Learn to FLY!
For general requirements for the Private Pilot rating, click here.

How long does it take?

That depends on how often you can fly.

You need at least 40 hours of flight time to apply for your license. Most people take 50-60 hours. For each flight, you can expect to have 1-2 hours of ground school.

If you can fly every day, it would take 3-4 weeks, weather and airplanes permitting. For most people who fly 2-3 times per week, it takes 5-10 months. The more frequently you can fly, the more proficient you'll stay, and the less you'll have to re-learn during each lesson.

Flying is not only a highly perishable skill; it is also a unique skill that some people have great talent for and others must work hard to attain.

How much does it cost?
As for cost, if you can set aside about $5,000 that should cover everything. You can save a little if you do ground school out of the book (Jeppesen Private Pilot Handbook).

How does the schedule work?
The three schedules that must coordinate are yours, your instructor's and the airplanes. So coordinate with your instructor on how s/he want to work scheduling. For me, I'll coordinate the first lesson, then we'll sit down together with the airplane's schedule. If someone besides myself adds on to my schedule in the aircraft scheduling book, most likely I will never know and so I won't be there. So talk to me directly, please.

How does billing work
You will be billed for any "ground school" necessary for briefing and debriefing each flight. That usually entails about an hour brief and a half hour debrief / look ahead to the next fight. Some lessons will take longer than that. Current cost of "ground school" is $25/hour.

You'll be charged for the airplane and flight instruction for only the amount of time the engine is running, according to the Hobbs meter (timer). It reads to the tenth of the hour.

I'm thinking about buying a plane eventually...
In the end, it is generally less expensive to buy a plane and pay for instruction in it, than it is to rent. However, there are a multitude of considerations. Too many for this website! If this interests you, we can talk if / when we fly togther.
Donna Douglass - CFII-SEL
Commercial Multi-Engine
2300+ hours in Single- & Multi-Engine & Jet
Website: www.DonnaDouglass.com
Email: kirby_douglass@yahoo.com
Earn your:
Private Rating                                 Commercial Rating
Instrument Rating                   Certified Flight Instructor
Complex / High Performance Endorsements
Single-Engine add-on

Bi-Annual Flight Review    Instrument Proficiency Check
Websites for Pilots (.doc)
Private pilot information
Cessna 152 and 172 checklist
Cross-country planning checklist
Airport information card
Traffic pattern at Sumter
Upsidedown over the fall foliage
Photo courtesy of
JD Wetterling - author and former F-100 pilot.