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Funding your training

In a perfect world, money for flight training would grow on trees, and obtaining your pilot certificate would be only a matter of time, not cash. But training to become a certificated pilot is an expense that forces most of us to prioritize the greenbacks over other considerations.

Stick to a budget

Many flight instructors recommend that students fly at least two times a week to prevent rust from building up between lessons. While the immediate costs can add up quickly doing this, the overall cost to obtain your certificate would decrease.

Visit your local flight school to find out how much it costs for ground and flight instruction, per hour. Then, look at the rental rate for the various aircraft on the flight line. You’ll be able to pick a trainer that meets your budget and then calculate your weekly flying costs, including aircraft and instructor.

If you find that you can’t afford to fly twice a week, consider flying once a week until you near a training milestone (like your first solo) and then step it up to twice a week until after you reach your goal.


A scholarship can go a long way toward defraying the cost of training. And there are many aviation scholarships out there, if you know where to look. Don’t assume that they only exist for college students. Dig around, ask around, and do your research.

To help you get started, here’s a list of scholarships, along with some advice on how to make your application stand out.

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