tulsa Riverside)
    First of all let me congratulate you on looking for a way to EARN money for flight training, and not looking for a hand-out. Working at the airport is an excellent way to earn money for flying. Most FBO's that rent airplanes will give an employee discount on rentals. (a double benefit, earn money for flying, AND get a discount!)

    You've got plenty of time so there's no reason you can't earn enough money to fly once a week and pay as you go. It may take you a year or so, but so what, you've got the time. Save up a little extra for when you get to the cross-country phase and checkride preparation.

    Like others have said, I would look for a small Part 61 flight school with small 2-seat trainers. (Cessna 152, etc) The bigger schools are called Part 141 schools because they're FAA approved and have to meet specific training and maintenance requirements. Part 61 schools teach to the same standards, they just tend to be a little less formal and more flexible.

    If you want it bad enough, and you use some self-discipline, you can do most of the studying for the written test on your own with only a small library of books. (You don't HAVE to buy expensive DVD courses)

    In my area, a typical Cessna 152 with instructor runs about $115/hr with fuel. At the FAA minimum of 40 hours, the LEAST you'll spend on flight instruction is $4600. The more realistic average is around 60-70 hours so you're looking at a total amount somewhere between $4600-$8000 for flight instruction. Add to that an inexpensive headset (I've bought several off of Craiglist for less than $50) and books/supplies. (around $200 if you shop around and buy used where you can)

    Please do not borrow money to do something you have the ability and time to pay cash for.

    Of course these numbers aren't gong to be exact for everywhere, but they'll give you a good ballpark to set some goals:

    Flight Instruction $4600-$8000
    Medical Cert $80
    Headset $50-$100
    Books/Supplies $200-$300
    Written Test $60-80
    Checkride $300
    Total $5200-$8800

  8. #8
    Tegguy Guest
    The above post's cost estimates are high. All the prices they were quoting was 40 hours with an instructor. You will not have an instructor with you all the time and some time MUST be done solo.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    I'd just add that a good way to find a school is to find then ask general aviation pilots in your area.

    Ask everyone you know if they know anyone who has their pilot license. Ask friends of parents and parents of friends, teachers, people at church, bosses from jobs, sports friends...everyone. Ask your parents to ask everyone they know.

    When you find the pilots and start asking them questions about where they got their license, their process, etc you will inevitably find someplace that is safe, reliable and maybe a little less expensive. Specifically ask them if they know of any small part 61 schools in the area, independent CFIs or places to rent planes. Then go there and ask them questions.

    In the meantime, you'll be building up your network of people to go to when you have questions, people to give you the thumbs up when you solo and generally talk story with about aviation. That's important.

    Also, ditto on taking the discounted intro flights to get a sense of the CFI. A smaller place may not have this, but it would be worth it to take a flight anyway. (add these flights to the price list above) Ask about their schedule/availability, teaching style, experience, how/when they got their PPL to CFI, what he/she wants to do with their license eventually...whatever you can think of to get to know the person.

    It's a very exciting path and kudos to you for starting so young. As they say, where there is a will, there is a way. Best of luck to you!

    Last edited by warmwings; 11-23-2009 at 14:16.

  10. #10
    Pilot Doc Guest
    Have you looked into a sport pilot rating? typically 20-25 hours, can be done for $3500 or so.

    The other thing you should look for is a flying club. There are deals likethis around if you look for them.

  11. #11
    mgf130 Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Pilot Doc View Post
    The other thing you should look for is a flying club. There are deals likethis around if you look for them.
    Damn, that is a good deal!

  12. #12
    Warever Guest
    Some mention was made of part 61 versus part 141 schools. It was incorrectly stated that the "big" schools are 141 and the "small" schools are 61. That's simply not true. While many small schools are part 61 and many larger schools are 141, not ALL small schools are 61 and not ALL large schools are 141. And there are even some that are 141 that ALSO offer 61 training. And around here, there's a quite large (and relatively expensive) school that's 61.

    What's the difference? Well, 141 is more regimented. They have to follow a syllabus that's been approved by the FAA and there are usually stage checks at various points in your training before you are allowed to go on. It is far more of a one-size-fits-all type of program than the more flexible part 61. In many 141 schools, if you're supposed to be doing one particular thing in the syllabus but the weather isn't cooperating, you're simply not flying that day, as opposed to a 61 school where your instructor might decide to do something else with you.

