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 minimums 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 76 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) is estimated to be as follows:

Cost ElementApproximate Cost
60 hours flight time in C150 @ $100/hr.   $6,000
30 hours dual instruction @ $60/hr.   $1,800
Third Class Medical Certificate   $120
Miscellaneous pilot supplies   $330
Dues & insurance for seven months @ $110/mo.   $770
Class I Membership and Initiation Fee   $600
Sales tax on flight time and supplies   $120
FAA written Exam   $120
Flight Test Exam   $300
Total Cost   $10,640

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

BEFA Member Benefits are:

  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 instructor talent pool. 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 are shown in cost table above.) Flight time is in Hobbs hours; flight hour costs are from Tach hours, typically about 85% of Hobbs time.
  4. Recommended optional ground school is provided at significantly lower cost than commercial flight schools, whether student is a 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 $1,500 deductible ($2,500 for seaplanes).
  8. Two million dollars ($2,000,000 “smooth”) in owner’s liability insurance; $1,500 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.