Blue Bird in Hot Water

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Squaretail
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Re: Blue Bird in Hot Water

Post by Squaretail »

Big Pistons Forever wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 9:34 am
photofly wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 8:10 am



There is not a single flight school in the entire country that “quotes” for anything other than the bare are minimum hours.

I think that is a bit unfair. I looked at several school websites in my area and they all clearly stated that the average person did not complete

the PPL in the TC minimum time and quoted 55 to 65 hours as a realistic time to complete training.
I think I've only ever run into one fellow who was quoting the minimum like there were no other variables. Most schools and instructors I have met have been realistic in describing training times.

To be fair, no other business quotes other than minimum costs either, and I have yet to meet a contractor who has met the minimum quoted cost.
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Re: Blue Bird in Hot Water

Post by rookiepilot »

Squaretail wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 10:32 am
flight training like RyanAir.
You might be onto something there. It may be a crime to repaint the interiors of your training fleet with the most hideous shade available, but can you imagine how much ad space there is inside a little airplane? I mean you could have ads on every second page of the checklist, the inside of the hood, the foggles, sunvisors... wait no, you charge extra for the plane with sunvisors, then you plaster ads on them. Having a pay toilet at the school would be a gold mine. Charge for barf bags. Go all the way. Ground school and briefings with commercial breaks.
Winner right here.

On that note --

My favourite posters here are those that say one should focus on the safety briefing before a commercial takeoff, and they are mentally rehearsing how to exit in an emergency.

I'd love to, except for the incessant -- and loud -- video ads playing during the entire taxi, that can't be muted.

Let's do that on training 172's, too, while teaching students how to safely focus.

More FTU revenue!
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Re: Blue Bird in Hot Water

Post by Aviatard »

photofly wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 8:10 am
There is not a single flight school in the entire country that “quotes” for anything other than the bare are minimum hours.
There is at least one. We quote for our average completion time of 67 hours. Maybe why we are called “too expensive.” Quoting the bare minimum is a bit disingenuous if almost nobody achieves that.
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Re: Blue Bird in Hot Water

Post by photofly »

Credit to you then, for that, and for tracking your completion times.
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Re: Blue Bird in Hot Water

Post by Squaretail »

rookiepilot wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 11:44 am


More FTU revenue!
Damn rights. Because lets be straight here, if you could offer this service, and cut the base rental rate to half of what the current market value is, you'd have students lining up for it. I'd go as far to say that they would crawl backwards naked over broken glass for that kind of deal.
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Re: Blue Bird in Hot Water

Post by 780Pilot »

Aviatard wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 3:29 pm
photofly wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 8:10 am
There is not a single flight school in the entire country that “quotes” for anything other than the bare are minimum hours.
There is at least one. We quote for our average completion time of 67 hours. Maybe why we are called “too expensive.” Quoting the bare minimum is a bit disingenuous if almost nobody achieves that.
Cheers to you. The flight training experience starts with honesty imo.
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Re: Blue Bird in Hot Water

Post by gtappl »

fish4life wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 1:55 pm
photofly wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 1:52 pm
Average time to PPL in Canada is 71.8 hours. That means about half take longer. Maybe he was in the longer half?
The fact 71.8 is average is scary, they should have a max hours if you don’t get it by X hours it’s probably not for you
what a stupid idea. It'll take a lot longer if you can't fly every week.
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Re: Blue Bird in Hot Water

Post by Squaretail »

gtappl wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 6:29 am


what a stupid idea. It'll take a lot longer if you can't fly every week.
Indeed, or even every month. There are a multitude of reasonable reasons a pilot may have an enormous amount of time to complete a license. Most of which of course have nothing to do with the school in question. Without a detailed breakdown of someone's training its really hard to lay blame regarding an extended training regime. To paraphrase Tolstoy, pilots are always trained quickly in the same way, each pilot that takes long to train, does so in their own unique way.
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Re: Blue Bird in Hot Water

