TIME IS MONEY - HOW TO MAXIMIZE BOTH.
The FAA requires a minimum of 40 flight hours to obtain a Private Pilot Certificate, however the national average is close to 65 flight hours. There are many factors that raise the national average of total student pilot flight hours over the FAA minimums.
Finding a good flight instructor who is an effective educator by nature is key, otherwise changing instructors mid-way through your training adds hours. In such case you are forced to adapt to a new instructor's style and procedures. This is especially important now that a pilot shortage exists and that schools are struggling to retain qualified instructors through attrition as they get swept up by the airlines.
It is also important for us to pair each client with an instructor who can match and accommodate their schedule, particularly during the busy season from mid-April to mid-September when instructor availability is at a premium. During such times it may be necessary to waitlist a student start a few to several weeks.
In addition to instructor-related factors, total training cost is also dependant on personal factors. Private and Instrument Pilots must fly an average of at least once a week in order to be able to progress with reasonable momentum. Scheduling twice a week is ideal. Students must find a pace that allows for study time and reflection, while juggling work, family, friends, and other daily stresses and forces. Those who fly less need to spend more time reviewing their material in order to avoid having to relearn procedures and skills in flight.
Bad weather and maintenance delays can also complicate scheduling. These considerations often require some flexibility to reschedule sooner than later, in order to prevent long gaps between training flights. Client psychology is another factor which varies from student to student. Personal fears of flying or of some flight tasks may take some time and experience to overcome. Student mistrust of the flying environment interferes with the ability to listen and internalize information.
The single greatest cost is in learning to land, as this is the most difficult task to master. During this stage, the student will perform countless landings in the airport traffic pattern and consequently the student will develop muscle memory, instinctive habits, and rapid decision making abilities. It is important that the client maintain a minimum once a week rhythm through this stage, and that he or she review procedures and in flight video recordings at home. Pattern work flights are shorter and easier to budget.
G R O U N D S C H O O L
You are NOT required to attend a group ground school before starting to take flight lessons. You are however recommended to obtain some lead in orientation ground training to guide your self study as you begin flight training.
At 1World Aero, this lead in orientation is performed as introductory tutorial. Group ground schools are often not well suited to replace one on one flight instruction during the start of training because group ground schools do not synchronize well with your flight training progress. We prefer to focus on teaching you what you need to know, when you need to know it, by giving an overview of the relevant material for each stage, at the outset of that stage.
Once flight training is well under way, your flight instructor must also confirm that you have studied and mastered your self study course work before the end of each stage.
Self study is dedicated to three general purposes: 1) learning inflight procedures, 2) gaining general pilot knowledge , and 3) preparing for the FAA written knowledge test.
The first self study objective of learning inflight procedures is met through use of a simulator, review of in flight recordings, and or, old fashioned "chair flying meditation" between each lesson. The second self study objective of broadening general knowledge is met by following our Private Pilot Syllabus reading assignments. Finally the third objective of preparing for the FAA written is best met by setting aside two to three weeks during which an hour and a half is dedicated daily to studying at home for the FAA Knowledge Test.
Like flight costs, ground instruction costs vary depending on how much a client’s training gets broken up. If there are long pauses in training, the instructor is forced to review what they have already taught their client in order to confirm retention.