FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT FLIGHT TRAINING
There are a lot of variables that affect the cost of learning to fly, including the frequency of flight lessons, weather conditions, the type of aircraft in which you are training, availability of scheduling, and individual aptitude. A rough estimate would range between $10,000 and $13,000 depending on the certificate being sought and student proficiency.
The same variables that affect the cost of learning to fly will affect the time it takes to earn your certificate. The FAA has established the minimum number of flight hours needed to obtain a certificate. Under Part 61 of the Federal Aviation Regulations, the minimum is 40 hours of training for a private pilot certificate. Part 141 minimum is 35 hours due to more FAA oversight and a stricter training syllabus. However, the national average is approximately 65 hours. These flight hours can be spread over a time span of several months to a year or more depending on various factors.
You don’t have to be a particular age before you can begin to take flying lessons. However, with that being said, you do have to be at least 16 years old before you can solo an airplane (14 years old for operation of a balloon or glider), and 17 before you can be issued a pilot certificate. Therefore, it may not be particularly efficient from the standpoint of cost and flight hours to begin lessons too early. There is no age limit on taking flight lessons, so long as you can qualify for a 3rd class medical or meet the standards of the Basic Med program.
There are 2 types of training involved with getting your licenses/ ratings. The first is “ground” instruction, which is essentially classroom/ book work; this is where you will gain aeronautical knowledge to apply in flight. Ground instruction can be done through online training programs, one-on-one instructor lessons, group ground sessions, etc. “Flight” instruction is the practical or hands-on part of flight training with the aircraft. This is where you will gain aeronautical experience and train in the aircraft according to FAA minimum standards.