A private pilot certificate is for those who have always wanted to fly and is the starting point for those who have higher aviation goals.
Many private pilots are interested in flying for fun and flying a variety of different aircraft. Others learn to fly so they are able to use an aircraft to support their business or professional interests, like flying themselves to meetings to cut down on travel time. Whatever the goal, private pilots have many options.
A private pilot certificate is the certificate held by the majority of active pilots in the USA. It allows command of any aircraft weighing less than 12,500 lbs, (subject to appropriate ratings) for any non-commercial purpose and gives almost unlimited authority to fly under visual flight rules (VFR). A private pilot may carry passengers and fly in furtherance of a business. However, a private pilot may not be compensated for services as a pilot. Passengers are only allowed to pay a pro-rata share of flight expenses, such as fuel or rental costs.
With a private pilot certificate, a pilot can rent, or purchase an aircraft and fly anywhere in the United States. A private pilot certificate is the minimum requirement for adding other ratings and more advanced certificates. ATA Flight Academy offers most of the advanced certificates and ratings available in aviation. Popular advancements include: technically advanced avionics aircraft, high performance aircraft, and tailwheel endorsement just to name a few.
WHATS INVOLVED IN FLIGHT TRAINING?
Private pilot training involves two main components – ground school and flight training. Ground school is accomplished either in our classroom or through a home study ONLINE COURSE. It teaches you all the background information that all pilots need to know, but are not easily taught in the air. Topics covered during ground school include: regulations, airplane systems, navigation, aerodynamics, weather theory, and radio communications.
Typically 2-3 hour lessons are scheduled during which students will log 1-2 hours of flight time. Each lesson is structured to cover the specific maneuvers needed to master in order to earn a certificate. This training prepares the student to take both the written and practical tests. Certification is achieved upon successful completion of these two tests.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE?
That's very much dependent on each student. Flying regularly and studying at home shortens the amount of time in the air and time with an instructor on the ground substantially. We have had students finish in as little as 28-days! By flying a minimum of 2- three hour lessons per week, a student can expect to have their certificate in approximately 2-3 months. For people interested in flight training for a professional pilot career, contact our team for a more detailed training curriculum and structured timeline.
HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?
Cost is also very dependent on the student. If a student flies regularly, and is able to complete the syllabus in the minimum time specified by the FAA, the cost will be less. Below is a breakdown based on the minimum requirements by the FAA:
These prices are just an estimate. Actual costs will vary on an individual basis depending on different learning styles and the proficiency and preparation of the pilot. FAA Examiner costs vary. Your examiner will give you their cost when contacted for your exam aka FAA Practical Test (Checkride) It's important to keep in mind that listed below are the FAA-mandated minimums. The national average for students to complete their private pilot training is 60-70 hours total flight time.
Based on 40-hours (price varies by aircraft type, and rate plan chosen)
Based on 35-hours
Based on 1.5-hours