    No offense to those in podunk-town, but rates in a cornfield aren't going to be the same as rates in a big city. It all depends on where YOU live. These cornfield people will tell you that the rates your'e quoting are high but they have no idea where you live and what the going rate is. Only YOU can determine what the going rate is - and that's by interviewing several schools in your area and asking what the hourly rates are for the various planes and instructors.

    Here in the big city, I'm paying $119 an hour for an older 172 and $139 for a newer (2004), non-glass 172. About the cheapest I've ever seen is around $90 an hour for a 152. Instructors seem to go for around $50 an hour on up, and they're ALL going to charge you ground time on top of each lesson. My current instructor is more seasoned and quite a bit more expensive - but I think worth it.

    If you're talking about 70 hours to ticket (reasonably average), and maybe 15 of those solo, and probably about 20% ground time on top of the lessons, in the big city rates, you're talking 70 hours x 119 in an older 172 plus (55 dual hours x 1.2 for 20% more) x $55 an hour. That's (70 x $119) + ((55 x 1.2) x $55) = total of $8,330 + $3,630 = $11,960.

    Now maybe you're getting podunk rates, but don't let anyone in cornville tell you that your rates are too high because they don't live where you do. I WISH I could pay their low rates but that's just not what things go for around here.

    It is very rare for any reputable school to put a number of hours on soloing. Saying no LESS than 25 is probably a disservice, because many people do it in less than that. But in complex environments, that may actually be a more realistic number. But they should solo you when YOU'RE ready to solo and not any sooner and really, not much later if you're TRULY ready by their standards. 8 hours, on the other hand, is very minimal. I suggest you go online and search for solo requirements (look on the FAA web site... this can be your first homework assignment). Yeah, SOME people can get them done in that time and be ok to solo without killing themselves, but really, that's only going to work under ideal conditions which probably means a non-towered airport, minimal traffic, you flying several times a week, nearby practice area, and consistently great weather. At 8 hours, you won't likely have much - if any - experience with strong crosswinds. You'll have minimal emergency training. You''ll have done only a few maneuvers like steep turns and likely, aren't anywhere near test standards (which is certainly not REQUIRED to solo). Likely, someone who solos that early is going to have a LOT of work post-solo. So if one school is telling you not less than 25 and another is telling you 8 is normal, they're probably both wrong.

    How to get money? Well, as others said, a loan is a bad thing. You'll get something now that you'll have to pay for later, and then later on, you won't have the money to keep flying (which I'm assuming you'd want to still do). Not to mention that you'll never get one without your parents signing on.

    Without knowing you, what you like to do, your area, what jobs are available, and what you're good at and qualified for, nobody can really tell you how YOU can make money. Helping at an FBO is a good suggestion, but it may not be feasible where you are and you may not be qualified for whatever it is they need.

    But take comfort in knowing that it isn't just that you're young that you're finding that getting money to pay for your hobby is difficult - even us old folks only have a finite amount of money available and have to sometimes cut corners on our flying and/or on other things.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    ...edited my reply so there wouldn't be a misunderstanding re. size of part 61 v. part 141. Around here the former tend to be smaller operations.

    I pay $115 for a 1972 C172 if I buy in blocks of 10 hrs., but every instructor I've had charged $40/hr. Seaplane (Beaver) was $450/hr and Cap-10 for intense spin/stall/unusual attitude training (plus many other fun maneuvers) was $200/hr + instructor.

  14. #14
    Tex_Mike Guest
    Whs2012- I sent you a PM. Send me an e-mail and I will get you info on much cheaper training options in the Houston area.

  15. #15
    ryanbum Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Whs2012 View Post

    I remember one time watching on the news, there were these kids that volunteered and got flight training as a reward. Is there anything like this in the Houston, TX area?

    Are there any scholarships available? If so what are they?

    Could I get a loan or am I too young?

    Check out Dutch Wings Flight School if you are really looking for value. They have some old planes that work just fine and I soloed in 8 hours and got my first solo cross country signoff in just over 15 hours. I'll be finishing right at 40 hours for less than $4000 total cost. Can't beat that anywhere in Houston.


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