PRIVATE PILOT: This is the basic certificate; fly cross country, carry passengers, fly in controlled airspace, and add qualifications such as night flying.
INSTRUMENT: Fly in Instrument Flight Conditions like rain and through clouds. Use Instrument procedures like ILS landing systems.
FLIGHT REVIEW: You are required to take a Flight Review every two years with a Certified Flight Instructor: 1 hour each of flight and ground.
COMMERCIAL: Enables you to be paid for your flying, carry passengers for hire, tow banners, or deliver freight. Instrument rating not required.
The difference between Part 141 and Part 61 Training
Part 141 and Part 61 refer to the flight school, the curriculum and how they deliver training. To be a Part 141 facility, the FAA must approve the school, its curriculum and training syllabus as well as the instructors. In a Part 61 environment, only the instructor must be approved by the FAA.
Part 141 and 61 teach EXACTLY THE SAME THINGS. The difference is the environment. In a Part 61 environment, you choose your instructor, arrange your training to suit your personal schedule and your budget. But you are held to the same standards. Your examiner expects you to demonstrate the same knowledge and skills whether you trained in a Part 141 School or with a Part 61 Instructor.
Strictly speaking, Richards Aviation is not a flight school. Richards puts students and highly qualified Instructor-Associates together and provides the aircraft. All training is delivered by the instructor. It is up to the student and his or her instructor to set up a training schedule.
Generally, 141 schools are more structured, don’t offer much flexibility in choosing an instructor or setting up a training schedule. You are being trained in a group, rarely one-on-one and the pace may be a little too much for some students.
Think About what you want
Do you want to become an Air Transport Pilot with an eye to flying for the airlines? Is it time to make good on that promise “I’m going to learn to fly, someday…”? Would an airplane be a good addition to your business and, incidentally, satisfy your lust for flight? Isn’t it about time to get that instrument rating?
Talk to us
Once you’ve discussed your goals you’ll get a course outline describing WHAT you will be taught; HOW LONG it should take; WHAT materials you’ll need and where to get them, and what it will, probably, COST. You’ll need a Student Pilot’s Certificate which includes a 3rd class medical. We’ve got a list of local medical examiners.
Pay-as-you-go vs. Training Packages
Your competence in the cockpit is our primary goal. Pay-as-you-go is your right to change your mind at any time. Reputable schools won’t balk at this. Turning a pile of cash over to a flight school BEFORE you start training is like buying the furniture before you’re approved for the mortgage.
The “I” word. All our aircraft are insured, however in the unlikely case of an accident you are responsible for the deductible. We strongly recommend that you purchase what’s known as Renter’s insurance from any of several companies including Avemco and AOPA. This low-cost policy takes care of any deductible associated with a damage claim. Cost is about $175 per year and is well worth it.
Commit the Time
Once you decide to pursue the instruction, do it consistently, not an hour here or there with weeks between lessons. Instruction is far more effective if you stick to a schedule. Set a realistic budget aside and you won’t have to justify each and every lesson’s finances.
It's your money
A realistic budget of $7000 to $9000 should get you a Private Pilot’s certificate. Although the FAA says you need 40 hours for this certificate, very few of us come in under that wire. Fifty or sixty is realistic. Why? Because there are a lot more rules and procedures to learn and your instructor wants to be certain you’re ready before he contacts the examiner. It’s a license to learn: NO instruction time is wasted at Richards.
So-called “glass cockpits” are elegant, integrated, and they fit right in with our society’s romance with computers and smart phones. But they don’t belong in a primary trainer, and here’s why. Your flying time is divided between what goes on outside the airplane and what the instruments are reporting inside, with a clear emphasis on the outside. Keeping the wings straight and level; keeping the ground underneath you; keeping the nose on the horizon as you turn, and doing all this at a constant altitude and airspeed requires keeping up with the world OUTSIDE and the instruments INSIDE. The computerized cockpit with elaborate digital displays of directional gyro, altimeter, airspeed, vertical speed, horizon, etc., etc., is a consciousness hog. Like any computer, it COMMANDS your attention, drawing it away from other sensory functions. Like a moth attracted to a flame, your brain WILL spend much more time interpreting the dazzling glass display resulting in less time processing what’s going on outside. The time to learn “glass” is during your instrument training.
Your instructor makes the process a learning experience or an obstacle course. That white shirt with captain’s bars doesn’t guarantee quality instruction, just a laundry bill. A flight instructor with thousands of hours doesn’t need a uniform to teach you to fly. Ask around: IT’S YOUR MONEY. IT’S YOUR TIME. Don’t waste it on fluff.
Ground School is what you learn from ground training, and put to practical use in the airplane. We offer excellent Ground School. There are a number of effective video courses and we endorse them all. The King Schools Private Pilot Course is excellent. So is Sportys. Want advice? ASK YOUR INSTRUCTOR.
About the Cessna 172
Theoretically, you can learn to fly in any airplane. But some make more practical trainers than others. The Cessna 172 is easy to fly, very forgiving, uncomplicated, and can be configured as a primary VFR trainer or an advanced IFR airplane. Remember, you are learning procedures, not a particular airplane. There are other primary trainers: the Piper Cherokee, the Diamond DA 20, the Tomahawk, the Cessna 150, and others. Consider what you’ll be flying later, for one thing; the aircraft’s availability for another.
If you’re tempted to take your instruction in a $500,000 airplane, count on it taking longer and costing far more. WHY? The Cirrus SR-22 is anything but primary a trainer; they are high-speed COMPLEX airplanes. Put your “need for speed” on hold until you learn flying skills. Take a tip from the US Air Force and Navy that start its jet jockeys off in relatively simple propeller planes.
Visit a local pilot shop and ask for a recommendation. Get in touch with some local flying clubs and ask “Where do you suggest I start my training?” You may be surprised to find that the INSTRUCTOR and not the atmosphere is what matters. Ask pilots for an opinion. You can count on their candor. Flight schools that have been in business for years are likely to be there for you for years to come. Don’t shop for bargains.
About Fort Lauderdale Executive
FXE is a great place to learn because it represents the real world of aviation. It’s a Class-D airport meaning you need to talk to someone on the radio before you taxi, take off or land. The experience gained working with a tower and with Air Traffic Control will get you safely into and out of any airport in the country. FXE is surrounded on three sides by controlled airspace, which you must learn to integrate into your flying. You might save a few hours flying out of a rural airport without a tower, but you’d have to learn the rules of the air sooner or later, and sooner is always better than later.
Fort Lauderdale Airport