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How Much Does It Cost To Get Your Private Pilot License | HOW TO SAVE MONEY

How Much Does It Cost To Get Your Private Pilot License | HOW TO SAVE MONEY

In this video we’re answering the second question I get asked the most, how much does it cost to get your private pilot’s license? The breakdown coming up! Hey guys Carl with the Aviation Guys here, and on this channel we like to go on flights, give training tips, gadget reviews and grow the aviation community so if you like what you see consider subscribing! Now let’s get going. In our last video we talked about what it takes to get your private pilot license, or rather private pilot certificate which is what it’s actually called. You can check that video out up here, but after people find out that I’m working towards a private pilot license they usually say, “I hear that’s expensive, how much does it cost?” Well my answer is, it depends. There’s a lot of variables that come into play when you’re working towards your private pilot license but to be honest it’s gonna cost a good chunk of change. So today I’m not gonna only go over how much it’s gonna cost but cost-saving tips that you can do along the way. Straight up there are two ways that you can get your private pilot license, by going privately through an instructor or going to a school. There’s pros and cons to each one of those, but we’re gonna save those for another video. Today we’re focusing strictly on cost. So, let’s go ahead and get started by getting your license privately with an instructor. Now let’s set some standards. The minimum to get your private pilot license is 40 hours, but most people are doing it on average of 65 to 70. So, we’re gonna take that 65 number and base all of our calculations off it. Even people who go to flight schools are averaging that 65 hour mark. So, to make things realistic we’re just gonna choose that number looking at expensive there’s only a couple of things that you need to focus on aircraft cost instructor cost ground school materials like books headsets and charts and testing so let’s break these down aircraft cost this is going to be the single most expensive part of your training and age size avionics fuel consumption really dictates the price of a rental but typically older aircraft rent for less and more better-equipped newer aircraft rent for more but for this situation we’re gonna take the average cost of a Cessna 172 $125 per hour typically with fuel and multiply that times at 65 which gives us eight thousand one hundred and twenty-five dollars you can save money on aircraft rentals by renting smaller older airplanes in my area actually found a Cessna 152 renting for $85 an hour with fuel and that’s fantastic and I could save even more money by buying my hours up front and bulk where I could save in or between five to ten dollars per hour depending on how many bulk hours I purchased at a time you can also save money by joining a local Flying Club where you trade better rates for rentals for monthly dues but just make sure that you do your math first to make sure that it’s right for you last and certainly not the cheapest option is to buy your own airplane or join a partnership the only catch to this is you actually own a plane now and you have to pay for maintenance and things like that but depending on your aviation goals this may be the best option for you in the long term your second biggest cost is going to be your instructor and instructors will charge differently based on their experience or teaching style but the average that I found inside of my area is about $50 per hour but you’re gonna need about 55 hours of this in the total and that comes out to about two thousand seven hundred and fifty dollars saving money on an instructor can be hard you really get what you pay for I’ve heard of some instructors charging $20 an hour but they’re brand-new and you’re really paying them to learn how to teach other instructors know what their time is worth and charge accordingly so the best way to be able to save money on instruction is make sure you use their time wisely come prepared ask for homework and extend your lesson times to at least two hours ground school now this one’s a hard one to put a number on because there’s so many different ways that you can take it you can get it from your instructor you can take it from a local course or even online but with variables like how you learn and how long it takes you to apply what you’ve learned it could really varies you could be with your instructor for anywhere from five to ten hours ground courses typically lasts a weekend and if you can’t get it all in you might not do well so we’re gonna put a