1. Who can become a pilot?
While the average student pilot is in their 30’s, virtually any individual 16 years of age or older can learn to fly an airplane. In fact, gliders require an age of only 14! In point of fact, people from every occupation and every geographic location in the nation are pilots. So, what’s stopping you?
2. What will learning to fly mean for my life?
Learning to fly a general aviation airplane opens the door to a variety of opportunities. Most obvious, a pilot has the opportunity to take a spouse, family member, or friend on a range of adventures not easily accomplished by a land vehicle. From Rutland Regional Airport, as example, pilots can easily enjoy lunch on the Coast of Maine, enjoy an afternoon on Nantucket, enjoy whale watching from the air over Provincetown in the Cape Cod Bay, see Niagara Falls from the air, or explore any one of countless adventures. In addition, businesses may find the ability to travel without the hassle of commercial airlines appealing. Finally, there are a variety of career opportunities which commercial pilots can explore from working for regional or national airlines to working for charter services. Indeed, for pilots, the options are, well, quite high.
5. What might I experience in my first flight lesson ?
That 1st flying lesson can be memorable! Typically your instructor will introduce you to the general aviation airplane you will learn to fly, you will be briefed on the instruments, controls, and equipment in the aircraft, and then you two will begin that 1st adventure. After a pre-flight briefing, the two of you will depart Rutland Airport with you at the controls, under close supervision. Typically, in that 1st lesson, when aloft, and under the close supervision of your instructor, you will 1st take control of the airplane. This is typically an exciting moment as you gradually turn the plane and begin the learn how to control the aircraft. Typically students find this fun, and quite exciting as you wander the area before landing back in Rutland.
6. Why learn to fly at Rutland?
Rutland Airport has no control tower, which means you can maximize flying and minimize waiting for tower clearances to depart. Further the confidence you can gain in using the radio, for example, will seem far less traumatic when training outside a towered airport. Still, after appropriate training you can and will visit larger and busier airports to practice and refine those skills. Still, back at RUT, when practicing take-offs and landings for example, Rutland Airport is not so busy that you will feel tense with other traffic, nor will you typically have to wait behind other aircraft to take off or land. Financially this means you do not expend financial resources sitting and waiting. Finally, Rutland has multiple runways to better cope with various winds.
As a beginning pilot it is often nerve wracking locate an airport. Rutland Airport, as example, is quite easy to locate, though, as it is situated near the town of Rutland in a clearly visible valley. In fact, on the ground Rutland Airport has easy access from all major highways and is only minutes from down-town.
7. How long will it typically take to become a Private Pilot?
Most people earn their private pilot certificate after 60 to 80 hours of training. Understand, this includes time spent with an instructor (referred to as dual time) and time spent flying alone (referred to as solo time). The PPL also requires some flying at night and some time learning to fly “under a hood” where you will learn basic skills in flying solely using the airplane’s instruments. Training also must include some cross-country flying.
The minimum time required by federal regulation is 35 or 40 hours of flight time, depending on the type of school you attend but these hours are minimums and rarely do students complete this training – in any flight school – in these minimums.
So how long will it take? Okay. Here’s the key point to know: How long it takes to accumulate flight time is largely up to you and your instructor! Usually two or three hours of flying time per week is a good learning rate. Statistics indicate that the average student pilot completes the requirements for a private pilot certificate in six months. Depending on your schedule and number of hours spent flying, some people will complete it sooner and others will take longer.
8. How difficult is this endeavor?
In truth, learning to fly involves multiple variables. In fact, because pilot training requires both ground and flight training students can find certain aspects less challenging than other components. Ground training, for example, can occur through classes, through self-study, or with your instructor. In general this covers such aspects as flight rules, FAA regulations, flight planning, radio procedures, and understanding weather.
Flight training, in contrast, occurs with a certified flight instructor inside an airplane. What will you do during flight training? You will learn how to take off and land! And you will learn how to navigate from one airport to another! Truly, flight training is the most exciting component!
9. What kind of examinations are required to procure a pilot license?
While a student pilot certificate requires no examinations, you must pass several examinations for a private pilot license. First, an FAA written examination must be negotiated. Second, a practical, indoor, examination involving flying rules and regulations must be passed. Third, you must demonstrate proficient flying skills. Last, you must also possess a medical certificate. All these facets can and will be explained by your instructor.
10. I’m worried. My family is worried. How safe is general aviation?
General aviation airplanes are built to rigid federal specifications and they are constantly checked to ensure safe operation. At GMFT all aircraft complete extensive mechanical inspections after every 100 hours of flight in addition to careful pre-flight inspections before each flight. We believe that a well-built and well-maintained airplane in the hands of a competent and well-trained pilot is safer than many other forms of transportation and teach students ho to conduct careful pre-flight inspections as well as emergency procedures.
11. What can I do after I acquire my pilot’s license?
A pilot license can change your life. Forever. With a license you will have access to a new sense of adventure. As a pilot you can travel in ways others only dream about. But rather than dreaming of travel, you can travel on your own schedule. Imagine leaving late morning for an afternoon walk on Cape Cod. Or traveling to Lake Placid for a luncheon escape. Or to Block Island for a romantic picnic dinner. As a pilot, you can make these dreams an everyday reality.
As a pilot you can truly enjoy the romance of aviation.
12. I’m interested but how much does a license typically cost?
Flight training is not inexpensive! There we said it! That said, while a 40 hour minimum might require $7,000 to $9,000 for the private pilot flight training program it is more reasonable to expect to pay approximately $15,000 for your license. Do know, this includes aircraft rentals, fuel, as well as lessons. If interested, we can provide a specific breakdown of costs and expenses.
Are there financial resources available? The Aircraft Owners’ and Pilots Association (AOPA) is a not-for-profit organization that serves and protects the general aviation community. AOPA has created a program with MBNA Bank to provide up to $25,000 in financing for flight training. Examine AOPA’s website at www.aopa.org/info/certified/funds.html.
13. Are there additional requirements to consider?
To become a pilot you must be at least 16 years of age. Second, you have to be in good health. Third, you have to be able to read, speak, and understand English. Fourth, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires that everyone who wants to become a pilot or continue to be a pilot pass a routine medical examination every few years-depending on age. Allowances are made for certain limitations. For example, glasses and contact lenses are perfectly acceptable. If you are planning to learn to fly, it is advisable to complete the physical exam early in your training, however, it is not required until it is time for to solo.