Frequently Asked Questions
Becoming A Private Pilot
1. What are the requirements to become a private pilot?
- Be 17 years old, but training may start at any age
- Pass an FAA Third Class Medical exam
- Complete a minimum of 40 hours of flight time (national average is 60-to-70 hours) that includes 30 hours with an instructor and 10 hours of solo flight
- Complete the interactive CD-ROM or the online Cessna ground training program. You can also attend our ground school course, which is offered four
times a year.
- Pass the FAA Private Pilot Knowledge Test and the Practical Test.
2. What’s the best way to get started?
Start by taking our introductory flight lesson. During this flight your flight instructor will demonstrate how to prepare for a flight and operate the airplane systems. You will be at the controls for takeoff and in-flight, and assist in the landing. At half the cost of a regular flight lesson, the introductory flight lesson will give you a taste of the fun and excitement of learning to fly. Once you start, your instructor will ensure that your training is efficient, thorough and fun.
3. How long does it take to earn the private pilot license?
To master the skills necessary to be a safe pilot, most students take longer than the 40 hours required by the FAA. With a reasonable effort, you could get your license in 50-to-60 hours of instruction. The national completion time average, however, is about 70 hours and 3-to-7 months.
4. How often should I fly?
The more often you fly, the faster you'll earn your license. Also, flying frequently avoids having to review previously learned skills that become "rusty" through lack of practice. We recommend taking lessons at least 2-to-3 times per week until you solo and one lesson per week thereafter.
5. What special skills are needed for all this?
Learning to fly, while challenging, does not require any special skills or ability other than a strong desire to do it. If you have the motivation to learn, then you are ready to begin flying. Flying does not involve math skills beyond basic high school math.
6. What is the average cost for obtaining the private pilot license?
An all inclusive estimate based on 45 hours of flight training is about $10,000. The total cost depends on which airplane you fly and how many hours it takes you to complete the FAA requirements. Airplane rental charges are incurred only while the engine is running, and an hourly rate is charged for ground and flight instructor training. You will also need stuff like charts, a headset, etc. Many students pay as they go, others choose to finance their cost of learning to fly with pilot training loans.
7. Is it safe?
Everything we do involves some level of risk and flying is no exception. When flown by well-trained competent pilots, light airplanes are a safe and efficient means of transportation. The mechanical reliability of light airplanes is excellent – the systems are simple and time-tested.
8. What can I do as a private pilot?
You may carry passengers (but not get paid for it) in a single engine airplane, day or night, in visual flying conditions. An airplane allows you to turn weekends into full, two-day vacations, eliminating long car rides and traffic jams.
9. What other licenses and ratings can I earn?
After the private license, you can work on your Instrument Rating, which allows you to fly in low visibility weather conditions. With this new skill you may fly in a greater variety of weather conditions, thereby increasing the usefulness of your private pilot license. You can also earn a Multi-Engine rating, and fly airplanes with more than one engine. To purse a career as a professional pilot, you can earn a Commercial or Airline Transport Pilot certificates. If you like to teach, the Certified Flight Instructor ratings allow you to teach others how to fly.
10. Do I have to wear a "uniform"?
NS Aviation students enrolled in the Professional Pilot program wear the NS Aviation uniform when participating in instructional activities. The wear of the NS Aviation uniform is optional for students not enrolled in the Professional Pilot program.
11. This sounds like something I'd like to do! When can I start?
Call us at 954-964-1276 to schedule your introductory flight lesson and a tour of our facilities.
Learning to fly will be one of the most enjoyable experiences of your life. Training to become a pilot is a challenging but realistic goal. People of all walks of life have become pilots, and their accomplishment sets them apart from others. You can be one too and like them enjoy years of enjoyment. Learning to fly can lead you to new social and career opportunities or even a new career path. But most importantly, flying is FUN! Find out for yourself!