What is a Private Pilot License?

This license allows you to fly during the day and night, with friends and family in good weather conditions. It is often called a “license to learn”! It teaches you the basic skills required to fly safely.

Who can get a Private Pilot License?

You must be 16 years old to fly solo, and 17 to get your Private Pilot license. The amount of time from the beginning of your training to your first solo flight can be as little as one month or up to 4 or 5, depending on how frequently you are able to fly and how quickly you master the skills required.

What does it cost?

Cost is dependent on a couple of variables. While 40 hours is the minimum required for a private pilot license, the national average varies between 50-60 hours. Completion at closer to 40 hours is possible with dedication in studying at home and flying more frequently (2-3 times per week). The average student will spend between $8,000-$10,000 from start to finish.

How long does training take?

Time of training varies from student to student. There is no deadline on how long flight training takes, and your flight hours never expire. Some finish training for their private license in as few as three months while others take as much as a year to complete. The time it takes you will be based on weather and how often your schedule will allow you to fly. The more frequently you can fly, the more information you will retain, and the fewer hours you will need to master the skills. If you are looking to expedite your training we suggest flying 2-3 times per week.

Shelby County vs Birmingham International?

Why should you choose Shelby County Airport over a larger airport like Birmingham? The biggest reason is time. At Birmingham, in order to get off the ground and get to the practice area to begin your training you must go through quite a few steps. You must get permission to taxi, and will often have to give way to larger aircraft on the taxiway. You also need to be cleared for takeoff which can take time, as Birmingham frequently has traffic from airlines and charter airplanes coming in to land or taking off ahead of you. Due to the congestion around the airport, you must travel farther away to reach a safe area to practice, which takes more time at the beginning and end of your lesson. All of this amounts to a lot of time on the ground waiting with the engine running, which is money out of your pocket. Shelby County is an uncontrolled airport, which means from when you start your engine until you’re in the air takes about five minutes. You simply announce yourself on the radios, there is no tower or ground to talk to or wait on. You will maximize your time in the airplane here and get the most for your money.

How do I get started?

Just fill out the request form and we will get back to you to schedule your first lesson with us! Not sure flying is for you? Then schedule a ½ hour discovery flight for only $125. After your discovery flight you’ll know right away if you’re ready to proceed. If you’re like most, this is something you’ve always wanted to do. We would love to be a part of helping make your dream of flying come true!

Then what?

Once you have decided you would like to pursue flight training, there are a few things you will need to do. Your flight instructor will also discuss all these steps in depth with you to help guide you.
*Apply for a FAA Student Pilot Certificate through IACRA- you don’t need a student pilot certificate to start flying lessons, but you will need it to fly solo during your training. Your instructor will help you with this!

*Schedule an appointment with an Aviation Medical Examiner (AME) to apply for a FAA Medical certificate- You must meet basic medical requirements to fly. If you want to fly professionally, you must meet higher medical standards than recreational pilots and should apply for a first class medical certificate. If you are only looking to fly recreationally, you are only required to apply for a third class medical.
You can find a list of local AMEs here https://designee.faa.gov/#/designeeLocator or simply ask your flight instructor for recommendations!
*Pass the Private Pilot Knowledge Test-You will need to take a computer based knowledge test before taking your Practical test and receiving your license.

Contact Us


265 Weathervane Road
Calera, AL 35040