This page elaborates the different parts of the Private Pilot Curriculum, provides a sample estimate for the course, and discusses ground school and cost management considerations.
The first stage of Private Pilot training is referred to as the Pre-Solo Stage. Clients must be taught to control the airplane at altitude. Students learn to fly a wide range of airspeeds and bank angles, as well as emergency procedures. Once a reasonable degree of proficiency is developed, the focus shifts to learning to land. This second phase is the most difficult part of the training, and leads to the most rewarding event of the process... your solo. When you are soloed, your instructor will get out of the plane, and then you will perform several landings by your self! At this time you will likely have somewhere between 20 and 30 hours.
The Post Solo/Pre-Cross Country Stage follows. During this time you will complete a couple of hours of landings by your self under an instructor's supervision from the ground. During your next dual lessons, you will learn to take off and land on short runways, and you will simulate operations to grass fields. You are also introduced to flying purely off of the instruments with no outside visual reference, simulating inadvertent prolonged flight in clouds or over featureless terrain at night or over water. Finally, we perform ten night landings.
Some time during this stage you should complete the FAA Written Test, which is a 60 question multiple choice test that is given by computer. Preparing for the test is relatively straight forward, but requires time to study the review book for an hour and a half a night for two to three weeks before the test, as needed. During your self study, your instructor is available to help you with material you do not understand.
The Cross Country Stage begins after the Post Solo Stage, during which we perform at least three hours of navigation flights to destinations that are at least 50 NM away from your departure point. One of these navigation flights must also be a two hour round trip at night. Following these dual training flights, you will perform 5 or more hours of solo navigations during daylight to similar destinations. (Typically Lancaster PA, or Salisbury, MD.)
Finally, comes the Pre Private Stage, during which we review for the final exam. The final exam is performed by a Designated Examiner, who will sit down with you for an hour and verbally test your aeronautical knowledge. You will then fly for an hour and a half and demonstrate the maneuvers that you have learned in training. To review for this event, we will perform several practice flights and go over all the pre-solo, pre-cross country, and cross country maneuvers. We will also review all of the knowledge areas so that your retention of the material can be confirmed. If you operate in a smooth and safe manner you will become the proud owner of a new Private Pilot Certificate once you land. Congratulations!
PRIVATE PILOT - 60 FLIGHT HOURS + TESTING ESTIMATE
Prices assume an experienced CFI billed at $70.00 per hour
and an averaged "Base/Rewards" rental rate. 6% MD SUT included on Aircraft Rental.
|22 Dual Flight Hours with Flight Instruction
|10 Hours Briefings/Debriefings, 10 Hours Ground, 10 Hours CPT
|Post Solo & Pre Cross Country Stage
|8 Flight Hours x $160 (5 Dual / 3 Solo)
|5 Hours Flight Instruction, 3 Hours Ground, 2 Hours CPT
|Cross Country Stage (KFME to KESN, KFDK, KLNS/MDT, KSBY)
|16 Flight Hours (10 Dual, Includes Night Requirements / 6 Solo)
|10 Hours Flight Instruction, 4 Hours Brief/Debrief, 3 Hours Ground, 2 Hours CPT
|Final Review Stage
|12 Flight Hours (9 Dual /1 Solo/ 2 Phase Check)
|11 Hours Flight Instruction, 4 Hours Brief/Debrief, 10 Hours Ground, 3 Hours CPT
|2 hours Final exam solo rental
|Text books, Charts, and Class Materials Free Online. Headset Provided
|A Mobile Device Is Required.
|FAA Written Test
|FAA Medical Test
|Above added costs
|Total: 50 Dual Flight / 10 Solo / 60 Ground, Brief, Debrief, & CPT Hours
The above estimate reflects a client who completes training with 40 hours of dual flight time, 10 hours of solo flight time in our Piper Warriors, and 20 hours of ground school. The National Average is closer to 65 to 70 Flight Hours.
TIME IS MONEY - HOW TO MAXIMIZE BOTH.
The FAA requires a minimum of 40 flight hours to obtain a Private Pilot Certificate, however the national average is close to 65 flight hours. There are many factors that raise the national average of total student pilot flight hours over the FAA minimums.
Finding a good flight instructor who is an effective educator by nature is key, otherwise changing instructors mid-way through your training adds hours. In such case you are forced to adapt to a new instructor's style and procedures. This is especially important now that a pilot shortage exists and that schools are struggling to retain qualified instructors through attrition as they get swept up by the airlines.
It is also important for us to pair each client with an instructor who can match and accommodate their schedule, particularly during the busy season from mid-April to mid-September when instructor availability is at a premium. During such times it may be necessary to waitlist a student start a few to several weeks.
In addition to instructor-related factors, total training cost is also dependent on personal factors. Private and Instrument Pilots must fly an average of at least once a week in order to be able to progress with reasonable momentum. Scheduling twice a week is ideal. Students must find a pace that allows for study time and reflection, while juggling work, family, friends, and other daily stresses and forces. Those who fly less need to spend more time reviewing their material in order to avoid having to relearn procedures and skills in flight.
Bad weather and maintenance delays can also complicate scheduling. These considerations often require some flexibility to reschedule sooner than later, in order to prevent long gaps between training flights. Client psychology is another factor which varies from student to student. Personal fears of flying or of some flight tasks may take some time and experience to overcome. Student mistrust of the flying environment interferes with the ability to listen and internalize information.
The single greatest cost is in learning to land, as this is the most difficult task to master. During this stage, the student will perform countless landings in the airport traffic pattern and consequently the student will develop muscle memory, instinctive habits, and rapid decision making abilities. It is important that the client maintain a minimum once a week rhythm through this stage, and that he or she review procedures and in flight video recordings at home. Pattern work flights are shorter and easier to budget.
G R O U N D S C H O O L
You are NOT required to attend a group ground school before starting to take flight lessons. You are however recommended to obtain some lead in orientation ground training to guide your self study as you begin flight training.
At 1World Aero, this lead in orientation is performed as introductory tutorial. Group ground schools are often not well suited to replace one on one flight instruction during the start of training because group ground schools do not synchronize well with your flight training progress. We prefer to focus on teaching you what you need to know, when you need to know it, by giving an overview of the relevant material for each stage, at the outset of that stage.
Once flight training is well under way, your flight instructor must also confirm that you have studied and mastered your self study course work before the end of each stage.
Self study is dedicated to three general purposes: 1) learning inflight procedures, 2) gaining general pilot knowledge , and 3) preparing for the FAA written knowledge test.