If you are considering beginning flight training you may be wondering, how long is this going to take? As people seem to be even more busy trying to juggle everything life throws at them, trying to carve out the time to learn to fly can be a serious challenge. There are several variables that will determine how long it will take for you to acquire your pilot’s license, let’s look at each one in detail.
How Much Time Can You Dedicate to Flight Training Each Week?
Not flying often enough is by far the biggest reason most students take a long time to get their license, or in some cases don’t ever finish their training. Think about it for a minute, you are only able to fly two times per week. It would take you 5 months of training just to hit the minimum 40 hours requirement.
Flying less often also means the information and skills won’t stick as well. This results in having to repeat lessons more often which extends both the length of time it takes for you to get your license as well as the number of hours in the plane.
How Available is The Aircraft?
If you are only able to rent the aircraft a couple times a week the same issues arise. You end up refreshing a lot more thus extending the time it takes to complete your training.
Many times the aircraft is more available than you may initially think. First look at early morning and late evening slots. Early morning slots are usually the least busy, you just have to convince your instructor to meet you there early in the morning!
Ask to be put on the cancellation notice list. Schools often have students cancel for various reasons. If a student cancels the same day of their scheduled flight this often leaves a gap in the schedule. Ask your instructor to reach out to you if they have students cancel to see if you can take the slot.
How Available is Your Flight Instructor?
Is your instructor a full time flight instructor or do they have another flying job? If they are not full time instructors it can be very difficult to get them to fly as often as you would like. You also should ask how many students they have. If they have more than 10 students it can quickly become difficult to get on the schedule with them more than once or twice per week.
If your instructor cancels on you nearly as often as you fly for reasons outside of weather, it may be time to find a new instructor.
Flying More Often is Not Overwhelming
I have heard instructors at other schools claim that flying more than once or twice per week is bad because it is overwhelming. This was likely just an excuse for not being able to get the student on the schedule as often as the student wanted.
The more often you fly the more comfortable you become in the plane. This is a big part of opening up to learning new things. If you are not comfortable in the aircraft your mind is often preoccupied which means you will be slower to pick up on knowledge and develop new skills.
Flying more often will greatly accelerate your training resulting in you getting your license much quicker.
Have You Completed Ground School and Your Written Test?
Too often students get three fourths of the way through their training and then have to pause to get caught up on the ground school.
The best way to go about this is to finish ground school and take your written test before even getting in an airplane.
Doing this you will already have a good understanding of many of the concepts your instructor will teach you allowing you to retain more and move through your lessons quicker.
Can You Really Get Your License in Just 2 Weeks?
Yes! We have had students get their license in under 2 weeks. In one case we had a student fly in who hadn’t even passed their written test.
At first we didn’t think they were going to be successful because of the additional knowledge we had to teach them.
But the student was totally dedicated, as they flew in from across the country they had no distractions while they were here.
The instructor was also dedicated, making the student an absolute priority while they were training with us.
We had scheduled the student’s flights in the aircraft prior to their arrival as well so the aircraft was available as much as they needed to complete the students training.
The last piece was lining up a DPE (Designated Pilot Examiner). We were fortunate enough to have an examiner willing to schedule just a couple weeks out.
At the end of the 2 weeks this student went home with their temporary airman certificate after passing their checkride.