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Q: Cheapest Worldwide Pilot Training ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   4 Comments )
Subject: Cheapest Worldwide Pilot Training
Category: Sports and Recreation > Training
Asked by: deltaromeo5-ga
List Price: $60.00
Posted: 08 Jul 2002 13:00 PDT
Expires: 07 Aug 2002 13:00 PDT
Question ID: 37634
I am a U.S. citizen currently working in the computer industry, and
I'm looking for a temporary change of career: I'm interested in
working as a flight instructor (CFI) as a fun job for a few years
before I get back into computers. Becoming a CFI is an expensive
process in the U.S. I'd have to first obtain a Private Pilot's
license, then an instrument rating, then a commercial license, and
then finally the CFI rating. The total number of hours required for
these ratings is about 300, and the low-end of the price scale in my
area is about $120 per hour (including the instructor's fees and
airplane rental). That comes out to well over $30,000, and I don't
have that much money burning a hole in my pocket.

(Note: I'm not interested in an airline career, which would require an
additional license, the ATP.)

I've discovered that getting my training abroad is a much cheaper
alternative, depending on the country. Factors include the local
economy (i.e., general cost of anything), local demand for pilots
(e.g., Australia is only developed on its coast, so people prefer to
fly across the outback rather than drive through it), and the exchange
rate against the U.S. dollar (USD). I've done some searching and found
options for pilot training in New Zealand, Australia and Canada which
are in the ballpark of USD 15,000-20,000.

To my knowledge, converting a foreign pilot's license to a U.S. one is
not a difficult process, so having a foreign license is not a problem.
I speak English fluently, as well as some Italian, German and
Serbo-Croatian. I'm able to pick languages up reasonably quickly, so
training in a non-English-speaking country is likely not a problem
either. In other words, I don't think I have any real restrictions in
terms of where I can study. My only restriction is that I'd like to
complete my training within a one-year timeframe, so that I can return
to the U.S. and work as a CFI; this rules out "aviation colleges" with
two- to four-year degree programs, such as Embry-Riddle, etc.

So my question is: Given that I'm willing to travel almost anywhere in
the world, what are my cheapest options for getting Commercial,
Instrument, and CFI licenses? Researcher beware, the answer to this
question will require a few hours of research incorporating a variety
of sources. I hope the background information and example countries
I've provided serve as a sufficient basis to start from.

Thanks in advance for your time and effort!
Subject: Re: Cheapest Worldwide Pilot Training
Answered By: inquisitive-ga on 08 Jul 2002 21:41 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello deltaromeo5,

Good question and neat handle! As the wife of a private pilot I find
your question an interesting one.

First I would like to address your reservation with training in the
U.S. While you may be able to save a few thousand dollars by training
in another country, you do need to take into account the cost of
relocating to that country for a year's time, the hassle of getting a
visa or other permission, the hassle and expense of converting your
license, the cost of living in the location which you select, etc. You
might also be surprised to learn that people from all across Europe
and Japan actually come to train in the U.S. because they find it
cheaper here and value the level of instruction, the good weather for
flying (at least in locations like California and Florida), etc. It
may also make it easier to find work as a CFI in the U.S. if you train
here and make the necessary connections ;-)

As spitfire-ga mentioned in his/her comment, flight time in the U.S.
does not need to cost you $120 per hour. There are many airports which
charge from $50-$70 per hour for the plane and $25 per hour for the
instructor (which you do not need for many of those 300 hours), which
comes out to much less than the $120 you mentioned. A few examples
include: ($95US per hour) (app. $75US
per hour - located in Canada)

Since air time is the biggest price eater, I'd like to mention a few
alternatives for reducing the costs of logging air time:

1) Logging Time in Motus Flight Simulator (just approved by FAA in
January 2002). Can be used for up to 20 Hours toward instrument
certificate, 2.5 Hours toward private rating, and 50 Hours toward
commercial certificate. It is currently available at several locations
in the U.S. and sure to be available more widely in the near future.

