Private Pilot Course

Achieve Your Aviation Goals at CRAFT

Training Overview

Obtaining a Private Pilot Certificate requires passing both a written knowledge test and a practical exam, also known as the check ride. CRAFT uses the ASA Complete Private Pilot Syllabus and incorporates the Redbird Simulator into our training. The syllabus contains both ground and flight training lessons, and the lessons are taught concurrently. For more information about options for completing the ground school necessary to prepare for the written test, visit our Private Pilot Ground School page.

Under Part 61 rules, the FAA requires at least 40 flight hours to be eligible for the checkride, but it is rare that a student pilot will be proficient enough to pass the FAA check ride within that arbitrary time frame. Nationally, most student pilots get their Private Certificate anywhere from 60-75 hours! CRAFT pilots can get it done in closer under 50 hours because we integrate the Redbird into our training and because we train to a consistent syllabus. How quickly you complete the training is based on many factors including how often you train and being prepared for lessons and doing your homework.


Minimum of 40 hours for Private Pilot Certificate

Training Stages

The Private Pilot Course consists of three stages. Each stage ends with a Stage Check to ensure the student is ready to progress to the next stage.

Stage 1 – Solo

In Stage 1 the student will learn basic aerodynamics and fundamental flight maneuvers, be introduced to airplane systems and operations, and learn how to perform weight and balance and aircraft performance calculations. The Redbird simulator is used heavily during this stage to introduce new topics and procedures. The Stage will be completed when the student satisfactorily passes the Stage 1 check and is able to conduct solo flights.  

Stage 2 – Cross-Country

In Stage 2 the student will learn how to plan and conduct cross-country flights using various navigational techniques, learn how to interact with Air Traffic Control (ATC) services, and gain proficiency in night and basic instrument flying. The stage will be completed when the student has demonstrated that they can plan and conduct solo cross-country flights using pilotage, dead reckoning, and electronic navigation under Visual Meteorological Conditions (VMC), and can obtain and evaluate weather forecasts, reports, and actual flight conditions to determine whether a flight can be safely conducted. 

Stage 3 – Pilot Operations and Checkride Prep

In Stage 3 the student will gain further experience in cross-country practice and prepare for the Private Pilot checkride. This stage will be completed when the student satisfactorily passes the final stage check for the course and meets all the flight time requirements. The student will be scheduled for their checkride with an FAA Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE). Successful passage of this checkride will result in the pilot receiving their Private Pilot Certificate!

Eligibility Requirements

For more information about the eligibility requirements for obtaining a Private Pilot Certificate, check out the “WHAT DO YOU REQUIRE FROM ME TO BEGIN TRAINING?” section on our FAQs page.

Private Pilot Package


The answer is it’s different for everyone. If you get a quote from a school that only lists the FAA minimum number of hours, which is 40 for Part 61, then they aren’t telling you the whole story. Most students don’t get their certificate in the minimum number of hours. The national average is 60-75 hours! However, most CRAFT students get it done in less than 50 hours. And is that school doing the training in a modern aircraft? We put together a basic package that should work for most students. Need financing? Checkout financing options on our Financing and Scholarships Page.

*The best way to reduce training costs is to take ownership of your training process, use the airplane and instructor time efficiently through self-study and preparing for each lesson, and train at least 3 times per week. Choose your schedule and stick to it! 
  • Examiner Checkride Fee
  • Non-Owned Aircraft Insurance
  • FAA Medical Fee
  • FAA Written Test Fee


  • Tablet (we recommend the Ipad Mini with WiFi & LTE capability)
  • Subscription to an Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) application, such as Foreflight or Garmin Pilot
  • Headset
  • Kneeboard (tablet compatible)
  • Flight bag
  • Flashlight and/or headlamp with red light capability


  • Upgrade to the ultra-modern DA40NG with air conditioning for just $1400!
  • If you already have some flight time, we can tailor this package to you.
  • Ask about our Military Discounts!
  • Additional hours will be charged at the normal hourly rate.

Financing & Scholarship Options

Worried about how you are going to pay for flight training? Luckily there are several financing and scholarship options. Financing all or some of the training can take the burden off of the student, giving them peace of mind and the motivation they need to complete their training!

Gift Certificates Available

Know someone that has always wanted to fly, but hasn’t been able to get started? Gift certificates are a great way to help friends and family jump start achieving their aviation goals! They can be used for flight training, instruction, simulator time, books and headsets. Contact us above to find out more!

Ready to Get Started?

Ready to Get Started

Previous Flight Experience?*

Financing Needed?*

Which Programs Are You Interested In?*

CRAFT Locations

CRAFT is located at the Atlantic FBO complex at Charleston International Airport (KCHS).

6060 S. Aviation Ave Suite 109
N. Charleston, SC 29406   

Our office is open 9AM-5PM Mon-Sat for walk-in inquiries.  However, for the best customer service, please call or email to schedule an in-person appointment. 843-800-6498

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Training Hours

Monday - Saturday
9am - 5pm

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