Student FAQs

Q:  How much does it cost to learn to fly?

A:  Assuming you are learning at a busy metropolitan airport like 
    Centennial or Jeffco the costs to complete a Private Pilot
    certificate are approximately:
        55 hours of airplane rental @ $75 per hour           $4,125
           (total of 35 hours of dual flight instruction and 
           20 hours of solo flight time)
        50 hours of instructor time @ $30 per hour           $1,500
           (total of 35 hours of flight instruction
           and 15 hours of ground instruction)
        Books and Materials                                    $200
        FAA Written Exam fee                                    $70
        Medical Certificate                                     $85
        FAA Flight Test fee                                    $250
        Airplane Rental Flight Test  (1.5 hrs at $75)          $113
                                                      Total  $6,341

     Additionally, you will need a headset and a bag for your gear.
     Note that the hours are more than the FAA minimum 40 hours. 
     This is about what is actually required for most students.

Q:   Is it safe to fly small airplanes?

A:   All airplanes must be flown and maintained to strict FAA
     standards.  It is generally agreed that the risks, during
     training are less than riding a motorcycle.

Q:   When should I get a Medical Certificate.

A:   The Medical should be done as soon as possible.  It must be 
     done before solo flight.  Be sure to tell your medical
     examiner that you need a Student Pilot Certificate.

Q:   How do I select a flight school?

A:   The best source is by word of mouth. Try to find someone 
     that is in your same life situation and ask where they 
     learned.  Be sure to personally visit the facility and 
     ask questions about scheduling and insurance. If you are
     not going to be a full time student and / or cannot fly
     during normal business hours, consider selecting your 
     instructor first.

Q:   Should I consider purchasing an airplane to learn to fly?

A:   Unless you are very sure of what you going to fly after
     getting your Private Pilot certificate, and that aircraft
     is suitable for primary instruction, no. 

Q:   Should I attend a formal ground school?

A:   Although not mandatory, yes. 

Q:   Where do I get the aircraft type code to put on my flight plan?

A:   The code for your specific airplane type can be found on the FAA
     website at:

Additional FAQs at

More FAQs at


© 1999 - 2002 George T. Palecek.
All Rights Reserved.
Last modified 07/02/02.