2) Split time with another pilot in training can greatly reduce costs.
Check with the flight school which you select for training, as well as
Internet bulletin boards and classified ads for people looking to
split time. You can also cut costs by joining a flying club. This can
be especially cost-effective for the flight time you need to
accumulate for your commercial license.

3) Fly with a safety pilot. This is accepted practice in the U.S. but
isn't acceptable for commercial certification in all countries.

4) Train for your lessons at home with a self-paced book, video, or
computer course. Almost 1/3rd of your training cost (esp. for private
pilot) is eaten up in ground school. If you prepare for your lessons
at home you should be able to eliminate a lot of ground instruction
time and cost.

Here are some more suggestions for building flight time from (not all will be useful to you, but some might work):

The Costs/Time of converting your foreign license to a U.S. license:
You may convert an unrestricted license from any International Civil
Aviation Organization (ICAO) member country to FAA after successfully
completing a sufficient amount of training to demonstrate proficiency
(may take from 3-12 hours per certification due to variations in U.S.
regulations and procedures), the FAA written exams, and an FAA
Practical Test. You can find additional information at and a list of ICAO member countries at

There are also quite a few U.S. pilot training programs which come in
under $30,000 (depending upon the air time you need to complete your
training, which can vary from person to person).
One such program is administered by American Flying Adventures based
in Clearwater, Fl:

Here is their estimate of cost for training from zero flight
time/training to a commercial license: "Overall costs for above
program are about $ 22,000.-- including all aircraft rental, fuel,
instructions and books. There is a possibility for a more economical
solution when you are studying with a fellow student during the whole
program. In this case costs can be reduced to about $ 18,000.--. Exam
fee, accommodations and other expenses are not included."

The above fee includes training for both single and multi-engine
commercial. CFI will cost you about an additional $2600.
Another program is offered by Shenandoah Flight Services in Virginia
which claims to offer a complete professional pilot course (which
includes even more certifications than you need) for $25,495. The Web
site isn't overly informative and doesn't make it clear if this
includes the necessary flight time required to move from private
pilots license to commercial.

OK - Now that I have presented some economical U.S. options, here are
some inexpensive flight training options in other countries.

Several sources claim that South Africa is one of the most inexpensive
countries in which to receive pilot training, primarily due to the low
exchange rate between the South African Rand and the Dollar. According
to Flight Schools South Africa, the typical cost (may be higher or
lower depending upon flight school) is $17580US for Private&Commercial
License. This price includes six weeks of accommodation which is
something to factor in assuming that you are currently paying for your

Schon Air Limited offers training rates as low as approximately $51US
per hour including plane, fuel and instructor.

Great flying weather year-round and Griffon Aviation Cypress Ltd
claims that "training for your PPL can be as much as 40% cheaper than
the equivalent course in Europe." They do offer hour-building
discounts which aren't posted, but considering the exchange rate
between Cyprus pounds and U.S. dollars (in the neighborhood of 1 -
1.7) they don't look like the best training deal going.

Air Consult in Turkey offers PPL/CPL/Instrument for about $23,000US in
a program that takes between 9-30 months to compete. It sounds as if
you motivated enough you could do it in less than a year.
I've omitted programs in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand as you
indicated that you had already found alternatives in those countries.

On a final note, as you compare programs and finalize your selection,
it is important to keep in mind that most pricing is based on best
case scenarios, peak student performance, inexpensive aircraft, and
FAA minimum requirements. Many people require more than this minimum
to complete their training. I understand that saving money is a
priority, but please be sure that you are fully comfortable with the
program and the level of training you have received.

Search terms used:
"inexpensive flight training"
"inexpensive pilot training"
africa flight training
worldwide flight training
commercial pilot training
aviation training

I hope this helps to answer your question. If there is something I
haven't answered fully, please don't hesitate to ask for further

Best of luck with your flying!


