Get a pilot license in 20 hours and for $340 bucks

At some point in the last couple of years, chances are you’ve come across the term “very light jets” or the catchy acronym VLJ. These are Chevy Suburban-sized planes that let you avoid the hassles of flying commercial.

But what about the flip-side of this trend towards the ultra-small? I’m talking about propeller planes that fit only two passengers and weigh less than 1,300 pounds. To encourage people to get a pilot’s license, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has come up with a new class of licenses for these “sports planes.”

Instead of the standard 40 hours of flight-time instruction as well as many hundreds of dollars you’ll have to pay, you can get the sports pilot license in 20 hours and for a couple hundred of dollars. Best of all, these sports planes can cost half as less as conventional planes: $80,000 instead of something like $200,000.

Hell, even I can afford to do this (maybe).


Curious to know what it’s like to fly a 757 for a commercial airline? Follow along with Gadling’s resident pilot, Kent Wien, in Cockpit Chronicles.