Average Dual Time Before Solo - I Know - Everyone is Different

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by TVProducer, Dec 5, 2018 at 10:24 AM.

  1. TVProducer

    TVProducer Pre-Flight

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    Hello All,

    I have just begun flight training and I'm attempting to make a spreadsheet budgeting the amount I will be shelling out per 2 hour flight session until I get to my solo level. I asked my CFI the average and he said that he had students who did it in 10 hours and some who took 100 hours it all depends on the student.

    I have already completed ground school before I got in left seat. I have only had two sessions in the 172s and I already have accomplished:
    • Basic Turns
    • Taxiing (Still needs some work because I need to get my feet in a good position on the pedals)
    • Full Checklisting
    • Altitude Management (power not pitch)
    • Slow Flight
    • Takeoff (without rudder control)

    Roughly each 2 hour session costs $300 with C172S and CFI. My CFI says I'm making good progress so far, he said he will show me more maneuvers, possibly start into engine on and engine off stalls next session, following by takeoff/landing, and finally cross country. I know many pilots spend $8k-$10k for their private license all in, but from where I am at I'm hoping to have my Solo by 20 Hours aka $3,000. Any input would be appreciated, and I know, Never compare yourself to another pilot.
     
  2. Salty

    Salty En-Route

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    Concentrate on learning what you need to learn instead of micro managing your learning.

    JMO
     
  3. Ryanb

    Ryanb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    I soloed at 14.4 TT
     
  4. CC268

    CC268 Final Approach

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    Woah...that's weird. I soloed at 14.4 as well. 13.3 if you don't count the first flight I ever took in an small GA plane (Decathlon), which was a year prior to when I started my PPL.
     
  5. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    It takes what it takes.

    Most of mine average about 15hrs

    I also do a little extra with stalls and spins, as well as tail wind landings and a few others things.
     
  6. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips Line Up and Wait

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    I soloed at 35 hours; that's what happens if you drag it out over 20 years! (But only 30 more hours until my checkride after that!)
     
  7. tawood

    tawood Pattern Altitude

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    If it takes you 30 hours, are you going to quit? If not, then it doesn't matter...
     
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  8. CC268

    CC268 Final Approach

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    OMG you introduce spins in primary training?! You SAVAGE
     
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  9. Jamie Kirk

    Jamie Kirk Pre-takeoff checklist

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    33 hours in and no solo. But I lost my CFI and was bounced around between 2 for 15ish hours which set me back.

    I still am not signed off for solo and no one can tell me why.
     
  10. JonH

    JonH Pre-takeoff checklist

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    IMO It mostly depends how frequently you train. I would show up once a month, sometimes skipping a month, and it took me 22 hours of dual before solo. Don't do that!
     
  11. Ryanb

    Ryanb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Heh! That is weird! I also had a little time in a Decathlon (from an intro flight) before I began flight training, but it was only .5 on the Hobbs.
     
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  12. TVProducer

    TVProducer Pre-Flight

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    I agree on focusing on training and not micro managing but my reason was to get a gauge of what everyone has experienced. I plan on doing 1 session a week
     
  13. Dana

    Dana Line Up and Wait

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    I soloed at 8 hours in a C-150, but 16 year olds learn fast and I had lots of R/C model experience.
     
  14. CC268

    CC268 Final Approach

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    Twins
     
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  15. tawood

    tawood Pattern Altitude

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    But even if EVERYONE experienced solo at 15 hours...what would you do if it took 30? Point is (as you yourself said) everyone is different. I soloed at 5.5 hours...so what...
     
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  16. Salty

    Salty En-Route

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    I did once a week, switched instructors and airplanes and solod at 17.2, but the number really is meaningless.
     
  17. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Now offering reverse discounts.
    (Mike grabs a rolled up newspaper and swats @TVProducer on the nose) Bad Student Pilot, Bad!!!

    I get that you're curious, but focusing on a "how many hours and money to solo" like this can be a counter productive.

    The focus needs to be on skill acquisition and polishing those skills. Not worrying how many hours it is taking to reach a big milestone or how many dollars it is taking.

