Learning to Fly
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Frequently Asked Questions
This section contains a wealth of information related to
and Premier Flight Center, LLC. If you cannot find an answer to your question, make sure to contact us.
How do I know that I can learn to fly?
Somewhere there is someone just like you who recently became a pilot. Although the average student pilot is 32 years old, anyone 16 years old or older can learn to fly an airplane (14 if you fly gliders). People from every occupation and every geographic location in the nation are pilots.
How long will it take?
Most people receive their private pilot certificate after sixty to seventy five hours of time. This includes time spent with an instructor (dual time) and time spent flying alone (solo time). Training will include some night flying, some instrument flying (flying solely by reference to the airplane’s instruments), and some cross-country flying. The minmum time required by federal regulation is 35 or 40 hours of flight time, depending on the type of school you attend.
You can fly in the early morning, during the day, or on weekends. Scheduling your flying is up to you and your instructor.
How long it takes to accumulate flight time is largely up to you and your instructor. Usually two or three hours of flying time per week is a good learning rate, with more hours during the week when cross-country flights are made. Statistics indicate that the average student pilot completes the requirements for a private pilot certificate in six to nine months and about 65 to 75 hours. Depending on your schedule and number of hours spent flying, some people will complete it sooner and others will take longer.
Premier Flight Center, LLC makes no guarantee as to the amount of time it will take you to earn your license.
How difficult is it?
As with any other skills you master, flying is learned step by step. It is a fascinating experience, and it is not particularly difficult. It can be learned by practically anyone who is willing to invest some time and effort.
Pilot training has two aspects: ground training and flight training. Ground training is a one on one ground lesson with your instructor. It covers flight rules and regulations, flight planning, navigation, radio procedures, and weather. In the next phase, flight training, you learn to fly by actually controlling the airplane yourself. Under the supervision of a certified flight instructor, you learn how to take off, land, and fly cross-country (from your home airport to another airport and then back again).
Millions of people have learned to fly. By the time you are ready for your private pilot certificate, you will be secure in the knowledge that you are a safe and competent pilot.
Why learn to fly with Premier Flight Center?
Premier Flight Center is FAA 141 approved and accredited in the State of Connecticut. We also have VA benefits approval. Our large fleet of training aircraft, 7 in all, is maintained to similar high FAA standards as the major airlines. This maintenance is completed at our own facility here at Brainard Airport and to help keep the aircraft in tip top condition they can be hangared during bad weather. Our school consists of a centralized business office with a large flight planning area and a full window wall so that you can view the runway and aircraft operations. There is a large classroom for our structured ground schools, and a lounge area for casual conversation. The instructors here at Premier Flight Center are all highly qualified, experienced, and fully FAA certified. The FAA knowledge exams, which are required for your license, can be taken right here at Brainard Airport. Our pilot shop is well stocked and can supply all of your aviation needs. There is ample free parking directly outside the building and all operations take place on one level. Finally, and most important of all is you, our student, who we feel should have the best. The atmosphere is friendly and the staff is knowledgeable and efficient. This all comes together to make your experience a great one, one you want to boast about to your friends.
How much does it cost?
Flight training costs vary. Fuel prices, maintenance, and insurance costs are but a few of the variables. Based on the 40 hour minimum it would cost around $10,000 for the private pilot flight training program. Please be aware that most people take between 65 to 75 hours to complete the program. You can realistically expect to pay around $15,000.
Premier Flight Center, LLC makes no guarantee as to the amount of time it will take you to complete the program.
Compared to the costs of training in other business skills, becoming a licensed private pilot is a good value. Prorated over a lifetime, it is probably one of the best bargains you will ever find. The cost of becoming a pilot is a solid investment in your future.
Is financing available?
Yes. There are several sources of financing available for those who choose this method of payment. You have the option of companies such as Pilot Finance, Sallie Mae Career Training Loans, and The Airplane Owner's and Pilot's Association (AOPA) which provides funds through MBNA. Should you decide to apply for any of the financing options our expert staff will provide you with the appropriate information and guide you through the application process.
What are the Requirements?
There are three basic requirements for learning to fly powered airplanes in the United States. First, you have to be at least 16 years old. Second, you have to be in good health. Third, you have to be able to read, speak, and understand English.
You can apply for a student pilot certificate if you are at least 16 years old. When you are 17, you can apply for a private pilot certificate. There is no maximum age limit because it’s health and not age that determines a person’s ability to fly.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires that everyone, who wants to become a pilot or continue to be a pilot, pass a routine medical examination every two or three years- depending on your age. This requirement ensures that pilots do not have medical problems that could interfere with their ability to fly safely. Allowances are made for many physical limitations, for example: glasses and contact lenses are perfectly acceptable. The physical exam can be obtained anytime from one of our FAA-designated physicians. If you are planning to learn to fly, it is advisable to complete the physical exam early in your flight training to ensure that you qualify. However, it is not required until it is time for you to solo.
