Getting Started

Getting started is the easy part! Give us a call and take an introductory lesson for only $139. You will meet our friendly staff and instructors, get a short ground lesson and you’ll even get to fly in the left seat!


Earning your license is easy but there are a few requirements that must be met before you can take your checkride.

1. Must be 17 years old (16 to solo the airplane)
2. Be able to maintain a 3rd Class Medical Certificate (if you can pass a sports physical, you will easily get the medical certificate)
3. Pass the FAA written exam
4. Fly a minimum of 40 hrs of which, the following requirements must be met

Of this time, you must fly a cross country which is greater than 150nm with full stop landings at 3 different airports (on leg with a strait line distance greater than 50 nm)

5. Log 3 hrs in preparation for your flight exam

6. Pass an Oral and Flight exam commonly known as the Private Pilot Checkride Exam

How much does it cost?

The following description meets the minimum standards set forth by the Federal Aviation Administration for FAR Part 61 schools, such as ours. These prices are subject to change and are determined on your ability and frequency of flight lessons.

$6,570  Thirty hours dual instruction in Cessna 172

$1,640  Ten hours solo flight in Cessna 172 Aircraft

$  240    Necessary books and equipment

$  120    Medical exam fee for Third Class Medical

$  175     FAA Written Test

$  550    Ground School

$  700    Private Pilot Checkride Examiner’s Fee

$  525    Aircraft for Checkride

$  300    Aircraft Renter’s Insurance

$10,820   Total

** Please note that the above are the FAA minimum required times. The national average total time runs about 65-70 hours. This is determined by your ability and frequency of flight lessons.

How long will it take to get my license?

The FAA requires a minimum of 40 hours to get your pilot certificate. However, most people who take lessons at a rate of once per week will earn their certificate in about 60-70 hours which is the national average.

How safe is it?

There is a saying among pilots that “The most dangerous part of flying, is the drive to the airport.” We strive to keep it this way. All our aircraft undergo routine maintenance at 100 hour and yearly intervals. Flying is one of the safest (and most fun) activities you can do!

What is the difference between part 61 and part 141?

Harford Air is a Part 61 school which means that you take lessons at your own pace and that lessons are geared towards your interests, abilities, and preferences. Part 141 schools are more structured and tend to follow a strict syllabus.

How do I pick an instructor?

All of our instructors are experienced professionals and if you prefer one instructor over another, that’s fine!

Are there any scholarships?

Harford Air does not offer any scholarships but there are many different scholarships available through different organizations such as the AOPA and EAA.

What is ground school?

Ground school is a 10 week class taught once a week. You will learn about navigation, weather, instruments, and some basic aerodynamics. The class is geared to helping you gain all the knowledge you will need to pass the FAA written exam.

Do you have to take ground school before learning to fly?

Many of our students take ground school before or concurrent with their lessons but you will have to finish the ground school and written exam before getting your license.

When will I actually begin flying?

Right away! Your first lesson will put you in the pilot’s seat so call us and schedule your first lesson today!

How long does a lesson last?

There is no set time for a lesson since it will depend on where you are in your training. During the initial stages, you will be flying for about an hour at a time and will stay relatively close to the airport. During the cross country phase of your training, your flights could last a few hours and you will be flying to airports that are further away.

What is the checkride like?

The checkride consists of two portions, an oral portion, and a practical or flying portion. The oral will test you on your knowledge of weather, map and navigational skills, and regulations. The flying portion is just like any training flight, and you will perform all the maneuvers you practiced during your training. Nearly all our students pass and our instructors will not send you for your checkride until they are confident you are ready!

What if I move out of the area?

If you move out of the area before you finish your license, you can continue where you left off at another flight school. If you get your license and move out of the area, you can still rent airplanes from other FBOs.

Does my pilot certificate expire?

Your pilot’s certificate will never expire, however, there are currency and medical requirements that must be maintained to continue to fly. Even if you get out of flying for a while, with a little recurrent training, you can be back in the air in just a few hours!

Can I rent an airplane after I get my license?

Definitely! Nearly all of our students continue to rent after obtaining their license although some do purchase their own aircraft. One of the most exciting aspects of getting your license is being able to fly all types of different aircraft and many of our former students go on to get their tail wheel and complex endorsements in Harford Air aircraft!

From your first lesson you will feel the Harford Air difference.
Not only will you receive a top-quality aviation education,
you will become part of our community.