Will training costs decrease in the near future?

Customx

Well-Known Member
Now that oil has gone below $90, do you think that training costs will decrease as well? A lot of places increased costs and added fuel surchages from May-August because of rising oil prices. I realize that oil prices are volatile, but some analysts are predicting that with the economic slowdown, oil could go under $70 soon. Any chance that those reductions in price will be passed on to people looking to earn their ratings?
 

Maurus

The Great Gazoo
Eventually prices will go down. aviation fuels seem to be the last type of fuel that drops as oil drops so it may be a while before we see any major differences in prices. It also depends on how long the price of oil stays down.
 

jwp_145

GhostRider in the Sky
Now that oil has gone below $90, do you think that training costs will decrease as well? A lot of places increased costs and added fuel surchages from May-August because of rising oil prices. I realize that oil prices are volatile, but some analysts are predicting that with the economic slowdown, oil could go under $70 soon. Any chance that those reductions in price will be passed on to people looking to earn their ratings?
Most flight schools that I've had dealings with, including the current one for which I work, has kept their aircraft and instruction rates the same and simply levied a fuel surcharge.

For example, for every dollar over a set amount that fuel costs, they multiply that by the gallons per hour that your particular aircraft burns, then add that surcharge to the base rental. So if that rate is set at fuel for $4.00/gallon, and fuel goes up to $5.00 a gallon, you'd take that extra dollar and multiply it by the 10GPH the 172 burns, so the fuel surcharge per hour at that fuel price would be $10.

Make sense? I know that is how a few schools that I know of do it.
 

Scandinavian13

New Member
The school I went to and will probably be at again in the near future includes it in the rental price, so big changes in the price of Avgas affect the prices. I'm assuming it'll go back down some when Avgas drops and stays there.
 

jwp_145

GhostRider in the Sky
The school I went to and will probably be at again in the near future includes it in the rental price, so big changes in the price of Avgas affect the prices. I'm assuming it'll go back down some when Avgas drops and stays there.
Looks like you go to Pan Am. How do you like it over there? The idiot I worked for in Phoenix started Pan Am before they booted him out.
 

Scandinavian13

New Member
I was going to, until the economy tanked and I got offered a 12% IR loan from Sallie Mae on good credit and a co-signer with good credit. I moved all the way out here in prep to go and now I think I'm headed back.

I went to Av-Ed at JYO and OKV for my private, and I'll probably head back there for the rest. There's no way loan rates will drop soon and I have better job connections back east so I can pay as I go. I think that's probably what'll happen. Av-Ed was the school I was referring to.

I'd prefer to stick around and do the rest of my training here, but there's no way I can pull it off without a loan. Pan Am is class. The aircraft are well-kept, the facilities are nice and it's not a get-out-as-soon-as-you-can op ("All your ratings in X months!!!"). The problem is that it's expensive, too.
 

killbilly

Vocals, Lyrics, Triangle, Washboard, Kittens
I doubt very seriously that prices will go down. If your prices reach a certain point and the market bears it, there is no reason to lower your prices unless your competitors start doing it. And even then - if your competitors reduce to a point where they're below their costs (airlines, anyone?) then they will eventually fold - or worse - skimp on critical things like maintenance.

If oil goes down, great. And if Avgas goes down, that's great too. But the flight school won't lower prices unless it absolutely has to. They'd be foolish if they did.
 

ILS37R

Well-Known Member
Prices may go down a little, depending on the school, but probably not more than $10/hour.

While such a reduction would add up over a long course, it's still a drop in the bucket when compared to the total cost of training.

Learning to fly will not be cheap any time soon.
 

Scandinavian13

New Member
If it makes any difference, I know of flight schools who have made a habit of dropping prices to follow the gas trend.

I do, however, think that there's more to consider than gas. Yes, the cost of gas is going down. As I mentioned, I know of flight schools who have dropped costs as a result of fuel prices, but those drops were based on fuel alone, ceteris paribus.

In this case, the fuel price isn't the only drastic variable. Now, the economy is in the tank which creates another major factor. The flight schools probably won't bring in as many flights because people are going to have to cut back a bit due to the economic situation. That means they probably won't drop the prices relative to the gas prices alone, as it would be slightly irresponsible. If they could prove that the drop might bring out the pilots who couldn't otherwise fly, it might be worth it, but it's a risk I'm sure only the larger flight schools might take.
 

Barty

Well-Known Member
That means they probably won't drop the prices relative to the gas prices alone, as it would be slightly irresponsible. If they could prove that the drop might bring out the pilots who couldn't otherwise fly, it might be worth it, but it's a risk I'm sure only the larger flight schools might take.
I think there might be a dip in prices on the lower end aircraft, since this is what most people that are just flying for fun are more likely to rent. If the loans start getting a little scarce, these customers are probably going to be what shores up the operation until things return to normal.

