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Top 3 Flight Training Myths (PPL)

Ever since I first knew that I wanted to become a pilot my ambitions were always drowned out by well-intentioned people informing me that “learning to fly is so expensive”, “you need a degree in maths and science” or “you have to buy a plane first”. Luckily for me, my dad was a pilot so I had someone there to assure me that these were simply myths and not good reason to redirect my heart’s desires.

Over the years, I have come across these same falsehoods when it comes to flying by people, who unfortunately for them, didn’t take the time to check to see whether they were true or not. If they had then they would have seen that gaining your pilot’s licence is not as hard as everyone makes out! So allow me to shatter some of those myths that we regularly come upon when we tell people that we want to fly!

Myth #1 Learning to fly is so expensive

First of all, costs are relative. I know some people who would spend over two hundred dollars on a night out once a week, but would balk at the idea of a flight lesson costing something similar. All it takes is for you to reshuffle your priorities. If you really want to fly, cutting down your night’s out to once per month instead of every weekend could well afford you one or two hours of flight time in a plane. When I tell people that getting your Private Pilot’s Licence costs a similar amount to buying a second hand car, I see their brain start calculating and eyeing up their family’s second car. If you want the licence badly enough, you’ll find a way.

The more consistent your flight training is, the quicker you’ll gain your licence and the cheaper it will be because you won’t need to spend extra money on flight time to go over the things that you forgot since your last lesson a few weeks before. I would recommend saving some money before hand so that you have a fair few lessons booked in for only a day or two apart to build up some momentum. Begin when the weather is better. There’s nothing more frustrating than starting your training as it comes into winter and your lessons are cancelled, sometimes for months on end, due to weather. If possible, opt for 1 or 2 lessons per week rather than 1 per month. 

Here at Air-Hart, the cost for one dual hour (flying with an instructor) in the Cessna 172M (landplane) is $235. So with a minimum 45 hour (33 hours dual, 12 hours solo) requirement to gain your PPL + ground school and exam fees, you’d be looking at approximately $11,395. However, many pilots take more like 55-70 hours to gain their licence so I would suggest budgeting accordingly to avoid any surprises. 

Note: Minimum hours are quoted–individual students may require additional time. Above prices do not include tax.

Myth #2 You need a degree in maths or science

The truth is, you don’t need any advanced degrees to qualify for becoming a pilot. A basic understanding of physics and maths will help, you certainly don’t need to be a genius. A lot of learning to fly is about understanding the feel of an aeroplane, memorising processes, understanding how certain systems work (such as Air Traffic Control) and having the enthusiasm to push through some harder topics that may well be a bit of a struggle. As some subjects are more complex than others, rest assured that previous pilots have struggled through them too and that’s why, thankfully, there are lots of online resources to help and your flight school will likely have a great support network of people willing to advise, including your instructor. Just remember that pilots love to talk about flying (all of the time!), so it’s not hard to find someone who’ll happily sit down with you and talk you through a particular topic.

Myth #3 You have to buy a plane first

Thankfully this one isn’t true otherwise there’s no way I would have ever begun my flight training! The cost of hiring a plane for your flight lessons are factored into the hourly fee of each lesson. This means that the only time you’ll perhaps want to start thinking about getting your own plane (and you will!) is once you have completed your PPL flight training. For most people, buying a plane of their own is not an option. Luckily there are things called syndicates that you can join, whereby a group of people collectively own an aircraft. After requesting to join a group and being accepeted, you simply pay for the hours you fly + fuel and as a group you cover costs for aircraft maintenance, insurance and hangar fees etc. Joining a syndicate is not only a great way to continue flying and enjoying your new found skill but also to build up your hours if you’re looking to continue your training and advance towards your Commercial Pilot’s Licence (CPL).

If you’re in any doubt as to whether or not something you’ve heard is a myth or a fact when it comes to learning to fly simply reach out to us and ask! The best way to find out though is to book in for an introductory flight, this way you can get a feel for flying and see whether flying is for you (if you’re reading this, then it’s for you!) while at the same time asking your instructor any questions you might have. Get in touch with us today to book in for your first introductory flight: call 250 762 9830 or email us at info@air-hart.com. For more information on our PPL course, click here.

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Address: 1348 Water St Kelowna, BC V1Y 9P3

Tel: (250) 762-9830
Fax: (250) 762-9840
Toll-Free: 1-877-766-6699

Email: info@air-hart.com

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