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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

8080 hrs
Minimum Total Time
8080 hrs
Flight Training
8080 hrs
Solo Time
80 ldgs
full stop, towered airport

Training Tips from the Pros

Most people who’re afraid of heights aren’t actually afraid of heights—they have a fear of exposure. Being in an aircraft isn’t like being on the side of a cliff.




Don’t be like that guy who keeps setting up for a five mile final—there he is again! What are you DOING?!




Talking to ATC can be challenging, but if you add “student pilot” to the end of your transmission, they’re a lot nicer to you when you mess up.



Pilot, Apprentice A&P

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.


To this end, we occasionally offer a pre-paid Private Pilot offer. For a discounted cost, we’ll bundle 55 hours of airplane rental, 55 hours of instruction and the Private Pilot Ground School. Give us a call to get on the waitlist when you’re ready to get started! Our next rotation begins Summer, 2024.

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. Rental rates for a Cessna 172 start around $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.

We recommend Quest Pilot Supplies for all your gear needs. Many of the items are included in our custom-built Private Pilot Kits.

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.

Pre-Pay Deal Cost Comparison

Springs Aviation Private Pilot Special Offer Cost
All-Inclusive Deal - 55hrs*
Testing Costs
$ 0
with the Pre-Paid Special Offer

*Includes 55hrs flight time, 45hrs instruction or up to your check ride. Flight hours required beyond 55 receive a 10% discount up until 70 hours. Ground School is included in this cost.

AN FAA MEDICAL CERTIFICATE IS REQUIRED BEFORE SIGNING UP FOR THE PRE-PAY DEAL. Contact us for our recommendation on local examiners.

**This offer has limited availability and may not be available when you call. A 3% service fee is charged for credit card payments.**

"Pay As You Go" Cost
55 hours aircraft rental @ $183.50/h
45 hours instruction @ $54/h
Materials & Ground School
Testing Costs
$ 0
with the Pre-Paid Special Offer

*This rough estimate of cost is not a quote or guarantee.

Our Recent Private Pilot Graduates
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