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How many lessons should/can you take in one day?

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How many lessons should/can you take in one day?

Old 21st Aug 2015, 18:07
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C15
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How many lessons should/can you take in one day?

Hi all,

I've decided to start training for a private pilot license and was just wondering how many lessons it would be feasible to take in one day?

I ask because I will be travelling for work to the U.S. and will have a couple of days free time before I head back to the UK.

It's a lot cheaper to fly there and I thought it would also be nice to have the experience of flying in a different country. I've only had my initial "trial" lesson in the UK but is it feasible to take lessons for 3-5 hours a day over the course of 2 days?

Or would I just be confusing myself at this beginning stage?
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Old 21st Aug 2015, 20:36
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I took a weeks leave at a time to try and keep training consistent. Managed to do 3x 1 to 1.5 hr lessons a day. The 3rd would always be a judgement call because with the ground school and then flying, it can knacker you out quite quickly.
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Old 21st Aug 2015, 20:42
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Depends on you and your preparation, fitness, mental capacity.

I find most can handle 2, only 30% of students can do 3 and actually make progress.
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Old 21st Aug 2015, 21:09
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Thanks,

Would it be better to space them out? 2 x 1 hour lessons in the morning and then an hour lesson in the late afternoon? To give me time to read/rest before going back.

P.S. I'm 28, quite fit (play sports regularly/go to the gym) & think I can handle 3 hours but not sure if 5 hours in one day is doable.

The flying school I called said 5 hours is "normal" but obviously they would say that?
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Old 21st Aug 2015, 22:03
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I would reckon on two 1-hour lessons a day, at-least early on. You'll need a mental elbow room around those lessons, and also there is briefing and debriefing time needed, and especially when you get into navigation subjects quite a lot of personal preparation.

Of course, you can fly more, but I don't think you'll learn more that way - just spend more money.

G
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Old 21st Aug 2015, 22:34
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Yes. 2x 1 hour flights a day is ideal, max 3, only on the odd occasion.

First, check that the school you fly with in the USA is approved by EASA, or the training you do there won't count towards a Licence issued in the UK.

Will this be just a one-off 2 days, or a regular thing?

The reason I ask is that, although doing the first 5 hours in the USA, then the rest back home should work fine, alternating back and forth between two schools will not be practical.

Also, post 9/11, there are lots of Security, and Visa hoops before you will be allowed to train in the USA, and most of them will need to be jumped through before you travel there. Any US School training foreign nationals will be able to help and advise on this.


MJ

Last edited by Mach Jump; 21st Aug 2015 at 22:48.
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Old 21st Aug 2015, 23:10
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2 x 2 Hour Slots

There is a whole bunch of overhead burned up in start, taxi, pre-takeoff checks, waiting to takeoff, transit to practice area followed by the whole thing in reverse. Yes, you do have to learn all that lot properly, but it's all repeated every time you fly.

A longer slot gets you proportionately more time on the lesson material and can get you through the syllabus more efficiently with less total expenditure.

The most prolonged and costly method is flying a single hour once a week.
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Old 21st Aug 2015, 23:26
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Originally Posted by Mach Jump View Post

First, check that the school you fly with in the USA is approved by EASA, or the training you do there won't count towards a Licence issued in the UK.

Will this be just a one-off 2 days, or a regular thing?
It'll be a one-off two-day trip, in effect my introduction to the basics.

I don't think there are any EASA-approved schools in Tampa, Florida but even so, I'm hoping to gain some early experience so I wouldn't be that bothered about it not counting towards the minimum 45 hours needed in the UK, which probably will end up being ~55 hours anyway.
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Old 21st Aug 2015, 23:57
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A longer slot gets you proportionately more time on the lesson material and can get you through the syllabus more efficiently with less total expenditure.
A European lesson is exactly that, by extending it you do not cover more of the syllabus, you simply spend more time on that lesson and you have the same number of lessons to do so it can't be more efficient. A student can only absorb about 40 minutes worth of teaching in one lesson so prolonged lessons achieve very little. Two a day with a reasonable break in between is about right. There is a saying, fast to learn, fast to forget!
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Old 24th Aug 2015, 00:52
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by extending it you do not cover more of the syllabus, you simply spend more time on that lesson and you have the same number of lessons to do so it can't be more efficient
Sorry if this sounds like a silly question, but if I do manage to find an EASA-approved school, I can't just ask for 2 lessons back-to-back?
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Old 24th Aug 2015, 08:38
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You can, but they'll probably refuse if they're being professional.

