Block time?

JordanD

Chinese Food Enthusiast
My flight school says that renters who buy 10 hours of block time get a discounted rate. What is block time exactly? They don't really explain it. Could it be a pretty good way to save money while building time or would the savings be negligible?
 
It shouldn't be any different than paying by the hobbs meter. Block time is from engine start to engine stop (like any normal bugsmashing flight school airplane). If you need to build hours and/or are going to use the time for sure, take every discount you can get.

What is your normal hourly rate and what are they offering for 10 hour blocks?
 
It shouldn't be any different than paying by the hobbs meter. Block time is from engine start to engine stop (like any normal bugsmashing flight school airplane). If you need to build hours and/or are going to use the time for sure, take every discount you can get.

What is your normal hourly rate and what are they offering for 10 hour blocks?
The normal rate comes out to $95 dry an hour (hobbs) with taxes and all that. I'm not sure what the block time is, since it's not listed on their site for some reason.
 
They're simply talking about purchasing a "block" of hours up front as opposed to not purchasing a set quantity of flight hours (or, better yet, just paying the regular rate after every flight).

For example. . .

Regular rate is $100 an hour. Times 10 hours, = $1000.

But, if you purchase a block of 10 hours at a time, we'll provide you a 10% discount.

$90 an hour. Times 10 hours, = $900.
 
I bet it's a 5% discount or something like that. Every little bit helps unless money is no object. What kind of aircraft?
 
Block time at a discount can be pretty nice. The only thing I'd be wary of is paying up front for a block of time and the school going out of business or something...I guess just check that they have a refund policy.
 
One word of advise: do not pay for an excessive amount of block time in case the operation folds. While block time saves money, a number of renters have lost money due to the company going belly up before they used what they paid for.
 
What are you flying for $95/dry. That is very expensive.
2001 172S and 172R. I agree that it's expensive but they're always hangared and plugged in in the winter. Maintenance is kept up with very well too. I'm tired of using up all my money though and only getting a few hours to show for it. All of the "cheap" planes on the field look pretty rough. I've heard almost nothing but bad things about some of them.
 
2001 172S and 172R. I agree that it's expensive but they're always hangared and plugged in in the winter. Maintenance is kept up with very well too. I'm tired of using up all my money though and only getting a few hours to show for it. All of the "cheap" planes on the field look pretty rough. I've heard almost nothing but bad things about some of them.


But they still fly.

I'd go with the cheap planes.

I'm a student with sign offs in a 172 SP (G1000) 172 M DA40 and a few others.

Guess wha im taking my checkride in?

the 172M.

They're cheap and dont look good, but they still fly, and 172 time is 172 time.
 
But they still fly.

I'd go with the cheap planes.

I'm a student with sign offs in a 172 SP (G1000) 172 M DA40 and a few others.

Guess wha im taking my checkride in?

the 172M.

They're cheap and dont look good, but they still fly, and 172 time is 172 time.
While that's definitely true, you still have to be weary sometimes. There was an older cheap plane that I got checked out in. A few weeks later it was gone from the flight school after the school found out the owner (lease back) was trying to do the MX himself.... without having an A&P.
BTW, a 172M is the first plane I ever flew+soloed. I still miss that thing. :(
 
Is it true that sometimes the owner can do parts of the maintenance in advance of an A & P coming back to check the work performed?
Opening inspection plates, etc,...
 
Is it true that sometimes the owner can do parts of the maintenance in advance of an A & P coming back to check the work performed?
Opening inspection plates, etc,...
Check 43 app. A. An owner can open panels even without an A&P.
Now, how many pilots should be trusted with a screwdriver...that's another question.
 
You can work on an airplane so long as you are under the supervision of an A&P. What constitutes supervison? Does the A&P have to be there personally to supervise you or could he or she provide that over the phone? I think an A&P could.


In any event, the first thing you should ask is to look at the log books for an aircraft you are going to rent.
 
I know the pilot/owner can do maintenance to some extent, but obviously there was a safety issue if the owners of the flight school decided they didn't want to operate the plane anymore.
 
You definitely want to be comfortable with the planes you fly, but just because it is old and rough-looking doesn't mean it is not airworthy. Consider shopping around, maybe visit a different airport in the area.
 
You definitely want to be comfortable with the planes you fly, but just because it is old and rough-looking doesn't mean it is not airworthy. Consider shopping around, maybe visit a different airport in the area.

Exactly.

If you spend a few minutes going through FAA/NTSB accident reports, you will find it difficult to find many accidents that are "because the plane was old and dirty". New, shiny airplanes can be maintenance s and/or neglected just as much or more so as that old mustard-yellow "vintage" -172 is. When I learned to fly, everyone wanted to rent the pretty planes, with the fancy engine monitors. Me? I wanted the cheapest, ugliest -172 I could find. Savings? About 30 bucks an hour!!! AND...it was almost ALWAYS available. Just some food for thought.
 
I know the pilot/owner can do maintenance to some extent, but obviously there was a safety issue if the owners of the flight school decided they didn't want to operate the plane anymore.

That is a big assumption to make. It could have been a lease-back that had expired, financing on a newer airplane that was very attractive, hell...could be 1000 reasons. To "assume" it safety issues is just that...an assumption.

One last thing...jot down the N-numbers of the "junkers" and search the NTSB website for incidents. Even better...search for the school name only and see what comes up. You may be surprised.
 
That is a big assumption to make. It could have been a lease-back that had expired, financing on a newer airplane that was very attractive, hell...could be 1000 reasons. To "assume" it safety issues is just that...an assumption.

One last thing...jot down the N-numbers of the "junkers" and search the NTSB website for incidents. Even better...search for the school name only and see what comes up. You may be surprised.
It's not an assumption, it's what everyone was told. I don't have any problems flying older, well maintained airplanes, but obviously there's gonna be some FBO's/rental outfits that have shoddy planes, either by their own doing or not (I know of some in the area that would have repeated problems no matter how many times they were "fixed").
You may be surprised.
By which ones have or haven't been involved in accidents? There's a few in the area that I've stumbled upon in the NTSB database.
 
Would you buy your groceries in $1000 dollar increments? How about clothes? Do you buy credits for clothes at Mervyns?

You should be very very warry of any flight school that is requesting you give them your money up front. This is sometimes the sign of a school that is having money problems.

Our airport neighbors have approximately $1,200,000 worth of deposits from their students. They are no only operating 2 aircraft for 30 students and are moments from bankruptcy. Of course this is a different story than $1000 at a time but it is still money that isn't in your bank account.

If you feel the risk ($1000 lets say) is worth the return (typically about 5% or $50) then go for it. If you can't afford to lose that type of cash then don't do it. My account has $.20 on it right now at my school. I pay when I fly and we don't offer any incentives to put down deposits, it just isn't the way we operate. We don't borrow from our students to pay the bills.
 
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