Private Pilot Certificate Overview

Whether you’re just getting started on your aviation journey or already have some time under your belt, our team is thrilled to help you accomplish your dream of becoming a pilot!

This page will give you the details on our private pilot program including pricing, timeline, and what you’ll need to get started. After reviewing this information please click here to send us a text if you’re on your phone or give us a call at 972-735-9099. You can also reply to the email we sent you with your questions.

We can’t wait for you to fly with us!


Starting with Zero Time: Expect to spend anywhere from $18,000 to $20,000 on your private pilot certificate. The total amount will depend on what aircraft you fly and exactly how many hours it takes you.

While the minimum is 35 hours of flight time, most pilots finish with closer to 60 hours of flight time.

Starting with Some Time: Many students come to us for our private pilot finish-up program. The exact amount you’ll spend with us will vary greatly based on how many hours you already have and how long it’s been since you last trained.

Speak with our team to get a better idea of how much your finish-up program will be. Learn more about finish-up training.

Thrust Flight Piper Archer


Paced Training: If you’re flying 2-3 times per week it typically takes 5-7 months to complete your private pilot certificate. The more frequently you fly, the faster you’ll earn your certificate.

Accelerated Training: With our accelerated private pilot training you can finish your certificate in 14-21 days. This is a popular option for those who are able to take a few weeks off from work and focus 100% on their training. Learn more about accelerated training.

Paying for your Private Pilot Certificate

As mentioned above, most students end up spending between $18,000 and $20,000 on their private pilot certificate. Some students will pay for each flight as they go through training, however, most of our students utilize our flight savings package to access a discounted rate.

How to Get a Discounted Rate

In order to get a discounted rate, private pilot students must initially purchase a flight savings package. This is a $6,800 payment made at the start of your training. All of this money is put on account and billed against you as you have each ground and flight lesson.

Once you’ve used that money on your account you’ll make a $3,000 payment and again, all of that money will go on your account. You’ll continue this process until you complete your private pilot certificate.

Aircraft Rates*



$150/hr Standard

$140/hr Discount Rate

Cessna 172

Cessna 172 RG

$209/hr Standard

$199/hr Discount Rate

Piper Archer

Piper Archer TX

$209/hr Standard

$199/hr Discount Rate

*Please note that the rates above do not include any fuel surcharges. As of April 2022, a fuel surcharge has been put in effect due to the rapidly increasing fuel prices. For current surcharge rates please speak with a member of our team.

Accelerated Private Pilot

We’re the experts in accelerated flight training. We’ve put hundreds of students through accelerated training programs from private pilot to multi-engine. Our private pilot accelerated program is a 14-21 day program.

If you’re starting from zero this program will like take 21 days. If you already have some flight time you may be able to complete it quicker but we still recommend being prepared for a full 21-day program due to weather.

In order to complete your accelerated private pilot training this quickly, you must have your written exam completed before your first day. Accelerated training typically must be booked at least a month in advance.

New Student Checklist

The checklist below is intended as a guide so you know what to expect in order to start your private pilot training.

Before working on any of these items please speak with a member of our team so we can address any questions and guide you through the process.

Deposit Details

Before our admissions team begins collecting any documents we’ll need to collect a $200 deposit. This is a non-refundable deposit, however, all of it will be applied to your training once you complete your enrollment. When you’re ready to pay the deposit simply let our team know.

1. Medical Certificate

We suggest getting the medical certificate BEFORE beginning private pilot flight training in the event something is discovered that would preclude you from flight training.

For a Private Pilot Certificate, you can get a first, second, or third-class medical certificate. If you’re considering a career as a pilot, you’ll want to get first-class medical.

If you had a medical in the last 10 years you can instead get the BasicMed. It’s an alternative option that allows a pilot to fly without holding a medical certificate as long as they meet specific requirements.

How to Get a Medical Certificate:

  1. Complete a Medical Application online using FAA MedXPress (don’t fill this out until you speak with us), the FAA’s online pilot medical tracking system. Print out your completed application.
  2. Make an Appointment with an AME (Aviation Medical Examiner). This is a doctor that specializes in pilot examinations. Click here to find an AME near you. If you’re in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, we suggest:

Dr. Stephan Kramer – 972-731-9555

Note: If you have any concerns or questions regarding passing a medical please discuss them with us BEFORE you schedule your medical appointment.

2. Document Signatures

These are documents you’ll sign during the onboarding process.

3. ID & TSA Verification

We’ll need is a copy of your government ID along with your birth certificate or your passport. These documents are used for TSA verification. If you’re a permanent resident please see the TSA Approval section below.

4. Aircraft Rental Insurance

Non-owned aircraft rental insurance is required for every student whether they’re flying solo or with an instructor. “Non-owned” Rental insurance may be obtained through Avemco Insurance Company by visiting their website or by calling 1-888-241-7891. Be sure to use the promotional code. “TF16”.

Insurance CoverageAmount
Standard Bodily Injury$25,000
Property Damage$250,000
Non-Owned Aircraft Physical Damage/Liability$30,000

*Non-Owned Aircraft Insurance can be either Single-Engine or Multi-Engine. As a private pilot, you’ll be training in a single-engine aircraft so your rental insurance should match.

5. Pilot Certificate or Student Pilot Certificate

If you don’t already have one you’ll need to apply for a student pilot certificate. This is your first pilot certificate!

To start the application you’ll go to the “IACRA” (or Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application) website. IACRA is the FAA database that manages ratings for pilots, instructors, and mechanics.

You’ll have to create an IACRA account and apply for a Student Pilot Certificate. Then on the first day of your training, you’ll finish the application with your instructor. A temporary certificate (which may be used for flight training) will be emailed to you in roughly a week and the hard copy will be mailed to you in roughly a month.

Student Pilot Certificate
Example Student Pilot Certificate

Private Pilot Finish-Up

Stuck at a flight school that just can’t get you across the finish line? You’ve come to the right place.

We’ve had hundreds of students come to us to help them finish up their private pilot training. The first thing you’ll do is speak with a member of our admissions team so we can get an accurate idea of where you are in your training.

On your first lesson, your instructor will test you on a variety of maneuvers and ground knowledge to get a good idea of what you need to work on. From there, they’ll work with you on a training plan and then get you checkride ready.

Private Pilot Ground School

In order to earn your private pilot certificate, you’ll need to pass the FAA written exam. This exam can be taken at any point during your training. If you’re doing an accelerated private pilot program with us, you must have your written exam completed before you start.

If you’re doing a paced program with us, we suggest starting flight training first and then a month or so into your training sitting in on our weekend private pilot weekend ground school to prepare you for the test.

This ground school is an in-depth course that prepares you for the written exam and includes 20 hours of classroom test prep and the written test endorsement (something you must have before you can take the written test). The program is $395 and runs from Friday to Sunday once a month. See our classroom dates here.

We are an FAA-approved testing center so you can take your private pilot written test at our facility in Addison, TX.

What to Do Next

If you have additional questions or you’re ready to get started simply click here to send us a text if you’re on your phone or give us a call at 972-735-9099.


If you need housing while you attend the accelerated private pilot training, we’ve partnered with several local hotels to offer discounted rates. We also offer housing with other students in a shared apartment, however, availability varies. Click the link below to view more information on housing options.

Common Questions About a Private Pilot License