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Home > Blog > How Much Are Flying Lessons

How Much are Flying Lessons?

Posted 27 Apr 2022

How Much are Flying Lessons?

It is rare to find a hobby or job quite as exciting and fulfilling as flying. However, it is also true that flying aeroplanes can take a toll on your finances.

It is rare to find a hobby or job quite as exciting and fulfilling as flying. However, it is also true that flying aeroplanes can take a toll on your finances.

Aviation is not a cheap interest to have and it requires a fair bit of financial investment and long-term dedication in order to yield results. The cost of the training itself can deter many people from pursuing aviation further. Prices to keep in mind when opting for aviation as a hobby or career include aircraft costs, training fees, licence fees, as well as added costs involved in getting textbooks and accessories.

While this may seem like a lot and have you second-guessing your aviation journey, it is necessary to understand that several factors influence the cost of flight training. If an aspiring pilot goes forward keeping these factors in mind, it is wholly possible to reduce the overall costs involved in flying.

While flying may not come as affordably as playing an instrument or hiking, the rewards far outweigh the costs involved. Flying can be thrilling and can offer you an unmatched and exceedingly satisfying experience. It is not wise to immediately give up on your love of aviation over budget concerns. Read on to find out the costs involved in flying, the factors that affect them, as well as how you can make flying easier on your pocket!


 Not all flying lessons are the same, and the way they differ may significantly affect how they are priced. Many factors influence the cost of aviation, ranging from the type of aircraft you choose to train on all the way to how dedicated you are to learning how to fly.

Here’s a breakdown of all the variables that affect flight training costs, as well as how you can use them to make the experience far more affordable. 


Type of aircraft

 If you are planning to pursue aviation as a hobby, chances are the first question on your mind is how you will access aircraft. It is imperative to note that the type of aircraft you choose to train in will have a huge impact on your overall cost.

The training aircraft of choice for most beginners are usually light aircraft, such as those available as part of Sherburn’s fleet. These are smaller aeroplanes that have a single-engine, making them lighter and much easier to control.

Light aircraft are generally not too expensive; however, prices can go up depending on make, model, and features.

If you choose to eventually graduate to larger planes, often those with multiple engines, then the cost of the aircraft also goes up. For this reason, most amateurs stick to light aircraft due to their affordability. If you wish to cut costs even further, a more affordable training option is the microlight, which is a smaller light aircraft. Due to their smaller size, these aeroplanes generally rank lower when it comes to price.

Safe, affordable, and incredibly fun to fly, microlights are a great option for pilots looking to cut costs when it comes to training. Sherburn’s dedicated microlight training facility, Breeze Aviation, houses the latest factory-built EuroFox 3K, which is high-performance and has great value for money!


Cost of aircraft

How you access an aircraft will greatly impact the price you have to pay for training. If you are someone who wishes to privately own an aircraft, then you must understand that this is the most expensive option.

There are other ways to access aircraft, such as through joint ownership. If you wish to buy an aeroplane but do not want to invest the large sum involved in privately owning one, buying shares of an aircraft is a great option. Sherburn’s marketplace is home to many different aeroplanes to choose from. Jointly owning an aircraft is a great way to cut costs, not just initially but also when it comes to aeroplane maintenance.

The shared responsibility means the costs of maintenance are divided amongst the shareholders, which keeps it from getting too heavy on any one pilot’s pocket. There is an even more affordable option when it comes to accessing aircraft, and that is through renting out an aircraft. Several aviation clubs such as Sherburn rent out aircraft by the hour, which means pilots only pay for the amount of time they use the aeroplane.

This is great for pilots who are not able to dedicate too much time to training and do not want to rack up large bills, as well as those who are on the lookout for aeroplanes to fly without having to invest large sums of money.  


Mode of instruction

There are two types of instruction methods when it comes to flight training. The first is the modular method and the second is integrated. The former is relatively more expensive than the latter.

Modular training is when a pilot trains according to their own schedule. This is a flexible mode of training for aspiring pilots who have jobs and cannot dedicate all of their time to training.

Integrated training, on the other hand, is a method of instruction in which an aspiring pilot dedicates 14-18 months of full-time study to a training course. This allows the pilot to graduate faster and does not cost as much in training fees.

For those looking for a cheaper option to train, it is always best to go all in. Also, when you take longer breaks from flying, chances are you’ll need a refresher or two before every class, which will end up costing valuable time and training fees.


Type of licence

The type of pilot licence you get dictates how, where, and when you are allowed to fly. Your licence will depend on what your long-term aviation goals are.

For those pilots who wish to fly as a hobby, the Private Pilot Licence (PPL) or the less stringent Light Aircraft Pilot Licence (LAPL) are what is needed. General aviation licences are more affordable.

As compared to the PPL and LAPL, the Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL), Airline Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL), or Multi-crew Pilot Licence (MPL) are more expensive to obtain. These are commercial licences that are needed by those who wish to pursue aviation as a career.

The reasons for the higher cost of the CPL are the longer hours of training required, higher registration fees, as well as the added cost of a Class 1 medical certificate.

Where a CPL requires 200 hours of total flight time, the PPL requires 45 and the LAPL only 12. If you are unsure about pursuing a flying career, then it is best to start with a licence with more relaxed requirements such as the PPL or the LAPL.

However, if you are certain of wanting to become a professional pilot, then it would be wise to get the CPL from the beginning, since upgrading a PPL to a CPL later on may incur additional costs.

Variable flight school fee

Not all flight schools have the same fee structure. The pricing is highly variable, depending on the type of training, duration of courses, aircraft models, as well as location.

