This is the FIRST step in aviation. As a private pilot you will be trusted to fly anywhere in the world. You can take your family on vacation, attend that business meeting or join up with other pilots for lunch at amazing destinations. This is your ticket to freedom!
You can expect your training to take anywhere from a month to a few months, depending on the time you can commit to training. Although every student is different, the national average to complete your Private Pilot training is roughly 55 hours of flying experience, of which approximately half of that is undergoing direct flight instruction with the other half being solo... just you, the airplane and the blue skies.
You can expect each training day to be around 3 hours long, which includes an hour in the airplane, an hour in the class and about an hour with breaks, transitioning to/from the airplane etc.
Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR) require that you meet the following criteria to begin training:
Read, Write & Speak English
Be a US Citizen or obtain a TSA Approval
Be 16 Years Old to Train, 17 Years Old to get your Private Certificate
Able to obtain a 3rd Class Medical or BasicMed.
Obtaining your Private Pilot License (PPL) is certainly an investment, but it isn't as expensive as many people may think. Through careful planning of your training and a self driven initiative to study, you can keep your training as efficient as possible. The cost to get a PPL varies drasticly from student to student, but a few things you can do to reduce those costs include:
Prepare on your time. If your instructor is considerate of your time and money, they should let you know ahead of time what you can expect to be doing next. Read up and learn about it before arriving for flight training.
Keep your training dates fairly close together. Like any skill, it must be practiced frequently. Allowing more than even a couple of weeks to pass before your next lesson will require re-learning some things you thought you already mastered previously because your brain will just simply start letting skills go that aren't being exercised.
The airplane is the largest expense in your training. The more fancy the plane, the more expensive per hour. It's perfectly OK to learn in a less expensive plane!
Your instructor should be considerate of your time and as a result, your funds. Spending an hour chatting about things not related to your training is unfair. Keep your instructor on point and chat after the logbook has been signed.
The cost to get a PPL is also something that is stretched out over time. You don't need to drop it all on the first day. Pay as you go, and as you can.
Call me, and I'll be happy to break it down for you.
You should be familiar at all times where you are in your learning process. If at anytime you don't feel like you know where you have been, and where you will be going next in your training then please talk with your instructor. There will be times when it may *feel* like you're just going on and on and on with little to no progress and this is the time to have a candid conversation with your instructor. If your instructor does not have a roadmap that you can follow, please ask them to draft one for you. You can see the roadmap I try to follow with my students in my resources section.
Remember that your instructor works for YOU and it is their responsibility to get you to your goal while adhering to standards, putting safety first and making sure you are enjoying your training. This is your dream, so own it.