Flight training

Flight training

Flight training is a course of study used when learning to pilot an aircraft. The overall purpose of primary and intermediate flight training is the acquisition and honing of basic airmanship skills. [cite book
title = Airplane Flying Handbook
year = 2004
publisher = U.S. Federal Aviation Administration
location = U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington D.C.
id = FAA-8083-3A
pages = p. 1-1

Although there are various types of aircraft, many of the principles of piloting them have common techniques, especially those aircraft which are heavier than air types.

All training courses consist of some combination of theoretical learning conducted on the ground, and practical exercises conducted in the air. Initial training is often conducted in specialized training aircraft, which are designed for benign handling characteristics and lower costs compared to the aircraft which the pilot concerned is ultimately aiming to fly. Flight Training Devices (FTD)s of which Full Flight Simulators (FFS)s are a major subset, are also used to train pilots in some circumstances, at much lower cost and risk than actual flying. The minimum amount of flight training required for private pilots is generally set at 40 hours, however most students require 50-80 hours of training.

The cost of flight training can vary, at local part 61 flight schools it will be approximately $7,000 USD for a Private Pilot License. A Commercial Pilot License will usually cost $40,000-$60,000 USD and take 1-2 years. Another option is to attend one of the larger 141 schools such as ATP, US Flight Academy or Phoenix East Aviation. These more structured training programs are qualified by the FAA to issue pilots' licenses with reduced hours of training. A full time student can expect to complete a training program for Commercial Pilot License in 4-6 months. Some universities also offer 4 year Aviation degree programs that include flight training. The University of North Dakota, Ohio State University and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University are some of the largest. The final option is the military route, but unmanned aerial vehicles and forced retention policies have decreased the flow to the civilian sector.

In basic training, the following fundamentals of safe flying are covered for almost all aircraft (with a few exceptions for the smallest ultralights missing some features):

* Principles of Flight
* Flight Regulations
* Meteorology
* Navigation
* Radio Communications
* Flight Instruments
* Human Factors
* Medical Certification

For powered aircraft:
* Airframes, Engines and Systems

The FAA Knowledge Test is administered at designated testing centers and consists of a computer-generated 60 question multiple choice exam. Practical Tests are conducted by an FAA or FAA-designated examiner. Upon satisfactory completion of the practical test, a private pilot certificate is immediately issued.

Type conversion

Type conversion is when a pilot licensed for one type of aircraft cross-trains to another type.


The oldest civil flight school still active is based in Germany at the Wasserkuppe.

ee also

*Bárány chair
*List of Flight Schools
*Pilot certification in the United States
*Pilot licensing in Canada
*Pilot licensing in the United Kingdom
*Microsoft Flight Simulator
*Ultralight aviation
*Light aircraft
*General aviation


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