Become a Pilot – Flight School Cost

The ultimate question – How much do flying lessons cost? Ok – this one can be a little complicated so take a deep breath sit back and relax.

Before I break it down, understand that there are alot of variables that matter when figuring out what it costs to become a pilot. So here are the factors that affect the cost of your pilot license.

  • Location – If you are in a big city v.s. out in the country, or different parts of the country.
  • Aircraft Type – Rental rates depend on what type of aircraft you use for training.
  • Instruction Rate – The rate that you are being charged for your instructor.
  • Time that you are available – Some times if your work schedule allows you to fly one time every two weeks – You can expect to review some lessons therefore it will take you longer to complete your license.
  • Are you a GOOD student or NOT – The reality is that some people learn faster than others – that does not mean that you are stupid if you learn slower. You would actually be surprised of this – I will do a whole article on Good Student Pilot v.s. Bad Student Pilot. (I will put a link here)
  • Weather – Flight Cancellations

Cost of Private Pilot License

Remember the FAA minimum is 40 hours of flying to get your private pilot license – but in reality, the national average is about 70 hours before someone is proficient enough to pass the test. Some people do it in 43 hours, some people do it in 93 hours, and some people never finish.

Now  – this is what I charge for flying based on part 61 minimums:

  • Cesnna 152 @ $69 per hour for 40 hours = $ 2,760
  • The instructor @ $55/hr for 20 hours =  $1,100 (only 20hr because the FAA says you can do the rest solo)
  • Ground Instruction @ $55/hr Cialis Online for 3hr = $ 165
  • Books = $200
  • Written Test = $90
  • Flight Test Fee = $300
  • Cessna 152 @ $69/hr for about 1.5hr for the Flight Test = $103.5
  • ——The Grand Total (added up) ———— = $ 4,718.5
  • ——And now the Grand Total made pretty = $ 4799.99 —> In your dreams!

So now you can advertise the Private Pilot for under $ 5000 and then have in small print it will probably take you longer than 40 hours to get your license.

Ok – the scenario I gave you up there is what some flight schools do to market themselves – watch out for things like this. Here is the reality – you will probably not fly the small two seat Cessna 152, you will probably pick the bigger, sexier, more powerful four seat Cessna 172.

So Now – this is what I really quoted people based on Reality – about 70 hours:

  • Cesnna 172 @ $109 per hour for 70 hours = $ 7,630
  • The instructor @ $55/hr for 60 hours =  $3,300 (because you will only do the 10hr solo minimum while you are my responsibility)
  • Ground Instruction @ 55/hr for 5hr = $ 275
  • Books = $200
  • Written Test = $90
  • Flight Test Fee = $300
  • Cessna 172 @ $109/hr for about 1.5hr for the Flight Test = $163.5
  • ——The Grand Total (added up) ———— = $ 11,958.5
  • ——So put about $ 12 Grand aside because planes don’t fly for free —> Thats Reality!

Now, don’t get me wrong. I have seen some students pay about $5,000 to $6,000 and get their private pilot license, but I have also seen students pay about $12,000 to $15,000 and never finish (still working). So, really expect it to cost you anywhere from 8 to 12 thousand.

I will write another post braking down the costs of getting to your commercial pilot license in another post. Generally, you commercial pilot license can cost about $30,000 to $35,000.


I hope I added my numbers correctly up there … you get the picture.