Phew… You have just completed your flight training have become a private pilot. Congratulations. The journey has just begun! For most of us, a PPL is a stepping-stone towards an airline career. For the average person, by now, you would have exhausted your savings and financially unable to continue training even though you would love to. In this blog post, I share five smart (and affordable) ways you could build your hours towards your commercial pilot licence.
1. Share flight costs
As a private pilot licence holder, you are not authorised to get paid for providing your services as a pilot. However, to ensure that you build those much needed hours, you could connect with other students and share costs of flying. For example, you could make a cross-country navigation flight with a colleague and share the costs.
2. Fly for charity
There are stories of people who have made fundraising flights for charity and not only helped advance humanity but logged a few more hours in their pilot logbook. You could as well identify a charity you would fundraise for by among others flying across the continent.
3. Exchange flight hours with work
Although we mentioned this smart tip in another blog post, it is worth presenting again here. The short version is that if you have a skill that a flying school could be looking for, it is worth approaching them and working out a deal that could enable you to offer that service in exchange for flights. Moreover, you could negotiate a fair deal by flying during off-peak hours.
4. Become a ground instructor
If you trained on the FAA curriculum, you could become a ground instructor even without a pilot licence provided you have a teaching certificate. You may have by now noted that Malawi has a shortage of flying instructors. Of course, the Flying Instructor Rating requires that the applicant hold a Commercial Pilot Licence. By becoming a ground instructor, you could raise funds for hiring an aircraft for hour building than being jobless. You could also simply exchange some of your instruction hours for flights — the possibilities are endless!
5. Fly in small aeroplanes
Small aeroplanes mean lower hire and fly costs. Every hour counts – whether you are flying in a complex aircraft or not. A smart approach could be hiring smaller aircraft that fly slower thereby helping you to obtain more hours for a shorter distance. For example, you would rather fly in a Cessna 152 to build hours than a Cirrus SR22 or a high-performance aircraft.