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Patrick_Krueger

Getting Private Pilots License on a Tight Budget.

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I am currently a college student and I want to get a private pilots license before trying for a pilot slot with the ANG (since it will speed up the training process, and increase my likelihood of selection). However, due to my families recent financial situation, I will have to do it with my own money (which is lacking being the stereotypical college student). This summer I will have an Internship that will pay me a decent amount. If anyone has any tips on how to get a license on the budget of a college student, it would be very welcome!

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You might get a discounted hourly rate if you manage to get a job at a flight school/FBO.

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36 minutes ago, Majestik Møøse said:

What has your research on the subject turned up so far?

 

there is one place near my house that would cost approximately $6500 to get a license. However, I have real questions about the quality of maintenance performed on their planes.

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1 minute ago, mb1685 said:

You might get a discounted hourly rate if you manage to get a job at a flight school/FBO.

Clever, haven't considered that!

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I'd recommend the following:

  • Knowing all your ground info before you start your training. You can use the FAA PHAK as a free source
  • Flying as often as possible (5+ times a week if you can)
  • Some (most?) FBO's will give you ~5-10% discount if you prepay

Good luck!

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The cost will depend on your performance and learning curve as well.  Plan between 6-10k.  Closer to the bottom number if you study early, and on your own, which will allow you and your CFI to focus on mostly flying.  Remember, that guy/gal is on the clock when you show up at the flight school and continues getting paid until you walk out.  With that in mind, come up with a plan to minimize your dependence on said CFI outside of the airplane.  Most of all, enjoy yourself and learn as much as you can along the way.  It’s a blast!  Good luck dude!

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1) Make your lessons count.  Know what you need to know, know the maneuvers, youtube them before you go. Getting you license in 40 is possible, but not easy.  

2) Start when you have enough money to finish. If you string it out over a long time, you will need more hours.

3) Know your knowledge, if you ace the oral the DPE might overlook some flying issues. 

4) Look at someplace that charges based on tach time instead of Hobbs. This can save up to 50% in pattern work - which will be a large part of your private ticket.  Look for flying clubs that might offer this.

5) Compare apples to apples -- if one place quotes 10k and another 6k, one might just be more realistic than the other.  How much does an hour of flight cost? Dual? Ground? When do you start paying for the flight instructor for a flight (ie flight time is when they get paid or when they show is when they get paid)?  Tach/Hobbs?

6) Look at getting a glider license first and then adding on aircraft.  Depending on your area and how quick you can switch to powered it _may_ be cheaper. 

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Prioritize your finances to allow for consistent training (at least 2-3 flights per week). Any less of a rate and you’ll spend more time and money over the course of getting your license. Look into student loans specifically for flying if you’re not generating enough money with a side job, internship, etc. I’d say $7-8k should be about right, +/- depending on where you live. 

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All super good advice and I want to double up on a couple. I worked at an FBO and was able to get discounts and even some free flights under the guise of something else that the chief pilot logged for me. 

The biggest one is the pre-study and very solid grasp of the “control and performance” concept. Once you understand that if you set up the airplane to do a certain maneuver via specific power setting/bank angle/etc, you can make much smaller and better corrections to fly more precisely. I can’t tell you how many students I had as a CFI and AF IP that treat every maneuver as a surprise and are constantly fighting the airplane to do what they want. 

Last piece of advice is you can do odd jobs for lessons, as well. I epoxy’d the garage of a local Chief Pilot and ended up getting 5 hours of instruction in a King Air out of it. Similar stories on helping do roof repairs, yard work, etc.

Good luck!

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I'll add one thing for the near term- if you can spare about $100, go do an intro to flying flight from one of the schools you're looking at. Usually about an hour, just to make sure it's something you really want to do. Or have a buddy take you flying. Either way, just get up in the air.

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk

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44 minutes ago, jazzdude said:

I'll add one thing for the near term- if you can spare about $100, go do an intro to flying flight from one of the schools you're looking at. Usually about an hour, just to make sure it's something you really want to do. Or have a buddy take you flying. Either way, just get up in the air.

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
 

I know I enjoy flying since I got a ride in an old T-6 Texan and loved ever minute of it! That is very solid advice for sure though.

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3 hours ago, PrivateFighterPilotLicense said:

And chair fly the s*** out of every lesson before and after so you don't have to revisit topics and waste time in the air plane. 

Good idea as well, don't spend money on things I can do on Microsoft Flight Sim

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4 hours ago, Danger41 said:

All super good advice and I want to double up on a couple. I worked at an FBO and was able to get discounts and even some free flights under the guise of something else that the chief pilot logged for me. 

The biggest one is the pre-study and very solid grasp of the “control and performance” concept. Once you understand that if you set up the airplane to do a certain maneuver via specific power setting/bank angle/etc, you can make much smaller and better corrections to fly more precisely. I can’t tell you how many students I had as a CFI and AF IP that treat every maneuver as a surprise and are constantly fighting the airplane to do what they want. 

