Private Pilot License

The first step on a career in aviation is earning a Private Pilot License. Before you start, you may want to take an introductory flight with one of our instructors, who will show you the basics and give you a first taste of aviation. If you decide to continue (and we think you will!) we can be with you every step of the way to your Private Pilot License.

Below you will find a summary of the Minimum FAA requirements to earn your Private Pilot’s License.

FAA Requirements Summary. See FAR 61.109

A person who applies for a private pilot certificate, with an airplane category and single-engine class rating, must log at least 40 hours of flight time. This flight time must include at least 20 hours of flight training from an authorized instructor and 10 hours of solo flight training This must include the following:
(1) 3 hours of cross-country flight training in a single-engine airplane;

(2) Except as provided in FAR 61.110, 3 hours of night flight training in a single-engine airplane that includes—
(i) One cross-country flight of over 100 nautical miles total distance; and

(ii) 10 takeoffs and 10 landings to a full stop (with each landing involving a flight in the traffic pattern) at an airport with an Air Traffic Control Tower.
(3) 3 hours of flight training in a single-engine airplane on the control and maneuvering of an airplane solely by reference to instruments

(4) 3 hours of flight training with an authorized instructor in a single-engine airplane in preparation for the practical test, which must have been performed within the preceding 2 calendar months from the month of the test; and

(5) 10 hours of solo flight time in a single-engine airplane, consisting of at least—

(i) 5 hours of solo cross-country time;

(ii) One solo cross country flight of 150 nautical miles total distance, with full-stop landings at three points, and one segment of the flight consisting of a straight-line distance of more than 50 nautical miles between the takeoff and landing locations; and

(iii) Three takeoffs and three landings to a full stop (with each landing involving a flight in the traffic pattern) at an airport with an operating control tower.

Associated Costs

The block rate for plane rental is $90 per hour, in addition the instructor rate of $50 per hour for dual instruction. We recommend budgeting $6,000-$8,000 for instruction and rental rates, for books, the exam fees, and a Third-Class medical examination. After the medical examination, the doctor will issue your Student Pilot certificate.

Going strictly by the hour requirements listed in the FAA regulations, earning a Private Pilot’s License could cost as little as $4,600 (plus books, exam, and medical). However, we have found that a realistic estimate will be higher because each student will go at his or her own pace. The majority of students need more hours than the minimum required to fully prepare for the check ride. This is actually a feature, not a bug. Our teaching style is based on the needs of the individual student, and we are eager to help you master every skill at your own pace.

Here are our estimates for the typical total cost of earning a Private Pilot License through our training program. On the right column are the minimum required hours, and on the left is the average number of hours our students have taken, 55 total hours including 35 hours of dual instruction.

  FAA Min. Typical
Flight time in Cessna 152. (Block Rate $90/Hour) $3600 $4950
Dual Instruction. ($50/Hour) $1000 $1750
Total $4600 $6700
In addition, please budget for additional expenses related to FAA requirements:

  Written Test Fees: $150
  Medical Exam/Student Pilot License: $35-100
  Study books and Pilot’s supplies (i.e. Flight Computer): $100-$250
  Headsets: $5 per flight rental, $75 unlimited rental, or $125-1000 to purchase.
  Flight Test/”Check Ride” Fees: $350-600
  Ground Instruction: $50/hour as required.
We provide the standard pre- and post-flight briefings with your instructor free of charge, so you can be sure to understand everything about that day’s lesson. We are one of very few schools that charges only for the hours spent in the plane with the instructor, and for additional ground training. Typically, our instructors will guide you through a self-study ground school program with an occasional informal class. If you do not choose to self-study and receive ground instruction only one-on-one with the instructor, the $50 per hour instructor fee applies.

Please feel free to contact us today to schedule your introductory flight or to learn more about earning your Private Pilot License with Fox Aviation International Inc.

Information on this page is provided for general reference purposes only. Please consult the current Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Regulations regarding flight training requirements.