Top 5 Tips for Learning to Fly on a Budget

Light general aviation plane on final over sheeps

There are over 160,000 private pilots in the U.S. as of 2018. Are you aching to join their ranks? Are you having trouble funding your dreams of flight?

The amount of money it takes for flight school isn’t trivial. But you don’t have to go the traditional route when it comes to flying. 

Take a look at our guide for the top 5 tips for learning to fly on a budget. 

Find a Coupon

It may sound crazy, but, yes, find a coupon. Coupon sites offer introductory flight lessons for a reduced cost. 

This usually includes an hour of flying. Flying is a commitment. Learning on a budget is less, but it still takes time and money.

If you take an introductory lesson and don’t like it as much as you think, you’ll save yourself a lot! Chances are if you’re flight obsessed, the lesson will only make you want to jump in with both feet. That’s great!

Go Freelance

Find a good freelance instructor instead of flight school. Your own instructor gives you a lower price. She can also design a flight program tailored to your individual needs. 

Private instructors can work with your budget. The training is more flexible. You won’t be limited by the type of aircraft the school uses either. 

Find an instructor who flies the type of plane in which you’re interested. 

Having a hard time finding an instructor? Hang out at your local small airport. Get to know a few pilots. They’ll refer you to the right flight instructor. 

Get a Sport Pilot Certificate 

Do you want to carry passengers? Or are you looking for an awesome hobby? A Sport Pilot Certificate is the perfect solution if you’re not interested in carrying passengers. 

The Sport Pilot Certificate program restricts you to a two-seat, lightweight plane. But you’ll only need 20 hours of flight time instead of the usual 35-40 hours. 

The lighter plane you’re restricted to burns less fuel and has lower operating costs, meaning that this is a money saver. 

At-Home Ground School

There’s a lot more to flight school than flying. And passing a written FAA test is mandatory for getting your certificate. 

In flight school, you’ll learn about airplanes, Aircraft parts, and aerodynamics. You’ll cover everything from weather to navigation systems. Find online ground school courses for as little as $110.00. 

Avoid Weekend-Only Training

While you’re off during the week, you’re forgetting a lot of what you learned the previous weekend. That means wasting precious hours reviewing every weekend.

If possible, dedicate a month to solid studying and flying. 

This may mean taking a week or two off from work. But in the long run, this saves you money. 

Learning to Fly on a Budget

If you’re set on learning to fly, you can do it even if your bank account isn’t flush. Take a discount lesson first and make sure reality lives up to your dreams. 

If you’re still set on flying, find a freelance instructor for a personalized, flexible approach. Enroll in an online ground school, and study every day. 

Be serious about your studies. Don’t wait all week between lessons. Put a concentrated effort into ground school and flying. You’ll get your certificate faster saving money along the way. 

Find more great money-saving and investment ideas here! 

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