How much does flight training cost and how I funded my flight training

Photo by JC Gellidon on Unsplash

If you are thinking about whether or not now is the time to start your flight training and pursue your goal to become an Airline Pilot, then read here. Now if you are wondering about how you are going to fund your flight training, then you are heading the right direction. Flight training costs a lot of money. The decision to start your flight training should not be taken lightly. It is a very important decision in starting your career. The decision that you make today with regards to your flight training will have an effect on you later down the line. Once you are commited to flight training, making sure that you understand the full costs of your flight training can make a huge difference in the long run. Most people like myself funded our flight training through financing. Now there are a lot of options to finance your flight training. It just depends on the route that you take.

You can plan on going to a University(UND or Riddle) or a big flight school(ATP or others) to obtain your college degree and at the same time get your flight training done. Or you can google map your local airport, and they may just have a full time flight instructor who can get you started with an introductory flight and then help you work your way up on your flight training. Some airlines require a college degree and some don’t. So you just have to choose the direction that you would like to go. And then of course, there’s the military route where you can get most if not all of your flight trainig paid for and the benefits that’s attached to being in the military.

There are a lot of different avenues that you can take to become an airline pilot. There is not a practical way to list them all on a blog page. But hopefully, you can see some of these options and maybe that will help you make your decision better.


To understand how much it would cost to get all of your flight training done and start getting paid, you need to understand the structure of your flight training. First of all, if you are still unsure about whether or not to start your flight training now during a pandemic, then read here. Now everyone comes from different background, so even if you are fully committed to start your flight training, you may still be unsure about whether or not it really is something that you can do or want to do. This is why you should always start with an introductory flight. It costs around $150 but it will be a lot cheaper than if you were to start your training and then decided to back out of it later. A introductory flight is usally 30-45 minute flight with a flight instructor who will show you what it would be like to fly an airplane for the first time. It requires zero knowledge of aviation in general. Although, some preparation on your part can make your experience worth while. Most people have access to the internet. Use that to your advantage to prepare for your introductory flight. Once you have completed your introductory flight and are still interested in pursuing your aviation career, chances are, your instructor can provide you even more details about possible flight training. But here’s some background on it as well.

So once you have taken your first flight, hopefully you get to manipulate the flight control a little bit and maybe even an attempt to land an airplane for the first time, here are the next step in your flight training. Whether you are doing your flight training at your local airport or you are going to college and start your flight training, the process of getting your ratings and licenses is the same. Here’s the breakdown of the different ratings and licenses with its estimated costs.

  • Private Pilot License | $10,000
  • Instrument Rating | $9,000
  • Commercial Pilot License | $21,000
  • Flight Instructor License | $6,000
  • Optional: Airline Transport Pilot License | $4,000

Your first license that you will be working on will be your Private Pilot License. This allows you to operate an aircraft, typically a single engine piston aircraft, on your own and can have your family and friends fly with you as well. Now there are a lot of steps and challenges that you will be facing, but one of your biggest huddles at this stage is to get you to solo, meaning you operate the aircraft on your own from engine start to shutdown and flying around in the traffic pattern at your training airport. Don’t forget to have your instructor do something memorabale once you completed your first solo flight! Once you move passed this huddle, congratulations! That is a big step. There will be much more flight trainings to be done before your instructor will endorse you to take your Private Pilot practical test. Your instructor and/or your school will provide you with the curriculum and the structure of your flight training. If you are flying at your local airport with an instructor outside of a college curriculum, chances are you will be doing your flight training under Federal Aviation Regulation Part 61. Or if you are going to a college to do obtain your college degree and conduct your flight training, then you would be flying under Part 141. Part 61 requires about 40 hours of flight training before an instructor can endorse you to take your practical test for your Private Pilot License. Part 141 will require less time due to the structure of the curriculum that has been set up. Obviously, the estimated cost above is well an estimate. Some local flight base operators or flight schools will charge more or less than others. Other things to consider also, is that, as a pilot or commercial pilot, you will need different rating and license to operate a single engine airplane versus a multi-engine airplane. So consider that when you look at individual option for your flight training. Most regional airlines will require you to have minimum qualifications such as 1,250 hours total time(federal regulation requires 1,500 hours of total time), maybe 50-100 hours of multi-engine time with instrument rating and a commercial license certificate for multi-engine. They also want you to have your ATP written done.

So hopefully this helps you a little bit on how much flight training costs. Again, it will vary depends on the route that you decided to take. How much time you consistently fly, how quick you learn, the availability of your instructor, hourly rate cost for aircraft and/or fuel, hourly rate for your instructor(s), whether you choose to buy new supplies or used but current supplies, the structure of each flight courses, whether or not you choose to live in a dorm or commute from home, whether or not you choose to go with federal loans versus private loans, all play into how much you will need to finance or pay for your flight training. As always, comment below or click here to contact AvgeekPosts.