Training Modules Explained
A prospective student asks:
I am completely confused by the avsport.org website. The website lists:
Accomplish your first solo flight for only $2500
*** Under the webpage for "Up, Up, and Away," it says it is $2500 and sounds like you get your sport license at the end (provided you can competently operate the aircraft).
Become a fully licensed Sport Pilot for just $5000
*** Under the webapge for "Out On Your Own," it says it is just $2500
Both suggest that at the end, you will be able to pass your FAA Sport Pilot License....
What is the difference between the two and why would I do one over the other -- or do I need to do both? And how much does the second one actually cost?
Confused in PA
Our Chief Flight Instructor responds:
I'm sorry about the confusion. I have been working to clean up the language on my website! Meanwhile, let me see if I can explain this more clearly.
I have divided the Sport Pilot curriculum into two modules, Pre-Solo and Post-Solo. To become a fully licensed Sport Pilot, you need to complete both (plus a written test and a flight test -- more about which later). The cost for each of the two modules is $2500, for a total cost of $5000 (plus taxes, and FAA testing fees, over which we have no control). The pre-solo module includes all required books and materials, and the post-solo module includes slightly more flight hours.
I think the confusion stems from the definition of "solo flight." Your first flight alone in the airplane is a significant milestone toward becoming a pilot. It is a rite of passage to be celebrated with your fellow aviators, but it does not make you a fully qualified pilot! Upon successful completion of the Pre-Solo module, you will be fully qualified to take off, fly around the traffic pattern, and land safely, as the sole occupant of the aircraft. You will have accomplished your first supervised solo flight, be what I like to call an airplane driver, and will be fully prepared to pass your FAA written exam (all of the study materials for that are included in the training package).
To qualify for the Post-Solo module, you will need to have completed the Pre-Solo module, flown your first supervised solo flight, and passed your FAA written exam. At that point, we start working on advanced techniques: navigation, weather, planning, flight by reference to instruments, and cross-country flying. Upon completion of the Post Solo module, you will have satisfied all of the requirements to take the FAA flight test, and be fully qualified to act as Pilot In Command of a light sport aircraft. In other words, that course takes you from airplane driver to pilot. Only after you pass the FAA checkride will you be allowed to carry a passenger.
Please note that the quoted rates are our discounted pricing for those pre-paying for each module. If you pay by the lesson, fees will be about 10% higher. Also, please note that the prices assume the FAA's minimum required flight hours and experience. Most students desire (and many require) additional training beyond government minimums. A student completing one of the prepaid modules with me, who then feels he or she needs additional training, will receive priority scheduling at our affordable pay-as-you-go prices, until we both feel confident that the student is ready for the next step. As a realistic cost estimate, the average student should expect to spend somewhere between $5000 and $6000 becoming a licensed Sport Pilot.
Licensed Sport Pilots desiring to continue on to the Private Pilot license can elect to complete a third set of training modules, constituting our Next Step Up add-on course, at a substantial discount. The Private Pilot add-on course is priced at $2500, the same cost as the Pre-Solo an Post-Solo courses. Realistically, one should expect to budget on the order of $3000 to upgrade from Sport Pilot to Private Pilot.
If you can drive, you can fly!
Copyright © AvSport of Lock Haven, a subsidiary of Microcomm Consulting
This page last updated 7 July 2014
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