For years my boyfriend has dreamed of getting his pilot’s license. I remember when we first started to date, he would take me to the airport to hang out. Seriously, the airport! That’s when you know your man is passionate about flying. We found a lot of common ground here because I too always wanted to fly. That’s right. I even joined the U.S.
Navy to become a pilot only to find my eardrums don’t pop. I was discharged and crushed. So, when Brian shared his love of flying I couldn’t help but research all the ways to get him there. I found out it’s not as hard as I thought to get your private license, and buying an aircraft of your own is not strictly for the rich and famous.
The brain loves the Cessna brand. So we took a closer look at why Cessna is probably our best choice, how much it costs to own a light aircraft, and what we have to do to get our pilot’s license.
Why A Cessna?
In the early 1950s, adventurous Americans favored the high wing singles made by Cessna Aircraft Company. In the 1970s, Cessna built about 100,000 aircraft, more than any other singleengine airplane manufacturer. Then between 1987 and 1996, Cessna ran into financial troubles and their production line ground to a halt.
However, the company made a comeback in 1997 and began to restore its highly popular Cessna 172 and Cessna 182 models. These newer versions were even better than the older models, which had been popular for over 40 years.
The response was so overwhelmingly positive that they manufactured 360 models of these two classic lines. Cessna’s small aircraft have proven popular with pilots for decades because they offer the perfect blend of flying features and ease of use.
How much does it cost to own your own light aircraft?
On average, a Cessna will cost in the ballpark from $50,000 to $80,000. If you were to buy a 1975 Cessna 182P, you’d probably spend $75,000 dollars, which you could pay through a 20-year loan. Your fixed costs for the hanger, insurance, and general inspection would be around $4,700 a year and your variable costs for 100 flight hours for everything from gas to maintenance would be around $11,500 a year In total, adding up the purchase cost, the fixed costs, and 100 flying hours variable costs would cost you around $19,000 a year.
How do you become a licensed pilot?
Your first step in becoming a pilot will be to find a Cessna Pilot Center near you. On average, the fees are about $9,000.
Your second step will be to take a discovery flight with your instructor to become familiar with the airplane and the airport, as well as the thrilling experience of taking over the controls for the first time.
Your third step will be to start your flight training. You will use their interactive flight simulator to complement your actual flight experience. To get in some extra practice outside the Cessna Flight Training System, you could even buy your own flight simulator.
They are available from online pilot shops like pilotmall.com. One good choice for an at-home flight simulator course would be the Flight Training Cockpit Advanced Panel Cessna Bundle because it has almost everything to replicate a real Cessna like flying experience from starting up your airplane to shutting it down.
Your fourth step will be to take your written and flight examinations. Before your flight exam with a FAA approved examiner, you will take a written test. Naturally, your success will be determined by your confidence level, as well as how much study, practice, and learning you put in before the examination.
Your fifth step will be to obtain your aviation Medical Certificate. You will need to get a complete medical examination prior to getting your Student Pilot Certificate, and there is a list of health conditions that you must meet before you are permitted to get your pilot certificate.
Your sixth step will be to make your first solo flight. However, your instructor will have to decide whether or not you are ready.
Once we get our pilot’s certificates, we should get as much experience as possible. Prior to deciding what aircraft to buy, it’s advisable to rent flying time to build up our knowledge and skills flying different Cessna models.