    Keys to a strong and somewhat rapid progression are
    1. Working with a good CFI that knows how to teach
    2. That CFI works from a written syllabus and a set of well thought out written lesson plans
    3. The CFI uses those lesson plans to provide
      • a good pre-flight review of what was done previously and how it will apply to today's flight
      • discussion of any homework assigned from last lesson
      • a briefing of what you will do for this lesson
      • discussing the objectives for today's lesson
      • and after the flight is done, a good debrief of what was done during the flight, how it fits to the overall plan, and assignment of homework
    4. You arriving well prepared for the lesson with any reading assignments and homework finished.
    5. Flying at least twice a week

    If this happens, you will be ready for solo in a very timely fashion.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018 at 11:27 AM
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  18. TVProducer

    TVProducer Pre-Flight

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    That’s a fair response and I was expecting that kind of response. My CFI seems really competent but does not use written lesson plans. I think the most I’ll be able to fly is once a week twice if I get a day off.
     
  19. Salty

    Salty En-Route

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    I’m living proof you can do it with once a week, sometimes less. I passed my check ride in about 45 hours with many obstacles and I averaged 3 flights a month. It took more calendar time, but it’s doable. I averaged 5 hours a month, the first few only 3 or 4 and the last two months was 10 hours a month. I do agree that the least time between lessons the better.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018 at 11:48 AM
  20. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Then how is he keeping up with progress or making sure he is teaching to a desired standard? How are you to know what the standard is?

    All of the really good instructors I encountered used written plans and lessons.
     
  21. kath

    kath Line Up and Wait

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    Wow, $150/hour for a 172S including the CFI? That's a GREAT rate!

    Create your "budget spreadsheet" for the whole process ("all in", as you say), figuring in a *healthy* contingency. Once that's done, don't worry about how the details track the plan.
    Sounds like your CFI has a plan in mind for you, and if he thinks you're on track, then you probably are. Hopefully he's the kind of guy with whom you can have conversations like "am I on track?" Or "I'm overwhelmed, please slow the pace!" Or anything like that.

    Remember the forest, don't obsess over the trees. Enjoy the journey. And other platitudes. :)

    Me: 26 hours, under just one instructor, flying about twice a week.
     
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  22. TVProducer

    TVProducer Pre-Flight

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    I'm going to email him and ask him for a training plan.
     
  23. TVProducer

    TVProducer Pre-Flight

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    HA! I wish: Rates at OceanAire (KMJX)

    Cessna 172S WET/Hobbs Hour - $150
    CFI for Flight Instruction - $50
    CFI for Ground Instruction - $35

    So if I have a 2 Hour Session but the Hobbs only says 1.3 the billing is as follows:
    C172S - $195
    CFI Flight - $75
    CFI Ground (0.7) - $30
     
  24. CC268

    CC268 Final Approach

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    Those are still good rates (at least compared to what you can get here in AZ)
     
  25. TVProducer

    TVProducer Pre-Flight

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    Yeah - I have heard some of my friends in CT/NY pay 185-200/hour for a 172 plus 60-75/hour of CFI time which is outrageous
     
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  26. DFH65

    DFH65 Pattern Altitude

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    9.6 hours, Cessna 172 (the one in my Avatar), one instructor, 9 flights over 4 months (so I guess I don't fit the frequent flier model).

    $150 with the instructor is a very good rate. It takes what it takes.

    ETA: I never paid for ground I either learned it on my own, we discussed it in the air, or if we did it on the ground he never charged me.
     
  27. hamer

    hamer Pre-Flight

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    I solo'd at 20 hours at a very busy Class C airport. I was also flying a light sport which was very sensitive to wind which made it difficult. The owner of the flight school was very careful about sending us out to solo because of those two factors. It definitely felt like it took longer than it should, but I was still able to knock out requirements until I solo'd. It was all downhill after that.
     
  28. danhagan

    danhagan Cleared for Takeoff

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    I'm not that old and completed in 2007, but when I see the rates people are paying now, I'm sure glad I did it over a decade ago (C-152 $50 CFI $30)
     
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  29. jaymark6655

    jaymark6655 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Also had a spreadsheet or two while training, but I was on a pretty tight budget. Wife had told me several times that we didn't have enough money for me to take lessons. The instructor and a syllabus and I had spent a lot of time researching what caused people not to solo in 10 hours. I figured every hour past 10 adds a couple hours to your total time by the check ride, example I soloed at 13.2 and ended up going for my check ride at 49.8. Actually was ready at about 46 (2x3+40), but weather caused some scheduling problems. So when you solo drives how long training will take, since everything after solo is kind a set number of hours with solo being the only real variable. A person that solos at 30 hours I would guess goes for their check ride around 80 hours, but don't worry about that. Of course those that have huge breaks in training do not really follow that estimation due to so many other variables.

