5 Easy and Cheap Ways to Start Flight School

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5 Easy and Cheap Ways to Start Flight School

5 Easy and Cheap Ways to Start flight School

Are you interested in learning to fly but still hesitant about the cost? Many are in your position as flight School for just a private pilot license can cost $7,000 – $10,000 out of pocket. Most of these costs are created by aircraft rental and flight school surcharges on top of the cost of the instructor.

Little do many know, there are more cost-effective ways to get your pilot license and below we have listed some effective options.

1) Buying an Airplane

Believe it or not, buying an airplane can be one of the most cost-effective options to getting your pilot’s license. Being able to bypass the costs and surcharges of renting an aircraft can prove to be significantly cheaper.

Let’s set up a hypothetical model:

With a baseline assuming Aircraft is cost: $40,000 (Including Taxes & Title)

  • Loan
    20 Year Fixed rate – Around $170 / month
  • Tie-Down & Storage
    $1200 / Year - $100 / Month
  • Annual Inspection
    $700 / Year - $58 / Month
  • Insurance
    $600 / Year - $50 / Month

These are super rough estimates however this equates to about $4,540 per year in just fixed costs, per month that’s $378 to own your own aircraft, and a $40,000 aircraft is generally around a decent spec’d aircraft. Even though these rough estimates don’t include the variable costs of gas, oil, and engine/prop repairs it still bests to be a cost-effective option.

So what’s the comparison between renting an aircraft?

An average 172 Rental costs $140, with a baseline of 100 hours that would cost someone $14,000

Owning your own aircraft that same 100 hours in a month time frame would break down as:

  • $378 monthly cost
  • $3.50 / Hour Average Gas cost x 100 = $350
  • $2.50 / Hour Average Oil Cost x 100 = $250

In total that’s $978 for 100 hours in one month of flying. That’s a whopping $13,022 dollar difference.

Keep in mind these are super rough estimates but even with room for variability, this can prove to be an amazing option.

 

2) Flight Clubs

A flight club is a group of individuals who jointly own, maintain, and operate a small fleet of aircraft. Generally, the model for flight clubs are monthly membership dues / initiation fees in return for significantly cheaper flight hours. 

 

Flight clubs are a fun way to gain your pilot’s license. Not only are you working to gain your pilots license, but you are surrounded by a group of pilots who all have a shared ownership and passion for the aircraft you fly. 

 

At my local flight school in New jersey, I can rent an aircraft for $100 / Tach hour, $700 Initiation fee / $65 monthly due.

 

This is significantly cheaper than the average $140 – $180 cost option from a traditional flight school.

3) Bulk Payment

Bulk payment options are a unique method that works in very certain cases for a specific type of flight school. As personal guidance, I can never suggest telling a flight school upfront that you have a bulk load of money.

Not all flight schools are honest in the way they handle things and may take you for a loop. However, for some flight schools that have a bulk payment option for reduced rates can be an effective option for renting at a cheaper rate.

Often times this method can be up to $1000 cheaper than a traditional pay-as-you-go model.

4) Advanced Ground School

Advanced ground school won’t save you a significant bunch but it will definitely help. Going through advanced courses before you begin training may help you prepare for the in-flight training.

There are tons of courses offered online such as the one offered by Jason Schappert of M0A.com and more.

Increasingly, there has been a substantial increase of great content on YouTube available for free if you are looking to gain loose background to concepts that you will be learning during flight school. With this method you can cut your ground training in half since you will already know a lot of the concepts before you instructor will have to teach them.

5) The Bull Run Method

The last method is what I like to call the Bull Run method. This method is essentially booking your flights in as short a time frame as possible to get your license within 1-3 months. Many debates the effectiveness of this option and how it affects your overall competency as a pilot. So in laymen’s terms, you need to be a specific type of individual to handle this kind of training.

This is non-stop flight training and studying for a short span/period of time. For up to 90 days you will probably have to bypass a lot of the conveniences in your life and dedicate your time to your training.

How does this result in cost savings? Simply due to the efficiency of studying. A lot of times pilots schedule their flight lessons 1-2 times per week which creates a gap between lessons. This creates an opportunity for pilots to forget what they learned in the previous lesson which further drags out training.

Doing your training in bulk and quickly will minimize this downtime giving you the best retention between lessons and saving you potentially thousands in training.

Conclusion

In Conclusion, there are many cost-effective ways to complete your flight training, many people don’t initially learn about until its too late. Do your due diligence to choose the best option for you. At the end of the day, the gift of flight is a true blessing to those who take full advantage.

Even if none of the options listed are suited for you, still continue the path. At minimum we suggest saving up for 1 lesson every week. It just takes a lot on your part to keep up your aptitude with adequate self-study, prep, and chair flying to ensure you don’t lose any of the knowledge gained.

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