Frequently Asked Questions

How do I become a pilot?

Becoming a pilot is surprisingly easy! We start with a discovery flight to find if flying is a good match with you, then we proceed with real training. All it takes is an online ground school, 40-70 hours in a plane, a written test, and a practical test! There’s nothing to it! 

How do I schedule a flight or buy a gift certificate?

To schedule, call Sky Adventures at (417) 837-9771. You can purchase gift certificates online or you can call. 

Is flying safe?

Yes. A well-built and well-maintained aircraft flown by a competent and prudent pilot is as safe as or safer than many other forms of transportation.

Can I make money flying?

Aviation is a large field with many different types of careers! Aviation has everything from teaching, photography, charter, airlines, pipeline patrol, medical evac, and many more! 

How long does it take to become a pilot?

The time it takes completely depends on your schedule, what you know, and the weather. That being said, minimum flight time is 40 hours and the national average is between 55 and 70 hours. Students can finish any license in as little as a month where some students end up taking multiple years. The more often you can fly the less you’ll forget and the quicker you’ll progress. Flying three times a week, a person should expect to finish in about 3 months.  

How frequently do I have to fly?

During your training we recommend that you try to fly two or three times a week. This will allow for fast and easier training. 

How do I make this a career?

To become a pilot who can be paid for flying one needs further licensing. You will need to obtain your Private Pilot Licenses (PPL), then your Instrument Flight Rules added rating (IFR), and finally your Commercial Licenses. (CPL) 

 

Additionally if you wish to teach you will need your Certified flight instructor licenses (CFI) which a large majority of people take as their first flying job. 

What’s the order of Licenses?

  • Private Pilot License
  • Instrument Rating*
  • Complex endorsement*
  • Commercial Pilot License
  • Certified Flight Instructor*
  • Multi-Engine Rating* 

Should I get advanced training if I don’t want a career?

Yes! It is always a good idea to keep learning! For example, getting IFR certified can improve safety, allow flight when previously not possible, and decrease insurance cost.

When can I start?

Right away! You don’t have to have a student pilot’s certificate or a medical certificate to take flying lessons, but you will need them before you will be approved to fly solo.

Who will be my Instructor?

Your instructor will be based on availability, training, and personality. We will try our best to match you with someone you can form a bond with. We wish for this so even after your time with us you can continue to contact us for anything you might have trouble with!

How many lessons do I have to take before I solo?

It depends on you. There is no set number of lessons or hours of flight training. Your instructor must make sure you have learned to perform certain maneuvers before allowing you to solo. These maneuvers include safe takeoffs and landings. You must use good judgment when flying and be able to keep control of the aircraft.

Also, you’ll have to get a medical certificate and a student pilot’s certificate to fly solo.

How long is a lesson?

The average lesson will be around two and a half hours, although some lessons will take longer depending on what is planned. Additional lessons can be shorter if the student preflights before the CFI arrives, learns the ground knowledge beforehand, or many other factors. Doing this will allow a more effective use of time, costing you less money. 

How much will it cost me?

The instructor fees will be $45 an hour and an average lesson consists of about one and a half hours of ground instruction and one hour of flight training. FAA regulations require a minimum of 40 hours of flight experience for the private pilot certificate but most students take closer to 60 hours.

The average cost for a private pilot certificate are as follows:

55 hrs of flight time * $130 = $7150

40 hrs of flight instruction * $45 = $1800

40 hrs of ground instruction * $45 = $1800

Books= $200 

Online Ground School = $200

Maps/Charts = $130

Written Test Fee = $160

Checkride Fee = $600

Medical Exam = $100

Total= $12,140

What materials do I need?

The only thing you NEED is a Logbook. What we recommend is…

  • Headset – Sky Adventures has headsets for students and renters, but we recommend having your own.
  • Current FAR/AIM – The FAR is all the laws and regulations, we highly recommend staying up to date.
  • Current Sectional Charts – Sectionals are maps for pilots and we allow both physical and digital.
  • Flight Computer – manual or electronic
  • Kneeboard – A kneeboard is an essential accessory that most pilots find they can’t do without. They range from small clipboards with thigh straps to more elaborate designs with multiple panels, as well as designs to accommodate tablets.
  • Headlamp – A RED light headlamp for night flight to help see inside without damaging your night vision. 
  • Tablet – Preferably a newer Ipad or Ipad Mini. 

While this is the material/equipment we recommend, we also recommend finding additional material/equipment to bring on your flights! Our instructors will work around you and help you incorporate your new materials/equipment so you are already trained on it when you start solo flights! 

Do I need a tablet?

While a tablet is not required, it is recommended. A tablet with Foreflight or Garmin Pilot allows access to up-to-date aviation maps. Both apps also allow easy flight planning and weight and balance.

What kind of tablet do I need?

We have found that Apple products work best for the applications required during flight training. We recommend the Ipad Pro, Ipad Mini, or Ipad Air. 

Do I need to buy an airplane?

No! We have airplanes that students can learn in and rent after they graduate and get their Private Pilot Licenses. But we do offer training in student’s airplanes. Buying an airplane might not be a bad idea! Buying an airplane may allow you to train cheaper. While this is not the case for everyone, there are times where it would be better. Along with that, training in the airplane you own will allow you to be more proficient in that airplane in the long run. We partner with a local Broker Company, Tail Wind Planes LLC, to help guide you through the process of selecting and purchasing an aircraft. Contact Caleb Green for more information at (606)-465-8961.

Do I need Renters Insurance?

We do not require students to purchase renters insurance however, if your finances allow it, additional insurance is always recommended.   

Is it hard to learn to fly?

No. People of all shapes and sizes, ages, abilities, and cultures have learned to fly. It’s fun, and from the beginning of your training, you get to do most of the actual flying! On the practical side — while flying isn’t a difficult skill to learn, you’ll have to be willing to stick with it until you meet all the requirements. Also, you should consider the cost of becoming a pilot — you’ll have to pay for your physical exam, books and your lessons.

Are there any requirements?

The FAA states that one must be 16 years old before they can solo, and 17 years old before they can receive a Private Pilot License. Also they must be able to speak, write, and read English. Students will also have to be able to pass an Aviation Medical. 

Where do I get my Medical? 

We recommend contacting either Dr. William S. Graham Jr. or Dr. Randall J. Cross in Springfield, MO.

What if I fail a test or checkride?

The good news is that you can retake any test multiple times! The key is to not get discouraged and keep working! 

Is there anything I can not do? Is there anything that will kick me out of the program?

Yes. We do not allow reckless flying, aerobatics, or disregard for FAA or local flying rules. 

I broke something, what do I do?

DON’T PANIC, we recognize that flying is tricky and sometimes accidents happen. First,  contact your instructor.  If he is unavailable; contact Joshua Monson or Caleb Green.

If engine failure occurs, what will happen?

Modern aircraft engines are reliable and failure rarely occurs. However, your lessons will cover what to do in this situation. The airplane will glide surprisingly well and a pilot will be trained to make a safe off-airport landing.