Training costs

Beg, borrow, fly

The cost to acquire your first Pilot Certificate can range anywhere between $5,000-$13,000. This range is established based on a selection of criteria including but not limited to:
  1. Type of pilot certificate (Private or Sport)
  2. Type of training aircraft
  3. School proximity and locality
  4. Your ability to learn and to fly the aircraft
  5. Your frequency of flight lessons

Because each person learns and onboards education at different rates there is no guarantee of the final costs.
Think of making a career of it? Jump to our Career Pilot page for an idea of the financial outlay and potential income.

Advance deposits 

It is not recommended that people place large deposits in advance during their flight training pathway. Many schools will offer some level of discount when a student places a deposit on the account. FSANA recommends that students limit advanced deposit levels to between $1,000-$2,000 per deposit.

Exceptions to this guideline include flight schools that provide accelerated training where a person earns a pilot certificate or rating in a short time period, which can be 2-6 weeks. Schools that provide this type of training will require larger advanced deposits since the student is flying 5-6 days each week.
Schools that supply foreign flight training may also require larger deposits since their customers are non-residents of the United States and money management is more challenging due to physical distance.
Next > Career pilot