Flight Instruction Fees
Most flight schools (including AvSport) offer package pricing for courses leading up to a pilot's license. The lump sums advertised seldom come close to estimating your true costs. Typically, they represent the aircraft rental and flight instructor fees for the bare minimum of flight hours required by the FAA to qualify for a given license (irrespective of the individual pilot's actual skills, abilities, and needs). They tend not to include such essential and unavoidable costs as written testing fees, flight test costs, books and instructional materials, taxes, and fuel surcharges. As such, these figures should be regarded only as a starting point.Pay As You Go
In order to be on equal footing with other flight schools, AvSport initially advertised pre-solo and post-solo courses leading up to the Sport Pilot license, at a total cost "starting at $3798." We no longer cite figures this low. Realistically speaking, the aspiring Sport Pilot must consider all additional charges, and should be prepared to spend on the order of $6000 to $7000 in becoming licensed. Similarly, to gain Private Pilot privileges, one should expect to invest somewere between $9,000 and $10,000, start to finish. Fortunately, one can spread the investment over several months of training time, thus need not commit to such a large sum up front.
These costs will be relatively independent of the flight school where one plans to train, and any school that implies otherwise is probably not telling you the whole story. A properly designed flight training curriculum will be highly individualized to the personal needs of the student. Some students can master the aircraft with less training; some require a whole lot more. Like EPA estimates, your mileage will vary. AvSport doesn't cut corners; we're interested in continuing to graduate the world's safest pilots. We'd be delighted to train you at a lower cost, if possible -- but not to a lower level of competence.
AvSport's Chief Flight Instructor chooses to charge for dual instruction by the lesson, rather than by the hour. This is because lessons are personalized to the individual needs of the student, and can vary in duration. Often, the best instruction occurs during preflight and postflight briefings, as the student asks questions or requests clarification about flight activities and experiences. If the clock is running, both the student and the instructor are likely to cut short this valuable educational opportunity. Flat-rate instruction allows lessons to proceed at their own pace, enabling the student to gain maximum benefit from the flight instructor's experience and expertise.
As detailed below, the typical primary flight lesson runs about three hours, including individualized flight and ground instruction, as well as a pre-flight briefing and post-flight debriefing. Our Chief Flight Instructor's current fee is $120 US per lesson (plus applicable sales tax), which comes out to an average rate of $40 an hour. Your lesson may be longer, or shorter, depending upon your personal needs, but the instructional fee will always be the same.
In addition to individualized flight and ground instruction, you may rent our Light Sport Trainer aircraft at AvSport's reasonable hourly rates. Because fuel prices fluctuate, the aircraft rental rate is adjusted from time to time, so as to include a variable fuel surcharge, which tracks current energy costs.
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Primary Flight Instruction
The typical primary lesson lasts about three hours, including (roughly) an hour of pre-flight individualized ground instruction, one point three hours or so in the air, and seven tenths of an hour (more or less) for the student to ask questions, debrief, and review the flight. Flat-rate pricing means the student won't be financially pressured to rush through a lesson, nor will the instructor have a financial incentive to drag it out beyond its natural conclusion.Block Discounts
Of course, if the student is renting an aircraft from AvSport, the standard hourly rental rates will apply, in addition to any instructor fees. In the case of transition training, advanced training, instrument proficiency checks, or flight reviews conducted in your own aircraft, you will be billed for the flight instructor's time only, at our regular flat rate per flight lesson.
Plan ahead and save. If you prepay for ten lessons at the standard rate, the eleventh lesson is free. You can save even more by purchasing one of our standard training packages.Adjunct Flight Instructors
Our Chief Flight Instructor's schedule fills up fast. To spread the instructional load, AvSport selects and trains qualified adjunct instructors, who work as independent contractors, and set their own schedules. Our adjunct flight instructors have agreed to honor the per-lesson flat rate pricing structure established by our Chief Flight Instructor. You pay AvSport directly for both flight lessons and aircraft rental time, and AvSport pays the adjunct flight instructor. Check with the adjunct instructor about his or her schedule before reserving the aircraft online.Aircraft Rental
Once licensed, many AvSport graduates go on to purchase their own aircraft, either individually or with partners, or become members of a flying club. Others choose from time to time to rent the same plane they trained in. We encourage this, but must emphasize that scheduling priority always goes to current primary students.
Standard Training Packages:
- A Taste of Freedomtm Discovery Flight
- Gateway to the Skytm Introductory Lesson
- Flight FUNdamentalstm Mini-Course
- Up, Up, and Awaytm Pre-Solo Module
- Out On Your Owntm Post-solo Module
- The Next Step Uptm Private Pilot Add-On Module
- Pilot Downsizer tm Sport Pilot Transition Module
- Airspace Ace tm Class D/C/B Endorsement Course
Have you friends or family members who are interested in learning to fly? A Taste of Freedomtm or Gateway to the Skytm gift certificates are the perfect way to get them started along the path to becoming fully qualified pilots. We'll even take a photo of the lucky recipient in the cockpit, so you can see the sparkle in his or her eyes!
If you can drive, you can fly!
Copyright © AvSport of Lock Haven, a subsidiary of Microcomm Consulting
This page last updated 16 March 2017
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