Private License Cost

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alborzsb
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Private License Cost

Post by alborzsb » Fri Mar 01, 2019 9:05 pm

Hello Wonderful people,
I am passionate about flying and I have two engineering degrees. I live in Toronto area and because of the nature of my work I am on the road a lot. I am wondering how much it's gonna cost to get my Private License and if anyone would be able to tell me the cheapest option I highly appreciate it.
Thank you all in advance
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photofly
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Re: Private License Cost

Post by photofly » Sat Mar 02, 2019 7:54 am

Please near in mind that the cheapest place to get a PPL is unlikely to be the one with the lowest hourly rate.

Think about that.
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JasonE
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Re: Private License Cost

Post by JasonE » Sat Mar 02, 2019 3:41 pm

Renting a plane? Bank on 13-15K.
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Re: Private License Cost

Post by PilotDAR » Sat Mar 02, 2019 3:54 pm

Hello zsb,

Although a PPL is a worthy goal, think of it only as a step along the way to being a proficient pilot. Unless you own the plane (which has merit if you're really into flying), the PPL is a milestone at which you can carry passengers, otherwise by the time you reach PPL, you've been flying on your own for a while, mixing in instruction to build your skills. Even with a PPL, you have a way to go to be a "good" pilot. PPL means that you've met the minimum skill requirements, it is not the end point, nor should it be your end goal. If you are renting the plane for your PPL, it is likely that you'll be renting the plane after your PPL, at least for a while. You certainly don't want to get to the PPL, and then stop flying! So, don't think of it as an end point cost, but rather a monthly financial commitment for some time to come. If you can budget to buy a plane, even better, in the long run, it'll save you some flying instruction cost from the airplane side of things. You will have more money out, but after your PPL, you'll have a plane to fly, without rental costs. Also keep in mind that if you're renting, generally, although you can fly somewhere, you can't necessarily plan to stop and stay for a while, as, for the most part, airplane rental companies want their aircraft in the air producing rental income, rather than parked while you have lunch, and visit with your cousin.

So, my advice is to make a plan which is larger than just a PPL, and see how your budget will handle it. Most flying schools post their rates on their website, or certainly when you visit, and they may provide minimum costs, but don't aim to be a minimum pilot!
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Re: Private License Cost

Post by ekg » Sun Mar 03, 2019 5:58 am

Realistically minimum would be 16k over 1 - 1.5 years. I did my PPL in southern Ontario. It took two years and cost 25k (all expenses + tax incl). YMMV. Try to find a school where there is good availability for both aircraft and instructors. If you can fly more frequently it will take you less time and cost less overall.
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Re: Private License Cost

Post by Bede » Sun Mar 03, 2019 6:58 am

A big factor for training cost is the time waiting to take off, get to the practice area and return (you pay by the hour once the engine starts). For a busy airport, this may be up to 40 minutes. If you do a 30 minute lesson, over half your time is somewhat wasted. (In realty, it's not quite that simple because you are hopefully learning something navigating to the practice area, but you get my point). For that reason, I would avoid any school in the GTAA/Oshawa/Kitchener area. I'd be looking at a place like Stratford, Barrie, or Brantford. You'll also likely get better instructor availability
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photofly
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Re: Private License Cost

Post by photofly » Sun Mar 03, 2019 7:27 am

Yep. That’s right. The monetary cost of a PPL is only about geography and calendaring. Silly me.

The average number of hours at the time of a flight test (not even at the time of receiving a licence) for a PPL for the years 2010-2016 was 71.7 hours.
Given that TC will give you a PPL with 45 hours in your logbook, the average student took 60% longer than the government required, and spent about 60% more money. if I was interested in an economical way to get a PPL I'd be studying hard to find which flight schools have solid data that their students are qualifying in fewer hours. Not airy-fairy hand-waving answers, but solid, recorded, numbers.

I'd also be asking hard questions about what's taking an additional 26 hours to reach the required standard, and what the school is doing to improve on that figure.

I don't believe it has anything to do with where their practice areas are, or aren't.

Oh, and remember, that 71.7 hours is an average. Given a reasonably symmetrical distribution, that means half take even longer.
Which half are you going to be in?
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Last edited by photofly on Sun Mar 03, 2019 11:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Private License Cost

Post by youhavecontrol » Sun Mar 03, 2019 11:39 am

I agree with what everyone else has written here. Geography, season, flight school logistics, airport and airspace can be huge factors in the price of your training. I'll add another thing, and for me it's a huge thing... If you want it to be done as affordable as possible you need to dedicate as much time as you can to study and practice and treat it as much as possible as a full-time course. It's perhaps the greatest factor in the affordability and practicality of flight training, at least in my experience.

