Doug needs to start a flight academy

Soonermurph

New Member
Doug, now that you know what it takes to make a good flight school, I think you should buy a few Aircraft and hire a few instructors (I know some) and hang out your shingle. Issues up for discussion would be location, name, aircraft needed, etc. This could be fun. How about JetCareer Flight Academy!
 

Derg

New Arizona, Il Duce/Warlord
Staff member
Actually, if I could convince DE727UPS to relocate to the sunny AZ, it'd be a go!
 

Soonermurph

New Member
It would be a place where instructors are paid a livable wage; a place where aircraft were always available. A place where students are never taken advantage of. I can see it now. There would be no false promises of guaranteed jobs at the end of a $7,000 airline prep course. It would be a land where cesnas fly like the wind!
 

DE727UPS

Well-Known Member
Instructors

I've always liked the idea of free lance instructors. Employees are a hassle....
 

Derg

New Arizona, Il Duce/Warlord
Staff member
Re: Instructors

Ahh, therein lies the rub.

I'd like more of a leaseback hub where CFI's could set their own rates, but then there'd have to a way to cover the overhead costs like leasing office space, keeping the telephone on and a working toilet.

My last flight school that I worked at had a toilet that was always backed up so I swore if I ever started one, proper 'rest' facilities were in order.

I think I'd have to start by first becoming a millionaire, and then be able to financially tolerate the gradual descent into being a thousandaire because it can't be cheap or very profitable to run a flight school!

Ack! What to do!
 

DE727UPS

Well-Known Member
Facilities

I had a deal set up with at a great facility where the owner was going to take a percentage from the aircraft owner (me) and the free lance CFI's. He wouldn't have made a ton of money but it would have brought a lot of business into his pilot supply shop. I think we agreed on 15 percent to him.

Anyhow...it's kinda fallen through do to lack of interest on the part of the building owner. The weather. And my most active CFI is splitting for a banner towing job.

I still think it would work if I had an agressive CFI willing to go out and beat the bushes and make it happen....I just have better things to do...

The best situation would be to find an airport with a nice, non-FBO affiliated, pilot lounge or waiting area. A place you could meet students, get a cup of coffee, and has nice restrooms. Then you walk out to the plane on the ramp...no big deal.

Problems are airport managements that don't like this sort of activity and FBO's who see you as a threat rather than a small nice operation that might bring later business to their rental fleet.
 

JEP

Malko In Charge
Staff member
[ QUOTE ]
Poster: DE727UPS
Subject: Re: Doug needs to start a flight academy

I have a 152 sitting around not doing anything


[/ QUOTE ]

Send it to KFCM. I would gladly put a few hours on the hobbs.
 

DrBenny

New Member
Doug, if you ever become independently wealthy, you should do this. Also, you should charge $70 per hour for YOUR services (in addition to the plane), and you should drop any student who isn't absolutely serious.

You will attract a few dedicated students, and lose a lot of students, but you don't care, remember--you are independently wealthy. All you want to do is teach two or three really good ones.

BTW, I always overpay my CFI. He has is a one-man show. But more importantly, he is a 26,000-hour, ex military CFII who loves to teach (more than he liked coroporate or transport). He deserves more than $30 per hour.
 

Kristie

Mama Bear....
Staff member
[ QUOTE ]
JetCareer Flight Academy

[/ QUOTE ] I've been telling him that for about a year now...no kidding!!


Like my hairdresser does a leaseback thing where she leases the space and the use of the salon - and in return, she gets more profit and gives the salon some profit for her using the space... they actually end up making more...

the only big thing to think about with the leaseback option is insurance!
 

Eagle

New Member
[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]
JetCareer Flight Academy

[/ QUOTE ] I've been telling him that for about a year now...no kidding!!


[/ QUOTE ]

I'll handle the PR
 

Flugmaschine

New Member
[ QUOTE ]
It would be a place where instructors are paid a livable wage; a place where aircraft were always available. A place where students are never taken advantage of. I can see it now. There would be no false promises of guaranteed jobs at the end of a $7,000 airline prep course. It would be a land where cesnas fly like the wind!


[/ QUOTE ]

...and if you suddenly find yourself among CFI's who are paid a living wage, where aircraft are always available and cessnas fly like the wind, FEAR NOT!! for you have died and are in Elesian fields.
-Gen. Maximus
 

juskl

Well-Known Member
I figure to start your own flight training service would cost about 50 K initially. This would cover the initial down payment on a decent 172, upgrades, inital hanger rental and office equipment (computer and such). Then the operating would be about 1000-2000 a month depending on fuel usage and such. That would include payments for the plane, insurance, hanger, fuel, mx, and other issues. Of course this is all dependent on location. However, even if you charged 30 and hour for the instructor fee, you are still charging about 10-15 less then our local flight schools and would be making 14 more an hour than starting pay for alot of instructors.

This was just basic computations written on a bar napkin....so I may be a bit off
.
 

flyguy

Well-Known Member
You'd need at least 2 planes. Otherwise when one's down for mainainence, the students would have nothing to do.
 

pilot602

If specified, this will replace the title that
It could be done. It'd be hard and expensive but I think the biggest problem with most FBOs (small shops) is the complete and total lack of advertising. I don't mean taking an ad out in Flying ... I mean local billboards and newspapers. College publications/radio stations etc. Targeted mailings to Doctors, Lawyers other "rich" folk.

An operation where the aircraft are all on leaseback would not be too hard to set-up. Falcon Executive (where I get my CFI from) does not own a single aircraft. All 30 or so airplanes they have are leasebacks - they get $10 an hour of the rental fee for the aircraft BUT they don't pay for maintenance, upgrades etc. It wouldn't be too hard to find and partner up with a local aircraft dealer to sell new aircraft with a "leaseback" option for the new owner to the school. The school could get $15-20/hr for the aircraft and then let CFIs freelance out of those aircraft.

The only problem is it'd probably in the beginning it'd take some serious cash and hustle (more hustle than cash) and probably be a be a break even (at best) type of deal for a while. But eventually $15-20 an hour spread over say three aircraft may generate just enough to keep things going. You're looking at some kind of small numbers. But, say you could fly each of the aircraft 20 hours a week. That's an income potential of 60 hours (three aircraft) x $15/hr = $900/week or roughly $3,600 a month, before taxes. At $3,600 a month you could probably get a small, little office someplace and maybe even pay a receptionist/dispatcher. But that'd be about it. It wouldn't bring in huge bucks but if you could get to that 20-hour mark you could probably stay in business. The trick, however, is getting to that "20-hour" mark.
 
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