Private Pilot Flight Training FAQ
Frequently asked questions about getting your pilots license
I'd like to learn more about being a pilot, but I'm not sure if I'll really enjoy flying. Do you have any suggestions for how I should proceed?
We believe that learning to fly will be one of the most enjoyable experiences of your life! People from all walks of life have become pilots. It is an accomplishment that will set you apart from others, and one that will give you years of enjoyment and utility. It can lead to new career or business opportunities. But most of all, flying is FUN!
We have two recommendations:
I've wanted to be a pilot for a long time, but I'm not sure if I can do it. What skills do I need to have and
what kind of commitment do I need
The skills to be a safe and competent pilot are similar to a variety of other pursuits that you may enjoy. Boating, skiing, golf and even hiking, camping and hunting all require a combination of intellectual and physical skill. We have yet to see the person that doesn't have the intellect to be a pilot, but out of every 100 students, we typically find that 1 or 2 people don't have the physical skills required.
Completion of a Pilot Training Program does require a personal time commitment that is the approximate equivalent to a 5 credit college level course with a lab. Unlike a college course, you may schedule most of your training around your business and personal life.
You will want to ensure that your training is efficiently conducted and establish a schedule prior to beginning your training. Your schedule commitment will involve in-flight training (the really fun part), an interactive classroom experience (typically with 8 to 12 other students) and home study.
How do I get started with my training?
You will want to meet with one of the Wings Aloft Training Counselors or Instructors to discuss the curriculum, your personal schedule and any budget considerations. You'll then mutually create a training syllabus schedule that conveniently blends together with your business and personal life.
How long does it take to complete
the pilot training course?
You set the pace for your training. This is worth repeating: You set the pace for your training.
Your primary goal should be to have fun!
Full-time students typically complete their training in 30-45 days and average 5 flight lessons per week. Most people complete their training over a 5 month period of time and
typically schedule 2 or 3 lessons a week. However, many students take a full year to complete their training because their personal schedule and budget only allows the completion of 2 or 3 lessons a month.
The curriculum typically includes 30 flight lessons and 30 ground lessons. The majority of your flight lessons will require 2 to 3 hours of your time. About half of your flight lesson typically takes place in the airplane. The other half involves what is called a pre and post flight briefing. The ground school course is 50 class hours.
What does my pilot's license allow
me to do?
Your first flying license is called a Private Pilot Certificate. You will be qualified to carry passengers in a single-engine airplane, during the day or night, in visual flight conditions. You will be able to fly anywhere in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
How much will Private Pilot
The cost range can vary tremendously because your training completion is solely dependent on your proficiency as a pilot. You don't attain Solo Flight or take your final practical exam to be a licensed Private Pilot if we don't believe that you are, and will be, a safe, competent and knowlegable pilot.
All of the instruction you receive, ground school tuition, books and other materials will usually be less than $5,000. You will also need to rent an airplane if you don't own or choose to purchase one. Wings Aloft offers a variety of rental aircraft with hourly flight rates that range from $100 to $200 per flight hour. We recommend that you budget $7,000 to $9,000 for the most commonly used training aircraft.
In total, you should budget between $10-$15,000 for your pilot training, assuming that a rental aircraft will be utilized.
Financing programs are available, if desired. Boeing, and many other area companies encourage pilot training and offer tuition grants for completing a course of study. See our career and financing pages.
What are the FAA requirements to receive a pilot license?
There is no minimum age to begin training. A number of our students are 12 and 13 years old. You must at least 16 years old to Solo (fly by yourself) and 17 years old to obtain the Private Pilot License. You must be 18 years of age to obtain a Commercial Pilot Certificate.
There is no maximum age or age limit for a pilot. Many people fly well into their 70's and even 80's.
Pass an FAA Third Class Medical. This is a routine physical examination given by a FAA approved medical doctor. You will pass the exam if you consider yourself to be in good health.
For your Private Pilot License, you must log a minimum of 40 hours of flight time. Your flight experiences will include time with an instructor on board the aircraft, solo flight time by yourself, flight on trips (we call this cross country), flight at night and experience in low visibility conditions.
Complete an academic course of study. This includes such subjects as aerodynamics, navigation, weather, aviation regulations and physiology. You may do this by attending a formal Wings Aloft ground school course or complete a CBT or home study course. Your flight instructor will provide additional personalized instruction as required.
Pass the FAA Private Pilot Knowledge Test. This is often called the "Written Test". It's a relatively simple but comprehensive, 80 question, multiple choice exam given at Wings Aloft BFI.
Pass the FAA Private Pilot Practical Test. This is a flight proficiency exam that takes place in the airplane. The exam is given by a FAA designated test examiner.
Why should I train with Wings Aloft?
35 Years of Training Pilots to the highest standards. We have trained over 6,000 pilots for over 15,000 FAA certifications.
The best pilot training programs in the industry. We utilize the Jeppesen Training Programs (Boeing Company) in combination with our own custom designed ground school courseware to ensure that your knowledge is comprehensive and complete.
A fleet of over 10 aircraft - the largest in the Pacific Northwest. Choose the aircraft that best suits your needs and desires for flights to any destination in the United Sates, Canada or Mexico!
Unsurpassed Insurance Coverage for Member students and renter pilots. Save up to $2,000 a year on renter pilot insurance protection!
15 Instructors on staff for maximum training flexibility. We guarantee that we have an instructor to match your training schedule and needs.
One of the best training environments in the world! Wings Aloft BFI is based on King County International Airport / Boeing Field. We're located just 10 minutes from downtown Seattle. Your training experiences will enable you to be a competent pilot flying into the busiest airports in the country or the mountain airports in Central Idaho.
Flying is not an inexpensive pursuit, but for most people it is incredibly satisfying and fulfilling.
You WILL have a great time!