Elkins Pilots Club

What Do I Have To Do To Get my Private Pilots License?

You'll need to take ground school and pass a written test on aeronautical knowledge. Options for ground school include taking an evening class at a Elkins Aviation, a community college or doing it yourself with a self-study course, such as the one offered by Jeppesen. There are also some good web-based resources; go to Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association and AVwebfor starters. You can be taking your flying lessons at the same time you do ground school -- in fact, it's recommended you do, so that the ground school will make more sense to you.

You'll need to take flying lessons and pass a flight test which includes an oral exam. You must have passed your written exam before you can take the flight test.

Once you have your license, it is good for life. You just need to fly with an instructor occasionally to keep up your skills. Of course, you can go on and get advanced licenses and ratings, all the way up to Airline Transport Pilot. It's up to you....

How long will it take?

That depends to some extent on how frequently you can fly -- and how fast you learn. You must have a certain minimum number of flying hours, doing various required things, such as night flying, instrument flying, and cross-country. The minimum number of hours is either 35 or 40, depending on the school you go to (with the AAC it's 40), but almost everybody needs 60 to 70 hours to really master all the skills.

It is best to fly 2 or 3 times per week. More and you can get burned out. Less, and you forget what you learned and have to backtrack more. You will need to set up a schedule that works for both you and your instructor.

How much will it cost?

Flying is not cheap, but it's worth every penny!

About half of your flying will be with an instructor and half by yourself. An instructor at our club costs $30 to $40 per hour, and you can run up about twice as many instructor hours as flying hours, because of pre- and post-flight stuff. Our rental planes -- the Cessna 172s -- cost $70 per hour.

Our rates are "wet" which means they include gas and oil.

Assuming 30 hours of dual (with instructor) and 30 hours of solo (by yourself), plus another 30 hours of instructor time pre- and post-flight, you're looking at:

60 clock hours = $4,200
60 clock hours of instructor @  $35 per hour $2,100
Miscellaneous expenses (books, headphones, etc) $ 600
Cost of written and flight tests $ 300
TOTAL (rough guess - your mileage will vary) $7,200
For a detailed account of one member's learning to fly with the Alameda Aero Club in San Frncisco, see http://www.pandemonia.com/flying.
Is Financing Available?
Yes flight training finance is available through Elkins Aviation's training program