Getting a Canadian pilot’s licence [Part 4: The Cost]

Other posts relating to getting a Canadian pilot’s licence:

Aviation is not a hobby for the light-wallet-ed. While the ground school portion has a fairly standard price, the cost of flying is a different story.

Ground School Costs

Ground school usually costs $300 for just the instruction. With the internet being what it is, you can also do ground school for somewhat cheaper online (again I am referring to the Private Pilot level and not the other ones). On top of that you can expect to pay roughly $200 for a “Ground School Kit” offered by the school of your choice. So not taking into account any expenses you incur getting to and from the school (none if you go with the online option) you’re looking at about $500 + tax before you get off the ground.

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From In the sky and around CYHM

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Flying Costs

Once you start flying, the cost grows exponentially. For a regular flight lesson you can expect to pay for three things on an hourly basis:

  • Ground briefing
  • Airplane
  • Instructor

While gas prices were high, some places also added a fuel surcharge.

Ground briefings are usually about $50, the airplane anywhere from $100 – $150 (for single engine Cessna 172-like planes) and the instructor’s time another $50 – $80. The price depends on your location (for example Buttonville’s Toronto Airways charge [last I heard] ~$140 for the airplane and about $70 for the instructor whereas Brantford’s Flying Club charge $100 for the plane and $50 for the instructor). I would suggest budgeting $250 per hour of flight lesson when you begin and adjusting once you get a feel for the prices.

Given that you need a minimum of 45 hours of flight for the PPL, 25 of which are dual and 20 of which are solo, the estimate is $6250 (dual) + $4750 (solo) = $11,000. This is of course assuming you don’t end up doing a month of dual landings like yours truly. The average time it takes a pilot to get a licence is about 60 hours so budgeting $15,000 is a safe bet.

So overall, you can expect to pay from $15,000 – $20,000 for a Private Pilot Licence in Canada and that’s just to fly one of these!

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From In the sky and around CYHM

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Update: If you’re in Canada, you can deduct flight training on your taxes.