So you want to fly, to gain the freedom, a sense of accomplishment, see the world from a different prospective...etc. Most private pilots do not get a job flying, nor do most ever own an airplane; most private pilots just want to fly once in a while. And for the cost of a good lawnmower, or a bad car, you can become a pilot and join a very small percentage of Americans with the skill to travel via the air.......going direct to locations not well served by the highways- in a fraction of the time, or just flying locally to enjoy some time with family or friends. The sections below present all the information needed to educate you on the process. When evaluating any flight school, it's best to visit the facility, meet an instructor, and learn the details involved in getting your license.
Step 1 - Discovery Flight
Discover what flight training offers by scheduling a mini-lesson of at least 30 minutes. Our instructor will take you over our training area and let you work the controls to get a feel for how our aircraft flies. This is especially good for someone who has not yet been in a small aircraft, and/or for someone who wants to get to know the instructor better. After the flight, it is a good time to sit with an instructor to learn about the materials needed, lesson timing, equipment, and costs involved in becoming a pilot.
Step 2 - Computer/On-line Based Instruction
HCA recommends the Sporty's "ground school" instruction. You complete lessons on your computer, at your own pace. This allows you to learn faster, and retain, through repetition, more of the material presented.
Step 3 - Start your Flying Lessons
Yes. . . the fun part. Learn the basic techniques such as climbs and descents, turns and banks, and takeoffs and landings. Your flight instructor will be right there with you in the "right seat", explaining and demonstrating various manouvers.
Schedule your flying lessons using SkyScheduler, a web-based tool which allows you the convenience of scheduling online from anywhere. You'll be able to see an instructor's (and plane's) availability with the click of the mouse.
Step 4 - Get your Aviation Medical Certificate.
FAA requirements specify that pilots have a medical certificate prior to flying solo in an airplane. Basically, this involves passing a physical examination administered by a doctor who is an FAA-authorized medical examiner. HCA can provide a listing of local medical examiners.
Step 5 - Make your First Solo Flight
After 15-20 hours, for most students, you should be ready to make your first solo flight. Typically, this involves 3 consecutive takeoffs and full-stop landings. A very rewarding experience.
Step 6 - Advance through CBI Lessons and build Flight Time and Experience
This portion of your flight training will allow you to become comfortable with more advanced techniques and maneuvers. You'll acquire additional solo time, night flying experience, and complete your first "solo cross-country" flight.
Step 7 - Pass your FAA Written Test
This is where all the hours of studying the computer based materials pay off.
Step 8 - Pass your FAA Flight Exam
You'll fly with an FAA examiner who will test your ability to apply all you have learned.
Step 9 - Enjoy your Priveleges as a Private Pilot!
Take a trip somewhere with family or friends. Go ahead. . you've earned it
Step 10 - Advance to an Instrument or Commercial Rating
HCA offers additional instruction for new (or old) pilots wishing to add additional ratings to their Private Pilot certification.