Private Pilot Requirements

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires a minimum of forty flight hours to obtain a private pilot's license. However, in reality the national average flight time as a student pilot is approximately 71 hours. Your actual flight time required, and the resulting cost of training, are dependent on your abilities, frequency of flight lessons, and the weather. Our experience shows that the average student needs about six months and 55 to 65 flight hours to complete training and earn their private pilot certificate.

Once you have taken a medical examination and received an FAA medical certificate you are ready to begin your training and preparation for solo flight. All flight instruction is on an individual basis and can be scheduled at your convenience. There is no requirement to enroll in a formal ground school and ground training does not necessarily have to be completed before your first flight lesson. The ground training is in conjunction with your flight training and will prepare you to pass a national standardized written test.

Flight training is structured to teach you those skills that will allow you to operate an aircraft safely as a private pilot. The final phase of your training is a practical flight test in an aircraft that includes an oral exam on the knowledge you have gained during training.

General aviation is a fun, exciting, and safe avocation. We hope to see you in the air soon!

Minimum Flight Hours for the Private Pilot Certificate:
(FAR 61.109)

20  Hours Flight Instruction
10  Hours Solo
10  Additional Hours of Solo or Instruction

Equals:   40 Hours Total

Remember...40 hours is the absolute minimum. Most students require between 50 and 70 hours to become proficient enough to be a SAFE pilot.


The cost of obtaining the Private Pilot Certificate can vary depending on how often you fly, how quickly you master each subject, and what type of aircraft you fly. The figures below are based on flying the Cessna 152 and flying a total of 35 hours under Part 141. Remember that some students will prefer to fly the Cessna 172 and may require more flight hours. The figures below are estimates only.

Private Pilot Certification Course

35 Hours Dual Flight Time (Cessna 152) $0.00*
20 Hours Flight Instruction $1,100.00*
Pre/Post Flight Briefings $150.00*
Private Pilot Ground School
(Books/Materials Included in Tuition)
FAA Medical Exam $100.00**
FAA Written Exam $165.00
Private Pilot Checkride
(+ Airplane Rental)

Minimum Cost for Private Pilot Certificate $2,350.00

* The above costs are based on FAA Part 141 minimums.
** These costs are averages and vary depending on Aviation Medical Examiner or Designated Pilot Examiner.

Contact us at 1-866-263-2FLY for questions or to schedule an introductory lesson.