Clarification of Answer by inquisitive-ga on 08 Jul 2002 22:11 PDT
Hello again,

According to Dunkirk Aviation near Buffalo, NY you can convert a
commercial pilot's license to a U.S. one. "First, you need to obtain a
U.S. private pilot license from the FSDO as described above.  In
general, for each advanced rating (i.e. multiengine rating, commercial
single engine, commercial multiengine, CFI, ATP, etc.) the regulations
require a minimum of 3 hours of training with a flight instructor and
then a practical (oral and flight) test...Keep in mind that the 3 hour
value is a minimum; most students require significantly more
instruction (in the neighborhood of 10-12 hours of flight training due
to variations caused by applicable U.S. regulations and standardized
U.S. procedures, particularly with instrument flying).  And, since
there is an oral portion to the practical test, you will also need to
have ground instruction."

More can be learned from an article titled "U.S. Pilot Certificates
Issued on the Basis of Foreign Pilot Certificates Per FAR 61.75" -
Western Pacific Region Flight Standards Division. "The holder of a
U.S. pilot certificate issued under FAR 61.75 can qualify and be
tested for additional ratings by complying with all of the U.S.
certification requirements for that particular rating. These
additional ratings will be added to the holders certificate with a
notation in parenthesis, "US Test Passed"."

I just wanted to further clarify that it can/will take a good bit of
work to convert an advanced commercial or instructors license from one
country to another. Like the other commenters, I would still strongly
considering spending some time looking into U.S. options instead.


Request for Answer Clarification by deltaromeo5-ga on 10 Jul 2002 17:36 PDT
Hi again,

Thanks very much, inquisitive, for your detailed answer. Thanks also
to spitfire and weisstho for the additional information and
encouragement. I was quite surprised to get an answer to my question
from people in aviation -- the background information I gave was
targeted obviously at a researcher unfamiliar with the field. But I
have to ask for a bit of clarification.

One important bit of personal information is that I live in San
Francisco. This has a couple consequences. One is that I'm surrounded
by a very busy airspace: three international airports, two military
airfields and a handful of regional airports all within a fifty mile
radius. The complexity of the airspace means that I'd need to spend
more time in the air to get my licenses. The second consequence is
that I'm subject to the Bay Area's extremely inflated cost-of-living.
This means that I not only have to pay my own high rent each month,
but that I also have to pay my flight instructor's inflated fees
because of his or her personal expenses... So training in my local
area is perhaps more prohibitively expensive than you might have

Another piece of personal info is that I'm married, and my wife also
works. So neither of us would be particularly enthusiastic about
relocating to rural Ohio for a year, despite the advantages for my
training. We'd much prefer to travel to a foreign country, where my
wife could get some enjoyment from traveling, than be isolated and
bored for a year (pardon my prejudices -- I'm a city boy), even if
that means diminished financial savings.

So, to make a long story short, I'm strictly interested in foreign
options. Besides Pakistan (haha!). I'd like to know particularly
whether there are any popular destinations for American students. I
get the impression that South Africa, Australia and to some extent New
Zealand are popular, but are there others that are ICAO members?

You mention doing ground school alone, with a book, rather than paying
for classroom time. One flight instructor I spoke to at KSQL (San
Carlos, CA) also recommended this. Is this done in other countries? If
I were to enroll in a program in South Africa, for example, would this
be a possibility? Or is this type of activity only done when studying
with a smaller club, that would not be eligible to issue a student

Also, there's some conflicting information here about what ratings I
can and can't convert. If converting foreign CPL and CFI ratings are
more trouble than it's worth, are there any alternatives that still
let me take advantage of the cheap flight time in another country? I'm
imagining something like getting PPL and instrument ratings abroad,
and racking up my 250 hrs of flight time, and then coming back to the
States to get my CPL and CFI ratings. Is something like that possible?
Legal, with respect to FARs? Common? Worth it? In that scenario, given
that I wouldn't strictly be a "student" the whole time, would I again
have visa issues? I guess I'm trying to ask, generally, what do people
do in this case?

