Frequently Asked Questions

Does it matter what type of airplane someone gets their private pilot’s license in?
The short answer is no.  A private pilot’s license earned in one type of single engine land airplane is equally as valid as a private pilot’s license earned in another make or model of single engine land airplane.  Say for example you have your heart set on owning a Husky and landing in the bush.  You can still get your license in any type of single engine aircraft you want, whether that be a Piper Cherokee, a Cessna 172, or a Diamond Katana.  Once you have your license, you would simply spend a little time with an instructor in the specific make and model you want to fly to get checked out.  In fact most knowledgeable and experienced pilots and instructors agree that learning to fly a variety of different makes and models of airplanes will make you a superior pilot.  Additionally, if you learned to fly in another type of aircraft and you’re wondering whether you could fly our Diamond DA-20, we invite you to take a flight.  You’ll be pleasantly surprised what a joy the DA-20 Katana is to fly.

Our airplane is a VFR trainer, how can we offer instrument ratings?
Correct, our aircraft is certified for day and night VMC flight (visual meteorological conditions).  In short, that means we cannot operate our aircraft in the clouds, also known as IMC (instrument meteorological conditions). While our aircraft cannot be flown in instrument conditions, it is equipped with all the same avionics that you would normally find in an airplane certified for flight in instrument conditions.  Since the training required to receive an instrument rating is normally performed entirely in VMC conditions, we can provide all the necessary training to get an instrument rating in our aircraft.  You’ll be able to take the check-ride in our aircraft as well.  The only thing you won’t be able to do is experience actual instrument flight using our aircraft.

How do we keep flying affordable?  
The primary reason we can offer a lower cost training as compared to other local flight schools is a direct result of the training aircraft we use.  It’s simply a matter of economics.  By employing a modern VFR trainer designed specifically for training pilots we can deliver an equally if not better training experience for new pilots but at a lower price price point without compromising safety.  Our DA-20 Katana Eclipse is known throughout the industry as being the safest and most efficient training aircraft available.  In fact, even the US Air Force uses a variant of the Katana for several of their programs including their Initial Flight Screening program.   The DA-20 Katana Eclipse with its lower acquisition cost and lower operational costs means we can pass the savings on to you in the form of  lower rates and a better overall value proposition for getting your pilot’s license.  It’s advanced composite design and construction means less maintenance, better fuel economy, lower insurance.  All off these factors translate into lower training costs for our customers.

How does a person start the process to get a private plot’s license?
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to go to ground school first in order to begin flight training.  In fact, most instructors agree that an integrated learning environment that includes ground and flight instruction together provides a better overall learning experience.  To start the process of becoming a pilot we recommend you schedule an introductory flight.  During the introductory flight the instructor will explain next steps.

What does a typical flight lesson consist of?
When you are working on a private pilot’s license or instrument rating, a typical flight lesson will be between 2-3 hours in length, and will generally consist of a pre-flight briefing or discussion, a pre-flight inspection of the airplane, a 60-90 minute flight, and a post flight briefing or discussion.  Occasionally certain elements of the training curriculum may require longer lessons such as cross-country or night  flights.  Additionally, some lessons may integrate ground school topics.

Does Alpine Flight Training use an established curriculum for training pilots?
Absolutely.  At Alpine Flight Training we utilize the Jeppessen Sanderson curriculum for training plots for both private and instrument ratings.  By using a well established curriculum such as the Jeppessen Sanderson curriculum we can provide our students a integrated learning experience which includes all aspects of ground and flight training and includes all the tools necessary to succeed including text books, training syllabus, maneuvers books, progress tracking and phase check folders.

What does ot take to get a private pilot’s license?
Licensing of pilots is based on a combination of proficiency as well as experience.   What is means is that no matter how many hours a person has they must be proficient in order to pass the test, and no matter how proficient a person is they must also have the minimum amount of hours.  At a very minimum, a pilot must have 40 hours of flight time, experience and have completed a list of specific training requirements, however in most cases a pilot will have more than 40 hours by the time they are ready to take the check-ride.  The flight lessons provided by flight training operators like Alpine Flight Training follow a predefined syllabus and are designed to prepare a pilot for the check-ride flight test while simultaneously teaching them how to operate an aircraft safely.