Flight Training
How do I get started? What does it cost to get my license? What is the training process like?
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Flight Training

Have you been considering getting your pilot's license, but the unknowns such as cost, effort and time are holding you back? This section will answer all of your questions and explain the ins and outs of the entire process. Our mission is to help you through it every step of the way.



What is it going to cost?

To answer this, we first must look at what the FAA requirements are to get your license under what is known as part 61. Part 61 requires a minimum of 40 hours of flight time, 5 of which will be solo flight. This means that 35 hours of that flight time will be "dual", meaning you and your instructor in the airplane learning everything from basic flight, to complex maneuvers, and take offs and landings. 5 hours will be done solo, meaning just you and the airplane working on both your maneuvers and doing solo cross-country time.

There are two parts to flight training--the actual physical flying of the aircraft and the ground school portion. Ground school consists of learning how an aircraft flies, understanding airspace, and planning cross-country flights, including fuel burn and winds, weather, government regulations, etc. We often estimate about 10 hours total of ground instruction. There is also a private pilot kit which includes all of the books, plotters, E6B flight computer, and everything you'll need to get through your flight training. Headsets are provided free by us for the duration of your flight training.


So what is it going to cost to your get your license in the minimum amount of time?

  • 40 hours total aircraft time (dual and solo) - 40 x $109 (Cessna 172)
  • 45 hours total with instructor (flight and ground) - 45 x $49/hr
  • private pilot kit - $323 (including tax)


Total estimated cost: $6888


This doesn't necessarily mean you have to pay the entire estimated cost up front.


We do also allow a "pay as you go" option, meaning, if you fly for an hour with an instructor then you'll only be billed an hour of aircraft time and one hour with an instructor at the conclusion of the flight lesson.


The total cost mentioned above are based on the assumption of you getting your license at the minimum FAA required timeframe. Keep in mind that everyone is different and that we all learn at a different pace. Will you get your license in the minimum amount of time? It's possible. But most people do it in about 55-70 hours. This can potentially bump the price up to the $12000 range. It's really up to you. The best way to avoid spending extra money is to make time to go home and study on your own and to fly at least twice a week. It's not impossible; it has definitely been done. It just takes dedication.




What's the training process like?

The private pilot training process can be broken down into 6 parts. Throughout your training, flight and ground portions will be integrated.


Stage 1 - learning how to fly the aircraft. Straight and level flight, normal turns, coordinated flight, talking on the radios, understanding traffic patterns, take offs and landings, and--most fun of all--slow flight and stalls.


Stage 2 - solo flight. Anywhere from 10 - 20 hours into your training process, your flight instructor will sign you off to do take offs and landings by yourself here at Corona and at some local airports within 25 miles.


Stage 3 - cross-country. It's time to start putting all the ground instruction we've done up to this point into use. Cross-country involves doing a long flight of at least 50 miles from Corona and back. You'll finally get a chance to use that funny looking E6B flight computer, and all of the knowledge and skills you've gained in ground instruction up to this point, including weather, aircraft performance, and reading charts. Next up, solo cross-country.


Stage 4 - the written test. Before we let you go do your solo cross-country, it's time to do the written test. Prepping for the written test can seem like a daunting task, but it's not as scary as it seems. While you must study for te test on your own, Your flight instructor is there to show you how to prepare for it. Once that task is complete, it's all downhill from there.


Stage 5 - solo cross-country. This is your first real taste of freedom. Without the aid of your flight instructor in the right seat, you'll fly at least 50 miles from Corona, make landings at two different airports, and then come home. It's the part of your flight training that will really make you feel like you're a pilot.


Stage 6 - check ride prep and the check ride. This is the last piece of the puzzle, and it's crunch time. At this stage, we'll go back and review all the flight maneuvers, flight planning, charts, weather, and everything else you've learned up to this point in preparation for you to meet with your FAA designated examiner and get your license.