Regarding unrestricted airspace being conducive to study: obviously my
area has very restricted airspace. Also, I'd suspect that most of
Europe has fairly restricted airspace due to the density of population
and international borders. But is this an issue in a place like

Finally, are there aviation community websites, newsgroups and mailing
lists I should know about, besides the ones mentioned here?

Anyway, thanks again for your help. I very much appreciate the time
you put into this -- it will have a very direct, positive effect on
several years of my life!

Warm regards from Hot-as-Hell California,

Clarification of Answer by inquisitive-ga on 11 Jul 2002 12:34 PDT
Hello again deltaromeo,

Sounds like quite an interesting plan! I have to say that I would
disagree about rural America being boring...I wouldn't mind spending a
year exploring Arizona or WV, but then I'm not a city girl either. And
given the option, I wouldn't object to the chance to spend a year

Hmmm... you could try Alaska or Hawaii for a little adventure:

Anderson Aviation offers Private Pilot instruction for $4490 (minimum
training and minimum of 4 weeks to complete) and Commercial Pilot
(includes Instrument rating and all 250 training hours) for $18790.
They also offer several flight instructor options.

Take Flight Alaska, located in Anchorage, offers Private Pilot
instruction for $4,262.95. They note on their Web site that this
includes training above the FAA required minimum, but is more
representative of the average number of training hours that students
need to achieve their PPL. Instrument Rating is offered for $5,129.95
and Commercial Rating is offered for $11,704.95. It looks from their
schedule like these courses include most of the cross-country and
other flying time required, but not all so you may have some
additional flying time to take into account here as well.

I also looked into the U.S. Virgin Islands but, according to this
article from AVWeb, outrageous fuel costs make flying a bit pricey:

Your plan to obtain your PPL and Instrument Rating and rack up 250
hours of experience overseas sounds like an excellent option. At the
very least I would probably return to the U.S. to obtain the CFI. The
commercial license is a little more iffy. You will need to keep in
mind that a commercial license in another country may have different
requirements than in the U.S. (i.e. Australia only requires 150 hours
of flight time, as compared to 250 in the U.S.). South African
requirements also aren't as strict. It looks like a conversion from a
foreign CPL to an American one can be done, but you will have to take
a written and flying exam here and also meet any other requirements
which vary between the countries. It shouldn't take too much
additional time, but will add to your expense to do things twice. Read
the initial clarification I posted for more sources on this topic.

My best suggestion would be to contact the Western Region FSDO (Flight
Standards District Office) at or your
local flight school of choice (the one where you plan to do your
license conversion) for exact details. You may also want to purchase a
current FAR/AIM (Federal Aviation Rules/Airman's Information Manual
for more information on the requirements to convert to your desired
certificate or rating.


Australia isn't a place often chosen by American pilots for training
to my knowlege (it is pretty far away and not much cheaper than
America), but they do welcome a lot of international trainees from
other countries so it would be a neat experience (and probably a lot
of fun for you and your wife). I found two locations in Australia for
you for reference:

The Australian College of Aviation
Located in Melbourne, the ACA offers a 35-week Commercial Pilot's
Course which includes the PPL and Commercial License for AUD $ 40 700
(Including GST and all service fees). This equates to about $22,000
US. The flying requirements are less than in the US and the commercial
only allows you to fly under VFR. The instrument rating is offered
separately and isn't required for commercial in Australia. You will
need it for your CPL/CFI in the U.S., however, as well as to keep you
from being so limited in your flying, of course! I have emailed the
head of the school to clarify the process for transferring various
Australian licenses to the U.S. and will post when I receive said

Another good option is Basair Australia located at Bankstown Airport
in Sydney. They offer a complete commercial course as well. Here is
the link to general information for international students
( The page
includes a link to email for full course information. You should also
check out their main page. The Web site is full of interesting

South Africa is another location with a lot of international students,
as I mentioned in my previous answer. Spend some time exploring the
locations on the Web site I provided. It includes a lot of information
on what life is like in the area. The following article from AVWeb
also provides a neat perspective on what it is like to fly in South

Here is another flight school in South Africa. They offer a JAA
Modular course which might prove of use to you since JAA is even more
strict than U.S. certification in most areas. The class will help you
to use what is normally free hour-building time to meet certification
requirements that are tougher than those of South Africa.