dollar amount on this base off of an online course that allows you to learn at your own rate and that’s gonna be anywhere between two and three hundred dollars to save money on ground school I highly recommend using an online course because again it allows you to go at your own pace and learn how you learned and a lot of them are very comprehensive offering a guarantee that if you don’t pass your written you’ll get your money back if you choose to use your instructor asked about reduced rates for classroom time a lot of them are very accommodating next up is materials there’s only couple of things you really need for your pilot training some sectional charts a book or two and a headset the headsets can cost anywhere from a hundred dollars to over a thousand but all in you only need to spend about three hundred dollars saving money on materials is really easy only buy what you need in fact the FAA publishes a lot of the books you can read online in PDF form so you can read them on your phone or your tablet I actually have links for these down in the description as far as the headset goes you can buy an inexpensive one might only cost me a hundred and ten dollars later on I know I can buy a more expensive one and then use the one I currently have for my friends and family but if you’re unsure of what materials to get I have a link down in the description that you can follow that will show you all the materials and things that you actually need and when to get them throughout your training process and if you’re still unsure you can always ask your instructor blast is testing testing is another one of those variable costs based on where you live your written test has to be taken inside of a testing center which can cost you anywhere between 100 to 150 dollars your last two tests the oral and checkride are usually bundled together under the same price and find those anywhere between five and seven hundred dollars you can save money on your written test by calling around to different testing centers and see how much they charge the test is standardized at every location so it really depends on how much you want to drive I’ll have a link in the description below that will tell you where your local testing centers are the same goes for your checker I’d call a couple designated pilot examiner’s and see what their pricing is but also check with your instructor to see how that examiner works with the students some are really picky where others are a lot more laid-back alright it’s math time we’re gonna take the maximum number here and add them up and remember we’re multiplying our rates by 65 so 8125 for the plane 2,750 for the instructor 300 for ground school 300 for materials and 850 for testing plus 375 dollars for the plane rental which is about three hours for the check ride and that comes to 12 thousand seven hundred dollars remember how I said it was going to cost a good chunk of change this is a realistic number what you can expect to pay to have your pilot training but again you can save money using the that I gave you inside of the video now let’s compare this to flight schools flight schools take everything we just talked about and wrap them up into a nice neat little package and that’s a huge benefit for you but with those benefits come extra costs I’ve seen flight school charge anywhere between fifteen thousand to nineteen thousand dollars to get a private pilot license but flight schools have their benefits like access to airplanes instructors and materials a lot more readily than you could if you’re doing it on your own again that’s a whole nother discussion for another video to save money at school you just have to talk to a recruiter ask them what the average timeframe it takes for our students to complete the program also ask them what the average price students pay to complete it if they don’t know that should be a red flag but also make sure that you’re asking about other costs you could eclair along the way above all check how they want to be paid some schools want to be paid upfront for the entire program this may not work for you if you decide later on the school isn’t for you so that’s it that’s all you should need to know about the cost of your private pilot license now the best money saving tip that I can give you is to save up your money and do your flight training all at once doing it as quickly as possible to help you get below that 65 hour average and help you save the most money in the end hey guys thanks for watching the video if you liked it make sure to give it a thumbs up and hit that subscribe button also tell us what you think inside of the comments down below as always share aviation wherever you can and we’ll see in the next one

