Our flying rates include fuel, headset, insurance and oil. The rate includes what we consider normal fuel cost. If fuel cost spike, then we'll have pass it on as a fuel surcharge if we think the higher fuel cost are temporary.
Our rates are based on flight time not air time. Flight time means engine on to engine off. Air time is wheels up to wheels down. Beware of being charged for air time + a ground charge. For example if you are being charged $300/hour air time + .5 for ground time you are really paying $450/hour for each flight. It is a enormous difference from being charged for flight time especially when you can get to the air quickly.
Our quotes include a realistic ratio of dual and solo for each course. For example our quote for the Private Pilot Licence is for 45 hours of flight time including 33 hours of dual and 12 hours of solo. This is a reasonable ratio. Some schools will quote on 45 hours by including 17 hours of dual and 28 hours of solo. This covers the Transport Canada requirements, but unless you can teach yourself to fly this ratio is a complete fabrication. Also quotes need to include flight test fees, written test fees, medical test, dual and solo flight time, ground school, landing fees, preparatory instruction, and taxes.
How do you compare prices when getting quotes for flight training? Ask for the rate per hour including headsets, oil, fuel, and insurance. Make sure you know what you are paying for each flight including if it's air time or flight time.
NEVER, NEVER, NEVER prepay large amounts of money to a flying school in exchange for a "better rate". Why? Flying schools can lease airplanes, buildings, computers, tables and can look thriving one day and gone the next. Many times student pilots have left with paying a student loan for which they received nothing to a flying school that has gone into receivership. It's happened in Winnipeg, and all over Canada/USA, again and again. Google around and you'll see a sob-story of a poor student pilot who prepayed and got nothing.