Post by AirFrame »

photofly wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 8:10 am
Find me one, anywhere. Just one. Then price importing it, overhauling the time-expired engine and the other inspection and repairs necessary to put it on a commercial maintenance schedule. You will not get change from CAD$100k.
Oh, be serious... I've seen 4 for sale in the last month for $30K or less, all in Canada, all with low (not zero) time engines, and none of which would need $70K of work to put on-line. The only reason people are training in 172's now, is that half the students and half the instructors are too fat to fly together in 150's.
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Re: Blue Bird in Hot Water

Post by photofly »

AirFrame wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 8:33 am
photofly wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 8:10 am
Find me one, anywhere. Just one. Then price importing it, overhauling the time-expired engine and the other inspection and repairs necessary to put it on a commercial maintenance schedule. You will not get change from CAD$100k.
Oh, be serious... I've seen 4 for sale in the last month for $30K or less, all in Canada, all with low (not zero) time engines,
It's not the hours, it's the calendar time. When was the last major overhaul? And all the other stuff on the schedule, that private owners don't do?
The only reason people are training in 172's now, is that half the students and half the instructors are too fat to fly together in 150's.
So your cheap flight school is only going to serve thin people?
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Re: Blue Bird in Hot Water

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photofly wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 9:00 am
It's not the hours, it's the calendar time. When was the last major overhaul? And all the other stuff on the schedule, that private owners don't do?
A major on an O-200 shouldn't cost $20K. Especially if it's calendar timed-out and not hours timed-out. "All the other stuff," if it costs $20K, is putting a nice chunk of change in an AME's pocket, nothing more. And that still only brings you to $70K. Regardless, the point was that you don't need to buy $150K 172's to teach people to fly.
So your cheap flight school is only going to serve thin people?
Why not? When you're talking about being realistic with students up front in terms of hours to learn, why not be realistic about the fact that an obese pilot will likely have a reduced lifespan at the least, and a reduced flying career at the best, due to related health issues that will bring the end of your medical. Flying isn't for everyone, this is just another reason why.
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Re: Blue Bird in Hot Water

Post by Bede »

AirFrame wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 8:02 am

A major on an O-200 shouldn't cost $20K. Especially if it's calendar timed-out and not hours timed-out. "All the other stuff," if it costs $20K, is putting a nice chunk of change in an AME's pocket, nothing more. And that still only brings you to $70K. Regardless, the point was that you don't need to buy $150K 172's to teach people to fly.
Just did an overhaul on an O-200 with a reputable shop. It cost me $27000. That included a minor crank flange repair ($1000), 4 cylinders, 2 mags, removal, freight, reinstall, taxes. It adds up.
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Re: Blue Bird in Hot Water

Post by photofly »

AirFrame wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 8:02 am
When you're talking about being realistic with students up front in terms of hours to learn, why not be realistic about the fact that an obese pilot will likely have a reduced lifespan at the least, and a reduced flying career at the best, due to related health issues that will bring the end of your medical. Flying isn't for everyone, this is just another reason why.
We will agree to disagree about the cost of engine overhauls. My experience matches Bede’s though.

Leaving aside the customer service issues of telling someone who doesn’t fit comfortably in a 150 (me) that I’m obese (I’m not), that I can expect at best a reduced lifespan (not true) and that flying isn’t for me (the jury is still out), You seem to be saying... what? That there’s no reason why flight training shouldn’t be much cheaper than it is?
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Re: Blue Bird in Hot Water

Post by digits_ »

photofly wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 11:39 am


Leaving aside the customer service issues of telling someone who doesn’t fit comfortably in a 150 (me) that I’m obese (I’m not), that I can expect at best a reduced lifespan (not true) and that flying isn’t for me (the jury is still out), You seem to be saying... what? That there’s no reason why flight training shouldn’t be much cheaper than it is?
Comfort has a cost, which I'm sure you'll agree with. Not entirely sure why you don't think a Cessna 150 or 152 would be a good flying school alternative if it can be offered for a lower cost?
A lot of flying schools seem to fish overseas for students. Statistically, a lot of Asian people would fit in a 150/152. They are also quite common in different European countries. Actually, I do know of a Canadian flying school that operates them succesfully.