Reader Comments

  1. Thanks for your comments guys! Keep them coming! Also, let me know what you would like to see next. Happy to make videos for you guys.

  2. AOPA is a shitty organization,, i was a commercial pilot, had a bad crash,, no one stepped forward up help my family….
    The aviation community is a bunch of rich self interested assholes.

  3. Take and cost all pilot training in small controllable steps. First, pass the required medical. Second get the academics out of the way and complete the written exam (always take structured standardized ground school courses which guarantee written exam success). Why pay for flight instruction before you know if your are medically or academically compatible? The third step is the big one! It takes the longest, costs the most, and reveals your pilot psychological profile. Flight Training and the Check ride! There is no way around this step (and there should not be). Lots of things happen here that are beyond your control. Look seriously at the new Electric Plane technology used in general aviation training. It could significantly reduce the cost factor. I am a retired ATP (SEL & MEL) with type ratings, CFII and MEI credentials and thousands of flight hours. I WISH I HAD ELECTRIC AIRCRAFT to offset my training costs. Good Luck.

  4. Back in the 1980s, when I was in the military, the base had an aero club.
    Cessna 152 rental $8.00 an hour. $10 an hour wet.
    I wonder where I could find those rates today.

  5. About $2500.00 USD in 1989. Weird observation, I got a CDL in 2014, and the "pre-trip" inspection on a class 8 semi is about 20 times more involved than that of a SEL plane. But one allows you to simply pull over is there's trouble.

  6. I'm an old pilot. My 50th anniversary of obtaining my pilot's license will be this summer. In 1969 a 1949 Cessna 150 cost $11/hr and the instructor was $6/hr!! I logged my 40th flying hour flying to my check ride in Webster City, Iowa. I spend my entire life savings of $680 to become a private pilot. One of the best decisions I every made. I priced lessons today for my kids and it would run them about 8-10 grand to get their private's and that's assuming they do it in 40 hrs.

  7. Back in the 70's I seem to recall the rental on a C-150 was like $17/hr Wet. I forget what I had to pay my Instructor and for the Ground School classes. Think I passed my Private around 70 hours or so.

  8. Anyone regret getting your PPC? I'm 37, no debt, no kids, and will have enough to pay cash for training in a few months. I don't want to think its a waste in a few years.

  9. A friend taught me to fly because I can't get a ticket, ear problems. I just steal planes and have fun occasionally. Just kidding. Or am I?

  10. great video! Very helpful. But I would say it’s possible to do it part 61, for under $10K, I got my ppl in 3 months last summer for $5K. And if you aim to do it at min hours, you’ll pass with less time and money. I made a video on how i did it, i don’t want to self promo but i just want others to know there’s options! You won’t get pretty points necessarily, but you will save money. Great video!

  11. In Montreal (Lachute Airport) it cost $8550 + tx in CAD! Pretty good price and school is close to my home which is pretty good if I want to save every quarter for fuel and other costs! Cessna 152

  12. How much would it cost me from having no experience, to getting a job? The private certificate, and the commercial license too?

  13. This why I just hire a pilot and plane when I really need to go somewhere. I did read a training manual and flew 2 small aircraft…one high wing, one low. With a qualified pilot beside me, I took off, landed (VFR calm air) went through various maneuvers as requested by the pilots, navigated and used the radio. I just didn't find it fun to do at all. My mind was continuously in overdrive looking all around outside, monitoring the instruments and asking myself what can possibly go wrong and what am I going to do about it if handing things over to the pilot were not an option. Something like 1 person per day dies in GA incidents.

  14. Totally unrelated, but I just noticed those Edifiers you've got set up there and I'm watching this on a pair of Edifiers haha.

  15. VERY helpful. I don't think the background music is helpful, though. The important information deserves to be the entire focus. And the background "music" is just noise, (am I on hold?) distracting from what is a quite professional presentation.

  16. A “pilots license” is FREE! Just makeup one yourself with any word processor or an ink pen. Even a crayon would work. WHY? Because there is NO-SUCH-THING as a pilot license. Oh, you mean a pilot’s CERTIFICATE?? Ok, that is a REAL document. Be honest, you have NO CLUE what you are jabbering here. Really, go read a book…

  17. Mostly you don’t need headsets – they are a part of the aircraft. Except if you have extra 1000€. Then you buy Bose A20.

  18. Would you believe that, while in the Air Force, in Biloxi Miss. in 1956 there was a notice that we airmen could get flying lessons for $7.00 per lesson. For some reason I chose to spend my off hours in beer taverns, even though Biloxi was a dry town. My worst deciasion ever was not to take those lessons, it would have opened up a whole new world , and a good one,to me.

  19. Not much compared with here in Brazil, the total private pilot license costs about R$ 30.000 reais 😥

  20. Or…. you join the military with a guarantee to get pilot training… cost is FREE… well that and giving them at least 4 yrs of your life! LOL

  21. I went for one class with richmor Aviation that cost $150 I I had one hour with a Cessna 152 and a pilot who learned and got most of his time on gliders.

