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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife and I are thinking about taking flying lessons.....What should we expect to pay for ground school and for actual air time? Are all rates fairly standard or should you shop around?
 

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Shop around but also be looking for an instructor you are comfortable with. There are some very good instructors that have no people skills. Conversely there are instructors that have people skills but aren't very good teachers. Good luck to ya'll and have fun.
 

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Too Tall said it well. You will find minor differences in prices but drastic differences in instructors. My lessons were years ago and the rates today would probably shock me so I can't help you there. I had two instructors for private and instrument rating that were good and I couldn't have made a better choice. I had one instructor on a check ride that made me a nervous wreck with his lack of confidence - had I selected him for my lessons I would never have completed my instruction. Shop harder for the instructor than the price of the instruction or plane rental
 

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Rates should be similar as long as you stick with a Part 61 school. Try to find an older instructor that is doing it because they like to teach vs. someone who is building hours. Do yourself a favor and take your lessons at an airport with a control tower like Hooks. Its safer and you gain much more experience and confidence. Don't be afraid to change instructors if you don't find a good match. The good ones will let you make mistakes and allow time for you to correct them before taking over the controls.
 

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To save a bit of money and to see if you really like flying enough to justify the cost, try going the Sport Pilot route.
 

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5k a piece will get you close.
Rockhound is right about looking into the LSA. It was created to renew interest in flying. The medical certificate is waived as well with a LSA.
 

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I would disagree on the find an old instructor and not a young instructor building hours. I got my license about 4 years ago and my instructor was younger than me at 22 years old and was a wonderful teacher with a serious interest for flying. Sure you want to stay away from the instructors who are only instructing to build hours, but there are plenty of young instructors who are just as proficcient and have a burning desire to be up in the air.

Choosing your instructor is the single most important part of starting off on the right track. I would recommend trying a few instrcutors out in the first few hours or take a discovery flight at a few different airports. The right instructor will push you to finish and make you want to get up in the air.

As far as costs, if you are not too large of a person I would train out of a Cessna 152 and Wizer Airport has attractive rates but I can't recommend a good instructor out there. You might could do ground school with your wife and defray the costs. I received the minimum amount of instruction from my instructor and studied at home in order to cut costs and I was in college at the time so reading textbooks was still fresh in my skill set. I would also recommend getting a good headset, lightweight with ANR, you and your wife could buy a good set and a cheap set and whoever is training can use the good set. A good comfortable headset will make all the difference in the world listening to your instrcutor and listening to the traffic.

I would guess somewhere around 5-8k each to finish up all costs included.
 

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Many options for you to research; however, ask yourself what type of flying are you planning on doing. Recreational flying is just that.....going out to the airport on a nice Saturday afternoon and buzzing around the local area. If you and your wife are planning on flying from place to place for vacations, work, etc...I would suggest you get your private with an instrument rating. I have witnessed many times students with solid flying and decision making skills falling apart within seconds of entering clouds or instrument conditions.
 

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dash8dvr said:
Many options for you to research; however, ask yourself what type of flying are you planning on doing. Recreational flying is just that.....going out to the airport on a nice Saturday afternoon and buzzing around the local area. If you and your wife are planning on flying from place to place for vacations, work, etc...I would suggest you get your private with an instrument rating. I have witnessed many times students with solid flying and decision making skills falling apart within seconds of entering clouds or instrument conditions.
He's right. While i recommend LSA (Sport Pilot) as a quick way to get flying and a good test of your aptitude for it, if you plan on doing more than "great day" VFR, you ought be plan to keep going, all the way through Instrument

(this advice is coming from someone who couldn't afford to take more than a couple of lessons when they were young and lacks the time now that the money is available. My quick route to flying was powered parachutes, which are a hoot, but I've been long grounded by my wife.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
We will eventually use our training for business travel. Right now though, we will be just buzzing around on nice days. Basically I do not want to get wrapped up in big expenses and then find out that one or both of us do not care for it. I would go all the way through with full training in time. I am big on safety first and do not take this lightly at all. I guess it is like fishing, want to start with that center console boat and liking it before moving to the sport fisher!
 

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Had a friend years ago who went this route. Got his glider license and then an single engine airplane as an add on. Total cost was well below what he would have paid for his airplane license.
When looking for an instructor, stay away from the young guys who are impressed with themselves. When I went for my fixed wing add on to my commercial helicopter w/instrument and instructor, my first instructor spent the first 2 hours showing me how well he could fly. You are paying for a service, tell them what you expect them to do for you.
My philosophy in instructing was demonstrate once, assist twice and sit back. Your instructor won't be sitting next to you after you get your license, so make sure you learn the emergency stuff. Flying is easy, it's the things that happen while flying that are difficult.
 
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