Looking for a CFI - not that easy

Sport aviation is growing rapidly. But the new sport pilot / light-sport aircraft rules are still a mystery to many flight schools and instructors. To locate a flight school offering sport pilot training and/or light-sport aircraft rentals, click on the "Flight School And Rental Finder" tab above. This is a great place to share ideas on learning to fly, flight schools, costs and anything else related to training.

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3Dreaming
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Re: Looking for a CFI - not that easy

Postby 3Dreaming » Thu May 03, 2018 11:23 am

WDD wrote:The tough part about this is that any GA CFI can also give instruction for someone getting their sport license. You don't even have to fly a sport plane in training. You just have to do your solo, solo cross country, and final exam in an LSA. Which means you'll have to do some transition training to the new LSA.

That you have to drive that far while passing numerous airports with CFI's just to find one who will train you is crazy.

So..... a work around could be to take the 3rd class medical, get a student pilot license for GA, not Sport. Take the bulk of your lessons locally. Get the basics that you'll need for a sport license. Skip night flying. Then take the sport pilot ground test, get a sport pilot student license, and then finish up your hours somewhere else.

But...... are there any sport planes in your area that you'll be able to fly after you get your license? If not, then maybe the PPL would be still an option so you could at least rent a 172 and get in the air.


There is only on student pilot certificate. You can do sport, recreational or private pilot training with it. You must have a medical or Basic Med to exercise the privileges of the certificate for anything other than sport pilot in a LSA.

I have started recommending recreational pilot to those who ask about sport pilot, but the medical is not an issue. I can take someone through recreational pilot and plus the training to remove the cross country restriction in less flight time in a Piper Warrior than I can do sport pilot in something like a Flight Design CT.

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Re: Looking for a CFI - not that easy

Postby drseti » Thu May 03, 2018 11:30 am

3Dreaming wrote:. I can take someone through recreational pilot and plus the training to remove the cross country restriction in less flight time in a Piper Warrior than I can do sport pilot in something like a Flight Design CT.


I don't doubt that at all, Tom (and if I had a Warrior or similar, I might do the same). Of course, one can always go for a Rec Pilot in an LSA, if one is available. But at that point I think it makes more sense to get the SP, and then go straight for the PP add-on (also in an LSA).
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Type47
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Re: Looking for a CFI - not that easy

Postby Type47 » Thu May 03, 2018 12:23 pm

I don’t mean to beat it to death, but this attitude was part of the problem with me.
As a grown man with both the money and the ability to get a pilots cert, I had done the research to know what I wanted.
I actually drove past hundreds of Cfis from Minnesota to Florida before I found a place that was happy to take my $5000-$10,000 to instruct me in an Lsa and teach me to be a Sport Pilot.
When I want a Ribeye, I don’t care that the hamburger is really just Ground steak. i don’t care that I can buy more hamburgers for the same money, or that there are more hamburger places than steak places.
Most of the Cfis I talked to were very nice, and, I am sure, competent.
Some were snotty and arrogant.
I ended up being taught (mostly) by a 21 year old guy that didn’t question my reasons for wanting to be a sport pilot.
I am a 55 year old retired Grampa that doesn’t need career or life advice from a flight instructor.
Interestingly enough, I felt the same when I was 21.
I am a smart guy and Know what I want.
Only smart, motivated people have what it takes to push through and become pilots, no?
In the end, most of the advice seemed self serving due to the fact that they already had non lsa airplanes and had been teaching private pilots for years.
Sport pilot and Lsas have been around for 14 years now. It’s time to stop pretending they are new or that they are going away.
Just my $.02
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sportflugzeug
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Re: Looking for a CFI - not that easy

Postby sportflugzeug » Thu May 03, 2018 2:33 pm

Well said Type47.

It’s not RP vs CP vs PP vs SP. We are all in this together and we are all PILOTS (except for me) who enjoy aviation.

The first issue I had was when I went to see a DPE for my Student Pilot License. The airline captain went on and on about the SP restrictions and how I was selling myself short. By the time I left, I didn’t even want to fly. Then I went and took my written. Again, the proctor at the university asked why I was going into SP when the university offered PP training. Once I started flying, I talked to my CFI about SP training and he said when your in the air and doing what you love, does it really matter at the end of the day? Except as a SP I have to land, no, it really doesn’t. 8)

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ShawnM
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Re: Looking for a CFI - not that easy

Postby ShawnM » Thu May 03, 2018 2:56 pm

Ditto, well stated Type47.

That being said, I really hope you didn't spend $5-10K for a SPL. :mrgreen:

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Re: Looking for a CFI - not that easy

Postby TimTaylor » Thu May 03, 2018 3:00 pm

There is absolutely nothing wrong with getting a Sport Pilot certificate. If daytime VFR with one passenger meets your mission, then why not? On the other hand, if you think you might want to fly at night or with more than one passenger or a larger aircraft, then Private is the way to go if you don't want to take two written exams and two flight test. I am currently flying with Sport Pilot privileges, not because I want to, but because I have no medical and don't qualify for Basic Med. For me, it's OK, but not my preference.
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Re: Looking for a CFI - not that easy

Postby 3Dreaming » Thu May 03, 2018 3:03 pm

For me, recommending recreational pilot to someone instead of sport pilot is not about me thinking sport pilot is a waste of time. That couldn't be further from the truth. My motivation is getting the person a pilot rating that will allow them to do what they want in the most economical fashion.

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Re: Looking for a CFI - not that easy

Postby Type47 » Thu May 03, 2018 4:00 pm

ShawnM wrote:Ditto, well stated Type47.

That being said, I really hope you didn't spend $5-10K for a SPL. :mrgreen:


Actually closer to 10 than 5.