Even when flying a 172, you'll meet people who just won't safely fit.
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Re: Blue Bird in Hot Water

Post by photofly »

digits_ wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 11:46 am
photofly wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 11:39 am


Leaving aside the customer service issues of telling someone who doesn’t fit comfortably in a 150 (me) that I’m obese (I’m not), that I can expect at best a reduced lifespan (not true) and that flying isn’t for me (the jury is still out), You seem to be saying... what? That there’s no reason why flight training shouldn’t be much cheaper than it is?
Comfort has a cost, which I'm sure you'll agree with. Not entirely sure why you don't think a Cessna 150 or 152 would be a good flying school alternative if it can be offered for a lower cost?
Comfort does have a cost, and I agree that a C150 is a fine training plane. I don't think I said otherwise. Quality also has a price, as does good service.

Chasing the cheapest price, in anything, is rarely wise. I want the person overhauling my engine to be well paid; I want the person who took the trouble to set up an engine overhaul shop, to be well paid; I want my AME to be well paid. I recognize they do important work for me and I don't see that nickel-and-diming them is right.

Likewise a flight instructor and a flight school do important things. The people deserve to feel valued, respected, and remunerated. I don't think I want a flight instructor who's only being paid $20 per hour, nor do I really want to fly in an airplane maintained by a trainee on $12 per hour. I don't see that kind of outfit can deliver good results. If the culture is cheap, that permeates everything. I don't think an outfit that buys a fleet of C150's for CAD$25k each and does cheap overhauls on the engines is going to be able to deliver good quality training.

And I think customers who chase cheap flight training end up where the students listed in the story at the top of this thread are.
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Re: Blue Bird in Hot Water

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AirFrame wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 8:02 am
photofly wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 9:00 am
It's not the hours, it's the calendar time. When was the last major overhaul? And all the other stuff on the schedule, that private owners don't do?
A major on an O-200 shouldn't cost $20K. Especially if it's calendar timed-out and not hours timed-out. "All the other stuff," if it costs $20K, is putting a nice chunk of change in an AME's pocket, nothing more. And that still only brings you to $70K. Regardless, the point was that you don't need to buy $150K 172's to teach people to fly.
So your cheap flight school is only going to serve thin people?
Why not? When you're talking about being realistic with students up front in terms of hours to learn, why not be realistic about the fact that an obese pilot will likely have a reduced lifespan at the least, and a reduced flying career at the best, due to related health issues that will bring the end of your medical. Flying isn't for everyone, this is just another reason why.
So a quality AME can't make good money for their time and expertise, only "you"can?

Loving the logic....
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Re: Blue Bird in Hot Water

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Bede wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 9:31 am
Just did an overhaul on an O-200 with a reputable shop. It cost me $27000. That included a minor crank flange repair ($1000), 4 cylinders, 2 mags, removal, freight, reinstall, taxes. It adds up.
No disagreement here. My parents paid close to that overhauling the O-200 in their 150 as well. But that was an engine that was not only well beyond the calendar time, but also near (or maybe just over, I forget now) TBO as well. When I suggested there are 150's out there with low time engines, photofly said an overhaul would be necessary for calendar time expiry on the engine. Fine. But overhauling a low time O-200 that was "just overhauled" 300-400 hours ago probably won't be as expensive as overhauling a run-out engine.
rookiepilot wrote:So a quality AME can't make good money for their time and expertise, only "you"can?
Not my logic at all, but thanks for playing. I'm saying the AME will have less work to do on a relatively new engine than he/she will on a completely used up engine. Should the AME charge the same amount of money regardless of how much work there is to do?
photofly wrote:Chasing the cheapest price, in anything, is rarely wise. I want the person overhauling my engine to be well paid; I want the person who took the trouble to set up an engine overhaul shop, to be well paid; I want my AME to be well paid. I recognize they do important work for me and I don't see that nickel-and-diming them is right.
I agree, chasing the cheapest price isn't wise. But at the same time, paying more than you need to just increases your costs, those costs get passed on to the students, and you're back to the question of why flight training is so expensive. Nowhere did I suggest nickel-and-diming an AME... I suggested that $70k to take a flying, AME-serviced Cessna 150 and turn it into a flight school airplane was excessive.

