The first step towards becoming an airline pilot is earning your Private Pilot Certificate. The Private Pilot Certificate is where we all start our aviation journey. By earning a private pilot license, you can legally fly an aircraft. Private pilots are trained to navigate small aircraft by themselves. Flight training includes aircraft maneuvers, navigation, emergency procedures and cross-country flight planning. While people may seek the license for hobby or sport reasons, a private pilot certification is the first major milestone on the road to becoming an airline pilot.
Flying is enjoyable, functional and can be used for business or pleasure. It is not as hard as you may think, especially when you are working with the right training school and flight instructor. You can earn your Private Pilot Certificate in as little time as just a few weeks and start enjoying the freedom to fly during the Day and Night to all your desired destinations
Our standard PPL course consists of 90 hours of total on-site education and over 15 hours of online training. The majority of that time is going to be in a Piper Cherokee PA-28 or simulator and the rest is going to be on the ground, classroom and online.
Our simulator-oriented training system will prepare you for the flight training portion of your journey and it will minimize your total training investment. On the first lesson you will fully experience the value of this integrated method of training, and you will fly the airplane for the first time knowing exactly what to expect.
By practicing complex tasks and procedures in the simulator first, you can learn faster in the airplane with the knowledge you’ve gained. This allows us to teach you good habits to carry with you through your aviation career.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Does It Take to Earn a Private Pilot License?
The amount of time required to earn a private pilot certificate varies and largely depends on weather, availability, finances, and how often a student is available to fly. In a fast-paced program, a pilot certificate can be earned in approximately two months. For other students who are only able to fly occasionally, a pilot certificate could take a couple of years.
Can I Get Paid to Fly with a Private Pilot Certificate?
No, you may not act as pilot-in-command of an airplane for compensation or hire, nor an aircraft carrying passengers or property for compensation or hire. However, you may act as PIC of an aircraft and receive pro-rata share, or an equal portion, of the operating expenses (fuel, oil, airport expenditures, and rental fees only) from others onboard the aircraft, if you do not pay less than the pro-rata share.
What Kind of Aircraft Can I Fly with a Private Pilot License?
Private pilots are allowed to fly any aircraft for which they are appropriately rated. Appropriately rated refers to the successful training in a specific category and class rating of aircraft. An example of category would be airplane or helicopter while an example of class rating would be single-engine land meaning the aircraft has one engine and is limited to operations on land rather than on the water. So, upon completion of your Private Pilot Certificate rated for airplane, single-engine land although you may have trained in a Cessna 172 you are allowed to act as pilot-in-command (PIC) in any aircraft that is a single-engine land airplane, a Piper Archer for example. Acting as pilot-in-command means you have the final authority and responsibility for the operation of the aircraft and the safety of the flight. Some aircraft may require additional authorization to act as PIC, known as receiving an endorsement, such as tailwheel or high-performance aircraft.
What Can I Do with a Private Pilot License?
Since the private pilot certificate allows you to fly in and out of all civil airports, a licensed pilot may partake in activities ranging from flying to a nearby airport for lunch, traveling across the country, or even around the world without ever stepping foot on an airliner. A private pilot can take friends and family for rides, practice maneuvers, or become involved in many of the wonderful programs that introduce people to flying.
This phase is the most demanding and at the same time the more enjoyable on your aviation journey. During the pre-solo phase you will be learning how airplanes fly and how to control them in different scenarios. You will be professionally guided to the process of taking off and landing as well as handling all the task associated with flying like talking to the air traffic controller, navigating, and making sound and safe decisions.
Hard work pays off. Once your instructor consider you are ready to be the only occupant on the airplane you will receive the thumbs up to fly by yourself around the airport. You will be taking off and landing three times for the first time as pilot in command, the only occupant onboard, and the sole manipulator of the controls of the airplane. This phase will allow you to build up your confidence and exercise your aeronautical judgment and decision-making process.
On this stage, you will continue flying by yourself in the vicinity of the airport, training your navigation skills and following cross-county procedures to allow you to fly to any destination. The world becomes much smaller during this stage!