Do I need special skills to fly?
No. Perhaps the most important element in successfully learning to fly is desire. Once you are ready to invest your time and effort in learning to fly, then it is time to take the first steps.
What will my first flight be like?
Your instructor will introduce you to the general aviation airplane you will learn to fly. You will be briefed on the instruments, controls, and equipment in the aircraft and on what to watch for when you are flying.
After this pre-flight briefing, the two of you will take off. When aloft, and under the close supervision of your instructor, you will take control of the airplane. It will be unlike anything you have experienced before. Soon you will feel the exhilaration-impatient for the next flight.
What kind of tests will I take?
No test is required for a student pilot certificate. However, before a private license is issued, you must pass three tests. One is a written FAA examination largely a practical exam on flying rules and regulations. You will also have to work out the details of a hypothetical flight for this exam. But do not worry; you will have done it all before in planning the cross-country flights you made as part of your training program.
Following this exam is a practical and oral examination of your flying ability to maneuver the airplane safely and confidently. You will have practiced the maneuvers many times before, and your flight instructor will have prepared you thoroughly.
Is flying safe?
General aviation airplanes are built to rigid federal specifications, and they are constantly checked and rechecked to make sure they are mechanically and structurally safe. People who fly are safety conscious. As the pilot-in-command of an airplane, you are also in command of most variables that affect flying safety. Safety is the most important word in the general aviation vocabulary.
Your flight instructor will emphasize training you to operate the airplane safely. Flying as pilot-in-command of the airplane puts you in charge. A well-built and well-maintained airplane in the hands of a competent, prudent, and well-trained pilot makes flying safer than many other forms of transportation.
If you wonder why the general population sees flying as unsafe, and you wonder why pilots can say "they know" flying is safe, please
to read a widely published and very well received article written by one of Premier's flight instructors.
What happens after I get my pilot’s license?
You will never be quite the same person you were before. You will have access to a whole new world of personal freedom. You will think of travel in terms of hours, not miles. You will know what it means to make your own schedule and to go your own way...far from the crowd, the congestion, the hassle, and the annoyance of ordinary transportation.
You will find a new sense of personal fulfillment in your ever-growing flying skills. You will push the old boundaries of your life forward and you will have the opportunity to plan, seek, and find new experiences that will enrich your life in countless ways. You will gain greater self-reliance and confidence.
Through your own initiative and effort, you will be a master of our 21st century’s most distinctive and rewarding art of flying.
Why learn to fly at Brainard Airport?
Brainard Airport has a control tower, which makes it much safer to fly here. The confidence you gain during your training, in using the radio makes it easier and far less traumatic when training, when you visit larger and busier airports, especially for the first time. Brainard Airport is not so busy that you have to wait behind other aircraft to take off or land, which means you do not waste time and money in your training. This airport has three runways one of which is grass, which gives 6 take-off and landing options. The grass runway allows you to practice the special techniques needed for grass operations, without having to fly elsewhere. When you are flying at Brainard Airport, it is easy to find, as it is located between the Connecticut River and the City of Hartford. You will train in all types all types of weather, which will give you valuable experience for your future flying. Finally, Brainard Airport, has easy access from all major highways and is only minutes from down-town Hartford. With all these great reasons, Brainard Airport is the place to get your training off to a flying start!
What will learning to fly do for me?
Learning to fly a general aviation airplane opens the door to a variety of career opportunities. Most obvious is becoming a professional pilot for one of the many commercial flying services-major airline, regional airline, air charter, corporate, overnight mail, small package, and cargo. Pilots are needed for the many special missions of general aviation-emergency medical evacuation, agricultural work, law enforcement, news gathering, aerial surveying, photography, and a multitude of industrial purposes. Flying may also complement your career path in business, sales, or a profession that you have not even chosen yet.
There are many careers in the aviation industry which the skill and knowledge you gain as pilot are a special asset, even though daily flying is not a part of your job. These careers include air traffic control, computer science, electronics, and aviation safety, air carrier airport, general aviation operational management; flight navigation, communications, maintenance; engineering law, medicine, finance, and insurance. The possibilities are as limitless as your imagination because general aviation touches many facets of our lives. As a pilot, you speak the language of aviation.
General aviation is a unique industry, combining the romance and enthusiasm of our heritage with the high-tech equipment and modern proficiency skills of today. It is a superb tool of business and a personal time machine. It is a partner in our nation’s productivity. Learning to fly can lead to your discovery of rewarding career opportunities.