Interested in the training time and cost to become a licensed pilot to fly airplane light sport aircraft (LSA) at Sport Aviation Center?

Everything you want to know about pilot training time and cost is listed here…

LSA Airplane Rental, Instruction, Checkride and Proficiency Check Fees

  • Flight Instruction Hobbs time with Sport Aviation Aircraft LSA – $205 per hour *
    (includes $130 airplane per hour and $75 per hour flight instructor)
  • Flight and Ground Time Instruction – $75 per hour **
    (ground school and pre/post flight briefings)
  • Group ground instruction two or more people – $50 per hour per person
  • Aircraft Rental Hobbs time- $130 per hour *
    (General rental, student solo and Checkride/Proficiency Check. For overnight out of town rental a minimum of 3 hours per day)
  • Flight Simulation Instruction Time – $95 per hour
    (includes $20 flight simulator and $75 flight instructor simulator time)
  • Flight instruction time in owners aircraft $130 per hour
  • Flight Simulation Solo Time – $20 per hour (after getting checked out)
  • $470 Sport Pilot Practical Test/Checkride (no aircraft)
  • $450 Sport Pilot Proficiency Check (no aircraft)
  • $550 Sport Pilot Flight Instructor (CFIS) Proficiency Check (no aircraft)
  • $570 Sport Pilot Flight Instructor (CFIS) Initial Practical Test/Checkride (no aircraft)
  • $180 Biennial Flight Review in pilot supplied aircraft (minimum time requirements)

NOTE:

* Includes aircraft, headsets, and fuel.

** Ground/flight time includes time from meeting applicant to when the applicant leaves.

How much does it cost to get a sport pilot license?

It can cost between about $4,000 and $12,000. This depends on several factors. Let’s look at the variables first to understand the large variance in costs.

  • Will you be learning in your own aircraft or renting one?
  • Will you be doing a concentrated course where you are flying every day until you get your license, will you be doing the optimum schedule of flying one day on and one day off, or will you be dragging it out by only flying on weekends or every other weekend?
  • Do you have good study habits, motivated to study on your own or will you need someone to teach you the material?
  • How fast do you pick up the motor skills to control the aircraft?

Overall, the time and costs to become sport pilot airplane are about half that of a private pilot. It must be understood that these are realistic numbers, not something pared down to make it look inexpensive. Most “learn to fly for $2XXX” do not include the FAA test fees or much in training materials or any ground time. The following is provided to give you a realistic view of absolute minimum cost and a high cost for comparison.

How long does it take to get a sport pilot license?

The range of flight hours varies greatly. We have had some get through with as little as 25 hours flight time. Others 70 hours flight time. As discussed above, there are several factors. Let’s use the average of 35 hours of flight time. If we average 2 hours per day flight time this is 18  days or more than two and less than three weeks. Actual time depends on many of factors, but with a concentrated course and good weather plan on 3 to 4 weeks to get it in one stay.

How much can be done “self study” before or during the actual classroom/hands on?

Significant aeronautical knowledge “ground school” plus practical stick and rudder “airmanship” theory can be accomplished through self study. This saves considerable time and money. If you have the discipline, motivation and/or study skills, this can save you up to 80% of the knowledge and flight theory required for a FAA sport pilot certificate. Typically, you get the student pilot training kit and follow the training syllabus ground and flight lesson assignments. This are designed to provide the most efficient learning sequence. The more you study on your own, the faster and less expensive your training will be.

Sport Pilot License Accelerated Program

The steps for typical Sport Aviation Center Sport Pilot license accelerated program:

  1. You buy the student pilot training kit and you do all the homework for flight and ground lessons by following the training syllabus. This allows you to progress quickly and efficiently through your flight training and ground school. If you are going to do this in one visit, you should pass your FAA written/computerized Knowledge Test before you get here.
  2. You apply for a student pilot certificate which takes 2 to 3 weeks to obtain so you have this before you start training.
  3. You reserve your valuable time slot for intensive training ($1000/week deposit required see cancelation policy below).
  4. You show up here in Reno/Tahoe/Carson for 2 to 4 weeks concentrated flight and ground training. We fly every day weather permitting until you are ready to solo.
  5. You finish your training with another CFI who recommends you for the Checkride (practical test).
  6. You take your Practical Test/Checkride with Paul Hamilton DPE who issues you your sport pilot license.

NOTE: This accelerated process can be broken up into two 7 to 10 day visits.

Sport Pilot License Cost Options Range

For costs, let’s look at the optimum situation using your own aircraft, with a concentrated course or optimum flying three days per week, you study everything to get through your three types of ground school, and you have great motor skills to have the minimum flight hours required for the license.

If you take out additional costs what most schools do not include such as training materials, renters insurance, ground school, FAA knowledge test and checkride with the minimum training hours,  this would total the $2,000 to $3000 you see advertised. However, we are going to include ALL these in our comparisons since this is part of the overall cost in the following tables.

