Frequently Asked Questions
What are the medical and age requirements?
All ages welcome
You must be at least 17 years of age to get a pilot's license, but average age of a student pilot is 34 years old. Many don't start until retirement and we have trained student pilots as old as 76 years young! You may start your training and logging time towards you license at any age but you cannot fly solo until reaching the age of 16 and passing a third class medical exam.
You do not have to have perfect 20/20 vision! This was a military requirement that is often confused with the civilian world. Worst case, as in driving, you may be required to wear your glasses or have them on hand when operating an aircraft. If you are found to be color blind in those colors that are used in aviation, you may be restricted from flying at night.
I want to be a commercial airline pilot - is this how I get started?
Professional pilots all begin with getting their private pilot’s license. Very briefly, after the private training will follow instrument and commercial training. With a commercial license, the pilot will then have to accumulate several hundred more hours of flight time (as an instructor, charter pilot, etc.), as well as additional ratings to fly multi-engine aircraft, etc., before applying to a regional airline, or to become a corporate pilot.
Keep in mind- this is the story in a very small nutshell, but at least it gives an idea of what can follow after the private training, should you choose to pursue a career in aviation.
How much will it cost?
Between $5,000 and $13,000
There are a lot of variables that affect the cost of learning to fly, including the frequency of flight lessons, weather conditions, the kind of aircraft in which you are training and its availability for scheduling, and individual aptitude. A rough estimate would range between $5,000 and $13,000, depending on the certificate being sought with the Private Pilot and Commercial Pilot certificates being on the higher end of the range.
How long will training take?
Roughly 6 months
The same variables that affect the cost of learning to fly will affect the time it takes to earn your certificate. Per FAA regulations, the minimums are 20 hours for a sport pilot certificate, 30 hours for a recreational certificate, and 40 hours for a private pilot certificate. If you fly a couple times a week it will typically take about 6 months to obtain a Private Pilot certificate. The more often you fly the fresher your skills will remain and the less time it will take.
What does training involve?
Learning to fly
With each lesson, your Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) will assist you less and less until you reach a point of self-reliance. When you reach this point, you will make your first solo flight, an important milestone in every pilot’s training. After you solo, you and your CFI will work on such things as flying cross-country, and when you’re ready, you’ll make several solo cross-country flights. When you have the ability to consistently demonstrate all of the FAA required skills, your instructor will recommend you for the FAA checkride.