Frequently Asked Questions:
How Do I Get Started?
What is a Private Pilot Certificate?
How do I get a Pilot Certificate?
What Skills and Requirements are Needed to Learn to Fly?
How Long will it Take?
What Will it Cost Me?
How Do I Get Started? (top of page)
Call Robert at 817-781-9737 and schedule a First Flight. Or just come out and talk with Robert and other pilots and see the variety of airplanes that are available--get a feel for what learning to fly is all about!
What is a Private Pilot Certificate? (top of page)
It's like a driver's license for the sky. It allows you to fly anywhere in the United States and even outside the US when you comply with regulations of the foreign country where the aircraft is operated. You can carry any number of passengers, and you can share certain operating expenses with your passengers.
There are currency and medical requirements to make sure you stay safe and healthy, but there are only a few other factors that affect when and where you can fly.
Once you earn your license, you are free to fly around in the skies below 18,000 feet above sea level to your heart's content. You might take the family on a trip to visit relatives in a distant state, use an airplane to shorten the time it takes to make business trips to another city, or fly to another airport for breakfast or dinner.
How do I get a Pilot Certificate? (top of page)
Learning to fly is a matter of acquiring aeronautical knowledge, flight proficiency, and experience. Think of the process as a series of steps. Some steps, such as aeronautical knowledge can be acquired throughout your training process. Others, like solo training, come when your instructor has provided the required training and he or she decides that you are ready.
The process can be broken down into the following subjects:
FAA knowledge test
Solo cross-country training
Practical Test Preparation
What Skills and Requirements are Needed to Learn to Fly? (top of page)
You must obtain a student pilot certificate to begin. For that, you must:
Be at least 16 year old (14 for operating a glider or balloon)
Hold at least a third class medical certificate
Be able to read, speak, write, and understand the English language.
Usually, the medical certificate and student pilot certificate are one and the same. They are issued by a doctor who has been approved by the FAA to administer the medical exam.
You do not need a medical or student certificate to attend a ground school to study the aeronautical information. You will need it when you fly solo.
How Long will it Take? (top of page)
The minimum number of hours required by the FAA to obtain a Private Certificate is 40 hours, which usually consists of:
20 hours of dual instruction
3 hours of dual cross country flight
10 hours of solo flight
5 hours of solo cross-country
3 hours of night flying
3 hours of instrument flight
3 hours of flight-test preparation
Your instructor will determine when you are ready to take your test, so it could take longer than the minimum hours required.
The Aeronautical knowledge consists of studying such things as the Federal Regulations, Navigation and Pilotage, Radio Navigation, Weather, Airport Tower Operations, Aerodynamics, Aircraft Systems and Performance, and Stall/Spin awareness.
What Will it Cost Me? (top of page)
Approximate costs are available on the Licenses and Ratings page.