Private Pilot License


10-Year Member
5-Year Member
May 8, 2008
I was looking into getting my PPL before going to the Academy. I just have a couple of questions.

1. What kind of discount is there for Cadets looking to earn their PPL?
2. Is there time to actually do that as a 4dig?
3. Should I try to get as many hours now, then finish at the Academy?
4. Is there enough time get my PPL before going to Basic?
I am just about finished with mine- are you a Junior or Senior in high school? And you could theoretically finish it before the summer if you start now (that is if you are a senior) because the government only requires 40 hours. However the national average is 65 and because of the high costs (it's very expensive here in CA) it's not probable that you could fly everyday (plus all of the time restraints, etc.) If you have any questions about the license itself and that process feel free to Personal Message me.

You posted the same questions on CC, so I'll post the same reply....

Cant' give you the full story on what getting your PPL at the Academy would be like, but I can give you some basic info. Perhaps some cadets can fill in the blanks...

1) Don't know if there is a "discount" per se, but I do know the AFA has an Aero club, which probably means you can rent the planes at a cheaper rate than you would be able to at a civilian airport.

2) Probably not, but I'll let a cadet give you the real story on free time as a 4 Dig. Better yet, search this forum, the answer is here somewhere.

3) Getting hours now can't hurt, but what you should actually be using your free time for at this point is doing things that will PREPARE you for the AFA, not for whatever it is you want to do afterwards. PT, and lots of it. Get in shape. If you think you're in good shape, get in better shape! Run, Forrest. Run! Having a PPL is NICE. Being able to meet the physical demands of BCT is CRUCIAL (and thus, more important for you to concentrate on) If you can make time to get some hours in to fly, fine. But put your first priority on getting ready for what matters most as a 4 Dig.

4) A PPL in under 5 months (assuming you have no hours at this time)? It can be done. You'll also probably have to fly 2 -3 times a week to get it done though. Got that extra $500 a week available? That's about what it will cost. Each hour of flgiht instruction runs about $130 - $160 (renting the aircraft, paying for fuel, and paying the Certified Flight Instructor). And don't think it's only 30 hours and I get my licence. A good CFI will only send you for your check ride when they think you are READY. Most likely, there will be extra sorties and hours because they feel you need more practice in a certain phase (stalls, turns, landings, etc.) Most people get their Private licenses after 40 - 45 hours, sometimes more. If you find an instructor who "garauntees" you'll have a license after the minimum number of hours, walk away. They're sheisters looking out for the money, not looking to make you a safe pilot.

And honestly, that is the bottom line: expense. If you have the cash (anywhere from $7000 to $8000) getting a PPL is a GREAT hobby, and has the benefit of giving you a SLIGHT advantage when it comes time to score you for getting a pilot slot. But since practically EVERYONE medically qualified at the AFA who wants a slot gets one, the advantage is nil....

Bottom Line: fly for the pleasure of flying, if you can afford it. Make a better use of your free time and prepare for the Academy instead . Now, get off the computer and go for a run!
Bullet... same response as CC.

Thanks for the advice.
lol, I actually posted the first post then went and ran a few miles and did some pushups/abs. Basically, I want the PPL for the pleasure of flying. I do have the cash... I worked a lot this past year and should have enough to cover most of it (parents may shell out for some for a graduation present... college fund + no expenses for tution= extra money). I'm looking to go about 3 times a week (depending on weather, etc).

I am a senior in HS by the way.

Great to hear that: 1) you ARE doing your PT 2) You want to fly for the pleasure of flying, and 3) you can affford it.

So, I would say YES, you can get your PPL, but it will take up a lot of your time if you want to do it in 5 months. If youhave the time management skills to do it AND keep up with your PT (and goodness knows I didn't at your age), then have fun and GO FOR IT!

PS We expect updates on your progress, and "no $h@t, there I was!" stories about your adventures in the sky! :biggrin:
Haha. Now I just have to convince my parents to let me... :thumb:

I could use some improvement on my time management skills anyway.