SunState Aviation Flight School

Learning To Fly - What do I need to know to learn to fly airplanes?

Your Decision on Learning To Fly - Why do you want to learn to fly?

Learning to fly is a major decision which should be entered into advisedly.  Let's face it: Learning to fly is not cheap and you want to be assured that you will be getting maximum VALUE and QUALITY for your money.

And since we are talking about money, the first thing you should be settled on is that there are some things in life that you SHOULD NOT be looking for the cheapest deal! This is especially true when you are choosing the right flight instructor or flight school. Again, you want MAXIMUM VALUE and MAXIMUM QUALITY to ensure that you finish your training with the confidence that you have been trained to be a safe and proficient pilot.

The first step in this process is for you to ask yourself: "Why do I want to learn to fly?" The answer to this question will help you and your flight school of choice to guide you in the right direction and help you arrive at your ultimate goal in the most efficient way possible. Some people want to learn to fly airplanes professionally as an airline pilot or a charter aircraft pilot, etc. Others want to learn to fly airplanes for business purposes, such as sales people with large territories, business owners with multiple locations, people who want to fly for personal transportation and folks who just want to fly locally for the fun of it. What ever YOUR reason for wanting to learn to fly airplanes, you should let your flight school and/or flight instructor know exactly what your goals are, as this can and will affect how your training is conducted.

A good example of this would be the person who just wants to fly locally for the fun of it verses the business owner with multiple locations throughout the US. The business person will want and need to fly long distances in higher performance aircraft and sometimes fly in less-than-perfect weather. This calls for an emphasis on advanced avionics, an instrument rating, a high performance endorsement and quite possibly some additional flight time with a qualified instructor pilot to satisfy some insurance requirements. The guy who is happy to just "fly around the patch" on the weekends would simply need a Sport Pilot, Recreational Pilot or a Private Pilot License.

Questions? Get the answers here!

Learning To Fly - Where do I start?

Once you've settled in your mind exactly what your goals are for learning to fly, the next step in this process would be to decide when and where you should train. If your schedule and finances will allow, we recommend attending one of our accelerated flight training courses.

Why accelerated training? Remember, we talked about MAXIMUM VALUE and MAXIMUM QUALITY. In an accelerated course the student is removed from his/her normal day to day environment and completely immersed in the subject matter for the duration of the training course.

The goal here is not so much drinking from the proverbial fire hose, as much as it is maximizing your learning curve. Concentrating your efforts over a short period of time maximizes the retention of information as well as quickly reinforcing the required motor skills. Quite simply, it is the difference between earning your pilot license in 45 to 50 hours instead of 75 to 80 hours.

We strongly recommend shopping around and checking out all of your options. Right now you are visiting SunState Aviation's web site, but we would encourage you to shop, call, email, browse, take notes and then make an informed choice. To be totally honest; we may not be the flight school that is best suited to your own personal needs and goals, but the only way you would know that for sure is if you have done your homework!

Here are some things you should look for as you are shopping for that perfect place to learn to fly:

  • New and late model aircraft that are meticulously maintained to meet or exceed FAA standards.

  • A structured training syllabus (ground and flight) that is FAA approved

  • Experienced flight instructors who are closely supervised by an experienced Chief Flight Instructor

  • All flight instructors consistently follow the training syllabus (no lone rangers doing their own thing. Lone rangers are only out to milk you and build hours. If they are not all following the syllabus, they are not doing you any favors)

  • Flight instructors who are completely knowledgeable about the avionics in the training aircraft

  • Itemized cost estimates for absolutely everything involved with reaching your goals

  • Does this flight school require full payment in advance? (If they do, run, don't walk in the other direction!!!)

  • Does the flight school have an FAA approved level III or better flight simulator?

  • Does the flight school return your phone calls and/or emails? Is the support staff courteous and helpful?

  • Where will you take your FAA Knowledge Exam (written test)? Where will you take your Practical Test? Does the school have their own examiners that are on the school's payroll (if they do, that is a definite red flag as the examiner may be watching out for the school's best interest more than your best interest)?

  • Can the school accommodate your scheduling needs, whether an accelerated program or a self-paced program around a busy and demanding work schedule?

Questions? Get the answers here!

Learning To Fly - What do I need to do to prepare?

