Private Pilot License – Pre Solo Flight Training Costs

March 12, 2010

Your Pre- Solo Training is the first Part of your Private Pilot License Training. In order for you to solo you have to be instructed and be found ” COMPETENT” in the areas listed in the Student Pilot Regulations of the FAA. I Have them listed in the Private Pilot License Requirements in my other articles.Now there are 15 Aeronautical Experience areas that need to be covered and you need to be proficient at them. I am finding two different types of students have two different ideas about soloing.The Younger Student: The younger students want to get soloed as fast as possible.The Older Students: I have a lot of students who are my age or older. These students are going after their life long dream but are now in the phase of their life were they don’t want to do anything stupid. In these cases the student doesn’t really care about soloing. So I move them ahead and go through the cross country phase. I have had many older students that get to about 30 hours, I have completed almost everything with them and finally say, ” It is time to get out there on your own” At this time they go do all of their solo time. Then we come back and finish up with the flight test preparation.In Either case if the student is not ready to solo I move them forward.For the purpose of this article I just add up the cost for you to get up to that phase of your training. If you are not ready to solo I just move on to the Post Solo Requirements.If you take a look at the requirements you can see that there are 15 areas that you have to be instructed in and it has to be logged in your logbook with an instructors signature. I always tell students not to focus on the solo. You want to focus on being a safe pilot and getting your Private Pilot License done on schedule and on a budget.Now in my syllabus I have 13 Flights to cover these areas with the addition of a Spin Entries Lesson and a Review Flight. In know that spin entries are not required but years back I had a student get himself into a spin. Since then I try and show every student spin entries and recoveries.All of this training adds up to about 17 hours and 3-5 hours of ground instruction. Now you have to remember that is me. If you have a good dedicated instructor, you should be somewhere close to this. If you are at a school that is going through flight instructors left and right, you can expect having different instructors. This turns out to be more money. Once again the reason I tell people to plan things out ahead of time.I will use an aircraft rate of $120 Per hour For a C-172 and $45 for the Instructor Since that is what I charge. You will find many different rates in different areas of the countries so just use my numbers as a guide for you. I have put 1.5 hours of solo time in here since your first and second solo should be close to this. If you are not ready to solo you will pick it up later on.17 Hours Dual Instruction @ $165 Per Hour1.5 Hours Solo @ $120.00 Per Hour5 Hours Ground Instruction @ $45 Per hour ( Flight Instructor )Total Dual Instruction $2805.00Total Solo Time $180.00Total Ground Instruction $225.00TOTAL $3210.00Now you want to remember this should be close with a dedicated flight instructor and flying on a regular basis. I would suggest 4 lessons per week. If you are not ready to solo, you should ask your instructor to move you forward. Most people have problems with landings so there is no reason not to move forward with the rest of the requirements because each flight you have to land. You will get the lightbulb to come on soon or later. Many times you will find that if you stop focusing on just landings you will start to get them nice and smooth.One other thing you want to remember is you are not the only person in the world who has problems in certain areas. Most students in general have the same problems and usually it is landings. Don’t let it bother you, you have been driving a car all your life and it takes a very long time to break the habits.Soloing is a great milestone but you want to remember that your main goal is to be a safe and confident pilot. I always ask students, would you rather solo in 10 hours or would you rather be prepared to handle any emergency that came up. You are dealing with a machine and sometimes no matter how well maintained they are, they are going to break.Your goal is to “FLY THE PLANE” and handle the emergency so you can make it to happy hour.Hope to see you in the skyAirfreddy

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