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Student Tips For Choosing Your Flight School

Student Tips For Choosing Your Flight SchoolThere are a lot of factors to consider before you chose a flight school to begin your flight training. Once thing is for certain and no research is needed to confirm it-it is expensive! So as pilot, you need to invest your money wisely. Do not base your decision solely on advertisement flight schools post. Visit the school, talk to attending students, speak with flight instructors, inquire about their flight training program.

Type of Flight School

Flight schools come in two flavors, Part 61 and Part 141, which refer to the parts of the federal aviation regulations (FARs) under which they operate. The most common and least important distinction between them is the minimum flight time required for the private pilot certificate (sometimes called a pilot license)—40 hours under Part 61, and 35 hours under Part 141.

Considering that the national average for earning a private pilot certificate is 60-75 hours (how long you’ll take will depend on your ability and flying frequency), this difference isn’t important for initial pilot training. It does make a difference to commercial pilot applicants: Part 61 requires 250 hours, and Part 141 requires 190.
What differentiates the two is structure and accountability. Part 141 schools are periodically audited by the FAA and must have detailed, FAA-approved course outlines and meet student pilot performance rates. Part 61 schools don’t have the same paperwork and accountability requirements.

Learning under Part 61 rules can often give students the flexibility to rearrange flying lesson content and sequence to meet their needs, which can be of benefit to part-time students. Many Part 141 flight schools also train students under Part 61 rules.

Which type of flight school is best for you depends on your needs, available time, and other factors, such as veteran’s benefit eligibility (only Part 141 schools can qualify for VA-reimbursed training) and location. When it comes to the FAA checkride, which is the same for all, it doesn’t matter where you learned to fly, only how well—including your understanding of aviation academic material.

Accredited Flight School and Colleges

Although flight schools fall into two basic categories, Part 61 or Part 141, there is a third category that bears serious consideration by prospective pilots, particularly those planning a professional piloting career: nationally accredited pilot training institutions. Accredited flight schools must meet rigid standards of accountability for virtually every area of operation and must apply to an accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
Aviation college degree programs also play a large part in today’s pilot training marketplace. If you are planning a professional flying career, an aviation degree may make you more competitive. A plus in seeking a degree is that in many cases you are eligible for financial aid and scholarships that will assist you, not only in your academic endeavors, but in flight training as well.

Flight School Check List

Pilots have a check list. A manual with instructions they follow all the time. So you should have a list too. Don’t base your decision on the literature you will collect from a flight school you are considering. You’re looking for informative substance, and this can be found as well in photocopied sheets as it can in full-color catalogs. While scrutinizing the material, take notes for use during the flight school visit, when you’ll check the veracity of its claims. Some things to look for:

  1. The school’s philosophy, goals, and objectives, and how they match your needs.
  2. Are there such benefits as housing, financial aid, and additional pilot training, such as aerobatics, that will broaden your experience?
  3. How important is flight training to the organization?
  4. How long has the flight school been in business?
  5. What about the school’s instructional staff, its enrollment numbers, and credentials?
  6. How many and what types of aircraft are used in the school’s flight instruction program?
  7. What are the school’s classrooms like?
  8. What services are available at its airport (instrument approaches and control towers)?
  9. What is the school’s reputation on flight regulations and safety policies?

Type of Flight Training Programs Offered

Have your questions ready when you are visiting flight schools of your choice. Before your meeting with flight instructors go around school and talk to pilot students enrolled in this flight school. Inquire about their experience.

Integrated vs. Modular pilot training

There are mainly two kind of pilot training, the integrated pilot training. It is kind of a full package to become an airline pilot as from little or no experience. Everything will be organized by the flight school. It is a full time pilot training (15 – 18 months) and it can be very intensive for some of the trainees. The main advantage is that you can focus on learning since everything is organized for you. The disadvantages are the price (more expensive) and working on top of that integrated pilot training is impossible. From my personal experience, the airlines prefer integrated trained pilots since I noticed that they found pilot jobs more easily than modular trained pilots.

Next is the modular pilot training, less expensive, longer (18 months +) and more demanding since you have to organize your modules one after each others. On top of that you will be in charge to book your aircraft, the instructors and also to apply for the exams. If you choose the modular training you really need to be organized! You will therefore lose some time to focus on your pilot training. The advantage of that modular pilot training is that you can be working at the same time. You are at the controls, you manage your time based on your professional and private activities.

Integrated Pilot Training:
  • More expensive
  • approx. 15-18 months
  • Full time training
  • Very intensive
  • Everything organized for you
  • Preferred by the airlines
  • Impossible to work at the same time
Modular Pilot Training:
  • Less expensive
  • 18 months +
  • based on your free time
  • You are in charge of the organization
  • Very demanding regarding organization
  • Possible to work at the same time

Note: Flight schools do not always provides modular and integrated pilot training. Some might only be providing modular pilot training. source

Flight School Question List for Interview

Sample of questions you might consider asking are:

How many flight instructors do you have and how many are full time vs. part time?

This is important because it will determine how available the instructors are. If most of the instructors are part-time, it means they have a full time job that will sometimes take precedence over your flight training. If your flight instructor is a part-timer, make sure your schedules mesh.

How many airplanes do you have available for flight training?

This is important because of availability. If there are only 1 or 2 airplanes available, you may not be able to schedule it when it’s most convenient for you. Having 3 or more airplanes available will increase the chances of you scheduling at your convenience.

How are your airplanes maintained?

There’s nothing more frustrating than showing up for a flight and then having to cancel due to a maintenance issue. Flight schools that have their own maintenance facility are good about keeping their airplanes in airworthy condition.

Which syllabus do you use for pilot training? Can I see a copy of it?

Schools that don’t follow a specific syllabus leave the training completely up to the instructor. In this case, find out which instructors are good about requiring their students to buy and follow a syllabus – because not all instructors do this.

Do you offer ground school classes? If not, how is ground school handled?

Most of the learning you will do will be on the ground. The flying is for practicing maneuvers and to develop your muscle memory. Since many instructors are interested in building up flight time, they will leave most of the ground school up to you. The ideal setup is a school that offers their own ground school. If you can’t find one, invest in a good home-study program available online or in pilot stores.

