Professional Pilot Training (includes ground studies)A forum for those on the steep path to that coveted professional licence. Whether studying for the written exams, training for the flight tests or building experience here's where you can hang out.
With the difference between Hobbs and tacho, 15% is about right. The instructor often gets paid by the Hobbs hour and doesn't do many billable hours per day let's not forget that the majority of students expect the instuctor to give them a lot of unbillable time, eg hanging around after their lesson or turning up early wanting to chit chat, often depriving the instructor of a rostered break. If the student wants to pay on tacho we give them that option, the price will be 15% higher because the costs are worked out at 115 billable hours per 100 maintenance hours.
If this has been previously covered, I apologise for repetition but then again it is definitely worth mentioning again for the benefit of those who may not be aware.
When factoring in costs fro modular training courses, beware of the IR.
This 55 hour course (less allowances) was always calculated on chock-to-chock time but that was stopped last year when the authorities realised that, at some FTO's the amount of actual instrument flight time flown fell short of the mark. As a result, it was mandated that the only time that could be counted was instrument time during flight and not taxy time, i.e. time in actual conditions or under the hood from take-off to DH/MDH. No big deal as far as the simulator goes but it can mean a significant extra cost on actual MEP costs.
Make sure that the IR course costs are for '15' hours of instrument time and not for '15' hours of Brakes Off-Brakes On time, which could result in you, over the course of 10 training flights, adding 2 - 2.5 hours (if not more) of MEP time to the overall costs.
My school will only take 2000.00 blocks at a time. If you can devote the time, it can be done in 5 blocks. It usually takes about half that to finish instrument. Still, they will only let you in 2000 at a time, they have been around for years. Looks like I got lucky, so far no screwing around, just good instruction!
I went to US with almost no information I could really trust, started Instrument Rating in a small school. Lots of promises, nice website, no surcharges whatsoever...
After a few weeks they started putting all prices up and the "no fuel surcharge" ad disappeared from their website. Planes always grounded or that should be on the ground... That really made me angry so I sent a letter to FAA and some other government offices. In 2 days FAA was at the school and grounded EVERY SINGLE airplane. As they walked out the door the owner put the planes back to flight but FAA decided to babysit them, showing up every 2-3 days to check their maintenance.
I ended up finishing Instrument Rating but managed to finish the training (CPL and Multi) on a neighbor airport. The guy wasn't a flight school per say but he had many planes (C152, C172, Seneca) and was an honest person (hard task to find a honest flight school there).
In the end I got my licences for a fair/reasonable price, got to fly almost 500 hours on his planes and that was a great experience!
As someone advised before: DO NOT TRUST FLIGHT SCHOOLS! but you have to take some risk, that's for sure.
Best way to avoid the tricks is to have proper funding and go to a reputable school that could get you into the airline. Any other options are very risky and there are so many tricks the schools can use that you will always be taking a huge risk. For instance, once you take up the training with one school you can't easily switch to another school unless you get CAA approval (often additional training is needed at new FTO) and it will ruin your chances of already slim employment chance. If you have 200k, plan 100k on FATPL and the rest on type rating etc. Enjoy the lifestyle. See the world. If you dont have money, dont go into aviation.
These aren't tricks so much as things to look out for:
Airline contacts Get specifics. Find out what airlines a school currently has contacts with. How many students from the school have been have been placed with those airlines recently, say, in the past 12 months. Did the school have an active role in that placement, or did the student do the legwork themselves? The school will happily give you a loads of information about students getting airline jobs from years back when finding jobs was easier, but you need something that is measurable and comparable between schools. It's not unreasonable to ask.
Pass rates Again, get specifics, relevant ones. Try to get recent statistics, say, for the past 12 months. The school will have them, whether they give them to you is another matter. Make sure you are comparing like for like though as not all schools operate in the same way. For example, it would be difficult to compare and airline style school against those that don't train that way.
Simulators IR schools make money from their simulators, and little from their aircraft. It is in the schools interest for you to spend as much time in their sim as possible, after all, they are in the business to make money. If you would rather spend more time in the aircraft, then ask to do that, but remember that a good instructor in a decent simulator is a very effective training combination.
What happens if you struggle on the course Ask the question. Find out before the course, not half way through like most students! If you have a PPL already, you will have an idea of how quickly you pick up flying skills, and how likely you are to be in this situation. IR procedures tax the brain much more than you will have been used to at PPL level.