Private Pilot

Typical Costs for a Private Pilot Certificate:

  • Ground Instruction = 40 hours @ $45.00/hr = $1,800.00
  • Daytime Local Training Flights (with Instructor) = 20 hours @ $170.00/hr = $3,400.00
  • Daytime Local Training Flights (Solo) = 10 hours @ $125.00/hr = $1,250.00
  • Nighttime Local Training Flights (with Instructor) = 3 hours @ $170.00/hr = $510.00
  • Daytime Longer Distance Training Flights (with Instructor) = 3 hours @ $170.00/hr = $510.00
  • Nighttime Longer Distance Training Flights (with Instructor) = 3 hours @ $170.00/hr = $510.00
  • Daytime Longer Distance Training Flights (Solo) = 8.5 hours @ $125.00/hr = $1,062.50
  • Extra Flight Instruction (varies) = 5 hours @ $170.00/hr = $850.00
  • Written Examination Fee = $160.00
  • Practical Test Examination Fee = $650.00

Total Estimated Flight and Ground Training Cost: $10,702.50

Course Notes:

This course consists of 17 ground lessons and 26 flight lessons, lasting from 9-12 weeks.  Most checkrides can be scheduled within one week of course completion.  Satisfactory course completion requires that all ground lessons, all flight lessons, all written stage checks, all flight stage checks, the final written examination, and the end of course flight check to be completed with a passing grade of 80% or higher.  We will not recommend nor conduct a checkride for a candidate from another FAA Flight Standards District who does not complete at least 25% of the hours required for our program with us.

You should budget at least two hours of home study for each hour of ground instruction.  Flying three or four times a week is the best schedule to keep your skills current and fresh as you progress through the program.  We do not recommend flying less than that amount due to the amount of material that gets forgotten between lessons and then has to be re-taught, and we do not recommend that most students fly more than that due to the volume of information to be learned on such a steep curve.

Our scheduling can be tailored to the individual student, and we have openings both daytime and in the evenings for ground instruction and group study.  The ground instruction hours are a requirement in our program, and you may not substitute self-directed home or group study time to meet the minimum required instructor-taught hours.

We often get requests from students who have trained at other schools to transfer into our program.  Most transfer students come to us because of frustration with their old schools for having a lack of structure and accountability in their training.  Because of this, those students transferring to us will have to repeat some lessons in our program that covers material that they may already partially know.  The overall lack of accountability with most independent flight instructors often leaves large gaps in knowledge for many students.  Unfortunately, many flight instructors develop close relationships with the pilot examiners who conduct the final student pilot checkrides, and there is a strong tendency to teach to the individual tastes of the examiner rather than comprehensively covering all the material.  We cover everything in our course syllabus, from beginning to end and build on your skills as you progress through the program.  Our focus on comprehensively training you as a competent and professional pilot is your best strategy for not only passing the written and practical examinations to become a pilot, but also builds your character as a safe pilot for many years to come.

Ground Instruction Materials Required for this Course:

Checklist Required for Enrollment in this Course:

  1. For U.S. Citizens, bring your original Birth Certificate or an unexpired Passport/Passport Card, and a valid Driver's License to our office when you're ready to enroll in our program.  If you are not a U.S. Citizen, you'll need to start a request at the TSA's Alien Flight School Program (AFSP) website.  This process can take up to a month to complete and requires additional fees and fingerprinting.  If you are a green card holder, you must submit an AFSP request.  AFSP approval must be obtained before we can begin your flight training.
  2. Create an account on the FAA's MedXpress website and enter your health data.
  3. Make an appointment with any Aviation Medical Examiner for at least a Third Class medical examination.  We recommend booking with Dr. Christopher Highley in South Reno.
  4. Purchase the books and materials listed in the section above.
  5. Obtain renter's insurance with a minimum coverage of $25,000.  AOPA members receive a 5% discount by purchasing insurance through AOPA Insurance Agency.  Do to their misleading advertising and business practices, we do NOT accept any certificates of insurance from Avemco.
  6. Decide how you wish to pay for your training.  You can pay as you go by filling out our credit card authorization form and bringing it with you, or by obtaining financing through Pilot Finance.  We do NOT accept cash, money orders, or personal checks.
  7. Be prepared to commit yourself to fly at least three or four times per week.  Make a commitment to read the assignments before each ground school session, and to spend time in class discussing the material.  Have a flexible schedule with days of the week and times that work for you so that we can build a schedule to fit you.
  8. Plan to spend an hour with us when enrolling in our program.  This will allow us sufficient time to make copies of your documents, provide you with your first reading assignments, work out an initial training schedule, setup an account in IACRA, apply for a student pilot certificate, provide you with any ground material that you have purchased, and answer any questions about the program that you might have.  It's best to call or text us before dropping by to be sure someone will be available to enroll you.  Contact us at 775-223-5353.
  9. Create a free account at so that we can more easily track your hours and experience.

Prices are current as of January 7th, 2021, and are subject to change.