Dreaming of becoming a pilot?You are not alone! Pilots young and old started with the same dream but there was a point in their lives when they decided to act on their dreams. You can begin your journey to become a pilot through Emerald Coast Aviation’s Flight Training Program right now.
What do I do first? Call us up and schedule a 30-minute orientation flight with one of our professional flight instructors. You will have an opportunity take the controls of our beautifully equipped 2003 Cessna 172SP, tour our training facility, see our amazing full motion simulator, and determine if flying is for you.
Ok, I want to get my Private Pilot License! You will need to obtain a FAA Medical Certificate. This is a routine medical exam given by a Doctor certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to perform these examinations. This exam will ensure you are medically qualified to fly an airplane. This certificate is also your Student Pilot License!
What else is required? Homeland Security and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) regulations require all students engaging in flight training must show proof of U.S. citizenship. Before the first flight lesson, students must provide a government issued photo I.D. AND one of the following: an original or certified copy of Certificate of Birth or a current U.S. Passport. These documents will photocopied kept on file for five years per TSA regulations. If you are not an U.S. citizen, you may receive flight training but there are additional steps to take to become eligible.
What about Ground School? There is a 60-question written exam that students must pass with the minimum score of 70%. In order to take this exam, you must have an endorsement from a Certificated Flight Instructor (CFI) stating that you have received the required training and are prepared to take the exam. The best way to get this training is through a formal ground school. The next best thing would be one-on-one with your instructor. You may also choose self-study but you must demonstrate to your instructor you have the required knowledge in order to obtain their endorsement. Your instructor will work with you to help you determine which option is best.
How long does it take and how much does it cost?? The FAA mandates a minimum of 40 hours of flight time for a student pilot to be eligible for a Pilot’s License (see 61.109 Aeronautical Experience). The average flight lesson is between 1 to 1.5 hrs. During these flight lessons, students are taught how to perform the required flight maneuvers to the Private Pilot proficiency level. Attaining this level of proficiency is determined by how much you commit to your training. Just flying will not get you the license; you have to put in a lot of time studying on the ground between lessons to be successful. Your commitment will determine how long it takes you to complete your training and in turn, how much it will cost.
Can you give me a ballpark figure? The average student takes between 50-70 hours to reach the Private Pilot proficiency level. In order to do this, you can expect to spend between $5,000 to $9,000 once you have factored in books, ground instruction, flight instruction, aircraft rental, and testing fees. What makes the price go down, you ask? Students that fly 2-3 times a week and study between lessons spend a lot less money and can get their license within 3-6 months.
After you and your instructor decide you are ready, you will meet with an FAA-designated examiner for an oral and flight exam. Your aeronautical knowledge and proficiency will be rigorously tested by a Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE) but your extensive flight and ground training will fully prepare you to ace your check ride and in turn, help you earn your pilot’s certificate.
Our current rates for aircraft rental and flight instruction are found here.