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Learning to fly? Here are a few strategies that you can use to keep your costs under control:
Ask your instructor what maneuvers to expect during your next lesson. That way, you'll know what to review before arriving at the airport. And you can find great information from the Airplane Flying Handbook and Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge to get prepped.
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.
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!
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.
The more familiar you are with your checklist and cockpit, the quicker you can get off the ramp and in the air.
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.
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.
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?
Want another great way to save money on your flight training? Use our online courses. They have awesome quizzes built in, as well everything you need to be prepared for your next flight lesson, checkride or flight review.
Swayne is an editor at Boldmethod, commercially licensed pilot with multi-engine and instrument ratings, and a commercial aviation student at the University of North Dakota. He's the author of the articles, quizzes and lists you love to read every week. Swayne's experience ranges from international flights in a King Air F90 to ferrying a 1943 Grumman Widgeon across the country. You can reach Swayne at email@example.com, and follow his flying adventures at http://www.swaynemartin.com.