Do you have a chief flight instructor? Can I talk to him/her?

Having a chief flight instructor is a great sign because this means that the school takes flight training very seriously. Schools without a chief flight instructor usually have an ad hoc assortment of flight instructors, each doing their own thing. If you end up in a school without a chief flight instructor, the next step will be crucial.

Choose a Flight Instructor

Choosing a Flight Instructor is key when learning to fly. Try to look for an flight instructor that is not just trying to build up flight time or one who has been instructing for a few years. Make sure you are comfortable with him/her and make sure they follow a syllabus.

Finally, schedule a demostration flight, preferably with the flight instructor that you would be training with. This accomplishes a couple of things. First, it will give you an idea of what flying is like. Second, it will give you a chance to get the feel for your instructor and how comfortable you are with him/her.

Why choosing the right flight school and flight instructor is important

Most will agree that choosing the right flight school is a very important decision, but they won’t tell you why. This leaves people with a lack of understanding as to just how important this decision is. If you make the wrong decision, it could cost you thousands of dollars, waste time, and will possibly end up in you quitting and never achieving your dream of flying.

The reason people get frustrated and quit flying is that when they show up at a flight school, they have no idea what to expect or they have expectations that are completely off the mark with what actually happens.
If you want to fly as a hobby, you have to keep in mind that your certified flight instructor (CFI) is probably there to build up enough flight time to move into his/her next flying job, which is probably a regional airline job or small cargo company flying job.

This poor individual is getting paid a little over minimum wage and because they are interested in flying as a career, they take it very seriously and expect you to take it just as seriously. They will try to teach you to fly like an airline pilot, which is a little bit different than the type of flying you want to do. Flight instructors that have just graduated from a professional pilot program at a university are especially prone to want to teach you to fly like an airline pilot, when in fact, you have no interest in that type of flying.

Airline flying is very standardized since airline pilots need to do things the same way every time. A captain at an airline may fly with a co-pilot that he/she has never met before and will never meet again. Therefore, it’s crucial that all airline pilots are taught the same standardized procedures for operating the airplane.
You need to find a flight school with an instructor that will work with your way of learning and not treat you like an airline pilot wannabe. Try to determine your own learning style and your instructor’s teaching style as well as his/her motivation for flight instructing. Try to choose a CFI that likes to instruct because they enjoy teaching rather than someone who is there trying to build up flight time.

Source

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Why To Consider Sport Pilot License and Begin Your Flight Training

Why To Consider Sport Pilot License and Begin Your Flight Training

How to Become a Sport Pilot
  1. Meet Medical and Eligibility
  2. Pass a FAA Sport Pilot Knowledge Test
  3. Receive flight instruction in an appropriate aircraft.
  4. Pass a FAA Sport Pilot Practical Test
  5. Sport Pilot Certificate Issued

NOTE: (All Category and Class Privileges Endorsed in Logbook)

If you are a FAA Certificated Pilot and Want to Exercise Sport Pilot Privileges:

You need:

  1. Hold at Least a Recreational Pilot Certificate (X-C Training if a Rec Pilot 61.101(c))
  2. Hold Category and Class Ratings for the LSA Flying
  3. (Additional Category and Class Privileges Endorsed in Logbook)
  4. U.S Drivers License or FAA Medical
  5. Current Flight Review
  6. 3 Takeoffs and Landings within 90 days (if carrying a passenger)
  7. Operate only FAA Certificated LSA
  8. Comply with all Sport Pilot Privileges and Limits
  9. Exercise Sport Pilot Privileges
Medical Requirements For Sport Pilot
  • (14 CFR part 61.23/53/303)
  • A Medical or U.S. Driver’s License (Other than Balloon or Glider)
  • A Student Pilot Seeking Sport Pilot Privileges in a Light-Sport Aircraft
  • A Pilot Exercising the Privileges of a Sport Pilot Certificate
  • A Flight Instructor Acting as PIC of a Light-Sport Aircraft
DEFINITION OF A LIGHT SPORT AIRCRAFT

14 CFR PART 1.1
Light-sport aircraft means an aircraft, other than a helicopter or powered-lift that, since its original certification, has continued to meet the following:
(1) A maximum takeoff weight of not more than–
(i) 1,320 pounds (600 kilograms) for aircraft not intended for operation on water; or
(ii) 1,430 pounds (650 kilograms) for an aircraft intended for operation on water.
(2) A maximum airspeed in level flight with maximum continuous power (VH) of not more than 120 knots CAS under standard atmospheric conditions at sea level.
(3) A maximum never-exceed speed (VNE) of not more than 120 knots CAS for a glider.
(4) A maximum stalling speed or minimum steady flight speed without the use of lift-enhancing devices (VS1) of not more than 45 knot s CAS at the aircraft’s maximum certificated takeoff weight and most critical center of gravity.
(5) A maximum seating capacity of no more than two persons, including the pilot.
(6) A single, reciprocating engine, if powered.
(7) A fixed or ground-adjustable propeller if a powered aircraft other than a powered glider.
(8) A fixed or autofeathering propeller system if a powered glider.
(9) A fixed-pitch, semi-rigid, teetering, two-blade rotor system, if a gyroplane.
(10) A nonpressurized cabin, if equipped with a cabin.
(11) Fixed landing gear, except for an aircraft intended for operation on water or a glider.
(12) Fixed or retractable landing gear, or a hull, for an aircraft intended for operation on water.
(13) Fixed or retractable landing gear for a glider. Source FAA.gov

Sport Pilot License

The Sport Pilot License allows you to fly a two seat Light Sport Aircraft during the day with visual contact of the ground under 10,000 feet above sea level.

The FAA’s Sport Pilot License was developed, with safety as paramount, after many years of consultation and cooperation with flying organizations and aircraft manufacturers.

By eliminating the requirement for night flying, radio navigation and some instrument training, the Sport Pilot license and Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) have returned flying to its fun and basic elements. Thus, the Sport Pilot License and Light Sport Aircraft have reduced the time and cost of becoming a pilot by about 50%.