Learning to fly in technically advanced aircraftOnce you have settled on a flight school or flight training center, there are some basic security measures you need to know about. Since 9/11 there are some new regulations in effect to help ensure the safety and security of airport environments as well as helping to support national security. These new regulations will affect both US citizens and non-citizens however there are some differences between citizens verses non-citizens requirements.

US Citizens: All US citizens who desire to train to learn to fly airplanes must now provide proof of US citizenship. There are two forms of acceptable documentation which will serve this purpose (1) an original birth certificate with a raised seal and a government issued picture ID (2) an unexpired passport issued by the United States government (3) original US Naturalization Certificate with a raised seal and a government issued picture ID (more information)

Non US Citizens: All Non-US Citizens are required by law to register with the United States Transportation Security Administration prior to commencing flight training in the U.S. This is an online process and the Transportation Security Administration's Alien Flight School Provider (AFSP) division has set up a web site to help facilitate the registration process.

Questions? Get the answers here!

Can anyone learn to fly?

Learning to fly an airplane can be challenging, but a lot of fun!Learning to fly is an experience that can be enjoyed by a very wide range of people. In fact, about the only limitation to start the training to learn to fly would be the student's ability to pass a basic medical exam. Even children as young as 11 or 12 years of age can begin to take flying lessons as long as they are tall enough to be able to reach all of the controls of the aircraft.

Now, there are some minimum age limitations for various aspects of learning to fly airplanes. For example; the minimum age to take the Private Pilot Knowledge Exam is age 15, the minimum age to solo an airplane is age 16 and the minimum age to qualify for a Private Pilot License is age 17. The challenge for young people is to be able to achieve all of these milestones on their birthday!

Questions? Get the answers here!

What will it cost to learn to fly?

Learning to fly is not cheap, but it can be affordableThe cost of learning to fly will vary from person to person depending on a number of factors. Again, the thing we want to emphasize here is that when it comes to learning to fly, you should never let cost be the only determining factor of where you choose to learn to fly. What you want to look for is MAXIMUM VALUE and the QUALITY of the training you will be receiving. When it comes to learning to fly, CHEAP is rarely a good thing.

Three factors to consider when budgeting for your flying lessons are as follows:

  1. What are your ultimate goals?

  2. With your goals in mind; what type of aircraft, simulator, etc. will best help you to reach those goals?

  3. Can you take the time to take and accelerated course, or will you need to take a self-paced course that fits around your work/school schedule?

As discussed previously; your goals for learning to fly will have a significant impact on how your overall flight training will be conducted (at least it should). If you are interested in learning to fly for recreational purposes, then a Sport Pilot License and training in a Light Sport Airplane can be significantly less expensive than compared to the business person who will ultimate want to fly in high performance aircraft on instrument flight plans. Your flight school representative should be able to help you come up with a budget that is goal focused and personalized to your needs.

Questions? Get the answers here!

Once I learn to fly airplanes, what's next?

Learning to fly...and then some!Once you complete your learning to fly adventure and have earned your pilot certificate, you will then have been granted a privilege that fewer than 2% of the population now enjoys. That feeling of freedom and adventure you get the first time you take to the skies as a certificated pilot is something that has to be experienced first-hand to be fully appreciated...and the adventure is only beginning!!!

There is also a great sense of accomplishment having passed your Practical Test which can be an on-going experience because, there are always new challenges and adventures to be had as a pilot. You can upgrade your license with an instrument rating for example. This rating will give you the knowledge and skills you will need to navigate an airplane safely through less than visual weather conditions. This will give your license a greater level of utility as well, especially if you intend to fly some longer cross-country flights. You can also take a training course to learn to fly multi engine airplanes, high performance airplanes or get your sea plane rating.

Once bitten by the aviation bug, you will likely never recover. And that's a good thing!

Questions? Get the answers here!


Accelerated Flight Training Courses

Sport Pilot Private Pilot Instrument Rating

Sport Pilot training courseFor about half the cost of a used car you can complete your Sport Pilot training course and enjoy a lifetime of memorable flying experiences as a certificated Sport Pilot. Our unique Integrated Flight Training programs are truly the most cost and time efficient way to reach your goals!

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Private Pilot training courseWith our accelerated Private Pilot training course, you can get your Private Pilot License in 21 days, or even as little as 14 days!

This is true full-immersion flight training where you learn at your best pace with a highly experienced flight instructor.

Yes, we do Finish-up training!

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Instrument Rating training courseGet your Instrument Rating in as little as 2 weeks!

