FAQ

My training program follows a logical sequence. Each skill that you learn in the begining will provide a solid foundation for another skill that you learn later in the course. This ‘building block’ method provides a solid foundation for your future piloting experiences. Since each phase builds on what you have learned before, it is important that you complete the phase in proper sequence. However, sometimes a degree of flexibility is necessary. Weather and other factors may make it impractical to conduct a particular flight scenario while another is possible.  In this case and ‘out of sequence’ lesson may be completed.

Step 1: Learning when to say NO.

The first thing that we are going to cover is the Preflight. The preflight covers two areas: the aircraft and yourself. I’ll teach you how to make safe “go / no-go” decisions based on a wide variety of situations ranging from the weather, to how you feel, to whether the aircraft is legally airworthy and most importantly safe to fly.

Step 2: Learning your Airplane

In this phase you will learn what makes your airplane fly, and how to control your airplane in flight. This will include ‘basic’ maneuvers like taxiing, takeoffs, flying the aircraft straight and level, turns, climbs and descents, changing airspeeds, “trimming the aircraft”, and flap usage.

Step 3: Improving control

Here you will add to your skill set the “cornerstone” maneuvers that allow you to fly more precisely. You hone the basic skills you have already learned, and develop safety habits that will serve you well through your flying career. You should also have gotten your medical examination done by this stage.

Step 4: Takeoffs and Landings

After you demonstrate proficiency with the “cornerstone” maneuvers, we will cover airport operations, radio communications, airport traffic pattern operations, and take offs and landings. We will also review stalls, slow flight, and steep turns from time to time to make sure that you don’t forget how to do the maneuvers.

Step 5: Your First Solo!!

Once you can demonstrate consistent SAFE landings, as well as proficiency with airport operations and radio communications, you will then be given the ability to fly the aircraft on your own. This is a decision that I don’t take lightly, and I will NOT force you in to flying the aircraft on your own until you feel comfortable doing so. Everyone is nervous the first time they solo, I know I was way back when, but the feeling you get once you’ve actually done it, is truly indescribable and you will cherish that memory for the rest of your life.

Step 7: Cross Country Flights

Up to this point, you have learned how to control the aircraft, and learned the theories of cross country planning, and navigation. In this step you will use all that you have learned so far into practice, and fly to destinations that will fill your training requirements. Once you demonstrate proficiency in utilizing the skills you will learn, you will then be allowed to perform your “Solo Cross Country Flight”.

Step 8: Flying at Night

In this phase you will discover what night flying is all about, by taking both local and cross country flights at night so that you become aware of the safety aspects of night flying

Step 9: Polishing your skills, and you Check Ride

While we are working on cross countries, I will also have to solo the aircraft from your base airport to other airports in the local area to satisfy your solo hours requirement. Once you have performed your solo cross country we will do a few review flights and ground sessions to prepare you for your check ride. The check ride is absolutely nothing to worry about. I have personally selected a few examiners that I find to be especially un-intimidating and extremely fair. Once you complete your check ride you will be a fully certified Private Pilot! You’ll look back on your journey and be glad you took it!

You can be any age to work towards your private pilots licence. You have to be 16 to solo, and 17 to apply for the licence.

Aviation does not require you to have perfect eyesight anymore. With the advent of quality eye glasses, contact lenses, and LASIK, there are thousands of pilots who wear prescription eyeglasses while flying. Even the military is becoming quite lenient on vision standards.

The FAA DOES require you to pass a simple medical exam similar to your annual check up. There are a few medical conditions that may make it difficult to receiving a medical. Some of these require a waiver, and some are flat out unacceptable. The unacceptable conditions usually are extreme colorblindness, certain heart conditions, epilepsy, and most psychological disorders.

It depends on how often you fly. Flying often will help you to remember what it feels like to fly. Your muscles have a kind of memory as well as your mind. The less you fly, the more your body loses the “feel” for the airplane. It will take longer for you to understand subtle concepts AND the longer it will take for you to retain previously learned material. Below is a table listing the approximate amount of time to completion.

  • 1 flight a week 10 – 12 months
  • 2 flights a week 5 – 6 months
  • 3 flights a week  2.5 – 3 months

That’s a tough question to answer. It takes bear minimum of 40 hours of flight time. It is EXTREMELY RARE to finish up at exactly the 40 hour mark. More commonly, it takes approximately 55-75 hours to complete the course.

Below is a simple table listing the complete approximate cost of completion based on a Rental rate of $110.00 per hour:

  • 30 hours of dual instruction: $4500
  • 10 Ground School Sessions: $400
  • 10 hours solo: $1100
  • Books, Supplies, Miscellaneous: $300.00
  • Written Test: $150
  • Medical Exam: $80
  • Practical Test
  • 1.5 hours of flight time: $165
  • Examiners Fee: $350

TOTAL: $7345

My services are strictly pay as you go. You can spread the total cost of the course over several months. If the price is still too steep, another great option is a company called Pilot Finance Inc. Pilot Finance specializes in flight training loans and is a great way to finance your training and can lower your costs of training to approximately $230 per month. Check the Link Page for their website. As you can see, learning to fly is affordable to almost all, and is one of the best investments you can make in life. I made that investment over 20 years ago and there hasn’t been a single day I’ve regretted it.

Wow! $7345 for a pilots license! That’s kind of steep.

Remember, this isn’t like going to the store and buying something you’re only going to use once. Your pilots license is something that you are going to use time and time again, it’s something you can put on your resume, see friends and relatives on your own schedule, as well as a terrific way to support your business. The pilots license is an INVESTMENT .You’re investing in yourself and in a skill that you will have for the rest of your life. Keep in mind that a family vacation to the Bahamas and can easily cost $7000. That’s a vacation, your only going to go on once. When you get back home it’s only a memory, and you’re back to the grind. With your pilot’s license, you’ll spend $7000 for a LIFETIME of adventure, excitement, and status that only a few in this world achieve.

Any way you could cut me a deal?

Sure! I’m always appreciative of students telling their friends and family about the great training I provide! My referral program goes as follows:

For every student you bring to me that begins lessons with me, I know $10 dollars off your flight instruction fee. That means of you refer 5 people to me, than I don’t charge you for instruction. That means you save a MINIMUM of $2000 off the cost of your license!  So instead of paying $7345, you could possibly end up paying only $5345! There is nobody in Northeast Pennsylvania, let alone the state of Pennsylvania that will offer that kind of discount!

(contact me for unadvertised specials that I occasionally run)

It’s no secret that many business owners are pilots. The main reason for that is time is money. You know as well as I do that if you’re sitting around in an airport terminal, you’re not productive, you’re simply wasting time. Imagine being able to visit sites or clients in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and New York, and then finally back home all in one day. That is the type of efficiency that many business owners only DREAM of. With your private pilots license you can visit multiple customers, multiple sites, use the aircraft to entertain potential clients, as well as writing off the use an aircraft as a business expense. As a business owner, a pilot’s license is practically necessary to help your business reach its full potential.

Absolutely! The Transportation Security Administration has mandated that all foreign students undergo a background check prior to starting flight training. I am a TSA approved training provider and will gladly walk you through the process step by step.