So you’re thinking about whether or not you should start flight training or when you should start flight training. I recently had a heated debate with one of our fellow members of the California Cloud Surfers who had just started his flight training at 14. Although there isn’t anything wrong with starting your flight adventures at 14, I don’t recommend it, hear me out.
When I first got into aviation it was a discovery flight in a Cirrus SR20 from JATO Aviation. After that one discovery flight I was hooked I knew from day one that I was destined to be a pilot for my career. So at the time, I was a 10-year-old boy trying to beg my mom and dad to let me fly. but whatever I did they would say no. 🤭 Devastating right! A few years passed and it’s 2018 I take a second discovery flight at the San Carlos Flight Center at the age of 14 turnings 15. With a better mindset, I knew why my parents didn’t want me to start flight training yet. Reason being that each flight could cost me about 230 dollars each hour in a Cessna 172 with an instructor onboard plus a $50 membership fee each month for San Carlos Flight Center’s membership fees. With all of those prices in mind, the total to get 60 hours done would be 13,800 per year now this doesn’t include renter’s insurance, pandemic shutdowns, or raises in prices from the flight center and fuel company. If we add those charges to the overall total it would come out to about 15K dollars a year.
The total price 15,000 is the price for a year of flight training at the San Carlos Flight Center counting in other factors such as shutdowns which raises the need for extra training. Now think about if you started at the age of 15 or 14 how much would that price grow to?... Probably somewhere in the 45000 dollars just for the Private Pilot's License. Then after your PPL, you go on to get your IRL (Instrument Rated License) and you find yourself short of money to begin the training thus making you wait. If you had saved up the 1 to 2 years you would have about 30,000 to get your Instrument rating finished with and possibly partly halfway through your commercial rating as well.
Now, this is of course only my view on this situation, if you think you can afford the lessons then go right ahead it's your call just remember if you want to save on your funds for flying I would hold back till your at least 16 or close to turning 16 so you have a 1 year period to get your PPL finished.