How much do flight lessons usually cost?

I’m 16 and I’ve been looking into flying for a good deal of time. I don’t want to do it as a profession.. just as something to accomplish in life.. and I think it would be a much cooler achievement if I do it young.. since you can fly at any time but get your license at 17. I think planes are fascinating and I just really want it to be something I’ve done in life!

Anyways, like I’ve said I’ve been looking into this for over a year actually. I’ve found the place I’d probably been doing it:

I know that you need 40 hours total of flying time before you can take the test for your license. I know that by the time you get it you will have spent anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 total. I know that you can also sometimes get free rides/lessons from people if you help out at the airplane hangers. If you help out a lot, you can cut your costs somewhat. Also.. the reality of this is is that I’m a girl.. a pretty girl.. I’m not saying that in a conceited way.. I’m just saying that I’m not some random boy sitting around… and it’s mostly men who fly.

Also, my mom insists that a flying lesson has to cost more than $100 because of fuel for a plane and the price of an instructor. However, the website of the place I want to learn from has a list of the costs here:…

So.. how much does a one hour lesson cost exactly? How long do people usually have for a lesson? Do people do like 4 hour lessons? Because it seems like that would be more productive than 40 single hour lessons.

I’m dying to do this. The price is something that is a bit difficult to work with. Please tell me ways to get around it and anything else that would be useful!

Thank you!

Oh, I’m also not really looking to get multi engine certified or anything, just my Private Pilot’s license for the time being, I’ll think about all of that after the first step.

10 Answers

  • Take a close look at the link you gave. They have 20 hours of dual instruction listed at 3300 so 3300/20 comes in at 165 / hr with the instructor. That is not too bad of rate although if you shop carefully you may find it 20 to 30 less per hour. You also need to consider the aircraft used and the experience of the instructor.

    Good luck on your venture. By the way one of the best instructors at my local airport is a very nice, very pretty young lady who also flys Medical Transport aircraft. She is busy.

    PS. Lessons are usually booked for an hour, in some cases two. One is generally enough at one time, there is lots to take in and remember. Try to fly two to three times a week training does go quicker the more you fly.


    Well there are a few factors involved with flight lessons- First, your instructor will be paid by the hour. This cost usually ranges from 35-50 dollars/hr. If you are like most starting GA pilots, you probably don’t own your plane. Planes usually have a fixed maintenance cost already set and the renter will add a few bucks to make some money off your time. I have seen Cessna 172’s go for 110 dollars per hour, Cessna 150’s go for 85/hr, Piper Arrows for 140, Cirrus SR22 for 190/hr. It just depends on how much they want to charge. Now there are a few things you need to keep in mind as well, some renter will advertise their aircraft either wet or dry. Wet rentals are where the airplane has fuel costs already placed into the rental fee, dry rentals do not have fuel costs- they generally charge you for fuel after the flight time. I have seen decent deals from both ends, this will be something you’d need to keep into consideration. The overall costs depend on your ability to learn and understand the concepts involved with operating, decision making, and planning. Currently the national average for students to get their private certificate is 70 hours, if you train in a Skyhawk 172, you’re looking at 7,700 dollars for rental fees and 3,100 dollars for a CFI (that’s if they charge $45/hour). It may take you more or less, if you get done in the minimal time, which is 40 hours, you’ll save a considerable amount of money. On top of the costs for in flight training, your CFI may want to do ground lessons, which will cost roughly the same amount as in the air. Also the training regimen is also a factor. You have two choices, a Part 141 School or Part 61 Training. Part 141 is an actual flight school or academy that has an organized syllabus. People usually save money through Part 141 at times because there is a structured ground school course that you can knock out in a few weeks or semester, and you will be charged just a course fee. In Part 141 grounds, it will be more of a lecture setting with several people attending, while in Part 61 it is more one-on-one training and there isn’t a mandated syllabus to follow. If you are not planning to move anywhere, you’d probably be better off finding a local citizen that has a CFI to train you, but make sure they are insured for training purposes before you put your rear in that seat. I hope this helps.

