Learning to Fly

How do you begin learning to fly?

Call your local flight school or go to www.flyandbefree.com for a comprehensive overview of the steps to learn to fly. A helpful feature on the site is an interactive introduction to Cessna’s Computer-Based Instruction (CBI), the only online demonstration of its kind in the industry. Visitors to the site can access a demo of Cessna’s CBI and register for a Discovery Flight. For additional information, call toll-free, 1-877-Fly-B-Free.

Ground School and Flight Lessons

Learning to fly comprises two parts: ground school and flight lessons.

1. Ground School

  • In ground school, students learn about aviation rules and regulations, aerodynamics, the parts of an airplane, flight planning, navigation, and weather theory.
  • This information is necessary to pass the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) knowledge exam, a requirement to earn a pilot license.

2. Flight Lessons

  • Flight lessons are done in the airplane under the watchful eye of the instructor.
  • The student learns skills to land the airplane, fly to other airports, navigate cross-country flights, and perform specialty maneuvers.
  • Flight lessons complement Cessna’s CBI, the ground school portion of training, and should be done at the same time to get the most out of training.

Basic Private Pilot Certificate Requirements

  • At least 40 hours of flying time, many of which are flown solo.
  • A third-class medical certificate issued by an FAA medical examiner.
  • A passing grade on the FAA’s written knowledge exam.
  • A successful checkride and oral exam given by an FAA-designated examiner.
  • Must be at least 17 years old.
  • This license qualifies a pilot to fly in good visibility. A private pilot can later add an Instrument Rating to permit him/her to fly solely by reference to instruments, allowing flying in low visibility.