Instructional Rates for Sport Pilot / Light Sport Aircraft (2-seat) (FAR/AIM 61-J)

AVG COST: $5500 – $7500 (Appx One Week)
NEW: “No-Hassle” Package: $9500. Includes: About a week of one-on-one. Transportation to & from airport, Accommodations (pending location), Course Media, Written Test Coordination & Fees, and Misc; during a concentrated course. Designed for those who just want to buy a plane ticket & let us handle the rest.)
General Labor$60/hr
Ground Instruction & Technical Labor (weekdays) $90/hr
Ground Instruction & Technical Labor (weekends)$120/hr
Flight Instruction (Seasonal CFI) (weekdays)$290/hr
Flight Instruction (Seasonal CFI) (weekends)$340/hr
Flight Instruction (Denny or Advanced) (weekdays)$345/hr
Flight Instruction (Denny or Advanced) (weekends)$425/hr
Note: RATES CAN VARY with Aircraft Configuration (Skis, Floats & High Performance), Instructor, Location/Transportation, Promotional Events, Aerotrekking Packages. As of April 1st 2008 all aircraft are priced ‘dry’ – fuel is $5 to $7 per gallon at the field. You are welcome to provide your own fuel. $200 per lesson minimum charge. $300 per day minimum charge. Cancellation policies apply (see below). Other than a 3% Fee for Credit Card processing, we don’t charge any other junk fees; but we do reserve the right to charge you double for having a bad attitude or leaving a mess in the hangar…
Purchase Agreements:
New to the sport? Have a million questions? Hate voicemail? Like the idea of owning a trike but not ready to make a decision? Ask us about a Purchase Agreement. A purchase agreement is defined as a minimum of $5000.00 non-refundable deposit toward any aircraft offered or brokered by Trike School LLC – when you’re finally ready to buy. We field about 100 Q&A phone calls each week. There is a substantial amount of time necessary just to educate a prospective buyer on the sport & equipment available before he/she can even develop the dialogue to determine his/her own needs. The $5000.00 deposit shows us that you are serious & therefore makes it a priority & pleasure to teach you everything you need to know in order to purchase your equipment. There is no requirement for choosing any particular aircraft right away and you can decide new or used. Your deposit is good for 6 months from date of deposit.
Approved Aircraft:
There are obviously other dealers & private parties supplying new & used aircraft to the market. With respect to your safety & ours, we cannot promise that we will test-fly, service, or train you in, an aircraft that is unfamiliar, unsafe or simply not equipped for effective instruction.
“Expedition-Quality” is typically our credo when we refer to our mission, staff, equipment, services, events & facilities. And, due to the inherent risk to the team, expedition & sport in general; only dependable & predictable aircraft/pilots will be invited on our Aerotrekking & Cross-Country Events. Obviously, we appreciate & always offer priority of instruction, on-going support, private events, equipment discounts, facility usage, extended efforts to those who purchase aircraft & services through us.
Cancellation Policy
This is a seasonal business so every flyable morning & evening counts. We also have family & “real job” obligations so your appointment is “by design”… IF (and only if) we find someone to replace your reservation, 100% of your money will be refunded regardless of the policy that follows. POLICY: In the event that you must cancel or reschedule, you must give us written notice no less than 60 days notice to receive a full refund. Less than 60 days, but more than 30 days notice will yield a 50% refund. No refunds honored with less than 30 days notice of cancellation or rescheduling.
Instructor Info:
Who the hell is my instructor & why does he charge as much as my accountant? We have several seasonal instructors that you will start flying with, but Denny himself will typically finish you up. He has over 20 years & 10,000+ hours of teaching “in trikes” and another 2000 hours of Aerotrekking, Cinematography, Government Contracts, Floats, Skis, and Advanced Terrain in 7 countries.
He insists that we’re not necessarily curing cancer here & the training must be fun for both student & instructor to be effective. After all, this is why we pursued the sport, remember? Nobody wants to be nit-picked, scared, or bored to death in this sector of aviation. Trike School is here to build the best pilots in the country & expand our aerotrekking team, period. We are NOT here to waste your time & money.
We also realize that people will likely push themselves and the aircraft to their limits once they graduate, and it only makes sense to create a curriculum that openly admits this – but safety must come first. Advanced training is available with Denny only. Since every pilot has different needs, styles, & demands of the aircraft; we will cater to each student’s needs differently while still incorporating the basics & essentials of safe aviation in trikes. Most people pursue Trike School because they need to be self-reliant when they graduate because there is very little support available on a local scale for most new owners.
Flying is the easy part and students need to learn just as much about the equipment as they do about flying it. As a matter of fact, dozens of people show up on our doorstep every year regardless of who they buy their equipment from originally because we know how to help with everything.
Denny was one of the 1st Certified Flight Instructors for Trikes in the United States. He has flown for Sony Pictures, IMAX, M.I.T., US Border Patrol, Discovery Channel, Travel Channel, and many other projects with narrow margins for error. As a conservative pilot, he looks forward to passing along a level of competency & philosophy in the FUN & Expedition-Quality atmosphere AND equipment that Trike School will continue to be known for. As for the questions pertaining to how we determine hourly rates; we have personally seen helicopter rates at around $300/hr, which is not much more than what we charge; and conventional airplane instruction at half of that. Fair enough.
It’s important to consider the Total Cost of certification in our aircraft vs others. Most people spend about $6000. Trike School specializes in concentrated courses & is honestly about 10 to 15% MORE expensive than other operations. We do offer aircraft, facilities, experience & concentrated programs exceeding any other operation we know of. From an operations standpoint, our rates are the result of a pretty simple equation consisting of overhead and depreciation divided by annual flyable hours – which can vary with weather etc. At the end of the day, we hope you recognize the value but some people don’t – and we get that.
We’re happy to recommend other operations if you need something specific or even for the budget-minded. Or, perhaps you could just call your accountant & ask if he/she ever wears a helmet & ballistic parachute while doing your taxes… Careful though, you might get billed for the phone call. 😉