Become a Private Pilot
As an FAA Certificated Private Pilot, you will have the freedom to fly as you like. Unlike a sport pilot, you have the privilege to fly anywhere you want and are not restricted to flying with a 10,000 foot ceiling. You will also have the freedom to fly at night and are not restricted to one passenger. Earning your private pilot certificate will give you the freedom to fly when and where you choose and you can bring along friends and family!
- As a private pilot your rating will allow you to fly under visual flight rules (VFR). Under VFR, the pilot may fly in fair weather conditions allowing the pilot to visually navigate the aircraft and to visually maintain safe distance from ground obstacles and other aircraft.
- Training is conducted both in the air and on the ground. Students may receive full ground training on a one-on-one basis with their instructor, but are encouraged to enroll in Springs Aviation’s formal Private Pilot Ground School (for cost advantage).
- If you have a rotor wing certificate, we at Springs Aviation have experience transitioning rotor wing pilots to fixed wing pilots. We’ll keep you safe on final as you learn that everything you do to land a helicopter doesn’t work in a Cessna!
Private Pilot Certificate Requirements
The requirement for a Private Pilot license is a minimum of 40 hours of flight time, but the national average is currently around 65-70 hours. It would be wise to count on it taking between 50 and 60 hours to complete the training for your license.
You must also pass a written knowledge exam and a practical test of your ability to fly the aircraft to FAA standards administered by a designated pilot examiner.
You must become a student pilot, meet hour requirements and receive the appropriate endorsements from your flight instructor to take the Private Pilot tests. You must also:
- Be 17 Years old (other than glider or balloon)
- Read, Speak, Write, Understand English (unless restricted (61.103.c))
- Pass the knowledge test (written test) and the practical exam (oral + checkride)
Training Tips from the Pros
Don’t be like that guy who keeps setting up for a five mile final—there he is again! What are you DOING?!
You know how to do a PO180 in a low wing?
Drop a brick out the pilot’s window and chase it.
Discover the art of flight.
Book a discovery flight today and begin your flying journey, commitment free.
Private Pilot Certificate Costs
The cost of getting your private pilot certificate depends on how many hours it takes in the plane and with your instructor. The FAA requires a minimum of 40 hours, but it will likely take you longer. The current national average is about 70 hours.
Our goal is to get our students finished closer to 50 hours. We encourage all our students to study and chair-fly at home and fly a couple times a week to better retain lesson information so they can move through training more efficiently.
Understanding Training Costs
Understanding how many hours it will take you to learn to fly is a challenging task.
Always budget for more hours than you believe you’ll need. Your ability is not the only factor that might delay training: weather, maintenance and scheduling delays can chew through hours as you fly to maintain proficiency before a test.
We do our best to get you to private certificate in as few hours as possible.
Hourly airplane rental costs are often the highest training cost. Average rental rates for a Cessna 172 are about $168.50/h wet (includes fuel). See our rates here.
A Springs Aviation Instructor is worth the money. At only $54/h for private instruction, instructor rates here are some of the most affordable in the country.
Instruction costs are accrued for both ground and flight training.
Books, charts, plotters E6b calculators, bags, headsets and more. These costs are minimal compared to the costs of airplane rentals, but they’re an important factor to consider.
While students at Springs can always borrow a headset, they may want their own for comfort reasons.
Testing fees are important to factor. The written test costs $175 per attempt. Pilot Examiners’ rates differ for the practical test, but for a Private Pilot checkride, you should expect to pay at least $500. You’ll also want to consider the cost of the airplane rental for the test.