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You must fulfill minimum requirements to be issued a pilot license. You must receive ground and flight training from a certified flight instructor (CFI). You must pass two tests. One is a written test with 60 multiple choice questions. The other is a oral and flight test performed by a pilot examiner. Once you pass these tests you will be issued private pilot license. It can take anywhere from a few months to years to obtain the flight experience and the knowledge to pass these tests. The more you meet with your CFI, the sooner you are able to take the test. Subject students learn include: basic aerodynamics, weather reports and forecasting, aircraft systems, navigation, air traffic control, flight rules.Is there an age limitation?
There is no age limitation to start learning to fly. We have students as young as 12 years old. However, you must be 16 to solo a plane (fly it without the instructor in the plane), and you must be 17 to become a private pilot. There is no upper age limit.How long does it take to learn how to fly?
Learning to fly is not difficult, but it does require study and practice of various subjects. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires that an individual complete a minimum of 40 hours of flight training before becoming a licensed pilot. The flight training is divided into 20-30 hours with an instructor and 10-20 hours of solo practice. Upon completion of the 40-hour training requirement and a final evaluation, one can be issued a private pilot license. Realistically, however, the national average is 80 hours of flight training before they earn a private pilot’s license. In order to complete all of the required training in the minimum 40 hours (with an acceptable level of proficiency), most people would need to fly several times per week. Most individuals cannot devote that much of their time to training. However, students who fly more frequently, typically have better recall of the previous lessons and spend less time in review.How long does a lesson last?
Most lessons are based on a 1-2 hour flight, but plan on a minimum of three hours per session, as pre-flight and post-flight briefings are essential. This allows students and instructors to talk about what will be done during the flight, review the lesson after the flight, cover what will be introduced in upcoming lessons and go over any other ground school material.When will I actually begin flying?
Students begin with a large amount of help from their assigned flight instructor. From the very first lesson, students will be “flying” the aircraft. Students will fly with decreasing levels of assistance as the student advances through the syllabus. One of the most important milestones of flight training is the first solo flight. When students reach this point, their flight instructor will endorse the student to practice takeoffs and landings at the local airport. There is no set time limit before the first solo flight. Instructors will not allow students to operate an aircraft by themselves until the student demonstrates proficiency in the required maneuvers. Upon completion of the required curriculum, the student is recommended to the FAA for the final practical test for the issuance of a private pilot license.What is ground school?
Flight training is divided into two parts: ground school and flight training. Ground school teaches students the principles, procedures and regulations that are put into practice during flight lessons. One portion of the certification process consists of a computerized exam. Ground school is designed to prepare students for this test. Ground school classes come in various formats, whether it is a classroom session, a computer based course or a home prep-course. An instructor’s endorsement is required for a student to take the FAA test.What is the check ride like?
The FAA checkride consists of a 2 part process, an oral test and a flight test. During the oral portion, the examiner will quiz the applicant on what was learned in ground school and ask practical questions. The flight test is ensure the applicant is a safe and competent pilot. Checkride examiners job is to see that only safe applicants become pilots.What are the FAR's?
F.A.R. stand for Federal Aviation Regulations, the rules for flying. Pilots need to be familiar with these rules, just as the driver of a car is familiar with the rules of the road.What if I feel airsick?
Some people are more susceptible to motions sickness than others. Ordinarily, it may take a few lessons in order to get used to the sensations of flight. After a few lessons, normal flight often begins to feel as natural as driving a car. If airsickness persists, there are techniques to help alleviate the problem. Most people build a tolerance to motion sickness over time.How safe is it?
General aviation and “those little airplanes” as some may call them, are as safe as any other mode of travel, if not safer. Pilots and passengers do not use parachutes because airplanes and helicopters do not fall from the sky when the engine stops. An aircraft without an engine, even if it’s supposed to have one, is a glider capable of descending safely to a landing. If the engine quits, for example, it is typically because the pilot has allowed it to run out of fuel. In other words, flying is as safe as each individual chooses to make it. How to fly safely and deal with an extremely rare occurrence of an actual emergency is our top priority in your training.Are there different types of licenses?
Yes. In aviation, pilots receive certificates and ratings, rather than a “license”. The certificates are as follows:
Ratings may be added to various certificates as the pilot chooses what path their aviation experience will take. Some examples are: Seaplane, Glider, Multi-engine, and Instrument. Ratings allow, say for example, a private pilot with and instrument rating to fly in reduced visibility conditions while exercising the privileges of their private pilot certificate.What certificate should I get?
