Start Flying

Please read this page and the FAQ page before asking me any questions.


“For once you have tasted flight, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.”
—- Leonardo Da Vinci


Feel a little crowded sometimes?


Welcome to the pilots’ world!


This page is for students new to flying.

How to Start Your Pilot Training

You can start training by scheduling your first lesson with me.  If I am unavailable, I can still recommend another very capable instructor who suits your needs.


Shopping for a flight school? You must watch this video first

What Is Pilot Training Like

As you guessed, we will be flying together a lot.  A typical lesson is 1.5 to 2 hours long.  Before and after the flight, we may spend about 10 minutes to go over some knowledge.

You are expected to attend “ground only” lessons, but you do not have to take ground lessons with me, unless you want to.  Commercial ground school DVDs are readily available and cover everything you need.

At some point I will let you solo and fly an airplane by yourself.   At some point, you will need to complete an written test.

Finally, you will conduct a “checkride”, a practical test with an FAA examiner.  This is where everything comes together.  When you pass the checkride, you are a private pilot and may be justly proud of your achievement!

Here’s a flowchart view of your flight training milestones:


For non-US-citizens only: TSA Application Guide


Length of Training

Every student is unique.  No one can guarantee that you will complete your training by a certain date or under a certain amount of flight hours.  Training on a regular and frequent schedule is good way to ensure you can complete your training under the shortest amount of time possible.  As your CFI, my job is to ensure you achieve your goals as quickly as possible without compromising safety.

Required Physical Conditions

Contrary to some popular myths, you do not have to be in top athletic condition with 20/20 vision to become a pilot.  Chances are, if you are physically fit to drive a car, you can fly an airplane.  At some point during your training, you will need to go through a medical exam with a FAA medical examiner.  The exam typically takes less than 20 minutes.



Small airplanes are very safe.  Even if the engine quits mid-flight, the airplane will land safely (and you will learn how to manage that).  My goal is to teach you to be the safest pilot you can be.

Required Gear
Please consider supporting your local airport shop instead of buying online 🙂

Initial phase (after your first lesson)

  • Pilot logbook – ASA or Jeppesen
  • Kneeboard
  • Aviation headset – This is a major item in any pilot’s bag, and you have many choices:
    • Fancy ANR (Active Noise Reduction):  Bose A20, Lightspeed Zulu, AKG AV100
    • Mid-range, no ANR: David Clark H10-13.4, Faro
    • Budget buy: ASA, Flightcomm, Sigtronics, ebay, etc….

Middle phase (I will advise you when)


  • Sectional chart / Chart supplement (formerly AF/D)
  • Textbook

Other Highly Recommended Purchases


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