Last piece of advice is you can do odd jobs for lessons, as well. I epoxy’d the garage of a local Chief Pilot and ended up getting 5 hours of instruction in a King Air out of it. Similar stories on helping do roof repairs, yard work, etc.

Good luck!

Yeah that sounds like a solid plan too, I can surely trade some elbow grease for flight lessons!

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5 hours ago, brabus said:

Prioritize your finances to allow for consistent training (at least 2-3 flights per week). Any less of a rate and you’ll spend more time and money over the course of getting your license. Look into student loans specifically for flying if you’re not generating enough money with a side job, internship, etc. I’d say $7-8k should be about right, +/- depending on where you live. 

Yeah since I will probably be working a 9-5 M-F internship. So I can spend my Saturdays and Sundays flying!

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5 hours ago, Danger41 said:

All super good advice and I want to double up on a couple. I worked at an FBO and was able to get discounts and even some free flights under the guise of something else that the chief pilot logged for me. 

The biggest one is the pre-study and very solid grasp of the “control and performance” concept. Once you understand that if you set up the airplane to do a certain maneuver via specific power setting/bank angle/etc, you can make much smaller and better corrections to fly more precisely. I can’t tell you how many students I had as a CFI and AF IP that treat every maneuver as a surprise and are constantly fighting the airplane to do what they want. 

Last piece of advice is you can do odd jobs for lessons, as well. I epoxy’d the garage of a local Chief Pilot and ended up getting 5 hours of instruction in a King Air out of it. Similar stories on helping do roof repairs, yard work, etc.

Good luck!

You got pre-private flight training in a King Air?? Jealous

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5 hours ago, ayz33 said:

You got pre-private flight training in a King Air?? Jealous

That was for commercial, but the other stuff was for PPL.

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Get a feel for a few schools and chat with a couple instructors at those schools. You’re purchasing a product, and you want to find a structure that works for you and primary instructor who is genuinely interested in your success. After chatting with a few CFIs, I’d be surprised if you don’t find somebody who offers some instruction off the clock (let them offer; it is not the norm or expectation).

Remember that the school’s incentives may or may not align with your goals. Talk to other student pilots about their experience and who the best instructors are. Pick somebody with whom you find it easy to communicate. Ask a technical question about airplanes. Ask them a question about aviation history or regulations. Ask them a question about an aviation career.  If you don’t actually feel more educated than when the conversation started, try again with somewhere/somebody else.

Finally, there are a lot of douchebag CFIs out there who will unashamedly lie to you or make ridiculous claims of their abilities.  Don’t feed them. The really great ones won’t have to tell you about how great they are.

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Posted (edited)

I know that 6k -10k sounds like a lot and it undoubtedly is for a college kid, I was there. If you are serious though about going through with the ANG and accept nothing less than a pilot slot don't worry about the cost, take out more loans *dreaded* but if thats what it takes. Get it done and bite the bullet no matter what or how you have to do it. Last I saw something like 125k for training on the outside to get you where you'll be after UPT. 

Edited by Zoom22
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On 3/26/2019 at 10:40 PM, Patrick_Krueger said:

I am currently a college student and I want to get a private pilots license before trying for a pilot slot with the ANG (since it will speed up the training process, and increase my likelihood of selection). However, due to my families recent financial situation, I will have to do it with my own money (which is lacking being the stereotypical college student). This summer I will have an Internship that will pay me a decent amount. If anyone has any tips on how to get a license on the budget of a college student, it would be very welcome!

It’s hard to help online. Go to a meeting at your local EAA chapter. Pitch in on chapter events, and people will get to know you. Solid mil and civ folks will pour out of the woodworks to help you. That doesn’t mean you get free training, but  local people that know you on a personal level will be able to help, and you might stumble into a sweet deal.

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On March 27, 2019 at 12:27 PM, Patrick_Krueger said:

Yeah since I will probably be working a 9-5 M-F internship. So I can spend my Saturdays and Sundays flying!

You can't fly 1830-1930 on weekdays in the summertime if an IP is available?

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On 3/30/2019 at 9:38 AM, HeloDude said:

You can't fly 1830-1930 on weekdays in the summertime if an IP is available?

I probably could, fair point. Although it's also likely the flight school will be closed.

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On 3/29/2019 at 6:10 AM, Zoom22 said:

I know that 6k -10k sounds like a lot and it undoubtedly is for a college kid, I was there. If you are serious though about going through with the ANG and accept nothing less than a pilot slot don't worry about the cost, take out more loans *dreaded* but if thats what it takes. Get it done and bite the bullet no matter what or how you have to do it. Last I saw something like 125k for training on the outside to get you where you'll be after UPT. 

whew Nellie, when contrasted with more than 125 grand, 6 thousand sounds like chump change. Although I think I found a way based on some old stocks I have that I can afford it through clever budgeting, I just have to be careful.

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16 hours ago, Patrick_Krueger said:

I probably could, fair point. Although it's also likely the flight school will be closed.

Have you talked to any flight schools? They're open when students are available. How else would you get your night portion done? A large portion of my flight training was done after  1830 on a weekday in the summer.

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