I've flown many, many lessons with part-time students where we've basically spent half the lesson kicking-off the rust from the two weeks of not flying previously. Nothing wrong with that if you're training for fun, but that extra time to re-learn and remember things can really add up.
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Re: Private License Cost

Post by Big Pistons Forever » Sun Mar 03, 2019 11:56 am

I am coming up on 30 years of flying instruction both full and part time. IMO the cost and more importantly the quality of a PPL training is mainly determined by 2 factors

1) The ability of the Instructor, and

2) The amount of preparatory work the student puts in.

I am amazed at how many students grouse and moan about their instructor but don't do anything about it. You are the customer you don't have to put up with a bad instructor.

So what should you expect from your instructor:

- He/she is on time for your lesson
- Before you get in the airplane you should know what you are going to be doing during the flight and if it is something you have never seen before you will have had an explanation in a ground briefing.
-You will do almost all the manipulation of the controls with the instructor only flying to demonstrate a maneuver or taking over if you are doing something that will reduce flight safety margins
-You get feedback on how you are doing throughout the lesson with practical advice on how to do better
-Your instructor never yells at you or makes demeaning, derogatory or sarcastic remarks.
-Your instructor offers positive encouragement but also pushes you to do the best you can and won't accept mediocre knowledge or skill demonstrations.
-Every lessons concludes with a debrief of what went well and what you need to improve along with a homework assignment for the next lesson

So what your Instructor should expect from you

-You commit to a regular schedule of flying training. The more frequently you fly the less skill fade between lessons and the less remedial instruction required
-You show up on time and ready to learn ( ie not hung over, fatigued, or with your mind somewhere else)
-You have done your homework. This means the readings or exercises assigned and ideally a written list of questions on items you do not understand
-You actively listen and proactively participate in all briefings
-You accept constructive criticism and don't constantly argue or be defense when interacting with your instructor
-You work to do the best you can not just to achieve the minimum level
-You accept the responsibility of the importance of flying safely and he awesome responsibility you will have for the lives of your passengers when you are licensed

The above will have a far greater impact on both how good a pilot you become as well as the total cost of your license.

The Bottom line a motivated student with a good instructor will spend less at a school with the highest hourly rate over an unmotivated student with a poor instructor at the school with the "cheapest" hourly rate.
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fasterisbest
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Re: Private License Cost

Post by fasterisbest » Sun Mar 03, 2019 3:10 pm

You can check out out of province schools such as Harv's Air in Stienbach, MB if you have some time off and want to focus solely on flying every day. I did my PPL there in 35 days. I arrived studied for the PPL written and wrote 3/4 of the way through my training. Not saying doing a PPL in 35 days is the right way to go. It can be quite overwhelming when if you don't have time to process the previous lesson and your already back in the plane again. Just saying it can be done if you want to go hard at it. There are also lots of schools in the GTA. Plane rental and instructor availability can be a challenge (as can winter weather). You can also do ground school online too if finding a class the meets your schedule is a problem. Full list of prices should be on each schools website. 15K would be a good average number. Also, just because Transport Canada has set a 45 hour minimum on the PPL doesn't mean you are going to get it in 45 hours. I have met people who took 80 hours. Length/hours depend on your dexterity and motor skills and how well you can take instructions and turn them into actions. If you are good with your hands and feet, somewhat intelligent, and focused, expect to complete your PPL closer to the minimums. If not, expect a PPL to take longer. P.S. The comment by Big Pistons Forever is a really good one.
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AP26
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Re: Private License Cost

Post by AP26 » Mon Mar 04, 2019 6:11 am

I just completed mine and I was around 12k all in, including all the tests, fees, membership fees, gear, etc. Did it at Brampton.

