Dear Future Aviators,
The most common question we are asked in reference to flight training is: how much does it cost to become a pilot? In this post, we’ll review the topic in detail and give our tips on how to reduce the cost to get your pilot’s license.
Flight School Cost Breakdown
The cost of your training will consist of the following components:
- Theoretical training – $65 per hour, one-on-one ground instruction
- Aircraft rental – $165 per hour for the Cessna 172 aircraft
- Flight Instruction – $ 65 per hour
- Purchase of books and necessary supplies (maps, flight computer, plotter, etc.)
- Purchase of written exam study prep courses – from $49
- Written Exam – $160
- Medical Exam – approximately $120
- International student costs (M1 Visa, TSA Screening and fingerprints) – $600
Let’s now examine, more in detail, the cost of flight lessons. The largest component in the cost of flight training is the rental of the aircraft. At SkyEagle, we use an hourly tuition model. We offer a flexible hourly pay scale being that all students have different needs and requirements. A student who is able to complete the entire training program within the minimum time stipulated by The FAA, (40 hours for a Private Pilot) will spend less amount of money and time as opposed to a student who will need additional training to complete the program. The ground and flight instruction costs are $ 65 per hour. The cost of the aircraft rental is $165 per hour, making the total cost for one flight hour with an instructor $230, which includes fuel.
A student may reduce their training expenses by self-studying for the theoretical lessons using various books and online platforms. There are also times where we conduct special group study sessions, which will also limit costs.
In addition to actual flight training costs, there are other supplemental expenses that must be incurred such as:
- FAA Medical Exam – approximately $100
- Books and necessary supplies (maps, flight computer, plotter, etc.) – approximately $250
- Quality Aviation Headsets – $300 to $1200
- Examination Fees – $600-$1200
- Additional Expenses for Foreign Students:
- M1 Student Visa – $500 for issuing an I-20 form, Embassy Fee for I-901, consular fee for issuing a visa – approximately $250
- TSA Screening – $130 per request
- TSA Fingerprint Submission – approximately $160
In conclusion, the past statistics of our graduates show the average flight time it took for our students to complete their private pilot course is anywhere between 55-65 flight hours at a cost to become a pilot of approximately $12,000-$15,000. It is very rare that a student will complete a private pilot course in the minimum required time which would normally cost $10,000.
The above pricing is based on our fleet of Cessna 172N aircraft, which is the most common flight school trainer in the world. We also offer training in the Cirrus SR 20 G2, which is equipped with modern avionics, digital readouts, and autopilot. The cost of this aircraft is only $50 more per hour than the Cessna 172. If a student wishes to conduct their training in this particular aircraft, the price will ultimately be approximately 20% more than the cost of doing the training in the Cessna.