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.[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, of which full flight simulators 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. For glider training the time and expense may be considerably less.

United States

The cost of flight training can vary, at local Part 61 flight schools it will be approximately $8,000-$10,000 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 Part 141 schools. 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 final option is the military route, but unmanned aerial vehicles and forced retention policies have decreased the flow to the civilian sector.
Other training options include accelerated flight training. Most accelerated private pilot training can be done in 3–4 weeks and Instrument flight training can be done in 10 days. Accelerated flight schools are usually located in the United States.
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
-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.

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