I completed my PPL with 28 dual, 15 solo and 5 instrument. So if your training requires you to go beyond that hours wise, then obviously it will be more.
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Earthboundmisfit
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Re: Private License Cost

Post by Earthboundmisfit » Wed Mar 06, 2019 11:22 pm

Bede wrote:
Sun Mar 03, 2019 6:58 am
A big factor for training cost is the time waiting to take off, get to the practice area and return (you pay by the hour once the engine starts). For a busy airport, this may be up to 40 minutes. If you do a 30 minute lesson, over half your time is somewhat wasted. (In realty, it's not quite that simple because you are hopefully learning something navigating to the practice area, but you get my point). For that reason, I would avoid any school in the GTAA/Oshawa/Kitchener area. I'd be looking at a place like Stratford, Barrie, or Brantford. You'll also likely get better instructor availability
I disagree with this. You suggest driving to Barrie and suggest a 30 minute lesson. (A 30 minute lesson??) You have to put a value on your time (and gas). I'm in the GTA and there's no chance I'd drive to Barrie or Stratford to save a few minutes on the ground. For me, I'm at 30 hours (and about $7k, btw) all at DFC in Oshawa. I usually schedule 8am lessons because that time works best for me. In those 30 hours, less than 15 minutes TOTAL have been spent waiting to takeoff, probably less than 10 in total. I could likely count on the fingers of one hand the number times I've had to wait at all. Sure if you go at a peak time it might be different, but that's a schedule issue more more than a location issue. I've had about a third of my lessons in the afternoon and it's not that different, there might occasionally be one ahead of me. If you're close to one of those you suggested sure, go for it, but I'm not going to double or triple my commute time to save a few minutes. Especially since DFC has the best rates in the GTA.
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Re: Private License Cost

Post by xysn » Thu Mar 14, 2019 1:04 pm

youhavecontrol wrote:
Sun Mar 03, 2019 11:39 am
I've flown many, many lessons with part-time students where we've basically spent half the lesson kicking-off the rust from the two weeks of not flying previously. Nothing wrong with that if you're training for fun, but that extra time to re-learn and remember things can really add up.
This was me, and I spent several years and 20K before I got licensed. And so my advice for the "cheapest" amount in $ training is to pick a good school, show up prepared, study a lot, and fly as much as your job allows. You might even consider taking a a few months off of work or at least working 3 or 4 days a week to maximize flying time. (Depending how much money you make at work of course).
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Bede
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Re: Private License Cost

Post by Bede » Fri Mar 15, 2019 7:27 am

Earthboundmisfit wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 11:22 pm
Bede wrote:
Sun Mar 03, 2019 6:58 am
A big factor for training cost is the time waiting to take off, get to the practice area and return (you pay by the hour once the engine starts). For a busy airport, this may be up to 40 minutes. If you do a 30 minute lesson, over half your time is somewhat wasted. (In realty, it's not quite that simple because you are hopefully learning something navigating to the practice area, but you get my point). For that reason, I would avoid any school in the GTAA/Oshawa/Kitchener area. I'd be looking at a place like Stratford, Barrie, or Brantford. You'll also likely get better instructor availability
I disagree with this. You suggest driving to Barrie and suggest a 30 minute lesson. (A 30 minute lesson??) You have to put a value on your time (and gas). I'm in the GTA and there's no chance I'd drive to Barrie or Stratford to save a few minutes on the ground. For me, I'm at 30 hours (and about $7k, btw) all at DFC in Oshawa. I usually schedule 8am lessons because that time works best for me. In those 30 hours, less than 15 minutes TOTAL have been spent waiting to takeoff, probably less than 10 in total. I could likely count on the fingers of one hand the number times I've had to wait at all. Sure if you go at a peak time it might be different, but that's a schedule issue more more than a location issue. I've had about a third of my lessons in the afternoon and it's not that different, there might occasionally be one ahead of me. If you're close to one of those you suggested sure, go for it, but I'm not going to double or triple my commute time to save a few minutes. Especially since DFC has the best rates in the GTA.
You read me wrong. Im not suggesting a 30 minute flight. What I’m saying is that if you are spending all of your time taxiing and flying to the practice area, you will only have 30 minutes to actually do the planned lesson.

I’ve done most of my instructing in small areas. I can’t remember the last student that I had that had more than 60 hours. Maybe it’s me, but I don’t think so. I just can’t see any other variables why most students take so much more time than mine.

I recently did a PPL from 0-flight test on floats. We had to work to get to 35 hours for the flight test. Granted, we was a sharp young student, but still. Take off, climb up and 3 minutes later you’re doing you upper air work over the lake that you just departed from. The minutes add up. (Also, long cross countries and most instrument work was done after the flight test).

If you can fly out of. Busy center and get done in 60 hrs, all the power to you.
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Re: Private License Cost

Post by CanadianBird » Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:24 pm

Find an Instructor you like, Prep for your flights, Fly Often.

