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Frequently Asked Questions

Getting started in flight training can seem daunting; so many questions, so few answers. Here's a list of questions we hear most often. If you still have questions, give us a call or text to (530) 999-8068

Q. How much does flight training cost?
A. The #1 question asked every flight instructor at parties and BBQs. The responses vary because there is no single answer, but an often-heard reply is "more than a set of golf clubs but less than a bass boat." The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) mandates a minimum of 40 hours of training and solo time for a Private Pilot Certificate, but very few student pilots complete their training in that time. The national average is more in the 60-70 hour range. Many schools tell their prospective students to budget $12-15,000, spread out over the duration of their training. That's probably as good an estimate as any, but a lot depends on the student's diligence, frequency of training, natural ability, and willingness to study.

Q.Are there "hidden" costs to flight training?

A. In addition to training costs (airplane rental and instructor charges), prospective students should plan to budget for equipment and study materials. A good aviation headset will cost $400-1100, ground training materials $150-300, an electronic flight bag app $150, miscellaneous other materials $200. Once you apply for your student pilot certificate, you'll start getting free catalogs full of aviation supplies, equipment, and doo-dads. You'll soon get a feel for what's really needed and what's not. And when in doubt, as your instructor. Odds are he or she has wasted a ton of money on things they really didn't need and can steer you in the right direction.

Q. Is there a discounted Discovery Flight available?

A. Yes, such flights are offered for $129 on an "as available" basis. Discovery Flight sessions are approximately an hour in length, and include a half-hour of ground instruction followed by a 30-minute flight. Much more than an airplane ride, you'll take the controls under the watchful eye of a Certified Flight Instructor and fly the plane through climbs, turns, and straight-and-level flight. Is becoming a pilot for you? This is a great way to find out!

Q. How long does training take?

A. Again, it depends. If you train twice a week, plan on your Private Pilot training taking 6-8 months. Your mileage may vary. Is it possible to complete in much less time? Yes, but you must commit to a rigorous schedule of ground and flight training. The time it takes to complete your training will depend almost entirely on you.
Q. How much book work is involved in flight training?

A. You must pass an FAA Knowledge Exam and a Practical Test to earn your pilot certificate. Both of these milestones require considerable study, but the level of knowledge and testing ability required of pilots is not extraordinary; virtually anybody with the desire and motivation to learn can acquire the needed knowledge with very little stress. Listen to your instructor, take notes, and do your homework and you'll do just fine.

Q. Do I have to pre-pay for the entire course?

A. No, you pay as you go. Accepted forms of payment include cash, checks, credit cards (some instructors may not accept cards, best to check with them first).

Q. Do I have to get a physical exam?

A. Yes, you must pass at least a Third Class Medical examination administered by an FAA Aviation Medical Examiner before your first solo. The best practice is to get that done during your first few lessons to confirm that you don't have a hidden condition that could disqualify you. For a list of local AMEs, click here.

Q. Am I disqualified if I wear glasses?

A. No, many pilots wear glasses or contact lenses. During your medical exam, your AME will explain any limitations that could be placed on your flying based on your specific condition.

Q. What does a Private Pilot Certificate qualify me to do?
A. In general, you can fly anywhere in the US, Canada, and Mexico for recreation, travel, or business. Certain weather-related restrictions may apply.

Q. Do you offer financing or accept credit cards?
A. We do not provide or offer financing, but airplane rental can be paid by credit card. Ask your independent Certified Flight Instructor if he/she accepts credit cards; some do, some don't. 

Q. How do I get started?

A. Call or text William Woodbury at (530) 999-8068 if you have additional questions or to schedule your first lesson. To get a good head start on things, complete this application form and bring it with you to your first flight.
We look forward to meeting you and helping you get started on becoming a pilot.

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