Spain appears to be one of the cheapest locations in Europe. Here are
two flight schools/clubs:

Malaga Aero club

Aero Madrid

For other ideas you should also bounce your ideas off of other pilots
who may have trained overseas themselves. Most American pilots appear
to stay in the U.S. for training, but European, Indian and other
pilots do train outside their home country quite often. Some ideas for
sites to visit:

PilotWeb Forums (there is even a current thread for hours building in

Landings - list of worldwide flight schools. They also have several
very active forums.

Aviation Aspirations
Information on how to choose a flight school or training course
anywhere in the world. Also includes excellent information on how
training programs/requirements vary from country to country and other
useful info. Spend some time here!

As far as traveling and studying abroad goes, I hope the following Web
sites will be of some help/interest:

U.S. State Department
Services and information for Americans traveling abroad

The Handbook
Cultural differences, health & nutrition, safety & security,
legalities, passports, visas, costs...

Travel Warnings & Consular Information Sheets
Available for each country from the U.S. State Department - required

I hope this helps you further with your quest. I wish you and your
wife all the best and happy flying!


Clarification of Answer by inquisitive-ga on 12 Jul 2002 00:45 PDT
Hi deltaromeo,

As promised, here is the answer to the email I sent to the Australian
College of Aviation:

"The process for converting an Australian Commercial Pilot Licence to
a US licence is not too difficult. If your friend was to return to the
US he/she would need to pass a local aviation medical and undertake a
flight rules exam and flight test in order to convert their licence."

I wouldn't count on it being quite as easy as he makes it sounds,
however, as from what I can see they don't require as many hours as
the U.S.

Oh yes, I also meant to address your question about training at home
in lieu of ground school. I can't really speak to whether that is
possible in other countries, but as long as they don't require a
certain number of hours spent in ground school, I think that passing
the test is the primary requirement, no matter how you acquire the
knowledge. Please keep in mind, however, that when you return to the
U.S. you will have to take the test here as well and some of the
knowledge will be U.S. specific - requiring even more study time from
you. Once you narrow down your flight schools, I would create a list
of questions about transfering your license, studying at home, etc.
and send it to each one.

Good luck!

deltaromeo5-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Inquisitive provided a very timely and expert answer to my question on
the topic of flight lessons. My question was complicated and somewhat
open-ended, and she directed me to a number of authoritative and
informative sources to help me make a big decision.

Subject: Re: Cheapest Worldwide Pilot Training
From: spitfire-ga on 08 Jul 2002 14:33 PDT
I am a pilot now living in the USA but have experience of flying in
the UK, South Africa and Australia. In my opinion the cheapest place
is right where you are - the USA. Aviation proliferates in the USA
more than anywhere else in the world, more pilots, more planes & more
opportunities than anywhere else. Economies of scale keep aircraft and
airport costs down.

You will need to pay to get your private - but after that there is a
lot of hour building, so you may find it most economical to join a
flying club for cheap rates or even buy something cheap for yourself.
It will hold its value and provide cheap flying. $25-50 per hour
flying is eminently possible in the USA.

Anyway the important thing is .... DO IT!!!
Subject: Re: Cheapest Worldwide Pilot Training
From: weisstho-ga on 08 Jul 2002 21:12 PDT
It was a pleasure to see your question!  I have been a pilot for some
20 years now, and have accumulated a CFI + Instrument Instructor +
Multi-Engine Instructor certificates and some 3,000 hours in
airplanes. I love flying and instructing, and am certain that you will
love it as well.

I am posting this as a Comment though, since I don’t think I can
answer your EXACT question satisfactorily – the reason being that the
total approach that you propose seems to be inconsistent with the
Federal Aviation Regulations (“FAR’s”).

