The Costs of Being a Student Pilot
Financial planning is one of the most important issues to think about early on, and it is best to work out a realistic budget to begin with. This will help you decide if you can really afford to do go through with it, and it will also help you keep to keep your expenses in check as you go forward. There are a lot of expenses to consider. A few of them include instructor's fees, plane rental fees (which usually, but not always, include fuel), books and electronic reference materials, pilot supplies, testing fees, medical evaluation, insurance (being a pilot can increase the premiums of some life and health insurance policies). The total cost from beginning to end can vary significantly depending upon where you learn to fly, and how long you take to earn your license. Most sources estimate the average cost of earning a Private Pilot Certificate in the U.S. at around $8,000. This cost will likely continue to rise together with the cost of fuel.
Be aware that it is not at all uncommon for students to require more than the legal minimum of 40 flight hours, before their instructors consider them ready for the final FAA checkride. According to PilotOutlook.com, the current average is 55 hours. Thus, a budget of $10,000 is not unreasonable depending upon what part of the country you live in. There are several programs that specialize in flight school loans that can help finance these costs. Finally, remember that the cost of flying does not end when you get your license. Pilots are legally required to fly regularly, or undergo additional training. Becoming a pilot is a long term fiancial commitment. Be sure that you are up to it.