Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Discovery Flight?
A discovery flight is a great place to start if you are interested in learning to fly! It is a fun, local introductory flight in which you, under close supervision, take control of the aircraft. You get to experience flight from the pilot’s perspective and take the controls to turn, climb, and descend. You can control the aircraft as little or as much as you like. If you decide to pursue flight training, your instructor can log your discovery flight as your first hour of instruction!

What will I need to start my lessons?
Proof of citizenship in the form of a birth certificate or US passport and an appointment with us is all you will need to start. It’s that simple!

Are there any age limits for obtaining a private pilot license?
There is no age limitation on beginning flight lessons with a certified flight instructor, and there is no maximum age for acquiring a private pilot certificate. The FAA requires an individual to be at least 16 years of age to operate an aircraft solo and 17 years of age to obtain a private pilot certificate. Once someone has this certificate, they may exercise the privileges of that certificate as long as they continue to get a medical certificate and a biannual flight review.

How much does it cost to learn to fly?
There are a lot of variables that affect the cost of learning to fly, including the frequency of flight lessons, the type of aircraft in which you choose to do your training and its availability for scheduling, and the learning curve of each individual . A rough estimate to obtain your Private Pilot certificate is around $12,500.

How long does it take to earn your pilot certificate?
The same variables that affect the cost of learning to fly will affect the time it takes to earn your certificate. The Federal Aviation Regulations state that a person who applies for a private pilot certificate must log at least 40 hours of flight time. The national average is somewhere between 50-60 hours. These flight hours can be spread over a time span of several months to a year or more. You and your instructor will determine the best training schedule for you, including frequency and length of individual lessons.

What written tests and flight tests are required to obtain my private pilot rating?
Student pilots have to pass a pre-solo written exam, a private pilot written exam (FAA), and a practical exam (check ride).

What is the check ride like?
A practical test, more commonly known as a checkride, is the FAA exam which one must undergo to receive a Private Pilot certificate. The check ride is a two-part process. During the oral portion, the designated pilot examiner will quiz the student on what was learned in ground school. Following that portion, the student conducts a flight to demonstrate his or her safety and competence. Check ride examiners ensure that only safe and competent students become pilots.

What is a medical certificate?
Every pilot must obtain a medical certificate in order to receive and exercise the privileges of a pilot license. You will need a medical certificate before flying solo in an airplane. If you have any medical conditions that you feel may be of concern, it’s a good idea to get your medical certificate before beginning flight training. This will alert you to any condition that would prevent you from becoming a pilot before you invest in lessons. The exam must be administered by an FAA medical examiner, and cost about $100. Our school has a list of local examiners that you can choose from, or you can search the FAA online directory for one in your area: Locate an Aviation Medical Examiner.

Are there any medical restrictions that would prevent me from becoming a pilot?
Some medical conditions may require a waiver for a pilot to get a medical certificate, and these are best described by the FAA medical examiner.

What is a student pilot certificate and how do I get one?
A student pilot certificate is issued to a pilot in training, and is a pre-requisite for the student to fly solo. It is usually issued in conjunction with the medical certificate. An aviation medical examiner (AME) typically gives you a student pilot certificate to fill out as part of the medical exam. A student pilot certificate is valid for 24 calendar months if over age 40, and 60 months if under age 40.

How is the training scheduled?
All flight training is conducted on a one-on-one basis. We offer flexible hours and tailor your lessons to fit your availability and budget. We have a limited number of slots we can fill, so the more lead time you can give us the better your chances of getting the day and time that works best for you. The length of each lesson will differ, but a standard lesson is two hours and will consist of some ground work and an hour or so of actual air time. Students can schedule lessons by calling our office or using our online scheduling system.

Will I have one instructor or many?
You will be assigned to one flight instructor who will mentor you and manage your flight training from start to finish. There may be times when you have flights with other instructors (eg:  flights on your instructor’s day off), however we will ensure that anytime you are scheduled to fly with another flight instructor, that instructor will know exactly where you are in your training and what needs to be reviewed from previous lessons.

What are your business hours?
EFI offers flight training seven days per week. One-on-one flight instruction allows a flexible training schedule which may include early morning, daytime and evening hours. EFI office and dispatch hours are between the hours of 8AM-5PM. Students and renters can schedule flights anytime using our online scheduling system.

Do I need special insurance?
A student does not need special insurance when flying with an instructor. However, EFI requires that all renters and students must show proof of renters insurance prior to solo flight. You must have liability coverage and a minimum of $30,000 in physical damage coverage. Some places we recommend for purchasing affordable renters insurance are listed below.

AOPA Insurance Agency
www.aopaia.com
1-800-622-AOPA

Avemco Insurance Agency
www.avemco.com
1-888-241-7891

What if I own my own aircraft?
EFI Flight School is happy to accommodate aircraft owners and their training requirements, as we are fully insured for these operations.

How is EFI Flight School’s safety record?
Flight lessons are VERY safe and our safety record is second to none! Our instructors have thousands of hours of instruction time in many different types of aircraft, and our training aircraft have two sets of controls so the instructor is always ready to assist the student pilot with any training opportunity that arises during a lesson. We do not cut corners on maintenance to save money, and we always put safety first. Our fleet is carefully maintained by certified mechanics at our preferred on-site maintenance facility. Occasionally, we will reschedule a student pilot’s lesson due to routine aircraft maintenance or weather, however, this is completely normal and to be expected in the aviation world. If you have other questions, please feel free to talk with us at any time.

What if I had a Pilot’s License and haven’t flown in years?
Of course you can come back! You need a current Medical Certificate and a Biannual Flight Review (BFR) with one of our instructors. They will take all the time you need to brush up on your knowledge and skills to get you back in the sky!

Can I use my GI Bill at your school?
Unfortunately, only Part 141 schools can accept students using the GI Bill. EFI Flight School is a Part 61 school.

What is the difference between a Part 141 school and Part 61?
EFI is a Part 61 school, however, we are currently in the process of obtaining our Part 141 designation. Both Part 141 and Part 61 schools must meet the same strict FAA guidelines to obtain a private pilot’s license, and both types of schools will prepare you to pass the same written and practical tests. Generally, Part 61 flight schools have less stringent requirements, can be more flexible with training schedules and are able to tailor the curriculum to meet individual student needs.  Part 141 schools have more rigid schedules, more paperwork, their training course outline must be approved by the local Flight Standards District Office (FSDO), and students must progress through that syllabus exactly as outlined – no flexibility. Because of the extra FAA oversight, Part 141 schools are able to accept GI Bill funding whereas Part 61 flight schools are not.

How do I pay for my flight training?
Pay-as-you-go is the most common method of payment. Each lesson is billed at the time it is provided so you do not have to make a large initial investment and can pace your training to match your budget. We offer a special savings on the hourly aircraft rental rate with deposits of $1000 or more into a prepaid account. This is a great option for those who are on a consistent schedule and want to save money on their aircraft rental. We accept cash, checks and credit cards.

We also offer financing through Pilot Finance, Inc. Pilot Finance is a financial aid program that provides students with the opportunity to become a pilot and manage the cost of training with affordable, monthly payments. The typical approval process takes just 24 hours and can accommodate almost all part-time training.

What are the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) requirements and how will they affect me?
You’re referring to the TSA’s alien flight training and citizenship validation rule. The effects of this rule depend on whether you are a U.S. citizen or an alien.