Save Money Flying Your Airplane!

Save Money Flying Your Airplane!

Flying can be expensive!

Flight schools typically charge about $10,000 for instruction required to become a Private Pilot.

The Sport Pilot certificate is less expensive, at about $6,000, but still not cheap.

You can fly an Ultralight aircraft that doesn’t require a pilot certificate, but you still should get training, typically about $2,000, to be a safe pilot.

Aircraft aren’t cheap, either.

A new four-seat airplane costs $150,000 or more. A two-seat Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) typically is more than $100,000. Even used aircraft that are older than their pilots can cost $25,000 or more. Then there’s the cost of going flying.

The typical pilot spends $5,000 to $10,000 a year on aviation including aircraft loans, insurance, hangar rental, fuel, required annual maintenance, training, and memberships.

To keep “current” on skills and experience, many general aviation pilots come up with excuses to go flying, such as flying to a distant airport for what’s referred to as a “hundred-dollar hamburger.”

What’s the solution for bringing down the cost of going up? Manage your budget wisely.

A smaller, used general aviation (GA) aircraft (like the one on the right) costs about the same to own and enjoy as an RV or a nice boat.

My latest book, THE FRUGAL PILOT: How to Fly on a Budget, offers hundreds of smart, money-saving tips on how to fly safely and economically — including how to partner in a plane or join a flying club.

THE FRUGAL PILOT is available as a Print Book or download it to your Kindle eBook Reader.

It has hundreds of money-saving tips for bringing down the costs of going up!

Also, take advantage of the free information on this website:

Requirements, Flight Instruction, Aircraft, and Flying Options

What makes an airplane fly? Money! Who gets the most flying for their money? A Frugal Pilot!


As of June 1, 2017, General Aviation aircraft pilots have a fourth option to satisfy the medical requirement of their private pilot certificate. The new option is called Basic-Med.

BasicMed has a renewal of every four years, instead of the two-year requirement for a third class medical certificate.

The exam can be performed by a pilot’s personal physician instead of a medical examiner.

BasicMed requirements include the completion of a two-part Comprehensive Medical Examination Checklist (CMEC) by both the pilot and physician and the completion of an online medical education course.

Pilots must satisfy four requirements to choose the BasicMed option.

There are also two aircraft and three operational requirements that must be met to fly with the BasicMed.

Certified Flight Instructors are eligible for the BasicMed but not commercial rated pilots flying for compensation or hire.

Pilots choosing the BasicMed must keep the completed CMEC and proof of completion of the online course with their log book.

Information about BasicMed, the CMEC, and a link to the online medical education course can be found online at: