Answers for You
WHAT CAN I DO WITH A PRIVATE PILOT CERTIFICATE?
Anything you can dream of! Flying can be a wonderful escape from the mundane, and it can be the gateway to experience the world in a whole new light! Every weekend at your local airport you'll find friends and pilots who are looking for fun places to fly. Your certificate can be used to fly around the area, across the country, or around the world!
Non-pilots often ask me how far I can fly in a small airplane. The answer is, "as far as I want to." My airplane has replaced all forms of commercial travel for me and my family. I have flown from coast to coast, to nearly every state and province in North America, and even across the Atlantic Ocean to Europe. I appreciate the freedom of traveling on my schedule, and flying to places that are unreachable by car or scheduled airline.
Your private pilot training will open up the world to your imagination!
WHERE ARE YOU LOCATED?
John Skittone is an independent certificated flight instructor based in northern Illinois. He can instruct in your airplane at any location in NW IL and SE WI, including Chicago Executive Airport (KPWK), Waukegan National Airport (KUGN), and Kenosha Regional Airport (KENW).
I DON'T OWN A PLANE. WHERE CAN I LEARN TO FLY?
You don't need to own an airplane to learn to fly! It is much more economical to rent. There are many options for rental aircraft for flight training in the Chicagoland area. John recommends and can instruct in an economical non-profit flying club plane for members of the Westosha Flying Club at the Kenosha Regional Airport. Rental rates start at $85/hr for a Cessna 152, or $95/hr for a Cessna 172 (insurance is included).
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO LEARN TO FLY?
The cost to learn to fly will vary greatly from student to student. Many variables impact the cost and time commitment to obtain a private pilot certificate, including choice of airplane, student and instructor time availability, and general student aptitude. The FAA mandates 40 hours, but most students should expect at least a BARE MINIMUM of 60 hours aircraft rental (approx ~$95/hr for the airplane) and at least 40 hours of instruction (~$50/hr for the instructor), plus books, club dues, exam fees, etc...
Budget at least $8,000 - $10,000 or more, but it is "pay as you go"... You pay one lesson at a time.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO LEARN TO FLY?
Every student is different, and each will progress through training at their own pace. My philosophy is that it should take a minimum of 9 months from your first flight. There is much to learn and cover in your flight training curriculum, and students learn best from hands on experience in a variety of environmental conditions. Flight conditions are different in January than they are in July, so pacing your training over several seasons will help you to absorb your training without becoming overwhelmed, and it will give you the opportunity to experience hot weather flying, cold weather flying, and everything in between.