Private Pilot Program


  • Fly anytime in good weather conditions including night time
  • Access to nearly 14,000 US airports
  • Take friends and family flying
  • Cut ground transportation times almost in half
  • Fly for business or pleasure

Minimum Requirements for a Private Pilot Certificate: (FAR 61.109)

  • Must be 17 years of age (16 to solo)
  • Speak, read, write and understand the English language
  • Show proof of US citizenship or obtain TSA clearance for non-US citizens
  • 3rd class Medical Certificate with Student Pilot Certificate
  • Pass an FAA Knowledge and Practical Exams
  • 40 hours total flight time: 20 hours flight instruction, 10 hours solo flight time, 10 additional hours of solo or instruction


The Pursuit of Flight

Obtaining your Private Pilot Certificate will be both challenging and rewarding. Your Certified Flight Instructor will guide you through the steps to obtain your certificate in a safe and comfortable setting. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires a minimum of 40 hours to obtain a private pilot certificate, however, in reality the national average flight time as a student pilot is approximately 70 hours.  Your actual flight time required, and the resulting cost of training, are dependent on your abilities, frequency of flight lessons, weather and willingness to study. Our experience shows that the average students needs about six months and 55-65 flight hours to complete training and earn their private pilot certificate. It is recommended that you schedule minimum of two flight lessons per week. All flight instruction is on an individual basis and can be scheduled at your convenience. The ground training is in conjunction with your flight training and will prepare you to pass the FAA written and practical test.

During your first few hours of training, you will be introduced to the basic fundamentals of flight and how to maneuver the aircraft in various configurations. Next, you will be introduced to take-offs and landings. At approximately 10 to 15 hours, most students take to the skies for their first solo flight! The next 30+ hours will include navigation, night flight operations, flights to various airports in East Tennessee area, and other procedures required by the FAA.

During your training you will be required to pass a computer based written exam that can be administered at Knoxville Flight Training Center's PSI/Lasergrade Testing Center.  Your certified flight instructor will show you the steps to take to pass this written exam.  We have available for purchase a Private Pilot book bundle that will give you all the required books to help you not only pass the written exam but to pass the practical exams as well.  Our pilot shop is stocked full of great other reading material, headsets and more.

An FAA medical certificate/student pilot certificate is required prior to solo. You can obtain this certificate from an FAA designated medical examiner. A list of the medical examiners can be found by clicking HERE. It is highly important that you request a student pilot certificate since this certificate is needed for soloing. It is recommended that you obtain this certificate shortly after you start training and is required before opening a flight account.

When all FAA private pilot requirements are completed, you will finish your training with 3 hours of flight training in preparation for the private pilot practical test. This training will be in review of all the training you have received during the course. Upon receiving a logbook endorsement from your flight instructor, we will schedule your private pilot practical test with a designated pilot examiner. Upon passing this test, you will be a certificated Private Pilot!

Estimated Cost

The cost of obtaining the Private Pilot Certificate can vary depending on how often you fly, how quickly you master each subject, and what type of aircraft you fly. The figures below are estimates only and are based on 50 hours of flight time and 15 hours of ground training.

Cessna 172
50 hours Aircraft Rental (including fuel)$6450
40 hours Flight Instruction$1960
*15 hours Ground Instruction$600
Books & Supplies$200
FAA Knowledge Exam$165


* 15 hours of ground is estimated and varies with each individual. A .2 for pre/post flight debriefings will be added to every instructional flight.

** Due to the fact that medical exams and practical exams vary in price and are paid out of pocket directly to these individuals, these prices are not included in the            above totals.  

Sales tax is added to every solo (non-instructional) flight.