Windsock Aviation Ltd
Learn to Fly

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Student Pilot Program

Become a Pilot

 Provided by AOPA

Learning to fly is a life-changing experience.  The day that you solo an airplane will remain in your memory for ever! 

We are very flexible and each student develops a personal timeframe with his or her own instructor.  Our on line booking system clearly shows when the plane is available, and usually there is plenty of free time so you can fit lessons into a busy schedule. OnLine access credentials can be found here.

"How do I get started" is the question most often asked followed closely by "How much does it cost." 

Getting started

It only requires an airplane and an instructor and you have just found that at Windsock.  Email us.  Call us.  Just do it!  Also, you will eventually want to purchase your own set of headphones but for a beginning student, we can provide headphones for no additional cost.

Age Considerations

The FAA will not allow anyone to solo an aircraft unless they are 16 years of age or older. 
Further, no one will be issued a Private Pilot license until age 17.  Someone can take lessons before age 16 but we recommend those lessons start within a few months of age 16, because soloing the plane can come as soon as 10 hours after starting lessons.

The Estimated Cost to Solo

Many larger communities have formal training schools but in the Florence area all instruction is personal between you and your independent instructor.  The cost all depends on how fast you learn and how much personal time you allocate to study.  If you love flying you won't be able to put the instructional materials down for very long.  Our pricing section gives our rates but this simple scenario is an average cost to solo the aircraft remembering that your experience will be different.  Most students solo in 10 to 15 hours but we have given the longer time frame.  Instruction expense can vary a lot too because some people want or need much more ground instruction than others.  When you realize that YOU will be the only person in that plane on your solo flight you don't have to be encouraged to learn and study! 



Approx Cost

Approx Block Cost

Training Materials / Kit / Charts $190 $190
Headphones $250 $250
Flight Physical (before solo) $95 $95
Aircraft. 15 hrs @ $110 / hr or $99 / hr $1,650 $1,485
Instruction.  30 hrs @ $40 averge $1,200 $1,200

Estimated Expense to Solo:

$3,385 $3,220


The Estimated Cost to Achieve Full Private Pilot status.

The total cost to receive a private pilot license, good for life with current medical and proficiency, varies considerably based mostly on the hours necessary before your CFI will sign you off for your FAA supervised check ride.  The FAA requires 40 hours minimum with many sub-requirements concerning night flight, instrument, dual time, and cross country flights.  The more you fly the quicker you will become proficient as a pilot.   If you spread it out over 2 years you will spend more money because your skills have to be refreshed every time you take off, but taking longer spreads the cost out as well.



60 Hr Est Cost

60 Hr Est Block Cost

80 Hr Est Full Cost

80 Hr Est Block Cost

Training Materials / Kit / Charts $190 $190 $190 $190
Headphones $250 $250 $250 $250
Flight Physical (before solo) $95 $95 $95 $95
Aircraft. 60 hrs to 80 hours @ $110 / hr or $99 / hr block rate (see pricing) $6,600 $5,940 $8,800 $7,920
Estimated Instructor Time Hrs # 60 # 60 # 80 # 80
Instruction.  60/80 hrs @ Avg of $40 / hr.  Ground and air.   (varies based on student skills) $2,400 $2,400 $3,200 $3,200

Estimated Expense:

$9,535 $8,875 $12,535 $11,655


After Your Solo

Your flight training is supervised by your instructor who tells you where you can fly and the maneuvers you should practice. Many hours are flown solo by you but your instructor will be back in the plane on regular intervals to judge your progress and move you to the next step.  While the FAA requires 40 hours of flight before being eligible for the private pilot check ride,  typical hours flown are 55 and more before being ready for "the ride."  If you can fly several times a week you will be ready for "the ride" much closer to the required minimum of 40 hours.

The Ultimate Resource

The best resource we've found to research "everything" there is to know about becoming a pilot is the AOPA "Learn to Fly" site.  AOPA (Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association) is a non-profit organization and phenomenal resource that claims 70% of all pilots in the USA as members.  A quick look at just the free portions of their site will illustrate that support.  They even offer a FREE 6 month membership for students that includes full web access, all their interactive training, and their monthly magazine.  Students who join AOPA are 3 times more likely to successfully reach their goals.

We encourage you to visit their site. 

Call or email us today to talk about this life changing experience.


Send mail to with any and all questions about Windsock or to provide comments about this web site.
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