Flight lesson Length

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by Stevey30, Jun 4, 2020.

  1. Stevey30

    Stevey30 Filing Flight Plan

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    Hello new to the forum, I am 8 lessons in for my ppl, my question is how long are you guys flying during each lesson? I am averaging about 2 hours a lesson and had a pilot friend say that was to long. I fly out of a small airport with virtually no wait time to take off or land and he says I should be around 1.5 hours per lesson. I am pre solo and no cross countries of any type, just trying to get some others thoughts. I know everyone is not the same, but trying to get an average time per lesson.
     
  2. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach

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    Usually an hour and a half is the average that I've seen. The question is are you retaining all the information in that two hours or fading towards the end? 2 hours isn't unheard of and if you're learning and demonstrating in that entire two hours, you're fine.
     
  3. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    sounds a bit on the high side, especially early on in training. doesn't mean it can't be done.
     
  4. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform En-Route

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    Mine were about 0.8-1.2 each. We would call it quits when my absorption rate started to decline. More lessons, less time.
     
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  5. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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    Who cares? Was it working for you before your friend "helped" you out? Do you get too tired during the 2 hour lesson? How are you making out? If it's working for you, leave it alone. I did my IFR in 4 hour blocks, on average about 2 to 3 hours flying. Worked great for me. Do what works for you, don't worry about fitting to other people's expectations. I've had lessons where the instructors booked in two hour blocks. We'd talk for 45 minutes going over planning and ground stuff, then get to the airplane and something would inevitably be wrong, like no gas, or it would need oil, by the time I got to fly we'd have a half an hour. If you are not getting too tired, then leave it alone.
     
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  6. Stevey30

    Stevey30 Filing Flight Plan

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    We do a lot during the lessons, yesterday was 1.8hrs, we did 6 touch and goes at home airport. We then proceeded out to trading area and did 20 degree bank turns back to same heading, then some slow flight. After that we flew to another local airstrip and did 3 take off and landings to full stop and the proceeded home. The lesson on Sunday was 2.5 hours and we did a ton, slow flight, stalls, turns around a point, flight to a heading, 30 and 45 degree turns, emergency fire procedures and probably some things I’m forgetting.
     
  7. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach

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    Ah, there's the rub. Although not required (here) to retain everything, you want to fly as much as you can retain in a single lesson. In other words, you don't want to have to repeat lessons because of things you're forgetting. You should be able to build on the last lesson.

    If two hours works for you, it isn't too long.
     
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  8. smv

    smv Cleared for Takeoff

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    Ask your instructor how many more hours he needs to get to 1,500. If he can answer without looking at his logbook.....
     
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  9. chemgeek

    chemgeek Pattern Altitude

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    Most of my primary training flights were close to an hour. It's a good length of time to maintain intense concentration. I taught undergrads for a living, and I found even agile, eager minds start to lose concentration after about an hour. I think 90 minutes is the longest you would want to go unless doing a cross country. Two one-hour lessons spaced at least a day apart will result in more retention than one 2-hour lesson. Both experience and neurobiology agree with that. Works in sports and academics as well as flying.
     
  10. Stevey30

    Stevey30 Filing Flight Plan

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    I’m not saying it’s not working, just wondering if more flights with shorter length would be better than less flights that are longer. I am averaging about 3-3.5 hours per lesson with pre flight briefing, pre flight inspection and post flight securing and debriefing. It’s not always easy getting 4 hours to do a lesson, between work, family and other commitments.
     
  11. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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    I think you've got a good thing Stevey, it's really up to you. I'll tell you this, flying too little will slow you down in the process. Your instructor should be logging what you cover in your log book, if he isn't ask him to do it. Bottom line, as long as you aren't zoning out go for it. The instructor is screwing you thing is pretty consistent around here, if you think that is the case, dump him. 8 lessons at 2 hours average put you at 16 hours, what time frame are these lessons given, is it once a week? How close are you to solo? Are landings going well?
     
  12. Stevey30

    Stevey30 Filing Flight Plan

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    My instructor is retired, he does this because he loves to fly, he has flown for almost 50 years. He’s not trying to build time, he has plenty.
     
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  13. Stevey30

    Stevey30 Filing Flight Plan

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    I am trying to do at least 2 lessons a week, but we have had crap weather and I have had to cancel at least one lesson per week. I got 2 in this week because I had 3 scheduled.
     
