Private Pilot


  • Be at least 17 years of age by the time you finish your Private Pilot License. You may begin training at a younger age, however you must be 16 to perform a solo and 17 to gain the certificate.
  • Obtain an FAA Third Class Medical Certificate
  • Obtain a Student Pilot Certificate
  • Be able to speak, read, write and understand the English Language
  • Be a U.S. citizen or apply through AFSP for foreign pilots
  • Pass the required knowledge test with a minimum score of 70%
  • Pass the required practical test with an FAA Designated Examiner

Private Pilot License:

  • Requires 40 hours of flight training. This includes 20 hours of Dual Flight Time and 10 hours of Solo Flight Time.
  • You will work one on one with an instructor throughout your training. This includes any ground work.
  • There is no required ground training though you will need it. You are encouraged to read and study with recommended material at home.
  • There is no application process to fly with our flight school. We will set you up with an instructor that fits your schedule, and you can begin training right away.
  • Each flight will go over a specific lesson based off of our training course outline.

Overview & Privileges:

A Private Pilot Certificate is where your Aviation career begins. It is the foundation of your entire piloting experience, whether you are flying for fun or moving on to become a professional pilot.

As a Private Pilot, you are able to take to the skies with friends and family. You can fly any single-engine, piston driven aircraft anywhere in the US. You can fly day or night in any conditions acceptable to Visual Flight Rules (VFR, Minimum of 3 miles of visibility). Although you can share the joy of Flight, you are restricted from flying for hire or compensation. As a Private Pilot, you are allowed to fly for personal business but cannot be paid or compensated directly just to fly.

For anyone interested in flying for hire, or to open more doors for your aviation experience, the Instrument Rating, and/or Commercial Certificate is the next step beyond the Private Pilot Certificate.

Before you can take the FAA Oral Exam and Check-ride, students must prepare for and pass the FAA Private Pilot Written Exam. VFA is also an approved PSI testing center, and we offer all FAA written exams on site. Students can prepare for the Written on their own or by taking one of our offered ground schools.

One of the most important aspects of being a pilot is operating the aircraft. The majority of flight training is not only learning to fly an aircraft, but to fly while under certain weather conditions and scenarios. Which is why Vermont is a great location for flight training with its variances in weather conditions and terrain.




Part 61 Costs:

Requirements:Hourly RateHours of Training
Minimum CostRealistic HoursRealistic Price
Ground Instruction$6010 to 30+
(Not Required)
$600 to $1,80040+$2,400+
FAA Written Test$165n/a$155 if you have a current AOPA or EEA membership.n/a$165
Aircraft Rental$119 (Cessna 152) to $159 (Cessna 172)40$4,760 to $6,36050 to 60+$5,950 to $9,540
Flight Instruction$6020$1,20030 to 50+$1,800 to $3,000
Flight Briefings$6010-20$600 to $1,20030$1,800
Solo FlightRental Cost Only15
(10 solo + 5 cross country)
$1,785 to $2,385 -For Rental Cost only. Part of the 40 Hr Aircraft Rental Cost above.20+n/a
Practical Test$400+ (for DPE) and 2 hr. rental2+/-$638 to $818$400+ (for DPE) and 2 hr. rental$638 to $818
Totalsn/a$7,953 to $11,543n/a$12,753 to $17,723