Private Pilot

Did you know that less then then 2% of the US population are rated pilots?  By becoming a private pilot, you will be joining an elite group with a rich history and a promising future!


The completion time of the private pilot certificate will vary based on scheduling, weather, and competency level of the student. More frequent training will result a better skill retention level and a faster completion time. Therefore, students training 1-2 times per week should expect 3-6 months to complete the requirements, whereas students training 3-4 times per week can expect 4-6 weeks to complete training.

                  ESTIMATED COST

  • 35 Hours Flight time (Cessna 172) $4,725.00*

  • 20 Hours Flight Instruction (Cessna 172) $1,300.00*

  • Private Pilot Ground School $335.00

  • Jeppesen Private Pilot Kit $290.00

  • Pre/Post-Flight Briefings $260.00*

  • FAA Written Exam $165.00

  • FAA Private Pilot Practical Test Fee $500.00**

  • FAA Medical Exam $100.00**

Total Approximate Cost                                     $7,675.00

Private Pilot Rate Sheet 2/1/2019 (PDF)


*The above costs are based on FAA part 141 minimums. 
** These costs are averages and mays may very between different Designated Pilot Examiners or FAA Medical Examiners

These prices are a guideline to approximate total flight cost. They are based on current (January 2017) aircraft prices for the least expensive aircraft suitable for required training. All times are based on FAA part 141 minimums or an average of past students.  Everyone learns at a different pace, therefor, these times are not guaranteed for everyone.



To be eligible for a private pilot certificate, a person must:

  • Be at least 17 years of age. (You only have to be 16 to solo the airplane.)

  • Obtain at least a third class FAA medical certificate. We have a doctor in Hannibal that can complete this for you.

  • Pass a 60 multiple choice exam covering aeronautical knowledge items such as weather, aircraft performance, airspace, weight and balance and navigation. Your instructor will show you how to prepare for this test.

  • Receive the required flight training and a logbook endorsement from your instructor, certifying that you have met the requirements of the private pilot rating. This required flight training is explained below.


  • At least 40 hours of total flight time that includes:

    • At least 20 hours of dual flight training from an authorized instructor

    • At least 10 hours of solo flight training

  • Dual flight training must include:

    • 3 hours of cross country flight training

    • 3 hours of night flight training

    • One night cross country flight of over 100 nautical miles total distance

    • night takeoff and landings

    • 3 hours of flight training on the control and maneuvering of the airplane by reference to instruments only

    • 3 hours of flight training in preparation for the practical test

  • Solo flight training must include:

    • 5 hours of solo cross country time

    • One solo cross country flight of at least 150 nautical miles total distance with full stop landings at three points

    • Three takeoff and three landings at an airport with an operating control tower




This stage will introduce you to aviation in general. Before you begin flying, your instructor will introduce you to the aircraft and show you how the various flight controls work and how they affect the aerodynamics of the airplane. You will learn how to conduct a preflight inspection before each flight. Once in the air, you will be introduced to slow flight, steep banked turns, emergency procedures, and takeoff and landings.


After you demonstrate basic competence in the airplane and you feel comfortable, it’s time for you to take the airplane on a few flights by yourself. In the air, you will review the maneuvers you have practiced with your instructor and practice your takeoff and landings.


During this stage you will be introduced to planning and flying cross country flights (more than 50 nautical miles). You will learn how to plan aircraft fuel burn, compensate for winds aloft, examine weather patterns, navigate, and talk to air traffic control. The cross country routes can be individually tailored so if there is a certain destination you want to visit let your instructor know.


The end of your training will consist of preparation for your practical test. You will work with your instructor on all of the required ground knowledge items and flight maneuvers until you can meet the standards of the practical test. The practical test is taken with an FAA designated examiner and will consist of an oral exam and a flight test. Your instructor will insure that you are completely prepared not only to pass the checkride but that you are an overall safe and competent pilot. Once you pass your checkride, you will receive your airman’s certificate and you will be a fully certified private pilot.