Private Pilot License Cost Explained

If you have been looking around the internet on information about the cost of a Private Pilot License, I am sure you have seen some articles written by people who are not even in the industry and others written by Private Pilots who may have just received their private pilot licenses. Some of the information may be close and others are pretty far off.


There are a lot of factors that will determine what a Private Pilot License (Certificate) will cost you. The first things you want to think about are:


1: Airplane Price Per Hour


2: Flight Instructor Price Per Hour


Depending on where you are in the country these rates can be dramatically different. These two rates will be the most important factors however, there are other factors that can dramatically increase your cost. I will give you some examples of things you want to look at.


1: The Flight School Itself: You need to poke your nose around the community and see what is going on. You will want to ask people who recently got their Private Pilot License and ask them how much it cost and how many hours they ended up having.


In many cases you will see much more than the flashy clean flight school. I know of many Flashy High Dollar Flight Schools that once you get out into the aviation community, you will want nothing to do with them. You may find many of the people you talk to ending up with an excessive amount of hours and may have had up to six instructors. I know this first hand since many of those students come to me half way through their training. This is one reason I always tell people to take some time and research and come up with a plan first.


There are on the other hand many flight schools that are concerned about their students and are willing to work with students to get them licensed in a cost effective manner. You just have to find them.


2: The Flight Instructor: If your instructor is not a good teacher your chances of getting your private pilot license in a cost effective manner get slimmer. You need to look into this. Other factors that have to do with the flight instructor is their aviation game-plan. If they are a good flight instructor that cares about his/her students you can plan with them and get things done in a cost and time effective manner. If you have an instructor that is just trying to get to the magic hiring number for an airline, your flight training will be compromised and you can plan on spending a lot more money.


3:Books and materials: In most cases you can get home study courses for about $200 or so. Some schools will require you get their $500  DVD packages. I have always told students to do what is best for them. All of the courses out there cover the same material taken from the official FAA publications. The material that is used for your practical test is the FAA publications.


4:Examiner Fees: This part most flight schools don't even mention at all.  Once again depending on where you are in the world, this price can vary a lot. One part of the country you may find a private pilot flight test for $300 but in others like here in phoenix it will around $600.


A few of these factors put together can make the difference between a happy safe confident Private Pilot and a frustrated student pilot. If you are on a tight budget and have been saving for a long time, these factors will make a difference.


Planning this out is the most important thing you can do. In order to pass the Private Pilot License flight test you need to be proficient. Depending on the rates, instructor, and Flight School You Choose, You Could Be looking at spending between $10,000 and $17,000 Depending on where you are in the country. Some Places you might finish in considerably less. Planning on 55-65 hours is realistic but remember the national average is around 75 hours. My Record Student was at 41.5 hours where others could take years and be well over 100 hours.


The Planning process is the most important part. There are many delays that can happen, weather, maintenance and people getting sick. Also remember if you are behind on your ground knowledge compared to flying, you will have to keep flying to stay proficient. Everyone is different and has a different story.


I have seen all cases from the student who starts with the written test is complete and they are pretty much ready for the oral part of the flight test before they even start flying. On the other hand I have seen students who may not know HOW to study and it takes them much more ground instruction.


For Explaining this I break the Private Pilot License Cost down into 5 parts. I do this so you can understand each phase of training. Then we will add it all up and you can see were the expenses are coming from.


I am also putting this together with an average student in mind. If you are a great at book work, the ground times could be much less. If you fly great, flight times could be less. Like I said everyone is different.


I break everything down in the following manner:


1: Private Pilot - Books and Materials Cost

2: Private Pilot - Pre Solo Cost

3: Private Pilot - Post Solo Cost

4: Private Pilot- Flight Test Preparation Cost

5: Private Pilot - Total Training Cost


Hope to See You in The Sky




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