How Much Will Training Cost?

 Your training costs can vary widely depending on many variables. In summary though, if you are interested in ultralight training the range of cost is likely $750 to $2000.  If you are working on your Sport Pilot Certificate the range of costs are likely around $1500 to as much as $5000.  Here is the way to analyze how much to budget for training. The basic variables include whose aircraft you will train in, the style of ground school that you will undertake and the speed at which you desire to complete your training.


 The least you will need is a written test study guide, a sport pilot practical test guide, a current FAR/AIM, a sectional navigation chart and the FAA Powered Parachute Handbook.  If you purchase these materials and are self-disciplined to study regularly on your own it is reasonable to expect that you can be successful with a lower investment.  Other options include more expensive computer based courses, and video courses.

 Ground School:

 “Sport Pilot Ground School” is designed to not only help you be successful at passing the required FAA written examination, but also to provide you with a foundation of knowledge to help you become a competent and safe pilot.  If you purchase your own study materials or self-study course you may avoid the cost of a classroom environment with an instructor, but may lose the benefit of interactive training with an experienced instructor. Sport Pilot Academy offers a cost-effective option of using a computer based learning environment with an assigned instructor.  And if you enroll in an “on-site” sport pilot course you will find yourself in a classroom environment with one or more instructors and a variety of learning materials.  Your approach to ground school determines your cost.

 Flight Training:

 The minimum requirement for earning your Sport Pilot’s License in a powered parachute is 10 hours of dual flight training.  That means in an aircraft equipped with dual controls, with a qualified instructor. So the first factor is determining whether we will be instructing you in your own aircraft.  If so, expect to pay an average of $75 an hour for the instructor time.  And expect to pay for a minimum of 12 hours of instructor time (the 10 hour requirement plus an additional two hours for practical test preparation).  The higher cost in your aircraft would indicate a maximum of 20 hours of dual time, which for most is unlikely.  If you train in our aircraft expect to pay an average of $200 an hour that includes the instructor time and the rental for the aircraft.  The low to high ranges again reflect a 12 to 20 hour dual flight time range.

 Solo Flight Time:

 You are required to have a minimum of 2 hours of solo flight time to take your Sport Pilot Practical Test.  If you are flying your solo time in your own aircraft just factor in the cost of gas and operating.  If you are renting our aircraft to log your solo time budget for a minimum of 5 hours at $125 an hour to a maximum of 10 hours at $125 an hour.  The majority of sport pilot candidates we test have 10 to 20 hours of solo flight time, in addition to their dual flight instruction time.

 Pace of Training:

 Your pace of training can depend on weather, equipment availability, your schedule and your instructor’s schedule.  If you work through the training syllabus with a lesson or two per week the ranges of flight instruction hours indicated above are probably reasonably accurate.  Obviously if you have a month between flight lessons you may find yourself spending more dual flight training hours to build the required proficiency.  It is natural to have some learning “regression” with long periods between instructional periods.  There are a few reputable schools, including ours, that offer “accelerated” training courses.  The Western Powered Parachute Association courses currently include a 4-day ultralight-student pilot course and a 12-day sport pilot course.  The cost of accelerating your training includes those associated with being assigned one-on-one to an instructor, at a specific location for the entire 12 days.  The lower range reflects our current cost for acceleration.  The high end reflects the additional costs that some others are charging.  Remember these costs are in addition to the previous costs that we have reviewed.  While certainly expensive and therefore not for everyone, the advantage of accelerating your training is that you can literally start with no air time and earn your Sport Pilot license in as little as 12 days.  The WPPA 12 day course is $4,995(all inclusive).  That price includes all of the training reviewed above, plus the examination fees, and all completed in our aircraft.

 Sport Pilot Exams:

 You will be required to take two FAA examinations.  One is the written with a fixed cost of $190.  This fee is paid to the testing facility.  The second is a practical exam consisting of a ground portion and a flight portion with an FAA Designated Flight Examiner. (We have four examiners on staff at WPPA).  Generally regardless of where you take this practical examination in the U.S you will spend between $350 and $450 to complete it.


 As you can see from this discussion the variation from low to high to complete your Sport Pilot training can be large.  We always recommend that you discuss your approach to training with us BEFORE you commit to purchasing an aircraft or starting your training.  We will do our best to tailor an approach that works for you.

 Training Fee Summary Schedule:

The following fees reflect an average among the Western Sport Pilot Association LLC network.  You may expect variations depending on location, equipment and other local variations.


Dual Flight Training


Per Hour

Discovery Flight


One Hour Ground and Flight with CFI

Ground Instruction


Per Hour

Aircraft Rentals

Single Seat


Per Hour

Two-Seat LSA


Per Hour

Other Fees

Biennial Flight Review


In Your Aircraft

Proficiency Test


In Your Aircraft

Sport Pilot Practical Test


In Your Aircraft

CFI Practical Test


In Your Aircraft


Six Chuter

Call for Quote


Average Costs

Module 1 Solo Course


Module 2 Sport Pilot Prep


Module 3 Prep and Practical Tests


12-Day Sport Pilot Course


Sport Pilot 3-Day Ground School


Introduction to Powered Parachuting


2 Hr. Classroom Plus Intro Lesson

*Note on all fees that these reflect costs out of the Vancouver-Portland training operation.  Each instructor’s actual fee schedule may vary.  Check with your instructor for exact charges.