The Real Cost of Becoming a Private Pilot

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

Photograph by Scott Martin/AP

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The Plane

While today's cars feature multizone automated climate control and heated seats, today's single engine planes are more like the luxobarges of the 1970s. While some feature modern dashboards and electronic -- rather than mechanical -- instrument displays, the comfort level isn't great. The upside: Training in an older plane can be cheaper. Of course, a new light sport aircraft is more fuel efficient, which could reduce the overall cost. Among popular trainers are the Cessna 172, the Piper Cherokee, and the newer Diamond Katana. Expect to spend $135 to $155 per hour, or about $9,425 for 65 hours of flying.