The Sport Pilot License also allows senior pilots to continue flying and transition into LSAs without the need of a medical exam, provided that the pilot has not failed an aviation medical exam previously.

Three Reasons To Consider A Sport Pilot Certificate

By Kyle Garrett

Sport pilot training is one of the most exciting areas of flight training in the US. It is relatively new, but it is a great place to start an adventure in aviation. In the past, flying anything heavier than 254 pounds (the weight limit for ultralights) required at least a recreational pilot certificate. The training difference for a recreational and private pilot certificates is so minuscule, that most pilots opted to hold out for the less restrictive private pilot certificate. That’s where sport pilot comes in.

Sport pilot training offers a quicker path to certification
Sport pilot training is much more flexible than the recreational certificate and doesn’t require as much training as a private pilot certificate. In fact, the required flight hours are half that of the private pilot certificate. There are some restrictions, like no night flying, but sport pilots also have a lot of flexibility. The sport pilot certificate is designed to be a low-cost way for pleasure fliers to get in the cockpit, but it is also a great way to start a pilot career.
Sport pilot training doesn’t require a medical exam. Something unique to the sport pilots is the ability to self-certify medical fitness with a drivers license. You don’t need a medical certificate to fly sport pilot. There is one big potential exception to this rule, you can’t have been denied a medical. That means, if you go to an aviation medical examiner who says you are unfit for flight, you can’t turn around and self-certify your medical fitness. From that point, the FAA says you’ve got to get a medical examiner to approve you for flight just like everyone else.

Sport pilot training puts you in the cockpit of great aircraft
One of the areas where the sport pilot certificate is obviously more restricted than a private pilot certificate is aircraft. Sport pilots are only allowed to fly light sport aircraft, or LSA, which are aircraft that meet a certain standard. Generally, the standard is an aircraft less than 1320 pounds gross weight, with only two seats, and a maximum speed of less than 120 knots. There are several other restrictions, but generally it isn’t a mystery whether a plane is an LSA or not.

There are two major categories of LSA: purpose-built LSA, like the Remos GX or Icon A5, and legacy LSA, like the Piper Cub or Aeronca Champ. These two categories of LSA are very different, but offer interesting perks. The purpose-built LSA tend to be sleek and modern looking and they sport cockpits stuffed with the latest technology. They don’t carry quite the cost of traditional aircraft, like the Cessna 182, but they aren’t cheap either. The appeal is that you can gain proficiency with glass panel avionics, GPS and autopilots more affordably than a private pilot. If expense is your primary concern, the legacy LSA will be helpful. With legacy LSA, which are certified aircraft that meet LSA regulations, there aren’t as many bells and whistles. Many of these aircraft are the old tube-and-fabric, stick-and-rudder standards of yesteryear. The benefit is, they are cheap and simple to operate.

No matter your goal, whether it is to become a professional pilot, Sunday flier, or something in between, sport pilot training is a great way to get started.

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Student Pilot License Information Guide

Student Pilot License Information GuideIf you are in the process of becoming a student pilot or already enrolled in flight training program, the information below will guide you in your preparation for an important 1st step in becoming a pilot. Before committing to flight training, pilot students should have a general idea of aviation industry, FAA-its governing and regulating authority, safety regulations, pilot certification process and be abreast of all news pertaining to pilots in general.

Role of the FAA

Congress empowered the FAA to foster aviation safety by prescribing safety standards for civil aviation. This is accomplished through the Code of Federal Regulations (CFRs). Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 61 pertains to the certification of pilots, flight instructors, and ground instructors. This prescribes the eligibility, aeronautical knowledge, flight proficiency, and experience required for each type of pilot certificate issued.

Flight Standards District Offices (FSDOs)

Throughout the world, the FAA has approximately 100 Flight Standards District Offices and International Field Offices, commonly referred to as “FSDOs” and “IFOs.” Through these offices, information and services are provided for the aviation community.

The Student Pilot

The first step in becoming a pilot is to select a type of aircraft. FAA rules for getting a pilot’s certificate differ depending on the type of aircraft flown. Individuals can choose among airplanes, gyroplanes, weight-shift, helicopters, powered parachutes, gliders, balloons, or airships. A pilot does not need a certificate to fly ultralight vehicles.

Basic Requirements

A student pilot is one who is being trained by an instructor pilot for his or her first full certificate, and is permitted to fly alone (solo) under specific, limited circumstances. Upon request, an FAA-authorized aviation medical examiner (AME) will issue a combined medical certificate and Student Pilot Certificate after completion of a physical examination.
Student Pilot Certificates may be issued by an FAA inspector or an FAA-designated pilot examiner. To be eligible for a Student Pilot’s Certificate, an individual must be:

  • Be 16 years old (14 years old to pilot a glider or balloon).
  • Be able to read, write, speak, and understand English.
  • Hold a current Third-Class Medical Certificate (or for glider or balloon, certify no medical defect exists that would prevent piloting a balloon or glider)
Choosing a Flight School

Most airports have facilities for flight training conducted by flight schools or individual flight instructors. A school will usually provide a wide variety of training material, special facilities, and greater flexibility in scheduling.
Many colleges and universities also provide flight training as a part of their curricula. There are two types of flight schools catering to primary general aviation needs. One is normally referred to as a certificated “part 141 school” and the other as a “part 61 school.” A part 141 flight school has been granted an Air Agency Certificate by the FAA. The certificated schools may qualify for a ground school rating and a flight school rating. In addition, the school may be authorized to give their graduates practical (flight) tests and knowledge (computer administered written) tests.

The most common and least important distinction between them is the minimum flight time required for the private pilot certificate (sometimes called a pilot license)—40 hours under Part 61, and 35 hours under Part 141. What differentiates the two is structure and accountability. Part 141 schools are periodically audited by the FAA and must have detailed, FAA-approved course outlines and meet student pilot performance rates. Part 61 schools don’t have the same paperwork and accountability requirements.

Enrollment in a certificated school usually ensures quality and continuity of training. These schools meet prescribed standards with respect to equipment, facilities, personnel, and curricula.
Once the flight school is chosen Ground and flight training should be obtained as regularly and frequently as possible. This assures maximum retention of instruction and the achievement of requisite proficiency.

