Very few pilots are ready to test at the 'minimum time requirements.'  The exception to this are younger students (especially those exposed to aviation).  Most students take between 60 and 80 hours before they are ready to test.  These numbers change based on how often you can fly, how prepared you are for your lesson, changes in instructors or aircraft, as well as how quickly you learn and how well you retain the material.

At a BARE MINIMUM, the following is required before a student can test for their Pilot Certificate:

Total Flight Time
40 Hours

Cross-Country Flight Time
3 Hours

Night Flight Time
3 Hours

Instrument Training
3 Hours

Training with Authorized Instructor
3 Hours

Solo Flight Time
10 Hours


Flying is not cheap!  But DCS School of Flying is trying to make this experience as affordable as we can.  The more often you can fly each week, coupled with how prepared you are for each lesson will have a significant impact on your overall costs.  Generally speaking, you should plan on between $8,000 and $12,000 to complete your Private Pilot Certificate.  Generally speaking, if you can fly an AVERAGE of twice a week, you should reasonably finish in 9-12 months.  Planning to fly only once a week (which in reality will result in flying 2-3 times a month once weather is taken into account) is going to stretch out the time/costs significantly and is not recommended.

Directly Supervised Instruction (Instructor in Plane)

Indirectly Supervised Instruction (Solo Flights)

Medical Exam

Online Ground School (Sporty's Recommended)

Books and Supplies

Written Exam


Headset Rental
$10 per session after 5th session

Headset Purchase
$100 to $1100


Log Book

Sporty's Learn to Fly Course

Flight Bag


Private Pilot Standards

Private Pilot Oral Exam Guide

Ultimate Rotating Plotter

E6B Flight Computer (Whiz-Wheel)
$15 (Electronic $70)

VFR Sectional – Washington (Revised every 56 days)


NO!  Many pilots LIKE the iPad, and many Airlines require it use, but we will show you how all of the information that you would get from ForeFlight can be available on your Android Tablet or Phone with no cost to you!

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DCS School of Flying Phone:
(717) 586-9648