Stop wasting time with stop-and-start training that takes forever. Come to Florida and learn from some of the most experienced Instrument Flight Instructors on the planet!

Our plane or yours!

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Commercial Pilot Multi-engine Rating Airline Transport Pilot

Commercial Pilot training courseGet your Commercial Pilot training done in a week!

Whether you are looking to fly professionally, or just fly like a professional, this 7-day course is for you.

If you have a Private Pilot License and more than 240 hours in your logbook, then spend a week in Florida and go back home with a Commercial Pilot License!

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Multi-engine Rating training course

Multi-engine Rating in less than a week? Yes!

Add a Multi- engine rating to your pilot or flight instructor certificate in less than a week and for under $6000 including your check-ride and hotel stay!

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Airline Transport Pilot License training course

Airline Transport Pilot License Course (ATP)

This Airline Transport Pilot Airplane Multi Engine training course is available as a 5 day flight training course preparing you for your ATP Practical Test. ATP part 121 and part 135 Knowledge exams are conducted on premises. Single-engine ATP Course is also available!

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Flight Instructor Training ZERO Start Training Program G1000 and Refresher Courses

Flight Instructor training coursesGet your CFI training done in as little as two weeks!

A laser-focused, one-on-one training course for those who don't have time to mess around.

"Sunstate Aviation exceeded my all expectations from my first inquiries, to scheduling my start of training, up through my Flight Instructor check-ride and final account balancing. Everyone on your staff were positive and helpful." - Dion R

CFI (initial) 14-day Course Details

CFI-Instrument 7-day Course Details

MEI Course Details

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ZERO Start training program - ZERO to Commercial Pilot in as little as 13 weeks!ZERO to Commercial Pilot in as little as 13 weeks? You bet!

This accelerated flight training course is designed to help the average person with no prior aviation experience complete their training in the most cost-and-time effective way possible.

  • Hotel Accommodations INCLUDED!

  • Flight/Ground Instruction INCLUDED!

  • Knowledge Tests INCLUDED!

  • Examiner's Fees INCLUDED!

  • No hidden fees - we will provide a detailed cost estimate!

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G1000 Transition Courses and Refresher/Recurrency TrainingBe a Better, Safer Pilot!

For busy pilots who need to refresh their piloting skills, re-gain legal currency or who want to learn to get the most from the equipment in their cockpit, these accelerated courses will help you to become an even better pilot in the most cost-and-time efficient way possible.

G1000 Transition Course (VFR/IFR)

G1000 Transition Course (VFR only)

Instrument Refresher Course

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Helicopter Pilot Training
MaxFlight Helicopters at SunState Aviation's Kissimmee base is the ideal place to get your private, instrument, commercial, helicopter add-on & CFI certificates. MaxFlight offers a flexible training schedule to accommodate every student's needs. MaxFlight is currently instructing in Robinson R-22 & R-44 helicopters.  Walk-ins are are welcome!

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This sheet is intended for informational purposes only and reflects estimated costs of all aspects of this training course. The hour requirements and associated costs are based on the average training time to complete the course and pass the FAA Practical Test. Your actual time to completion will vary. All prices subject to change without notice. Aircraft hourly rental rates quoted above include fuel and are based on a pre-paid block purchase of 20 hours or more. Any additional flight hours or instruction will generate additional costs.

A word about our pricing and rates: SunState Aviation's commitment to you, our students and customers is to provide the highest quality training and aircraft rental possible, combined with the very best possible customer service at the very best prices and hourly rates possible. We do not add fuel surcharges or any other hidden charges to our rental rates (a 7% local sales tax is added to non-instructional aircraft rentals), nor do we falsely inflate our rental rates in order to offer "special cut-rate deals." Our rates are competitive and our block discounts are already as low as we can possibly go. Please do not ask us to depart from our published rates. The prices and rates published on this web-site are the effective rates at the time that you viewed them and are subject to change. Thank you for your understanding. 

SunState Aviation Flight School is an FAA part 141 approved flight school which specializes in providing high-quality Accelerated Flight Training courses. We currently have three locations in central Florida; our Kissimmee location at Kissimmee Municipal Airport (KISM), our Lakeland location on the Sun N Fun campus at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport (KLAL) and our Winter Haven location at Winter Haven's Gilbert Field airport (KGIF).

Copyright 2013, by SunState Aviation Flight School, LLC. All rights reserved.