It depends on why an individual would like to fly. It is a good idea to evaluate travel needs and purpose of the decision to fly. If an individual seeks to fly only at one small rural field for the pure enjoyment of flight, then the sport pilot certificate may be suitable. If one planes to go further and have more passengers in more advanced aircraft, then the private certificate is the choice.Where can I fly?
As a student pilot, individuals may only go to the places, which their flight instructor allows. For instance, when student pilots begin practicing flights to other airports, their flight instructor will endorse their students to fly to a specific airport(s). A student is limited to fly where the instructor allows their student to go. Sport pilots must stay within a 50 mile radius of their home airport, but have the option to get additional training to fly outside of this boundary. Private pilot may fly anywhere in the world.Can I carry passengers?
Students are not allowed to carry passengers on solo flights. However, a passenger may observe a flight lesson with the consent of a flight instructor. Once a certificate is earned, a private pilot may carry as many passengers as their aircraft is equipped to carry.What medical requirements do I need to meet?
The medical examination form also doubles as a student pilot
certificate. This dual-purpose slip of paper is good for 36 months
for pilots under the age of 40 and 24 months for pilot over the age
of 40. Applicants must go to an Aviation Medical Examiner (AME) - an
FAA-approved doctor - to get a medical. There are over 6,000 AME’s
in the United States. We can direct you to an AME in your area. Some
people have medial conditions which may delay or prevent the
issuance of an aviation medical, so students are encouraged to get
an examination before the beginning of training.
The medical exam is not rigorous. It begins with filling out an FAA application/medical history form. Eyesight must be correctable to 20/40. Applicants should not have nose or throat conditions which would be aggravated by flying, need to have good balance, and the ability to hear a voice at a normal conversational tone 6 feet away. Applicants cannot have mental and neurological problems, such as psychosis, alcoholism, or epilepsy; any unexplained loss of consciousness; any serious medical conditions such as heart attack or chronic heart disease, diabetes mellitus, or other debilitating illnesses. If one of these items is in an applicant’s past it may, upon investigation, only case a delay, rather than the end of the individuals flying career. The extra time is used for further testing to determine that the applicant would not be unsafe at the controls of an airplane.
Regulations do not specify what type of aircraft must be used for flight training. Practicality and safe flight characteristics are inherent in most trainers. Flight schools typically utilize both two and four seat aircraft with one engine and fixed landing gear. Most training aircraft fly at around 120 mph and can stay aloft for over 4 hours at a time. Speed is unimportant during the learning stage, as students need to concentrate on how to fly rather than where to go. Once an individual is certified as a private pilot, they may go on to fly advanced aircraft with sophisticated navigation systems, 6 passenger capability and 150 to 200 mph speeds.How do I get from one airport to another?
Flying from one airport to another is called “cross-country flight”. There are several methods of navigation available to successfully fly from point to point. Radio navigation, like Global Positioning System (GPS), following maps like driving in the car, and computing wind effect on your aircraft during the flight are all methods of navigation for cross-countries. Student pilots are taught these skills and then practice them all with and without their flight instructor on board.Do I need special insurance?
Skill Aviation carries an insurance policy that covers students, instructors and renters. If individuals require additional coverage there are several aviation insurance companies that can grant a more comprehensive plan to supplement our insurance.Once I get my pilot's certificate, what can I do with it?
This is a question that should be answered before training begins. Flying offers a wealth of opportunities from which to choose. First, there is the obvious, one can make local sightseeing flights with friends and family on sunny afternoons, visiting nearby airports and making new friends. More distant airports may be used for vacation business, or pleasure. Many have learned aerobatics for fun and competition, built and flown their own aircraft, and restored antique/classic aircraft. Many have reached out of the way locations by learning to fly floatplanes and aircrafts on skis. Tailwheel airplanes can also get in and out of very small or rough landing strips. Several organizations exist for the good of society. The Civil Air Patrol and US Coast Guard Auxiliary conduct search and rescue operations when called upon to do so and a growing number of humanitarian flight organizations provide transportation to people in need or non-critical medical treatment. These activities are just a few of the challenges and possibilities within the world of aviation.What is 61 vs 141?
The Federal Aviation Administration governs flight instruction under two sets of regulations: Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR) Part 61 and FAR part 141. FAR Part 61 are rules that regulate the certification, privileges and limitations of pilots. FAR Part 141 are rules that govern flight training at certain flight schools. Not all schools meet Part 141 requirements, nor do they have to. You can train at any flight school, whether the school is 141 rated or not. Training for a pilot license under part 141 rules is very rigid and inflexible. Training for a private pilot’s license under part 61 regulations offers a great deal of flexibility in terms of scheduling and instruction sequencing.