Earning your private pilot certificate requires a minimum of 40 hours of flight time, but most people take longer. 50-60 hours flight time is a reasonable estimate for most people who fly 2-3 times a week and study diligently at home throughout their training. At that rate, you could expect to earn your certificate in about 4-6 months.
The certificate is earned by successful completion of a practical test (checkride) with an FAA Designated Pilot Examiner. This event includes both an oral knowledge portion and a flight portion. Prior to the checkride date, the student will also need to complete an FAA Knowledge Test. The test is computer based and offered at several test centers around Orange County. Your instructor will help you prepare and endorse you for the test when you are ready.
Once you decide to embark on the journey to become a pilot, we will prepare a training plan for you based on your time availability and completion goal. The plan will include a syllabus which outlines the objective and tasks to be completed for each training event.
The cost to earn a private pilot certificate depends on the total flight and instruction time needed. Using 50-60 hours of flight time as an example, the cost estimate would range from about $14,000 – $17,000. This estimated expense includes aircraft rental, flight and ground instruction, and the cost of the checkride. There are other incidental costs including the cost of a medical certificate (about $75-$100), good headset, charts and study aids.