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Private Pilot Certificate

Have you ever wanted to take to the skies on your own schedule? Would you like to fly yourself to Mammoth for some skiing? What about flying to Catalina Island for a yummy burger? Still looking for reasons to get your license? For those looking to go to the airlines, the Private Pilot Certificate is the first step to realizing your dream of becoming an airline pilot. High Flight Aviation has an established track record for producing quality pilots, some of whom have gone on to fly for the airlines. We have previous clients at several airlines across the world and we can help you gain “vertical freedom” by achieving your pilot’s certificate.

Course Overview

To earn your private pilot certificate you must pass an FAA written knowledge test and have at least 40 flight hours. At the completion of the training, you will take a test with an FAA designated examine involving both an oral and flight portion.

High Flight Aviation uses a training syllabus that outlines a logical and clear sequence of lessons so that you know how to prepare for each flight.  The average student at takes 6 months, flies twice per week, accumulates approximately 50 flight hours and spends an all-inclusive total of approximately $15,000 which includes instruction, airplane rental, supplies, and tests.  Be careful of flight schools quoting less than average minimum flight hours which are rarely sufficient and also exclude many expenses.  Students end up surprised when the actual costs are as much as double the original estimate potentially affecting their ability to earn their Private Pilot Certificate!  Don’t let this happen to you.  We are happy to talk to you about your training and give you honest, no BS information on your pilot training.

HFA provides all of our students, in conjunction with their enrollment at HFA, access to the Sporty’s Learn to Fly courses at no additional charge. Once enrolled, you will be able to start your ground school training right away with access to this course on any device. Additionally, HFA provides our students with a logbook, course binder, and HFA Polo shirt so everyone on the airport knows who to go to for the correct answers!

Aeronautical Requirements

FAR 61.81-61.95 (Student Pilots) and 61.102-61.118 (Private Pilot) governs the Private Pilot Certificate. These regulations include several basic requirements that need to be met at different points of the training. Below is are the requirements for the Private Pilot Certificate.

  • Basic Requirements
    • Be at least 16 years of age – Student Pilot(61.83(a)).
    • Be at least 17 years of age – Private Pilot (61.103(a)).
    • Be able to read, speak, write, and understand the English language. If the applicant is unable to meet one of these requirements due to medical reasons, then the Administrator may place such operating limitations on that applicant’s pilot certificate as are necessary for the safe operation of the aircraft. (61.83(c) and 61.103(c)).
    • Pass the required knowledge (aka written) test (61.103(e)).
    • Pass the practical (aka Check Ride) test (61.103(h)).
  • Aeronautical Requirements
    • Minimum of 40 hours of flight time (National Average is 60-80, HFA’s average is 55) per 61.109 to include –
    • 3 Hours of Cross Country Training (61.109(a)(1));
    • 3 Hours of Night Training (61.109(a)(2));
      • One cross-country flight of over 100 nm total distance (61.109(a)(2)(i));
      • 10 takeoffs and 10 landings to a full stop (61.109(a)(2)(ii));
    • 3 hours of flight training solely by reference to instruments (61.109(a)(3));
    • 3 hours of flight training within the 2 months preceding the practical test (61.109(a)(4));
    • 10 hours of solo flight time consisting of –
      • 5 hours of solo cross-country (61.109(a)(5)(i));
      • One solo cross-country of at least 150 nm with landings at three points (61.109(a)(5)(ii));
      • Three takeoffs and landings to a full stop at an airport with an operating control tower (61.109(a)(5)(iii)).

Course Schedule

High Flight Aviation recommends flying a minimum of twice per week (6 hours) to obtain the maximum benefit and lowest amount of time to achieve your certificate with an ideal schedule of three times per week (9 hours). Accelerated footprints are also available for those looking to achieve their Private Pilot Certificate in the shortest amount of time, typically 6 weeks.

Using the Plus One Flyers fleet of aircraft, we are able to virtually guarantee availability of a training aircraft to fit your schedule. If you are looking to perform at a more accelerated pace, reach out to us to customize a plan based on your schedule. Some students are able to achieve their pilot certificate within a few months if they fly frequently.

Course Cost (Approximate)


The total cost for a Private Pilot Certificate is typically between $12-15k, depending on the frequency of lessons and study done between lessons.

Aircraft Costs (Approximate)


Aircraft are rented through Plus One Flyers which requires membership to join.  Membership is $144 + $37.50/mo should you decide to remain a member.  You can cancel membership anytime.

Payment Terms and Conditions

Lessons are typically in 3-hour blocks and all clients are billed weekly at $90/hour.  Payment is due upon receipt of invoice and prior to following week’s flights. HFA accepts all major credit cards, cash, check.

Are you ready to get started? Sign up now for our Private Pilot Training and get started on becoming a pilot. As always, we are here to help if you have any questions, drop us a line.