Minimum Requirements:

  • Must be at least 17 years of age. (Solo @ 16, License @ 17)
  • Be able to read, speak, write and understand the English language.
  • Pass an aviation flight physical.
  • Pass the aeronautical knowledge test.
  • Have a minimum of 40 hours flight training (including at least 20 dual and 10 solo).
  • Pass the practical test (check ride).

What to Expect:

To obtain a private pilot certificate, you not only must meet the above requirements, but also have, and be able to demonstrate the skills, knowledge and judgment necessary to operate an airplane safely and proficiently.

Most students meet the regulatory requirements right at the minimum hourly requirements but may need a little extra time to hone their skills to the point of proficiency. The students that train more frequently do less “backtracking” which develops skills faster and keeps costs to a minimum. From past experience, we recommend at least two training sessions per week. It is possible to obtain your certificate with less training per week but it may cost more and will certainly take longer.

A typical lesson (prior to solo) involves approximately 1 hour of ground school going over the planned flight, flying for approximately 1 hour and approximately 1/2 hour ground discussing the flight and planning the next lesson. After soloing, the lessons will focus on cross-country planning and flying and the lessons will be longer (more ground school and longer flights).

Required Tests:

  • Flight Physical – Similar to a sports physical but given by an approved doctor (* see available doctors below).
  • Pre-Solo Written Test – Tests your basic knowledge and is administrated by your instructor before you are allowed to solo.
  • Aeronautical Knowledge Test – Must be passed prior to your final (practical) test. Tests all required knowledge areas relative to the Private Pilot Certificate.
  • Practical Test – This is the final test prior to receiving your certificate. It involves a question and answer session and flying session with an FAA Examiner or Designated Examiner. Once completed successfully, the examiner will issue your Private Pilot Certificate.


Cost varies with the abilities of the individual student, time spent studying, frequency of lessons and other factors. The following breakdown should only be considered a minimum:

  • 42 hours aircraft:                        $ 7030.80
  • 20 hours flight instruction:        $ 1100.00
  • 20 hours ground instruction:    $ 1100.00
  • Books & Miscellaneous:             $   500.00
  • Written test:                                $   175.00
  • Flight physical:                            $  175.00
  • Practical Test:                              $  300.00
  • TOTAL:                                       $ 10380.80

Prices are subject to change without notice.

VFS Approved Flight Instructors:

  • David Owens:                       229-292-5206
  • Pete Dominicis:                    229-232-0907
  • McKade Ballance:                912-592-9440

Doctors offering Flight Physicals in the Valdosta Area:

  • Dr. Dennis Thomas:            229-247-9911
  • Dr. Philip Carnevale:           386-755-3535 (Lake City)

Already a Private Pilot?

Contact us to learn more about obtaining advanced pilot certificates and ratings.