The Role of the Flight Instructor

The student pilot’s training program depends upon the quality of the ground and flight training received. An instructor should possess an understanding of the learning process, a knowledge of the fundamentals of teaching, and the ability to communicate effectively with the student pilot. During the certification process, a flight instructor applicant is tested on a practical application of these skills in specific teaching situations. The quality of instruction, and the knowledge and skills acquired from your flight instructor will affect your entire flying career whether you plan to pursue it as a vocation or an avocation.

The FAA has adopted an operational training concept that places the full responsibility for student training on the flight instructor. In this role, the flight instructor assumes total responsibility for training you to meet the standards required for certification within an ever-changing operating environment. The flight instructor will provide you guidance, and arrange for your academic and flight training lessons.

It is therefore extremely important to do your research. Get impartial opinions of the flight school and/or flight instructor you intend to employ.

What Flight Training Requires

A course of instruction should include the ground and flight training necessary to acquire the knowledge and skills required to safely and efficiently function as a certificated pilot. Whether you attend a part 141 or part 61 school or obtain the services of an individual flight instructor, the specific knowledge and skill areas for each category and class of aircraft are outlined in Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) mentioned above.

Medical Requirements

Pilots, except those who fly gliders or free air balloons, must possess a valid medical certificate in order to exercise the privileges of their airman certificates. Sport pilots must possess either a valid third-class medical certificate or a valid driver’s license.

The periodic medical examination required for medical certification is conducted by designated aviation medical examiners, who are physicians with a special interest in aviation safety and have training in aviation medicine.
The standards for medical certification are contained in 14 CFR part 67. The requirements for obtaining medical certification are contained in 14 CFR part 61.

Prior to beginning flight training, a flight instructor should interview you about any health conditions and determine your goal as a pilot. Good advice would be to obtain the class of medical certificate required, for the certificate level you ultimately want, before beginning flight training. Finding out immediately whether you are medically qualified could save time and money.

Study Materials For Pilot

The FAA develops and makes available to the public various sources of aeronautical information. Some of this information is free; other information is available at a nominal cost. Of particular interest and value to those persons getting started in flying are: FAA-H-8083-27A, Student Pilot Guide; FAA-H-8083-3, Airplane Flying Handbook; FAA-H-8083-25, Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge; Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM); and Practical Test Standards (PTSs). In addition, many aviation publications are available from commercial sources.

Suggested Study Materials
  • 14 CFR parts 1, 61, 67, and 91
  • Aeronautical Information Manual
  • AC 00-6, Aviation Weather
  • AC 00-45, Aviation Weather Services
  • FAA-H-8083-1, Pilot’s Weight and Balance
  • FAA-H-8083-3, Airplane Flying Handbook
  • FAA-H-8083-11, Balloon Flying Handbook
  • FAA-H-8083-13, Glider Flying Handbook
  • FAA-H-8083-21, Rotorcraft Flying Handbook
  • FAA-H-8083-25, Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge
  • FAA-S-8081-3, Recreational Pilot Practical Test Standards
  • FAA-S-8081-14, Private Pilot Practical Test Standards (Airplane)
  • FAA-S-8081-29, Sport Pilot Practical Test Standards (Airplane,
  • Gyroplane, Glider and Flight Instructor)
  • FAA-S-8081-30, Sport Pilot Practical Test Standards (Airship,
  • Balloon, and Flight Instructor)
  • FAA-S-8081-31, Sport Pilot Practical Test Standards (Weight Shift
  • Control, Powered Parachute, and Flight Instructor)
  • FAA-S-8081-32, Private Pilot Practical Test Standards (Powered
  • Parachute and Weight Shift Control)
  • http://www.faasafety.gov
How to Obtain Study Materials

The current Flight Standards Service airman training and testing material and questions banks for all airman certificates and ratings can be obtained from the Regulatory Support Division’s web site.

When to Take the Knowledge Test

Like any other test, FAA knowledge tests are intended to inspect or access students aeronautical knowledge and skills achieved during training. Experience has shown that the knowledge test is more meaningful to the applicant, and is more likely to result in a satisfactory grade, if it is taken after beginning the flight portion of the training. For optimum benefit, it is recommended that the knowledge test be taken after the student has completed a solo cross-country flight. The operational knowledge gained by this experience can be used to the student’s advantage in the knowledge test. Your instructor will be the best indicator of your preparedness for the test.

Where to Take the Knowledge Test

FAA-Designated Computer Testing Centers have been certificated to administer FAA knowledge tests. Applicants will be charged a fee for the administration of FAA knowledge tests. Test registration numbers and a complete list of test centers can be downloaded from the Regulatory Support Division’s web site. SOURCE -FAA.gov regulations

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Pilot Certificates, Ratings and Endorsements

Pilot Certificates, Ratings and EndorsementsBasic pilot certificates are:

  • Student
  • Sport
  • Recreational
  • Private
  • Commercial
  • Airline Transport Pilot

Examples of other certificates include:

Pilot certificates have associated ratings. All certificates except the student pilot certificate have at least one aircraft category/class rating (e.g., Private Pilot with ASEL rating). A type rating is required for any aircraft over 12,500 lbs MGTOW and/or with a turbojet powerplant. There are also ratings for operating privileges (e.g., instrument rating).
An endorsement attests to the completion of ground and/or flight training required for airman certification testing, or for specific operating privileges. The endorsements required by 14 CFR Part 61 fall into several broad categories:
Student Pilots: Because a student pilot certificate has no aircraft category and class ratings, operating privileges and limitations for solo are conveyed exclusively through instructor endorsements. Endorsements in this category are usually limited not just to category and class, but also to a specific make and model.

Testing for Certificate or Rating: To take a practical test for a pilot certificate or rating, the applicant must have endorsements attesting to aeronautical knowledge and flight proficiency (including aeronautical experience and practical test preparation required in 14 CFR 61.31(a)(6). The flight instructor applicant endorsements for completing the fundamentals of instruction and spin training also fall into this category.

Recurrent Training: To maintain the operating privileges conferred by a pilot certificate or instrument rating, the pilot must have the appropriate endorsement for satisfactory completion of required recurrent training (e.g., flight review or, if needed, instrument proficiency check).

