Once you’ve decided to learn how to fly, the first thing you’ll need to do is find a flight instructor. The one you choose can make or break your training experience, so this decision shouldn’t be taken lightly. It’s important to find an instructor who is experienced and efficient, and whose primary focus is your progress. The majority of active flight instructors are young and inexperienced and are only instructing to log the flight hours necessary to move on to other jobs like corporate or airline flying. An instructor focused only on flight hours is gaining experience at your expense and adding to the cost of your training.
To give you an example, the minimum number of hours required to complete Private pilot training is 40, but the national average is closer to twice this number. There are several reasons for this, but the primary reason is inefficient instruction. You pay by the hour in this business, so twice the hours means twice the cost! With a good instructor, a regular training schedule, and diligence on your part, there’s no reason why you should not expect to complete your training in about 50 hours.
When you’re speaking with a potential instructor, you should ask him or her several questions. How long have you been a flight instructor and how many hours have you logged teaching people how to fly? How many of your students have trained to completion and what percentage of them passed their flight test on the first attempt? Are you a career flight instructor or just building time to move on to something else?
You’ll find that most instructors have less than 1,200 hours of teaching experience, a number considered very low in our business. We have over 14,000 combined flight hours, most of which were logged teaching people how to fly! Teaching is our passion and your progress is our focus — period. If you’re interested in learning more about flying or would like to start taking lessons, please contact us today.
Dana and Meredith Holladay