  • The biggest cost is the aircraft rental – the operator you are looking at lists the per hour rental costs at each location (see the link below). You should note that they do not have all types at each of their locations, and only one, Bedford, offers the 2 seat Tomahawk trainer at $99 an hour. The other 2 locations start at $129 or $139 per hour, but for a 4 seat Warrior or Skyhawk.

    You may be able to find someone in the area training in another 2 seater like a Cessna 150/152 that rents a little cheaper, but $100 an hour is likely to be the going rate.

    Congratulations on not just being “a random guy”, being a pretty girl might get you a few extra trips around the pattern, but that will not help all that much. Few Certified Flight Instructors fly their own plane, nor can they afford to joy ride much. Most are starving recently minted commercial pilots trying to build flight time. Their employer is also going to have a say about them providing free training, even if you rent the plane at normal cost.

  • I have just recently completed my Private license about 1.5 years ago, and I took my checkride on my 17th birthday. When I did my training, it was in a Cessna 150 which cost about $100/hour, including instructor, but I think you’ll find this number is a little low for most flight schools. I think one flight school in my area rents a 150 for about $85/hour with fuel + $40/hour for instructor. 172’s will be around $110. Also, if you’re lucky enough to find someone who’s really nice and has a light sport airplane, you can get your sport pilot license with only 20 hours. But these airplanes are usually $100,000 + or else antiques, and it’s rare to find somebody who’s willing to put a student in that type of an airplane. Good Luck!

  • For a PPL, $5-15,000 is about right. Many need more than 40 hours. For 1 hour with an instructor, you’re going to be paying $100-150 for the plane and fuel and then another $30-60 for the instructor. Their prices are likely based on the cheapest plane they have for rental. You’ll probably spend about 2 hrs per lesson.

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    How much do flight lessons usually cost?

    I’m 16 and I’ve been looking into flying for a good deal of time. I don’t want to do it as a profession.. just as something to accomplish in life.. and I think it would be a much cooler achievement if I do it young.. since you can fly at any time but get your license at 17. I think…

  • The other answers pretty much answered your question, but I do want to give you one piece of advice. You can certainly take a lesson or two to make sure flying is for you. But before you spend too much money, make sure you have enough saved up to go all the way. For most people, if you space your lessons too far apart (less than about 2 hours per week) it will take you much longer to get proficient.

    Also, you may wish to get your medical certificate earlier than you need it. That way, if there are any medical issues that might get in your way, you’ll know about them as soon as possible. If you have any issues that have to be reported on the medical at all, it’s worth doing as much research as you can before you fill out the form for your medical. Sometimes a small difference in wording can make a big difference. I’d strongly suggest you leave any “yes” answers blank on the form and talk it over with your AME before you fill those in.

    Also, save a copy of your medical form forever. That way, when you fill out your next medical, you won’t accidentally say “no” to a “have you ever” question you already answered “yes” to! You’ll know to answer “yes, previously reported”.

  • I am currently working on my Commercial license and finished my Private in July of 2012.I was able to complete my Private training within 3 hours of the minimum. Why is that relevant, because I was able to complete my training in a standard C-172SP in $8,461.81 while 80% of people in my program break $10,000 easily. However, I am in a highly regarded Part 141 (14 CFR Part 141 Regulation) flight school that charges $152 per hour for the plane and $50 per hour on the instructor. It was not the least expensive option, but I have my sights set on flying for the airlines so I had to choose a more structured and regulated program. For you, Part 61 flight schooling is probably the best bet because it normally is cheaper, more available and much more relaxed than 141. I definitely wish you the best and strongly encourage you to pursue your passion. In the US, the number of pilots is falling and the number of people who get to experience the freedom of flying where they want when they want at their own hand is dwindling. Best of Luck and happy flying!

  • How Much Are Flying Lessons

  • Depending on where you go due to varied cost, it’s usually about 9k.

    Roughly 180 to 200/hr

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