Is Pilot School Hard?

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Graduating from a flight school can be a lot of work. Candidates need to put in sufficient effort right from ground schooling.

The first time of the pilot’s ground training is quite straightforward. However, it feels become difficult as the flight lesson moves to more advanced stages.

Student pilot dropout rate

Studies suggest more than 80% of flight students that enroll in aviation degree drop out. There are various reasons why every candidate cannot make it to the end of pilot school.

Why do student pilots quit?

Personality mismatch

Sometimes the personalities of the instructor and students do not match. As a result, students choose to draw out of the flight school.

The chief flying instructor usually comes in to take control of the situation. They make certain that the student gets a healthy learning environment.

Running out of money

Money has always been one of the major reasons for student drop-out in a pilot school. Typically flight schools provide training quotations based on minimum hours of flying.

It is usually very attractive for high school students as they think they have a bargain deal. However, an average student does not complete training or acquire private pilot certificate within minimum flying.

It takes more than 60 flight hours to become a qualified pilot. This eventually increases the overall course fees and student dropout.


Some distractions encourage students to drop out of flying school eventually. Factors like unavailability of the flying instructor or aircraft, failure to complete a stage, accident of a training aircraft, or unforeseen personal reasons.

Some reasons are not related to finances. Things like social media can also rob people of their dream aviation careers.

Unreasonable expectations

Flying training is not just about learning to fly a small aircraft. There are a lot of things to learn like flight planning, radio usage, navigation, and more.

The instrument rating theory or ground training takes a lot of time than the actual flight training. For most students, the idea is that they will just learn to fly and get a license.

This is not the reality. Factors like aircraft availability and other regulatory issues can also rise.

Failing knowledge test

The current industry requirement is that a candidate should complete at least eight modules and sit for the official exam. The pass mark is 75%.

As can be seen, it takes a little more effort to achieve the score. Flight school students usually suffer from a lack of resources to prepare for the knowledge test.

This is a major factor that reduces the chance of a student to qualify the pilot exam. So it is important to enroll in institutes that provide proper training and resources at the same time.

Unstructured training

Unstructured training is likely to have severe consequences on the candidate. Instructors of an enter introduce new concepts and manuals at once.

The students learn techniques that they cannot perform solo. Professional instructors always make certain that students move to the advanced stage when they have competence.

Is pilot harder than Doctor?

Becoming a pilot is hard work and requires expensive training. The career path will include a lot of travel and adventures throughout.

Pursuing a college degree in medicine is a hard, laborious, and long journey. The candidate should have a strong desire to excel to go through never-ending studies tutorials and further training.

Also, there is a prolonged incubation period between starting the course and becoming a specialized doctor. This is something that drains most candidates well before completing the course.

Both professions are highly respected and demanding in nature. On the other hand, both careers are very rewarding.

A pilot would be a definite choice for individuals who wish to have a better salary and flexible working hours. However, for those that do not care much about salary or hours of work medicine would be perfect.

Like doctors, pilots do use maths, and study it while training. The level of maths and physics required is much lower though, which is a definitely bonus if it’s not your favorite subject!

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How long is pilot school?

Becoming a fully-fledged airline pilot can take several months or years of intense training. The course includes written exams as well as light practice.

There are ways to complete the training period that hit the sky soon. But for that, the candidates need to have full dedication and enroll in the right flight training schools.

There are different steps that a student needs to take for becoming a military pilots. First, they need to get a medical certificate for a safe flight.

The medical exam tests the balance, heart condition, hearing, and vision. Well, it is not mandatory to start training with the exam it is helpful to take it first.

After completing the medical tests, the ground training begins. The sport pilot certificate training comprises learning about instruments, aviation procedures, weather, and navigation.

The next step is usually described as the most demanding and intense phase of the training. Student pilots need to pass written flight test to qualify for more advanced stages.

When it is about getting a private pilot license and certification the process is long. It can take around 14 months or years depending on the type of certification.

The weather in the flight school’s location, the time candidate gives to training, and financial resources play are important factors. These also determine how much time will be necessary to complete the student pilot certificate training.

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Is pilot school expensive?

The expense of pilot training is most distinguished. The fee structure of the course blows many people.

Individuals outside the aviation industry believe that the pilot training expenses are absurd. However, understanding the associated cost of pilot training will help everyone understand why the course is so expensive.

Pilot training is expensive because students have to fly an actual airplane to complete the necessary hours. The cost of renting an aircraft, fuel, and hiring a flight instructor is all-inclusive in the course fee.

It is not just these expenses. To obtain a flying license one needs to fly an airplane for several hours. Every civil aviation body has their regulation and the students operate accordingly.

No student can learn to fly by themselves. Therefore students need to have a flight instructor on board during the discovery flight.

This adds to the cost of hiring a flight instructor for the air force pilot training course. Several other expenses go into the background of the course.

Maintaining an aircraft cost a lot of money to the flight school. Therefore there design a course fee that will help them in managing the associated expense.

The flight school has to rent out a hanger to park and a runway for operating the aircraft. If the flight school is operating from an international airport they should pay more for the hangar rental.

Flight schools have to pay the concerned airport authority for using the runway. The fee is calculated according to the number of takeoffs and landings made on a particular track.

Aircraft require periodic inspection and maintenance. Flying a plane without proper maintenance can be disastrous.

It is critical to inspect every aircraft before flying. The engine and other components may feel into the air and crash killing the student and flight instructor.

Every aircraft requires major overhead after 100 hours of flying. After every 2000 hours, offline the engine is replaced.

Also during periodic maintenance small parts are replaced. Some significant features may start malfunctioning in and require replacement occasionally.

Annually inspectors inspect airplanes and decide whether the aircraft is flying worthy or not. Various certifications require annual renewal and have a price.

So, all these expenses have to recover by an aviation school. And they reflect in the training course free.

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How many student pilots are there?

According to statistics, the number of pilot students in the United States is more than 222,500. It is usually calculated based on the number of active students’ pilot certificates.

Is flight school worth it?

Yes, training at a flight school and becoming a first officer is worth it for the candidates. According to reports by the bureau of labor statistics project, they will be a 5% growth for major airline pilots.

For the upcoming years, the growth is relatively faster than the average growth of all occupations.

Flight schools help candidates to develop the necessary knowledge experience skills and safe habits. It essentially serves as a foundation for becoming a professional regional airline pilot.

FAQ relating to whether pilot school is hard

How hard is the pilot exam?

Becoming a commercial airline pilot is no easy task. It is a job that requires vast expertise, responsibility, and skill.

The commercial pilot training is tough and there is a lot to cover in the course. Students need to have a rigorous revision plan to pass the exam.

Is getting a pilot’s license hard?

Getting a commercial pilot license is not very difficult. Candidates applying for a flying license need to study the basics and pass the exams.

Getting the commercial pilot certificate is only half the process. The other half includes getting flying hours and getting knowledge to qualify as a competent pilot.

Is it expensive to study pilots?

The average expense of professional pilot training is quite high in comparison to other courses. The course fees depend on the duration, type of aircraft, type of course, etc.

How much do junior pilots make?

The average annual pay for junior pilots in the US is around $65000. For a simple understanding, commercial airlines pay is around $31 per hour.

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