Revised Pricing Structure from July 2016
Revised and simplified pricing
We have recently revised and refined our pricing structure, with a view to improving clarity, ensuring this it is both fair and reasonable while covering our costs.
We have tried various pricing models. At first we tried to keep things simple with a daily rate for an instructor and a rate for the aircraft that included landings and approach fees. Some people asked what would happen if they only flew an hour or had some other problem. Gradually, in trying to address people’s questions, we evolved a complicated pricing structure more akin to the hourly rate offered by mainstream schools.
The reality with IFR training is that everything takes a day. We dedicate a single instructor and if appropriate an aircraft to every single candidate for a full day. We take the view that if the candidate turns up late or needs to leave early that is their problem. On the other hand, if for some reason beyond the candidate’s control we don’t achieve that – for example the aircraft goes tech or the weather is unflyable – then that is our problem.
Since our launch in 2014, we have gained a reputation with our candidates and throughout the industry as the “Rolls Royce” option for private pilot instrument training. Our intentional business model has been to cover our costs, maintaining a modest level of training activity to ensure high quality and tailor training programs to each candidate.
We want to encourage instrument flying in general and are happy to spend time discussing individual pilots needs and concerns and where appropriate would recommend other schools whose approach or location may suit them better.
We don’t have any administrative staff at Rate One so we need simple systems. We are reverting to our initial approach with a couple of slight variations stemming from recent experience. Unfortunately, the cost of instrument approaches is rising and their availability is constrained so it’s no longer viable to bundle them into the hourly rate.
- Instructor £500 a day including VAT for the first 4 days training on our aircraft and first 5 days training on customers own aircraft. Thereafter charging is by agreement
- Aircraft £250 an airborne hour plus £30 an hour if doing instrument approaches
Full vs Half Day Training
Instrument flight training is intensive and demanding.
We have found that some candidates, especially older or less experienced, cannot easily benefit from a full day’s flight instruction, especially early in their training. In theory, a fully prepared candidate could come to Rate One and complete a CBM IR compulsory 10-hour course in 4 days. In reality, this is rarely possible. Some of our candidates choose to fly a single session per day while others have taken our aircraft to fly solo and become more familiar with it unless less pressure.
Occasionally candidates share use of an aircraft for a day, but this is only by mutual agreement. Beyond the four full day charges, we will discuss costs on an individual basis with the guiding principle that charges should be in balance with the training value delivered. This is inevitably vague but to date we have not had a single customer question our charges or be unwilling to pay. You are welcome to speak to previous customers.
Perhaps look at it this way. You are risking us with your safety both now and in the future in a very demanding and sometimes threatening environment. If you cannot also trust us to be reasonable in our business ethics then maybe we are not the right training organisation for you.
Customer’s own aircraft
We are quite willing to train in our customer’s own aircraft. That said, many pilot’s aircraft are not ideally suited to IR training and they could take significantly longer to reach IR skill test standard than would be the case if they flew our own aircraft.
Rate One Aviation has invested tremendous effort to ensure that training on any aircraft has become permitted and practical. We were the first UK ATO to be granted CAA approval to train on any aircraft and from any location. Previously every aircraft had to be individually approved by the CAA and often schools were restricted to train using only aircraft in their defined fleet.
Be aware that there is still significant administration and paperwork involved when delivering training on any new aircraft. Therefore we will charge five full days instructor time when commencing training in a customer’s own aircraft and on the first day we may or may not achieve a training flight. The value of the first day will to a large extent be up to the aircraft owner and their thoroughness to provide all relevant aircraft documents and check lists.