Silvering Aviation - Pricing vs. Value
THIS IS A VERY ROUGH DRAFT - CHECK BACK OFTEN AS IT IS UPDATED
Being a business operator for decades, the absolute most pressing concern that everyone has is PRICE; with the first question asked nearly always being “How much?”. I promise that by the time you finish going through this with me you will see how, ESPECIALLY in aviation, VALUE, is absolutely tantamount over price.
But is value really the most important metric in flying? I sure hope for you it’s not the most pressing metric! Shouldn’t SAFETY be the most important metric? Of course it is. Is saving five, ten, or even twenty-five dollars per hour more important to you than safety? And while talking about safety should be where we start the discussion, I know most of you will skip over that. So I will talk about it later.
But before I do that, I want to inform you on how to get THE ABSOLUTE BEST VALUE of your flight training dollar. In PRECISELY the following order, the MOST important way to get your training completed for THE LEAST COST is as follows:
The above list is very, very short, and easily and quickly read. But you have to understand that underlying each and everyone of those bullet points, is an ENORMOUS fount of exceedingly detailed information that absolutely MUST be taken to heart if you are to comprehend to even the slightest degree the ramifications of each point. Try to imagine how each of these points, if not attended to, can result in a training period protracted over months, and even years, if not heeded and thereby multiply your costs by many times.
Please note that of the major points above, in HALF of them the onus is on YOU! If you want to save yourself money in the long run, you will try to fly as frequently as possible, you will try and complete your training as quickly as possible, you will be prepared for the lessons, and you will have the requisite aptitude for flying. Notice that nowhere in the list do you see the actual price per hour for the training. Why is that? Because, even if one school has a MUCH higher price per hour than another school, in the long run it plays virtually no role in how much more you are going to be spending. Let’s say that it costs you as much as $25.00 more per hour for one flight school; if you go to a flight school with the lower cost and have to do even one extra flight to review exercises (for whatever reason - be it lack of frequency on your part, being forced to fly in a new aircraft, or having to get a new instructor up to speed) even one hour more in the aircraft is going to cost you what you saved in EIGHT flights. Now extrapolate that over many, many flights, and you will see how adhering as strictly as possible to the above list is the tantamount means to saving you money.
In the above, I said that for HALF of the points, the onus is on you. But for nearly all of them, the school will also hold the majority portion of culpability. So we will go through each of them, and see how the schools hold a tremendous amount of influence on how much it will cost you to get through your training.
1. Frequency of Flight Training
There are DOZENS of factors that play a role in the frequency of flight training you can obtain. Let’s see what a list of these factors looks like:
Listed above are just SOME of the factors that conspire to affect the frequency of flying at your disposal and the importance of flying frequently. The more frequently you fly, the less it is going to cost in the long run to complete your training. Fly a lot, and fly often!
2. Duration of Flight Training
Virtually ALL of the factors that play a role in the frequency of flight training also affect the duration of your flight training. So, add ALL of the above to the the following. But also consider that the shorter the overall duration of the flight training the fewer flights you will need, and the more you will save. Here are factors to consider in considering the duration of the flight training period:
3. Flight Instructor Continuity
After frequency of flying, and completing your training over a little a time period as possible, BY FAR THE most important factor in saving you on needless excessive flights is using the same instructor all the time. While there are SOME benefits to getting a different perspective from another instructor or two occasionally; having one instructor whom you are familiar with, and who is familiar with you is by far going to offer the greatest value.
3. Aircraft Continuity
Do NOT underestimate the importance of using the same aircraft for every training flight. Sure, when you are an experienced pilot it is not too terribly difficult to bounce from aircraft to aircraft within a given type. But as a student, the effects are highly significant. Let’s look at how each aircraft, even within a given type (ie.: make and model) is unique:
EVERY single aircraft flies differently, feels differently and is laid out differently than every other aircraft. It takes as much as five flights, and often many more, to get accustomed to all the differences in each aircraft. Jumping between the two aircraft both gets you more familiarized with each aircraft, but also slows your overall learning - particularly as an ab-initio student pilot. Sticking to one aircraft 100% optimizes your training and SAVES YOU MONEY!
5. Having a GREAT Flight Instructor
It is difficult to place, in what order, the significance of the flight instructor has. Generally, because most instructors are indeed quite good at what they do and ply their craft at a fairly good standard, those instructors are not going to play the greatest factor (good or bad) in how quickly you train. HOWEVER, a REALLY good instructor, and to an ENORMOUS extent a BAD instructor, can have more impact on how quickly you progress through your training than aircraft continuity and or instructor continuity.
6. Reputable Flight Schools
The flight school itself wields enormous influence on how much it is going to cost you to complete your license. From maintenance to policies to the training syllabus to predatory practices. There are many things a school can or will do to either help or hinder your progress which will directly affect you financially.
7. Being prepared for the lessons.
This one is almost completely on you, but there are a few things that the school can do to help you out. The more prepared you are for you flight, the more you will get out of it. Being ready and prepared on your end will be the what you have the greatest control over in ensuring you get the most out of your flight lessons second only to scheduling frequently.
This is a hard one to talk about. Almost anyone can learn to fly. But there are some who, despite their dreams, are either not cut out for it, or will simply take longer than others. Having a good flight school and instructor will do wonders in developing your abilities.
8. Flight Credits, In-House Services, Symbiotic Relationship and Future Plans
There are a lot of benefits to starting off flying Ultra-Lights in many ways. Here are a few other items to consider, our plans for In-House services, the Symbiotic Relationship and Future Plans:
8. Safety and Maintenance.
Finally we get to talking about safety and maintenance.