FAQ’s

What it Means to Be a Pilot? 

As a pilot, you’ll join the ranks of those less bound by conventional limits on time, distance and personal freedom.

Flying is – a freedom well-regulated for safety and security but abundant in options and benefits.

You take-off to wide-open skies in any direction on the compass. While there are some restricted areas for military or security purposes, and air traffic areas requiring a call to air traffic control, non-scheduled General Aviation can take you where you want to go. It’s truly “random-access” transportation.

But more than that, it’s freedom as you’ve never known it, far from the commonplace: the crowded highways, busy terminals, mass public transportation, or even the line at the movies – you can rise above it as a pilot.

You can choose your route, your destination … your adventure for the day, the weekend, even the hour. You are your own pilot. Here, you really are the captain of your own soul.

Along with the freedom, pilots love the challenge and accomplishment that comes with every flight. They also accept the personal responsibility to fly professionally and safely.

You may notice a difference in yourself. More confidence. More self-esteem. A wider perspective on your world, and on life itself.
Pilots believe they enjoy wider personal horizons and a fuller life.

Finally, being a pilot symbolizes individualism and self-reliance. You are in control and you make the choices. There’s nothing like it.

What does a License Get You?

Be prepared for new destinations, new experiences, a wider world and a fuller life.

Like most, you’ll probably start by giving family and friends a first flight with you. Imagine the thrill and pride of being their pilot!

You’ll move on to short trips with family and friends. There’s always the proverbial “$100 hamburger” trip to interesting nearby airports — and their restaurants!

The custom of sharing flight expenses with others can cut your cost of flying in half or more! (Your flying could cost you just a $1,000 or $2,000 a year… probably what you spend now on skiing, golf, or other pursuits.)

Flying offers busy people “a whole golf course-worth” of relaxation in just a short one or two-hour flight “away from it all.” Leave your problems, and your stress, on the ground.

That special place will soon be just an easy weekend trip. You’ll choose good weather for the trip, of course, but by now you’re probably thinking of continued training towards an instrument rating to fly in a wider range of weather conditions.

Then, there’s always “The Big Trip.” Many pilots look forward to a once-a-year adventure to Florida, Mexico, the Caribbean… or an escape to a cool northern resort. As your own pilot, you won’t battle the crowds… unless you want to, when…

You join thousands of your fellow aviators at weekend fly-ins and aviation events, including the “Woodstock” of aviation, the week-long EAA Airventure Fly-In in summertime Wisconsin, or the AOPA EXPO convention on alternating coasts each autumn. There are myriad local events coast-to-coast every weekend. There’s always something to do.

Or perhaps, take that “trip of a lifetime.” Across the USA, across Canada, up to Alaska, even (for a few) South America or Europe. Your pilot license is the ticket to wider horizons and a fuller life.

You can put your pilot license to work. With Korean- and Viet Nam-era aviators now leaving airline flying, the traditional 60/40 military/civilian mix of pilots is reversed. Today, 60% of new airline hires are civilian-trained.

And non-scheduled General Aviation offers myriad jobs from flight instructor and air taxi/charter pilot to corporate flight operations and exciting industrial, government, law-enforcement and emergency services flying.

You can even fly part-time or as a second job, especially as an in-demand flight instructor.

It’s all waiting for you in the exciting world of being a pilot.

FAA Private Pilot Certificate

This certification allows you to fly under Visual Flight Rules (VFR). The following is a list of requirements for a Private Pilot Certificate stated by the Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR):

  • Hold a third class medical certificate
  • Complete a ground school course and pass the Private Pilot Knowledge Exam
  • 40 hours total flight time including:
    • 20 hours dual instruction from a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI)
    • 10 hours cross-country flight time
    • 3 hours night flight time
    • 3 hours simulated instrument time
  • 10 hours solo flight time as pilot in command (PIC), including:
    • 5 hours solo cross-country time
    • One solo cross-country flight at least 150 nautical miles total distance, landing at 3 airports.
  • 3 hours training in preparation for the flight exam within 60 days prior to the exam
  • Pass the Private Pilot Flight Exam

 FAA Instrument Rating
This rating expands your abilities as a pilot by allowing you to fly under adverse weather conditions. To obtain an Instrument Rating, you must hold at least a Private Pilot Certificate and complete the following requirements:

  • Hold a third class medical certificate
  • Complete a ground school course and pass the Instrument Knowledge Exam
  • 50 hours cross-country flight time as PIC
  • 40 hours of actual or simulated instrument flight time including:
    • 15 hours dual instruction from a CFI
    • One cross-country flight at least 250 nautical miles in total distance, with 3 different instrument approaches at 3 different airports
  • 3 hours training in preparation for the flight test within 60 days prior to the test
  • Pass the Instrument Flight Exam

FAA Commercial Certificate

This certification allows you to fly for hire – get paid for what you love to do! You are not required to hold an instrument rating prior to your commercial certification; however this severely limits your opportunities. Most people choose to obtain their Instrument Rating, and then continue to a Commercial Certificate. The FAR’s require the following to obtain a Commercial Certificate:

  • Hold a second class medical certificate
  • Complete a ground school course and pass the Commercial Knowledge Exam
  • At least 250 hours total flight time including:
    • 100 hours PIC time
    • 50 hours cross-country PIC time
    • 10 hours of instrument training
    • 10 hours in an aircraft equipped with retractable landing gear and constant speed propeller.
    • One cross-country flight at least 2 hours in day VFR conditions, more than 100 nautical miles from original point
    • One cross-country flight at least 2 hours in night VFR conditions, more than 100 nautical miles from original point
    • 3 hours training in preparation for the flight test within 60 days prior to the test
    • One solo cross-country flight at least 300 nautical miles total distance, landing at least 3 airports, with a straight line distance of at least 250 nautical miles from the original point.
  • Pass the Commercial Flight Exam

Certified Flight Instructor

You too can become a Certified Flight Instructor and teach your love of aviation to others. Capital City Jet Center has several flight instructors capable of training you on becoming a Certified Flight Instructor. You must acquire the following before reaching this level of training:

  • Hold a second class medical certificate
  • Hold a Commercial Certificate
  • Hold an Instrument Rating
  • Receive ground and flight instruction from a current CFI that has met the requirements to prepare you on becoming a flight instructor
  • Pass the CFI Knowledge Exam
  • Pass the CFI Flight Exam