Iowa Flight Training
  
THE IFT STUDENT PAGE

For most people, learning to fly is a whole new culture; a new way of thinking. Let's start by explaining what it takes to get started. Learning to fly isn't terribly difficult, but it is different than many things. The Federal Aviation Administration issues pilot licenses, so, unlike driver's licenses that are state regulated, pilot's licenses are federally regulated. There are a series of pilot licenses that you could think of as a series of steps with increasing difficulty and responsibility. A typical first step is the Private Pilot license.

The requirements for a Private Pilot license are:

1) You must be at least 16 years of age to solo an airplane and 17 to earn a Private Pilot license.

2) You must be able to read, speak, and understand the English language.

3) You must pass an FAA 3rd Class Medical. This is just an ordinary physical, but given by an FAA designated doctor. There is a pdf list of FAA Medical Examiners on the download section to the right of this article. The medical certificate doubles as your Student Pilot license. It is good for 60 calendar months if you are under 40, and 24 calendar months if you are 40 or over.

4) You must pass the FAA Private Pilot Knowledge Exam, a 60 question test, with a score of 70% or better. To prepare for this test, IFT provides regular Ground School classes. Check the class schedule on the calendar page of our website. Fee for the class is $250 and includes all books and materials; even your flight logbook! We also administer the FAA Exams at PS Air in Cedar Rapids and at Jet Air in Iowa City. The test fee is $150.

5) You must take at least 40 hours of flight training. About 2/3 - 3/4 of that time is with an instructor aboard. The rest of the time is "solo", or practicing by yourself....very fun and exciting! You should know that not everyone finishes in 40 hours. Plan on an average of 50 hours. We see about 45-55 hours at Cedar Rapids. Of course, the more often you fly and the more you study before each lesson, the less time it will take. We have finished a few students in 40 hours.

Cost for the flying portion of your training varies by the amount of flying time it takes you to complete your training and the type of trainer you use. We have a variety of airplanes in use, including:

  • Cedar Rapids: Flight Design CTLS, Piper Warrior, Piper Archer, Cessna 172
  • Iowa City: (2)Cessna 172

  • 6) When your instructor believes you are ready and you have met all the FAA requirements, he or she will sign you off the take the practical test. The practical test is both an oral and a flying test. The fee for the test is set by the examiner and is typically $250 - $300.

    What's the Sport Pilot license all about?

    The Sport Pilot license is a relatively recent addition to the FAA rules. The intent is to make the entry into aviation more affordable and take less time. 1) You must be at least 16 years of age to solo an airplane and 17 to earn a Sport Pilot license.

    2) You must be able to read, speak, and understand the English language.

    3) There is no requirement for a flight physical.

    4) You must pass the FAA Sport Pilot Knowledge Exam, a 40 question test, with a score of 70% or better. To prepare for this test, IFT provides regular Ground School classes. Check the class schedule on the calendar page of our website. Fee for the class is $200 and includes all books and materials; even your flight logbook! We also administer the FAA Exams at PS Air in Cedar Rapids and at Jet Air in Iowa City. The test fee is $150.

    5) You must take at least 20 hours of flight training. About 3/4 of that time is with an instructor aboard. The rest of the time is "solo", or practicing by yourself....very fun and exciting! You should know that not everyone finishes in 20 hours. Plan on an average of 30 hours. Of course, the more often you fly and the more you study before each lesson, the less time it will take.

    When you complete your Sport Pilot license, you are qualified to fly Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) such as our Flight Design CTLS, a high-tech, glass-cockpit equipped, modern, comfortable airplane. You are limited to daytime flight only. If you wish to continue your training, you can apply your hours toward a Private Pilot license and fly at night and in larger aircraft too.

    Cost for the flying portion of your training varies by the amount of flying time it takes you to complete your training and the type of trainer you use. We use the incredible Flight Design CTLS for Sport Pilot training.

    6) When your instructor believes you are ready and you have met all the FAA requirements, he or she will sign you off the take the practical test. The practical test is both an oral and a flying test. The fee for the test is set by the examiner and is typically $250 - $300.

    Many people take 1 - 3 months to complete their Sport Pilot training. If you can dedicate a block of time toward your training, you earn a Sport Pilot license in as little as two weeks! So, you can do this. It is fun, challenging, exciting, and satisfying to learn to fly. Come join us!

    Once you earn a Private Pilot license, you can fly day or night, but not in the clouds. To fly in the clouds requires an instrument rating. You can take your friends and family along, but you aren't allowed to charge for your flying.

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    Although we're still constructing this page, we hope to make it a resource for flight students.


    Stay tuned for download files, photos, student successes, and much more!

    DOWNLOAD DIRECTORY

    Gleim's Learn To Fly Booklet


    FAA Airman Application 8710-1a
    FAA Sport Pilot Practical Test Standards
    FAA Private Pilot Practical Test Standards
    FAA Instrument Pilot Practical Test Standards
    Iowa FAA Medical Examiners
    Iowa FAA Designated Examiners

    Cedar Rapids Airport Diagram



    Ground School Downloads

    Coming Soon: Class Information


    Q: Do I have to buy an airplane?

    A: First, when you learn to fly, we supply the airplane you train in. You will usually be renting. Of course, you can always buy an airplane!

    Once you earn your license, you have many options:
    1) Continue renting. Hey, you already know the planes!
    2) Join or form a club. We can help you if you're interested. Clubs are a great way of sharing expenses.
    3) Buy a plane, either alone, or in a partnership. Former IFT students have gone on to buy some great airplanes.
    4) Build a plane. The Experimental Aircraft Association (www.eaa.org) is all about homebuilding!


    Q: How much will it cost to earn a pilot's license?

    A: Your total cost for learning to fly will vary, depending on how often you fly and how quickly you learn. Although the FAA minimum time is 40 hours for a Private Pilot license, the national average is about 75 hours. With our experienced instructors and top notch program, we see most students earn their license in 45 - 55 flight hours. Within this range of hours, you will spend between $5000 and $8000. Of course, your mileage may vary.

    Iowa Flight Training now has a brand new Flight Design CTLS Light Sport Aircraft available so you can earn your Sport Pilot license in as few as 20 hours! Using this incredible airplane, you could earn a Sport Pilot license for under $4000. As a Sport Pilot, you will be limited to flight during daylight hours, and only in a Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) having 1 or 2 seats. Your training does count toward your Private Pilot license, so you can start having fun sooner, AND continue training.