How many flight training hours can a student realistically do in a week?

I have 11 PIC flight hours (and solo'd at 7hrs) but I havent flown (PIC time) since 2008. I want to finally get my license but am unsure if I can realistically do it before I leave the country in one month.

In one week, I can actually devote my entire day to flight training so I'm wondering how many PIC flight hours a student can realistically do in one day and thus a week. Is 2-3hrs flight time (2-3 actual sorties) for 7 days realistic?

Also, I know this is highly dependent on my CFI but let's assume I can find one to match my speed...


There are a few external factors

  1. Your CFI:
    If we are talking about dual time (or supervised solos) here your CFI will need to be free.
  2. The plane:
    Keep in mind that school may have other students who may also book the plane, or it may be out for its 100 hour inspection or it is broken etc.
  3. The weather:
    Depending on where you are located, you may be limited by the weather grounding you for VFR flight.
  4. The Wind: A lot of flight schools (at least the one I go to) impose student maximum limits when it comes to crosswinds. At single runway airports this could cause an issue. You can mitigate this by training at a place with two runways.

Now if we look past all those and assume you have a working plane, a CFI, and clear weather, then I would think (assuming the school is open) you could log 3 hours in the morning and 3 in the afternoon if you really pushed it. If you started your day with 1 hour of ground from 8-9 then flew from 9-noon. Lunch. Then another hour of ground from 1-2 and flying from 2-5 that is putting you at close to 6 hours a day. Throw a few night flights in there, some more ground lessons at night and you may be able to squeeze the time in. Keep in mind you will also need to study for the written exam.

Note: The above projection is strictly based on everything working all the time which in aviation is often not the case. Your results may vary.

  • $\begingroup$ Are you thinking that the hour of ground before the flights is going to be sufficient to give them the theory for the next flight, or for preflight type activities? One of the biggest limitations in my mind would be the theory and understanding what you are about to go do before you do it. $\endgroup$
    – Lnafziger
    Jun 22 '15 at 17:17
  • $\begingroup$ If you are diligent about reading the text the night before and prepping for the longer lessons with an hour of ground the night before I fell it could be done. Granted YMMV and some will pick it up faster than others. $\endgroup$
    – Dave
    Jun 22 '15 at 18:07

Is 2-3hrs flight time (2-3 actual sorties) for 7 days realistic?

I think that's do-able.

A typical flight lesson is about 1.0-1.5 hours of "flight time", with a pre-brief and post-brief to go over the lesson. If you do 2-3 of those you'll be in the air somewhere between 2 and 5 hours, and spend another 1-2 hours on the ground. Add in time for lunch and stretching your legs between flights and you've filled an 8 hour day with training.

How effective that training will be is a different story.

I did a lot of "double header" days when I was wrapping up my training: I would go up with my instructor in the morning, have lunch, then come back and solo for an hour or so working on the stuff I needed to work on.
I think that was an effective way to finish up (because I was working on specific targeted things).

Since you're effectively a "post-solo" student I think you'll fall into this box: Spend a day or two with an instructor getting the rust off your skills and getting signed off to solo again, knock out your cross-country and night requirements if you don't have them already, and then split your remaining time between flights with your instructor doing checkride prep & solos working out the kinks.
2-4 hours in the air and as much classroom & study time as it takes might get you there - if not you can continue the training in your spare time (before/after work or whatever other activities are tying you up for the rest of the month).

Remember you'll also need to find an examiner to give you your checkride, so plan for that (sometimes they're booked out pretty far in advance).

The flip side of the coin is that I also did a few "double-header" days early on in my training (pre-solo), where my instructor and I would book a 4 hour block and spend 2.5-3 hours in the air.

The extra time in the air was fun (it was enough time to go visit other airports), but in retrospect I don't think it was anywhere near as effective pre-solo as it was post-solo: When you're first learning to fly 1-2 hours in the air each day is about all your brain can handle (at least it was all my brain could handle), and then you need to take the time to digest what you learned, read over the lesson materials, and let the knowledge soak into your head.

  • $\begingroup$ I agree wthat the pre-solo training flight time of 1-2 hours is good. $\endgroup$
    – Aaron
    Jan 23 '17 at 0:46

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