7 Tips for New Student Pilots

7 Tips for New Student Pilots

As published by me in Forward in Flight Magazine


When people find out that I know a little bit about aviation, I am normally asked a couple of questions and the conversation is just about always the same. I though that this is information might be beneficial to those out there who are considering taking the leap and starting flying lessons!


  1. Flight training is expensive.

Probably the question I am asked the most is “how much does it cost to learn how to fly?” No, it’s certainly not a cheap hobby, but if you plan for some of the expenses you’re better

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Click here to view as published in Forward in Flight

prepared for some of the things you need to come up with cash for down the road. My response to this question is usually something along the lines of explaining that the cost is about the same as buying a decent used car. Of course there are the upfront costs that people are normally aware of: the cost of the plane and the cost of the instructor. I always suggest having about half of what it’s going to cost you in the bank so that you can fly more regularly. Trying to come up with the money as you go will often put a damper on the frequency of which you can fly. And ALWAYS keep the money in your own bank account. Don’t pay for flight training up front. It happens all too often – flight schools close, instructors bail, etc.

Then there’s what I like to call the “hidden costs” of learning to fly. The things that you aren’t normally aware of before chasing your dream of becoming a pilot. You’ll want to invest in some good equipment and some are probably more necessary that others! Things such as head sets, a nice flight bag, flight planning software, cool looking aviator sunglasses, fuel testers and more. Some of these items can be pretty expensive, so it’s important to know right away that you’ll probably love to start spending some money on these kinds of things!


  1. Flight training takes time. Think of it like a part time job.

Continue reading “7 Tips for New Student Pilots”

Successful Introductory Flights

Successful Introductory Flights

Engage Your Passengers!



When I lived in Wisconsin, Lambeau Field was always a favorite among my passengers!

A big part of being a pilot is sharing our love of flight with others. One way many of us do this is to give our friends, family, complete strangers their first ride in a general aviation aircraft.

As an instructor, these kinds of flights have become second nature to me. I love giving intro flights to just about anyone who wants to go.

Recently, I was having a conversation with a friend about giving an introductory flight and it made me realize how many of us have our own things we like to do differently when giving a first flight.

I have my own routine. Out of curiosity, I took a very informal poll of fellow pilot friends to see what their routine is for an introductory flight.

The key to a successful introductory flight is really engaging your passenger so he or she feels like they are contributing to the flight. I’m writing this from the perspective of a flight instructor who’s given many intro flights and I’d like to share some of my ideas with you for your own flying! Continue reading “Successful Introductory Flights”