Best bang for your buck during Flight Training – Pt. 4
In parts 1 through 3 of this ongoing series to save money in your flight training we examined how you can save a ton of money by simple things like buying in bulk, keeping it simple as regards equipment, and even simple things like chair flying and just generally studying your butt off. – In this article we will examine another important avenue: Flying More Often.
Now, keep in mind that any and all tips in these sections can also be applied at any point in your flying career. These are particularly helpful during training, but the information applies just the same if you have thousands of hours!
I am also going to go ahead and acknowledge the fact that today’s tip may not be applicable to everyone unfortunately. – I know it was not for me during my primary flight training.
During my primary flight training money was so tight and inconsistent that there was simply no way for me to fly frequently. In fact I did the exact opposite, which was to fly whenever I could, which resulted in long breaks and gaps at times and the end result of actually spending much MORE money in the long run. But for me it was either that or not fly at all.
But back on topic. Consider some basic numbers. Lets say, round figures, the total cost of 40 hours of flight instruction in a Cessna 150 will end up costing you $6,000 (not including supplies and fees for tests). The more frequent your flights are the less down time there will be between them and therefore the less time will be spent having to remember what you have previously learned.
So much about flying and being a pilot is about proficiency. (Remember, there is a difference between being legally “current”, and being proficient.) Even as a fully licensed pilot the longer you go between flights the more time you are going to have to spend limbering up and knocking the rust off your skills. But even more so as a student when everything is still relatively new. Things are not second nature yet and therefore require significant focus. The longer you have gone since your last flight, the longer it will take to get back in the groove of what you have already learned, therefore effectively taking away time from learning new skills.
Really think about that. Every minute that you have to spend reviewing and relearning previously learned skills is time and money being spent twice. Now that is not to say that practice and review are not necessary, because it absolutely is! But what I am talking about is unnecessary excess.
Imagine you learned steep turns. Lets say you spent an hour learning and practicing your steep turns. Then you don’t go flying for another 2 months. Can you rightly say that you will be able to get in the airplane and perform that newly learned steep turns maneuver just as good, or even better than you did the last time? Chances are for most of us, no. So that means for your next lesson you spend the first part re-learning and practicing that maneuver. Lets say you spend 20 minutes on it before moving on to a new item. But if you had instead only waited perhaps a few days, that review time may have been instead only 5 minutes! You see, you just paid for 15 extra minutes worth of time as well as subtracted 15 minutes from learning something new. And that adds up if it happens a lot.
So again, I realize that this is not always possible for students on a shoestring budget to make this happen. But IF you can, by all means do! And the same goes for pilots at any stage. The more you fly, the cheaper it will end up being over time, AND the more proficient and confident you will be in the cockpit.
Check out parts 1-3 in this series as well!
Stay with us for more posts like this. I will be posting again about some more helpful tips that will help you save money while you fly!