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Frequently Asked Questions | Private Pilot Program

Astoria, Oregon
Crater Lake, Oregon
Navigating back from Reno, Nevada
Salt Lake City, Utah sunset

I know very little about what is required, and I do not own a plane. Can I come to you and learn what I need to know and have everything provided?

Yes! I can provide you with the resources you need in order to become a pilot, rental aircraft being one of them. Teaching others to fly is our profession and what we enjoy. We have spent many years in general aviation and will lend our experience to enable you in your goal of learning to fly. One-on-one flight and ground instruction that suits you and your schedule, rental aircraft, pilot supplies, books, and advice are all available here!

How much does it cost to get a Private Pilot license?

The investment to become a pilot varies with everyone and depends on a few factors. The range is usually from about $4,750 to $7,000 and includes instruction, airplane rental, books & pilot supplies, renters insurance, and testing fees. Please refer to the pricing page for more details.

How soon until I can actually start flying?

Right away! We make it our goal to have you do as much of the flying as possible from the very first lesson!

Do I have to be good at math to be a pilot?

No! All that will be needed is basic knowledge of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

Do I have to pass a medical exam?

Yes. Before you can solo, you will need at least a 3rd Class Airman Medical Certificate. We know a few good Medical Examiners that you can use. Search for an AME (Free FAA Database Search)

Do I need any kind of insurance?

If you are renting an airplane for your training it may be requirement at certain locations to purchase rental insurance before you can solo. The insurance costs about $350-$550 for a year and depends on the type airplane you will be using for your training.

Is it difficult to learn how to fly?

Absolutely! If getting your pilot license was easy, more than 1% of our population would be pilots. It is not for everyone. It takes dedication and commitment. However, the challenge is incredibly rewarding and worth all of the effort you put into it so don't let the challenge discourage you! A good instructor will show you how to succeed and have fun at the same time. The flying is easy. The landings take some practice. The books take the most effort for many people. It is all very worth it in the end!

How long does it take to get my license?

The average time is around 6 months. It can be done in as little as 3 months or even quicker if it is your main focus. The pace can be set by you and your availability.

Do people learn to fly in the wintertime?

Definitely. While it is true that the weather is not as pleasant in the winter, it offers some great exposure to different conditions that will increase your overall skill as a pilot that you would not get while training during the summer months.

How soon until I fly solo?

It usually takes people somewhere around 15-20 hours of flight time to be ready to solo.

Do I have to take a test in order to get my license?

In order to get your license, you will have to pass a written test consisting of multiple choice questions. After the written test is passed, you can schedule a checkride where you will meet with an examiner. They will quiz you verbally and then evaluate you while you perform various flight maneuvers. For more information please refer to our page on preparing for a checkride.

Do I need books or any special materials?

Yes. There are many different publishers and authors to choose from, many of them doing a fine job covering the material. If you have not already purchased your books, please let us know before you do so that we can give you some recommendations on what to get based on your particular learning style and situation. In addition to the books, you will need some charts & maps, a plotter, an E6B flight computer (not expensive), and a Pilot's Operating Handbook (POH) that applies to your airplane. Many of these supplies are available in stock and easily found at the airport where you will be doing your training.

Is flying safe?

Yes! Flying is statistically much safer than driving. Receiving good training, maintaining the proper attitude, and ensuring the airplane is well maintained are the biggest factors you have in your control that will provide a safe flying environment.

What different skills or topics will I learn about?

Part of why learning to fly is so great is that you will learn about many different topics that can at times apply to other parts of your everyday life. In addition to just learning the basics of flying and controlling the airplane confidently and with skill, you will learn about navigation, aerodynamics and aircraft systems. You will also learn about weather, operating radios, multi-tasking, good decision making, and rules and regulations so that you stay safe and legal.

I'm doing this just for fun - will it benefit me professionally in any way?

Definitely! All of our instructors have personally been able to use their flight experience during interviews and on resumes to help win jobs outside the aviation industry that they may not have gotten otherwise. Since there are such few pilots, it really gives you an advantage over others competing for the same job since you can prove how you can handle challenging situations, multi-tasking, communicating with others, following through on commitments, and many other skills important in any work environment. On top of that, our instructors can provide another good professional reference for you if you so wish!


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