There are many things you can do as a flight student to learn more efficiently and lower your cost of flight training. So much of learning to fly is repetition and self study, and if you are motivated to work on your own, you can save a lot of money. There are countless resources available online as well, and they can help tremendously.
5 Ways to Save Money on Flight Training:
1. Chair fly! Fly my chair?? Well,.. not quite. Chair flying is a way to learn the procedures for all of the maneuvers required for your private pilot’s license or learning a new plane. Slow flight, stalls, simulated engine out, etc. can all be simulated through chair flying.
The best way to chair fly, is to go out to the airport and sit in the plane while going through procedures and act out each maneuver. Scan your instruments, reach for the throttle and flaps and go through your procedures, and actually visualize doing the maneuvers. Do this over and over until it becomes so natural that you no longer have to think about it. You will also gain muscle memory so it becomes a flow.
Another option for when you are home, is to set up a poster of the cockpit of the aircraft you are training in, and simply sit in front of it and go through your procedures.
2.The internet! There are many online resources that are available for free. A great way to learn and visualize maneuvers is to go on YouTube and watch videos on landings, slow flight, stalls, steep turns etc. Visit our Flight Student Resources page for a list of great online sites.
3. Visualize! The more you are thinking about your training, watching videos and visualizing maneuvers, the quicker everything will sink in, and it will dramatically affect your learning curve. Visualize your landings before you go to bed at night and you will notice a dramatic improvement the next time you fly.
4. Google Earth! All new pilots feel lost during the first 20-30 hours of flight training. It takes a long time to look at a chart and know where you are. A great way to learn the terrain and airspace from your local airport and to learn to use your charts, is to pull out your area chart, and go on Google Earth to see what things look like from above! Try to find things like reporting points, mountains, lakes, roads, other airports nearby, etc. Use your chart to determine what the airspace is over these locations, and determine what altitude would be good to fly at. You also have the option to see the terrain from many different altitudes, which helps you gain that “bird’s eye perspective”.
5. Study! The more time you dedicate to self-study, the more money you will save. Be prepared for every ground lesson. If you have really studied, you should have questions for your instructor and you will get much more out of each ground lesson. You will also move quicker through your ground lessons if you have studied. It’s important to keep reviewing, and you should dedicate time to study every day. Even if it’s just 20 minutes of studying, the more you are refreshing your brain with information, the better you will learn the information and keep it in your head.
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