Private Pilot Training

Steps To Achieve The Private Pilot Certificate

Intro Flight

Take your first ride with a Certified Flight Instructor. The CFI will explain details about the aircraft, then take you flying. You will handle the controls, get a feel for the airplane, and understand the controls and instruments. This flight will help you understand what it is to fly a plane, and help you decide if you want to continue with lessons. And when you start flying, this first time can be logged in your logbook!

Training Flights

After your intro flight, you will continue flight training to work towards completing your certificate. 40 hours is the FAA required minimum but the national average is 50-60 hours. This is dependant on how quickly you pick up the information, how hard you study, and how committed you are able to be! It can take anywhere between 4-12 months to complete PPL course. Being in the midwest, weather is a major factor which can lead to lessons being cancelled. The best flying is in the summer but winter is still a good time to learn as the colder weather benefits aircraft performance.


FAA Requirements:

  • No Minimum Age Required to Initiate Training
  • At Least 16 Years Old to Solo
  • At Least 17 years Old to Graduate
  • Education Requirements: Must be able to read, write and speak English fluently

Flying time requirement:

  • Minimum of 40 hours of flight time


Cost is based purely on an estimate and it varies between every individual.
Training Steps Flyer

At J W Aviation, every student has a unique curriculum. Total hours of dual flight training, solo flight, and ground lessons will vary because each person learns differently. We don’t give a “total price;” in our experience, total will range between $15,000 and $20,000.

  • Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) = $65/hour
  • Cessna 172 Aircraft = $159/hour; other aircraft are available at different rates
  • FAA requirement is for 40 hours of flying time. We estimate total time of 50 – 60 hours for most students
  • We estimate other expenses (Aviation medical, FAA Written test, and FAA Checkride) will be about $1,000
  • Start-up costs, including training materials, headsets, registration for ground school, etc. will run about $1,000

We encourage you to call us to schedule a Discovery Flight. At that time, we can go through all the requirements, give a better estimate of your total cost, and discuss many ways that you can keep the cost down and achieve your goals within your time frame.

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