Learning to fly is an investment that will pay rewards for a lifetime. You will want to manage your budget so that you can progress through training in 2-6 months; taking longer than this will slow your rate of learning and increase your overall costs.

Ground School - $110

The most cost effective way to pass the FAA written test and gain knowledge for your flights is with a self-study ground school. We recommend the 2011 Gleim Private Pilot Kit with Test Prep CD-ROM available directly from us for $110 or at many online retailers

Headset - $80 to $1000

You will need a headset to listen/talk on the airplane's radios. You may want to start with an inexpensive headset for your training and upgrade later; most pilots own at least two headsets so that they have one for their passenger. Here is a review of some different headsets we found useful. There are many manufacturers of headsets, each having their own merits. Many manufacturers produce very good headsets (not a complete list):

Miscellaneous Pilot Supplies - $100-200

You will probably want an electronic E6B calculator, a kneeboard, and flashlight. You can spend as little or much as you want. There are many places to purchase headsets and a variety of pilot supplies:

25 Hours Dual - $3500

You need a minimum of 25 hours instruction to get your private pilot's license. Your instructor will show you how to do the required maneuvers and then monitor you while you perform them. You'll brief before and after each flight to get the maximum learning from your flying hours. This cost includes the aircraft rental and instructor's time.

15 Hours Solo - $1575

Your flight instructor and the DVDs will prepare you to fly solo in the airplane. You'll be practicing the skills required for your license and gaining confidence. Your instructor will be certain you are safe for the training he/she will have you accomplish. The t-shirt worn on your first solo will have the tail cut out of it to memorialize the event, arrive prepared.

Test Fee - $150

There are 2 vendors who administer FAA Tests:

Checkride Fee - $400

You will most likely take your checkride with a designated examiner who will charge about $400. Always pay your designated examiner in cash.

Total - Approximately $6000

We told you it wouldn't be cheap to learn to fly...but the rewards will last a lifetime.


Financing is available through Pilot Finance, Inc, with payments as low as $131 per month. Please ask for an application.

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