To obtain a Private Pilot Certificate, the FAA requires the applicant to hold at least a Third Class Medical Certificate and pass both a written, oral and a practical flight test. An applicant must have gained at least the following minimum flight experience:

  • 40 hours of flight instruction, (per FAA CFR Part 61)including:
    • 20 hours of dual instruction time
    • 10 hours minimum solo time (5 hours of cross-country)
See our Membership Information

These minima are established by the FAA. Realistically, the average person will require more than these minimum hours to complete the rating due to the increased number of subject areas in which a pilot must be proficient. The national average is about 73 flight hours. Expect pre and post flight one on one ground sessions with your flight instructor that is independent of the formal classroom Ground School, (see below).
The approximate cost for obtaining the private pilot certificate (based on 60 hours of flight time) can be estimated as follows:

 * 60 hours of flight time in a C-150 @$92/hour ........... $5520
 * 30 hours of dual instruction @ $40/hour .................$1200
 * Third class medical certificate .......................... $95
 * Miscellaneous Pilot Supplies ............................ $300
 * Seven months Dues and Insurance @ $100/month .............$700
 * Membership and Initiation Fee............................ $600
 * Sales taxes on flight time and supplies ................. $512
 * FAA Written Exam .........................................$150
 * Flight Test Exam ........................................ $300

Total .................................................... $9,377

Generally expect to spend $9,000 to $10,000.

Unforeseen events can expand the flight time required. No allowance was made above for

  • Flight lesson frequency schedule – (10 hours per month minimum flight hours recommended, but not required)
  • Possible weather, health or mechanical delays
  • Student adaptation to the flight environment

GROUND SCHOOL

Formal Ground School can be done with home/online study. Preferred, if able, is formal classroom instruction. If a Boeing employee,
Boeing covers tuition for their employees who take approved Ground School classroom curriculum through accredited colleges. i.e., Renton Technical College, (RTC), or Everett Community College, (ECC), have BEFA designed specific 60 hour evening or day (3 hrs/day, 2 days a week)
ground school classes. These qualify for full tuition reimbursement with C or better final grade. (These classes were previously offered in the old Boeing internal Off-Hours LEAD program). Employees, see your Boeing LTP for voucher. These classes are now also open to the retirees,
family members and the general public as they are at a public college. Current price through 2014 is $425 at RTC, to approx $465 at ECC, and includes all books and supplies needed for the class. Contact the colleges for enrollment. Boeing nor BEFA enrolls students, this is done
through the respective college now. Green River CC, (GRCC) also has (as of 2012) a Boeing employee vouched Ground School class.

BEFA members benefit because:

  1. The quality of training at BEFA is stressed through its programmed training curriculum and phase check system, monitored by BEFA’s Board safety officer.
  2. We have a very deep, consistent talent pool here. High time career CFI’s with many thousands of hours of instruction given instruct here, and many have ATP’s.
  3. Pilot’s logged flight time costs less by BEFA’s not-for-profit fleet charging on tach hour rates. (Hobbs Hours shown above. Tach time is typically about 85% of Hobbs Time)
  4. Recommended optional ground school is provided at significantly lower cost than commercial flight schools, (whether Boeing employee or not).
  5. Training within the Seattle area prepares pilots to fly into small and large controlled and uncontrolled airports and all types of airspace with confidence.
  6. Flying in Western Washington broadens pilot’s exposure to most types of weather and terrain they would find anywhere, and exercises real-world decision making skills.
  7. BEFA’s insurance policy protects both BEFA and the pilot. Most FBO’s policies give no protection to the pilot at all. At other places, the pilot can be held liable for the cost of any damages as well as daily charges as long as the aircraft is out of service. At BEFA, your maximum liability is the $1000 deductible.($2500 for seaplanes)
  8. Two million dollars ($2,000,000 “smooth”) in owner’s liability insurance. $1,000 deductible on hull damage.
  9. Prepares the student for a professional “Flight Department” environment if looking for an aviation career, with a comfortable social environment of like minded people.