Human beings just don't learn that continuously and intensively - I didn't, you won't, nor just about anybody else. You need to be fresh enough to learn at the time, and you need time for briefing and debriefing - not to mention for it all to sink in between lessons.

More advanced students may go up to 3-4 hours per day: I occasionally did when doing my CPL, but I had 1000ish hours at that point. Somebody with less than 100 hours, as well as a fair bit of flying recency, in my experience, just can't absorb the learning beyond a couple of hours, separated, per day. They can fly - but anything past about 45 minutes airborne per lesson is mostly just wasted money on an inexperienced pilot.

G
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Old 24th Aug 2015, 13:23
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I'm a PPL student and when I got 15~16 hours under me I doubled up on my Saturday lessons to get me over the Solo flight; one in the morning and one in the afternoon.
The thinking here was to condense the time between pre-solo lessons (efato - go around - SaSAaA - circuit improvement) to embed these learning points and to double up the good weather opportunities where the CFI and myself were comfortable that the time was right for me to go solo.

After 5 double (solo on the 4th) Saturdays I've now cancelled the remainder of my "double" appointments and retreated back to a single lesson per day for reasons of cost and attention span. I simply didn't feel I was get the right amount of learning for the cost of the 2nd hour on some of the days. "Human Performance and Limitations".

It can be annoying when you have 2 to 3 of weeks break between lessons due to clash of availability etc. but these breaks serve a financial purpose for me as well.
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Old 24th Aug 2015, 19:50
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CAA guidance is a maximum of 4hrs training for a student in any one day. Our operations manual also contains this same limit.

As a new pilot you reach saturation point and after that you are burning money with little advancement.
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Old 24th Aug 2015, 22:29
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I would agree on 2 lessons maximum.
Although I sometimes have a number (sometimes >5) of students to fly I would find it difficult to fly with the same student 3 times and still give value for money - I also need time to reflect on their performance.
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Old 25th Aug 2015, 02:49
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Not being in EASA land, my opinion is that a longer slot allows extra time to work on the lesson. If the student demonstrates immediate competence, then why not introduce the next lesson?

In the more normal case, a student may profit from the opportunity to use a few more opportunities to complete the lesson to a higher standard and build confidence.
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Old 25th Aug 2015, 09:44
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I'm curious why being outside EASA would make students, in your view, more capable of absorbing information?

EASA has many faults, but I've not yet noticed them forcing student pilots to have frontal lobotomies.

Unless that means that they did me first? Oh dear !

G
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Old 25th Aug 2015, 12:04
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Unless you can get at least some 10-15 hours out of your trip, I wouldn't bother - you will come back to UK, start with new instructor, new plane, new circuit/aerodrome/airspace procedures, you will essentially be back to square one and those few hours you got in US will not matter much. Now of course any flying you can get will work in your favor one way or another, but I'm afraid the value for money will not be there...

as for doing multiple lessons a day - I guess I'm a total wimp, I never took more than one lesson a day, I found it a bit too much even when I was doing a lesson a day few days in a row - I had to combine training with full time job and my head was wrecked after 3rd or 4th day. There's lot's to take away from each lesson, you need your cool down time, you need to do some reading and prepare yourself for the next lesson. The thing is - most people can learn to fly around the circuit in two or three days if they have to, but you're not just preparing for solo circuit - you have to see the bigger picture - you have to develop reflexes and habits that someday will save you from big trouble and you can only develop these properties if you take you take time between lessons
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Old 25th Aug 2015, 13:13
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I had to combine training with full time job and my head was wrecked after 3rd or 4th day
Me too and I couldn't do more than 2-3 training flights per week.

A 2 lesson per day (early morning / late afternoon) should be no problem, if you can self-study, or even take a short nap during the day.

Actually 2 flights per day (with proper briefing and de-briefing) was the normal training speed behind the Iron Curtain for the pre-military flight training, for many decades until the late 80's - worked OK.
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Old 25th Aug 2015, 15:11
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Two, maybe three if you're taking it well.

The early hours demand a very high level of mental focus that is surprisingly physically tiring.
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Old 26th Aug 2015, 09:14
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Hmmm

Depending where you are flying I also found the heat and humidity in the States debilitating (Northern states not so bad).

I would suggest 2 x 1.5 hour sessions is plenty especially including the pre-brief and de-brief.

and don't forget to make your 'Midfield' call now y'all.................

Arc
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