There are pilot training facilities as well as mid-range options. For professional pilots hoping to work with a certain airline in the future, the option to apply for scholarships and apprenticeships is also available.


Textbook costs

On average, a single textbook for PPL training costs around 20 GBP. A trainee is expected to pass nine exams in total, which would mean spending around 200 GBP in total on textbooks.

The cost is bound to go up where the CPL is concerned, since a higher number of subjects are tested, including Air law, Mass and Balance, Performance, Flight planning and monitoring, Human performance, Meteorology, General navigation, Radio navigation, Operational procedures, Principles of flight, and Visual flight rules (VFR) communications.

This can make textbooks quite an expense for aspiring pilots. For this reason, it is always best to opt for second-hand books as opposed to brand new ones, since these are bound to be cheaper. Additionally, getting access to E-textbooks is also a great pocket-friendly option.


In general, the private pilot training will cost anywhere between 8000 GBP to 11,000 GBP. The cost will largely depend on the flight school, with the more well-known school charging a higher rate than newer or smaller flight schools.

The total cost will include aircraft hire, fuel, airfield costs, instructor fees, ground training as well as tests and membership to the aviation club in case the flight school is located within one. Here at Sherburn’s private pilot training facility, we aim to give our students the best value for their money without compromising on the quality of instruction or aircraft.

We have a fleet of dedicated aircraft available to members of our club, with the member-owned nature of the club meaning the fees collected are invested back into the club for members’ benefit. Here is a complete breakdown of the services included to help you get an estimate of the costs involved in learning to fly:


  • Membership: In order to access the flight training facilities as Sherburn, it is necessary for aspiring pilots to get a membership. We offer two different types of memberships.

    The first, flying membership, is suited for those who will be accessing aircraft, while the social membership exists for individuals who wish to benefit from the club’s other facilities such as the bar and restaurant.

    The flying membership for those over 18 years of age costs 198 GBP, while those who are younger can sign up for 144 GBP.

  • Aircraft hire: This is an hourly rate that is charged depending on the model of aircraft For those hoping to fly the Piper PA-28 Warrior and Cadet, the prices per hour are 172 GBP and 165 GBP respectively.

    While the Robin 164 is a bit more affordable, with a rate of 164 GBP, the most pocket-friendly options are the Cessna C150 and AT-3, with a rate per hour of 134 GBP.

  • Instructor fees: While the standard fee is 38 GBP per hour flown, for more advanced training such as that involving aerobatics or Instrument and Night ratings, the cost is 40 GBP.

    If a student wishes to train via simulator, there is no charge. However, if an instructor is required, the fee per hour will be charged.


  • Ground costs: These include the e-exam, Instrument Rating (R) exam, as well as Ground briefing. The fees are 54, 44, and 38 GBP respectively.
  • Tests: This includes tests such as the Flight Radiotelephony Operator Licence course, as well as its practical component. Radio communication is an essential part of aviation, and proficiency in it is necessary for a successful flight.

    The cost for the practical component is 178 GBP, while the entire course costs 254 GBP. Other tests include the Skills test and the Licence Proficiency test, which cost 238 GBP and 176 GBP respectively.
  • Fuel: Depending on the type of fuel, the cost ranges from 1 GBP to 2.3 GBP per litre. The duration of the flight will determine how much the total cost will go up.
  • Airfield prices: The cost of the airfield is dependent on whether it is needed for landing or parking, as well as how big or small the space is. The cost ranges from 10 GBP to 20 GBP.  

  • Experience flights: Experience flights are a wonderful way for individuals, who are unsure of whether they want to pursue aviation, to give flying a try.

    Accompanied by a certified professional, you can take to the skies in a variety of our aircraft. The price of the experience flight will depend on the type of aircraft flown as well as the duration of the flight.

    The rate includes the aircraft as well as the instructor rate. The Cessna C150 and the AT-3 both have the same rates, with a 30-minute flight costing GBP 96 and an hour-long flight costing 182 GBP.  

    As for the Piper PA-28, the rate per hour is 212 GBP, with a half-hour flight costing 112 GBP.

    For a 45-minute flight on the Robin 2160, the rate is 172 GBP.

    With the variable flight times as well as differing rates, individuals can embark on experience flights according to their own budget.



Sherburn Aero Club, which has been operational since 1964, is the ideal place for most of your training and flying needs. It is one of the largest flying clubs in the North of England and also one of the largest in the country.

With a large fleet of new aircraft and an airfield refurbishment with new runways, hangars, and an extended clubhouse, we cater to brand new flyers who have just started their journey to the skies, as well as seasoned flyers who have been operating aircraft for decades.

If you wish to begin your career in aviation or wish to take to the skies as a hobby, Sherburn’s flight training school offers private and commercial licenses, along with pilot medicals to ensure a smooth journey going forward.

For those who wish to experience the thrill of a flight for fun or to help fuel their aviation dreams, Sherburn offers experience flights for the newbie, as well as the veteran.

The flight experience option is also available for people who wish to take to the skies for special occasions, even if they aren’t into aviation for the long run.

In addition to that, if you are looking for a hangarage for your own aircraft, need servicing or repairs, want to buy a new aircraft or aviation equipment, or are just looking to enjoy and watch the aircraft, Sherburn Aero Club is the place to be.

Call us on 01977 682 674​​​, email us at flightdesk@sherburnaeroclub.com, or message us via our online contact form for more information about flying lessons and the price structure at Sherburn.

Photo by Bee Calder on Unsplash 



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