Plane & Pilot
Monday, March 1, 2004

Learn To Fly!

Flight Training Adventure Camps offers a unique and exciting opportunity for aspiring pilots

learn to flyLearning how to fly means, among other things, mastering the controls of an airplane, understanding weather theory and unraveling the mysteries of aerodynamics—all of which can be studied at a local airport. That is an adventure in itself. But what if that process were taken one step further? Imagine, for instance, the Wild West as your flight school. The airplane, your teacher. Here, the vast expanse of the West plays an integral part in your flight training. It’s a daring place where you sleep, breathe and eat aviation, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, where you can sleep underneath the wing of the plane you’re learning to fly and where all around you is some of the world’s most inspiring landscape. This is you learning to fly.
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Private-Pilot Flight-Training Components
There is no required number of hours for groundschool and courses can vary from a single, intense weekend to the equivalent of a school semester. There are three options available for student pilots:
1. Many flight schools offer a basic classroom-style program. Also, universities and community colleges offer groundschool courses.
2. You may also do some or all of your groundschool training privately with a certified flight instructor.
3. There are a number of textbook, Internet and video (CD/DVD/VHS) programs that allow you to study at home, all subject to your own schedule and your own pace.

Flight Training
The actual flight training is broken into two categories: time spent flying with an instructor (“Dual”) and time spent flying by yourself (“Solo”). While the required hours to earn a private pilot’s license are listed between 35 and 40 hours, they’re minimums. A national average of student flight time ending in a pilot’s license is closer to 60 hours.

Minimum Dual Training:
•20 hours of total training
•Three hours of cross-country flight to an airport at least 50 nm away
•Three hours of night training
•One night cross-country
•10 night takeoffs and landings
•Three hours of instrument training without outside reference
Minimum Solo Training:
•10 hours of total training
•Five hours of cross-country flight
•One cross-country that’s more than a total distance of 150 nm
•Three takeoffs and landings at an airport that houses an operating control tower

The Practical Test
When you’ve completed the training requirements, and you and your instructor think that you’re ready, you’ll schedule a “checkride” or practical test. An FAA-administered examiner will conduct an oral examination and ask you questions on many of the subjects that are studied in groundschool and during your flight training. The second part of the test is in the aircraft. The examiner will ask you to do most of the same maneuvers that you’ve practiced with your instructor. The checkride isn’t only a test of a pilot’s abilities, but it’s also meant to be an educational experience. Students who pass both parts of this “practical test” are immediately awarded a private pilot’s license.

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