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What does it cost to become a helicopter private pilot? I get this question all the time, whether you're brand new or for add-on pilots, I get asked all the time, "What's it going to cost me?" I'm Kenny Keller, the creator of Helicopter Online Ground School, and I'm going to answer that question for you right now, I'm going to break it down, I'm going to cover the general cost of what it may or may not cost you. We're going to talk about why that cost varies, we'll then do a cost breakdown so you can see where some of these charges come from, then I'm going to tell you how you may be able to save some money through this flight training.
I'm going to go with an average of $10,000-$15,000. I think $10,000 is on the the low side, can you get it done for any less than that? Maybe, but I doubt it. I seriously doubt that you're going to get away for less than 10 grand, and I'm going to show you here in a minute why that is. $15,000, I think that's more of an appropriate number, could you spend more than $15,000? Absolutely you could, again, depending on some different factors. I tell people to expect $20,000, and if you get it done for less than that, then great, be happy about it, but that's the general idea of more on the minimum side of what it could cost you. As I mentioned, the cost can vary on many different factors, and we'll go through a few of those.
Number one, the type of helicopter used for training. The most popular helicopter out there you will see is the Robinson R22, by far the most popular training helicopter out there. There are others, it's not the only one, but the R22 is a very, very common helicopter used for training. The R44 is a larger helicopter, that's a four place helicopter, these are available out there for training, this one is going to be a little more money per hour than the R22, and there is the Enstrom, you may find yourself flying an Enstrom. There's also Schweizer and there's Brantlys and there's some other out there, but the Robinson really is the most popular. Schweizer is another common helicopter that's used for training, those are out there. They're all going to range somewhere in the area, somewhere between, let's say $200-$500. We're going to do an example here in a minute at $250, the $250 is a reasonable number, you can find a helicopter out there for $250 an hour, some may be a little bit less, not a whole lot less, some more or quite a bit more.
The next big one is number of lessons per week. We tell people you want to fly at least three times a week. That really seems to be the best progress for people. If you only fly once a week, by the time you come back a week later you're kind of catching up from where you were a week ago. It's just hard to make progress, and you could imagine over time, you want to make progress, so going once a week isn't usually going to be the best. You can fly every day, but for a lot of people, that overwhelms you and you don't necessarily make as much progress when you fly every single day. I'm not saying you can't do it, just saying that on average, for your money, usually around three to four times a week is usually going to be best.
Then I think the next one, study habits and knowledge retention. It depends on how well you're going to study and how well you're willing to study on your own, and you can study on your own, you could work with your instructor, we have the Helicopter Online Ground School available, we're going to talk about it in a little bit. These are all the different ways that you can study and learn the information. Most people want to fly, fly, fly, fly, they don't really want to sit down and do the ground school, instructors don't always want to sit down and do the ground school, so in turn you end up taking more time to get the rating because you don't study. It happened to me, I failed my first check ride because I could fly pretty good, but the knowledge, the ground knowledge was just not there because I didn't want to study, my instructor didn't force me to study and he didn't want to teach me the ground school, he just wanted to fly. Now, let's talk about the hours. I mentioned that $250 an hour, you're going to have to have a minimum of 40 hours of flight time, so if you use the example of $250 an hour, to get that 40 hours of flight time you're going to spend $10,000. No way around it, so if you get an aircraft a little bit cheaper than that, great, you're going to save a little.