Aircraft Characteristics: The requirement for a type rating is limited to large (greater than 12,500 lbs MGTOW) and turbojet-powered aircraft. However, certain small and piston-powered aircraft have characteristics that require additional training for safe operation. For example, 14 CFR 61.69 specifies training and experience required for towing a glider. Specific aircraft training requirements are outlined in 14 CFR 61.31, and instructor endorsements that attest to the satisfactory completion of this training are the mechanism used to confer the necessary operating privilege.

Endorsements related to aircraft characteristics include those for complex, high performance, high altitude, tailwheel, and glider ground operations. In addition, 14 CFR 61.31(h) provides for “additional aircraft type-specific training” in those cases where the Administrator has determined that such training is required. Source

Pilot Certificates issued by the FAA have the following characteristics:

  • Grade – determines the kinds of flying a pilot can do
  • Student Pilot – local solo training flights without passengers
  • Recreational Pilot – local uncontrolled day flights 1 passenger
  • Private Pilot – flights worldwide with passengers, non-profit
  • Commercial Pilot – paid flying allowed, can be airline copilot
  • Airline Transport Pilot – paid flights, can be airline captain
Ratings

Rating refers to what aircraft a pilot can fly and how – VFR or IFR
Category – Airplane, Glider, Rotorcraft, Lighter Than Air…
Class – example: Airplane Single or Multi-Engine Land/Sea
Type – needed for each turbojet or heavier than 12,500 lbs
Instrument- separate for each Class and Type Rating

The Certificate Grade is the hardest one to change. In order to get a new Grade Certificate you need to meet all the training and experience requirements for that certificate. The process is called upgrading and requires you to have to have the certificate with a lower grade. Student Pilots and Recreational Pilots can upgrade to Private Pilot. Only Private Pilots can upgrade to Commercial Pilot. Finally only Commercial Pilots can upgrade to ATP (Air Transport Pilot). You are always required to take a knowledge test and a practical test in order to upgrade. Source

Adding Ratings within the same aircraft category is significantly easier. Except for the initial instrument rating, there are no knowledge tests or extra aeronautical experience requirements. An instructor endorsement and a practical test is all it takes, and yes – there is some textbook study for the practical test.

Pilot ratings are additional qualifications that you can add to an existing Pilot’s license to enhance your abilities as a pilot. The examples are: Instrument Rating and Multi Engine Rating.

Instrument Rating (IR)

An Instrument Rating (IR) is what’s required to be able to fly an airplane inside and through the clouds, and at times of low visibility. The training involves the pilot to learn how to fly an airplane simply by looking at flight instruments inside the cockpit. If you are on a career path to be an airline pilot then this is a must. IR is a requirement to get a job with an airline, and also to qualify for an Airline Transport Pilot. This is usually obtained after your get your Private Pilot License, and before you get your Commercial Pilot License.

Multi-Engine Rating

Most of your training will be done on single engine airplanes (SE), like Cessna and Piper. However, to qualify for an airline pilot position, you will need to be qualified to fly airplanes with multiple engines. Most airline airplanes have more than one engine. And this training is called Multi-Engine Rating (ME). Most people get their Multi-Engine Rating along with or right after their Commercial Pilot License.

Night Rating

A Night Rating allows the pilot to operate an Aircraft at night and is an excellent way of building hours in a meaningful way. The Private Pilots License syllabus does not include any requirement for night training for the issue of the license. However, should the private pilot wish to fly as PIC at night with or without passengers then the night rating must be obtained.

Pre Entry Requirements:
Night is defined as ’15 minutes after sunset until 15 minutes before sunrise’. To be able to commence training for the night rating, the applicant must be able to produce evidence of having completed a total of 50 hours as Pilot of airplanes and have at least 20 hours as Pilot-in-Command of which 10 hours must have been gained since making an application for the issue of a PPL(A).

Training Required:
The night rating requirements are that a person must complete 10 hours of basic Instrument instruction, 5 of which can be in a Registered Instrument Trainer. After this the Night rating test and the Night cross country is completed.

Building Night Flying Time

At least 3 hours dual instruction including at least one hour of night navigation, 5 Take offs and landings as PIC, and in at least one instance take off and landing should be separate by a complete departure from, and rejoining of, the aerodrome traffic pattern.

Instructor Rating

An Instructors rating allows the holder of the rating to give Flight Instruction to student pilots. It is an excellent way to build hours, but should not be taken lightly, or undertaken simply as a “means to an end”. Every good pilot is not necessarily a good teacher/instructor. In short, don’t do it just to build up hours – you should only become an instructor if teaching is your passion.

Flying is like any other work activity; in the sense that the better qualified you are the better your chances of finding work. An instructor’s rating will give you the edge over a pilot who does not have the rating, providing you with one more avenue that you can use to gain hours and experience. It also adds experience and value to your CV and career in aviation. The instructor’s rating consists of two basic elements:

  • Theory and examinations
  • Practical flying
Get Your Pilot Ratings With Aviator Flight Training Academy

Aviator Flight Training Academy offers professional pilot training programs with a minimum of 200 hours of multi-engine time. The flight school has a state of the art 37,000 square foot facility, featuring a CRJ Level 5 Flight Training Device (Simulator), large classrooms and individual briefing rooms.

Aviator offers a full line of flight training courses to meet the individual needs of each student.

