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3 Answers

Looking for Estimate # of New Students

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Flight Instructor

I am a licensed sport pilot and I recently retired  as a firefighter after 24 years. Now that I have all this time on my hands I would love to share my enjoyment of sport flying by becoming a gyroplane sp-cfi. (from one dream job to the next!)

Is there a way to estimate the number of students, or training hours, I might expect each month? 

(Once I get my license, I plan on offering lessons in a community with approximately 20,000 residents. The neighboring city has approx 24,000 residents. The median income in the area is $68,000.)



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3 Answers

  1. Nathan Parker on Jan 22, 2012

    “Is there a way to estimate the number of students, or training hours, I might expect each month?
    Probably not.  Your community sizes are very small, which would suggest a poor market for such services, but the median income is high, which will better your prospects.  Many student pilots aspire to an airline career, and these probably aren’t the sort of student you will attract, which reduces your potential market.  Then there’s the impracticality of gyroplanes as serious transportation, which will further limit you to pure recreational flyers.  I have trouble imagining a scenario in which this activity will occupy a significant portion of your free time.
    Still, I think it’s a great thing to do and you’ll have a lot of fun if you can pick up even a student or two.

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  2. Derek Schwalenberg on Jan 22, 2012

    Aviation is a highly cyclical and unpredictable industry. It is also almost entirely word-of-mouth. It helps to work for (or run) a company or business that reaches its students well and has good reputation within the community. When you first start it may be tough even to get people that you know to sign up for your services, but after a few years if all goes well you will build a reputation such that you have a constant supply of incoming word-of-mouth references. I teach mostly primary, but the occasional instrument, commercial, and CFI students as a part-time evening/weekend job. In the summer I could probably afford to do it full-time but the winters in Connecticut can be tough. Even though cold weeather is generally better for the airplane, it likely does need a preheat and often recreational flyers don’t care to preflight in the cold (although career students will probably fly anytime your willing to go). Also $1/gal change in AvGas can easily double or halve your flight time. Still if you have a passive incoming from a pension or retirement fund that covers your bills and your doing this as more of a way to stay busy and generate some extra income then its a perfect gig! I’m not saying that their aren’t plenty of successful full-time instructors out there, but I wouldn’t go depending on it until after you have built up some repore as the goto guy for the flight training services you wish to provide.

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  3. Thomas Vaillencourt on Feb 02, 2012

    That’s also a very specialized training focus. I’m not sure there would be a great demand for sport gyroplane training, even in a major metropolitan area.

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