Learn to Fly
7 day IFR Rating
I've spent too much
on flight training. I wish I knew
to reduce my overall cost. Here's what I learned...
- Don't fly
if you are not prepared for a lesson. You will get the
most bang for your bucks by being prepared. Even the best instruction
fully compensate for lack of preparation.
- Arrive on
time for your flight lesson. In fact, arrive early so you
can avoid paying your instructor to watch your pre-flight. If the
aircraft is not available prior to your scheduled lesson, review notes
from your previous lesson as well as topics for the current lesson.
- Be sure
you operate from a detailed plan of attack. In our ground
school, we'll provide this detailed plan to you as part of your
package. Before you fly, know what you're doing and how you're
going to do it. Don't waste expensive flight time learning the
maneuver for the first time.
- When you
take a solo flight, have a plan. Know what you're going to do and
how you're going to do it and then its a matter of determining if you
meet PTS standards.
session should be geared towards a set of skills, be sure there's
a plan, and follow it.
- Take a ground
school – you'll minimize expensive ground training.
Don't pay $40/hour to learn the basic aeronautical knowledge you'll get
in a ground school.
smaller airplanes if possible as larger ones cost more. Many
flight schools have 2 seaters such as the Piper Tomahawk or Cessna 152.
Stick with the same aircraft throughout your training.
- Learn your
aircraft's checklists and procedures early in your training.
You can practice these on the ground for free.
advantage of block time discounts if they are available at your flight
school. If you know you'll be doing a lot of training over a
period of time, negotiate a larger block time discount for 50 hours or
- Once you
start, don't stop. The aviation learning curve is steep enough
to merit consistent attention until you achieve your goal.
regularly. The longer the time between lessons, the more the
student forgets resulting in more time spent reviewing past
with another student to review material, observe each others flight
lessons. You can learn a great deal from observing others as they
fly. One caveat: remember you're only an observer, make comments
at your own risk.
- Learn from
your mistakes. Making mistakes is part of the process.
Asking questions is part of the process. Don't become frustrated
with the learning process…
- Perform flight maneuvers exactly as your
instructor has taught you. It’s the
quickest way to get to a checkride. Your
instructor knows what it takes to pass a checkride as most have passed
more prior to teaching you.
an honest, open dialogue with your instructor about your
Your flight instructor is an experienced professional, and will know
to help you over the roadblocks or can get the resources you need to
have been rehiring their pilots as the industry recovers. What
they have found is that pilots who have been flying during the
downturn, or who have been spending time thinking about flying (mental
visualization) are doing better in their retraining for return to
service. Use these two techniques to increase your skill.
Fly as much as your budget can allow (which will help you finish
sooner) and when you're not flying, think about it. Specifically
visualize procedures, checklists, and maneuvers.
getting the rating with another student. You can save up to 1/3
on the cost of an instrument rating. See the page: Working together on an instrument
- Consider an accelerated program such as a 7-Day Instrument Rating which can get you finished
in about a week rather than dragging it on for 6-12 months and running
up the costs.