Multi, Instrument, & Commercial
  • 150 Hours of Multi-Engine
  • Cross Country flying coast-to-coast
  • Price includes flight instruction and all ground instruction
  • Course time is eight weeks or less

Writtens and Checkrides are extra
NO FTDs (Simulators) are used towards flight time
To enroll you must hold your PPL and 100 hours total time
Eight weeks of housing included (one person per bedroom)
$ 29,995.00
Financing Available for those who qualify

Multi_Engine Rating
  • 10 Hours Multi-Engine
  • Pre & Post Flight, Ground Instruction
  • NO FTDs (Simulators) are used towards flight time

$ 3,100.00
Financing Available for those who qualify

Multi-Engine Instructor Rating

5 Hours Multi-Engine
Pre & Post Flight, Ground Instruction
NO FTDs (Simulators) are used towards flight time
$ 1,995.00
Financing Available for those who qualify

ATP Multi-Engine Rating

10 Hours Multi-Engine
Pre & Post Flight, Ground Instruction
NO FTDs (Simulators) are used towards flight time
$ 3,100.00
Financing Available for those who qualify

Instructor Ratings

Flight Instructor
Flight Instructor Instrument

Multi-Engine Instructor
NO FTDs (Simulators) are used towards flight time
$ 7,000.00
Financing Available for those who qualify

Multi-Engine & Initial Instrument Rating

50 Hours Multi-Engine
NO FTDs (Simulators) are used towards flight time
$ 15,500.00
Financing Available for those who qualify

Writtens and Checkrides are extra
No Simulators are used for flight time

CONTACT AVIATOR

Flight School Students Can Aspire To Become CFIs

Flight School Students Can Aspire To Become CFIsIn today’s blog we will cover Flight Instructor  profession, requirements and flight training needed to become a Certified Flight Instructor.

As the popular saying goes, “if you cant do, teach”. Some people can do and done both. If you have a passion for flying a plane and a talent to teach the pilot skills you acquired to other students, this information is for you.

Pilot Steps to CFI.
  1. Gain your Private Pilot License (PPL) by enrolling in a flight school or other flight training program with a certified flight instructor.
  2. Get an Instrument Rating. You gain this rating by flying according to instrument flight rules (IFR). This allows you to fly in certain weather conditions such as rain and fog.
  3. Apply for a Commercial Pilot License (CPL). You must be at least 18 years old, have 250 hours of flight time in the air, hold an instrument rating and undergo an additional medical exam.
  4. Seek a Flight Instructor Certificate.

Your commercial pilot license and instrument rating must be issued for the type of aircraft with you will be using for teaching prospective pilots.
Gain a logbook endorsement from an authorized flight instructor that lists time spent learning the fundamentals of flight instruction.
Take and pass a knowledge test for flight instructors.
Complete and pass a practical test for flight instructors.
Prove that you are able to provide sufficient instruction in the areas of spin entry, spins and spin recovery.
Log a minimum of 15 hours of being in command of a pilot. Source

The Flight instructor rating is usually the next pilot license you get after you become a commercial pilot. The one thing needed in order to get to the airlines is flight time or hours. In most cases you will not be able to get a job with a commercial pilot license without at least 1,200 hours. This is the regulation for the FAA part 135 air carriers. These are the small air carriers that fly smaller general aviation airplanes.

The best way to get this time is to get the flight instructor rating and then teach for a local flight school until you can get a job with an air carrier.

In order to get the flight instructor Rating, you will need to have your commercial pilot license. Then you can only teach in airplanes you are rated for with your commercial pilot license.

Flight Instructor Ratings Explained

There are three flight instructor ratings you can get .

  1. Flight instructor Airplane: The First flight instructor rating will allow you to teach private pilots and commercial Pilots.
  2. Instrument Flight Instructor Rating. The instrument Flight Instructor Rating will allow you to teach instruments in the aircraft that are on your flight instructor certificate.
  3. Multi Engine Flight Instructor Rating. The Multi Engine Flight Instructor Rating will allow you to teach students in multi engine airplanes.
Reading Material For Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) Course

 If you are planning to take a CFI course in flight school, especially if it is an accelerated course, self-preparation is the key. Below is a suggested reading material.

  1. Advanced Pilot Flight Manual by William K Kershner
  2. Aviation Weather and Weather Services
  3. Practical Test Standards for Private Pilot ASEL
  4. Practical Test Standards for Commercial Pilot ASEL
  5. Aviation Instructor’s Handbook – 8083-9
  6. Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge – 8083-25
  7. Airplane Flying Handbook – 8083-3A
  8. Private Pilot Oral Exam Guide
  9. Commercial Pilot Oral Exam Guide
  10. Certified Flight Instructor Oral Exam Guide
  11. FAR/AIM
  12. Flight Instructor for ASEL and Sea Practical Test Standards
  13. Advisory Circulars listed in the Flight Instructor Practical Test Standard book
FAA Flight Instructor Training Package at Aviator Flight Training Academy

If you are looking to launch your Professional Pilot Career as a Certified Flight Instructor, then Aviator has the Instructor Course that’s right for you. You will receive up to 120 hours of ground instruction under the supervision of a Gold Seal Flight Instructor. In addition, you will receive the highest quality flight instruction necessary to become a superior flight instructor.

Requirements: FAA Single and Multi-engine Commercial Ratings with a minimum of 15 hours Multi-Engine PIC time.

Aviator FAA-approved training curriculum for the Certified Flight Instructor ratings includes:

  • Multi-Engine Flight Instructor
  • Single Engine Flight Instructor
  • Instrument Flight Instructor
  • Up to 120 Hours of Ground Training
  • 21 Hours of Flight Training
  • Spin Training

Course Duration: two months
Job opportunities for those who qualify
$ 7,000.00

Contact Aviator
To speak with an flight instructor contact Aviator at 772-672-8222.

Renewing Your Flight Instructor Certificate

Your Flight Instructor Certificate expires exactly 24 months from the time you completed the renewal requirements or received your certificate.

The FAA outlines several opportunities to renew your certificate with and without additional testing.

  • Decide to take a practical test for a rating listed on your certificate or for an additional flight instructor rating. This test must be successfully passed.
  • Opt to complete and submit an application to the FAA showing that you have had at least 5 students endorsed for a practical test within the last 2 years and that at least 80% of those students have been successful on the test with their first attempt.
  • Provide proof that you have taken on the role as a company check pilot, company check airman, chief flight instructor or flight instructor or been in a position where you regularly evaluated pilots. This all must have taken place within the previous 2 years.
  • Take a flight instructor refresher course no more than 3 months before applying for renewal. Check with the FAA website for schools and locations offering such courses.
  • Provide proof that you have taken and passed an instructor pilot check from the U.S. Armed Forces.

