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Becoming A Private Pilot

In order to receive a certificate by the FAA as a Private Pilot, you must successfully pass the FAA Knowledge Test and Practical Test.  The practical test consists of an oral examination and a flight test.  This test is given by an FAA Inspector or a FAA Designated Flight Examiner and is administered at Sky Walk.  In addition you must pass a physical examination given by a FAA Designated Medical Examiner.  When these tests are successfully completed, you will receive a Private Pilot Certificate and be able to rent aircraft and carry passengers.  However, you will not be able to fly for compensation or hire, as this requires a Commercial Pilot Certificate.  After obtaining their Private Pilot Certificate, many students begin training for the challenging Instrument Pilot Rating which allows you to fly under less than VFR conditions.  You might also have an interest in learning to fly more faster complex aircraft, with retractable gear and constant speed propeller, which require endorsement from a flight instructor. You may also wish to obtain a Multi-Engine Rating.

FAA requirements for Private Pilot Certificate:

  • Must be at least 17 years of age
  • Be able to read, speak, write, and understand the English language
  • Hold at least a current 3rd Class Medical Certificate
  • Pass the FAA Knowledge Test
  • Pass the FAA Practical Flight Test and Oral Examination

Flight instruction time will depend on if you train under our Part 61 program or Part 141 program.  Usually the Part 61 Program is suitable for someone who has some prior flight training.  For someone who has little or no prior flight training the best way to go is with the Part 141 Program.  Both programs will follow a very structured syllabus, but the FAA flight experience requirement will be different.

FAA Minimum Required Hours Under Part 61:

  • 40 hours of flight time consisting of:
    • at least 20 hours of Dual flight instruction
    • at least 10 hours of Solo flight:
      • 5 hours of Solo local flight
      • 5 hours of Solo cross-country
    • 10 hours of which can be Solo flights or Dual flights

FAA Minimum Required Hours Under Part 141:

  • 35 hours of flight time consisting of:
    • at least 20 hours of Dual flight instruction
    • at least 5 hours of Solo flight:
      • 3 hours of Solo local flight
      • 3 hours of Solo cross-country *
    • 10 hours of which can be Solo flights or Dual flight

* Part 141 requires one Solo cross-country flight of at least 100 Nautical Miles total distance with a landing at a minimum 3 points; one segment of the flight must have a straight-line distance of at lease 50 NM between the takeoff and landing locations.   Since no minimum time is required, we have allocated 3 hours for this flight.


All students enrolled in the Private Pilot course will automatically receive the discounted "block rates" without having to purchase 10 hours of block time.

Our structured Private Pilot Course under Part 141 is approximately $6,038, based on training using our Cessna 152, and consists of:

  • 30 hours of Dual flight training
  • 6 hours of Solo flight training
  • 10 hours of pre-post flight briefings
  • 5 hours of private ground instruction
  • access to audio visual training tools

Training costs will vary depending on your study habits, frequency of attendance, individual motor skills and the type of aircraft which will be used for your training.   On average, students complete their training within 40-60 hours.

To maximize your training and reduce costs, see our suggested training tips.