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How much did your PPL cost you?

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How much did your PPL cost you?

Old 5th Aug 2017, 07:45
  #21 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Quite near 'An aerodrome somewhere in England'
Posts: 25,558
Like hundreds of others in those days, it cost me the princely sum of £0 for 30 hours on brand-new Cessna 150s - courtesy of having won a Special Flying Award from the RAF. My parents paid for the extra 5 hours for my PPL, which cost them £50.

My PPL arrived at my boarding school some months before I passed my driving test!
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Old 5th Aug 2017, 19:21
  #22 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Faversham
Posts: 284
What did it cost in 1984?

Far too much compared to salaries at the time, but then it always is - but what you get is priceless, so JUST DO IT.
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Old 5th Aug 2017, 21:39
  #23 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: go west
Posts: 0
to all the old timers sharing their experience, I really think this is one thread that can do without.. I don't think OP is after a price list that was accurate 40 years ago on the other side of the globe!
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Old 5th Aug 2017, 22:08
  #24 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Kent
Posts: 12
Not quite sure as I've yet to pass! With my Cross Country on Monday I think I'm up to 45hrs so all-in I'd anticipate £8,800
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Old 7th Aug 2017, 19:40
  #25 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: UK
Posts: 153
I once met a man who had learned to fly in 1927. I asked him how much it cost and he said, "Same as it does now...just a bit more than you've got."
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Old 7th Aug 2017, 21:51
  #26 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Secret Lincolnshire Airbase
Posts: 69
The RAF paid for most of mine
We have a scheme designed to help fund a degree that allowed me to pay £1000 and the RAF put in £4000. Combined with the RAF Flying Clubs Association's zero profit rental costs (around £100ph wet PA28/C172) and it's got to be one of the cheapest ways to get a PPL in the UK - you've just got to join up first!

They've just started a new scheme for junior ranks that funds about 20 LAPLs a year for applicants. The Charitable Trust have even bought two brand-new Tecnam P2008JCs for the junior ranks to learn in.

Cheap flying available, just enquire at your local RAF careers office*

*may require one or two other minor commitments. Terms and conditions apply! 😎
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Old 1st Aug 2018, 22:42
  #27 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: London
Posts: 3
Post Cost of PPL in 2018

I just (June 2018) completed my PPL(A) in a school near London, UK.
The total cost came to £13,188.20 (~ $17,317.20) for 70 hours of flying over about 18 months (weekends).

This breaks down as follows:

⋅Airplane hire (Cessna 152)⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅£8,188.75⋅⋅⋅
⋅Instructor fees⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅£3,420.83⋅⋅⋅
⋅PPL skills test⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅£210.00⋅⋅⋅
⋅CAA license application⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅£191.00⋅⋅⋅
⋅Club membership (annual)⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅£150.00⋅⋅⋅
⋅Class 2 medical exam⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅£135.00⋅⋅⋅
⋅Additional items⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅£87.13⋅⋅⋅
⋅Ground exams⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅£78.00⋅⋅⋅
⋅Landing fees⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅£70.00⋅⋅⋅
⋅Radio Telephony exam⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅£65.00⋅⋅⋅
⋅Tuition material (books etc)⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅⋅£63.89⋅⋅⋅

  • Travel was almost exclusively by London public transport, with three taxi journeys.
  • Additional items include things like a kneeboard, charts, flight computer.
  • I tried to get what I could second hand (mostly tuition materials).
  • I did not attend ground school (but have to say that the instructors at my school were extremely helpful in going over any questions I had regarding the theory on an ad hoc basis).
  • the majority of this cost is bunched into the last quarter of the course, when flights get longer, and landing fees are creeping in (so don't pay upfront, better invest the money if you have it, and reap the returns).
  • the cost of plane hire dwarfs everything else. Thus the least expensive option is likely the school with the lowest hire rate, disregarding any fees for exams etc. (the radio exam and medical certificate seem to vary considerably).
Of course, the number of hours needs to be taken into consideration as well; I didn't think I'd have a chance doing it in 45hrs, but likewise didn't anticipate 70hrs (no doubt caused in part by large periods of not being able to fly because of the weather conditions).