Now that I have my own plane, that seems cheap. :|
Type47
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Type47
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Re: Looking for a CFI - not that easy

Postby Type47 » Thu May 03, 2018 4:11 pm

The local Mn cost is $95/ hr for cessna 172 wet and $35/ hr for cfi.
Apopka, Fl was $105/hr for 2008 Tecnam Bravo wet and $65/ hr for Cfi.

$130/hr vs $170/hr.

Yes, I really chose to spend more to get my Sport Pilot Cert.

And First Landings was/is passing one after another of us Sport Pilots.
Type47
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I’m not a singing grampa.

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WDD
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Re: Looking for a CFI - not that easy

Postby WDD » Thu May 03, 2018 8:55 pm

Type 47 - Well said. Such an odd industry where people turn paying customers away who will essentially pay them to build hours so they can go off to commercial pilot land.

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ShawnM
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Re: Looking for a CFI - not that easy

Postby ShawnM » Thu May 03, 2018 11:38 pm

Type47 wrote:The local Mn cost is $95/ hr for cessna 172 wet and $35/ hr for cfi.
Apopka, Fl was $105/hr for 2008 Tecnam Bravo wet and $65/ hr for Cfi.

$130/hr vs $170/hr.

Yes, I really chose to spend more to get my Sport Pilot Cert.

And First Landings was/is passing one after another of us Sport Pilots.


I started my training at First Landings when I lived in Orlando and they had a SPL program for $3195 in the Remos they had, this was in 2010-2011. Since it always takes a bit longer I expected to spend about $4200 tops. I bought my own plane and also moved before I finished. I finished up while I lived in Gainesville with an instructor in Dunnellon just west of Ocala. He has a SPL program for $3000K in an Evektor.

I'm, sorry but there's nothing "cheap" about spending $10k on a SPL. That's outrageous in my opinion. Tampa Bay Aviation offers PPL with instrument rating for $7800 in a C172. Not that that's what you wanted but I'm using it for comparison.

I just wouldn’t want someone to read this topic and think a SPL is going to cost them $10k. It simply doesn’t.

If your happy so am I. :mrgreen:

Type47
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Re: Looking for a CFI - not that easy

Postby Type47 » Fri May 04, 2018 7:02 am

I agree completely, and I apologize if that is the impression I gave.
I included all expenses including driving costs, trips from mn, extra flight lessons in other planes, etc.
I saw people do the 2 week deal and spend less time and money than me at first landings.
I am not sure if they did it in the minimum hours.

My point is that I was prepared to spend more to get specifically the sport pilot cert.
And I was prepared to keep going and finish, even if it took longer and cost more than the estimates.

And yes, I am happy
Type47
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ShawnM
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Re: Looking for a CFI - not that easy

Postby ShawnM » Fri May 04, 2018 7:31 am

Whew.....I feel better now. :mrgreen: I'm, glad you got exactly what you wanted also. The SPL fits all my needs also for flying to breakfast or lunch somewhere or visiting friends in and around Florida. Flying the coasts is also beautiful. The keys are just a few hours away. Again, I just didn't want a newbie pilot to read this post and give up thinking "that's way too expensive for me".

I did forget to add in the "check ride" expense of $350, I think it may be $400 now.

Adam, one of the founders at First Landings (for those who are unfamiliar with First Landings) is also a LSRM-A and did my pre-buy inspection when I found my plane. They are a top notch flight school and service center in Central Florida. I'd highly recommend them.

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Re: Looking for a CFI - not that easy

Postby rcpilot » Fri May 04, 2018 8:35 am

So all of this talk about PPL vs SPL had made me go and look at what I spent getting my SPL. As many of you know, about 6 weeks into my training I had a near fatal motorcycle accident. Because of this and other things it was almost 7 months before I got back to flying. Between being a bit "rusty" and the fact that now my instructor had a real aviation job and lessons were not as frequent, it probably took a bit longer for me to be ready for my check ride. So here is the breakdown:

Total hours before my check ride: 84.7
Hours with instructor: 62.5
Solo hours: 22.2
Instructor cost: $3410
Books, written test, check ride: $865
Approximate hourly cost of my plane(for the 84.7 hours): $3642

So, not including the cost of fuel, it was $7917. By comparison, had I had the same number of hours in the school's plane(I'm thinking after my accident they probably would have given me a new instructor, lessons would have been more frequent and shortened my learning curve a bit) it would have been $11,668(again not counting fuel). Not really a huge difference. Of course there is the convenience factor of having your own plane. Oh, and of course these are the NY prices which from what I can see are a bit more than other places(for example the school was charging me $70/hr for my instructor which included a $10/hr vig because I used my own plane).

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Re: Looking for a CFI - not that easy

Postby TimTaylor » Fri May 04, 2018 11:16 am

Bottom line, it cost whatever it cost. I doubt any of us spend more than we need to just for the hell of it.

One person my take 30 hours while another takes 80 hours. The goal is to learn to fly safely, not as quickly as possible.
One person may find an LSA for rent at $110 per hour and another at $145 per hour. Another may have the resources to purchase an airplane.
One person may find an instructor for $30 per hour and another at $50 per hour.
One person may zip through training and get their license in 6 months, another may have situations that cause it to take 2 years.
Etc, etc.

My point, there are many factors that will influence cost to obtain a pilot certificate. Total cost may be as low as $4,000 or in excess of $10,000. It cost whatever it cost.

Just do it and enjoy it. Learning to fly IS flying and some of the most memorable you will ever have.
Commercial Pilot Airplane Single & Multiengine Land; Instrument Airplane; Sport Endorsement Airplane Single Engine Sea; Flight Instructor Airplane Single And Multiengine; Ground Instructor Advanced Instrument


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