Real Answers from Real Pilots


(Kevin mitchell) #1


I’ve read many posts and figured y’all could answer this best. Son has 30 hours, solo’d at 27. Only a few cross-country hrs so far. With ATP requirements of min 78 hrs, we’re considering biting the bullet ($8k so far) and enrolling him from the beginning. He’s been at it since August but weather (rained every thurs-sat since Oct) and his part time work schedule are definitely hurting any continuity. Thoughts? We contacted Eric at ATP and he could get started 2/23, a mile from our house. Appreciate any insight offered!

(Sergey Kireyev) #2

I came in with a touch over 40 hours and having soloed a couple of different airplanes. I am not unique in that and found it helpful to get on step faster as an ATP student.

(Peter Banning) #3

What kind of plane has he been flying? $8K seems really steep for only 30 hours of flight time.



I have to be honest, 27 hours is a lot to solo, I feel like most solos occur more around the 15-18 hour mark. Also, $8,000 for thirty hours of flight time (I understand ground school charges as well) sounds really high.

Whatever you decide to do, I would give a real serious thought to leaving that school and finding another.




While 27 is high for solo, I can understand if he started in August and was delayed (1 step forward 2 back). Totally your call but I’d bite the bullet and start him from scratch. The hours are his and will count towards the magic 1500. ATP’s training program is time tested and they’ll get him before he develops any bad habits he has to unlearn. If he wasn’t sure if he wanted to make this a career or about training with ATP then I’d say maybe stick it out but if he’s planning on enrolling anyway I’d cut my losses and start again on the right foot.


(Tory) #6


Doesn’t sound like the most ideal return on investment. Weather is weather, but the whole part time training situation he has isn’t helping either. At this rate you’re looking at spending $15k by the time it’s all said and done. ATP worked for us, but he’ll have to quit his job. It’s a full time commitment.

What is your son’s current school’s hourly rate?


(Jordan Lascomb) #7

I don’t think 27 is too high. 30 was the standard at my ATP location (IWA) when I instructed, and when I was a student, I soloed at 85 (granted, I got my private and instrument rating at 100 hours). It really depends on the layout of the training program. That being said, I think that few of hours in such a large time span is worrisome. If he had consolidated the hours, he probably could’ve soloed in half that time. I’d say start from scratch with ATP rather than waste more time trying to finish up at a local school. Could take more time than it’s worth. Good luck!

(Kevin mitchell) #8


(Kevin mitchell) #9
  1. 30 hours air and over 50 ground.

(Kevin mitchell) #10

Thanks. We’re cutting. He had 30 air and about 50 ground.

(Kevin mitchell) #11

He was paying $217/hr, which included plane, gas, instructor and insurance. He also had about 50 hrs ground.

(Kevin mitchell) #12

Thanks. We’re cutting and moving on.



I would encourage your son to join the discussion on this website. There is a lot of good information on here that he could really benefit from.


(Kevin mitchell) #14

I have shared everything with him. He’s been busy with finishing work, studying shepherds air and prepping for his exams.

(Tory) #15


Not that it matters now. Sounds like you’ve already made up your mind. I just want to say $217 for a 172 is a steep rate. I’m not comfortable with the fact that the school was charging you for insurance either. Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think that’s the norm.


(Jordan K Zeller) #16
For private pilot finish-up, ATP charges $205/hr, which makes $217 not look too bad.



No it’s not unheard of but ATP is not your local flight school and that’s outside of the normal curriculum. $12hr may not sound like much but get up to 100hrs and it’s an extra $1200. Further the bigger issue is the lack of consistency which is why this young man is $8k in the whole with little to show for it.


(Tory) #18

I should have specified, it’s steep for a LOCAL flight school to be charging. For those rates I hope he was training in at least a 172S or 172SP.


(Kevin mitchell) #19

Thanks. We figured it was gonna be another $15k or so to get to the magic 78 hours so he’s doing the inaugural flight Monday then hopefully starting on 2/25 here.

(Kevin mitchell) #20

Tory sorry if I confused you. The rate included everything; instructor, gas, insurance and of course plane!