Flight Instruction


You've decided you might like to fly, but, like most students, arrive at the question: How much is this going to cost? The answer will depend on your availability, the type of flying you'd like to do, and your goals. The chart below describes our instruction rates and, based on the certification requirements, you can estimate how much it will cost over the course of your instruction.

Private Pilot

To become a private pilot, you'll spend at least 40 hours flying and about 20 hours worth of ground school. Most pilots take their check ride between 50 and 60 hours. Students' availability also varies widely, but most are able to complete their private pilot certificate in 6 months to a year, part-time. You can certainly do that much faster, should you have the availability. Given all of those variables, let's do some math:

Minimum Costs

  • 40 flight hours in a Cessna 172 at $200/hr, translates to $8,000.
  • 20 hours of ground school and 30 hours of flight training at $55/hr, equals $2,750.
  • Student materials, books and learning aids, about $150 (many are free online at FAA website).

Total Minimum Costs: about $10,900.

Your costs will vary, of course, depending on your needs and availability. Typically, if you are able to dedicate more time and complete the program within a shorter period of time, the fewer hours you'll need to accumulate for a successful check ride.

Spreading Costs

You can learn at your own pace at CFI and we don't require any pre-payment of ground or flight time, so you only pay as you complete your learning. If you are a typical student, you'll spend between six months and a year to earn your private pilot certificate. If you spread those costs out your monthly costs might look something like this:

  • Earn in 6 months, Minimum costs would be around $1,820/mo
  • Earn in 12 months, Minimum costs would be around $910/mo

Unlike other flying schools, at CFI, there are no club fees, no monthy dues and no hidden costs that can inflate your total costs.

Basic Vs. Advanced

Most flight training undertaken until one receives a pilot's certificate is considered 'Basic' in the chart on the left. 'Advanced' training is generally for more intensive subjects like instrument or multi-engine ratings, or ATP and Commercial certificates. Just check with your instructor if you are unsure.

Good For Life

Once your certificate is earned it is good for life, as long as you maintain currency. Learning to fly is an invesment in yourself and a ticket to freedom. Some would argue the gift of flight is priceless, but pilots know it can be earned with a modest investment in your time and resources.