Financing Flight School

I know there are pilots and student pilots in the community and my question is for them. How do you pay for flight school? I come from a family that is not wealthy and want to become a pilot and I do not know how to pay for it.


I took a loan out, but there are other ways to approach it. Check this website out for more info: Five Unique Ways of Paying for Flight Training - Flight Training

Do you mind me asking how much a payment was on that?

Sure, it was a 2 year lease for like $120 a month with 4 and a half interest a year.

I might go around to banks to see about that. If they are willing to

1 Like

I recommend getting a job at a fast food restaurant. Of course there is always the military.

I work at Wal-Mart. I have worked at mcdanks before.

Do you have a flight school in mind?

Shameless plug: Learn to fly gliders! You can start young (14 to solo in the US) and the skills translate really well to powered flight. Plus, half of the 1500 hours you need for your ATP can be in gliders. And gliders are way cheaper than powered aircraft.


My wife and I are currently paying for my Private Pilot license out of pocket. It’s definitely not cheap or easy, but it will save the burden of another loan down the road.

We both work in the restaurant industry. We actually work at the same restaurant as wait staff. It’s definitely not a fun job, but the hours are flexible and the money can be extremely good. For example: I worked all day today. Over the lunch shift, I made $140 in 3 hours. But, over dinner, I only made about $30. It’s hit and miss, but usually ends up being worth it. If you need a decent amount of money in a short period of time (note: it is a physically, mentally, and emotionally taxing job), serving is pretty much unparalleled for someone who has no professional experience. If you’re in your upper teens or low-mid 20s, your best bet is that.

If you pay out of pocket, expect to live on ramen if you live alone. If you live with your parents, consider yourself lucky. Each lesson, I pay $150-$200. My rates are $105/hr for the plane rental (C172, and the price includes fuel), and $40/hr for the instructor. Again, it’s not cheap. If you can’t work and pay out of pocket, there are loans available. Be very picky about who you pick for loans. You can either get a sweet deal or you can put yourself in a well of debt.

That being said, if you want your license NOW and don’t have a lot of cash on hand, you will definitely need a loan. I’ve been working on my license for about 4 months now because it’s hard to afford to fly more.

I also want to mention aviation colleges. If you hope to fly for the airlines one day, you will need a degree, and there is a huge variety of universities that can get you a degree and all of the ratings you’ll need. I can say more about those if you’re interested, but I won’t spend a lot of time typing if it’s not a consideration for you.

Let me know if you have any questions. This was typed on my iPhone so I didn’t want to spend too much time on it lol


Cheapest option: Join the military and taxpayers will take care of the costs.

More expensive way and more common way (in my opinion): Pay for some out of pocket while taking out loans.


EAA scholarships and other aviation scholarships are your best friend. Prepare as much as you can before you start training so you’re not spending money on basic procedures that you could learn on your own time at home (ex. Radio communications). But try and find scholarships and apply for all the ones you’re eligible for but the EAA are some of the most notable ones. Or if I were you try and apply for an Air Academy scholarship in the mean time with your local EAA Chapter, you can learn a lot from the camps and everything paid for.

Just make sure you use your money wisely since it’s obviously a limited resource and don’t take long breaks in between lessons. It’ll end up costing you a lot more.

1 Like

Florida tech aviation

Ok. Well I think Walmart is good for now unless you are eligible for a higher-paying job.

How old are you? As if you are young enough… You can join the Civil Air Patrol and get some lessons to start out…

Other than that; I recommend getting into Hot Air Ballooning as the lessons are cheap and you can get fancy scholarships! Then the big cost… The Balloon (40,000+)

If I had to do it over again today, I would go out and buy a 172 or a Cherokee. Find an instructor that will work on the side for cash (they all will). Get your PVT and INST then sell the plane. You will be able to back out of it what you purchased it for so the only cost would be fuel, instructor, mx, and tie-downs. Do it quick though, you want to get out from under the plane before the annual is due! Then find a part 61 school to get your commercial at. ($10K or so).

I was lucky. I come from a family who helped me pay mine and my brothers along the way. I would find someplace cheap as well if your going to do out of the pocket. For where I live a C172 is usually between 110-125 an hour wet to rent and 45-50 per hour for an instructor.

1 Like

Lik N1DG, I was very lucky and my family helped me most of the way. Try to pay yourself, pick up a job and take out small loans to pay.

Having the same problem here in Singapore. Too hard for me to fund myself. I dont even know where to start

There are many ways and even on the recent documentary about EasyJet, one pilot funded it by his parents remortgaging the house, there are no shortages of possibilities to funding it but be sensible and only take the drastic options if its something you really want to do. At the end of the day in some cases you can pay off the debt within a few years due to the high salary. I agree with the military option though personally.

1 Like