Whether you want to fly as a career or just learn to fly as a hobby, the first certificate or license you will most likely earn is a Private Pilot Certificate. It requires a minimum of 20 hours of ground training and at least 35 hours of flight training — though most people find they need more flight training time than that minimum number of hours. The average would be closer to 50 hours, though it varies considerably by individual.
Your Private Pilot Certificate is good for life; however, you must take a medical exam — and pass it — every two to five year (depending on your age), as well as take a flight test or review with an instructor every two years to verify you are still proficient as a pilot.
A Private Pilot course that includes ground school, flight training, your books plus both the written FAA exam and an FAA flight exam will cost you approximately US $10,000 with the minimum FAA flight training hours. If your goal is just be a recreational pilot, you can learn to fly at most U.S. and European airports. However, if your dream is to fly professionally for an airline, you will want to attend a professional flight training school, preferably one that is both accredited and has a good reputation with the FAA. That training, to earn the certificates you will need to prepare to fly for an airline, will take approximately 12-15 months. If you would like more details on how this works, check out www.pea.com or call Phoenix East Aviation at 1-386-258-0703 worldwide or in the U.S. toll free at 1-800-868-4359.