Starting Your Private Pilot Training

The majority of pilots in U.S. are Private Pilots, and all pilots who go on to make a career out of flying start out as Private Pilots. While a Private Pilot cannot fly for compensation or hire, they can carry passengers so long as they have the appropriate flight experience and training.

Less than 1% of the U.S. population holds a Private Pilot Certificate, and just by visiting this website, you're taking the first step toward joining this very exclusive group of people! Training to become a Private Pilot can be challenging, but with the help of our Certificated Flight Instructors, you will enjoy each lesson, have fun on every flight, and be a welcomed member of our school.

What Are the Eligibility Requirements?

  • Be 16 years of age to become a Student Pilot.
  • Be 17 years of age to become a Private Pilot.
  • Be able to read, speak, write, and understand the English language.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or receive clearance from the TSA under the Alien Flight Student Program (AFSP).
  • Hold at least a third-class medical certificate.
    • There are two doctors in the local area where you can get this medical certificate:
      • Dr. Desai, 1309 Medical Dr, 910-437-5130
      • Dr. Geiger, 810 Elm St, 910-321-0356

What Are the Steps to Become a Private Pilot?

To become a Private Pilot, you must complete the following:

  • An aeronautical knowledge exam, administered by the FAA
  • Pre-solo training with an authorized instructor
  • Solo training
  • Cross-country1 flight training
  • Solo cross-country1 flying
  • Practical test preparation
  • Practical test (aka. checkride)

What Aeronautical Experience is Required?

At least forty (40) hours of flight time, including:

  • at least twenty (20) hours of flight training from an authorized instructor, including:
    • at least three (3) hours of cross-country1 training
    • at least three (3) hours of night flight training, including:
      • a cross-country flight over 100 nautical miles total distance, and
      • ten (10) takeoffs and landings to a full stop
    • at least three (3) hours of flight training by reference to instruments
    • at least three (3) hours of flight training with an authorized instructor within two (2) calendar months prior to the date of the checkride
  • at least ten (10) hours of solo flight time, including:
    • at least five (5) hours of solo cross-country1 time, including:
      • one solo cross-country1 flight of 150 nautical miles total distance with full-stop landings at three (3) airports
    • three (3) takeoffs and landings to a full stop at an airport with an operating control tower
N10106 on 2GC ramp w/ N11208

Training in a Cessna 150

Cost to rent a Cessna 150
40 hours @ $100/hr
$4,000
Instructor cost
20 hours @ $45/hr
$900
Examiner fee2
$650
FAA written exam
$150
FAA Third Class medical certificate
$125
Books & materials
~$100
Grand Total3
$5,925

Training in a Cessna 172

Cost to rent a Cessna 172
40 hours @ $130/hr
$5,200
Instructor cost
20 hours @ $45/hr
$900
Examiner fee2
$650
FAA written exam
$150
FAA Third Class medical certificate
$125
Books & materials
~$100
Grand Total3
$7,125
N5185R with N11208 in background

1 For the Private Pilot Certificate, the FAA defines cross-country flying as any flight that includes a landing at an airport more than fifty (50) nautical miles straight-line distance from the original point of departure.
2 Examiner's fees are paid directly to the examiner and have nothing to do with Cape Fear Aviation Flight Training.
3 Costs are based on forty (40) hours of flight training. The national average to obtain a Private Pilot Certificate is 50-70 hours of flight training. Source: Aircraft Owners and Pilot's Association.

Interested in flying with us?

Speak with any of our Certificated Flight Instructors today and ask about an Introductory Flight!
Gray's Creek Location:  7154 Butler Nursery Road, Fayetteville, NC 28306
Harnett County Location:  615 Airport Road, Erwin, NC 28339