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The Real Cost of Becoming a Private Pilot

By Bloomberg Rankings - 2012-03-08T22:04:05Z

Photograph by Thomas Northcut/Getty Images

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Medical Exam

A physical checkup is your passport to the cockpit. If you fail it, you may not be able to get any kind of pilot certificate. If you choose not to get a medical, you can still get a sport pilot certificate. There are restrictions -- you can't fly at night, you can't be paid for flying, and you can't fly above 10,000 feet. An FAA-designated doctor will check your vision and color perception, hearing, and medications to see if anything you take could be disabling. You can find an approved examiner at Prices vary around the country, but expect to spend about $115.