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I've heard 40 hours is not safe or realistic.

Submitted by trenfro on Fri, 11/26/2010 - 04:17

College programs that are Part 141 schools finish private pilots in 35 hours.  They use college students as instructors.  If a 20 year old college kid can finish a flight student in 35 hours then I can finish a student in less than 40 hours.   I have over 8 years of experience on over 8000 hours of dual given.  The last student I finished had 35 hours and had to go fly 5 hours of solo just to get enough hours to meet the 40 hours minimum requirement.
The military used to kick anyone out of the flight program that had not soloed in ten hours.  I know of at least one flight school today that requires that students have a minimum of tweenty hours before they can solo.  Is it safety or is it money.  The FAA says there is only tweenty hours of dual required TOTAL. KC Flight does not have pre-set numbers.  If you are ready to solo in eight hours you will solo in eight hours. The average is ten lessons or about fifteen hours.   If you are not ready we are not going to let you do anything that is not safe.  We both have to agree 100% that it is safe and you are ready.
Top quality safe training, safety first.  60 to 80 hours of inferior training does not make a safer pilot.
In addition our training doesn't stop when you get your private pilot certificate.   We encourage on going training.  Your Private certificate is a license to learn.  As a new pilot if you plan to fly and the wind is a little stronger than what you are comfotable with call your instructor and practice cross wind landings.   If you want 60 to 80 hours of training that is great, why not apply half of that towards your instrument rating.
 

Let me say that I don't know that 67 hours is the actual average.   I've read as low as 55 and as high as 85 as the national average.  A quick google search found a dozen different answers to the average flight hours.  None of the sources seemed authoritative.  I couldn't find an actual number from the FAA.  If you find the actual FAA number let me know.
I will assume your question is why is the average more than 40 hours if the FAA and KC Flight says I can finish in about 40 hours.
Students waste time / money for two primary reasons.
First students don't take the training serious with a plan to finish from the start.  To finish in 40 hours requires that the student is focused and treats the private pilot course like they would any other college class.  Every hour you spend flying requires and hour of study.  If you do this and fly twice a week you can easily finish in a college semester in about 40 hours.
Second there is no incentive on the part of instructors to finish in 40 hours.  To be honest the incentive is to get as much time out of you as possible.  I've been in flight schools that the manager has demanded that instructors get a minimum of 60 hours or rent out of each student.  Most instructors are more concerned about what is going in their log book than they are what is going in the students log book.
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The first problem isn't a problem if the student is informed.  If you are doing this for recreation and you want to take two years and 80 hours that is fine.  We will be glad to work with you at any pace.  Most students want to finish in the least amount of time and money possible.