Dear John, Gary, and staff at McAir Aviation,

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you for the privilege of beginning my flight training here at McAir. From day one, I have been amazed at the professional, friendly, and educational atmosphere at McAir. I called and left a message one evening back in May to inquire about the school, and by 8:30 the next morning I had a very polite and friendly call from Luke inviting me on a tour. On my tour that afternoon, I not only was introduced to you two, but also had the privilege of meeting Justin Wigal. I love how every time I walk in the hand shakes start going around, and I think that is an amazing atmosphere to cultivate and one that many businesses seem to have forgotten. I give McAir Aviation my highest recommendation for anyone wishing to pursue the pleasure of learning to fly.


Your Pilot License

The Private Pilot certificate is your first step into the world of aviation. As a private pilot you may fly aircraft for pleasure, day or night, and you may invite friends to join you. Enjoy weekend getaways, unwind after work, go sightseeing, or just experience the exhilaration of flight.

Sorting it all out can be confusing, but it really is very simple. We have compiled the following information to get you started. Even if you decide not to fly with McAir, we hope you find the following useful.

Getting Started is Easy.

At McAir Aviation, there is no up front contract or commitment. You pay as you go after each flight. Some students may place money on account or utilize financial aid.

Once you have been assigned your instructor, the two of you will schedule your lessons together, around your schedule. Generally each flight lesson takes about 2 hours, with about an hour or a bit more in the airplane and the balance of time for pre and post flight time with your instructor. There is some ground instruction time - not everything can be taught in the aircraft. Ground instruction gives you the opportunity to ask questions, review that days’ flight lesson, and plan your next flight.

There is no required formal “ground school” as many people think. All “ground school” is self study at your own pace utilizing the Cessna Computer Based Instruction Kit or “CBI”. Study along at home by following the course syllabus.

Your CBI Kit also includes everything you need to get started with your flying:

  • 26 CD ROM Training Disks
  • “Cleared for Takeoff” Textbook
  • Training Syllabus
  • Aircraft Information Manual
  • Pilot Safety Supplement
  • FAR/AIM on CD
  • Pilot Logbook
  • Navigation Plotter
  • Flight Calculator
  • Durable Carrying Case

What’s It Gonna Take?

At the end of your training there are two tests you will take, one written, and one flying the airplane. The flight test is called the “Practical”.

You can take the written test whenever you have completed your studies. Don’t worry, you will be well prepared. The Cessna Kit will cover ALL of the written test questions—complete with practice tests. The flight test you will take with a Designated Examiner. The flight test is no problem either. Your instructor will see to that. You will also have 3 “Stage Checks” along the way in your training with a McAir Check Pilot. They’ll give you an invaluable objective review on how you are progressing. All this is designed to provide the best training available. By the time you are ready, you will be comfortable and confident in the cockpit.

Back in the 1950's, the Federal Aviation Administration set minimum flight times required to complete your training: 35 hours total flight time in the airplane, 28 hours of which are instructional and the other 5 made up of solo time. However, these are just minimums. Much has changed in the last 50 years, and today there is a bit more to learn. The current national average for a Private Pilot's license is about 70 hours. The average training usually consists of more instruction, rather than 28 hours of instruction, closer to 35. However, when you train at McAir Aviation and incorporate the CBI Kit, the average drops to 54 hours* - a savings of nearly $2500.00. Remember, the objective is not to complete your training with the minimum training possible, rather, to get the best training available to last your lifetime. For many of us, the private pilot training is the only training we will ever receive.

We have compiled the information below to assist you in planning a budget to complete your Private Pilot Training. To help give you a realistic budget, we have based the cost of training based on the McAir Aviation average and flying a Next Generation Cessna 172S model. This is a best guess estimate. Remember, much will depend on your personal commitment to your training.

Cessna Training Kit
$ 349
Aircraft Rental @ $117/ hour (54 hours Cessna average*)
$ 6,318
Flight Instruction @ $45/hr (35 hours Cessna average)
$ 1,575
Ground Instruction @ $45/hr (15 hours pre/post flight )
$ 675
Written Test
$ 90
FAA Medical
$ 85
FAA Check-ride
$ 400
$ 9,492

If you base the total training time strictly on the FAA minimums, including everything you need - even a headset - the cost would be $7,150.

Two things that YOU can do to Lower your training time and cost:

First: Be prepared. Come to your lessons prepared and full of questions for your instructor. Actively participate in your training. Keep up with the lessons in the Cessna Training Kit. Make the effort to get the most out of your training. Ask questions about everything.

Second: Fly regularly. Two to four lessons a week is great. It doesn’t mater to us, but the more regularly you fly, the quicker you build on what you have learned.

Your “Medical”.

You’ll also need a medical certificate. This is no big deal. There are 3 classes of FAA Medical Certificates; Class 1, Class 2, and Class 3. As a private pilot or student pilot you’ll need a Class 3. It also servers as your Student Pilot Certificate while training. It is just a quick exam with an FAA Certified Medical Examiner. You don’t have to get it right away—you can start your training without it. However, you do need it before you solo and it’s a good idea not to put it off. Get it done within your first couple lessons - just to make sure everything is ok before you spend a bunch of money on your training. Generally, the cost is less than $100.00 and takes about an hour. A list of Doctors approved by the FAA can be found on our website or talk to your instructor.

The First Step is Up to You.

Contact us today. In no time you’ll be flying!
We’re here to help, every step of the way!


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