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The Private Pilot Certificate holders make up the vast majority of pilots in the United States. Those individuals wishing to obtain a fixed-wing private pilot certificate must be 17 years of age and undergo a certain amount of training.

How do I obtain my Private Pilot Certficiate?

In order to obtain your Private Pilot Certificate, the FAA requires you to undergo a certain amount of flight training. The training consists of:

  • 40 hours of total flight time consisting of
    • a minimum 20 hours of instruction with a CFI
    • a minimum of 10 hours solo pilot in command time

While the FAA specifies 40 hours as the minimum for obtaining the rating, the average student gets their pilot certificate between 50-70 hours of flight time. You are also required to obtain a Third class medical from an AME (Aviation Medical Examiner) and pass a written, oral, and practical (flight) examination.

What are the limitations of a Private Pilot Certificate?

The Private Pilot Certificate allows you to carry passengers, day or night, in any classification of airspace (excluding above 18,000 feet). You can not fly “for hire” meaning you can not make money off of your flying. To do that would require a commercial pilot certificate (with some restrictions).

How Much Does it Cost?

The average cost of obtaining the Private Pilot certificate is in the range of 10,000 – 13,000. A lot of this depends upon how quickly you are able to meet the requirements of the Airmen Certificate Standards (ACS). There are a lot of things that you can do to bring the cost down. Flying 1-2 times per week, completing all assigned homework tasks, and taking the training seriously can all help in reducing the cost. Additionally, I utilize a syllabus that is geared around your individual training style and is designed to help you become “checkride ready” closer to the minimums as outlined by the FAA.

I’m interested in flight training but am unsure as to if it is right for me. What should I do?

I recommend all my students start off with a discovery flight. The discovery flight costs $100 and consists of a half-hour of ground instruction and a half-hour of flight instruction. This is a good way for you to see if flight training is something you’d wish to undertake and to get a feel for my individual teaching style. It’s important that before you begin to invest a large amount of money into your training that you determine if my teaching style matches your learning style. If it doesn’t, I can put you in contact with another instructor who can assist in training you.

Ok, I’m interested. What are the next steps?

Fill out the form below and I’ll be in contact usually within a few hours to answer any questions and to walk you through every step of the process.

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