Learn to Fly – What Does it Cost?

So what does it cost if wanted to learn to fly?
Cessna 150Flight schools will tell you whatever it takes to get you in the door. Many can misguide you with low ball and unrealistic figures. You have to understand there is more involved in learning to fly than just simply doing it.

The Airplane Expenses

You can save a majority of your money here in the airplane category. Do you need to fly the newer, cooler, and more up to date aircraft or are you fine with an older airplane? This can save you hundreds and even thousands of dollars in your flight training. This is the main point I push in my flight school. My airplanes are maintained the same if not better than the newer ones and costs almost one hundred dollars an hour less! Shop around you may be surprised what kind of deals you find.

The Ground Expenses

Yes, flying even costs money just sitting on the ground. Yet this can be the area where you save the most money over time. How is that? Do more of it! The more you learn on the ground the more time you save in the air and that translates to big savings. Expect to spend 10 or more hours doing ground work with an instructor. This doesn’t include time you spend studying by yourself.

The Material Expenses

Many flight schools overlook this expense and fail to really mention it when they’re quoting prices. This can really depend on how in depth you get with training. But below i’ve listed some key essentials you cannot do without.

E6B Flight Computer

A Private Pilot Manual or Textbook


A Headset

Keep in mind these are just a few things on a list of many that you will eventually need.


Don’t fall into the flight school marketing traps. Yes, the FAA only requires a minimum of 40 hours but let me be the first to tell you that it won’t happen. This is the biggest thing the schools do to make their prices look low. They quote you based on 40 hours when the national average is in the low 60’s hour wise!

The average cost of a private pilot certificate is around 5,000 – 6,000 dollars if you’re a good shopper. Don’t fall for marketing puffery, shop around and ask the right questions.

Here’s a list of a few more article by me that may interest you on this subject:
Learn to Fly – What does it Take?
3 Ways to Know Your Flight Training is On Track
10 Things I Wish I Had Known When I Was a Student Pilot
5 Common Student Pilot Errors
10 Things Every Pilot Should Own
5 Things That Never Leave My Flightbag

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