The Pilot Institute Review – Aviation Courses for Drones and Airplane Pilots

This review of The Pilot Institute is from an experienced pilot’s perspective where you will be inspired and gain confidence to get started on your drone career or airplane pilot dream.

The Good

  • Playback learning from the video presentations
  • Guarantee – pass or get a portion of your fee back
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • No more missing concepts while writing notes
  • Flashcard app for learning on the go
  • Lifetime access for ongoing testing requirements
  • Certificate of Completion for FAA
  • Very few negative reviews

The Bad

  • More difficult for the classroom learner
  • Need some technology knowledge to access
  • If you are not self-motivated then online is harder

Verdict: With a global need for commercial drone pilots, simple, fast, and effective training is needed, and The Pilot Institute makes the process achievable.


Do you know how many would-be pilots miss their dream because they did not feel they were good enough? Too many that settled and did not take action because they simply needed a way to know that it was possible for them. If you’re looking for certainty and someone to have your back while you have a go AND work in your own time at home, then this review on The Pilot Institute might just be the gentle push you need.

They are so confident in you that they back their knowledge platform with a guarantee that you will pass, or refund some of your fee. You will find out how the easy-to-follow learning takes you on the journey, building your knowledge until you suddenly realize that you are a pilot.

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the pilot institute logo

What is The Pilot Institute?

The Pilot Institute is an at-home, online teacher that enables you to go from zero to 100% in theory subjects for drones and small aircraft. All pilots whether they are flying drones or airplanes need to complete their theory prior to being able to take each stage of their flight training. It is one of those necessary, slightly annoying boxes to tick, however, you should take heart in that the knowledge you gain may just save yours or someone else’s lives. The Pilot Institute boasts that they go the extra mile taking you further than the minimum necessary knowledge to get you elbow deep in the stuff that you do not even realise you need … until you do.

The Pilot Institute backs itself with a ‘guaranteed to pass the test or you’ll get $175 plus a full refund’ and reports that they have a 99.8% pass rate for their students. To be able to fly a drone commercially in the US, or fly aircraft commercially or privately, there are regulations that you need to meet, and the Pilot Institute’s online training meets the necessary syllabus to tackle the FAA Part 107 for commercial drone flying theory, FAA Part 61 private pilot license and the Commercial Pilot Airplane (CAX) theory exams.

The lessons are delivered in easy-to-watch video format, with practice exams, cheat sheets, and even study groups are available if you learn better by hanging out with like-minded people for motivation. You will also need an endorsement from flight instructors before you take the theory test which is required by the FAA and comes free with courses.

“We offer a 30 day satisfaction guarantee on all courses. If you are not happy – you can get your money back hassle-free. This is in addition to other guarantees that we have on some courses, such as our $175 money back guarantee that you will pass your FAA exam. We take customer happiness seriously and we will stand by you.”

What courses do the Pilot Institute offer?

The courses available from the Pilot Institute are put together by certified flight instructors and largely focused on achieving the necessary theory knowledge to be able to pass the FAA Part 107 drone test so you can fly drones commercially in the US, however, also can cover you for your commercial and private pilot theory to fly aircraft. The suite of inclusions in the theory training is provided in a simple, self-paced, repeatable format in that you can stop, rewind, and listen to a lesson multiple times to make sure you understand. This type of self-lead style of learning is proving to be the future of learning.

When it comes to practicing for your theory test, The Pilot Institute course has you covered with unlimited practice exams and access to twenty quizzes. This is why they can offer their guarantee of success and are sure to make your life easier in the process!

Passing the FAA Part 107 drone license test will mean you can fly drones commercially in the USA

Where is the Pilot Institute based?

The course and curriculum are based in the US, however many of the aviation theory concepts are universal to the equipment whether it be flying drones or a small airplane. The Pilot Institute has students from the UK, Canada, and Australia however each country has their unique airspace, charts, and local regulations so it is recommended that you seek to fine-tune for your local jurisdiction to cover these three areas.

How much are the courses?

The cost of the courses varies depending on how far you want to take your flying dream. To fly drones commercially in the US, you will need the lot. For private pilot aircraft, you will need to complete the test specifically for private flying which is less than if you were flying aircraft commercially. The courses can be seen below in the table. The best value, if you are starting out, is to take the bundle to knock it all over while you are in study mode.

1Part 107 Commercial Drone License course
2Drone Business made easy
3Commercial drone Pilot Bundle of 1 and 2 – Drone CPL and Drone business **Best value**
4Drone flying 101
5Drone Mapping, Modeling and Surveying Bundle
6Drone Maneuvers Mastery
7Drone Photo and Video Masterclass
8Real Estate Photo and Video
9Cinematic FPV Drone from scratch
10Visual Observer Essentials
11Droneresponders Part 107 and Public Safety COA course
12NIST UAS Made Easy
13Many free options!

