Flight School

learn to fly picture
Learning to Fly

Thinking about becoming a pilot? We’ll answer some of the basic questions about learning to fly here. For more information, stop in, call us at 508.747.1494, or email us.

We’ve also made the information on this page available as a downloadable PDF file. You will need the Adobe PDF Reader to view it, available here.

Why Should I Learn To Fly?

Welcome, interested aviator. Many people like yourself have driven by the airport on a sunny Saturday afternoon and reflected, “I’ve always dreamed of flying, but…” And for every person, there is a different reason — “I’m too old; I can’t do it; I’m weak in math; I wear glasses; etc.” The majority of the excuses we hear just are not true. Put yours away for a moment and read the facts below.

What’s Required?

Age:

  • There is no maximum age (you’re never too old).
  • If you’re under 16, you can fly only with an Instructor; no restrictions for ground school.
  • You must be 16 years old to apply for a student license (which allows you to solo).
  • You must be 17 years old to be eligible for a private pilot’s certificate.

Medical:
medical

A medical is a physical examination given by an FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) approved doctor. Your first medical will also be your student pilot’s license. The medical is required before solo and is best completed in the early stages of your training. We can provide you with a phone listing of several doctors. (Corrected vision is no problem, even with one eye.)

Education:

You must be able to read, speak, and understand the English language. There are no college or high school diplomas required and not much math!

What About Ground School?

At Alpha One, ground school training is provided to you at no cost. This enables the ground school to progress at a good and thorough learning pace because we have no deadlines to meet. The school is very detailed on the latest methods of flying and has frequent guest speakers to provide a well rounded learning experience. We believe you’ll find it very rewarding.

What Are The Flight Training Requirements?

The FAA has two requirements concerning flight training that must be met prior to applying for the private pilot certificate:

  • 20 dual hours (airplane and instructor)
  • 20 solo hours (sole occupant of aircraft)

A minimum of 40 total flight hours is required. The average pilot from Alpha One has 55 hours of flight time prior to the private pilot exam.

How About Flight Skills?

There are certain flight maneuvers you need to become proficient in before you’re ready for the final flight test. The national average for total hours necessary to be competent in these maneuvers is between 75 and 90 hours. There are several reasons for so many hours being the norm: inconsistent training schedule; no ground school; no home study; poorly maintained aircraft that delay lessons; broken training patterns from too many different instructors or not having a “plan” to complete the training.

So Why Fly At Alpha One?

Our instructors are trained to teach you the best flying techniques. We hand picked them because of their ability to work with people — a vital key in being a good instructor. And we try to keep you with the same instructor throughout the course.

Our course syllabus presents the lessons in an easy to follow, step by step plan to attain your private pilot’s license. The syllabus is written for the average student who wants to enjoy his/her flight training, not just for the career minded student.

The ground school is relaxed, challenging, and fun. The plan of study is easy to follow and given in a lecture format. The average length of the ground school is 14-16 weeks, two hours a night. You can begin the ground school at any time, even if you are not currently taking lessons. It is free and we welcome any students from other flight schools or pilots looking for some refresher classes. Please call for weekly topics, or check our online schedule .

The classroom is set up with video training aids, visual aids, a navigation planning table, a computer weather station, and a full classroom for preflight and post-flight briefings.

What Type Of Aircraft Will I Fly?

Alpha One’s primary training aircraft is the Cessna 152. Safe, durable, economical, and fun to fly makes the 152 the best airplane available for student training. We also have Cessna 172s and Piper Warriors, which are four-seat instrument airplanes. After receiving your license, you will receive a free one hour orientation flight in one of our Warriors. You can review all of our aircraft here .

For the instrument-minded pilot, we rent our PCATD flight simulator with full plotting equipment. The simulator is government approved for flight training and IFR currency.

What Will It Cost?

Price seems to be the bottom line of everything today. Assuming 45 hours of flying — 25 dual and 20 solo, here are the costs to acquire your license (prices current as of July, 2013):

Training Activity Cost
45 aircraft hours $4,050.00
35 hours instruction $1,750.00
FAA Medical   *    $100.00
FAA Written Test *   $150.00
Books & Materials *  $250.00
FAA Flight Test *  $400.00
Ground School FREE
Total $6,700.00

* Prices subject to change and depend on each student’s ability to learn the required materials.
** These prices based on training in a Cessna 152.

You can pay as you go, if you like, or leave money on account. Financing is also available from third-party financial services companies such as Pilot Finance Inc.  You can figure an average lesson will cost between $95.00 and $130.00. We also accept MasterCard, Visa, Discover, American Express, and personal checks.

What Can I Do With My License?

Just about anything. How about taking the family to Katama, a small airport within walking distance of one of the nicest beaches on Martha’s Vineyard. You and your family can sneak away for a weekend get-away to one of many wonderful “fly-in resorts”. Maybe just a quick sunset flight to Hyannis for dinner. Who knows, you may decide to make flying a career. And, your pilot license stays with you forever.

Can I Try It?

Of course! Give us a call to schedule your first flight. You’ll receive a full preflight briefing, control the plane from taxi and takeoff to landing, receive a photo with you and your first flight aircraft, and also receive a certificate with the flight time valid towards earning your pilot’s license. Give yourself the gift of flight!

I Have More Questions

Please call our office at 508.747.1494, visit us at Plymouth Municipal Airport, or email us  if you need additional information