Private Pilot License

The Private Pilot's License (PPL) is the most common starter license. Having this license basically allows you to fly around with your friends and family in good (VFR) weather conditions. According to regulations, you may not carry persons or property for hire, but as long as you pay your share of the flight costs, your passengers can contribute payment towards the flight (they may not pay you for your services as a pilot). You must be at least 16 years old to solo an airplane, and 17 years old to obtain your license.  All of our students start off with a Discovery Flight, book yours here!

In order to obtain your Private License, there are 3 major areas that must be covered:

  1. A Medical Exam
  2. An FAA computerized knowledge exam
  3. A flight exam with an FAA designated flight examiner

So what does it take to get a PPL?


Flight Proficiency

To qualify to take the FAA flight examination, you must have met the following requirements:

  • 40 Hours of Total time to include at least 20 hours of dual instruction with a Certified Flight Instructor, and at least 10 hours of solo operation.
  • Dual must include:
    • 3 hours of cross country training
    • 3 hours of night flight training to include at least 1 cross country flight of at least 100nm and 10 takeoffs and 10 landings to a full stop at an airport
    • 3 hours of simulated instrument flying
    • 3 hours of dual instruction within 60 days of the flight test
  • Solo must include:
    • 5 hours of solo cross country time
    • 1 cross country of at least 150nm that includes full stop landings at a minimum of three points, where at least one of the legs is more than 50nm straight line distance.
    • 3 takeoffs and 3 full stop landings at an airport with an operating control tower.

FAA Computerized Written Exam

A 60 question multiple choice exam on all areas of knowledge required to become a Private Pilot. This exam is made a little easier because the actual questions are publicly released and printed in many texts. The test can only be administered at a designated testing center. Contact us to find the center nearest you. This test must be passed (70% or better) prior to the flight examination.


Costs

Many of our students obtain their private license in the Cessna 152. Based on this, we will calculate a typical cost forecast. Although the required minimum number of hours is 40, we have found that students generally take between 50 and 60 hours as an average. Some take more, some take less. We will use 55 hours as a base figure with 40 hours of dual, and 15 hours of solo.

  • 55 hours of Cessna 152 time: $98.00/hr x 55 hrs = $5,390
  • 50 hours of Dual Instruction (flight and ground): $50.00/hr x 50 hrs = $2500
  • Miscellaneous Supplies (books, charts, headset) = $500
  • Total = $8,390

At the bare minimums:

  • 40 hours of Cessna 152 time: $98.00/hr x 40 hrs = $3,390
  • 20 hours of Dual Instruction (flight and ground): $50.00/hr x 20 hrs = $1000
  • Miscellaneous Supplies (books, charts, headset) = $500
  • Total = $5,420

The Cessna 172 is the other popular aircraft to train in. The cost to rent the C172 is higher than the C152. Using the same times as above, here is the expected cost of training witht he C172. Again, this is a typical cost forecast.

  • 55 hours of Cessna 172 time: $126.00/hr x 55 hrs = $6,930
  • 50 hours of Dual Instruction (flight and ground): $50.00/hr x 50 hrs = $2500
  • Miscellaneous Supplies (books, charts, headset) = $500
  • Total = $9,930

At the bare minimums:

  • 40 hours of Cessna 172 time: $126.00/hr x 40 hrs = $5,040
  • 20 hours of Dual Instruction (flight and ground): $50.00/hr x 20 hrs = $1000
  • Miscellaneous Supplies (books, charts, headset) = $500
  • Total = $6,540