Getting your private pilot license is EXPENSIVE! (at least from a recent college graduate‟s perspective ; ) . The exact amount it will cost depends on a variety of factors including: where the flight school is located, the type of plane you are flying, etc. But the largest factor determining total cost will be your total amount of flight training hours.

According to the FAA, the national average hours of flight training a typical private pilot student requires is between 60-75 hours. That is 20-35 hours MORE than the FAA minimum. So what does that mean in dollars in cents?

Here is what the FAA minimum flight time with approximate costs break down to:

20 Solo (x$110/hr)- $2,200
20 Dual (x$140/hr)- $2,800
Total = $5,000 (40 hours)

Let’s say the average dual instruction time costs $140/hr and solo costs about $110/hr. You need at least 10 hours solo and at least 20 hours dual. So in the worst case “average” scenario, it takes you 75 hours (the bottom end of the average…many take longer) and you only need 10 hours solo. The costs would look like this:

10 Solo (x$110/hr)- $1,100
65 Dual (x$140/hr)- $9,100
Total = $10,200 (75 hours)

Now let’s flip the coin and assume that you impress your instructor and only require the minimum dual time (20 hours) and come in at the top of the national average (60 hours total:

40 Solo (x$110/hr)- $4,400
20 Dual (x$140/hr)- $2,800
Total = $7,200 (60 hours)

That’s a large spread in costs. Now add in the other costs. Here is a breakdown of the total costs that an average student (67 flight hours) will have:

Flight Training:
*37 Solo ($110/hr) = $4,070
*30 Dual ($140/hr) = $4,200
Ground School Education- $400
Written exam- $100
Medical exam- $100
Pilot supplies- $100
FAA check ride- $350
Total= $9,320 (67 hour average)

*based on FAA flight instruction average of between 60-75 hours. Price also dependent on cost of fuel. Will likely increase with time.

Now it’s important for you to understand that getting your private pilot license should never be a race against others.  You are not competing against other people to see who can get their license in the shortest amount of time.  Everyone has their own learning rate and their own unique circumstances that will affect how quickly they will able grasp and retain the knowledge and skills required to become a safe and competent pilot.

That being said, there are several ways I have found that you can accelerate your own progress and save money throughout the private pilot training process.  If you haven’t already, be sure to check out some of these cost-saving tips in the “7 Tips to Help You ACE Your Private Pilot Training” guidebook I put together. It’s free and could save you lots of money right off the bat. 

Just enter your e-mail below and I’ll send it over : )

See ya above the clouds!

~Aaron

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