The price of flight school is one of the biggest concerns among aspiring pilots. Whether you’re starting out at the private pilot level or are onto bigger licensing endeavors, like certified flight instructor or airline transport pilot, you must always consider costs compared to return on investment. If you’re trying to maximize your financial future, it’s important to weigh expenditures when it comes to training flight hours, ground school and associated materials. Let’s take a look at some ways you can optimize your budget for flight school so you can ensure a higher pay out when you land a position as a professional pilot.
Chose A Short-Term Training Path To Licensure
A large majority of schools offer something called, “accelerated flight training”, whereby you complete a licensing program much faster compared to traditional training. This is often a cost-saving approach because it reduces the high number of flight hours required to fulfill FAA requirements. Plus, rates increase over time and add up as you acquire more experience in the captain’s seat.
A Long-Term Training Path May Be Better
Although accelerated courses are the way to go for people who can afford cost and time requirements upfront, a long-term path to licensure may be appropriate for some frugal-minded students. There is no timeframe in which you absolutely need to complete the required training of a certain certification, so if you’d rather spread costs out over several months or years, that’s up to you. Done responsibly, you give yourself the opportunity to save more money to offset expenses of training and materials.
Consider Financial Assistance For Flight School
Most flight schools or universities offer financing options to help aspiring pilots cover the cost of their training. These options allow you to spread out the expenses over a longer period of time, making it more manageable. The interest rate you’ll receive will depend on several factors, including risk factors, amount of savings and current job status. There are three main loan options available to students: federal loans, private loans, and specialized aviation loans, which vary in average interest rate from 2.75 to 15 percent.
Work With A Flight School Nearby
While universities or far-off flight schools may seem appealing, the costs of tuition, housing, and transportation can quickly add up and significantly increase your overall training bill. Consider partnering with a local flight school to lower your overhead. This has become the most popular option for student pilots – even major airlines and universities have partnered with independent institutions, to receive top-notch training. By staying close to home, you can save on costs and focus your resources on flying hours and ground school for a successful career in aviation.
Seek Out Scholarships & Grants
If the program allows, there may be scholarship or grant opportunities for students to take advantage of. Some scholarships are available through organizations like Aircraft Owners & Pilots Of America (AOPA) or Women in Aviation International (WAI), for example. A highly qualified flight school should have the proper connections or resources to help you apply for training tuition assistance.
Utilize A Flight Simulator
A flight school with an in-house simulator is going to give you cost savings. The simulator allows you to complete a portion of your required flying hours in a controlled environment, which significantly lowers the expenses associated with aircraft rental. Depending on the certification, you can complete a significant portion of your flying hours in the simulator, including 2.5 hours for a private pilot certificate, 10 hours for an instrument rating, and 50 hours for a commercial certificate.
Buy Discounted Textbooks, Software & Equipment
To maximize cost savings in flight school, consider purchasing essential flight gear, such as headsets, pilot bags, and watches, at a discount. Look for older models, refurbished items and seasonal sales from online stores, or search for alternative sources of study materials such as used Pilot’s Manual textbooks, free practice tests or second-hand software like Microsoft Flight Simulator for practice outside the classroom. Carefully inspect and test all equipment before purchase to ensure its quality.
Part 61 vs. Part 141
Circling back to the long-term vs. short-term training options, your flight school will be designated as either Part 61 or Part 141. There are many differences between the two, particularly when it comes to costs. Part 141, the more structured of the two, tends to be more expensive upfront, but can be more cost-effective in the long run since it can be completed in a shorter amount of time. Part 61, the more flexible option, is normally cheaper at first, but can increase in price if you fail to pass important milestones like your written exam or checkride. Consulting your flight school and considering your individual skill set is an important step in planning your training and maximizing your budget. It is a good idea to get personalized advice to make the most of your resources.
Do you need help optimizing your flight school budget?
Let our team of professionals help you overcome budgetary issues and put yourself on a fast-track toward success as a professional pilot. We understand the concerns associated with the price of flight training and will do all that we can to help you afford this investment in your future. From financial assistance to scholarships to future opportunities in high-paying careers, we’ll provide you with a path toward success. Choose from a number of training programs, from private pilot through airline pilot and so much more, accelerated courses under Part 61 training requirements, and the most extensive fleet of aircraft in MN, and you’re sure to help your financial future by teaming up with Inflight Pilot Training.
Let our skilled instructors elevate your learning experience as you take to the skies. If you’re interested in learning more about Inflight programs, contact us now or call (952) 698-3000.