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Ponderosa Aero Club has been providing its members with superior flight education and training and a well maintained fleet of aircraft since 1974.  Our staff of qualified and experienced instructors provide club members with training for private, instrument, commercial, multi-engine and flight instructor ratings in addition to backcountry checkouts, high performance, complex and tail wheel endorsements.  We instruct under Part 61 rules.  Most non-pilot members who learn to fly at Ponderosa satisfy all of their flying needs right at the club.  Our fleet is comprised of basic VFR platforms for the pilot seeking a low cost solution to those $100 hamburger flights and technically advanced aircraft equipped with Garmin 430, 530, and 650 GPS systems for those long cross country flights. Ponderosa also hosts numerous safety seminars and social activities throughout the year.

Learning to fly can be one of the most challenging, yet rewarding activities of your life.  As a club member, your instructor coordinates your training around your schedule.  You learn at your own pace and work one-on-one with your instructor.  We use the ASA private pilot curriculum, which is an integrated form of flight training.  By integrated, we mean that the ground school is integrated into your actual flight training.  You study, you fly, you study, you fly, so that you’re never learning something that you don’t immediately go out and apply, which increases your retention rate and decreases the actual cost of learning to fly.

A Breakdown of Basic Private Pilot Costs*

40 Hours FAA Minimum Required Total Time consists of:
20hrs Dual Instruction @ $68/hr $1360
20hrs Aircraft Cessna 172 @ $130/hr + tax $2600
20 Hours Solo @ $130/hr + tax $2600
Ground Instruction** Varies
Written Exam Fee $150
Private Pilot Kit $300
3rd Class Flight Physical $80
Oral/Flight Test Fee $350
Total estimated costs: $7500~

The not so fine print …..
Keep in mind that this is the absolute minimum required by the FAA.  The national average for total time of private pilot applicants is around 70 hours.  Our non-pilot members average 50-60 hours, so don’t be deceived by other organizations that tell you that everyone can do this in 40 hours.  A few folks can, but most won’t.  We tell our non-pilot members to plan on spending around $8000-$10,000.  Hint: flying 2-3 times a week can go a long way in keeping the total cost down.

** Ground instruction – The Jeppesen course is an integrated flight training course that consists of part self-study and part one-on-one with an instructor @$68/hr so the amount spent on ground instruction can vary by the preparedness of the student.  Hint: Do your homework.

So, where do you begin?  The first step in joining is to complete an application and return it with $50 (application fee).  We will run driving record and credit checks.  If those come back satisfactorily, we sit you down and go over our membership agreement, Club by-laws, and rule book.  We direct you to where to buy the private pilot kit containing all of your books, and everything you’ll need to learn to fly.  Next, we’ll put you with a flight instructor who’ll meet with you, get to know you, and personalize a flight training schedule just for you.

Additional Resources you may be interested in checking out:
Let’s Go Flying!
Flight Training