This is a list of questions we have been asked in the past. If you don't see your question here please contact us.
What is a pilot's license?
A Pilot's License is a the incorrect term for a Pilot's Certificate. The best way to describe the difference is that the FAA does not license a pilot to operate an aircraft. They issue a certificate based on certain criteria that the Pilot/Student has demonstrated. This criteria is now called the Airmen Certification Standards (ACS) formerly known as the Practical Testing Standards (PTS).
Is there an age limit to start flight training?
No, there is no age limit to begin flight training. Students can begin at any age but would not be allowed to solo until their 16th birthday. A student would also not be able to earn their Pilot's certificate until the day of their 17th birthday. Some student's look at having their first Solo flight on their 16th birthday and earning their pilot's certificate on their 17th birthday!
How long does it take to earn a Private Pilot's Certificate?
Great question and the most widely asked! The answer to this is simple, yet complicated. The FAA minimum hours is 40 for a Part 61 flight school, but this is well below the national average of 60-75 hours. The easiest means to determine how long it will take you to earn your certificate is to determine how frequently you're able to take a lesson. If you take one lesson a month you're looking at roughly a year or longer to earn your certificate. If you're able to fly 3 lessons a week you're looking at between 10-16 weeks. There is a saying we like to use when discussing this questions "two steps forward, one step backwards". The more frequent a student can have a lesson the more they retain resulting in less time to earn their certificate. This also bring us to the next question.
How much does it all cost?
Easily the most common question pertaining to flight training, and for good reason! This plays into the timeframe it takes to earn the certificate. The National Average of 60 - 75 hours to earn a private pilot's certificate can cause a student to spend between $5,000-9,500 depending on the type of aircraft the student learns in. For a breakdown of our estimated cost of training click here.
What is a dry rate and wet rate?
These rates pertain to the rental of aircraft. A dry rate is the price a Pilot/Student will pay for the aircraft not including the price of fuel or oil. A wet rate is the dry rate of the aircraft plus the hourly cost of the fuel burn for that type of aircraft.
What can I do with a Private Pilot's Certificate?
As a Private Pilot you can do a lot! You can fly with friends and family to any location in the United States and internationally under Visual Flight Rules (VFR), although we advised additional training to fly internationally. If are tired of the business trip on a commercial airliner down to Long Island, NY or countless other locations you can fly there instead and likely write it off as a business expense (check with your tax professional)! You can also fly at night but the one thing you cannot do as a Private Pilot is fly in the clouds, what is called Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC). In order to fly in the clouds you need to continue your flight training and receive an Instrument Rating.
What can I do with an Instrument Rating?
The addition of an Instrument Rating on your Private Pilot Certificate opens the true freedom of General Aviation to be at your fingertips! This Rating (think of it as an add-on to your certificate) requires additional training with a qualified instructor (CFI-I). Through the training you will learn to fly the aircraft by the sole reference to the instruments, simulating you are in the clouds. The addition of this rating to your certificate gives you, what we like to call, a "get out of jail free" power to what you can do. If the weather deteriorates beyond what the forecast was calling for when you did your planning you would have to divert to a different location with better weather. Having your Instrument Rating allows you to file and fly "in the system" and continue on to your destination when you normally wouldn't have had the ability to do as a VFR pilot.
Do I need to go to college for piloting in order to receive college credits for my pilot certificates?
No, most colleges and universities will grant you college credit for certificate/ratings earned. However we always recommend you check with your school for clarification.
Can I pay as I go through the training or put a sum of money down for training?
Absolutely! We are open to any method of payment including; cash, personal check, credit cards, debit cards or a lump sum payment put under your account. Talk to us today about our lump sum payment option!
Is General Aviation/flying safe?
Believe it or not, most people get into an accident when they are on their way to the airport instead of in the aircraft. We have very strict requirements and inspections on our aircraft to ensure they are maintained in the best condition possible. When you see a Piper Cub from 1946 still flying in the skies overhead one of the first things that should come to mind it how well maintained that aircraft is. Most of the smaller planes you see flying overhead are "older" aircraft that might have been brand new 15-30+ years ago.
As pilot's we are always worried about the "What if". When you drive your car most people are concerned with the "What if" because if something happens they can pull over to the side of the road. Pilot's have to ensure that nothing is going to happen once they are airborne so we always do a thorough pre-flight inspection on the aircraft as well as a "pre-flight" on the engine prior to leaping into the sky.
Does a pilot's certificate expire like a driver license?
No, once you receive your Pilot's certificate it never expires! The FAA does mandate that certain requirements are met after you become certificated. You need to complete a Biennial Flight Review (BFR) every 24 calendar months to remain "legal" with a CFI as well as maintain an active FAA Medical Certificate*. If you are going to be flying with passengers the FAA requires you to remain "current" with your landings every 90 days. 3 landings during the day for daytime flight or 3 landings to a full stop for night flight is required every 90 days.
*Medical Certificates have changed as of June 2017. Refer to FAA BasicMed for more information.
I have flight hours from when I flew when I was younger. Do these hours still count towards a certificate?
Indeed they do! Flight hours never "expire". While you might have 30 hours of flight time logged from when you were younger this does not mean you only need 10 more hours until you are ready for the practical test. What the 30 hours translate into is less time you need to accumulate in order to qualify to take the test.