Rates & Policies
Hourly Rate & Payment Methods
My rate is $100/hr. I greatly prefer zero-fee payment methods, such as Zelle, check, or cash. But I can also accept credit cards, Apple Pay, or Android Pay if needed. Payment is due at the conclusion of each session. My rate applies to all of the time that I spend with you, not just the Hobbs time on the aircraft.
I offer a $5/hr discount for a 10-hour pre-paid block ($950). Block rate must be paid by a zero-fee method (see above). Payment is due at the conclusion of the first block-rate session and the client must maintain a positive balance to continue at the block rate. I maintain an on-line spreadsheet for each block rate client so that they may view all charges and payments and keep track of the status of their account.
Daily Rate & Professional Pilot Services
My daily rate is $1000, plus expenses. Any Professional Pilot Services engagement, including training or mentoring in type-rated aircraft, that requires me to reserve (or provide) 6 or more hours in a single calendar day will be billed at the daily rate.
I am an Independent Contractor
Like many flight instructors and professional pilots, I am an independent contractor. You will need to pay me directly for my services since I do not get paid through West Valley or any other flying club or organization.
I provide all services through my company, Coyote Hill Consulting LLC, doing business as (DBA) Wes Irish CFI. When writing a check, please make it payable to Wes Irish CFI. (Although cfiwes, cfiwes.com, or even Wes Irish, will work since they are also registered DBAs.)
Please note that the above rates (hourly, block, or daily) are for my services only — they do not include aircraft rental fees, club membership fees, travel expenses, or any other such expenses if/as appropriate for your particular situation.
Airports and Travel Time
My default airport is Palo Alto, although I will fly/instruct out of other airports with prior agreement. I do not charge for my travel time to/from Palo Alto or San Carlos. I also do not charge for my travel time to/from San Jose or Hayward, as long as I can avoid commute hours and make each one-way trip in 30 minutes or less. I will fly/instruct out of virtually any location, as long as my time, and travel expenses, are covered.
Scheduling & Availability
Note: When scheduling via Schedule Master, please set the comment field to a brief description of what you plan, or expect, to do during the session. This gives me a heads-up and helps me plan accordingly.
As a full-time instructor, I am generally available five days a week, including weekends - Wednesday and Thursday are my days off. WVFC members may use Schedule Master (my.schedulemaster.com) for scheduling or to check my availability. If needed, I can often adjust my schedule to accommodate special requests, such as professional pilot engagements, adventure flights, long cross-countries, ferry flights, factory pickups, special events, etc.
Please contact me before scheduling any of the following:
Your first session with me (new client)
A session on Wednesday or Thursday
A session at night (after sunset or before sunrise)
A session that starts before 0800 or ends after 1800 (although I prefer to stay within 0900 - 1700 in the winter)
A session at any location other than PAO (eg, before scheduling at SQL)
Any special request (as mentioned above)
Notes: Please follow these scheduling guidelines whenever reasonably possible. If you have a special scheduling need please let me know (usually by email) and we'll try to find something that works for both of us.
My day usually begins at 0800 and ends at 1800 (0900 - 1700 in the Winter time), with an hour lunch break from 1200-1300 (my lunch start time may be flexible, but please contact me about any deviations). Please leave this lunch time open, or contact me first to see if I can work with your prefered schedule work. This makes roughly 4 hours available in the morning and 5 in the afternoon. For full or 3/4 day sessions I can also be scheduled across lunch, but please give me a heads-up.
When scheduling, please leave open slots as large as possible so that they are useful to others (any slot less than 2 hours is usually too small to be of much use). And please try to schedule up against existing schedules whenever possible (starting at my lunch break and working outwards).
My schedule is often relatively full near-in, but it tends to have considerably better availability if you look out a week or two, or more. If you can find a near-in slot that meets your needs then that's great. But planning (and scheduling) weeks in advance is often the best way to get dates and times that you want. This usually helps with aircraft availability as well.
Occasionally I may need to reschedule a session due to other obligations or logistics. In these situations, I try to give as much notice as possible, but sometimes advance notice is limited.
When scheduling me via Schedule Master, please make sure to fill in the "Schedule comment" field so that I may plan accordingly.
Cancellation and Notification Policy
If you need to cancel a given appointment please give me as much notice as possible via email, TXT, cell phone, or some combination thereof. No-show appointments and appointments canceled with less than 24 hours notice will be billed for the time as scheduled. Training typically takes place regardless of weather unless we explicitly agree otherwise (typically via TXT or phone just prior to the session). If the weather is not good enough to fly we will usually use the time to cover ground instruction or related paperwork.