What is the private pilot license?

The Private Pilot's License is the first step for anyone interested in aviation. Whether your goal is to become an airline captain or just enjoy a $100 Hamburger on the weekend with friends and family, you will need to become a private pilot. There is also the sport pilot license and the recreational pilot license but these licenses place many limitations on pilots that would otherwise not exist in terms of airplanes they can fly and distances they can travel. A private pilot is only bound by his or her imagination and the weather of course.

What do you learn?

During initial training you will learn about aerodynamics and all the secrets behind how these planes stay in the air. You will be trained on aircraft performance and master moving your bird through the sky through all phases of flight from takeoff through landing. Safety measures are stressed at all points during training and students learn thorough procedures for ensuring safe airplane operation. Navigation and communication training on the National Airspace system allows pilots to get from point A to point B and back. And finally performance maneuvers teach the student precise aircraft control while dividing their attention on other environmental tasks.

 How does the training progress?

Each session you meet with your instructor (me!) and we discuss the topics that we will be covering in the air. We get in the airplane, conduct a preflight inspection, and takeoff to the training area. During the lesson we will go over the maneuvers and ideas of that lesson's objective and return once the student has practiced the material. Upon arriving back at the airport each lesson ends in a discussion on landings and traffic patterns followed by the landing. The student is flying 100% of the time and learns the feeling of controlling the airplane. After the flight a brief ground session to go over topics covered and mistakes made ends the lesson.

How many hours does it take and how are those hours spent?

FAA minimums require 40 hours of training, however the nationwide average is between 50 and 60. During the first few hours you will learn airplane components and handling characteristics as well as basic maneuvers. After that you will explore the operating limitations of the airplane and learn to land consecutively. About 20 to 30 hours in you will be familiar with the airplane, all phases of flight, communication, and safety measures and will go on your first solo flight. This is one of the most memorable moments of your life because you are doing it all by yourself. Once that phase of training is complete, you go on to learn navigational skills and broaden your horizons to airports 50 to 100 miles away on cross-country training. You practice cross-country flying and then go on to learn night flying. Once meeting all of your requirements, you brush up on all of your previously learned skills and head over to an examiner that will test your knowledge and flying ability before he or she issues you a newly minted Private Pilot Certificate

Is it difficult?

No, as long as you put in the effort. It is a lot of fun though.

How much will it cost me to get my license?

It depends...Training schedules play a heavy role on your progress. A lesson that you took three weeks ago might have to be repeated before you can advance to the next lesson, where as the same lesson taken last week is much better remembered. The more often you fly the faster you will progress and the cheaper it will be. A cost range of $7000 to $9000 reflects the majority of people.

Why so much?

Each flight you take is measured in tenths of an hour. Per each hour of flight time you pay one fee for airplane rental and another for instruction. At the current rate of $160 for airplane + instructor you can calculate the cost of 40 hours to be $6400.

What's the first step?

An Intro Flight, an This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , a phone call...take your pick.