Getting Started: Take a Dream Flight

Like anything in life, taking flight lessons and logging hours in an airplane comes with a price tag (more on that below). But before you go busting out the big bucks on flying lessons, we encourage you to take a "dream flight." A dream flight is basically your first flight lesson, but for a discounted rate. You would normally pay $103 for the training you receive during the dream flight, but PPI will only charge you $80! You'll get to spend some time with an instructor on the ground learning about flying and then you'll get to fly an airplane for a half hour. Yup, you get to operate the controls! This gives you the opportunity to see if flying is really for you before you spend too much time or money on training. You're welcome to bring a friend or two with you as well for no additional charge.

To schedule a dream flight, you can contact our friends at Purdue Aviation, LLC - they manage our aircraft and help us bring new pilots (that's you!) on board. Tell the front desk at Purdue Aviation that you would like to schedule a PPI dream flight, and they will pair you up with an instructor at a time which is convenient for you. Dream flights can be done at (virtually) any time, as long as there is an available flight instructor to take you up. If you would like to take a friend up with you on your dream flight, that's no problem! Just make sure to request a four-seat plane, and note that your friend will be strictly a passenger - there are no flight controls in the back seats!

If you decide you'd like to join Purdue Pilots after your dream flight, we'll give you a $20 rebate, bringing the cost of your first lesson down to $60. Please make sure you fill out the dream flight form and turn it in to one of the officers at any PPI meeting or at office hours. Without this form, we cannot give you your rebate. If you have any questions feel free to contact any of PPI's officers.

Dream Flight Form

Learn to Fly with PPI

You've taken the dream flight and decided that you want to earn your pilot's license. Follow these simple steps and you'll be on your way!

Membership in PPI brings you lower flight fees and better insurance than you'll find elsewhere (more about club benefits here).
We rely on the excellent instructors at Purdue Aviation to train our pilots. Simply contact them and they will take care of the rest!
That's it, you're ready to go! Have a great time up there and make sure you come to club meetings and tell us your stories.

P.S. If you're an international student, you need to do a few more things. We've got a nice guide for you here.

Flight Training Costs

Flying involves a significant monetary investment and there's really no getting around that. However, there are several things you can do to lower your costs. The table below shows several different cost breakdowns. The first column shows the minimum cost to get your pilot's license with PPI. We assume that you'll only need the mandatory 30 hours of dual instruction and 10 hours of solo flight. Joining PPI lets you save money on ground instruction by studying with other student pilots instead of learning in a more formal setting with an instructor. You would be doing your training in our Cessna 150 at $85/hr with one of Purdue Aviation's instructors ($48/hr).

Item Minimum Cost With PPI Avg Cost with PPI Avg Cost with Purdue Aviation, LLC
PPI Initiation Fee $65 $65 N/A
PPI Semester Dues (2 sem.) $100 $100 N/A
Dual Flight Training $3990 $5320 $6115
Solo Flight Training $850 $850 $1049
Ground Training $0 $440
Aviation Headset $150
FAA Medical Exam $90
FAA Written Exam $135
Flight Test Examiner Fee $400
Flight Test Aircraft Rental (1.5 hr) $128 $128 $158
Totals $5908 $7238 $8577

The second column shows a more typical cost. Rather than 30 hours of dual instruction, we assume you'll need about 40. Getting your license in the minimum 30 hours is definitely possible, but many students end up taking more time due to weather, maintenance and scheduling-induced cancellations which slow down the learning process.

The final column shows an average cost if you did your training with Purdue Aviation rather than PPI. We assume you would be flying a comparable aircraft: their Cessna 152, which costs $98/hr (plus tax). Like the second column, we allow for a more typical dual instruction time of 40 hours.

It is pretty clear that training with PPI can save you a fair chunk of change! That minimum cost also looks much more attractive than the "typical" cost, right? This difference will be a function of your abilities, motivation, and study habits. We have found that students who fly often and study between lessons are able to earn their license in fewer hours than those who fly less frequently and study less.

One important cost consideration that we haven't factored in to this analysis is liability insurance. The FAA does not require that pilots have liability insurance, but you'll be glad you have it if you ever get into an accident. Liability insurance typically costs between $200 and $250 per year from providers like AOPA or Avemco Insurance. However, Purdue Pilots already has liability insurance for our members so there is no need for you to purchase any! We can only insure you when you fly our planes though; if you fly a different plane you will not be covered and will need to acquire your own insurance. It is important to note that FBO's like Purdue Aviation typically do not have liability insurance for pilots.

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