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5 Answers

Am I being milked on this check ride?

Asked by: 1102 views Flight Instructor

I'm a student pilot for a Private cert. with about 32 hrs of flight time. I'm currently completing the requirements for solo as well as solo X country then I'll have the 3 hours of prep for the checkride left. My goal is to be proficient at or around the 40 hr mark and so far I am on track. However the check ride will be held at an airport that's about 80NM away in a different state (Flight school's choice). So I figure it would be about a 2.5 hour (on the hobbs) return flight in a C150 which by the way includes the instructor so that will be counted as dual (acft is 89/hr, Inst. is 39/hr). The instructor comes along just in case I fail part of the ride we can do the corrections right there then redo that part of the check ride the same day. Figure in the costs for the oral and the practical ($350 (DPE) plus 1.5 hrs of flight time charged as dual because the instructor is on site even though he is not in the plane during the practical) gives $350+$192=$542. Dual flight time to and from the test airport is $320. The practical test then comes out to a minimum of $862 estimated. Somehow that seems excessive but instruct tells me that's how it's done in the business. Really?? Looking for comments. Thanks.

5 Answers



  1. Wes Beard on Jun 13, 2013

    Having the instructor come along is pretty typical. Traveling a great distance isn’t unrealistic either. If you are in a big city though, it would be strange.

    It takes on average 80 hours to be ready for the practical test… Most of it dual. Finishing in less time is saving you thousands.

    Fund the closest DPE at this website. Remember you are the paying customer… You can choose who to take the test with if you are under Part 61 rules.

    http://av-info.faa.gov/DesigneeSearch.asp

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  2. Bob Watson on Jun 13, 2013

    Wow. You only pay $39 an hour for the instructor? Up here in Washington, it’s more like $50-60/hour and a 152 is north of $100/hr. Paying for the instructor to sit on the ground while you go flying with the DPE seems a bit of a stretch (after all you’re not getting any instruction from him/her). I’ve seen “standby rates” for such a deal, but they are usually less than the full price.

    But all of this seems to be quibbling if you’re getting decent rates for dual instruction and you’re in a position to take the practical test at the bare minimum of flight time.

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  3. lo_fly on Jun 14, 2013

    Here in southern California the DPE takes 600$

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  4. Bob on Jun 14, 2013

    Those CFI and AC rates are really good.

    However a 80nm hop for the DPE is a little bit of s stretch, also paying the CFI to fly to this 80nm away airport is so so, paying him to sit on the ground is flat out BS, regardless of what you pay a hr. This would not go down at my flightschool.

    Also 80hrs for a PPL is a little long IMO

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  5. Willie on Jun 19, 2013

    Yes, I would say that you are getting ripped completely off. My first question is why in the world are you having to fly 80 miles to some airport rather than taking the check ride at your home airport?

    Second, since you are the one paying, why are you paying the instructor while he is sitting on the ground, doing nothing. Unless I had an abundance of students that I had to sit on the ground for while they take their check ride, I would offer it as a courtesy to my student to sit on the ground as a courtesy and as sheer moral support.

    Finally, have you looked into alternatives; closer DPE, leaving the instructor at the home airport, etc? I hope you can save half of that amount and obtain your license at the same time.

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