§ 61.197 Renewal requirements for flight instructor certification.
(a) A person who holds a flight instructor certificate that has not expired may renew that flight instructor certificate by—
(1) Passing a practical test for—
(i) One of the ratings listed on the current flight instructor certificate; or
(ii) An additional flight instructor rating; or
(2) Submitting a completed and signed application with the FAA and satisfactorily completing one of the following renewal requirements—
(i) A record of training students showing that, during the preceding 24 calendar months, the flight instructor has endorsed at least 5 students for a practical test for a certificate or rating and at least 80 percent of those students passed that test on the first attempt.
(ii) A record showing that, within the preceding 24 calendar months, the flight instructor has served as a company check pilot, chief flight instructor, company check airman, or flight instructor in a part 121 or part 135 operation, or in a position involving the regular evaluation of pilots.
(iii) A graduation certificate showing that, within the preceding 3 calendar months, the person has successfully completed an approved flight instructor refresher course consisting of ground training or flight training, or a combination of both.
(iv) A record showing that, within the preceding 12 months from the month of application, the flight instructor passed an official U.S. Armed Forces military instructor pilot proficiency check.
(b) The expiration month of a renewed flight instructor certificate shall be 24 calendar months from—
(1) The month the renewal requirements of paragraph (a) of this section are accomplished; or
(2) The month of expiration of the current flight instructor certificate provided—
(i) The renewal requirements of paragraph (a) of this section are accomplished within the 3 calendar months preceding the expiration month of the current flight instructor certificate, and
(ii) If the renewal is accomplished under paragraph (a)(2)(iii) of this section, the approved flight instructor refresher course must be completed within the 3 calendar months preceding the expiration month of the current flight instructor certificate.
(c) The practical test required by paragraph (a)(1) of this section may be accomplished in a flight simulator or flight training device if the test is accomplished pursuant to an approved course conducted by a training center certificated under part 142

Flight Instructor Refresher Course (AOPA)

Only the Air Safety Institute offers the most comprehensive FAA-approved renewal program available.
Renew anytime during your 4 month renewal period and maintain your original expiration date. Guaranteed!

In-Person FIRC
More than 90 locations
2-day seminar format
Learn with your peers.
$235 pre-registration fee ($250 at the door)

Online FIRC
Online renewal processing – no need to leave home or mail paperwork.
Receive credit for completed Air Safety Institute courses taken.
Learn at your own pace.
Just $124
Visit AOPA for details.

Pilot Student Building and Logging Time in Cross Country Flight Training

Pilot Student Building and Logging Time in Cross Country Flight TrainingPer title 14 of the code of federal regulations (14 CFR)- (FARS) part 61, section 1.b.3[4]

Cross-country time means:
  1. Time acquired during a flight—
  2. Conducted by a person who holds a pilot certificate;
  3. Conducted in an aircraft;

1. That includes a landing at a point other than the point of departure; and
That involves the use of dead reckoning, pilotage, electronic navigation aids, radio aids, or other navigation systems to navigate to the landing point.
2. For the purpose of meeting the aeronautical experience requirements (except for a rotorcraft category rating), for a private pilot certificate (except for a powered parachute category rating), a commercial pilot certificate, or an instrument rating, or for the purpose of exercising recreational pilot privileges (except in a rotorcraft) under Sec. 61.101(c), time acquired during a flight–
Conducted in an appropriate aircraft;
That includes a point of landing that was at least a straight-line distance of more than 50 nautical miles from the original point of departure; and
That involves the use of dead reckoning, pilotage, electronic navigation aids, radio aids, or other navigation systems to navigate to the landing point.

Cross-Country Flight Phase

When beginning the cross-country flight phase, student pilots often find it one of the most exciting parts of their training. Until reaching the cross-country phase, virtually all flights take place at or near the home airport. For the first time, students are able to fly well beyond the home airport to new and different airports, initially with the flight instructor and then solo. Planning the first cross-country flight, though, can seem overwhelming!

In cross-country flying, a number of basic skills assume added importance. For example,

  • When you stay near your home airport, you can land and refuel whenever you want, but during a cross-country flight you need to plan ahead.
  • When you stay near your home airport, you can land immediately if threatening weather moves in, but during a cross-country flight you need to do a lot more planning and a lot more en-route double-checking.
  • When you stay near your home airport, you presumably know the length of all the runways and the layout of the traffic pattern, but it can be highly embarrassing to show up at another airport and turn left base when everybody else is using a right-hand pattern. It is also embarrassing to land a little long and a little fast and then discover that the runway is very short.
  • And last but not least, you need good navigation. Navigation involves keeping track of where you are and finding your way to the destination. The three primary methods of navigation are pilotage (section 14.1), dead reckoning (section 14.2), and navigation by instruments (section 14.3).
14.1 Pilotage

The term pilotage refers to finding your way by reference to landmarks. This is a basic yet important pilot skill.

From the air, things look different than they do from the ground. It will take you a while to learn aeronautical pilotage skills. Airports Make Good Landmarks. When you are planning a cross-country trip, it is advantageous to plan a route that passes over airports along the way. They make great checkpoints.

There’s a lot to know before conducting a safe cross-country flight, and your flight instructor will review everything in detail prior to each take off.

Logging Flight Time For Student Pilots

While you’re a student pilot you will only log EITHER dual received OR PIC time. You can’t log both on the same flight. You’ll log PIC time when you are the SOLE occupant of the aircraft, and since you can’t carry passengers if you’re not the sole occupant at least one of the other occupants will be your instructor. When you log dual received time then your instructor will, at a minimum, need to sign your logbook. Most instructors will add information on the lesson(s) taught during the flight.

Your instructor should conduct pre and post flight briefings and technically that’s ground instruction and could be logged as such but most people don’t bother. However, if your instructor provides ground instruction that’s not part of a pre or post flight my advice is to log it and have the instructor sign it.

When May I Log Cross-Country Time?

This is one of those FAA definitions that change depending on what you’re using the time for. Cross-countries fall into four groups. The first three groups are all contained in 61.1(b)(3).

Group 1: General Definition: A cross country flight is one in which you land at another airport that you didn’t accidentally bump into. There are no distance requirements.