The FAR’s DO PERMIT the holder of a Private Pilot Certificate issued
by a foreign country that is an ICAO member (see below) to apply for
and receive a U.S. Private Pilot Certificate, generally without a
flight test. Certain RATINGS (such as an Instrument Rating) can also
be transferred into the U.S.  For general information on obtaining the
Private Pilot Certificate, see this site for details:

HOWEVER, it does NOT seem possible to transfer a foreign Commercial
Pilot Certificate or a foreign Certificated Flight Instructor
certificate to the U.S.

The Federal Aviation Regulations, Part 61, govern pilot and flight
instructor certification. Since you aspire to instruct, and an
intimate knowledge of the FAR’s is a base requirement for a CFI
certificate, gaining knowledge of these Regs is a useful thing to
accomplish, since at some point you will charged with knowing them.
The FAR’s are part of the Code of Federal Regulations, and are
formally known as 14 C.F.R. 61 and can be found at

HOWEVER, FAR Sec. 61.41  Flight training received from flight
instructors not certificated by the FAA: (a) A person may credit
flight training toward the requirements of a pilot certificate or
rating issued under this part, if that person received the training
    (2) A flight instructor who is authorized to give such training by
the licensing authority of a foreign contracting State to the
Convention on International Civil Aviation, and the flight training is
given outside the United States. [NOTE:  There are 188 “Contracting
States” to the ICAO, which are all listed here: ]

If there are any questions, may I propose that you contact the FAA
officials at your local Flight Standards District Office; you can find
your local office here:

comparing the two seat Cessna 150/152 and the four seat Cessna 172,
the most common trainers – other models (e.g. Pipers) are usually
comparably priced):

Cessna 172M - $82.60 per hour wet plus GST & PST for a total of
C$95.00 = US$62.35
Borden Flying Club – in Angus, Ontario
C-172:     $ 92.50 / hr. +PST + GST = C$106.00 = US$ 69.58 
Kingston, Ontario

NZ$120 for a Cessna 150  = US$59.00

See also
12,000 RAND = US$ 1,184 FOR A PRIVATE PILOT (approx US $40/hour)

International Generally

UNITES STATES:  (Cessna 150 / Cessna 172)

64/78 at in Hudson, NY

54/81 at in Chicago

55/69 at in Arizona

45/55 at in Ohio

As the Commenter, Spitfire, noted, the general feeling in the aviation
field is that, overall the U.S. is the cheapest and most efficient
place to learn and accumulate the necessary certificates.  Here are
some of the reasons:

1.    You can find some awfully cheap places to learn to fly. For
example, note the $45 / hour (wet = fuel included) rate at the Ohio
site I mentioned. Assume 40 hours for private x $45 = $1,800 + 20
hours of dual instruction at $20/hr = $400 is a TOTAL COST of $2,200.

2.    There is an efficiency factor. Assume one learned to fly in
South Africa. You might save $1,000 in the flying but you would incur
transportation to/from, visas, etc. The $1,000 difference becomes
seriously diluted. Although a Cessna 172 in South Africa is the same
as a Cessna 172 in Wichita, the rules as to airspace, pilot currency
and qualification, and operating rules will have been different and
would require additional education back here in the U.S. causing you
to spend more hours in your commercial to get on a par with a U.S.
educated student.

3.    The U.S. has some of the most open and unrestricted airspace in
the world. Certainly as compared to western Europe (which generally
requires formal flight plans for many or all flights) an hour of
flying here in the states is much more productive than many other

I hope that this information is helpful to you. If I can help a
fledgling flight instructor and pilot, please let me know. You are
undertaking one of the most challenging and interesting endeavors that
you can imagine!


