So I’m preparing for an intensive two week CFI (flight instructor) training program in Las Vegas this December.
Ooooh, Las Vegas! you’re thinking. Time for some gambling, a bit of sun out by the pool, maybe catch a show.
Not quite. It’s more like fourteen straight days of round-the-clock flight training, three checkrides with the FAA, then high-tail it back to Los Angeles for Christmas. The only exception might be if Lesley decides to drive out for a visit.
Not that I’m complaining. On the contrary, I can’t wait to get in the cockpit and knock these ratings out. When I’m done, I’ll have a CFI-A, CFI-I and MEI (I’ve already got the AGI and IGI ratings).
What’s bumming me out is the cost. It doesn’t sound so bad when you see the program listed at $4,995. But this is turning out to be like purchasing a car. You gotta have the rust-proofing, sir. Don’t forget those must-have options. Or the finance charges. Delivery fees. Dealer markup. Tax, license and registration. Pretty soon that $10,000 Kia is taking a $15,000 chunk out of your wallet.
I made the mistake of adding up what the CFI program will cost, and speaking of cars, it’s about the same price as that Kia:
$80.00 - CFI-A written exam fee
$80.00 - CFI-I written exam fee
$80.00 - FOI written exam fee
$80.00 - AGI written exam fee
$80.00 - IGI written exam fee
$50.00 - Books
$4995.00 - CFI/CFII/MEI training program
$1000.00 - Multi-time upcharge
$1050.00 - FAA checkride fees
$100.00 - Transportation
$1400.00 - Lodging
$300.00 - Food
Education is expensive, and I’d be the last one to suggest skimping when you’re talking about flight training. But $10k is approximately what one makes — gross — during an entire year as a full-time instructor.
Well, at least the long-term job prospects for pilots are bright. Not.
Does this mean that soon you will be able to teach me to fly?!? That’d be awesome! Hey, my dad, my son and I are going to Airport Day at Fullerton this coming Saturday. Wanna meet up for a bit if you’re going?