I suspect there will probably be quite a few twins and high end singles at schools that will just sit because of the high cost of rental. Even if rental rates decrease at the same rate as every other aircraft they own, it still puts them out of the reach of the cash paying customer.

The flying club/school I fly with is already having to shut down operations at one of the airports it is based at, because of a downturn in business and persistent high avgas prices at that airport (~$7/gallon). There were probably other factors as well, such as property and airport taxes, which I understand are some of the highest in the Atlanta area. I haven't asked, but I'm going to assume they'll probably sell off the two 172s and move the DA-40 up to RYY...but we'll see. The instructor I've been flying with says he's getting let go, though he was going to leave in a couple of months anyway to move to Montana.
 

HeyEng

NAHB Doesn't Give a Crap
I think there might be a dip in prices on the lower end aircraft, since this is what most people that are just flying for fun are more likely to rent. If the loans start getting a little scarce, these customers are probably going to be what shores up the operation until things return to normal.

I suspect there will probably be quite a few twins and high end singles at schools that will just sit because of the high cost of rental. Even if rental rates decrease at the same rate as every other aircraft they own, it still puts them out of the reach of the cash paying customer.

The flying club/school I fly with is already having to shut down operations at one of the airports it is based at, because of a downturn in business and persistent high avgas prices at that airport (~$7/gallon). There were probably other factors as well, such as property and airport taxes, which I understand are some of the highest in the Atlanta area. I haven't asked, but I'm going to assume they'll probably sell off the two 172s and move the DA-40 up to RYY...but we'll see. The instructor I've been flying with says he's getting let go, though he was going to leave in a couple of months anyway to move to Montana.
Hey Barty...what is the deal with the AvGas prices in your neck of the woods?!? I was going to fly out there last week (from San Antonio) but I couldn't swallow the almost 7 bucks a gallon!!! I have YET to pay over 5 a gallon around here. So I got there on less than $200 bucks on AirTran and in a shorter amount of time. Was it fun? Not really...but MUCH cheaper!!!

Is there a concerted effort to kill GA around the metro area? It sure seems like it.
 

Barty

Well-Known Member
Hey Barty...what is the deal with the AvGas prices in your neck of the woods?!? I was going to fly out there last week (from San Antonio) but I couldn't swallow the almost 7 bucks a gallon!!! I have YET to pay over 5 a gallon around here. So I got there on less than $200 bucks on AirTran and in a shorter amount of time. Was it fun? Not really...but MUCH cheaper!!!

Is there a concerted effort to kill GA around the metro area? It sure seems like it.
I have no idea. I'm going to make a guess and say it is probably the taxes that make our avgas as much as it is. I believe that the state avgas tax is computed the same way motor fuel is here, which is a percentage of the average price of fuel for the past 6 months. You're probably paying $1.50+ a gallon in taxes for fuel around here. I'm probably going to go to the next airport commission meeting for Cobb Co and see if I can't get some answers as to why our avgas is so high all around town.

The next time you fly out here, stop at Stockmar Airport (20GA) for fuel. It is a private airport, but they don't mind people stopping in to say hello and buy gas. I guess they just don't want to have to deal with all the paperwork to be a "public" airport. They have gas for about $4.95 a gallon on AirNav.
 

HeyEng

NAHB Doesn't Give a Crap
I have no idea. I'm going to make a guess and say it is probably the taxes that make our avgas as much as it is. I believe that the state avgas tax is computed the same way motor fuel is here, which is a percentage of the average price of fuel for the past 6 months. You're probably paying $1.50+ a gallon in taxes for fuel around here. I'm probably going to go to the next airport commission meeting for Cobb Co and see if I can't get some answers as to why our avgas is so high all around town.

The next time you fly out here, stop at Stockmar Airport (20GA) for fuel. It is a private airport, but they don't mind people stopping in to say hello and buy gas. I guess they just don't want to have to deal with all the paperwork to be a "public" airport. They have gas for about $4.95 a gallon on AirNav.
Sounds like a pretty good idea. I was originally going to go to KRYY, but between the gas prices and the field closing @ 8, it was too much of a pain. I considered going to Cherokee County, but it's a pretty good ride for me to see the family (E. Cobb area). I will have to check out Stockmar, though...thanks!!! :)

Oh yeah...I see that 20GA is owned by Earl Small...is it the same Earl Small that has the Harley dealerships?
 

Barty

Well-Known Member
As far as I know, it is the same Earl Small.

I forgot to mention there's a GPS IAP at Stockmar as well, but I don't know where to procure the procedures. Perhaps you have to visit their FBO to get the plate? Jeppesen may publish it, but I don't know anyone who has a Jepp subscription to find out.
 
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