Search Terms:

Subject: Re: Cheapest Worldwide Pilot Training
From: weisstho-ga on 11 Jul 2002 07:11 PDT
Dear DR5,

Just a couple of comments. My reading of the FAR's (you should
definitely talk to your local FSDO) is that the ONLY license you can
bring back and convert is your PPL (although it can have an instrument
rating attached). As you point out, you can log hours abroad (and
obtain the skills) and bring the hours back and credit them to your
log book, BUT you will have to take the FAA written and flight test
here in the States for your CPL and CFI (the CFI makes sense, doesn't
it. Much of the CFI is theory and regs - the FAA wants its CFI
applicants to know US regs and theories from a U.S. perspective).

Without going into detail, my gut tells me that there is NO WAY you
are going to accomplish your goal more CHEAPLY by going overseas. NOW,
that is not to disparage overseas - but please understand that you
would be doing it for the fun and adventure of it (which are great
reasons) and not for the economics or effectiveness of training. 
Absolutely no question about it - if I wanted to ultimately train to
be the best flight instructor in Boise, Idaho - I would get my
training in Boise, Idaho or at least nearby. No question. Local
terrain, environmental conditions, weird weather phenonema, operating
conditions and effects.  See what I mean. Some import into an area
that didn't learn to fly there that wants to teach is going to take a
year to get up to speed.  Flying is more than cranking and banking.
What kills pilots are the externalities causing confusion (I could go
on and on about this - I did a stint as an FAA Accident Prevention
Counselor doing this seminar).

Personally, I learned to fly out of Palwaukee Airport (PWK) which is
exactly 7 miles north of O'Hare (also got my Instrument there) and at
the time I learned to fly (1982) was IMMEDIATELY adjacent to a
military air base. I know the Bay Area is congested (I've flown there,
as well as Los Angeles many times) but it "don't hold no candle" to
O'Hare.  Sure, it took me a couple more hours, but I don't think it
cost me any more than 5 additional hours for my PPL, if that.  THE
ADVANTAGE was that after you gain your skills there, you can fly
ANYWHERE!  And I mean anywhere.  You can't be intimidated after that
experience, because you grew up with it. AND, those skills
SUBSTANTIALLY enhance safety in the cockpit (and after having lost 4
friends in two separate small plane accidents - I really understand
the importance of that!)

Cost in the Bay Area can be high, no question. But why not travel out
a bit - you are only going to the airport, even if doing this full
time, say 3 times a week for real flying. Drive out in the morning,
drive back in the evening, fly twice that day - pretty efffective. 
Find a place with decent weather so that you aren't fogged in, etc. 
I'll bet you could find a C-150/152 for $45/hour. Easy.

The time involvement is in the PPL and Instrument. PPL is a 90 day
thing usually. Instrument likewise. Certainly can be done shorter
(full time) but they are tough, and intensive. Why? Its all new. Its a
lot to take in.  However, CPL and CFI can each be done in about two
weeks each (full time), assuming the writtens are out of the way.   I
did both my CFI and CFII together - two check rides in one day - after
10 days of training with a properly qualified and wonderful CFI-AIM
that took me through the paces.

One final thought - buy a Cessna 172 or Piper PA-28.  I will
"guarantee" you that you will sell it for what you paid for it or
more. That means you have to maintain it and fuel it. My first plane
was a C-172, I sold it for what I bought it for, and after hangar,
maintenance, oil, and the whole nine yards, my average cost per hour
of flying was a staggering $20/hour for a plane that was tip-top, not
some rental queen that was beat-up by too many student short-field

Anyway, HAVE FUN. And be SAFE.  And never forget that the most "at
risk" person in the world is a 100 hour private pilot.  Two rules to
remember:  (1) Keep the dirty side down, and (2) if you want to climb,
pull the stick back - if want to descend, pull the stick back further
and hold it.

Subject: Re: Cheapest Worldwide Pilot Training
From: weisstho-ga on 11 Jul 2002 07:13 PDT
One final thing.  JOIN AOPA (Aircraft Owners and Pilot's Association)
NOW.  The best money you ever spent. Great magazine. Fantastic
resources. Wonderful people. Just go to Google and search "AOPA"


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