You may be very enthusiastic about learning to fly — but are not sure just what it involves. Here’s a brief summary on what to expect when you start your training. Your first pilot certificate is typically the Private Pilot Certificate:
All pilot training includes both theoretical learning (typically called “ground school;” which is classroom instruction) and the practical training in the aircraft, flying with an instructor. You usually start basic training in a single engine, propeller-driven aircraft — one favored worldwide for excellent training, safety, benign handling characteristics, and lower costs is the Cessna C-172 Skyhawk — and progress to multi-engine aircraft as you gain competence and work for additional certificates and ratings. Phoenix East’s flight training fleet consists of new and late model C-172s for all primary training. As you progress through your training, and especially if your goal is professional, career-oriented flying, such as Phoenix East Aviation excels at providing, you will also spend time with your instructor in a flight training device, often called a simulator, which provides additional and excellent training at much lower cost and maximum safety.
The minimum amount of flight training for your first certificate/license (Private Pilot) is 35 hours, a combination of dual (with an instructor) and solo (alone in the aircraft) training hours. However, most students find they require more hours to achieve that certificate.
In ground school you will learn about principles of flight, flight regulations, meteorology, navigation, radio communications, flight instruments, airframes, engines and systems, and human factors. You will then take the FAA Knowledge Test, which consists of a computer-generated 60 question multiple choice exam. Phoenix East Aviation, unlike many other flight schools, is approved to give this test right at our facility, for your convenience. Practical tests (flying the aircraft) are conducted by an FAA or FAA-designated examiner. Phoenix East Aviation, again unlike many other flight schools, has FAA-designated examiners on staff, so it’s quick and easy to schedule your flight checks right at PEA. Upon satisfactory completion of the practical (flying the aircraft) test, a Private Pilot Certificate is immediately issued.
The cost of flight training for your Private Certificate varies by school. If you are an international students studying in the U.S. on a visa, the U.S. government requires you to attend a FAA Part 141-approved school. U.S. citizens can study under FAA Part 61 or Part 141 curriculum. Phoenix East is FAA-certified for both Part 141 and Part 61 training. The more structured training program of a FAA-approved Part 141 school allows it to issue pilots’ licenses with reduced hours of training. You can expect that Private Pilot License to cost from U.S.$10,000 to $U.S.$19,000. How long it will take depends on a number of factors: your focus and willingness to study and work full-time toward your Private Pilot Certificate, your ability and also the weather…….what? The weather, you say? This is important: Keep in mind that if you are taking your lessons in a place with variable weather, you will sometimes not be able to fly because of inclement weather — and it will therefore take you longer to complete your flying instruction. That’s another good advantage of Phoenix East Aviation. Located in Daytona Beach, Florida, PEA typically flies 350 days a year — rarely is there a day with no flying for weather.
Watch for additonal discussion on other ratings and certificates in further flog entries. If you wish to learn more right now, see www.pea.com.