Privately taught flight instruction

pipers

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I am currently in the process of changing the insurance on my PA-28-140 to commercial. I plan to instruct and sell block for the next year or so to build time. I was hoping to charge $80.00 per hour (with instruction) and to sell block time at $40.00 per hour dry. I had an instructing job back in September, but now things are kind of tight with the FBO's around here. We have a large population in my area so I am not worried about student numbers, but I would appreciate any advise and/or war stories from those of you who know about teaching privately. Thanks for reading.
 

de727ups

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Huh?
free lancing

1. Consider using auto fuel

2. Put posters/flyers up at the local colleges

3. Offer to teach a ground school as a non credit course at a community college
 

ShawnC

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Where are you in particular? The dual time is competitve to what I see around here but the dry is above the price that I see around here. Is the aircraft IFR rated?
 

avbug

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I would urge you not to use autofuel. Not if you love your airplane, your fuel system, and your sense of well being (from a liability standpoint).

I do some occasional instruction in a gentleman's airplane locally that has done the same thing; his is a warrior. He gives good rates, the airplane is just fine; he does instruction and makes it available for others. It works great, makes the payments and some money for him, and provides folks with a good alternative.
 

DC9stick

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Avbug's posts are generally excellent and I agree with them most of the time, However in the case of auto fuel in airplanes I disagree. I have ran my C-150 over 1500 hr on approximately a 10% mix of avgas to auto gas (some lead is required for valve lubrication) with no problems. System compatability must be shown during the STC process. Protection against vapor lock and detonation must also be demonstrated to a worst case situation.
The only problem with auto gas is that you will get stains on the paint near the fuel vents if the area is not cleaned regularly. As far as liability I don't know of any cases where insurance settlement has been denied due to authorized use of auto gas and I have yet to see a policy exclution for the use of auto gas. Auto gas has been used in light aircraft successfully since the EAA recieved the first STC (after extensive testing) in 1982.

Your $40.00 dry rate seems reasonable to me.

As far as freelance instruction with your own A/C I feel thats the best way to go as long as you have enough student base and insure you reinvest part of your income into insuring your A/C is properly maintained.
 

bobbysamd

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Private Instruction

You still need to market yourself, although you may have a large customer base. No one will know you're there unless you tell them. I'd suggest you print up tons of business cards and hand them to everyone. See if you can leave a pile at the front desk of the local FBO(s). That might be a problem if you are competing with their aircraft.

Going to Wings seminars is a terrific way to hustle business. For that matter, go to any kind of pilot meeting and hawk your wares. Fly-ins and airport show. I trained with a private instructor who owned his own airplane, and I found him that way.

Don't forget, if you instruct in your airplane for hire you need to get 100-hours as well as annuals. I'd recommend that you check out professional liability insurance for yourself - and make sure the policy includes a legal defense if you are sued. Liability insurance generally provides for a defense.

$80/hour? I have no doubt that that rate is competitive, but, boy, how the cost of flying has gone up . . . . . . .

Good luck with your plans.
 

pipers

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Pipers

Thank you to all who have responded. I've recieved some helpful information that I am going to look into. My piper is IFR rated, although I am out of Salt Lake City and most of the MEA's in my area are 10,000' +.....my plane (PA-28-140) doesn't like that too much so we go to the coast for IFR work. We can still train and shoot approaches though. Most instruction/aircraft rental for my area is about $100.00 per hour so I feel that $80.00 per hour should work out well for all who are involved. We'll see how it goes at first. Thanks again. Chris
 

avbug

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Chris,

PM me. I may have someone who will fly with you.

On the issue of mogas (auto fuel), DC9 is correct about the legality of the STC. However, auto fuel is unstable, doesn't keep well, decays, and leaves deposits and gum in tanks. Most mechanics (myself included) are very leary of running auto fuel in airplanes. The Cessna 150 (and the 0-200 in general) did quite well on auto fuel. However, many other engines are more likely to experience problems over time with use of autofuel.

Airplanes which are flown irregularly will experience the most problems from the fuel simply sitting in the airplane, where it deteriorates, separates, and goes rancid. The chemical composition of the fuel changes and it decomposes. It is damaging to seals, bladders, filters, etc. It is hard on ejectors, especially if not frequently rotated, or used and replaced with fresh fuel.

Avgas, by comparison, has been found to be good after 50 years of sitting.

Autofuel has a very wide range of formulation and quality. Additives vary considerably with autofuel. Not so with avgas. Autofuel produces sludge and varnish in fuel systems, lacks necessary valve lubrication, etc. Plus, it stinks, especially after sitting in a tank for a time. Small, low compression engines can do very well on mogas, but many aircraft engines won't, including many of the popular 0-320 series. This is to say nothing of the fuel systems in those airplanes, which suffer from the lack of aeromatics in the fuel for lubrication, and the emolients necessary to preserve bladders, etc. Don't forget the potential buildup and damage to items such as selector valves, fuel sending units, etc.

The EAA did some great work in promoting and researching the use of mogas. However, that effort was motivated by economy, and in many cases, economy shouldn't be the top priority.

BTW; the cherokee will do fine out of SLC. Are you looking to have others do instruction in the airplane, too?
 

aggiepilot87

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Generally speaking, I have to go with Avbug on this one. There's a pretty wide spec on gasoline, as compared to Avgas or even jet fuel (quality control comparison). There are also seasonal changes that might bite you (vapor pressure and composition). If you lived in an outlying area that isn't required to use low emmission/ethanol, MTBE,etc blend, you *might* be a little better off.
 

seattle

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The key my friends is Marvel Mystery Oil. Been using it for quite some time in my old E-185-11. It keeps a lot of the crud that auto fuel will leave behind from finding a permanent home in the valve guides and other close tolerance places.

As for airplanes that aren't used on a regular basis I completely agree with ya Mr Avbug. But for more reasons than just the fuel system, as you probably already know.

And as far as "wide specs" go; I can't imagine that the specs for avgas or auto fuel were very tight back in 1947 when that engine and that airframe were first introduced to each other. The same could probably be said for all of the auto gas STC candidate engines.

This is just my $0.02. And now that I've jinxed myself by sharing it with everybody I better start saving for that next engine overhaul.

Seattle
 
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