Flight Training FAQ
What is the best way to get started?
Usually we recommend an introductory flight lesson as the best way to get more information. For $99, you will get to sit in the pilot seat and actually fly the airplane. During this intro flight, you will log about ½ hour of flight time and you can spend some time with the instructor afterward and ask any question you have about learning to fly.
To schedule an introductory flight lesson, or if you want to skip that and just jump right into your first lesson, you can call us at (414) 461-3222. The office staff has access to the flight instructors’ and airplanes’ schedules and will be able to set up a time for your first lesson.
Obviously there is a lot of studying and ground training required before I actually get to fly, right?
While it may seem that a certain number of ground lessons are necessary before flight training can begin, it is not required. Actually, most students find more success completing the ground and flight lessons concurrently.
How much ground training is required?
While the FAA does not require a minimum number of ground instruction hours, they do require students obtain sufficient knowledge in a number of aviation subjects such as navigation, safety, weather, and aerodynamics. You can obtain this knowledge in a number of different ways: one-on-one instruction with a flight instructor, classroom type ground schools, home study programs, or self-study programs. Regardless of how you obtain the knowledge, it is your instructor’s responsibility to ensure you possess enough knowledge to be a safe, proficient pilot prior to allowing you to take the pilot certification tests.
How much is it going to cost?
The question of how much is it going to cost is a very good question; however, there are many variables involved . There are many factors involved in flight training – some, like weather, we have little or no control over. Because of all the variables, it is difficult to say exactly how much you will spend or how long it will take.
For estimating purposes, the aircraft we use cost $90 or $135 per hour and the flight instructor is an additional $40 per hour. The FAA requires a minimum of 40 flight hours; most of the flight time will be with the flight instructor but some will be by yourself. An average student having three lessons a week can plan to complete the training with 60-80 flight hours in about six months.
What is the minimum age to begin?
The FAA does not require a minimum age to begin flight training, however, you must be 16 years old to solo and 17 years old to apply for a private pilot certificate.
Do I have to wait for summer to start?
We teach year-round. In a region of the country that experiences extreme hot and cold temperatures (and extreme weather) it is good to get instruction from an instructor in the safe operation of the aircraft during these weather conditions. In fact, the airplanes actually perform much better in the cold, dense air we have during the winter.
Do I need a medical exam before I begin flight training?
You will be required to have a medical exam from a FAA qualified doctor to be a pilot. While this is required before solo, you can begin your training at any time; there is some training required before solo and you will have plenty of time to schedule an appointment before you are ready to solo.
How do I pay for lessons?
You can pay for lessons in many different ways. Spring City Aviation offers an incentive program for students who choose to pay ahead. We will add 5% to cash or check deposits of $500 or $1,000 for as long as you remain a student with an account in good standing. This can add up to quite a bit of free money over the course of your flight training. While we do not offer financial aid or scholarships to students, we are affiliated with Pilot Finance Inc., a company that provides loans to students for flight training. You can check out their website at www.pilotfinance.com.
How often are lessons?
Spring City Aviation employs both full-time and part-time FAA certified flight instructors and has a fleet of several airplanes in the flight school. Lessons are scheduled one-on-one with your flight instructor, and we progress through the training syllabus at whatever pace works best for you – meaning you can schedule lessons when and as often as your schedule permits. While you will not be assigned to an instructor, it is in your best interest to find the instructor whose schedule best matches yours and stay with that instructor throughout your training. We have instructors available during daylight hours, evenings, and weekends – seven days a week, so you should be able to find a lesson schedule that works well for you. We use an internet-based flight schedule so you will be able to login and schedule lessons at your convenience.
What is required to get a job as a pilot?
To be employed as a pilot, you would first need to earn a commercial pilot certificate with an instrument rating. This is extra training required beyond what is required for a private pilot certificate. To obtain your commercial pilot certificate, you will need to have a minimum of 250 flight hours. Most new commercial pilots teach as flight instructors while gaining knowledge and experience. There is always a need for new flight instructors.
How do I get an instrument rating?
To earn an instrument rating, the FAA requires a minimum of 40 hours of instrument training. Additionally, they require 50 hours of cross-country flying as a prerequisite to taking the instrument pilot test. While some of this time can be combined, it is typically better to do the instrument training with your instructor locally so you can get more practice and repetition and to fly the cross country time separately, either solo or with family or friends. Instrument training is done in the Cessna 172 for $135 per hour plus the instructor at $45 per hour.
What is required to legally begin training?
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) requires that all student pilots present proof of United States Citizenship to the instructor before beginning flight training. To prove your citizenship, bring in a certified birth certificate and valid photo ID or an unexpired passport.
Can non-US Citizens take flight lessons?
As a non U.S. Citizen, you will need approval from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) before we can begin training. You will need to initiate this approval process by visiting the website www.flightschoolcandidates.gov and following the instructions provided on the website. The past few students who have gone through the process were approved in less than a month. Once you are approved, you will be given one year to complete your training. If your training is not completed within one year, you will need to reapply for approval to continue your flight training.