Flight School/Rentals: Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a way to "try out" a lesson to see what flying is like?
Yes. We offer a $69 introductory flight in a 2-seat Cessna 152 that allows you to experience a sample flight lesson with a certified instructor. You'll actually get to fly the airplane! The introductory flight includes 30 minutes of ground instruction and 30 minutes of aircraft time. We also offer introductory flights in our Cessna 172 for $79.

How long does it take to obtain a Private Pilot certificate?
That depends on how often you can fly each week. Typically, if a student schedules 2 lessons each week, training can be completed in 5-6 months. However, we can tailor the program to fit your needs. Many of our students take one lesson a week or several, depending on their schedules. A typical lesson lasts 2 hours and includes both ground and flight instruction.

In what aircraft will I train?
We typically use the Cessna 152, a 2-seat, 110-horsepower airplane that is among the world's most common trainers. Werecommend this for most students. However, those who are taller and/or heavier will be more comfortable training in our 4-seat Cessna 172.

How many lessons should I schedule at one time?
You'll find it convenient to schedule lessons 4-6 weeks in advance. This will keep you on a regular schedule and ensure that yourinstructor and aircraft are available.

How much "homework" is there outside of flying?
Your instructor will give you textbook reading, take-home quizzes, and other assignments to prepare for upcoming lessons. There's about a 1:1 ratio with studying and flying. For example, scheduling 2 lessons per week will usually result in 2-3 hours flying, with which you can expect 2-3 hours of studying.

How much ground instruction will there be?
Each lesson will include ground instruction before and after the flight. There will also be longer ground instruction sessions as needed throughout the course. The number of hours of ground instruction is typically about half of the flying hours required to complete the course; however, the time required for both ground and flight instruction will vary by individual.

Do you offer a ground school?
Yes. Wisconsin Aviation conducts 12-week formal ground schools 2-3 times per year. Ground schools offer a classroom setting where you can interact with other students and review the materials as a group. Ground schools are a great value and offer a fun way to structure your learning! Check with us for current prices for ground school.

Do you still hold lessons during inclement weather?
Yes. During periods of low visibility, low clouds, rain, snow, storms, etc., instructors will conduct ground lessons with their students. If no ground instruction is necessary that day, the instructor will contact the student to reschedule the lesson.

Will I be flying with different instructors?
You will be assigned a primary instructor, who will be responsible for your training program. Occasionally, your instructor willschedule a lesson with another instructor to obtain another objective perspective of your progress. These are called "stage checks" and can be helpful during the training process.

Is there an age limit?
Yes. While you can take flying lessons at any age, a student pilot must be 16 to solo and 17 to be eligible for the Private Pilot certificate. Otherwise, there are no other age requirements.

Are there any health/medical requirements?
Yes. A student pilot, to be eligible to solo, must obtain a medical certificate by undergoing a physical from an FAA-designatedphysician who is certified to issue them. These physicians are called Aviation Medical Examiners (AMEs), and they are typically family or occupational health doctors who practice at area clinics and hospitals. If you are in good health, obtaining a medical is not difficult, and it's fine if you wear glasses or contacts. Please discuss any significant health history or current medical conditions with your instructor to determine if there will be an issue obtaining a medical.

A student's medical certificate will also serve as his or her student pilot certificate. Private Pilots and student pilots need what's called a "third-class medical certificate." Certificated pilots with thesecertificates must renew them with a physical every 3 years if under age 40 and every 2 years thereafter to keep their flying privileges. A list of local AMEs will be provided by your flight instructor upon request.

How much will it cost to get my Private Pilot's license?
Costs will vary depending on your rate of skill development and the time and effort you devote to training. Average costs for thisprogram were outlined earlier in this booklet.

How do I pay for lessons?
When you enroll in our flight school, you will start an account with us. You may pay by cash, check, or credit card after each lesson or make deposits on your account. We offer a 5% incentive on amounts over $500 (cash or check only) placed on account before training begins and anytime thereafter provided the account remains positive. For example, if you deposit $1,000, you'll have $1,050 on your account. If you continue to take advantage of the 5% incentive, you'll have earned more than $300 in credit over the course of training. We also offer financing for your entire program through Pilot Finance Inc. Information on this program is available upon request.

After I get my Private Pilot certificate, can I rent an airplane on my own?
Yes. After earning your private pilot certificate, you can rent the same airplane model without any additional instruction. You can also receive additional instruction to rent other aircraft. The time required for these aircraft "checkouts" will vary by pilot and type of aircraft.

How do I get started?
After reviewing this informational booklet, you can set up an appointment to meet with a flight instructor to discuss your aviation goals. You'll also learn more about the flight training and receive an enrollment kit.