You Can Fly - 2021 edition - 41

COST ANALYSIS
BY IAN J. TWOMBLY

HOW MUCH
IS TRAINING?
Cost calculations to get the most from your dollar(s)

Y

our parents used to say that anything is possible, but they probably forgot to
include the important footnote, " With time and money. "
Assuming you have the time aspect sorted and are ready to make a commitment to learning to fly, money is the next big hurdle.
If you have Googled how much learning to fly costs, you've no doubt seen a
wide array of answers, from $5,000 to $20,000 or more. It's hard to set a
budget when the range is so large. There's a reason the pricing varies
so widely, and it's not good news: No one can tell you exactly
what it's going to cost.
With very few exceptions, flight training is an
ad hoc process where the student pays per
lesson, and the course continues at his or
her pace. The FAA sets minimum
requirements, and some
schools multiply the
rate by the minimum
number of hours,
and advertise it
as the total cost.
Don't be fooled. It's
going to cost as much or as
little as it takes for you to meet
the FAA's standards.

WHY I FLY

CATHERINE CAVAGNARO

" Studying the science
of flight continually
renews my love of
mathematics. Teaching
aerobatics so that pilots
fly more safely and
confidently is rewarding.
Most of all, I love the
flying adventures my
sons and I enjoy in our
Beechcraft Bonanza. "
- Aerobatics instructor and mathematics
professor Catherine Cavagnaro

Saving money

How to keep costs down
Price sensitive? Here are five ways
to help keep down the costs of
learning to fly.
1. Study-Flying is mostly knowledge, with some hand/eye coordination thrown in. Think about the
best professional athletes you know.
They seem to be able to anticipate plays and be one step ahead.
That's from a deep knowledge of
the game. The same goes for flying.
If you fully understand what the
airplane is doing, how the air traffic
control system works, and how to
talk on the radio, your time in the
airplane will be greatly reduced.
2. Simulation-A riff on studying,
simulation is practicing flying without getting in the airplane. Studies
have shown that learning skills on a
simulator first, or even honing those
already introduced in the airplane,
can greatly reduce the time spent
training in the air. The simulator can
be as simple as a desktop PC or as
complex as a $100,000 machine at
the flight school that you would rent
by the hour. Either way, using the
technology effectively will cut your
costs significantly.
3. Fly often-Retention and repetition are key mantras of training.
Flying only once a week or twice a
month will kill your progress. If possible, carve out three times a week
where you can fly. The money will
flow out faster, but the total cost at
the end will be less.
4. Go old-New airplanes fly
pretty much the same as old airplanes. If money is a factor, don't
hesitate to find a well-maintained
older airplane. You'll learn the same
skills for a lot less money. But don't
skimp and go with something so
cheap it's not well maintained.
When the airplane spends a month
out of commission for a repair, you'll
lose progress.
5. Be sporty-Light sport aircraft
are small, fun, and-well, sporty. And
earning a sport pilot certificate in one
(see " The Ratings Game, " page 38),
while not giving you the full privileges of a private pilot certificate, will
come faster and for less money. Want
more freedom later on? You can
easily upgrade to a higher level of
certificate. Getting an early win, like
passing the exam to become a sport
pilot, can be a great motivator and
it's easier on the credit card.

FLIGHTTRAINING.AOPA.ORG  41


http://FLIGHTTRAINING.AOPA.ORG

You Can Fly - 2021 edition

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of You Can Fly - 2021 edition

Contents
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - Intro
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - Cover1
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - Cover2
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - Contents
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - 2
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - 3
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - 4
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - 5
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - 6
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - I1
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - I2
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - I3
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - I4
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - 7
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - 8
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - 9
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - 10
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - 11
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - 12
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You Can Fly - 2021 edition - H2
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You Can Fly - 2021 edition - Cover3
You Can Fly - 2021 edition - Cover4
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