How long will it take to earn my private pilot’s license?
The length of the training process depends upon several factors. One huge factor is frequency of training. A student who can train an average of three times a week can earn their licenses in as little as a few months.
It is important to keep in mind that, regardless of the frequency of your flights, everyone responds to the airplane differently, and while nearly anyone can learn to fly, some will pick up on things more quickly than others.
At a minimum, the FAA requires you to have at least 40 hours of flight time, including 20 hours of flight training and 10 hours of solo flight. The average number of hours at which students earn their licenses is between 60 and 70 hours. So the short answer is...its all up to you!
How Much Does it Cost? $$
The cost depends upon how quickly you progress.
Those who fly more often usually earn their licenses in fewer hours, and therefore spend less on training.
Training time is billed hourly on "tach time" or "engine run" time. the aircraft used for training is a Cessna 150 at an hourly rate of $150/hr. you can choose to pay as you go or start a flight account. we try to be as flexible as possible with your payment options. Lessons will cost on average $150 per lesson.
A typical student can expect to pay between $6,000 and $9,000 for the flight lessons, books and training supplies.
Flight fees can be paid on an individual lesson basis so there is not a large amount of money to invest initially.
Organizations such as AOPA.org even offer financial assistance and loans to become a pilot!
How old do I need to be to get a pilot’s license?
You can begin flight training at any age!
however, to fly solo in the aircraft you need to be at least 16 years old and to be eligible for a private pilot certificate, you must be at least 17 years old. There is no upper age limit to begin your flight training.
What can I do once I have my license?
You will be able to fly single-engine aircraft, with engines of 200hp or less, including but not limited to Piper Cherokee, Beechcraft musketeer and Cessna 172s . You will not be limited to these specific models- these are just some of the more common ones flown by private pilots.
With a little additional training, and an endorsement from an instructor, you can also learn to fly “high-performance” aircraft, (with engines of over 200hp) and “complex” aircraft (with controllable-pitch propellers, flaps and retractable landing gear).
most of our students decide to continue their training after the private pilot course and add on an "Instrument Rating".
Once I get my license, what do I have to do to keep it current?
The specifics for currency can be found in the Federal Aviation Regulations or FAR/AIM, (basically the Bible for pilots) but generally you will need a “ flight review” every two years, which consists of a brief oral exam and flight with a flight instructor. (BFRs can be conducted by flight instructors, or with the FAA examiners with whom you take your initial check-ride).
In order to carry passengers, the pilot must have made three take-offs and landings in the same category and class aircraft during the preceding 90 days. To carry passengers at night, the pilot must have made three takeoffs and landings during the preceding 90 days during the period of one hour after sunset to one hour before sunrise.
To maintain currency with Ace Aviation, the pilot must have flown one of our aircraft in the preceding 60 days. If this currency lapses, the pilot will just need to schedule a quick flight with one of our instructors before he/she trains solo again.
What will my training involve?
Earning your license involves preparing yourself to take three tests: a written knowledge test, an oral knowledge test, and a practical test in the airplane. The written exam must be taken first; then the oral test is taken on the same day as the practical test. This combination of oral and practical tests is known as the “check ride."
To prepare for the written and knowledge test students take our Private Pilot online Ground School. The Ground school is all online with over 50 interactive lessons. Lessons are self-paced and can be completed at your leisure picking up right where you last left off. After completing our online ground school, most people find it beneficial to make an appointment to take their written exam right away, while the information is fresh in their minds.
The written exam can be done any time prior to the FAA Private Pilot Check ride (the written test remains valid for two years). Written tests are administered at FAA-designated testing centers. (We have one here in Rome, GA).
As far as flight training, we usually schedule students in 2-hour blocks, which allows about an hour for the flight, time for preflight inspection and time after for debriefing. The first several lessons should be of this general nature. Once the student becomes proficient in certain standard procedures, he/she will begin to prepare for the first solo flight in the airport traffic pattern.
Lessons with the instructor after that point will consist of preparation for the student’s solo “cross-country” flights, which are flights from airport to airport that is over 50 nautical miles away. After sufficient training in cross-country procedures, the student will log at least 5 hours of solo cross-country flight.
Additional lessons will cover emergency procedures, night flying, and basic instrument flight procedures. After the FAA flight requirements have been satisfied final flight training will consist of preparation on maneuvers and landings before the student takes his or her check ride.
I want to be a commercial airline pilot- is this how I get started?
YES! , working toward a career in aviation is a very large commitment, but all pilots begin with getting their private pilot’s license. After the private pilot certificate students who wish to continue their aviation training will move on to the instrument rating and commercial training.
So how do I start? Is there any commitment if I take a lesson, but do not wish to continue?
You can start by submitting the form below to book an “Introductory flying lesson”, which will be your first official flight lesson and will count toward the required hours for your license. Since you will be sitting in the pilot’s seat and flying the plane for most of the time, you will definitely get a feel for what your future lessons might be like. You can discuss any questions or concerns with your instructor.
If you enjoy it and would like to fly again, great! Just schedule another lesson. If you’d rather take a break and think about it, or you choose not to fly again, that’s fine too. We only ask that if you have a scheduled flight and need to cancel or reschedule, please contact us at least a day in advance.