Once you have received the required flight training, you are eligible for the FAA Practical Exam, also known as a Checkride. The exam must be administered by a designated FAA examiner and consists of an oral and flight exam. If you are successful with the oral exam, the examiner will administer the flight exam. Upon the successful completion of both, the examiner will help you fill out your FAA paperwork and you will receive a temporary private pilot certificate to use until you receive your official FAA certificate.
To earn a private pilot certificate, a pilot must:
- Be 17 years of age.
- Read, speak, write, and understand the English language.
- Hold a U.S. student pilot certificate, sport pilot certificate, or recreational pilot certificate.
- Receive flight training and a logbook endorsement from an authorized instructor.
- Meet the aeronautical experience requirements for the aircraft rating sought.
- Pass a practical test for the aircraft rating sought.
To exercise the privileges of a private pilot license, you must hold a third-class medical certificate, which can be obtained through an aeromedical examiner (AME). This should be done early on in training as you will not be able to solo an airplane without your medical certificate. Certificates must also be renewed periodically. If you are under the age of 40, this is every 60 months. While if you are over the age of 40, you must renew your medical certificate every 24 months.
According to federal regulations, you must meet the following aeronautical flight experience requirements to earn a private pilot license. At a minimum, private pilot candidates qualified for the practical test will have logged 40 hours of flight time. The training must include:
- 20 hours minimum of flight training with an instructor on the Private Pilot areas of operation.
- 3 hours of cross-country flight training.
- 3 hours of night flight training consisting of:
- One cross-country flight over 100 nautical miles total distance.
- 10 takeoffs and 10 landings to a full stop with each landing involving a flight in the traffic pattern at an airport.
- 3 hours of flight training on control and maneuvering solely by reference to instruments.
- 3 hours of flight training with an authorized instructor in preparation for the practical test within the preceding 2 calendar months from the month of the test.
- 10 hours minimum of solo flying in a single-engine airplane on the Private Pilot areas of operation.
- 10 hours of solo flight time consisting of:
- 5 hours of solo cross-country time.
- One solo cross-country flight of 150 nautical miles total distance with full-stop landings at three points and one segment of the flight consisting of a straight-line distance of more than 50 nautical miles between takeoff and landing locations.
- Three takeoffs and three landings to a full stop (with each landing involving a flight in the traffic pattern) at an airport with an operating control tower.
- 10 hours of solo flight time consisting of:
Reference 14 CFR §61.65 for the entire list of eligibility requirements.
50 Hours of Flight Time
Most of your training will be in the actual aircraft: our Piper Cherokee PA-28. Learn how fun and exciting flying through the skies can be with our highly trained pilots. Once your instructor says you are ready, you will be able to fly alone to train for your private pilot license.
10 Hours of Flight Simulator
FAA Approved Aviation Training Device. Based on the popular Cessna 172, our One-G Foundation simulators are model-specific FAA Approved Aviation Training Device that is designated as platforms for integrated instruction for all pilots, from student through commercial.
30 Hours on The Ground
You will be learning alongside a small group of individuals who share a common goal. Your academy group will work together in a classroom environment for aviation concept learning and practice teaching on the ground and in the simulator.
15 Hours of Online Videos
Like all classes, there is some homework to reinforce your learning and help teach you fundamental concepts that are critical to becoming a successful pilot. We partner with Sporty’s to integrate the Online Training For our Private Pilot students.
Cost of Training
70.0 Hours of Instruction @ 80.00/HR
50.0 hours Aircraft Rental @ $140/HR
10.0 Hours Simulator Training @ $80.00
FAA Minimum Hours Required: 40
Note: Cost estimates are based on FAA minimum training requirements. Individual experiences may vary. Actual training times may exceed these estimates. Costs are based on January 2022 effective rates.
Start with an Introductory Flight
Get your first experience of taking off, flying, and landing an airplane with a certified flight instructor by your side. Later, meet the team and current students to ask all the questions you have about becoming a pilot.
Start with a Zoom Consultation
Our Zoom consultations are the most convenient way of answering all your questions about starting your flight training to becoming a pilot. Zoom consultations are free of charge, but we require advance scheduling.