Getting Your Private Pilot Certificate


Whether you earn your Private Pilot License in helicopter or airplane, the process of getting a pilot license takes you through three phases of learning:

  • The first phase, Pre-Solo, is where you learn to take off and land, how to maneuver the airplane, and how to communicate on radios. You’ll take a flight physical and obtain a medical certificate. This phase culminates in your first solo flight.
  • Next, in the Cross-Country phase, you will learn flight planning and navigation, all while refining your pre-solo skills. Most people complete their FAA written test sometime during this phase. This phase concludes with a solo cross country flight to an airport at least 50 miles away.
  • Last is Checkride Preparation. This will prepare you for you FAA practical exam. After you pass, you are officially a Private Pilot!


Time and Price

The national average for obtaining a pilot license is 60-70 flight hours over a 6-9 month period, but varies widely by individual. Cost can range from $12,000-$14,000 which includes the cost of instructors, aircraft rentals, ground school tuition, and other supplies.

Aircraft Options

Airplane: Cessna 152/172 are the most popular training aircraft for their long history of proven reliability and stable flight characteristics. Tailwheel is also a great option for many pilots. Nowadays, some people are choosing to begin their training in advanced G1000 aircraft.

Helicopter: The Robinson R22 is known throughout the world as a popular training helicopter. Its sensitive control inputs cultivate excellent pilot control touch.