1Private Pilot Made Easy Online Ground School
2Instrument Rating Made Easy
3Bundle of 1 and 2 – Private Pilot plus Instrument rating **Best value**
4Commercial Pilot Made Easy
5Many free options!

the pilot institute, light aircraft
Pass the FAA Private pilot test with lots of support and incentives

Are there any free courses available?

There are a number of free add-ons in The Pilot Institute suite of services, however, we particularly like the “30-Day 100% Money Back Guarantee” option where you can get a full refund if you are not satisfied with the course within 30 days. This is a great feature as you can then see if it is a personal fit for your style of learning.

 It is a well-known fact amongst the aviation community that once you get the ‘aviation bug’ then you will want to keep learning. Luckily, there are many other free options available that you can add to your arsenal of knowledge such as drone night flying and deep-diving which sound extremely cool! For airplane pilots there is a neat ‘becoming a pilot’ guide as well before you even start to check that you have the goods to be a pilot.

If you are keen to explore other free training, check out our review on Airlines that pay for flight training and aviation scholarships

Are the courses available offline or via mobile phone?

 Absolutely! This style of learning has to be available when you’re ‘feeling it’ to study and The Pilot Institute offers access on your mobile if that is your jam or you can also download to access offline when you’re travelling, at your teenager’s basketball training, or while getting your car washed … use your dead time well, or do it your own pace. The Flashcard app available for iPhone and Android users will aid in retaining the course information in an enjoyable way. You will find that most pilots are experts at ‘fitting’ everything in, so they get to an outcome. By doing this from the start in your training, you are already becoming the pilot that you have dreamed of being!

“Pilot Institute™ was created to help people achieve their dreams of flight. Our mission is to create world-class courses that remove the friction from passing the FAA’s tests. This is summed up in our motto “Aviation Made Easy”.”

How long do the courses take?

For the shorter courses, you would only need a few hours but even for the full enchilada courses, if you are keen enough and commit, you could get the core theory done in under a week. For the Private Pilot and Instrument rating there is 55 hours of content and for the drone, around 15 hours for the basic private and commercial courses. There will be more time needed to hone your ‘craft’ depending on how many practise exams you do. We definitely recommend doing as many as you can because once you are out there the extra knowledge will only come in handy.

As a pilot of a drone or airplane, you will also find out that the learning really does not stop as all your licenses need to be kept current. So, when we say you could knock it over in a week, we must stress that it means only the initial learning. You should view your life as a pilot as continuous learning and therefore dedicate time to your craft and that means theory. The Pilot Institute has many more videos that we recommend you watch regularly as a refresher and knowledge retention tool for your brain. It is called continuous professional development (CPD) and is a must for the modern pilot. Being accredited by the International Accreditors for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) The Pilot Institute can offer Continuing Education Credits (CEUs).

the pilot institute, online study
Take the courses at your own pace – there is offline and mobile phone access as well

Advantages of the Pilot Institute

  • Playback learning from the video presentations
  • Guarantee – pass or get a portion of your fee back
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • No more missing concepts while writing notes
  • Flashcard app for learning on the go
  • Lifetime access for ongoing testing requirements
  • Certificate of Completion for FAA
  • Very few negative reviews

Disadvantages of the Pilot Institute

  • More difficult for the classroom learner
  • Need some technology knowledge to access
  • If you are not self-motivated then online is harder

Trust Pilot rating 4.9/5.0 stars from 23,215 reviews at time of writing

How do you enrol in The Pilot Institute?

Enrolling in The Pilot Institute courses is super simple and super instant! Just go to >Select your desired course> Click ‘enrol’>Add your billing info and you can start instantly! No waiting for the next course induction day.


With a global need for commercial drone pilots, simple, fast, and effective training is needed, and The Pilot Institute system makes the process achievable. If you have ever dreamed of being a pilot of an aircraft or in the drone business and thought you were not smart enough or did not have time, then it is time to break that limiting belief and go for it! The Pilot Institute system streamlines the learning, makes it easy to access and complete while you are still working your other job.

For any budding airplane pilots, this is also your call to action to dust off your old dreams, push past the learning barrier and start your education with The Pilot Institute. Complete with easy videos, practice tests, tools and resources, instructor support, a certificate … and a guarantee! Your future pilot you, awaits..

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ken johnson


Ken is a passionate aviator, a professional pilot and flight instructor. He has over 17 years of flight experience across hundreds of aircraft ranging from recreational, aerobatic, historic, commercial and military aircraft, training hundreds of students along the way. Find out more.

Ken has 124 posts and counting. See all posts by Ken

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