Learning to fly is a lot easier than people think!

Today there are thousands of people, just like you, learning to fly. They come from all walks of life and have a variety of reasons for wanting to be a pilot.

We love to fly, and we want to share it with you. Trust us, this will be the most fun you’ve ever had.

Training Time Required

The Federal Aviation Regulations require a minimum of 40 hours of flight time to earn your Private Pilot certificate.  This time must include:

  • at least 20 hours of dual instruction, including
    • three hours of day cross-country instruction,
    • three hours of instrument instruction,
    • three hours of local and cross-country night instruction, and
    • three hours of instruction in preparation for the FAA practical test.
  • at least 10 hours of solo flight, including five hours of cross-country flight (two flights).

Plus 10 hours either dual or solo

Despite these minimums, most new pilots require more experience to be safe and competent.  The national average for Private Pilots is about 70-75 hours total flight time, including about 50 hours of dual instruction.

Prerequisites to Take the FAA Practical Test

Before you can take the FAA practical test to become a private pilot, your CFI must endorse your logbook to show that you have completed your ground and flight instruction.  In addition, you must:

  • Be 17 years old (you need to be 16 years old to fly solo),
  • Be able to read, write and understand the English language,
  • Hold at least a Class III medical certificate, and
  • Pass the FAA knowledge test.

Tips for Minimizing Your Training Costs

Fly as frequently as possible.  As with any other activity that requires learning new motor skills–such as tennis or skiing–the less time that elapses between your lessons, the more newly-acquired skills your brain and body will retain from the previous lesson. As a result, you’ll be able to spend more time during each lesson learning new skills instead of re-learning old ones.  We find that flying at least once a week is the minimum desirable frequency; flying two or three times a week should enable you to earn your certificate in closer to the FAA minimum times.

Come prepared for your flight lessons.  Always complete the reading and know what to expect during your flight lesson, and how to perform any new maneuvers.  Make a list of any questions that you have, and bring them with you to the lesson so you can discuss them beforehand with your CFI.