So what’s the first step?
You can learn to fly as many people have before youhave in Cessna 172’s and later, if you wish, transition into faster, more capable aircraft. Or … you can do what many people and most of our clients are opting to do these days and learn in the newest generation of technologically advanced aircraft by Cirrus Design. The Cirrus aircraft are great airplanes to fly and incorporate the latest state of the art avionics. They are a bit more expensive, but if you plan to own one or fly one after you get your pilot’s certificate it may be the best way to go. We can help you with your decision.
What books do I need?
Platinum Aviation uses the Jeppesen Sanderson Part 61 Kit as the basic book set for the Private Pilot Course. You will also need the manuals and books specific to the aircraft you are training in. If you are training in the Cirrus, they can be ordered from the Cirrus online store. There are many other optional books that your instructor can recommend to help you with your training.
How about ground school?
We offer one on one ground training for those that desire a little more guidance. Most people choose a combination of self-study and instructor lead ground. We do not offer group ground courses.
Our business is based on personalized flight instruction, not a canned mold that everyone has to fit into. If you are the self-motivated, self-study type of individual you can use the books and videos that are available on the market today and do most of the ground training yourself, we can just help you along. Sporty’s Pilot Shop offers a great set of DVD’s that we recommend to all of our clients. If you choose the self-study method, you must follow through with it and keep up, or you will spend unnecessary hours in the plane trying to learn things you should have learned on the ground.
How do I get started and get up in the air?
It’s as simple as giving us a call and setting up an intro flight with one of our instructors. The intro flight is designed just to give you a taste of what it is like to pilot your own plane and see if this is something you definitely want to do. When you return from this flight, we can discuss how to proceed with your training, get you set up with all of the books and training materials and set a schedule to begin your flight and / or ground training.
How will my flight training proceed from there?
Well basically it falls into 4 stages. First your pre-solo. Here we simply work on basic aircraft control and take off and landings to prepare you for your first solo take offs and landings at the local airport and for your first solo excursions to practice areas near home base. In the next stage we begin cross-country flight training to prepare you for your solo cross-country trips. Next comes the solo cross-country trips that you make on your own with your instructor’s supervision. After that, we just work to sharpen up your skills in preparation for the check ride. It all goes in a very orderly progression with adding building blocks of skills that lead up to your Private Pilot’s Certificate.
How long will it take to solo?
We have all heard tales of people that soloed in 6 hours and it’s true, that does happen, but it’s rare. Simply put, you will solo when you and your instructor feel you are safe to do so. That takes different amounts of time for different people for a variety of reasons. You must keep up a regular pace of training in order to get through the course in a timely fashion. Training layoffs and irregular training schedules cause people to regress. Many factors play into how long it takes including your previous knowledge you bring to the table, your basic hand / eye coordination and most importantly your devotion to your training and your study and preparation before you get to the airport.
You should also be aware that it will take longer to solo in the Cirrus aircraft than it will in conventional aircraft. That said, once you do solo one of these aircraft, you are further along the path and closer to completion than you are in conventional aircraft. This is due to the use of more scenario-based training methods you will receive in the Cirrus. The longer time to solo does not increase the total time to completion.
How do I schedule my lessons?
Platinum has convenient, online scheduling. You can go ahead and set yourself up for that now, by going to the home page and clicking on “Online Scheduling”. Once you register and we approve you and assign you an instructor, you can simply book time with your instructor and the aircraft of your choice when it’s convenient for you. Your instructor will always be available by phone, of course, to help with schedule planning.
How often should I fly?
It all comes down to your schedule and availability, but simply put the more often the better. In the end, it will be less expensive overall the more often you fly. If you fly irregularly, you will spend half of the lesson relearning what you learned in the last lesson. We have people that fly almost everyday, but that’s not realistic for most people. At least twice a week is a good schedule to try for. Once a week is about the minimum that will allow for a constant pace through the course.