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Frequently Asked Questions
Let us assume you are starting with no flying experience at all, which is how most of our professional pilot students begin at Cardinal Wings Aviation.
Step 1: Get your medical certificate.
All student pilots must pass an FAA medical exam with an Aeromedical Examiner (AME). If you plan to become a commercial pilot, you will need a class 1st Class Medical Certificate, but during your training phase to PPL, a 3rd class will be sufficient.
Step 2: Get your FAA Student Pilot certificate.
You will need to apply for this through IACRA. This is required to start taking lessons. This step makes it official that your journey has begun!
Step 3: Schedule your first lesson and start flying!
One of our Certified Flight Instructors will walk along with you through your journey to getting your Private Pilot License (PPL). Depending on what your dream is, Cardinal Wings Aviation can assist you all the way, on to your instrument, multi-engine rating, commercial, CFI, CFII, etc… to your ending destination.
- How many lessons a week should I schedule with my instructor?
It is suggested to schedule about 2-3 lessons a week. It is easier to retain information when you are consistent with your training.
- Do you have financing available?
We collaborate with a 3rd party company. We work directly with Pilot Finance. You can apply online at www.pilotfinance.com. There are other options for financing available. AOPA, Bank Loans, some students take advantage of being able to pay as you go option. You have to discover the best option for you.
- How long will it take me to be a pilot?
We are a Part 61 school where our training is self-paced. FAA has set minimum flight hours required on each license and rating that you must achieve. While our estimations are based on the FAA minimums, please understand the national averages are higher to achieve a license or rating. Step 4: Pass the “Written” Test and Checkride The FAA Private Pilot Knowledge Test will assess your aviation knowledge in all areas such as aerodynamics, weather, flight instruments, weather, etc. The FAA Private Pilot Practical Exam “checkride” will assess your flying skills and knowledge of practical applications in the cockpit. Once these steps are complete, you will be a Private Pilot!
Step 4: Pass the “Written” Test and Checkride
The FAA Private Pilot Knowledge Test will assess your aviation knowledge in all areas such as aerodynamics, weather, flight instruments, weather, etc. The FAA Private Pilot Practical Exam “checkride” will assess your flying skills and knowledge of practical applications in the cockpit.
Once these steps are complete, you will be a Private Pilot!
This may be our number one question asked. Let us assume you have already earned your Private Pilot License (PPL), as that is the first step to reaching your commercial pilot goal. It allows you to fly single-engine aircraft under Visual Flight Rules (VFR).
Step 1: Get your instrument rating.
Earn your Instrument Rating (IFR – Instrument Flight Rules). This allows you to fly in low visibility weather using flight instruments. This is the next step is to begin your Commercial Pilot training. You must be 18 years old and have a minimum of 3rd Class Medical Certificate.
Step 2: Earn your Multi-Engine Rating
Earn your Multi-Engine Rating. This allows you to fly multi-engine aircraft.
Step 3: Fly, Fly Fly and Log those hours!
You must log at least 250 hours of flight time (including 100 hours as Pilot-In-Command (PIC) and 50 hours cross-country).
Step 4: Pass your tests:
You must pass FAA Written Exam and pass your FAA checkride.
Once you complete the steps above, Congratulations you are a Commercial Pilot!
You do not have to have it for your first lesson. However, we recommend you set up an appointment to get it as soon as you can. You must have a minimum of a 3rd Class Medical Certificate before you can solo. We recommend Art Schultise, as he is a FAA approved medical examiner. He is located at Bowman Field.
Your instructor will advise you on everything you will need.
Yes, you can take flying lessons in a Cirrus. It is more expensive to use this type of aircraft, but it is more efficient to get your license in. We do have Cirrus planes available at Cardinal Wings Aviation.
This is the most common question we are asked. Let us assume you have gotten your PPL and have your Commercial Pilot License (CPL) In the United States, you will need to have logged 1,500 hours before you can be hired by a commercial airline. If becoming a commercial airline pilot is your goal, working as a flight instructor is a great way to build hours toward that goal. To become an instructor, you will need to earn your Certified Flight Instructor Rating (CFI). Cardinal Wings Aviation offers complete training from zero experience to Commercial Airline Pilot.
Step 1: Earn your CFI Rating
Once you have achieved your CFI Rating, start working as a flight instructor to log hours and work towards the next steps to become an airline pilot! While instructing, do not stop learning and move on to the next steps to achieve your goal!
Step 2: Earn your CFII (Certified Flight Instructor – Instrument) Rating
Step 3: Earn your MEI (Multi-Engine Instructor) Rating
Step 4: Instruct, Fly and Log the number of hours required to be hired by an airline.
They always say a well-trained CFI makes the best pilot!
Renter’s Insurance is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. You should have it any time you are renting an airplane without an instructor. This protects the renter in case of an accident that is caused by renter’s negligence. Cardinal Wings Aviation does have insurance on our aircraft, which pays for the aircraft. However, our insurance company could, in turn, come after you for the claim. No one plans for an accident to happen, so take caution and be protected.
We accept most any form of payment. Cash, Check, All Major Credit Cards. Most of our customers put a credit card on file and we invoice that card after each flight. Some clients place money on their account with Cardinal Wings Aviation and replenish it as needed. Have more questions, let’s talk.
We can get you on our schedule as soon as you are available!
The cost of fuel depends on the plane. Our Cessna 172’s burn an average of 7-8 gallons per hour. We do not sell the fuel. Fuel is sold by an FBO (Fixed Based Operator), an aircraft gas station that is located on Bowman Field.
The FAA checkride at the end of your training is the same regardless if the training was through Part 61 or Part 141.
Part 141 schools have FAA oversight and involvement and all courses are required to be taught in a certain order with stage checks along the way by the Chief Flight Instructor or another authorized airman. Part 141 schools are more structured.
Part 61 instructors will teach in a similar order as a Part 141 but will have another instructor fly before their first solo to get a second opinion.
For certain courses, 141 does allow you to have fewer hours to complete the course. However, at the end of the day, you have to be competent to pass the checkride and there is not a substitute for experience. There are many times students will go through a Part 141 course and will take longer than a Part 61 course. The number of hours is not as important as the quality of the instruction and experiences you have.
Part 61 has more flexibility for the student and instructor and is self-paced at the student’s speed.
The amount of time it takes to get your PPL is based on the ability of the student and the dedication and efforts put in by the student to learn. Staying consistent with your training will help you retain the information learned and move through your training at a consistent speed.
Financing – offered for both types of schools through third parties. Local Banks, AOPA, Home Equity Loans, Pilot Finance, etc…
Financial Aid – Only some Part 141 schools can offer this.