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Private Pilot

Prepare for Takeoff

At Sterling Flight Training, we are proud to walk alongside all of our aspiring and continuing pilots from their Sterling Discovery Flight, all the way to achieving a multi-engine commercial pilot license. – a progression of ratings available to pursue at Sterling as follows:

Pursuing a private pilot license, however, is a special first chapter in a pilot’s career, and we are here to help students form a strong foundation through the private pilot program. While every pilot’s ultimate career path may differ, the program as outlined below is where the journey begins for everyone. We look forward to welcoming you to Sterling Flight Training as you begin your career as a pilot.


Step 1 | Embark on a Sterling Discovery Flight

Our future trainees – many of whom are new to flying, greatly benefit from experiencing the Sterling Discovery Flight. During the brief flight, a Sterling flight instructor pilots one of our aircrafts through the North Florida skies for about 45 minutes, indicating the basic maneuvers and procedures career pilots experience on a daily basis. The Sterling Discovery Flight is a cost-effective method of experiencing flight from the cockpit for the first time, helping students decide if an aviation career is right for them.

Schedule Your Discovery Flight

Step 2 | Apply to Attend Sterling Flight Training

Following the completion of a Sterling Discovery Flight and deciding to pursue a career as a pilot, future trainees should complete the Sterling Flight Training new student application. We gather essential information about each applicant through the process, helping our team follow up with actionable and relevant information to make the process as easy and informative as possible. 

Apply to Sterling Flight Training

Step 3 | Earn a Sterling Private Pilot License (PPL)

All new trainees must achieve their Private Pilot license first, prior to proceeding to additional ratings – or even a commercial pilot license – all of which are attainable at Sterling Flight Training.

Time Required: The FAA requires a minimum of 35 hours of training to become a private pilot, but the national average is about 55 hours. Most students complete their private pilot program in 2-4 months.

Tuition Information: Flight training costs are made up by, type of aircraft selected to train in, ground / inflight Instruction hours and course materials, exams and other required fees. Please note that each student’s ultimate costs are dependent upon successful completion of check rides, written exams and individual goals.

Learn More About Becoming a Private Pilot

Step 4 | Complete Your Instrument Pilot Rating (IFR)

The Instrument Flight Rating (IFR) is your second step in aviation – and is required to proceed to a Commercial Pilot License. This program instills every trainee with the knowledge and confidence to fly an aircraft, while adding to the trainee’s experience in the air.

Time Required: Some students can complete IFR training within a month, but some students may take several months based on their individual circumstances. Sterling Flight Training is able to help you complete your IFR at your desired pace, including the option to train using our Redbird FMX flight simulator to minimize delays that may arise due to inclement weather.

Tuition Information:Achieving an IFR involves the same cost considerations as the Sterling Private Pilot License, and each student’s ultimate costs are dependent upon successful completion of check rides, written exams and individual goals.

Learn More

Ready to Soar?

Ready to be a Professional Pilot? Want to experience our Redbird FMX Simulator, or join our ranks via your university’s aviation program? Let’s get you in the air.