A decorum question

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by Tony R, May 8, 2020.

  1. Tony R

    Tony R Filing Flight Plan

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    Atrosa
    I was taking flight lessons at an airport that was 30 miles from my house but 6 miles from my office. My job was flexible enough to allow me to take a 2.5 hour lunch and go flying. Since COVID we have moved to a remote model and I don't see us going back to a fully staffed central location for a long time, if ever.

    I really like my CFI but I can't see myself driving an hour each way for lessons when there is a closer airport 15 minutes from my house. Is it bad Ju-ju to swap schools during your PPL training? I see myself getting more seat time at the airport closer to my house.

    -atrosa
     
  2. jetedrick

    jetedrick Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I think the hardest part is getting a new CFI comfy with where you are today and getting you comfy with a CFI that works for you. You also have to consider school policies, plane rental availability, etc...lots to think about.
     
  3. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    No its not bad juju. Doing it multiple times can sometimes be a problem because of mixed signals from instructors with different styles and techniques, but a one time switch should be a non-issue.

    It can also be beneficial. I had an involuntary switch off instructors when my first one left while I was in a vacation. The new set of eyes actually shortened my time to solo
     
  4. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    if the closer place has the planes you want and a cfi u like, do it!
     
  5. gdwindowpane

    gdwindowpane Pre-takeoff checklist

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    How far along are you in your training? I was in pretty much the same boat as you. Was training 10 minutes from my house, flight school shut down so I went and finished the bulk of my training at an airport an hour plus away. Local airport now has an instructor/plane available but I'm going to stick with the other airport as I'm pretty much done just need to schedule the DPE when things open back up. I wouldn't want to switch CFI's at this point. If you're not real close to finishing I would switch. As you mentioned, that 2 hours you're driving could be spent flying!
     
  6. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

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    Do what you want. You’re the customer.
     
  7. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

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    It's fine, just be open with everyone what you're doing. You're the customer, you can fly with who you want.
     
  8. Ravioli

    Ravioli Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    You will likely repeat some skills, be careful it's not too much.

    For many reasons it took me 4 CFI's to finish. The second was the only one I had to fire. The others were geography situations like you're describing.
     
  9. Unkljohn

    Unkljohn Pre-Flight

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    I had to change about halfway through with my ppl. My instructor left for a different job. I wasn’t happy about it to start, but I got a really good instructor and it didn’t set me back very much.
     
  10. Craig

    Craig Line Up and Wait

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    Started my training in New Jersey, moved back to Houston and then moved again to Killeen. Not a big deal switching things up, and almost no repeating of coursework.
     
  11. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    It's tough to drive 45 extra minutes each way for flight lessons. You can add in the cost of the commute, CFI, and rental, but remember to add the cost of convenience.

    How likely are you to drive to the airport on an iffy weather day? If it's a 15 minute drive, you might fly or you might not, but at least you'll be at the airport where you can do some ground work or a mock lesson or something. If it's an hour away you might figure it's better to just call it off and stay home. There's still some value in going to the airport even to do a preflight when the weather is too bad to fly.

    Be honest with both CFIs about your real reasons, though. Expect to take a few lessons with the new CFI so you both can get used to each other.
     
  12. Tony R

    Tony R Filing Flight Plan

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    I only have a few hours. I really like my current instructor but I'm not fond of the plane we fly, although it is growing on me... like a wart. I don't want to get into the Cessna/Piper debate.

    Pros of switching:
    They fly the type of plane I want to buy
    They are 15 minutes from my house at an airport I will keep my plane at.

    Cons of switching:
    The CFI personality is an unknown
    I really like my current CFI, he is a good kid (23 y/o) and and excellent pilot

    Not sure if this is a pro or a con but my current training airport has a 2205 foot runway, on 3 and 1900ish on 21 because of a displaced threshold. The prospective airport is 3,200 feet both ways.

    I was actually considering buying a 30K piper and tossing my instructor the keys and telling him to pick me up at my airport when it is time to teach. The insurance is only $300 a year more. He would be pumped because he is looking to fly charter, he just needs hours. I can save the $165 per hour rental fee. I have flown 2 cessnas, the one I seem to get into is the more expensive one that is IFR and lots of glass. It even has a chute. I'm really not concerned about the extra $30 per hour this plane costs.

    What ever I decide I will not be sneaky or dishonest. I will be open with everyone. I will not try to poach the schools CFI I will make sure they get paid too.

    Thank you for your guidance,
    -Tony
     
  13. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    You can always "shorten" a rwy, but you can't lengthen it.

    If there are several CFIs at the other airport, ask your current CFI for a recommendation. Interview a couple - you are the boss.

    One thing you'll find during training is that you'll get too familiar with the airport where you train. A lot of your pattern work will be done there, you'll always start and end there, and you'll get very familiar with landmarks and other features. The problem with that is you can get too familiar and then have problems when you go to another airport. For example - I always turn base at that road intersection. I always enter downwind at that pond. I do this at that tree, and I do this at that silo. It can be a problem when you go somewhere else and those reminders aren't there. Changing to a new CFI, a new plane, and a new airport will probably result in a number of lessons where things just seem "off" while you get used to the new environment.

    It will work out.
     
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  14. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Go for it.
     
  15. Schokie

    Schokie Filing Flight Plan

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    I would check with your current CFI on his availability. If he's working full time at airport A he may not have the free time to teach on your schedule. But that's only if you want to stick with him. Although at the end of the day it's a business, you're the customer, and it's your money and your training. So don't feel bad switching CFIs.

    There's also a lot of gain in training in the airplane you're going to primarily fly and at the location you're going to be based at. That'll make you a lot more comfortable when you're done and on your own. I agree it's possible to get used to the crutches of flying at the same place all the time. But that's why a good CFI will also make sure you're doing pattern work at other nearby airfields.
     
  16. midwestpa24

    midwestpa24 Pattern Altitude

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    It happens, especially given the current circumstances. The only downside is probably a few repeat lessons to ensure you and the new CFI are on the same page and comfortable with each other (its a two way street).

    As a CFI, I would only ask that a student give me a courtesy call to let me know they left and why. A good CFI is invested in their students as well, and it would be nice to know why one up and disappeared.
     
  17. TommyG

    TommyG Cleared for Takeoff

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    You can switch whenever you want, driving less usually makes more sense.

    You seem to really like your CFI, but you said he looking for bigger and better, so think how quick he will drop you if he gets the call, or his schedule will not work with yours.

    you said you can save $165/hr on a rental buying your own. Are you considering tie down fee, insurance, unexpected maintenance, money put into reserve for when a new engine is needed, etc?

    And I have seen the results of pilots handing over Keyes to their CFI, some turned out no so well. And when something broke the CFI doesn’t have enough money to fix things.
     
  18. kath

    kath Cleared for Takeoff

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    Test drive the other CFI. It's not bad juju at all to "shop around", nor is it a forbidden discussion to have on both sides. CFI's understand. (Good ones do, anyway.)
     
  19. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    If you do this, make sure you’re both on the same page as far as paying him for his time to preflight the airplane, fly over and back, and put the airplane to bed.
     
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