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Intro Flight Cost ? (OT-long post)

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Need some info from current pilots/student pilots....My very understanding and loving wife :-halo recently got me the ultimate flight simmer's present.....a 2 hour dual flight lesson in a Cessna 172.....so I could check out my flight simming procedures in our local area. :-beerchug I haven't flown a real airplane since the 70s, and just wanted to confirm what I should expect (in terms of flight time for the dollar).I had previously contacted some of the local flight schools about the "Be a Pilot" $49 special I saw in a recent post. Responses varied considerably.....one flight school offered a half-hour flight in a 152, another a "slightly less than one hour flight in a 152 or 172, with approximately 1 1/2 hours for the entire lesson."Unfortunately, my wife didn't know about introductory flight specials. At the flight school she chose, she paid top dollar for 2 hours flight time in the 172 (2 x $90/hr) and 2 hours of flight instruction (2 x $40) ....a total of $260 (I'm thinking of all the new FS2002 add-ons I could be buying.....)When I scheduled the intro flight, the instructor put the flight into one of their normal two hour time blocks. I'm thinking that my time in the air is going to be considerably less than 2 hours.Finally, to my question....When paying for two hours wet rate in 172 with instructor, is that two hours in the airplane or does that include flight planning, walk-around, etc etc.....?I'm not planning on taking lessons for a PPL....this is simply for fun in flying an actual 172, learning the local area and doing some touch and gos at local airports, etc. I'd like to maximize my time in the air...just concerned if I'll be getting my (wife's) money's worth ($260) if sandwiched into a 10am-Noon time slot.Thanks in advance for your advice....Steve J. KHEF

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A normal 2 hour flight block is usually about 1 hour of flying. The rest is spent preflighting the airplane, going over the briefing, etc. You will only pay for the amount of time that the engine is running. The total should come to somewhere around $150. When you meet the instructor, tell him that you're not planning on taking lessons, that way he knows not to really start training you, but to have more fun. Have fun, you'll love it! :DMatt

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My flight school simply goes by a meter in the airplane which counts the hours the master is on, aka hobbs time. I can't recall my instructor charging me for any ground time initially, but then again I never took a "discovery flight" so to say.

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$90/hr for a chickenhawk?!?! WOW!Where do you live? At the flight school I work at our rates are:$77/hr + $30/hr dualTell the instructor you do not care about preflighting/briefing/etc. <-- they're trying to maximize their flying time as well so tell them you just want as much flying crammed into that 2 hours.A perfect day would be a higher ceiling (~ 3000' agl) so you can experience going in the clouds as well (they'll have to file a flight plan) but it is worth it.

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My wife bought me an introductory flight for my birthday in May. I also think she overpaid but--hey, it's late October and I'm now exactly 3.1 cross-country hours and a checkride shy of the PPL.You can drive yourself--and your wife--crazy worrying whether you spent too much. Just thank the nice lady and enjoy the ride!

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Thanks, guys, for the info. It will be helpful for my upcoming flight (and determining if they are charging appropriately). I'm hoping for good weather...some touch and gos at local airports and maybe an IFR approach back into KHEF (and the fall foliage should be great)!I live in Manassas, VA, near Washington, D.C. and Dulles....prices tend to be higher in this area....Steve J.

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>$90/hr for a chickenhawk?!?! WOW! >>Where do you live? At the flight school I work at our rates >are: >>$77/hr + $30/hr dual >But the Chickenhawk could be a newer R model or even an SP, which is certainly worth more than the "vintage" 70 & 80's models.The flight school in my area charged $120.00/hr. for a new Cessna 172SP. It was then sold to another school that now charges $98.00/hr.L.Adamson

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Just keep in mind the instructor will probably start their "clock" the minute you show up, and that usually includes the pre-flight. As others said, you'll only be charged for either the time the master switch is on in the plane ("dry" time) or the time the engine is running ("wet" time). Obviously wet time is more cost effective, so ask if you have any questions as to which they charge.And I can say from personal experience that flying into a cumulonimbus at 3,000 ft MSL approaching the NY Class B on an IFR flight plan during VFR flight training with a good instructor is an INCREDIBLE rush! :) :) :) :) :)Have fun on your flight, and hopefully we'll see you in a few months posting about your new PP-ASEL! ;) ;-)

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Hi Steve (and Larry),I pay $89/hr for our fleet of new SP's (that's at BJC, Jeffco, CO).Steve: Like some others said- tell the CFI that you just want a hands-on flight, no instruction. Unfortunately, the walk-around has to be done in any event (whether you're learning or not), so you'll have to pay the CFI's time for that. So- you may as well watch him and have him explain it, you'll lose very little additional time and it's great to see a walk-around anyway. In FS, there's no such thing. A typical walk around for a C172 takes me about 15 minutes, just to give you some indication. Taxi and run-up is where you'll be paying for both the CFI and the aircraft of course.I'll be willing to take bets though- one flight and you'll be hooked on real flight, since simming will never quite be the same for you again! :)Have a great flight!Bruce.

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The SP we have is $97 an hour. $120 for ANY 172 seems a bit too much.When did you fly into a CB @ 3000MSL? Are you insane? What VIP level was it?

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I've been involved in aviation a long time. You should get two hours on the hobbs meter, engine running time, for your $90 + $40 times 2. As someone said, tell the school or instructor that you are only interested in the time in the air, not ground school or pre flite stuff. The plane should be pre flighted on the schools time and ready for you then. At $40 an hour, I would hope that the price has factored in the usual routine instructor activities like preflight. You should only have to pay for additional instructor ground time when you retire to a classroom type setting for ground instruction, which should be a a smaller rate. Those must be fairly new C172s at that price. I would personally schedule two sessions, one hour flight time each. Then you would have a chance to review the first trip and answer questions you might have then on the second. Careful, it's contageous. My wife and daughter bought me 4 hours about 4 years ago after I had been out of it for years. Now I'm a proud airplane owner again. Oh well.

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