  14. Clip4

    Clip4 Final Approach

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    For each flight the syllabus should indicate the lesson duration. At 8 lessons, 2 hours is to long.
     
  15. Stevey30

    Stevey30 Filing Flight Plan

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    I’m not sure about solo yet, I think I have 3 more lesson according to our syllabus before we prep for solo.
     
  16. Stevey30

    Stevey30 Filing Flight Plan

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    Please don’t get me wrong, I love every minute of it, but I do want to get the most out of each lesson.
     
  17. Ravioli

    Ravioli Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Just remember that you control when you've "had it" on any lesson. Sometimes saying "Can you demonstrate a short field or power off landing?" will give you that brief break to disconnect from the controls, relax, reset and then do one yourself.

    Overload can happen, and you're the best judge of that, but if your "getting it" the whole time than the concentrated lessons are great.

    Also, in case you haven't heard, the syllabus should describe the goals of each sortie.
     
  18. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    Hopefully with all that time of logged dual instruction, your instructor has become a good judge of how you and his other students are doing energy and fatigue wise.

    For your situation @Stevey30, he could be looking over and making the judgement that at that moment, you're doing well and continuing isn't counter productive.

    Then someday, there could be the lesson where you show up, haven't slept well, or haven't eaten properly, or not hydrated well, or any number of factors that sap your energy level, and your instructor ends the flight because he sees/feels that your performance is begging to slip and it's time to head back to the barn.

    A really good instructor knows how to maximize time available and student's ability to take on new skill info and ability to exercise/practice what is already known. And how to determine that pushing things isn't the best of ideas.

    If you are capable of doing 1.75-2.0 hour lessons on a consistent basis, do it! Just make sure the time in flight is productive.

    As far as a 2.0 hour flight lesson becoming 3.5 hours of real time, make sure the pre- and post-briefings are on point and don't wander with idle conversation and rabbit trail questions. Also make sure you show up to each lesson with assigned reading and homework complete. In general, a good pre- briefing can be done in about 20 minutes, and a post in the same time.
     
  19. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    And document what has been completed, and where you stand between 0 to 100%.
     
  20. Stevey30

    Stevey30 Filing Flight Plan

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    We fill out everything at post flight debriefing, some of the extra non flight time is me doing inspections and securing plane. I’m very slow and by the check list on this, I don’t want to miss anything
     
  21. rk911

    rk911 Line Up and Wait

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    my lessons were about 2-hrs....30-45 min pre-flight discussion/ground review/post-flight debrief and the rest in the air. i flew an avg 2-3+times a week, weather permitting but if you're not flying at least once a week i can see them being longer. during my training there were a couple of occasions where maintenance and weather conspired to keep us grounded for an extended period. on those occasions the flight time was extended to 2-hrs.
     
  22. dmspilot

    dmspilot En-Route

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    I run out of steam and enough material to teach a presolo student after about 1.5 of continuous flight, and usually I target 1.0. Lessons (other than cross-country) do not approach 2 hours until checkride prep. Every flight school I've dealt with as a customer and as an employee has booked students in 2-hour blocks with about a 50:50 ratio of flight and ground time. Flights of 2.5 hours for a presolo student is atypical.
     
  23. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    Come instruct at one of the schools at KADS. 3.0-plus-a-bit scheduling block is not unusual.

    Due to the location of KADS within the DFW bravo, it's typically a 20-25 minute ride one way to/from the practice area to the east.

    Then add in the frequent wait in the run up area for moment of calm with all of the business jet traffic coming and going (avg. 15 minutes, but have seen much longer) and your total time in the airplane can get pretty tall.
     
  24. Ravioli

    Ravioli Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Which is why KTKI is a better place to train.
     
  25. Jim K

    Jim K Line Up and Wait

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    1 hour is common. When I was doing my private, we usually went close to 1.5, and I often felt I could've done longer and still been productive. Only once did I say I was done; we were doing lots of steep turns, unusual attitudes, S-turns, etc and I started to feel a little ill after about an hour. The private is less mental and more physical, so if you feel good, more practice at one time isn't bad. Now working on IFR, after about an hour I'm mentally fried.
     
  26. dmspilot

    dmspilot En-Route

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    "I fly out of a small airport with virtually no wait time"
     
  27. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    Which is good.

    I was providing a different side of the coin, describing what students experience when training at a busy jet port.
     
