It’s no secret that learning to fly can be pretty expensive. Here are a few strategies that you can use to keep your costs low:

armchair-plane

1) Plan Your Next Lesson

If your instructor doesn’t tell you, make sure to ask him/her which maneuvers to expect during the next lesson. That way, you’ll know what to review before arriving at the airport. You can find great information via your aircraft’s pilot’s operating handbook (POH) or the Airplane Flying Handbook.

2) Study Before EVERY Flight

One of the best ways to keep your costs low is by simply studying. If you know how, when, and what to do during an instructional flight, you’ll save hours in air, potentially saving you hundreds of dollars.

3) Review Your Airplane’s Cockpit

It’s not just about knowing where things are located in the cockpit; it’s about doing it quickly! If you take more than a few seconds to find that flap switch or trim wheel, you should probably start reviewing. Take a picture of the cockpit with your smartphone. If you’re feeling ambitious, you could print out a full scale poster at Kinkos!

4) Study Your Checklists

Instead of hunting through your checklist, learn a flow to configure your aircraft properly. But don’t fly strictly from memory. Instead, always follow the flow with a checklist in hand. Spending half an hour on the ramp with a running engine does nothing for you but waste time and money. Airline pilots use flows and you can too!

5) Fly A Less Expensive Plane

Some aircraft are inherently less expensive to rent and fly. Instead of the attractive, brand new plane, try out a light sport or older airplane.

6) Watch Examples Online

There are thousands of videos on YouTube detailing every aspect of flight training. Just type in your next maneuver and watch someone explain it from the air.

7) Armchair Flying

It’s something that even airline pilots do. Before your next lesson, try out armchair flying. Sit upright in the chair as if you’re flying to mimic checklist usage, maneuvers, and other parts of your next flight. Your view might not look like this. But don’t worry, you’ll get there!

8) Fly Often

Learning to fly is an expensive activity. But if you’re dedicated and studious, you’ll have a much greater chance of finishing a certificate or rating with some extra cash. Are you ready for your next lesson?