Finished mine in October. Took 9 months, and a shade under 13k.
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Re: Private License Cost

Post by PilotDAR » Sat Mar 16, 2019 6:55 am

Bede's point is valid. If you're willing to accept the cost of transit time to and from the training area, that's perfectly fine, it is loggable flying time, though it's low value as training time. Sure, every pilot needs a little straight and level, but really, that's what your cross country flights are for. Once licensed, there will be lots of opportunity for "enroute" flying, so get the extra time in during your training, for the most airwork you can - those are the skills which go stale, and for whatever reason, do not seem to be the focus of post PPL practice.

Yeah the outlying GTA airports are a bit more of a drive from mid town Toronto, but the plane is costing you more per mile than your car is. If you have to drive further, you'll make better out of your time at the airport. Go for the day, book a couple of lessons with some study time, and chatting with outer pilots in the mean time.

When I was a student at BFC back in the '70's, I'd hang around the airport all day. I'd help move planes, I'd pump gas, I'd wash planes, I'd chat with pilots, and I'd get the occasional ride in something unusual. The networking I did there, and peripheral learning was as valuable to my later aviation career as the direct flying instruction I received. If you're going to go to the airport, fly your lesson, and leave, you've wasted a portion of your trip, you were there, and there were other things to learn which you passed up.

Learning to fly is not like yoga, there are many associated things to learn from many sources, and so much to learn beyond what the basic curriculum requires. Learn the minimums of you are content with that, but allow yourself more opportunity to take in more, by being where it's happening. And, generally, that peripheral learning is little to no cost!

I speak from experience, post PPL, and with a little experience, and a lot of respect, because you're known around the airport, new opportunities will present themselves, which transient pilots will just never know....
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Re: Private License Cost

Post by Daigo » Fri Mar 29, 2019 4:14 pm

Everyone here has a great point that you will most likely spend more than the min amount of hours

However... There is a fairly new alternative to this. If you're looking for the most cost effective method to train and are willing to travel out west there's a flight school that GURANTEES you a license with a FIXED cost so you won't have to worry about them pushing you around or being held up in taxi for 40 mins ect ect...

https://www.flyokotoks.ca/
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Re: Private License Cost

Post by Oldguystrtn2fly » Fri Mar 29, 2019 6:26 pm

Daigo wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 4:14 pm
Everyone here has a great point that you will most likely spend more than the min amount of hours

However... There is a fairly new alternative to this. If you're looking for the most cost effective method to train and are willing to travel out west there's a flight school that GURANTEES you a license with a FIXED cost so you won't have to worry about them pushing you around or being held up in taxi for 40 mins ect ect...

https://www.flyokotoks.ca/
Guarantee with the asterisk about some conditions apply....the entire website seems bush league to me...
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Re: Private License Cost

Post by PilotDAR » Sat Mar 30, 2019 6:05 am

Hmm... I'd approach the flyokotoks offer with caution. I like the idea of being trained in a Maule, that's worth going out of your way for! But the three payments probably means paying ahead for services, which is never a good idea in those amounts. And, the old rule, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. It's one thing (and really honourable) for a flying school to offer additional training for free if your skills are found to be lacking, that's just the staff time. But, offering many hours of aircraft operation for free, as a part of a guarantee, is a little worrisome - it simply costs money to operate aircraft. A well run business cannot make a profit giving things away. You want to learn to fly at a well run business.

No matter what someone promises you, some people take more time than others to master the required skills, and there are a few people who should just never be pilots. Generally, they know who they are, but I've met a couple in cockpits. It's okay if you need an extra 20 hours or so to master the required skills, some people do. What alarms me is a flying school who will train to the tests, and let out PPLs with the absolute minimum skills. Understand that the Transport Canada minimums are really minimum, in terms of what you should know to fly safely, if with a fresh PPL, you buy a plane, and self dispatch. Yes, that person may have a PPL, and be legal, but the peripheral skills which are vital for safe flying may be lacking or absent. I have flown with PPL's and post PPL experience, who, in my opinion, should not be unsupervised solo yet.

So, learn with a school who will be honest with you about your skills and progress. No one will think the less of you if you need "more than average" training to become competent. People may think less of you if you progress only at the minimums, and never acknowledge or attempt to build more skill. In aviation, more skill = more time = more money - sorry, that's just the way it is....
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