In his 1989 book 'Ready for take-off' (not essential reading in my opinion!), Patrick Quinn states the cost of gaining the PPL at around £2,000 in 1983 (I believe only 40 hours were mandatory then). The Bank of England's inflation calculator tells us that £2,000 in 1983 would have been worth £6,415 in 2017, suggesting the real cost of achieving the license has about doubled in the last 30 years. Fuel tax? Aircraft maintenance? Electronic gadgets? Who knows...

For those considering it as a hobby, also take into account recurring costs, e.g. renewal of the medical certificate, charts (yearly), club membership, association membership, dual checks (at periodic intervals, depending on club), and lessons after periods of not flying (often mandated by the club, quite rightly so). You may also want to buy your own headset.

Some clubs offer a "Saftey pilot" course, which just teaches you to land the plane in an emergency, and the basics of operating the radio. It's not a license or legal document by any means, but, if I were to do it again, I would probably start there. It's a good way to meet like-minded people to fly with, and thereby getting experience in procedure, handling the plane, and the radio without having to pay for lessons. I'm sure this would reduce the number of required hours.

Perhaps the last thing to say is that the PPL is likely not the end of it. Conversion courses to larger planes (so to take (more) passengers), the night rating, complex aircraft, twin engine aircraft, tailwheel, aerobatics, IMC (or even IR for the brave) are all beckoning.
Oh yes, and helicopters, well, they pretty much require a different license all together.

Hope this helps somebody!

PS: I know you can't compare apple with pears, but out of curiosity, I popped into the helicopter school at the same aerodrome as my fixed-wing school, and training in a Robinson R22 costs just under 80% more than training in a Cessna 152 per hour (including instructor fee, just hire is 55% more expensive for the R22). PPL(H) training for PPL(A) holders requires additional theory, and a minimum of 39 hours dual instruction.

Last edited by SpeedyGoneZales; 12th Aug 2018 at 13:13. Reason: Added helicopter comparison
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Old 2nd Aug 2018, 20:50
  #28 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: UK - EGLF is closest.
Posts: 101
Cost me about £650 in 1975/6 with about 40 hours dual and solo time in C150/152, ground exams, medical etc. Am guessing this might well be the equivalent of about £7,000 today. I sold my stamp collection to fund about half of it ! Flying has always kept me artificially poor … But .. I no longer fly at all now and things are looking up financially at last, despite retirement !

Last edited by spittingimage; 2nd Aug 2018 at 20:53. Reason: Addendum
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Old 2nd Aug 2018, 21:06
  #29 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Australia
Posts: 252
I got my UK PPL in the Eighties after only 16 hours as did a Silver C glider conversion. Then moved soon after to Oz and this was converted with no flying to a RPPL but then I needed to do 20 hours Navs to get an Unrestriced PPL. Went on to do a CPL/IR but gliding was the low cost entry for me.
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Old 2nd Aug 2018, 23:56
  #30 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 4
In the UK, lots of flying schools advertise PPL cost being about £5-9K depending on location in the country and type of plane -- that's just for instructed flight time (i.e. 45 hours). That gives you a UK minimum. Realistically in the UK, it's probably averaging about £10K all in, plus or minus depending on factors, of which flight time cost is the highest. I say this having recently qualified (mine was £15K on a PA28 in 60 hours with generous personal equipment expenditure) and done the research on it, and talked to other students about their experiences. 22K AUD is about 10K GBP. Your flight time cost of about 400 AUD per hour is about 200 GBP per hour which seems consistent with UK prices. From some recent research into flying in Australia, I think the costs between Australia and UK and roughly equivalent, probably on the upper end globally.

Flight time cost seems largely a factor of fuel cost (a standard PA28 161 training aircraft chews 30+ litres per hour, being about £60 per hour in the UK) and a pro-rata maintenance cost (high in the UK under EASA, with 50hr/100hr checks, etc). Plus you have an instructor cost, £50 per hour at my school. So to lower your flight time cost, find a country with lower fuel prices, less expensive maintenance, and lower wage/living/etc costs lowering instructor costs. That's not the UK, and it's not Australia .

