Private Pilot Flying Lessons

Private Pilot Training Path

Student Pilot Guide

Apply for a Student Pilot Certificate

The FAA has changed the student pilot certificate beginning April 1, 2016. Student pilots should follow these guidelines for obtaining an FAA issued student pilot certificate.

Students may begin flight training without a Student Pilot Certificate. However, a student must have a Student Pilot Certificate before their first solo flight. Students must obtain a student pilot certificate from the FAA. You may apply online using the FAA IACRA System: Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application (IACRA) If you do not yet have an IACRA account, you may register a new account. Keep your IACRA account information; you will need it again when you apply for your Private Pilot Certificate.

IACRA student pilot logo

After your application is submitted, a paper temporary student pilot certificate can be printed which may be used while you wait for your permanent certificate.


Frequently Asked Questions

What equipment do I need to start flight training?

  1. Hearing Protection, cost ~$110

    There are many styles of aviation headset. We recommend purchasing an inexpensive headset for flight training, then rewarding yourself with a more advanced headset after you get your Pilot Certificate. Most pilots own at least two headsets so they can provide a headset to their passenger(s).

  2. A Fuel Sampling Cup, cost ~$10

    Also, search the Internet for "GATS JAR", "Fuel Tester" to see different models and styles.

What does Flight Training consist of?

  1. Ground Instruction (at least 20 hours)

    During your ground instruction, you will learn about aircraft systems, aerodynamics, performance, pre flight procedures, operating procedures, emergency procedures, flight planning, navigation, weather, and FAA regulations. Our training program is organized into a syllabus and delivered through Fly LMS, a learning management system for pilots.

    You are required to pass a 60 question multiple choice knowledge test with a score of 70% or higher.

  2. Flight Instruction (at least 20 hours)

    Flight instruction consists of flying lessons with you in the pilot's seat. All training aircraft have dual controls so your instructor can fix any wrong moves. You will learn how to perform skilled (and safe) takeoffs, climbs, turns and landings, and solo fly the aircraft about mid-way through your training. Takeoff and landing practice is typically the biggest challenge for new pilots, and helps you develop the skill to safely control the aircraft in various wind conditions.

    Flight training is conducted in three phases: 1) Pre-solo, 2) Cross Country Flying, 3) Check Ride Prep

    Your training will begin with basic flight maneuvers then proceed to takeoff and landing practice in preparation for your solo flight. After soloing, we will focus on cross country flight training where you will take flights to other airports during the day and night time. All training is conducted initially with a flight instructor who will evaluate your skill before endorsing you for solo flying. The cross country stage capstone is a 150nm solo flight with takeoffs and landings at three different airports.

  3. Self Instruction

    The best pilots are always learning. Refresh your knowledge by reading FAA publications, Advisory Circulars, and the Airplane Flight Manual. Become a better pilot by indulging in flying, aircraft, and FAA regulatory knowledge.

What is a "Check Ride" and is it difficult?

Similar to the test that you took to get your driver's license, a practical test must be passed to get your Pilot Certificate. The practical test is conducted by a FAA designated examiner to ensure that only safe, competent, knowledgeable pilots are allowed to operate aircraft in the National Airspace System. The test consists of a ground portion and a flight portion.

The practical test is not difficult for properly trained students because it consists of knowledge areas and flight maneuvers that are learned and practiced throughout your training. Your flight instructor will continuously evaluate your knowledge and skill and not endorse you to take the practical test until you are confident and ready.

Should I Prepay for my Flight Training Package?

We do not require prepayment for flight training packages and strongly recommend that students plan their budget for incremental payments. Incremental payments provide students with the most flexibility to change flight schools, instructors, aircraft or accommodate life events.

FAA Resources (FREE)