Challenges of getting your license
So, what are some of the challenges that come up along the way to getting your Pilot license? Well, there are some obvious ones like money and the weather. Other challenges may not be so obvious. A few others that I have encountered, and feel are more frustrating than money are flight school scheduling, aircraft maintenance, instructor availability, and your availability to schedule flights that fit your work schedule (This is assuming that you work a full-time job). There are many more that go beyond the scope of a short 2-minute read article. I will cover more. Let’s have a look at a few of these challenges now.
Well, getting a pilot’s license in Canada is an expensive adventure. Each flight will run you over $240.00+ per flight (conservatively) and most flight schools tell you to try and get 2 – 3 flights in per week. So, it doesn’t take long for the expense to add up. The solution is to ensure that you have $20,000.00 or more put aside and ready to spend to achieve your goal. Many websites and YouTube channels attempt to come up with a number that it will cost to get your license. The reality is, is that that number is going to be very different for everyone. I just mentioned the cost per flight that I pay for my school. This doesn’t include all the other costs that just happen. I will do another article that shows all the “REAL” licensing costs. Because it is a lot more.
We are Canada. Weather will always be a factor. Where I live in Windsor, Ontario, it is always windy. If it is not windy, it is cloudy (specifically low clouds), or is raining. Or, it is raining, with low clouds and wind. Not to mention snow storms and thunderstorms. Or some combination of the above that is not conducive to quality flight instruction. You get my point. We don’t live in California where they get 90% sunshine all the time and favorable weather. Weather will play havoc with your flight booking. I have gone weeks without flying due to constant weather-related cancellations.
You are not your instructor’s only student. You may see a time slot that works for you, but your instructor is already booked with another student. Schools always recommend you fly with the same instructor all the time to ensure consistency in training. Instructors also need time off. They work long days. Sometimes they work 7 days a week. Their time off is absolutely needed to be on their game. You are a student pilot that will make mistakes. You need your instructor to be sharp all the time.
You have a booked flight, and you are ready to go. Only to find out that it had to be canceled because the aircraft broke or had to go into maintenance. This happens.
I work a steady job. I also teach part-time at a local college. My availability to fly is a bit confined. Weekends and holidays are great. Anytime after 3:30pm is great. But not so much. During the summer in Canada, we can fly up to about 8:30pm’ish (Daylight, vfr). During the Winter it is almost impossible for me to fly during the weekday. It is dark at 4:30pm. So, I am limited to weekend flying. I would believe this is a reality for most adults trying to get a license. Our own schedule will certainly cause challenges.
Flight schools do their best to provide service for their students. They make aircraft and instructors available the best they can. They must deal with all the weather headaches, planned and unplanned aircraft maintenance, as well as student cancellations and no-shows.
You will experience all these challenges during your flight training. It can be very frustrating. I am sure in some cases it leads to many students quitting. I know myself I still get very frustrated with how long things can take and have considered quitting because of delays that put weeks in between flights that make me feel like I am just wasting money because I feel like I have to start over almost.
What’s the fix? Have limitless cash. Buy your own training aircraft and take care of all its maintenance (Heck, you better buy a second aircraft to fly while the first is in maintenance). Hire your own private flight instructor that is ready and willing to fly with you at a moment’s notice. Finally, create a weather control machine that allows you to create perfect conditions every time you fly. I say this jokingly only to show that no matter what, you will experience these challenges. Keep up the fight. You will get there eventually.