So you want to know how much learning how to fly will set you back, huh?

Well, my first suggestion is to really shop around. In North America particularly, there are a lot of Flying Clubs that do non-profit training. And then there are the companies that try to make a living off of you. Don't put yourself in a learning atmosphere you don't enjoy; go to your prospective flight school and meet the staff.

Before you can nail down an exact price, you first have to nail down exactly what you want. Do you want a Recreational Pilot's Permit, a Private Pilot's License, or a Commercial Pilot's License? Do you want a Float Plane Endorsement? Do you want to fly at night?

Keep in mind that as gas prices change, the cost of the lessons will change. 90% of the course cost is in aircraft rentals, and 75% of the aircraft rental fee is for fuel (most companies rent aircraft with fuel included in the hourly fee).

Here are some prices from one of the least expensive schools in British Columbia, operating at Victoria Flying Club. The fees include all course materials, government medical exams, testing fees, and of course training itself. The fees reflect minimum government requirements for each license and some pilots will end up paying a bit more. Fees are current as of September 23, 2003 when aviation fuel was $0.75 per Litre. Prices do not include tax.

Recreational Pilot's Permit CA$3861 US$2846
Private Pilot's License ... CA$6341 US$4675
Night Rating ........ CA$1755 US$1294 VFR Over The Top .... CA$2070 US$1526 Mountain Flying .... CA$ 770 US$ 567 Aerobatics ......... CA$1910 US$1408 Advanced Aerobatics . CA$ 740 US$ 545 Multi-Engine Rating . CA$2367 US$1745 Instrument Rating ... CA$5495 US$4051
Commercial Pilot's License CA$8565 US$6315 (requires PPL in addition to this cost)
Aerobatics .......... CA$1910 US$1408 Advanced Aerobatics . CA$ 740 US$ 545 Mountain Flying ..... CA$ 770 US$ 567 Multi-Engine Rating . CA$2367 US$1745
Instructor's Rating ....... CA$5360 US$3952
There will be a few less expensive place, but not by much; after you take into consideration all the extra "fees" you'll have to pay, the prices are pretty close to the same. Each prospective pilot learns differently; you'll have to take this merely as a guideline.

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