Learning To Fly
Learning to pilot an aircraft will likely enrich your life in profound ways. Imagine whisking away for a weekend trip to Key West, Savannah or your favorite baseball team’s next away game without the seemingly endless drive and traffic. Since humans’ earliest days we have looked into the sky and contemplated a three-dimensional ability to soar with the eagles and dance amongst the clouds. Today, learning to fly is in the grasp of most people even if you are not made from super hero DNA. While learning to fly does require a mixture of technical, cognitive, and coordination skills, the goal is very likely in your grasp by simply accomplishing one task at a time. At Sun Coast Aviation, we use an industry standard syllabus and your progress is monitored by our highly-accomplished FAA Certificated Flight Instructors and our Chief Flight Instructor. What initially feels complex will soon feel familiar as you adopt new ways of speaking and interacting as you move toward the freedom of flight toward an endless horizon. Imagine the stories you will be able to tell.
An important step in accomplishing any goal is knowing the “why”. Do you want to fly for fun? Accelerate your business? Become a professional airline pilot? Knowing your goal before starting flight lessons will help guide you along the path to the most appropriate pilot certificate. For fun flying on good weather days? A simple Sport Pilot or Private Pilot Certificate may be just the answer. To accelerate your business? And avoid security lines, parking hassles, and the “who knows what will happen” whim of airline schedules? You’ll need an Instrument Rating to go along with your Private Pilot certificate to be able to launch on days where the weather is a bit below those clear and sunny days. A Professional Airline Pilot? There is serious work ahead for you: Private, Instrument, Commercial, Multi-engine, Flight Instructor, and ATP certificates and ratings are all likely on the professional’s path. But in all cases, it begins with a single step.
The road map is simple:
- Contact us as Sun Coast Aviation. Discus your goals and options with our staff
- Medical Certificate (may not be needed, dependent on pilot certificate, we will advise)
- Ground School
- Flight Lessons
- Knowledge Exam (Computer-based test, 70% to pass)
- Verbal and Flight Test by a Pilot Examiner
The national average to earn a private pilot certificate is about 70 flight hours; however, there are many variables that will impact the time it takes you to achieve your goal. How often and how consistent you train will have significant effect on your training efficiency. If you train only once every few weeks and sometimes it is a hit or miss on your dedication, we advise against starting training until you can dedicate about one lesson per week with two lessons per week being optimum. Besides the flight lessons, you will to dedicate time to studying when away from the airport and your flight instructor – several hours a week is a good benchmark. If you cannot make this level of dedication, school or work, we only ask that your expectations are realistic – it will take more time to complete your goal.
Like the above question “How long it will take?”, how often and how consistent you train will have significant impact on your training costs. To minimize cost, train often, find time to study when away from the flight school, and use Sun Coast Aviation’s flight simulators when appropriate to raise your training efficiency and lower costs. Sun Coast Aviation’s Staff can help you budget based on your commitment to a training schedule and your desired goals.
Sun Coast Aviation has them: the Cessna 172 for Private Pilot and Instrument Training, the Piper Arrow for Advanced Pilot Training, and the Cirrus SR22T for High Performance and Advanced Avionics Platform Training.