How much does flight training cost?

How much does flight training cost?

How much does flight training cost?

The typical cost of obtaining your private pilot’s license in the Chicago-land area is anywhere from $8,000 to $12,000+.  The cost of flight training can vary depending on a number of factors.  Some of these factors include:


Bigger airports closer to a big city will typically charge more because of higher operating costs.  Smaller airports away from big cities will typically have cheaper rates.  If you plan on becoming a commercial airline pilot you would benefit more by flying out of a bigger airport with a control tower.  You would gain more experience with airport procedures and talking to air traffic controllers.

Type of School:

The two types of FAA Flight Schools in the United States are Part 61 and Part 141 flight schools.  The minimum number of hours required for your FAA Private Pilot’s license is 35 hours at a Part 141 flight school and 40 hours at a part 61 flight school.  It’s not a huge difference considering the national average to complete your private pilot’s license is around 60 to 75 hours.  You can learn more about the difference between both types of flight schools here: The Two Types of FAA Flight Schools

Type of aircraft used:

Costs can vary drastically depending on what type of aircraft you use for your flight training. A two seat Cessna 152 with basic instruments can run for about $100 per hour while a more advanced four seat glass cockpit Cirrus SR20 can run you over $200 per hour.  You can always learn to fly in a cheaper aircraft and then transition to a more advanced aircraft once you obtain your pilots license. 

How often you fly:

If you fly at least two or three times per week, you will retain more of what you learned. If you spread your lessons out over a longer period of time, you will forget things you learned and you’ll need to re-learn them.  This will cost you more money in the long run.

Your study habits:

A lot of your training will involve self-study. The more you study the easier your flight training will become.   You can actually start studying now if you’d like.  You can click here to find a list of FREE FAA Flight Training Books (PDF).  I’d recommend that you start reading the Airplane Flying Handbook and the Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge.

Your money situation:

If you have most of the money saved up to complete your flight training, you are ahead of the game. If you have to wait too long between your lessons because you don’t have the money, it will take you a lot longer and cost you more money to complete your training.  You can find ideas on how to pay for your flight training here: Flight Training Financing Ideas.

If you’re ready to start your flight training, click here to browse our list of flight schools.

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