    Can flying class 103 ultra-lights count towards pilot experience or do you actually have to fly the planes that require licenses for the experience to gain a license.

  22. Goodness, one can still do it for about $7k-$8K in rural areas all included. All this guy is doing is coaching people to get comfortable to pay the ever increasing price tag of arm and leg.

  23. Is there an age limit to start a student pilot license, my son is 11 and want to start classes, and at what age can he start flying

  24. I guess I lucked out, my total came to less than $7,000 back from 2006-2007 for my Private Pilot License. I learned that Sport Pilot can be a lot less

  25. I got my license in early 1984 after another pilot/instructor accident and with second instructor. Get the best you can afford or you might pay more later. You must commit to it 100% !

  26. Im doing a bachelor's program for aviation through Liberty online and to be honest I really like how its laid out. Since financing is most peoples block from going into flight training (like myself) it gave me the option to do student loans to pay for it rather than out of pocket (which can cost you more in the long run because your lessons are so infrequent that you lose what you learn inbetween so you need closer to 65 hours instead of 40). I did my private through liberty and a partnered flight school and it cost me $9,000 for the course on a student loan and I dropped about $1000 for materials (Ipad, headset, logbooks, additional study materials) so all in all it cost me about 10,000 dollars but Im able to spread out the cost at least.

  27. I paid for my lessons cash in full up front. Every time we hit 3500 feet I got air sick, sweat and vomit. After the 4th lesson with the same results the instructor decided that flying is not for me. I was heart broken. So I asked for the remainder of the money that I paid up front and was told that it was non refundable. They said that they would do their best to find a student to buy my lessons. Never happened .

  28. great video and thanks for the important information 👏 can't wait to become a pilot, working 3 jobs to save up 🤗

  29. Hi @Fly With The Guys (or anyone who knows how to answer) — about how frequently should you be putting in flight hours?
    Realistically I probably could only afford the extra cash for 2-3 flight hours per month (so would complete the certification requirements in 2-3 years time) but I’m wondering if that frequency is actually enough to retain what you learn.


  30. So I'll just say 10k for license and 30k for a plane so 40k and you have your own plane and license. I live in central fl. Does that mean i could fly my plane to the Bahamas for a 3 day weekend.

  31. I was blackbolled by communist. Masons in St. John Indiana,spent $ 15,000.00. 200hours passed my FAA Written first time and they gave me a DUII did not drink .I had a lawsuit against the police and even The owner of the flight school said:"Adrian you will never get your pilot license ." I was the best talented student pilot.

  32. What's the minimum to expect and with what qualifications is a better question.
    It's like asking how much does a car cost. What do you need it to accomplish, throw £200 at it and your limo budget is light. Need a better option than a bus, you have decisions to make.

  33. I bought my own plane. I sold the plane 6 months later for exactly what I bought it for. I had to pay for storage/ parking and fuel. That's it.
    Now part of a club.

  34. My PPL costs about $8000 and another $10,000 just for getting the IR added to it. 😣😣😓 my flight school lets me pay in blocks (each block is 10 lessons -flight/ground school) so i think I’ll stick with that cuz blocks give me a 7% discount.

  35. Can you post the materials link for the ppl? So I can print it and study that. I bought already like 10 books from the ASA series and FAA but i feel like my heads gonna explode from all this material, which includes aviation weather, avionics, aerodynamics, atc comm, cessna172 handbook and flight controls and checklist, navaid charts, ppl study guide etc

  36. £5000.
    In UK. Plus's 35 hrs airtime.
    Plus landing costs.
    .better to join toe airforce or navy. They will train you for free.

  37. Noob question: is a pilot certificate like a drivers license in that it has to be renewed periodically? Or is it good basically forever? Also is there a rule about time frame for completing these requirements? So could I do the ground school stuff now and start logging hours next year?

