A private pilot certificate is for anyone who has always wanted to fly, and is also the typical starting point for those who would like to pursue more advanced ratings or a career in aviation.
Many private pilots are interested in flying for fun, and fly many different types of aircraft. Others pursue flying in order to use an aircraft to further their business or professional interests, like commuting to meetings.
A private pilot certificate is the most commonly held certificate by active pilots in the United States. A private pilot may fly any aircraft weighing less than 12,500 lbs., for non-commercial purpose, for flights conducted day or night in good weather under VFR (visual flight rules). Private pilots may carry passengers, and share flight expenses evenly (pro-rata) with their passengers. Private pilots may not be paid for their services as a pilot, and may not pay less than the pro rata share of the operating expenses.
A private pilot may rent aircraft from Desert Flying Club to fly anywhere in the United States. (Flights to Canada or Mexico may be conducted with prior approval.) A private pilot may also pursue advanced training, such as complex aircraft endorsement, tailwheel endorsement, instrument rating, commercial pilot certificate, mountain flying checkout, and multi-engine rating –all offered right here at Desert Flying Club!
There are two main components to private pilot training: ground school and flight training. Most students choose to complete an online ground school course to specifically prepare for the Private Pilot Knowledge Exam. Some local schools also offer an in-person ground school course, such as College of Southern Nevada. Most students complete ground school before or while completing flight lessons. Topics introduced in ground school include aerodynamics, aircraft systems, regulations, meteorology, navigation, and radio communications.
For flight training, students will learn one-on-one under the direction of a Desert Flying Club Certified Flight Instructor (CFI), who will teach the student how to fly the plane, navigate, and communicate on the radio, and prepare the student to pass the FAA practical exam, consisting of an oral exam and a practical flight test. Lessons will typically be in 3-hour blocks, in which students will log 1-2 hours of flight time and some ground instruction time with their CFI.
Desert Flying Club has a variety of aircraft in which beginning students may conduct their training, including Cessna 172, Piper Archer, Beechcraft Musketeer Sport, and Remos GX light sport aircraft.
The time it takes to complete training depends on the student. Students who fly about 2-3 times per week will be usually be able to complete the training in 4-6 months, although driven students may be successful with an accelerated schedule.
Cost depends a lot on the individual student. The FAA requires a minimum of 40 hours of flight time, but the average student requires 60-75 hours to prepare to pass the exam. Here is a breakdown of expected expenses based on the minimum 40 hours, and the more typical 60 hours:
|Based on 6 months||40 hours||60 hours|
|Flying club dues $85 x 6 months:||$510||$510|
|Aircraft Rental – Remos GX: $115/hr||$4600||$6900|
|Instructor flight & ground training: $65/hr||$2600||$3900|
|Online Ground School||$150||$150|
|Written Exam Fee||$150||$150|
|Headset (David Clark H10-30)||$300||$300|
|Supplies: Logbook, plotter, E6B computer, charts, Foreflight subscription, books||$300||$300|
|Check ride examiner fee||$800||$800|
Get started by purchasing an intro flight with our instructor.