I've joined a flying club and am in the checkout process for their 152. I've trained in it, was endorsed by a 20,000+ hour instructor (who felt comfortable enough renting his personally owned 152 to me after the checkride), and my DPE (who a commercial pilot tried to steer me away from due to her supposed high fail rate, i.e. she's demanding) thought I flew the plane well. I'm a very new VFR pilot with about 70 hours total, and find this checkout process is taking longer than usual under these circumstances. Has anyone gone through a similar situation? How have they dealt with the matter? The instructor is also making me feel less safe as a pilot doing things like banking with full flaps, and pushing "flap religion" on me (i.e. 10 on DW, 20 on base, 30 on final without really considering the approach environment). Due to W/B restrictions on the 152 he's the club's only viable checkout instructor.

  • $\begingroup$ Does not sound appropriate to me. $\endgroup$
    – abelenky
    Oct 25, 2019 at 12:06
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Yes 5 hours is very long. Either you are a very marginal new pilot, the instructor is incompetent, or the club is a "time whore", running up hours because they are desperate for revenue. Before your departure, does the instructor sit there discussing something or briefing something with the engine idling, letting the Hobbs tick away? All chit chat should be completed before engine start, then fire up, taxi, runup, and go. $\endgroup$
    – John K
    Oct 25, 2019 at 13:04
  • $\begingroup$ @JohnK That isn't always the case. For example our club requires 20 hours of dual instruction in the aircraft prior to being signed off if you don't have at least 100 hours PIC and time in a 177. If you have 100 hours we reduce it to 10, but we aren't doing it for money, it keeps our insurance costs down. This isn't the OP's case, but for our club taking somebody in who fly's 172's can be a significant change to flying the 177. Some members combine the requirement with some IFR training to kill two birds with one stone. $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Oct 25, 2019 at 13:30
  • $\begingroup$ Find another club. $\endgroup$ Oct 25, 2019 at 13:37
  • $\begingroup$ @RonBeyer I get it that a good deal of hours is required if I step up to say a 172 with AP and esp. a difficult complex plane like a Mooney, but we're talking about a stupid simple VFR 152 here. It's not so much the time also, it's the time and effort to "unlearn" his instruction immediately after being checked out. Yes, the CFI is kind of chatting it up a bit on the ground as we're idling. It's a busy class G airport and proper CTAF/traffic avoidance is necessary, I get it. Just that we take FOREVER to get airborne. $\endgroup$
    – saigafreak
    Oct 25, 2019 at 13:53

2 Answers 2


It is normal for flying clubs and flight schools to require a checkout before allowing a renter to solo, which may take several hours, regardless of their license level or previous experience. They often require additional training if you dont have a certain minimum time in type.

Your club might be slightly more paranoid than average, but that probably translates to cheaper club insurance and thus lower rental rates, which means you will probably save money if you stick around.

Also, it should be noted that 70-200 hours is the period with the highest accident rate, so some paranoia on their part is probably justified. Even if it's "just a 152."


A five hour, 3 session checkout process does not seem appropriate for a Cessna 152. You'll have to look at the savings you hope to gain by doing your flying with the club, and decide whether it is worth it for you to continue. It would help if your question stated whether or not this lengthy checkout process was specified from the outset-- what was your initial expectation when you decided to check out in the aircraft? What sort of checkout procedure have other pilots been subjected to? Since we don't know how you fly, ultimately it is impossible for anyone to say whether or not anything inappropriate is going on. Maybe the instructor just has a different "style" of flying from you and since you are not really in a position to debate anything, you may just have to adapt even if it does take some time. As long as you are continuing with the process, you might as well try to learn something useful from the training, even if you don't fully agree with all aspects of your instructor's approach. At any rate, you should discuss your concerns with the club leadership. If enough people give the same input, some change might happen.

Or find another club.

  • $\begingroup$ I guess this is the best objective answer I can expect. Right now it's been 3 hours but we are expected to spend at least 2 -2.5 more hours, PLUS 1 hour of ground instruction on the written quiz, about 8 hours paid ground + flight instruction in total. Yes, the club rules are strict and my PPL CFI warned me about joining them, my friend w/same PPL CFI and was a former member did also. They have a nice organized layout as a club and that's what brought me in, but I feel trapped now in some purgatory state. There are precious few clubs in my area but I may explore them more now. $\endgroup$
    – saigafreak
    Oct 25, 2019 at 14:07
  • $\begingroup$ @saigafreak so you were warned, not once, but twice... well, anyway, you're allmost halfway done, so why not just stick with it and see how it turns out. Unless the warnings you got were about the club in general, not just the checkout process. $\endgroup$
    – Jpe61
    Oct 25, 2019 at 16:03

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