  38. My 35th hour was my check ride. How in the hell do people need 30 more hours to learn to fly?! Start by finding a Part 141 licensed school if you can

  39. I would really like to see a video about the pros and cons of flight school vs private… I’m considering which one to do and have no idea!

  40. Good info! I have tossed the idea around for a while, but after seeing the costs (and assuming those are US dollars?) I guess I will have to pass. It would be as a hobby for me, so a little too pricey for my cheap self! Lol

  41. Cost me $1,800 in 1981. Plane rental was $26 per hour and I believe instructor was $15. That $41 an hour was mighty hard to scrape up as a college kid and took me better part of 18 months. However, it was worth it and I learned a lot.

  42. I want to take ppl…. Do i need ma own flight for it?
    And is it possible to work as private piolet of any companies?

  43. Now let’s talk about getting your commercial, instrument, multi engine and then the big one—ATP! 2000 hours $200,000 later (conservative) you can start making $30,000 a year.

  44. My dad was a CFI. Mom said his head was always in the clouds. So I became an IT guy instead. Like father, like son – though a different set of clouds.

  45. I received my Private Pilot Certificate for a total for $7236.00 Total. That was 7 years ago. My trick was to learn everything out of the Airplane Flying Hand Book and the Pilots handbook of aeronautical knowledge prior to going to a FBO with a plane and instructor. I also Borrowed a King schools Video course for Private pilot. That helped the most. I save so much time for the instructor and myself grabbing concepts while flying in training. I got a 87% on the written and passed the check ride with flying colors. Emergency procedures are the biggie and landing on center line and touch down where told to. This demonstrates the ability for controlling the aircraft and also the ability to handle a stressful situation efficiently. Its a lot of fun to fly. I encourage everybody who is thinking about it to just do it if you can swing it financially. Even if its one hour at a time. Its worth every penny.

  46. These sound like optimistic estimates. The testing and flight costs look correct. I believe there will be more costs with ground and gear. Even though you buy an online ground school, you may still need ground with your instructor. You can easily spend a few grand in gear with an Ipad, headset and other toys. Also, you didn't seem to count any time for pre and post flight briefings, those aren't free. I do believe 65 hour is realistic if you fly 3x a weeks and study everyday, if you don't those hours along with your costs will go up.

  47. I remember an instructor i had at Princeton, NJ. Edwin was hands down the worst instructor I've ever had, be it Aviation, High School, College, Professional, or any other learning environment I've ever been in. I definitely overpaid, but I didn't know any better at the time.


  49. I didn't take a lot of notice but my Dad got his ppl in the UK about 30 years ago & it cost a fortune, probably x100 of what it would of been in the US. Plus the rules & regs in the UK seem twice as strict, just as if they don't want you to have a ppl, typical UK nonsense.

  50. After your VFR, you should get your IFR, within a year. The reason, the high percentage of GA fatalities are due to the pilot not knowing how to fly in IMC. I reside in southeastern Michigan, and about 70% of the year is IMC.

  51. What would it be if you know exactly what you are doing. I'm joking the air force when I'm older so will know how to do it.

  52. I think buying a used Cessna 152 or 172 for around $18-$20k may be my best option after seeing this. The Harley is already on consignment. I have the flying bug. I'm gonna go for it. Thank you.

  53. I received my Pilot's Certificate in August, 1978. The instructor was $10/hr, and the 152, wet was $18/hr. It was difficult to do in 40 hours. It took me 43 hours, as I remember. My total cost was just over $1000 total. I have owned 2 planes, and my favorite was my Grumman Yankee.
    Having a Pilots License has meant everything to me, and I do so love it still.
    If you have that thurst for Freedom, and Flight, go for it. You will have something that few have ever had. To break the bounds of Earth, cannot be explained. Go the extra mile, and frame the world with only a pair of wings, is, to me, the single greatest experience I have ever experienced.
    God is my co-pilot, and I am still here to experience his beautiful world! It's up to you

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