Lowering the Cost For Sport Pilot License

There's a lot of stuff you have to do to learn to fly including the cost for Sport Pilot license. You've got to get a student certificate or a medical if you're going for a private rather than a sport. You'll need a ton of books, software, computers, plotters and charts. You've got to have a school lined up and a huge chunk of Lincolns, Jeffersons and Franklins on standby. If you've already got kids you'll probably have to let one go to cut down on expenses. Yeah, learning to fly is expensive.

So you've got the yearning to chase birds but nothing but bird poop in your wallet. What can we do...

Let's see what can be done to make this at least doable for the regular guy and keep the cost for Sport Pilot license to a minimum.

First, get all the free stuff you can. Two of the best books available on learning to fly are available free on the internet. The Airplane Flying Handbook and the Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge can be found at FAA.gov. You can also get the FARs and Airman's Information Manual there. I would recommend that you buy these books eventually because thumbing through them is easier than looking through them online. I actually have them on my phone in case I have a few minutes and can read a little. You can also buy these used online and save a bundle. The only one you need to get new is the FAR-AIM since it may change annually. When you get ready for your practical exam you can get the Practical Test Standards off of the FAA.gov site again. Remember, your examiner isn't giving you the King or Jeppesen test, he's giving you the FAA test.

Start studying for your written now. The more you know before you get in the plane with the instructor the less time, and that's paid time, the instructor will have to take to explain it to you. Keep a journal and write down all you learned and comments you have about the lesson you just had. Writing down what you should know will help you remember it next time and give you more continuity between lessons. Fly a little in your head. Going over what you should do, how you should do it and when will help you be prepared for the next lesson. You will be amazed at what a little imaginary flying will do for you. Your friends and family might get a little concerned about the airplane noises but they'll get over it.

Instead of paying for your lessons in a lump sum, budget for at least one per week, that's the minimum. The cost for sport pilot license isn't so bad a little at a time. Two or three a week is better and will cost you more per week but the more often you fly the fewer lessons you will need in the long run, saving you money. Every time you skip a week or two you have to spend time just getting back to where you were instead of moving forward.

Learning to fly takes some commitment and a few dollars but with some fortitude and planning you can get there.

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