    Big take away, go flying two to three times a week, go chair flying once or twice a day and focus 100% on everything needed to solo (which is a lot now days). Keep flying until you get it. After solo it will be easier to calculate how many hours you need and what it will cost to finish.
     
  30. G-force

    G-force Pre-takeoff checklist

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    You need to qualify your question with what year you soloed and what type of airport. Learning in a cub off a grass field in 1965 is not the same as learning at a class C airport today in a glass panel 172.. Hell, you'll have more taxi and hold time at a big airport before you solo than it took some people to solo! I took the attitude of "i don't care when I solo" as long as I am still learning. It happened around 25 hours and I was well over trained to do it. What advantage would it have been to do it when I could barely do it?
     
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  31. Warmi

    Warmi Pre-Flight

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    22 hours or so
     
  32. bobmrg

    bobmrg En-Route

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    If you do not have a map, how will you know when you have arrived? Your instructor has forgotten what he had to know in order to become a CFI. A written syllabus gives both of you the path to your goal; insist on one. When I was an examiner back in the dark ages I would occasionally have to fail an applicant on a maneuver that s/he said "my instructor never taught me that." A syllabus insures that everything in the Airman Certification Standards is covered (you should get the ACS from www.faa.gov and print it out). Additionally, IMHO two hours is too long...in my experience, after the first hour everything the instructor says bounces off and is not retained. That obviously does not apply to cross-country flights.

    Bob Gardner
     
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  33. texasclouds

    texasclouds Pre-takeoff checklist

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    10 hours for me. I did two tngs and a full stop solo while my cfi sat in the tower (delta). Then i didnt really get to do any more solos until about 20 hrs wheb he said one day go fly around solo. time to kick you out the nest. I flew to a nearby uncontrolled airport, did 5 tngs, then practiced checkride manuevers. Then of course i had to go fly over my house. That was one of my first flights that was just pure fun. Soonafter i got to do the solo cross country flights which were awesome. On the long one I took the courtesy car out to get a burger and felt like a complete boss. Like i just tapped into a secret world that no one else gets to do.

    Sorry for grammar errors, iPhone.
     
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  34. jsstevens

    jsstevens En-Route

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    I soloed in 16 hours, but spread over about 10 months. The CFI I was working with told me at about 6.5 hours that if I'd taken the pre solo written, he'd have soloed me that day. C-172 working out of a Class D airport under a Class B shelf in 2004/2005, for reference. Frankly his comment rather scared me as I didn't feel ready. When I did solo (after taking more than 6 months off) I was ready and enjoyed it.
     
  35. lancie00

    lancie00 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I soloed at 12.5 hours but that was in 30 days. If you take longer between flights it will DEFINITELY take more hours.
     
  36. Hippike

    Hippike Pre-takeoff checklist

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    "2 hour session costs $300 with C172S and CFI"
    "what everyone has experienced"
    Well, then you will never experience what I experienced (2016-2017 pricing): C172 for $167, CFI for $90 per hour... and it took me 35-40 hours to solo but I had a very hard time getting those landings (so bad I was ready to quit). It took me longer than it takes for most to achieve the ticket; I spent probably more than some of you here combined, but do I care? No! I have my wings and I can fly wherever I want to!
    Just study hard, practice a lot of chair flying and enjoy the ride!
     
  37. WannFly

    WannFly En-Route

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    I am a high time solo and a high time PPL guy, as long as you are learning, doesn’t really matter how long it takes. It takes as long as it takes. It’s not a race. If you solo in 2 hours, doesn’t mean you are bob Hoover. I can understand where you are coming from, but trust me there are better things to think about than when will I solo...
     
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  38. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Old dog w/o new tricks
    If you don’t solo in 10 hours you suck.



    I tripled sucked.
     
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  39. texasclouds

    texasclouds Pre-takeoff checklist

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    My dad claims he soloed in 6 hours (back in the 70-80s). I found my mom's old log book from 1982, she had a ton of supervised solos, made it to 30 hours but never did cross country. she was worried she would get lost and then got pregnant with me, thus never finished.
     
  40. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

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    Whatever it takes
     
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