The Private Pilot Certificate is the starting point for most aviators. As a private pilot, you'll be able to fly yourself and friends/family for fun. You can start flying at all age, but you must be at least 17 years of age to become a private pilot.
The FAA requires a minimum of 40 flight hours before a student can take the practical exam (a check ride) with a FAA Inspector or FAA Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE). To build up to this 40 hours, the student will establish a relationship with the flight instructor by going over basic information on the ground such as learning traffic pattern, checking weather, filing flight plans, weight and balance, etc. The student will be incorporating flight time along with some of the information being discussed on the ground. Usually within 10-15 hours of flight time, the student is ready to solo [fly the airplane without the instructor]. This time can vary based on the student's comfort level. The student and instructor will know when it's time.
Other things required in the training program are 3 hours of night flying, 3 hours of cross-country and 3 hours of simulated Instrument Flight Rules (IFR - looking at the instruments in the cockpit and navigating from these instruments); all are done with the instructor. Instructor and student flight time together must be a minimum of 20 hours.
There is a written exam as well as a practical exam that students must pass in order to acquire a private pilot's certificate. The written exam consists of 60 questions which are pulled from a test bank of about 800 questions. The test bank is available to the student prior to the exam for study purposes. The student must pass the written test before taking the practical exam.
Ever wonder what it is like to fly during stormy weather or through the clouds? While training for the instrument rating you'll learn to fly a plane without seeing outside. It's exciting and confidence building to navigate solely by instruments; working with the weather instead of against it. You must be at least 17 years of age; hold or be currently seeking a private pilot certificate.
NO TWO STUDENTS ARE ALIKE. Our instructors will work with you to design a training plan that meets your learning style and goals. We offer an discovery flights, and we highly recommend this before committing to any classes. During this one-hour lesson, the flight instructor will spend about 30 minutes on the ground discussing the mechanics of the airplane and about 30 minutes in flight. It is a great way to determine if flight training is really for you. The average cost for a student to receive the Private Pilot's Certificate is about $8,000-$10,000 payable as you go.
TSA requires that all students learning to fly must show proof of American citizenship with a government issued photo I.D. (driver's license) and one of the following:
1. A certified copy of Certificate of Birth
2. Current U.S. Passport. Please bring these credentials with you at the time of your first lesson. We will photocopy this information and keep on file for five (5) years.