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Training charges based only on Air time - Disadvantage

Guest Ginger

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Guest Ginger

I would appreciate any wisdom about those flying schools who charge only for air time against the relative merit of those who charge for classroom time as well.


I have attended various schools and get the impression that they want to get you into the air as soon and for as long as possible such that students end up with very imbalanced skills.


I suspect that it is just business because both the instructor and school only get paid for air time. Fair enough I suppose because we all know that you only get what you pay for. But I don't mind paying for the classroom training. I am no longer 18 and need training better suited to me.


There is not doubt of the knowledge, flying skill, airmanship or sincerity of the instructors.


So what are schools that charge for theory as well as air time like?


What would my current Instructor think, and how would he respond if I offered to pay for private "theory" lessons?


How would the school react if they knew I had done a private deal?


I have found several interstate schools that run theory courses. They quote $35 or $60 per hour but I think that is for one-on-one. I don't mind paying because it is still much cheaper than air time. It is really bad when you are in the air and given information which could easily have be provided on the ground.



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You raise a really good point.


In my case I am happy to (and I expect to) spend about 30 minutes on the ground with a student prior to flying with them (this tends to get shorter if it is a repeat of a previous lesson - eg circuits). Yes I only get paid when the engine runs so I suppose I would be better of just pushing them into the plane and flying.


What stops me doing this is professional ethics - and the knowledge that my students aren't idiots (mostly!) and that they appreciate the time spent during briefings which in turn means I have loyal customers who (hopefully) refer new customers to me.


From time to time I have to spend extra time in the classroom (outside of a theory class) which I sometimes charge for.


I doubt that many instructors would turn you away if you offered to pay a little extra for extra briefing time if you feel you need it - I think it would be money very well spent!



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Guest brentc

I got a GA instructor to come around to my place after hours and paid him $40 an hour for the privelage. I had any number of takers for after hours tuition at that price. My flying instructor didn't mind because he can make more money during the day when his aircraft was included so he would be losing money to do that for me during his core work hours.



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It's a question of separating pre-flight and post-flight briefings from formal theory sessions.


Most schools I've worked allow for roughly 2 hrs for each booking - allowing for a pre-flight brief, a pre-flight aircraft inspection, and a post-flight debrief. And, without exception, all of this is included in the flight time chargeout. I've rarely seen any diminution in this format because of commercial pressure to fly.


Of course, it's expected that the student will have read up on the lesson prior to arriving for a pre-flight brief....for obvious reasons. Unfortunately....it's often not the case !


And yes, actual flying will always take precedence over theory classes if the wx is good - and that's because instructors are lucky to fit in 4 lessons,(@ 2hrs), per day, plus time out for lunch & a short smoko. I figure that my 'duty' time averages over 2.5 hrs per 1 hr flying.


Sometimes it can be organised for several students to combine, and then a formal theory session makes good sense for everyone.





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