Getting Started

Getting Started

Do I need a medical exam to be a pilot?

If you’ve talked to other pilots, you may have heard about “the medical.” Don’t worry—you do not have to have perfect health or 20/20 vision.
Cessna 172

Who can be a pilot?

There is no “right” type of person to become a pilot. Aviators come from all kinds of backgrounds, each with unique reasons for flying. You can take lessons at any age—there is no minimum and no maximum.

How do I choose a flight school?

Once you’ve located some schools, choosing the right one is one of the most important choices you’ll make in training. More than anything, a flight school needs to be a good fit for you--your schedule, your goals and your personality.
Pre-flight inspection

How do I choose a flight instructor?

Even once you’ve picked a flight school, spend some time to find the right flight instructor. He will be a key element in your training and how much enjoyment you get out of flying.

Sport, Recreational or Private Pilot certificate?

When you start flying, you may be presented the choice of pursuing your Sport Pilot, Recreational Pilot or Private Pilot certificate. Understanding the differences between them will help you to choose the right one for you.

How long does it take to learn to fly?

The length of time it takes to earn a pilot's certificate varies widely (anywhere from a few weeks to a year), and depends on how spread out your training schedule is. A major milestone in your training is your first solo.

How much does it cost to earn a pilot’s license?

No one wants to pay too much for a product or service, and it's certainly no different with learning to fly. Learning to fly involves some expense, but it's important to examine this expense as an investment that will provide a lifetime of return.

Your first flight lesson

Getting into the air and taking your first flight is the most important—and most enjoyable—step you can take in your journey. There’s nothing like your first takeoff in an airplane to show you the fun and freedom of flying. If you’re on the fence about learning to fly, go take a first lesson!

What pilot supplies do I need for flight training?

While the list can of things a pilot can buy seems endless, we recommend the following as the basics to get going.

What are Part 61 and Part 141 flight schools?

You may hear flight schools talk about “Part 61” and “Part 141” programs. This refers to different parts of the Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs) that set minimum standards for flight training.
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