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How to pay for flying lessons?

13 years 8 months ago - 13 years 7 months ago #921 by admin
Like many of you, I am a member of AOPA, but unlike most of you I still receiveFLIGHT TRAINING magazine. When I got my pilot??s license five years ago I asked to switch over to AOPA??s PILOT magazine instead. Needlessto say, wires keep getting crossed, and I keep getting FLIGHT TRAINING.

Resigned to that fact, I??ve decided to mainly stick to reading the letters to one of my favorite aviation authors, Rod Machado. In the July 2010 issue and interesting question was raised by a high school student trying to get his wings. The question to Rod, and his answer appear below:

Dear Rod:
I'm in high school and trying to find a way to help earn money for flight training. I recall that you wrote about this in one of your previous columns. Could you remind me how someone in my position can make some money to fly? Thank you, Jason

Greetings Jason:
OK, here are a few ideas that you might find useful.

An easy and quick way to make some money is to purchase smoke alarms and batteries in bulk, then sell them door to door. If each unit and its battery cost $7, you can mark this up 100 percent, which includes installation. It wouldn't be unusual for someone to ask you to install five or even 10 of these units in their home, and it wouldn't take more than 30 minutes to do this. Then you can service the batteries on these units every six months for a reasonable fee. What a deal. I know of one young man who made several hundred dollars the first weekend he did this, and he didn't even have to leave his neighborhood.

But wait, there's more. A few pilots on my Facebook site had their own recommendations:

Cathy Mighell suggested that you make inexpensive chocks from 4-by-4s, dip them in paint, and stencil individual aircraft numbers on them. These cost pennies to make and a set could sell for $20.

Tim Busch had a number of great ideas. He reminds us that many kids have learned a variety of things they can be paid to teach: school tutoring, music, martial arts, et cetera. Tim suggested that you can also collect old computers for free, upgrade them, then sell them for a nice profit. Additional ideas from Tim include buying and rebuilding garage-sale bikes for a reasonable profit or signing up as a credit card agent. This allows you to make a small cut on each transaction (many nickels and pennies can make a small fortune).

Mitch Cohen offered the idea of painting house addresses on sidewalks for a small fee. Stencils and spray paint are a cheap investment for the money made and the time invested. Mitch suggests that this would be an easy sell, since it enhances the homeowners' safety by helping the police or fire department find them in an emergency.

Excerpted from Rod Machado??s ??Since You Asked?? column in
AOPA ??s FLIGHT TRAINING ?? July 2010 - page 14

When I first started learning to fly, I was determined that such a seemingly frivolous activity should be paid for outside of my normal take home pay from my 9-5 job, and for the most part I succeeded. In the early 2000??s eBay was still young, so I ended up selling information products on CD. That worked out pretty well. However, this whole conversation got me thinking that many of you probably have great ideas of your own. So, I encourage you to post your ideas here in the forums.

Who knows, your ideas might just help a budding pilot literally "earn" their wings.

Flying an aeroplane with only a single propeller to keep you in the air. Can you imagine that?

— Captain Picard, from 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' episode 'Booby Trap.'
Last edit: 13 years 7 months ago by admin.

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12 years 10 months ago #1054 by haiqu
One way to save heaps is to buy package training deals. Paying for ad hoc hours is a very expensive way to learn to fly, as I found out the hard way.

Many flying schools also discount their hours if you can fly midweek, as their main customer base is working and wants to fly on weekends.

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12 years 10 months ago #1055 by haiqu
Here's another way to save: Only do the minimum hours needed to get to solo, then fly your own airplane for the solo hours. Since you're only paying for gas, ground school and occasional supervision and review the costs are much cheaper.

If you can fly ultralights even dual instruction is cheaper, often by up to $100/hr in Australia, and the hours count 1:1 against gaining a full license (vs an ultralight "pilot's certificate").

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12 years 10 months ago - 12 years 10 months ago #1056 by haiqu
Training may be cheaper in other counties than your home country. Many pilot trainees go to India or the Phillipines to do commercial training as a complete course.

In Australia, training in New Zealand is a viable and cheaper option. The bonus is you also get to live in a new country for a while and see the sights ... from the air!

The only small downside is that it can take CASA months to issue a license conversion when you return.
Last edit: 12 years 10 months ago by haiqu.

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