To fly a true Part 103 ultralight vehicle (single place, less than 254 pounds empty weight, 5 gallons gas maximum) legally, there is no minimum training time required. However, if you do NOT get any flight training time in a two place Light-sport aircraft, it is more than likely you will crash.
YOU NEED flight training time to learn how to fly. These guidelines here cover both weight-shift control trike and airplane. How much is the question?
Let’s firsts look at the comparisons to an FAA Sport Pilot license and a Private Pilot license/certificate.
- Sport Pilot license is about half the time/money as Private Pilot license/certificate.
- Ultralight is about half the time/money as a Sport Pilot license/certificate.
Put another way, Sport Pilot is about double the cost of becoming an Ultralight pilot.
The Ultralight pilot flight training is typically the same as Sport Pilot training to solo. So we train you to fly a light sport aircraft to solo then you are ready to fly solo in your single place ultralight. Note that when you are training in the light-sport aircraft, all your training time counts towards a sport pilot. You can start your training and you do not have to decide weather you are going for ultralight or sport pilot, until the time you are ready to solo.
If you are going to train to the ultralight level, you would go through:
On-Line training courses through flight and ground lesson 10.
Note also that there is some ground training time required for the National Airspace System and some basic do’s and don’ts with the simple Federal Laws FAR Part 103.
Now the big question is, how long and how much. There is a huge variance in learning to fly solo. Some can do it in 15 to 20 hours. Others it may take 70 hours. This depends on YOU. Your ability to pick it up physically, your ability to pick it up mentally and your age.
So, at $200/hour flight training time and 15 hours you are looking at $3000 for flight time and 10 hours ground time, times $75/hour $750 totaling $3750 total to solo. Averages are 25 hours to solo or $5750 total. 40 hours to solo costing $8750 and up from there. Many want to fly ultralights because it is cheap, but the cost of aircraft repairs and hospital bills is much more expensive than good training. This has been proven over the years.
How long is the next question. Again, this varies with the person. Some can fly and hour before they are exhausted, others can fly over 2 hours a session before they are tired. So 1 hour per session and 15 hours is about two weeks. So 2 hours per session is one week for the 15 hours total. And up from there depending on how many hours it takes.
So to summarize cost/time:
- Shortest 15 hours, $3750 and 1 week
- Average 25 hours, $5750 and 2 weeks
- Long 40 hours, $8750 and 4 weeks OR longer/more $.
These are honest realistic estimates from decades training pilots to SAFELY fly solo. You can always train less but it usually ends bad. If you are serious about learning to fly an ultralight SAFELY, decide to invest the time money in your well being. It is a great investment and you will be rewarded with a lifetime of safe and confident flying.
Get started training with the Learn to fly courses at On-Line Pilot Training.