The Rogue Valley Flying Club is unique in that we offer those interested in learning to fly complete freedom in their path to a Private Pilot License (certificate). The FAA officially issues pilot certificates, however the term “license” is used interchangeably within aviation. As a member of the club looking to earn a pilot license, you select which Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) works with your own schedule and you learn at your own pace. It is also important to choose a CFI who works with your learning style and personality. We are not a flight school, therefore you simply meet and work with a Club-approved CFI to achieve your goal of getting a pilot license.
For those who are new to all of this, one of the initial questions is regarding ground vs flight training. What’s the difference? Think of ground school as all the knowledge you need to gain while on the ground to understand the skills needed when actually flying. Flight training is when you are actually in an aircraft flying, practicing the skills learned in ground school. Most students today use online ground school courses prior to flight training. However some students might prefer a personal, one to one, ground school experience. These are always more expensive than an online course and not as flexible since you need to meet in person. The Club is not a flight school so we don’t offer a formal ground school.
What type of license should I get? There are three pilot licenses available after the Student Pilot License. You really can’t do much with the Student Pilot License, except you have to have it before you solo. The three license options are: Sport, Recreational and Private Pilot. Each have their own pros and cons, and you should really understand and decide which license is best for you.
The Club only supports private or recreational pilot licenses. Why? The reason has to do with the type of aircraft required for the sport license. We still like sport pilots, we just don’t have any light-sport aircraft rentals.
How much time and money will it take? This is a tough question and if you spend any time researching you will find there are many answers. The FAA requires a minimum of 40 hours of flight time in your logbook for private pilots, which include various specific requirements of those hours. In addition you will have to pass a medical exam, knowledge (written) test, oral exam and finally a practical test to demonstrate specific flying standards in the air.
You might find that you are an extremely advanced pilot and hit 40 hours of logged flight time or maybe you are a more typical student and take 60-75 hours. Time with your CFI can also vary, depending on many factors, but it’s usually safe to double the flight time hours to get a good idea of total costs and time. Your CFI will spend time before and after each flight, so each training session will include both flying time and non-flying time with your CFI, hence the doubling of flying hours to get a good idea of CFI hours. The entire process can also depend on plane and testing resources, personal schedule and of course weather.
Don’t forget ground school, headset, logbooks, FAA books, medical exam, FAA Knowledge Test and checkride fees among other costs.
ESTIMATED COST BASED ON 65 HOURS & 9 MONTHS AS A MEMBER OF THE CLUB
FLIGHT AND GROUND TRAINING
Flying Member One Time Initiation Fee:
Aircraft Rental Cessna 172 (average $95/hr):
Flying Club Monthly Dues ($50 x 9 months):
Certified Flight Instructor (65 hrs x $50):
Online Ground School:
TESTING/EXAMS AND EQUIPMENT
Headset and Supplies (costs can vary widely depending on quality of headset and tech such as iPads, E6B Computer, Foreflight, etc):
$800 – $2000
FAA Knowledge Test Fee:
The number one reason that people do not get their license is NOT because they are unable to fly a plane or pass an FAA or medical exam. It’s that they fail to plan financially for the costs. The second reason is they lose momentum because of time constraints due to personal or professional issues.
The more you know on the ground the better you will be in the air, so getting your ground school and Knowledge Test done prior to flying will give you a great foundation to your skills. Also, it has been proven over and over that flying more often accelerates your learning. The ideal schedule is 2-3 times a week, with a day or more in between each 1-2 hour flying lesson. If your schedule only allows 1 flying lesson a week, then plan on more time to get the skills required to pass your check ride.
TYPICAL FLIGHT LESSON
In the beginning you and your CFI will be getting to know each other. This means your CFI will be trying to understand your style of learning as well as your abilities and so it might feel like your skills are not increasing quickly. However, soon enough you will be in a more efficient routine and you will be amazed at what you have accomplished. Here is a rough idea of what a normal training session might look like.
1. Arrive at the Club and Preflight the aircraft without CFI: 15-20 min.
2. Meet with CFI to discuss goals for lesson: 10-30 min.
3. Start aircraft/taxi/run-up (logged time): 20-30 min.
4. Flying lesson (logged time): 60-70 min.
5. Taxi back to ramp (logged time): 5-10 min
6. Park and secure aircraft: 5-10 min.
7. Debrief with CFI: 10-30 min.
85 -110 minutes (logged)
40 – 90 minutes (not logged)
TOTAL TIME 125 – 200 minutes