It seems very difficult to find this information on any legitimate sites, so I'm going to ask here. I know nothing about flying, and this wouldn't happen for years to come, but I am curious.

Let's say I want to someday go into my backyard, get into my plane, and have flight to start the morning, then land back in my property (which would obviously have to be quite large).

How much, generally speaking, would ALL of the following cost me:

-Flight lessons, from complete noob to completely done

-Small, modest, low-tech, possibly used, two seater personal plane

-reasonable range for the upkeep costs of a plane (fuel, maintenance, etc.)

I realize that this is difficult question to answer, but I'm looking for a very general, rough idea. At least an order of magnitude estimate.

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ It can vary greatly from country to country - where are you asking about? $\endgroup$
    – Ben
    Jan 9, 2016 at 7:14
  • $\begingroup$ If you're in the US, we've already covered the costs of training and the costs of ownership. But there's huge variation, especially for ownership, so the best we can do is tell you what factors to consider (as in the questions I linked); we can't tell you what the costs will be for your personal situation and whatever model of plane might fit your specific needs. $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    Jan 9, 2016 at 16:13

1 Answer 1


As Ben says, it depends a lot on which country you're in: Both due to natural differences in the cost of things (Germany is more expensive than, say, Vietnam for instance) but also because different countries have different requirements for how much experience you need before they hand you a license.

But as an example let's go with the USA, based on the prices from my old club in MA:

  • Going from zero experience to a private pilot license will typically cost you around \$8-9k. A bit less if you learn quickly or a bit more if you need extra practice. If you already bought your own plane then this will be reduced quite a lot. The exat figures will depend on how much time you need with an instructor vs how much time solo but you can, ballpark estimate, halve the cost by using your own aircraft. This only works in some countries, though. Others (including EASA in Europe, I think) require a 'company' aircraft.

  • A basic plane will cost anywhere between \$15-25,000. The cheapest I've seen recently was just over \$13k but it looked like junk.

  • Fuel costs around \$6.50 per gallon and you use anywhere from 5-8 gallons per hour, typically. Maintenance depends a lot on the plane, my old flying club used to spend about \$3500/year on each of their Cessna 172s. You also have insurance on top of that, which is likely to be around \$2.5k

  • $\begingroup$ A PPL should be cheaper than that if you own the plane. Maybe. Your estimate is for learning in a rental. Of course, a cheap older plane, may end up costing you even more in maintenance depending on your luck. $\endgroup$ Jan 9, 2016 at 11:29
  • $\begingroup$ True, I hadn't considered that. Have now edited my answer. $\endgroup$
    – os1
    Jan 9, 2016 at 11:51