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  • Private Pilot License

    Posted by srocchi10 on September 2, 2023 at 1:40 am

    Hello everyone,

    Was curious if anyone recently obtained their ppl in the past year, I’m starting the process and was wondering what I can expect my price range to be for my budget? I know many factors effect the total price but just wanted to get an idea and any advise anyone may have to lower that price. I understand having a ppl makes you much more attractive as a candidate to the ANG so my goal would be to work for it full time to accomplish it. With that how long does it typically take to obtain? I know the minimum hrs needed but wanted some real life advise from fellow aviators on the same path.

    Also do you recommend part 61 or 141?


    Jon replied 9 months, 1 week ago 5 Members · 6 Replies
  • 6 Replies
  • Jon

    September 2, 2023 at 3:21 am
    110 BogiPoints

    I recently got my PPL. I knew I wanted to go at it full time to cut down on costs as much as I could. Me and my wife were expecting a new daughter and when I got my 12 weeks of leave (military) I decided to knock it out as fast as I could during that time. I started at the beginning of May and passed my checkride on June 28th. I had 43 hours, scraping the minimums but I worked my butt off because I knew how much the PPL meant towards my chances at a slot. I ended up paying around $11k (thats including the $700 checkride) when they told me the average at their school was $13-15k with ~60 hours to get PPL. It also helped a lot that I passed my written test before I even started flying, cuts down on instructional time that costs you money. If you are really serious about getting a slot, I’d say it is the best thing you could do for yourself.. plus, flying is fun. Part 61 for me.

    • Snip

      September 2, 2023 at 10:16 am
      175 BogiPoints

      Congrats Jon! That’s a tremendous story and shows your grit and street smarts. Well done.

      • Jon

        September 4, 2023 at 11:33 pm
        110 BogiPoints

        Thanks Snip! I just submit my very first application with my home unit to fly F-16s. Hopefully they see what you do!

        • Husky

          September 6, 2023 at 6:42 pm
          5400 BogiPoints

          Good Luck Jon that Viper-shaped death machine is an awesome war chariot!

        • Jon

          September 6, 2023 at 8:13 pm
          110 BogiPoints

          Thanks! I couldn’t agree more

  • WAS

    September 2, 2023 at 10:10 am
    75 BogiPoints

    If you can find the right instructor, Part 61 tends to be cheaper simply because there is less structure to the training and you have the ability to accelerate learning versus being bound to a specific syllabus. That’s not to say Part 141 can’t be cheaper in some cases, however, there is generally more flexibility with Part 61. I got my license in 44 hours, part 61. Here are a few tips and tricks I learned from my time training:

    1) Don’t turn the plane on unless you need to – set expectations with your instructor that you want to complete all checklist/learning items that don’t require the plane to be on before turning the key on the ground. Taxiing can cost you an extra few hundred dollars over the course of getting your license if you’re not careful.

    2) Fly during less busy times (early morning, evening, even at night if applicable). I got my license at KBFI in Seattle which is a super busy GA airport. Flying mid-day would result in long waits in the hold area while jets take off and further waiting for wake turbulence. Make sure you increase your chances of taxiing and taking off within 5-10 minutes of turning the plane on.

    3) Understand the flight plan with your instructor before the flight. For example, if they want you to fly to a practice area that’s 20 mins South for the lesson, politely ask if there’s an area closer to the airport that would be safe and less time consuming to fly the lesson. You will get more time actually completing required training (versus straight and level flight) and reduce overall costs.

    4) Find an instructor that’s willing to teach at the pace (and cost) you’re trying to learn. Part 61 is nice because you may not always be working with someone who building hours for the airlines, rather you could find a retired airline Captain or ex-military instructor that’s willing to work with you in their spare time. I recommend checking with local EAA chapters, Civil Air Patrol units, and/or flying clubs to see what their options are for instruction. Networking is key.

    5) Finally, I would say learn on the most cost effective aircraft. Sometimes it’s more economical to drive 40 minutes to fly a Cessna 150 at $95/hour rather than drive 15 minutes to fly a 172 at $139/hour. If you’re really looking to be cost conscious, this is an important consideration.

    Final note: I got my license part 61, 44 hours, approx. $8,500, trained on a Cessna 150 and passed the check ride on the first go. In total it took me about 2.5 months.

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