Northeast Philadelphia Airport
9800 Ashton Rd
Philadelphia, PA 19114
Flying Lessons in Philadelphia
The Tailwinds Flight Education Journey.
To become a private pilot, one must meet certain requirements set forth by the FAA (FAR Part 61). As a private pilot you will be able to carry passengers, under Visual Flight Rules – in very general terms, that means when the visibility is good enough for you to see where you are, where you’re going and to stay away from clouds. (The regulations are quite a bit more detailed and complicated, but that’s basically it. Your training will include a complete understanding of these rules.)
Privileges and Restrictions
So, what can you do with a Private Pilot License (it’s really a certificate, but it’s okay to call it a license)
Privileges and Restrictions
To become an Instrument Rated pilot, one must meet the requirements set forth by the FAA (FAR 61.65)
An Instrument Rating (IR) attaches to your private or commercial certificate and allows a pilot to file an Instrument Flight Plan and fly in IMC (Instrument Meteorological Conditions), relying solely on instruments. The training is exacting and rigorous. An IR will make you a better pilot by honing all of your flying skills, from controlling the airplane to navigation, communication and weather interpretation.
Privileges and Restrictions
To become a commercial pilot, one must meet the requirement set forth by the FAA (FAR 61.121). Understanding the privileges and restrictions of a Commercial Pilot Certificate is a bit complicated. The short answer is that, under certain circumstances (this is where it gets complicated) a Commercial Pilot may receive compensation to fly. So, if you are going to get a paycheck to fly an airplane, you must have a commercial certificate. If you’re going to tow a banner up and down the coast, you’ll need to be a commercial pilot.
Privileges and Restrictions
To become a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) one must meet the requirement set forth by the FAA (FAR 61.121). A Flight Instructor is a teacher. They are qualified to prepare students for Private, Commercial and Instructor certificates. An added Instrument rating to the initial CFI – CFII – will allow an instructor to provide Instrument training as well. Instructors have the authority to provide a variety of endorsements. In addition to demonstrating an ability to fly and teach from the right seat, CFIs are required to study Fundamentals of Instruction.
The good news is that if you are set on becoming a pilot there is an excellent chance you can be successful. Unfortunately, for every 10 people that begin flight training, only 2 or 3 complete it. Developing a love for aviation is easy. The path to becoming a pilot requires commitment, and dedication, as well as funding. There are pitfalls that generally lead people to stop training. Knowing the reasons people are not successful can help you plan to avoid them.
A fair amount of research has been done focusing on this issue which means we do have some good data. Here are the major reasons reported. Certainly, more than one reason may be applicable.
Flying requires a serious commitment of time, energy and resources. If you do it right, you’ll be out at the airport for multi-hour lessons at least twice each week. On top of that, there is home study – reading books, watching video presentations and taking practice exams.
Remedy: Before you commit, have a plan. Plan a schedule, know what days will be best to train, as well as study. It is also a good idea to plan how you will fund your training.
This pretty much speaks for itself. For most people, flying represents a serious financial commitment. A single lesson which involves paying for an instructor and an airplane can cost several hundred dollars.
Remedy: Do the math and make sure you have the available funds. Do not assume you can beat the odds and complete your training in the minimum amount of time. And remember, once you have your pilot’s license, you still have the cost of aircraft rental to consider.
Many schools do not use a written curriculum or even a syllabus. They rely on experience to get their students properly trained and ready for their checkride and may not maintain clear records documenting student progress. For some students, this is too unstructured. They get frustrated by what they perceive to be a lack of direction, unclear goals and a meandering approach to training.
Remedy: Prior to starting your flight training, ask to see the curriculum that is used and the system for tracking student progress.
The relationship an instructor develops with a student is key to a successful training experience. If the personalities are off or the chemistry isn’t there, it can be an unsatisfying experience. Good instructors should adjust their teaching style to the needs of the student. Unfortunately, not all instructors can do that and have a one-size-fits-all approach. As with all professions, some instructors are just not very good at what they do.
Remedy: Spend some time talking with the prospective instructor before you begin your training. Ask lots of questions and try to gauge whether or not you feel comfortable with him/her and like the way they present material. Ask if they can do a brief ground lesson so you can get a sense of their teaching style.
In the beginning, flight training can seem a bit confusing and it’s not uncommon for new students to ask, how does this work? For the most part, your flight training will be done one-on-one at the airport with a CFI (Certificated Flight Instructor). At the same time, you’ll also need to be engaging in home study – both as a supplement to what you’re learning with your Instructor and to prepare for your Knowledge (written) test.
Per FAR 61.105 ALL applicants for a Private Pilot Certificate must take a Knowledge test (often referred to as the Written) – sixty multiple choice questions (A, B or C) that cover the range of material also described in FAR 61.105. Preparing for the Knowledge test is often done concurrently with flight training, however, that is not required. In fact, you can take the Knowledge test without ever setting foot in an airport.
Here is an example of a question from the Private Pilot Knowledge test:
The term “angle of attack” is defined as the angle between the
The correct answer is, A
There are many ways to prepare to take the tests:
In addition to citizenship requirements for flight training, there two specific requirements for taking the knowledge test:
Per FAR 61.109 applicants for a Private Pilot Certificate must meet also meet the Flight Experience requirements as described in FAR 61.107. Flight training is generally done one-on-one with your instructor. Each time you come to the airport for a lesson, you will meet with your instructor for one of 4 types of one-on-one lessons. Used in combination these form your training sessions:
Hopefully, your instructor will provide you with a detailed syllabus of your training. The syllabus will outline the many skills you will need to master before you are eligible to take the flight test (checkride).
Most people take significantly longer than the FAA minimum requirements. The current average is more than 70 hours, and that’s in a basic trainer, like a Cessna or Piper. If you train in a technologically advanced airplane (like a Cirrus) you can expect it take longer.
Your training schedule plays a huge role in how long it takes to go from zero hours to your private pilot’s certificate. Are you flying 2 or 3 times each week; once a week; twice a month or less often? When you train infrequently – less than twice each week, on average – you begin to bump into retention issues and end up spending more time reviewing what you have forgotten instead of learning new skills. So, what might’ve taken 1 or 2 lessons to master might now stretch to 3,4 or more lessons.
Tailwinds offers a unique approach and reliable information, that you can use to make informed decisions about pilot training.
Are you ready to take the next step. Let’s connect to talk about your flight training goals and how Tailwinds Flight School can provide you the ultimate flight training.