REGARDLESS, $30K for a used 150, $30K for an engine overhaul, and you're still half the cost you quoted for a 172, and you have an airplane with lower hourly costs as well. So why is it necessary to use 172's to train people to fly?
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Re: Blue Bird in Hot Water

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So why is it necessary to use 172's to train people to fly?
Breaking news ... a shit tonne of people don't actually want to learn to fly in a 1970's era C150.

You can run a cheap flight school with the cheapest smallest airplane you can find. And you can cheap-out putting them on the flight line. If you do that, there's a reasonable expectation you're cheaping out on your instructors, your maintenance, and your customer service too. And we end up with the headline story in this post. "Not paying more than you need" means exactly "paying the minimum possible". Which is, cheaping out.

Now It really does depend on what kind of flight school you want. But even a 1970's era C172, one small step up from a 150, is into six figures. If you want something modern and comfortable (and many people do) there's a lot of capital expenditure involved.

AirFrame wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 8:17 am
So why is it necessary to use 172's to train people to fly?
Let me reflect the question back to you. A lot of (successful) flight schools use C172s, DA20's, DA40's, and a variety of aircraft other than the (cheapest C150)? Why do you think that is?
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Re: Blue Bird in Hot Water

Post by photofly »

double post
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Re: Blue Bird in Hot Water

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photofly wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 8:28 am
Let me reflect the question back to you. A lot of (successful) flight schools use C172s, DA20's, DA40's, and a variety of aircraft other than the (cheapest C150)? Why do you think that is?
It’s based on utilization, availability, and fleet reliability.. not type.

There’s not a lot of Cessna 150s out there that don’t have over 10,000 hours on them. Same with 152s. That’s because they are mainly training aircraft. The DA20s are newer. The DA40s are newer. They are still making 172s. And there are plenty of cream-puff old 172s out there that were never flown commercially with less than 5000 hours.

If you could find a couple of Cessna 150s that are low time and in good shape, and your annual utilization is less than 400 hours a year, there’s no reason why you couldn’t run a successful flight school with them. If you’re talking about how costs balloon for a 150, just wait until you see how they do for a 172 or a Diamond which in typical European fashion has a ton of things that can break that don’t even exist on a light Cessna.

If you have people complaining about space in a 150, they definitely will in a Diamond DA20. I fit into a 150 easily at 6 2 and well north of 200 lbs.
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Re: Blue Bird in Hot Water

Post by photofly »

You didn’t answer the question. At least if you did, I don’t understand your answer. According to you it’s easy to equip a flight school with cheap 150’s.

If C150 are available for cheap and everyone can fit in one and everyone loves them and they are the answer to flight training, why do FTU’s operate other types? Why do they bother with more expensive options?
. If you’re talking about how costs balloon for a 150, just wait until you see how they do for a 172 or a Diamond which in typical European fashion has a ton of things that can break that don’t even exist on a light Cessna
Well, yes. That’s my point. That’s why flight training is expensive. You’re the one advocating for rock bottom prices; I’m the one saying lots of people want to fly something else, and are prepared to pay for it.
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Re: Blue Bird in Hot Water

Post by Bede »

AirFrame wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 8:17 am
Bede wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 9:31 am
Just did an overhaul on an O-200 with a reputable shop. It cost me $27000. That included a minor crank flange repair ($1000), 4 cylinders, 2 mags, removal, freight, reinstall, taxes. It adds up.
No disagreement here. My parents paid close to that overhauling the O-200 in their 150 as well. But that was an engine that was not only well beyond the calendar time, but also near (or maybe just over, I forget now) TBO as well. When I suggested there are 150's out there with low time engines, photofly said an overhaul would be necessary for calendar time expiry on the engine. Fine. But overhauling a low time O-200 that was "just overhauled" 300-400 hours ago probably won't be as expensive as overhauling a run-out engine.
My engine had close to 3000 hrs on it at overhaul. The only extra work my engine needed was the crank flange repair which was ~$1000 extra. Regardless of time, you will still need new cylinders. The mags had to be replaced because the last shop incorrectly seated the bearings resulting in unacceptable wear.

