The Real Cost of Becoming a Private Pilot

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

Photograph by Plamen Petkov/Bloomberg

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Hip hop pilot Sean "Diddy" Combs grounded his plane in 2008 due to the price of gas and then pleaded for free oil from Saudi Arabia in a YouTube video he posted. Now, with oil prices sky high again, taking to the skies will cost you more. Leaded gas (yes, small piston-engine aircrafts still use leaded fuel) runs about $5 per gallon. Schools such as Sporty's Academy and Executive Flyers include the fuel fees in the plane rental. Sporty's, though, currently adds on a fuel surcharge of $5.25 per hour -- or about $341 for 65 hours.