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 a minimum of 2 weeks before starting the course.  The required FAA Knowledge Test must be completed before arrival.  Blue Ridge Sport Flight can provide the required endorsement once you have completed your home study course.  Failure to obtain an FAA Medical and/or Student Pilot Certificate, or completing the written test prior to arrival, will make it impossible to complete the training in the time alloted, and will result in loss of any tuition paid and the $1350 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 for the oral exam is included, however, it is important to understand that this is a FLIGHT taining course, and 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 examiner fee of $850 is NOT included in the course price.  This fee must be paid in cash directly to the examiner.   Successful completion of the course is NOT guaranteed.  Blue Ridge Sport Flight will do everything possible to help the student finish the course in the allotted time, but not everyone is capable.

  It is required that the student will have studied ground material, including the FAA Handbook Of Aeronautical Knowledge, The FAA Airplane Flying Handbook, The Cessna C172M POH, the applicable portions of the FAR/AIM, and the ASA Private Pilot Oral Guide, and to be as prepared as possible for the required FAA Knowledge Test prior to arriving for the course.  It is required that the written knowledge test be completed before arrival.  There is an extensive list of excellent ground school resources located here.  

Course Payment Terms

Deposit to hold dates - $1200 plus $150 examiner booking fee.   First Payment $5530 due, earned, and payable 5 Business days prior to arrival.  If mailing a check, please take into account mailing times.   Second Payment at 18 hours $4685.  Payment mailing address is:  1194 Eastbrook Dr, Hendersonville, NC 28792.

Cash or Check Total $11,415

The checkride fee of  $850 is paid directly to the examiner in cash.

Credit card payments are accepted with a 3% processing fee.  We can invoice through Paypal for Credit Card pyments.

Payment of deposit constitutes agreement with the terms set forth on this page.

Important Things to Know

.  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.  5 Business days prior to arrival, half of the remaining course tuition, and full boarding fee - $5530 - is due, payable, and earned by Blue Ridge Sport Flight.  At the completion of 18 hours, if the student elects to continue training, the second payment of $4684 is due, payable and fully earned by and to Blue Ridge Sport Flight LLC.  All prices are for cash or check, credit cards will be charged an additional 3% processing fee.  Should the student elect to discontinue training at any time, for any reason, all course payments made, and the deposit, will be forfeited.  Payment of the deposit constitutes agreement with the terms of payment.

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.  All flight instruction is conducted under the supervision of an FAA Certificated Flight Instructor.  All students must comply with the all FAA regulations, and with the lawful instructions given by their instructor.  Any student found to be operating the aircraft in a careless and reckless manner, in violation of FAA regultions, or not in compliance with their instructor's directions, shall have their instruction immediately terminated, and any and all tuition payments will be forfeited, and the student's actions may be reported to FAA.  Blue Ridge Sport Flight LLC reserves the right to stop a student training session at the end of the first half of training for any reason. 

  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, Blue Ridge Sport Flight LLC can provide additional required hours or days at the published hourly rate of $248, depending on instructor and aircraft schedule availability.   Due to advance scheduling of students and examiners,  it is usually necessary to schedule additional training at a later date.  It is possible to finish in 40 hours, however, FAA statistics show that only a very small percentage of student pilots complete training in the minimum required time of 40 hours.  In fact, only 50% of students finish in less than 70 hours.  This 40 hour course is best for folks that already have experience, otherwise the 60 hour course is much more realistic. 

The examiner is not an employee of Blue Ridge Sport Flight, and not under our control.  Blue Ridge Sport Flight will make every effort to schedule a checkride at the end of training, but we can not guarantee examiner availablility.  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.  If the flight test is not completed due to weather or unsatisfactory performance, the course will be considered completed, and any additional time required to complete the course will be at the published rates.  Student are encouraged to contact an FAA DPE to discuss the checkride.

What to study before arriving for the course?

To succeed in this course it is imperative that the student obtain and work through all required study materials.  Accelerated Flight Training Courses are focused on the flight portion of the training.  While there will be time to review material, there will not be enough time for a ground school course.  I strongly recommend Rod Machado's Handbook and Workbook, or Gold Seal Online Ground School.  Here are the links:


Blue Ridge Sport Flight Online Ground School

Rod Machado's Private Pilot Manual

Rod Machado's Private Pilot E-Workbook

It is important to understand that the above ground material is for preparing for the written test only.  The student must also study the Handbook Of Aeronautical Knowledge.

The Pilot Operating Handbook in the useful links section should also be studied.

Take free practice tests Sportys


Almost anyone can learn to fly.  Failure to study thoroughly prior to arriving for the course is the primary reason that stops folks from finishing an accelerated course in the allotted time.


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.  Training takes place at 8NC9, The Western North Carolina Air Museum Airport, in Hendersonville North Carolina.  Hendersonville is a fun, and challenging place to learn.  The runway is located at 2084' above sea level, and is 2500' of turf.   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, the student is not covered for damage occuring to the Cessna arising out of the student's negligence.  The student is advised to carry non-owned aircraft insurance during all solo flight.  Blue Ridge Sport Flight can assist with obtaining this insurance at the time of solo.

Other important things to know.

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.  Blue Ridge Sport Flight can assist with locating a local AME to do the exam.

The FAA Student Pilot Certificate must be applied for no later than 2 weeks before starting training to ensure 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 all US Citizens provide a Passport or birth certificate prior to beginning training, please be sure to bring one along.

FAA Medical Examiner Search


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