The sad thing is that my 3000 hr engine performed better (75 RPM greater static RPM, half the oil consumption) than the freshly overhauled one. We spent a bunch more money on better plugs, playing with harness, mags, etc trying to get the performance back to where it was. No luck. Prior to the overhaul, our 150 was the best performing 150 I have flown. After, it's an average anemic 150.
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Re: Blue Bird in Hot Water

Post by Bede »

photofly wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 8:28 am
AirFrame wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 8:17 am
So why is it necessary to use 172's to train people to fly?
Let me reflect the question back to you. A lot of (successful) flight schools use C172s, DA20's, DA40's, and a variety of aircraft other than the (cheapest C150)? Why do you think that is?
That's very true. Flight training is expensive regardless of whether it's in a 150 or something new. If students have the money to spend $200/hr on a dual flight in a C150, they'll have $240/hr to spend on something nice. Sadly, there is no way to make flight training cheap enough for the everyman to afford it, so you may as well target the well-to-do. The nice plane will likely have less down time and therefore higher utilization. The problem is capitalizing a school with a modern fleet is difficult and hard to make a business case for considering the ROI.
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Re: Blue Bird in Hot Water

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photofly wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 8:28 am
Breaking news ... a shit tonne of people don't actually want to learn to fly in a 1970's era C150.
As opposed to a 1970's era 172? Breaking news - New students by and large haven't a clue what the difference is between any of the training planes. 150, 172, Katana, Cherokee, etc.
You can run a cheap flight school with the cheapest smallest airplane you can find. And you can cheap-out putting them on the flight line. If you do that, there's a reasonable expectation you're cheaping out on your instructors, your maintenance, and your customer service too. And we end up with the headline story in this post. "Not paying more than you need" means exactly "paying the minimum possible". Which is, cheaping out.
You seem to keep wanting to focus on "cheaping out" when all I suggested is that there are cheaper options. Using a 150 instead of a 172 isn't cheaping out. It's still a solid training airplane built by the same company and maintained by the same AME's. You'll still have the same instructors, same customer service, same maintenance. In fact, you'd have more money to spend on all of those if you didn't spend so much on a fleet of 172's at the outset.
But even a 1970's era C172, one small step up from a 150, is into six figures. If you want something modern and comfortable (and many people do) there's a lot of capital expenditure involved.
Yes, exactly my point. And I maintain that people who want to learn to fly can do it in a Honda Civic instead of a Honda Accord. A 172 is no more modern than a 150, and only marginally more comfortable.
Let me reflect the question back to you. A lot of (successful) flight schools use C172s, DA20's, DA40's, and a variety of aircraft other than the (cheapest C150)? Why do you think that is?
I could surmise a few reasons. First and foremost, that 150's aren't made anymore and 172's are. More affluent schools find they have a lot of revenue and want to turn it into brand new aircraft, and 172's are all they can get. The fleet they had (152's and 172's, likely) get sold to smaller schools (or sold off to private owners). DA20's make no sense really, except as an example of "something different".
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Re: Blue Bird in Hot Water

Post by photofly »

Welll, I can tell you, there are (as I said) a shit tonne of people who want to learn to fly, but don’t want to learn to fly in a C150. Even a 70’s era 172 is a big step up in most people’s eyes. Perhaps not yours, but definitely the eyes of most people who are new students.

The reason flight schools use planes other than the smallest cheapest ones, is because there’s a solid demand for them.

Other than that, I’m not sure what this discussion is about any more...
More affluent schools find they have a lot of revenue and want to turn it into brand new aircraft
I guarantee you no flight school - no business, even - “finds It has a lot of” revenue - every dollar is hard won, and much needed. Nobody, ever, in the history of flight training, got to thinking, “gee, let’s put all this extra cash swishing around into a bunch of expensive airplanes.”
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