As a glider pilot with about 220 flying hours, I finally decided to take the jump and start my Private Pilot training in June 2018. In this series, I share my experiences of getting my Private Pilot License in Belgium. From preparing for my first lesson, to my first solo flights and ultimately my checkride. I hope these articles will be able to help you get the most out of your own flight training!
Learning to fly isn't cheap - unfortunately. If you want to belong to the happy few who have a license to soar high above everyone else, you need to make some sacrifices. But nothing worth fighting for ever comes easy.
Before starting my Private Pilot License flight training, I created a simple spreadsheet with an estimate of the costs involved in my flight training. With my previous gliding experience, I was able to significantly cut the costs of my flight training. I will dive deeper into the ways I saved time and money later in this post.
I couldn't find the spreadsheet anymore I created at the start of my training, but I do remember I expected to spend between €6000 and €7500 on my license, depending on how often I could fly and how many hours I would need to get ready for the checkride (EASA calls it Skill Test).
Here's a detailed breakdown of the money I spent during my entire PPL(A) flight training in Belgium:
|Ground School (incl books)||€ 620,00|
|English Language Proficiency||€ 110,00|
|Written test||€ 102,00|
|Dual instruction: 25 hours x €30/h||€ 750,00|
|Headset, kneeboard, charts,...||€ 500,00|
|Fuel: 37 hours x €119/h||€ 4 403,00|
|Landing fees||€ 100,00|
|Skill Test (including fuel)||€ 315,00|
|PPL license||€ 170,00|
|Total||€ 7 070,00|
Please keep in mind I had previous flying experience. Thanks to EASA, I could use 10% of my previous flying experience in gliders (as Pilot in Command) towards my PPL minimums, with a maximum of 10 hours. Therefore, I only needed 35 hours before I could take my checkride, instead of the normal 45. With airplane rental costing about €2/min in my flying club, I was able to save a decent amount of money.
Another important side note here is that that I did all my training in Belgium and under EASA regulations. Requirements and costs will be notably different in other countries and continents. Therefore, the prices mentioned in this post can vary greatly depending on where you are living and want to learn to fly.
Now, my goal was to take the checkride in the minimum required amount of hours, 35. I finished with a little over 37 hours total time, of which 25h dual instruction and a little over 13h solo. Since I flew a little more solo hours than strictly required, I had to make sure I would also meet the dual instruction requirements, 25 hours.
Still, I'm really pleased I finished my entire training in just 37 flying hours and under 9,5 months!
If you want to read more about the flight gear I used during my training, you can read about it in the second story of this series.
In the next - and for now the last - episode in this story series, I will discuss some ways in which I was able to save money and time during my training. I will explain in detail how I prepared for my flying lessons and how I was able to complete my flight training in the least amount of time and hours.