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I'm looking for some advice related to training for my private ticket.
Given my personal circumstances I am trying to make a decision between training at a local FBO via the Cessna CBT program in a Cessna 172 on my own schedule at a near by airport (~18 mi) vs. taking full ground school and flight training in a Piper Warrior on a fixed schedule at a University of North Dakota Aerospace Flight Training Center approximately 35 miles away from my home.
Here's the dilemma. I can save half the training costs and gain college credit by taking the UND course through tuition reimbursement benefits. Based on cost alone the choice is sort of a no-brainer.
That said, I have taken introductory flights in both aircraft and prefer the high wing Cessna to the low wing Piper Warrior. My preference isn't merely superficial. Simply put, I feel more comfortable in the Cessna as the majority of my time in GA aircraft has been in various Cessna types. High wings are also preferable for some of the remote destinations I would hope to visit as a certified pilot. The Cessna's popularity as rental at almost every FBO also puts a check in the "pro" column.
Comfort-level aside, I am primarily concerned about switching later. After spending greater than 50 hrs in your preliminary training aircraft it reasons that you'd have a feeling for some of it's nuances. I've heard that with regards to high vs. low most typically stick with the type they earned their ticket in. Also, if owning was ever an option I've been told that more time in the type you'd own can reduce insurance costs.
Freshly certified, I would be moving to a new type and in some respects starting over. I'm sure after some dual time with an instructor one would get the hang of it. What I am unable to gauge is how much time the transition would take. Would it be enough that it would offset the savings of the tuition reimbursement mentioned above.
Bottom line, I would like to obtain the best training possible. I'm not after a quick certificate or a pedigree diploma. I am a little apprehensive about the computer based training programs. While they provide a flexible training schedule it seems to me that having an instructor who supplements the basic curriculum with their own experience an invaluable asset. I've heard great things about the local FBO and the UND training which makes the decision even harder for me.
To take advantage of the UND program I'd be traveling 35 miles to an airport I'd probably wouldn't frequent regularly given the distance. There are 3 other choices that are closer to me. I'm not sure how important the airport actually is related to training. Like switching types, I would be moving to a closer airport and would be learning the lay of the land all over again.
So, the UND option saves me money and has a good reputation for flight training but it's in an unfamiliar type at distant airport. The local FBO is nearby, uses the CBT program and rents the type I'm interested in.
So what's a trainee to do?
Thanks so much for any suggestions.
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