How much does it cost to become a pilot?
Ground and flight instruction comprises the bulk of the total. Other costs such as test fees account for a fraction of this. You are a pilot if you fly small single-engine planes or commercial jet machines. Flight training differs significantly between the two. That translates to differing costs. The costs incurred include test fees and ground training costs that are less than a quarter the cost of flying airliners or planes. Learn how to fly a plane and learn to fly a plane without paying. Learn Flying on small planes and fly a small airplane with its small engine.
Getting your Pilot’s License on the Cheap.
There is a difference between being economical and being cheap. And when it comes to getting your training for your pilot’s license, you want the best training you can get. When you finally get to the point that you can fly an aircraft, not only will your life be in your hands, the lives of others, possibly your family and friends may depend on being able to handle that aircraft with skill and with a good background in training.
But flight school and pilot training is not inexpensive operation. You are learning to operate some very sophisticated machinery and to learn a new skill that is different than anything else you have ever done. But even though you do not want to cut corners on the important elements of your training which is time with your flight instructor and in the air learning to handle that aircraft, with some extra effort on your part, you can cut some costs and not compromise the quality of your pilot’s license.
There are two big sections to pilot’s training which are the theory and the practice or the book learning and the application or hands-on learning you do working directly with the aircraft. When you go up for your pilot’s license, you will face a pretty rigorous written exam. So much of your time in flight school will be in class walking through this material.
But there is no requirement that you learn this material from an instructor. You can work with a Part 61 flight school that has the flexibility or tailor your program (as opposed to a Part 141 school that conduct classes in strict accordance with guidelines) so you can do a lot of that study and concept learning independently and not have to pay to sit in class to learn what you could have conquered at home for free.
You can buy books that will walk you through every aspect of the pilot’s license test and sit down at your kitchen table and learn it all as fast as you are able to absorb knowledge. Many of these tutorials will have quizzes and example tests so you can have someone work you over pretty good so by the time you walk in to take the written exam you are ready.
Of course, there are plenty of online sources that can give you the same in-depth training absolutely free. Sometimes studying online is easier because it’s a bit more interactive and fun. One such site is http://www.flightcentral.net/sport/training.htm but you can Google “pilot’s license training” and locate others from reputable agencies that will do the job just as well.
The hardest thing about the home study is to keep yourself accountable and moving forward though. So set a schedule of what you are going to achieve and make steady progress, just like you would if you were in a classroom setting. You can then download the Practical Standards Test (PTS) and study the actual layout and questions that you will be required to pass “open book”. So by the time you are ready for the test, you are really ready for that test.
You can also work with your instructor to help you be totally prepared when it’s time for actual flight training in the air. He can give you the checklists so you are ready when you show up. If you make mistakes, learn what you did and practice that skill in your armchair at home.
The more you get out of the way on your own, the less time in the airplane which costs by the hour. And by taking charge of your training and only using the experts for hands-on training you need, you get just as good an education in flying but you save a ton of money.
Flight Instructor Certificate Cost
Flight instructors are an unusual breed. They are there to teach you how to fly, but they are never going to fly themselves. They won’t risk their lives to teach you how to fly. Instead, they train you to fly safely.
This is a strange arrangement. The best flight instructors, like the best surgeons, have a reputation for being able to do what others cannot: they make it look easy.
But a good flight instructor isn’t actually all that good. He isn’t as good as a pilot. A pilot can fly a plane better than most students. But he can’t teach a student to fly.
Flight instructors don’t get paid for it. They do it because they have fun doing it. They do it because they love flying. They do it because they love to teach. They don’t do it for the money.
But they do get paid. Flight instructors have to be certified, and certification is expensive. If you want to become a flight instructor, you’re going to pay a lot of money.
The average flight instructor in America earns about $40,000 a year. But flight instructors have an extra expense: they have to buy their own airplanes. And unlike other pilots, who usually just own their own planes, flight instructors have to buy their own planes and keep them in safe working order.
Flight instructors also have to pay a lot of money for insurance. It’s expensive because they fly expensive airplanes.
When they own their own planes, flight instructors are independent. If they want to take a job, instead of going somewhere else, they may decide to keep flying their airplanes and work for an airline.
Sport Pilot License Cost
A sport pilot license (SPL) is the lowest category of a license issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). It requires at least 50 hours of flight time and 10 hours of ground instruction. A sport pilot can fly non-revenue flights under 150 pounds, which includes recreational flights, flight instruction, and aerial photography, but not air taxi, charter, or scheduled passenger flights.
Each sport pilot applicant must pass a written knowledge test and a flight test. The tests are conducted at approved FAA-approved testing facilities.
The flight test is conducted by a flight examiner, who evaluates the pilot’s skill in piloting an aircraft, including takeoffs and landings. The examiner evaluates the pilot’s ability to operate the aircraft in adverse weather conditions. The examiner also evaluates the pilot’s ability to comply with airworthiness regulations.
An applicant for a sport pilot license must be at least 12 years old, but the youngest age that may be granted to an adult is 16 years old.
Adult applicants for sport pilot licenses must have completed at least 20 hours of flight instruction. The flight instruction should include instruction in aerodynamics, air law, weather, navigation, and instrument procedures. The flight instruction should also include a minimum of 10 hours of dual flight training.
An applicant for a sport pilot license must present a certificate of completion from a recognized flight instructor. The applicant must present evidence of having completed 50 hours of flight time.
The cost of a sport pilot license is $120. A sport pilot license is good for 2 years.
A sport pilot
How do I save money on flight training?
If you are planning on a career in aviation, sooner or later you will be asked, “How much money do you have?”
The short answer is that it isn’t much you can do to reduce the cost of flight training. But there are some things that can make the training more affordable.
First, you should know about the FAFSA, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. It is the federal government’s way of providing financial aid to students. The FAFSA has two parts:
First, you fill out an income and assets form. The income form asks for your income for the previous year, and the assets form asks for the value of your assets.
Second, you fill out the FAFSA’s school codes. The FAA does not control which schools get the FAFSA’s codes, so anyone can get them and use them for flight training. But the schools that make the most money won’t give the FAA’s codes away to schools that make less money.
There are seven school codes that the FAA uses for flight training:
A – Embry Riddle Aeronautical University
B – Embry Riddle University
C – Embry Riddle College of Aerospace Sciences
D – Embry Riddle Air Force Academy
E – College of Aviation
F – University of North Dakota
G – University of South Dakota
Click to expand…
If flying is your ambition, you might be amazed to discover just how expensive it can be. The $40,000 to $60,000 it costs to get a commercial pilot’s license (CPL) is a lot of money.
But there is a way to make it cheaper.
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