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  28. woodchucker

    woodchucker Cleared for Takeoff

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    Yep. I learned out of a Bravo so about an 0.75 - 1 hours of flight was transition time. Bonus is the comfort of dealing with a Bravo. If you can stay mentally focused for 2 solid hours of maneuvers then good for you. I felt worn out after about 1 hour.

    Bottom line is that you are the customer. Would it hurt to ask your cfi to do two short flights in a week rather than one long one? Then you can actually see what works best for you.
     
  29. Salty

    Salty Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    A few times during my training, I even booked 2 lessons on the same day, with a break for a snack and rest in between. Length of lesson being between about 1.5 hours
     
  30. tspear

    tspear Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Here is an easy test. Find luminosity or one of the other online tools. Build a baseline, morning, after work.... Then do it before a lesson, after landing, or after the lesson.

    I multiple times did 10 hours lessons including a 2 hour lunch break for IFR and multi. By the end, yeah my performance was down, but it was it was easy to figure out what was not committed to muscle memory.

    For the PPL, I normally blocked 4 hours or 6 hours. But I was inside the SFRA so I had an extra 15 minutes of transition flight each way. So I had many lessons which were 2 to 3 hours.

    Note: I am in IT for a living. So I am ,"used too" maintaining concentration all day long.

    Tim

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  31. timwinters

    timwinters Touchdown! Greaser!

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    When I learned to fly, I did 2 hour lessons, twice a week. Worked quite well for my schedule and abilities.
     
  32. ateamer

    ateamer Line Up and Wait

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    How many student pilots has your friend instructed?
     
  33. DFH65

    DFH65 Pattern Altitude

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    Is the instructor charging you 3-3.5 hours each lesson?
     
  34. Ryanb

    Ryanb Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Mine were scheduled in 2 hour blocks which equated to 30 minutes on the ground prior to, 1hr in the air and 30 minutes on the ground to debrief etc. I found this structure to work well. YMMV

    2hrs per lesson does seem excessive.
     
  35. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

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    2-3 hour block. Max 1.5 on the hobbs unless we’re doing a cross country.
     
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  36. AU_James

    AU_James Pre-takeoff checklist

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    It 100% depends on whether you are alert and in learning mode and it's productive time. If you're not understanding what's being taught or you feel like your ability to safely land the plane at the end is starting to decline, you need to stop. Whether that's 30 mins into the flight or 2+ hours. Your call, but talk to you instructor about it before your next flight.

    In the beginning, I had a two hour block of time for the aircraft. My instructor and I would show up about 30 mins early or on time if we couldn't get there early but we would coordinate that. Then when we finished the ground portion we would step to the plane whether we had the entire 2 hours still or something less. We would always check whether or not there was somebody hard scheduled behind us and that would determine if we landed 15 mins early so we could refuel for them or if we could land closer to the end time.

    Now (during instrument lessons) I own my own plane in a hangar and though I still get to the hangar early to pre-flight and input any flight plans or approach plates into the iPad, when my instructor shows up it's still the same- ground time to talk over the plan and ask questions then we hop in and fly. If at any time I'm feeling drained (after working all day and getting under the hood for most of an entire flight), we head back. My instructor will also ask on the final approach or as we're setting up for it how I'm feeling or something of the like to try and get a feel for any fatigue. I'm sure that's made harder during an instrument lesson since he can't see my eyes that well and I may be quietly trying to follow the heading/instructions.
     
  37. WDD

    WDD Line Up and Wait

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    I had 2 hour blocks of time. Usually equated to 1.5 hours or so on the Hobbs. Seemed reasonable. Any more and I'd lose concentration. Why not get as much time as you can once you're in the air.
     
  38. bobmrg

    bobmrg En-Route

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    A savvy instructor will know when what s/he says is just bouncing off instead of being absorbed. Two hours is for cross-country lessons, not for learning fundamentals. You are the customer, and you should decide what it is that you are paying for. A good instructor uses a syllabus that lays out the goals of each lesson, and before you get into the airplane you should both be on the same page as to what the lesson will accomplish.

    Just tell your instructor when you have had enough and want to head back to home base to debrief the lesson and discuss what was accomplished and what comes next...from the syllabus, of course.

    Bob Gardner
     
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  39. bobmrg

    bobmrg En-Route

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    Is there a lesson in the syllabus that incorporates all of this? Seems like a "what should we do next?" mixture of disparate things.

    Bob Gardner
     
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  40. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    In general anything north of an hour and a half and cognitive skills start degenerating. That said, not all students are equal nor are all lessons (or instructors). The only one who can determine if a lesson is too long is the OP.