Let’s look at the optimum situation where you have your own airplane for dual and solo training, with a concentrated course or optimum flying three days per week, you study everything to get through your three types of ground school, and you have great motor skills to have the minimum flight 20 hours required for the license. Note that it typically takes more flight hours to get through the course, usually 25 to 35 hours of dual. Here is an example with the hours and costs:

Task or itemtimecosttotal
Student Pilot Kit$450
Flight/Hobbs time CFI15$130$1950
Flight brief/debrief and ground school lesson review CFI15$75$1125
Solo flight time5 to 10 hoursuse own aircraftfuel costs
Solo flight ground instruction CFI2$75$120
Ground school for the aeronautical flight, knowledge test and Checkride CFI40
$75self study
FAA Knowledge Test$150
Checkride$470
Totals$4265

Let’s look at the situation where you rent the airplane for dual and solo training, with a concentrated course or optimum flying three days per week, you study everything to get through your three types of ground school, and you have great motor skills to have the minimum flight 20 hours required for the license. Note that it typically takes more flight hours to get through the course, usually 25 to 35 hours of dual. Here is an example with the hours and costs:

Task or itemtimecosttotal
Student Pilot Kit$450
Flight/Hobbs time CFI and Aircraft15$205$3075
Flight brief/debrief and groundschool lesson review CFI15$75$1125
Renters Insurance1 year$500
Solo flight time5$130$650
Solo flight ground instruction CFI2$75$150
Ground school for the aeronautical flight, knowledge test and Checkride40
$75self study
FAA Knowledge Test$150
Checkride$470
Totals$6570

Let’s look at the typical situation “lower time” where you rent the airplane for dual and solo training, with a concentrated course or optimum flying three days per week, you study everything to get through your three types of ground school, and you have great motor skills to have the lower range of flight 28 hours  for the license. Note that it typically takes more flight hours to get through the course but this is the lower range which many have accomplished. Usually 25 to 35 hours of dual. Here is an example with the hours and costs:

Task or itemtimecosttotal
Student Pilot Kit$450
Flight/Hobbs time CFI and Aircraft20$205$4100
Flight brief/debrief and groundschool lesson review CFI20$75$1500
Renters Insurance1 year$500
Solo flight time8$130$1040
Solo flight ground instruction CFI2$75$150
Ground school for the aeronautical flight, knowledge test and Checkride40
$75self study
FAA Knowledge Test$150
Checkride$470
Totals$8360

Let’s look at the typical situation “average time” where you rent the airplane for dual and solo training, with a concentrated course or optimum flying three days per week, you study everything to get through your three types of ground school, and you have great motor skills to have the lower range of flight 35 hours  for the license. This is the industry average of flight hours to get a Sport Pilot license.  Here is an example with the hours and costs:

Task or itemtimecosttotal
Student Pilot Kit$450
Flight/Hobbs time CFI and Aircraft25$205$5125
Flight brief/debrief and groundschool lesson review CFI25$75$1875
Renters Insurance1 year$500
Solo flight time10$130$1300
Solo flight ground instruction CFI3$75$225
Ground school for the aeronautical flight, knowledge test and Checkride40
$75self study
FAA Knowledge Test$150
Checkride$470
Totals$10,095

Let’s look at the extended situation where you rent the airplane for dual and solo training, with an extended training schedule not flying constantly and/or having to go back and repeat flight tasks as needed and/or it takes more time than the minimum to get through which is typical. You do not study much and require an additional 40 hours of ground time to get through your three types of ground school. This will cause sticker shock but notice the $2000 for the ground school which you can study on your own.

Task or itemtimecosttotal
Student Pilot Kit$450
Flight/Hobbs time CFI25$205$5125
Flight brief/debrief and groundschool lesson review CFI25$75$1875
Renters insurance1 year$500
Solo flight time10 hours$130$1300
Solo flight ground instruction CFI3$75$225
Ground school for the aeronautical flight, knowledge test and Checkride CFI30
$75$3000
FAA Knowledge Test$150
Checkride$470
Totals$12.245

Overall, there is a wide range of costs required to get a sport pilot pilot certificate. Private pilot is typically double that of sport pilot. With a little planning and studying ground school on your own you can minimize the costs.

48 Hour Single Lesson Cancellation Policy

When you book a reservation you are reserving a time slot specifically for you. Sport Aviation Center LLC arranges all other bookings around your reserved time slot. If you will be unable to honor your reservation, you must call and talk with us to let us know at least 48 hours in advance so we can book someone else for this valuable time slot. If you call and talk to us before your flight within 48 hours to cancel your scheduled flight, we must bill you for 50% of your flight’s cost. If you do not call to cancel within 48 hours of your scheduled flight and we are mobilized/scheduled waiting for you, and you do not show up, we must bill you for the full amount. Your scheduled time slot is valuable and can be used by other customers so please call to cancel as soon as possible to avoid charges. We appreciate your understanding.

One (1) Week Accelerated Course Cancellation Policy

We require $1000 deposit for each week of scheduled time for accelerated training so secure the aircraft and instructor. This $1000/week goes towards your flight and ground training time when you are doing your training. When you book time for an accelerated course you are reserving this time slot (aircraft and instructor) specifically for you. Sport Aviation Center LLC arranges all other bookings around your reserved time slot. If you are unable to honor your reservation, you must call and talk with us 775.772 8232 (no e-mail or text) to let us know at least 1 week in advance so we can book someone else for this valuable time slot and you can reschedule at that time. If you cancel or reschedule within this 1 week period before your first scheduled time the $1000/week deposit is non refundable.  Your scheduled time slot is valuable and can be used by other customers so please call to cancel or reschedule as soon as possible. We appreciate your understanding.

 

All prices in USD.