Most frequent questions and answers

A discovery flight is a one-hour flight in one of our training aircraft.  You will be with an instructor as they walk you through what’s involved with flying an airplane!  You will sit in the left seat and, for part of the flight, take control of the airplane and feel what it’s like to fly!  You can control the aircraft as much as you’re comfortable with.  It’s a great place to start if you are interested in flight training and this one-hour flight can be logged so you will officially get your first logbook entry!

When you arrive for your first lesson, we will need to get copies of your driver’s license and proof of citizenship by means of a US passport or US birth certificate.  That’s it!

You can begin flight training at any age, but you cannot fly solo until you are 16 years old and you must be 17 years old to obtain your private pilot certificate.

There are a lot of factors that go into the cost of getting a pilot certificate, including how often you fly and the learning curve of each person.  A rough estimate for a Private Pilot certificate is around $10,000 – $12,000.

This varies greatly with each individual and how often they are able to train.  Raider Aviation is an FAA-approved pilot school so the minimum required hours for a private pilot certificate is 35 although the national average is around 55 hours.  With a full-time commitment, it is possible to earn your certificate in 4-5 weeks, but 4-6 months is more common. 

You must pass a pre-solo knowledge exam, a private pilot knowledge exam (FAA), and a practical test (checkride) which includes an oral exam as well as an in-flight test.

The checkride is the final test for a pilot applicant.  It is administered by a designated pilot examiner and it consists of two parts.  The first part is the oral exam and that will be a one-on-one session with the examiner where they will test you on the knowledge you have learned in ground school. Following that portion, you will be tested on your flying skills to ensure that you can safely pilot the airplane. Check ride examiners ensure that only safe and competent students become pilots. The FAA publishes standards for each pilot certificate that the applicant must perform to in order to be issued that certificate.  These are published in the ACS, Airman Certification Standards.

A medical certificate is necessary before a student solos. It will then be required anytime you are acting as pilot in command.  If you believe that you may have a condition that will disqualify you, it is a good idea to go ahead and get your medical exam completed before you start your training. The exam must be administered by an FAA medical examiner, and cost about $120. We can refer an examiner to you, or you can search the FAA online directory for one in your area:

A student pilot certificate is issued to a student in flight training and is a requirement for the student to fly solo.  When you begin your training, your instructor will help you fill out the application through the FAA to apply for a student pilot certificate.

All flight training is conducted on a one-on-one basis with one of our certified flight instructors. Because of the nature of one-on-one scheduling, we can accommodate your schedule in most cases. The length of each lesson will differ, but a standard lesson is two hours and will consist of some ground school and an hour or so of actual flight time. Lessons can be scheduled by giving us a call, reaching out to your individual instructor, or scheduling on our online system.

Most of the time, students tend to stick with one instructor.  However, because of our structured programs and syllabus that we follow, it’s easy to switch instructors and still make progress.  If you are limited with time to train, be open to flying with multiple instructors can increase your chances of getting flight times.

A student does not need special insurance when flying with an instructor. However, Raider Aviation requires that all renters and students must show proof of renter’s insurance prior to solo flight. You must have liability coverage and a minimum of $40,000 in physical damage coverage.

Due to the nature of our flight training business and the resources we have available, we do not offer training in student-owned aircraft at this time.

We will get you flying again! You will need a current Medical Certificate and a Flight Review with one of our instructors. We will pay close attention to where you need the most help and tailor your training to get you flying again soon!

The GI bill, at most flight schools, can only be used once the individual has attained a private pilot certificate.  After that, the bill will pay for training at schools who are approved to operate under part 141 of the FAA regulations for the particular rating or certificate being sought.  As of now, we are only part 141 approved for private pilot.

Pay-as-you-go is the most common method. We accept cash, checks and credit cards.  Financing and scholarships can also be found on the AOPA website as well as Pilot Finance.