What is the first step to learning how to fly?

Taking a Discovery Flight is the perfect way to experience flying. Designed as a way to introduce you to our program, the Discovery Flight takes about an hour. The first 30 minutes you will meet with your pilot (Certified Flight Instructor) to discuss your flight and our training program. The second part of your Discovery Flight will be taking a flight in our Cessna 172. You will have the opportunity to fly with one of our Certified Flight Instructors (CFI) and actually fly the aircraft yourself. If you would like a longer flight, just ask when making the reservation for your Discovery Flight and we will let you know how much extra the longer flight will cost.

What is involved in learning to fly at Eagle Aviation?

Learning to fly requires study and practice, and most eager students can fulfill their dream of flight. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires a minimum of 40 hours of training (20 hours with an instructor, 10 solo hours and 10 additional flight training hours) to earn a private pilot certificate, but plan on 50-60 hours to perfect your skills and confidence.

Everyone learns at a different pace and the number of times you fly in a given week is a big factor in determining that pace. You'll learn quicker if you fly every day because you won't have to "learn" what you "forgot" between lessons. If you fly every day, you could possibly earn your certificate in about two months. If you can only fly 2-3 times per week, it may take you six months to earn your private pilot's license.

When will I actually begin flying?

You'll be flying on your first lesson, with your Certified Flight Instructor's (CFI) help of course. With each lesson, your CFI will assist you less and less until you reach a point of self-reliance. When you reach this point, you will make your first solo flight, an important milestone in every pilot's training. After you solo, you and your CFI will work on such things as flying cross-country. And when you're ready, you'll make several solo cross-country flights. When you have the ability to consistently demonstrate all of the FAA required skills, your instructor will recommend you for the FAA check ride.

Are there set training dates and times?

No. While the syllabus is very structured the scheduling is not. You choose the time and days to fly.

How long does a lesson last?

Most lessons are based on a 1.5 hour flight, but they may take 2-3 hours from start to finish because there's more to it than flying. There are pre- and post-flight discussions (ground school), where you and your CFI talk about what you're going to do, how you did, what you did well, what needs work and what you'll do on your next lesson.

What books will I need and where do I buy them?

Your will buy your course material right here at the flight school. Eagle Aviation offers the Jeppesen Kit. Your instructor will be glad to go over the cost and benefits of each course and recommend which one is right for you.

What about a medical exam?

If you have a valid driver's license, then you will probably have no problem passing a 3rd Class medical exam. You must get the exam from a FAA approved doctor called an Aviation Medical Examiner (AME). There are four AME's in the Columbia area and Eagle Aviation can connect you with one closest to your home or office. You don't need your medical exam to begin flight training, but you will need your student/medical certificate before you can fly an airplane solo.

What if I wear contact lenses or glasses?

You can wear glasses or contact lenses so long as your vision is corrected to 20/40 or better; and you must be able to see red and green. You should be able to hear a whispered voice from 3 feet. If you do have a problem, it's not the end of your flying career. Depending on the problem, your medical certificate will be deferred until further testing is done. Your AME will be able to help you in such cases, and if you an your AME can prove to the FAA that your condition will not make you unsafe to pilot an airplane, there's a good possibility you'll get your medical.

How old to you have to be to start taking lessons?

As long as you can see over the front of the aircraft and operate all of the controls without assistance, you can take flying lessons. The FAA mandates that a person reach 16 years of age to solo and 17 years of age to apply for your private pilot certificate. There is no maximum age limit.

Can I bring a family member or friend?

We encourage you to bring one family member or friend with you for your Discovery Flight. Once your lessons start, all training is done one on one with your instructor and additional passengers are not allowed due to the possibility of distraction.

I have two teenagers that want to train together, is this possible?

All of our flight training is designed for a one on one experience. Each student is required to purchase his or her own set of books for the training. All flight lessons are done individually with your instructor. Depending where each student is in the training program, there are times when multiple students can attend the same ground lessons. Each student will be charged the normal hourly rate for ground instruction.

How do I pay for my lessons and do you offer discounts?

We accept most major credit cards and cash. You have a choice of paying for each lesson you take on the day of the flight or receive a 10% discount on your lessons and books by paying in full for the first 40 hours of flight time. If additional instruction is needed to complete your training, the discount will be extended until you complete your certificate. Financing is also available from Pilot Finance, www.pilotfinance.com.

Do you accept VA Benefits for flight training?

Eagle Aviation operates the flight school under the FAA rules of Part 61 and does not accept VA Benefits for flight training. Only FAA Part 141 schools may accept VA Benefits for flight training.

I really don't want to learn how to fly; can I take a sight seeing flight?

Eagle Aviation does offer sightseeing flights for up to 2 passengers, depending on each person's weight. The flights last a minimum of 1 hour. (All aircraft flight time is calculated by the aircrafts hour meter, which begins at engine start.) You have the options to fly over Columbia, Lexington or beautiful Lake Murray. Please call our office at 803.771.7915 for pricing.

After I get my Pilot Certificate, can I rent an airplane on my own?

Yes you can! You can rent the same type of aircraft you trained in, rent an aircraft at any other flight school or you can purchase an aircraft either individually or in partnership with another pilot or group of pilots. Our Sales Department will be happy to show you the choices of ownership. test