Have a plane, need an instructor

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I have perused many of the questions and comments in this forum and
have not found a solution to my problem. I think it is probably a
good problem to have after reading some of the threads here. I have
a plane (my fathers actually) up in northern Ontario and I am
interested in getting my pilots licence (private only). I was
hoping that I could use my fathers cessna 172 (floats) for flight
training and hire an instructor to save some of the costs of flight
school. But when inquiring, it sounds like you can only get a
licence these days by going through a main stream flight school and
renting their planes out with huge dollars. Are there independent
instructors that would simply teach me to fly in the family plane if
I paid a good hourly rate for their time. Any ideas out there?
Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

-- james mcbean, August 5, 2009


Buying a plane and then finding an instructor was a very common way to learn to fly back in the 1970s. It is a perfectly legal and reasonable way to do things, though I would check with your insurance company to see if they will insure you to do your required solo time in a seaplane. There are plenty of instructors looking for work, though experienced floatplane instructors are less common (in the U.S. any airplane instructor with a seaplane rating could legally instruct you in the floatplane, but legal in this case does not mean safe or effective).

-- Philip Greenspun, August 5, 2009

Hereļ¾’s links to several databases listing flight instructors -

-- Richard Miles, August 5, 2009


-- Richard Miles, August 5, 2009

You can get an instructor (Canadian class 3 or better) to give you the required ground and flight instruction. It will be a ground school of "1" which might get expensive.

Getting a Private license on floats has been done but normally people get it on wheels first. There are many good reasons but basically operating on floats in the real world is harder than on wheels and there will be insurance issues soloing on floats as a student. You really can't make any of the typical student mistakes that you can get away with on wheels when on the water. It will take considerably longer to get competent at landing to solo (unless you already are landing your fathers plane well). You will need a wheels rating sooner or later, so, do it on wheels first. Then any commercial rated pilot can give you the float rating with a minimum of 10 hours seaplane instruction. Could you put the 172 back on wheels for training?

You can also get a US private and convert - you now need a TSA security check (and technically a student visa) and convert to Canadian afterwards. Study up and do the US written first - there is no required ground school in the US system of things. Then spend a month in Florida on a crash private course?

-- Edward Prest, August 8, 2009