Group 2: In order to “Count” for Most Certificates or Ratings: Same as the general definition, except at least one of the places where you land has to be more than 50 NM from where you started the flight. This applies to the private and commercial certificates, and the instrument rating.

Group 3: In order to “Count” for ATP: Same as for Most Certificates or Ratings, except you don’t have to land anywhere.

Group 4: Apart from there are the “special cross countries” that are part of the experience requirement for certain certificates and ratings. One example is the private pilot certificate requirement for 150 total distance solo cross country with at least one 50 NM leg (61.109(a)(5)).

Summary. All four groups are cross country. And they all can be logged from the time that you are a student pilot. The problem is keeping track of them so you can total the ones that “count” in any given situation. Most new pilots tend to log only Group 2 since those are the ones that they will have to total up in the near future. Some set up two columns right away (Group 1 counts for 135 experience purposes). The lack of a landing in Group 3 is a well-deserved tip of the hat to military pilots who will often fly some distance without landing.

Aviator Flight Training Academy

Aviator Flight Training Academy offers professional pilot training programs with a minimum of 200 hours of multi-engine time. The flight school has a state of the art 37,000 square foot facility, featuring a CRJ Level 5 Flight Training Device (Simulator), large classrooms and individual briefing rooms.

Flight Training Preparation for Solo Flight

Flight Training Preparation for Solo FlightJust as pilot students do everything possible to prepare for their first solo flight, flight instructors work just as hard to prepare their students for 1st flight checkride. The reason flight instructors are so invested is because flight schools are graded based upon the pass and fail rate of their students during their checkride. Your CFI is graded based upon the pass fail rate of his or her students. To recommend a checkride, CFI’s have to be almost 100% sure their students are ready.

First Solo Flight Requirements

Before flying solo in the aircraft, you’ll need to have in your possession a student pilot certificate. How to get it:

  • Be at least 16 years old. If you plan to pilot a glider or balloon, you must be at least 14 years old.
  • You can read, speak, and understand English
  • You hold at least a current third-class medical certificate. If you plan to pilot a glider or balloon, you only have to certify that you have no medical defect that would make you unable to pilot a glider or balloon.

According to the FAR, in order to solo, there are two basic requirements:
1. The student must first have a Student Pilot Certificate, which is normally issued by an FAA Medical Examiner together with a Third Class Medical Certificate. While a student pilot may begin his training prior to obtaining this certificate, he/she must have it before the first solo flight.
2. The student’s instructor must authorize solo flight by making an endorsement in the student’s logbook. There are a number of guidelines set forth to help the instructor evaluate a student’s readiness to solo, including knowledge requirements (which may be tested orally or by a written test), and the demonstrated ability to perform certain maneuvers, but in the end the determination rests with the instructor.

Upon your request, an FAA-authorized aviation medical examiner will issue you a combined medical certificate and Student Pilot Certificate after you complete your physical examination. Student Pilot Certificates may be issued by an FAA inspector or an FAA-designated pilot examiner. Applicants who fail to meet certain requirements or who have physical disabilities which might limit, but not prevent, their acting as pilots, should contact the nearest FAA office.
Please have in mind that you cannot renew your student certificate or medical certificate, you can only get a new one.

What To Expect For Your 1st Solo

Just as there is no set rule as to how many hours a pilot needs in order to solo, there is also no set rule for how a solo flight takes place. Once again, this is up to the instructor. Once a student is deemed ready, some instructors will let the student know and set aside a day when the flight will take place. On the other hand, many instructors prefer to give the student no warning at all. Instead the solo flight will happen at the end of a normal flying lesson. The instructor will generally give the student a clear set of instructions for what to do during the first solo flight. Typically, this might include a couple of “touch and go” followed by a full stop landing. It is normal to feel nervous, though the nerves generally go away after takeoff. Focusing on the immediate task at hand will usually help to stay nerves. However, if a student truly feels unready, he has every right to decline the opportunity. Once the flight is over, the instructor will meet the student and congratulate him. There is also an old tradition in which the instructor cuts off the backside of the student’s shirt and hangs it somewhere in commemoration of the event.

Flight Solo Check List
Verbalize Your Actions

Throughout the entire process of the practical side of your checkride make sure you’re verbalizing everything you do. This will ensure your examiner understands you’re well aware of what needs to be done and the fact that you’re doing it. A good example of this would be clearing turns. Simply say under your breath but loud enough that he or she can hear you, “clearing to the left” and “clearing to the right.” You may think this is redundant or pointless but, it’s a good safeguard.

Be the Pilot-in-Command

As you’re walking out to the aircraft with the designated examiner constantly reinforce to your self “I am the pilot in command, he or she is a passenger.” As you approach the aircraft talk to your examiner as if they had never been in a small aircraft prior to that day. Let them know what you’re going to do and let them know what you need of them. Once you’re in the cockpit make sure it you do not forget to pre-flight passenger briefing. This is critical. It is an FAA requirement for your passengers to have their seat belts on during takeoff and landing.

You’re a Pilot Until Proven Otherwise

Most student pilots are extremely nervous about taking a checkride. In reality, the designated examiner goes into this process believing you have exactly what it takes to be a private pilot certificate holder. He or she will trust the CFI’s decision to sign off your authorization to take your checkride. At this point the only way you can fail is if you prove you’re not capable of piloting the plane safely. Similar to our legal system in the United States where you’re innocent until proven guilty, during your checkride you’re a pilot until proven otherwise.

Set your Radio Pre-sets

Since you have already planned out your initial flight and gone over this with your designated examiner, you will know exactly what VOR you will need to use when you first leave the airport. You’ll also know the departure frequency for the control tower you’ll be using. Do yourself a huge favor and have these items already programmed into your NAV/COM system. There is no reason you need to be doing your takeoff procedures and fumbling with your NAV/COM in order to get your proper VOR frequency dialed in.

Aviator Flight Training Academy

Aviator Flight Training Academy offers professional pilot training programs with a minimum of 200 hours of multi-engine time. The flight school has a state of the art 37,000 square foot facility, featuring a CRJ Level 5 Flight Training Device (Simulator), large classrooms and individual briefing rooms.

To speak with a flight instructor call 772-672-8222.
Contact Aviator
Schedule a Visit