Students should have a realistic budget with contingency otherwise they will risk stopping/starting training, which extends the hours required (too much "getting back up to speed") and the churn across instructors (too much repeating some things with new instructors) and the risk of lapsing exams. I've spoken to a number of students where this has happened.
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Old 3rd Aug 2018, 14:48
  #31 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Nairobi
Posts: 2
£6000.00/6500.00 here in Kenya, that is on 50hrs though you can do it on 40 if you are not a slow coach like me.

However, cost of living in Nairobi is high (didn't realise how high &#129300 but, you can save in various ways.

Excellent and Interesting flying conditions though, HKNW is the 2nd busiest domestic airport in Africa .. So it's full on from the word go. So for me personally, it has been a very intense learning curve, not that I would change it 👍

Just pick the right season, this year has been the wettest on record for years, so did spend a month twiddling thumbs
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Old 4th Aug 2018, 12:30
  #32 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Fleet/Gunnedah New South Wales, Australia
Posts: 121
Cost around £3500 over the last year with significant previous gliding experience. Small help that I completed my PPL exams for free at my gliding club and know someone who does FRTOL exams.

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Old 9th Aug 2018, 15:32
  #33 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: North of the border
Posts: 182
PPL Cost

Did mine at Bournemouth Hurn which dates me and Middle Wallop. Total cost £2,500 44 hrs. Aged then about 37.
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Old 9th Aug 2018, 23:40
  #34 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Cambridge, England, EU
Posts: 3,437
No idea, didn't add it up. But I knew at the time that it was the wrong question - adding the one-off cost of a PPL to a mortgage (if you don't have the cash handy) hardly makes a noticeable difference to the repayments, and the real question is how much you can afford to pay year in year out to keep flying once you've got the PPL.
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Old 10th Aug 2018, 09:45
  #35 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Cardiff
Posts: 126
1986, PNG, 60 kina PH, 10 hrs for an RPPL, extra 15 hrs for the UPPL.
300hrs gliding beforehand.
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Old 10th Aug 2018, 10:55
  #36 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: UK
Posts: 316
Blimey, what interesting reading !

Mine was free in 1965 - an RAF flying scholarship via the CCF at my school.

Tiger Moth.
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Old 10th Aug 2018, 12:01
  #37 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: 90% there.
Posts: 13

£zero as a CAA ATCO Cadet in 1983. They even provided free board and lodgings, and £3.50 per day beer money! I too had a Gliding Silver C, but made sure I didn't tell a soul... I wasn't paying for it, so wanted to make sure I got the full 45 hours! Great fun, finished it in no more than 4 weeks. Apologies for further thread drift.
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Old 12th Aug 2018, 04:53
  #38 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Kelowna Wine Country
Posts: 425
180 GBP, 1962, Oxford.
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Old 24th Jan 2020, 14:05
  #39 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Birmingham
Posts: 19
Originally Posted by Capt T View Post
I have just finished my PPL at Aeros in the UK. The total cost including medical, training and exams cost just over £8500+. The actual cost of each one hour lesson was £157.

No idea on what the GBP to AUD is but hopefully this gives you an idea.
aeros cov is near me, how was it there ?
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Old 24th Jan 2020, 15:05
  #40 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 1999
Location: UK
Age: 72
Posts: 560
Like others posting above HMG financed my PPL. During my first year in Leeds UAS we were even paid to head out to Church Fenton for lessons - 32/6 'training emolument' per diem. (That's £1 12 shillings and sixpence for younger readers - equivalent to about £30 today). And £30 for attending Summer Camp at an RAF base (for me, Bassingbourn 1967 & Marham 1968). That equates to almost £600 today. My UAS hours and PFB were sufficient experience to qualify for the PPL - I just had to take the Board of Trade (remember them?) Aviation Law exam.
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