Simtech Aviation

How to Get a Private Pilot License in New York

With a Private Pilot Certificate, you can fly an airplane as a hobby, only fly in good weather conditions, and split the cost of operating the airplane with your passengers.
* We don't have airplanes, only supplement your Flight Training with our flight simulator

Tips to earn your Private Pilot

• Fly 2-3 times
per week

• Find an instructor you
enjoy working with

• Get the FAA written exam ASAP

Not sure where to start for your Private Pilot Certificate?



Let our mentors guide you to the rest of the process

First Step: Get Cleared by an FAA Medical Examiner

FAA Medical AME Private Pilot

Find an Aviation Medical Examiner (AME)

While you don't need to get an FAA Medical Exam before you start training, it's a good idea to get one since they will hold you over for a few years (depending on your age).

We recommend Raymond Basri MD, with locations in Morristown, NJ and Middletown, NY. You can schedule online at https://www.myflightmd.com/hours-online-scheduling/

Seccond Test: Study for the Private Pilot Knowledge Test


What is the FAA Written Exam and how do I study for it?

Private Pilot Knowledge Tests is a 60-question test. It is only administered at certified locations. (Click Here to find a location near you.) Before you show up to take the written test, you need to make an appointment, by calling (844) 704-1487.

You can start studying for the FAA Private Pilot Knowledge Tests before you take flying lessons. To prep, use the FAA handbooks and the Sporty's Learn To Fly Course (we carry their videos at our location if you want to by them after your simulator lesson).

Want to Breakdown of Cost of Private Pilot?

$12,175 to $32,250. Why the big difference in the cost to earn a Private Pilot Certificate?

Learn More>

Find a Flight School

We created a map with many of the Flight Schools in NY and NJ (sorry, we only work with a Certified Flight Simulator (AATD).

We encourage you to interview different flight schools.

There may be multiple flight schools in your local area but, do you know what questions to ask? We created a Flight School Interview Checklist!


What flight training airport should you pick ?

Long Island, North Jersey, and White Plains are the closest airport for New York City

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Customer Stories


Back in 2019 I decided to take my first step towards learning to fly. I wasn’t quite ready to get into a real airplane just yet. I knew there were concepts,  procedures, and general aviation knowledge I could learn in a simulator, at my own pace, and for a fraction of the cost. After doing a little research I discovered Simtech aviation based out of NYC —

I took an introductory 2 hour lesson with Julian. I must say I was skeptical about how realistic the sim would be but after my intro lesson I was reassured how much value I could get out of it.

Within the first couple of hours I learned basic flight theory (four forces of flight), flying attitudes, basic comms, and how to taxi to runway. I walked away with a great experience and I was eager to learn more.

Don’t get me wrong, a flight simimulator is a flight simimulator, and eventually nothing will be like the real thing and while I’m not looking to simulate what flying feels like, instead, I’m interested in learning things that are pretty much the same and make no difference if I’m sitting in a real plane or a sim cockpit. Things like radio communication, understanding flight controls, creating flight plans, learning how to use the g1000, interacting with ground or air traffic control — real deal concepts I can learn safely without being flustered in the air. I rather spend time learning how to actually fly once I’m in a real plane, bringing all the general knowledge I’ve learned in the sim.

Truthfully, I’m a believer this is the right way to learn how to fly. Perhaps technology has caught up and is now more accessible. What was once only available to really expensive rigs for commercial pilots is now available to the everyday consumer, and even home gaming enthusiasts.

It’s been a few months since my last sim lesson; COVID is to blame for that. Now that businesses are opening and nyc has reached phase 4, I am eager to get back on schedule with training. If all the right measures are taken (sanitizing equipment between lessons, speakers instead of headsets, fixed mic away from face, plexiglass between teacher and student) I would feel comfortable with getting back in the sim. I would even be open to remote lessons since I have a basic sim at home to practice.

In summary, I’m really happy I discovered Simtech. Everything from the experience, the staff, the technology, and the knowledge makes it a no brainer for me to continue my training.

Jordan S.

I was a student pilot and had 50 hours of instructional experience. A friend suggested it as a good way to resume my flight instruction after a 6 year lapse.
The equipment is state of the art and realistically simulates actual flight. He was very helpful in reacquainting me with the principles of flight, instruments, etc.
I probably would not have resumed my flight lessons since it was not convenient to go to an airport at that point for lessons.
Within a year after I took my first lesson, I passed my written exam, soloed and earned my private pilot certificate.
Gary H.

Third Step: Get in a Plane and Start Flying (Or practice what you learned first on our simulator to get ready)

Simulator | Stage 1: Pre-Solo

Airplane | Stage 1: Pre-Solo- Expect to spend about 18 hours flight training and 13 hours ground time with an instructor.*

Simulaotr | Stage 2: Solo Flights and Cross-Country

Airplane | Stage 2: Solo Flights and Cross-Country - Expect to spend about 20 hours of flight training and 10 hours of ground time with the instructor.*

Simulator | Stage 3: Preparing for your Practical Test

Airplane | Stage 3: Preparing for your Practical Test - Expect to spend about 3 hours of flight training and 15 hrs of ground time with the instructor.*


Do you have a Flight Simulator at home?

Your home flight simulators are a great training tool! The more you practice on your own time, the more time and money you will save in your flight training. The question is, what should you do when using your home simulator?

Learn More>

Aeronautical Experience Required by the FAA

As per AOPA Field Guide To Flight Training:

"The minimum flight time requirement to be eligible for a private pilot certificate is 40 flight hours. Most students fly 60-75 hours before testing."

Student pilots who can fly on average two to three times per week are the pilots who can finish close to minimum Aeronautical Experience set by the FAA.

Practice Flying Using an Aviation Training Device (ATD) Flight Simulator

If you cannot fly 2-3 times per week, incorporating the use of an Advanced Aviation Training Device (AATD) into your flight training will help a great deal in obtaining the experience needed for a Private Pilot License. Visit an ATD facility (like ours in midtown Manhattan) once a week and fly at a flight school of your choice the other 1-2 training days.