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“When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the Earth with your eyes turned skyward, f​or there you have been, and there you will always long to return." -Leonardo da Vinci

Private Pilot Course

A Private Pilot's License (PPL) allows a pilot to fly a single-engine airplane and carry passengers (as long as they are not paid for doing so). The FAA requires a minimum of 40 hours of training, however, the national average is closer to 60 hours of training. The typical student can fly solo within 10-12 hours of flight training and can finish the program in as little as four weeks. We can also train working students outside of work hours and/or on weekends in about 5-10 weeks. A typical student can expect to pay around $12,000-$15,000 to earn their PPL. A breakdown of typical costs is listed below.

The private pilot certificate is the equivalent of a regular driver's license. It allows you to fly almost anywhere within the 5 million square miles of United States airspace, giving you access to over 5,000 public-use airports. You may use this certificate to fly both at daytime and nighttime while carrying passengers. However, without an instrument rating, you will be restricted to fair-weather flying. 

FAA Certification Requirements

  • Must be at least 17 years of age (16 to solo, and training may begin at any age).
  • Be able to read, write, and understand English.
  • Hold a current 3rd class medical or greater.
  • Accumulate 40 hours of flight time.
  • Pass the FAA knowledge test and practical test.

Typical Cost to Earn PPL

Total Program Cost


50 hours flight training with an instructor-$10,250

50 x $150/hr aircraft rental + 50 x $55/hr flight instruction

10 hours Solo flight-$1500

10 x $150/hr aircraft rental

20 hours Ground instruction-$1100

20 x $55/hr ground instruction

Student Pilot Kit $140

Textbooks, FAA Knowledge Test Prep, navigation tools, logbook, and view limiting device.

Designated Practical Examiner's (DPE) Fee-$800

Payable to the FAA representative during your checkride.

Avemco Renter's Insurance Policy-$200

Covers your liability in the event of accidental damage to the aircraft.

What to Expect in the Course

The training follows a structured syllabus, but it may be easily tailored to the individual student as needed. The training includes both classroom and flight training and is broken up into 3 stages, each with different core objectives. The following are partial lists of what to expect in each stage:

Stage 1

Basic aircraft control


Aircraft systems


Takeoffs and landings

Operations at towered airports

Stage 2

Weather Theory


Cross-country flight planning

Flying by reference to only instruments

Flying at night

Operations at towered airports

Stage 3

Further develop flying skills

Build knowledge in all subject matter areas

Pass the FAA knowledge test

Demonstrate proficiency during an end-of-course check

Core Objective: Complete your first solo flight

Core Objective: Complete a series of solo cross-country flights

Core Objective: Pass the Private Pilot practical test

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