43 Hour Private Pilot Course FAQ

Who can take the course?

To qualify for this course, you must be 17 years old on the day of the flight test.  You must be reasonably healthy and have enough endurance to fly daily for 14 days.  You must read, speak, and write English,  You must be a US Citizen, or obtain clearance from the Transportation Security Administration.  A US Passport or Birth Certificate, and Government Photo ID is required.  You must be able to obtain an FAA Third Class Medical prior to arriving for the course.  You must apply for and receive an FAA Student Pilot Certificate prior to beginning training.  The application process for a student pilot certificate should begin 4 to 6 weeks before starting the course.  Failure to obtain an FAA Medical and/or Student Pilot Certificate will make it impossible to complete the training in the time alloted, and will result in loss of the $1200 deposit.

What is included in the course price?

This course includes 43 hours of "wet" aircraft rental.  Up to 31 hours of instruction in flight, 10 hours of solo, and use of the aircraft for the checkride.  Ground instruction and review is included, however, it is important to understand that there is not enough time to do a full ground school during the training, so students must prepare before arrival.  Lodging is also included during the training. The practical test fee of $550 is also included.   Successful completion of the course is NOT guaranteed.  I do everything possible to help the student finish the course in the allotted time, but not everyone is capable.  Any additional instruction required is provided at $175 per hour, additional nights of lodging are $65 per night.  It is required that the student will have studied ground material and be as prepared as possible for the required FAA Knowledge Test prior to arriving for the course.  There is an extensive list of excellent ground school resources located here.  

Course Payment Terms

Deposit to hold dates - $1200,   First Payment $3857 upon arrival,   Second Payment at 17 hours $2948,   Checkride Fee  $550

Price is reduced $910 if lodging is not desired.

The checkride fee of $550 is paid directly to the examiner in cash.

Total   $8555

.  Extensive time is blocked out of the schedule for the aircraft and instructor to accomodate the training, therefore, there is a $1200 non refundable deposit required in order to reserve dates.  The deposit secures the training dates and is applied to the end of the course.  Upon arrival, half of the remaining course tuition, and full boarding fee - $3857 - is due, payable, and earned by Blue Ridge Sport Flight.  At the completion of 17 hours, the second payment of $2948 is due.  Should the student elect to discontinue training at any time prior to the completion of 17 hours, for any reason, the first payment, and the deposit will not be refunded,  if the student discontinues after 17 hours, flight time used will be billed at $175 per hour, and the deposit will be forfeited.

Students are expected to fly a minimum of 4 hours per day when weather, aircraft, and instructor are available.  On most days, the flying window is from sun up to sun down, at any time the conditions allow.  If for any reason the student elects to fly less than 4 hours on any safely flyable training day, the student will be billed for the full 4 hours.

  While it is very unusual for weather to keep us from completing the training in the allotted time, weather delays are a normal part of general aviation.  Inability to complete the course due to weather is not grounds for a refund, instead, Blue Ridge Sport Flight will work with the student to reschedule or extend the training course as needed.  If the aircraft or instructor become unavailable for training at the fault of Blue Ridge Sport Flight, any unused tuition will be refunded to the student at the current published hourly rate, or the student may reschedule. 

 The course is NOT guaranteed, and is not suited to all students, if the student needs more time, Greg will provide any additional required hours or days at the published hourly rate of $175.  The examiner's fee is included in the course price, however, the examiner is not an employee of Blue Ridge Sport Flight.  The flight test requires good weather and is subject to the examiner's schedule if the test must be rescheduled due to weather or unsatisfactory performance.

What to study before arriving for the course?

To succeed in this course it is imperative that the student obtain and work through study materials.  I strongly recommend Rod Machado's Handbook and Workbook.  Here's the link:

 Rod Machado's Private Pilot Handbook

Rod Machado's Private Pilot E-Workbook

Study the entire book and work on the quizes provided in the workbook.

The Pilot Operting Handbook in the useful kinhs section should be read.

What is a typical training day?

The course is 14 days long, with at least 4 hours of flying each day that weather allows.  It is expected, and required, that we will fly at least 4 hours each day, and that you will be studying when not flying.  In general, we start shortly after sun up, and finish around sunset.  While I make every effort to keep the course fun, it is a lot of work, and you will need to expect to be fully immersed for the 14 days.  Please leave family behind, or at least make sure they understand that you will not be available 90% of the time! We try very hard to stay ahead of schedule.  It is expected that we will have a couple days of weather, we can use that time to work on paperwork, ground instruction, and oral test prep, or just a day off to relax and enjoy the mountains.  At the start of the course, Blue Ridge Sport Flight will schedule an examination with an FAA Designated Pilot Examiner to coincide with the completion of the course. 


Blue Ridge Sport Flight maintains hull and liability insurance on the Cessna C-172 trainer in favor of Blue Ridge Sport Flight.  We extend $100,000 in third party liability to the student during solo flight, however, the student is not covered for damage occuring to the Cessna arising out of the student's negligence.  The student is expected to carry non-owned aircraft insurance during solo flight.  Blue Ridge Sport Flight can assist with obtaining this insurance at the time of solo.

Other important things to know.

All required charts, log books, flight planning materials, and unlimited ASA Prepware access will be provided during the training.

It is possible to break the course up into several trips if necessary, but this will usually add hours to the training. 

This course requires an FAA Medical, which should be acquired before coming to Hendersonville.  The typical cost is $150.  I can assist with helping you find a local AME to do the exam.

The FAA Student Pilot Certificate must be applied for 4 to 6 weeks before starting training to insure enough time for processing.  The certificate is free.  The student must contact Blue Ridge Sport Flight to complete the application.  It is also possible to complete the application with an FAA Designated Pilot Examiner, or an FAA Inspector.

TSA requires that a passport or birth certificate be presented prior to beginning training, please be sure to bring one along.

FAA Medical Examiner Search

Lodging is included in the course price.  If for some reason you prefer to stay off airport, there are plenty of places to stay around Hendersonville.  The course price is reduced by $700 if you stay off airport.

Anthony's Room for Rent

The Red Roof Inn

The Days Inn

Quality Inn

Best Western

Holiday Inn

Highland Lake Inn

The Mill House Lodge

Mountain Inn and Suites

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