The first step in becoming a pilot is an introductory flight lesson.

For $99, you’ll fly with an instructor in one of our Cessna aircraft, try a few basic procedures, and see Ann Arbor from 2,000 feet.


Your First lesson

You’ll spend some time on the ground getting to know an instructor, learning the steps we take to prepare for a safe flight, and how the controls maneuver the aircraft. Then you’ll climb into the pilot’s seat and begin your first flight! You'll spend 30-45 minutes aloft: climb over downtown Ann Arbor, then take the controls to practice a few things for yourself.

Your $99 pays for aircraft expenses, and the instructor donates their time. It’s a great way to discover flight in a single-engine plane, get to know one of our instructors, and consider the journey of becoming a pilot.

If you’re thinking about learning to fly with the Michigan Flyers, this introductory lesson is the best way to meet an instructor, see our aircraft, and learn about the club. Unfortunately, we are not able to provide rides or charter flights.

Watch a 7-minute video of one of our instructors and a student's first lesson.

Getting your license

If you decide to train with the Michigan Flyers, you can expect a few things on your trek. You’ll work closely with an instructor, spending hours in the air and on the ground. You’ll also work on your own with Cessna’s web-based video-rich instruction, learning procedures before you practice them. You’ll learn regulations, radio communications, meteorology, and the wide breadth of knowledge that pilots employ.

To become a private pilot, you’ll spend a minimum of 40 hours in the air — most students spend 50-70 hours before obtaining their certificate. During these hours, you'll train with an instructor, progress to nearby solo flights, on to flight planning and night flying. Toward the end of your training, you’ll take several solo long-distance flights over rural Michigan.

Our instructors

You’ll typically fly with one instructor throughout your training, with occasional checks from our chief instructor at certain phases along the way. You’ve got the flexibility to find an instructor whose personality and schedule works best for you. Read more about our talented instructors.


How much will it all cost?

This is a difficult question to answer, but as a non-profit club, run by volunteers, we want to be as up front as possible. There are three primary costs: instruction, aircraft rental and club dues. 

The most important factor in the cost of your training is how much time you can invest. Preparing for each lesson in advance and flying as often as possible will cut down on the time and cost to get your license. 

Our students typically spend 6 - 16 months from first lesson to minted pilot. If you’re able to spend a lot of time at the airport, you can make it happen in under 3 months.


You'll conduct your training in the same type of aircraft from start to finish. Depending on your weight and comfort, this may be a 2-seat Cessna 152 or our larger Cessna 172s. These vary from $81 to $133 per hour, billed for the time that the engine is running.

The FAA requires at least 40 hours of time in a plane to get your license. We find that most of our students spend closer to 50-70 hours.


During your training, you'll spend 25-40 hours with an instructor. This includes flight-planning time on the ground, phase checks from another instructor, and a lot of time practicing landings around our airport! Our instructors bill at $55 / hour.

Club Dues & Insurance

Unlike a typical FBO or aircraft rental agency, you don’t need to carry expensive renters insurance with our club. We charge monthly dues of $55, so if your training lasts a year, you’ll spend a little over $600 on dues, which go toward our own fixed costs (primarily our insurance and hangars).

Other costs

You’ll likely use our Cessna curriculum, which includes all of the materials you need to pass the FAA written exam. This costs $330. You’ll also need to pay for a medical exam before your first solo (about $100), and for your FAA written and in-flight exams. 


If you fly in our most affordable aircraft, and you spread out a a year in training, with an average amount of effort, you might spend about $9,000 on your license. If you have less time to invest in studying, or you fly in a more costly aircraft, you may spend closer to $12,000.

Ready to get started?

The first step is an introductory flight lesson. Contact us, and we’ll work to schedule something.