Over 600,000 Americans hold a pilot license of some sort, which means that less than 1% of people in the US are pilots. Of these pilots, the vast majority do not fly for hire, as they merely fly for recreational purposes. The US has some of the most lenient General Aviation regulations and the most support for such pilots, which means that the opportunity to follow your dreams and fly is very attainable.
Some recreational flyers are young adults who have chosen to pursue another career path. Some are older and have flown for decades. But there is another populous that is proliferating in size. This population consists of middle-aged men and women who have decided to finally follow their dreams and take to the skies. Some pilots are in their forties and fifties in a stable career. Others are semi-retired or recently retired. Despite your age or placement along your career path, the opportunity to fly is always open.
What does it take to earn a PPL?
To many, it may seem daunting to become a pilot as it can frequently appear like something meant only for those that are young or looking to become airline pilots. But this could not be further from the truth as countless people at different points in their lives earn their Private Pilot License (PPL) every year.
If it is so achievable, what are the requirements?
First and foremost, a prospective pilot must obtain at least a Third Class Medical Certificate issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). This can be challenging; however, anyone in good health can typically obtain one, even if it requires additional paperwork. Still, it should be noted that certain medical restrictions can prevent a person from acquiring a medical certificate.
Once someone has obtained said certificate, they may begin training as a private pilot. This involves flight training in the air as well as bookwork and studying on the ground. It is important to note that becoming a pilot requires a tremendous amount of work and studying. A good rule of thumb is that for every hour spent in the air, a pilot should spend 3 to 4 hours working on the ground.
Groundwork aside, students must obtain at least 40 flight hours to obtain their PPL. However, most are not ready for the checkride (the final test at the end of training) until between 50 and 60 flight hours. Once they are ready, they take the checkride. If they prove they can do everything to standards, they are issued a PPL. If something is not to standards, they redo the checkride but get credit for everything they got right the first time, meaning they only need to redo what they missed.
Note: These requirements are Valid as of August 2023 and are subject to change at the FAA's discretion. Also, note that within these 40 flight hours is a list of specific requirements that must be met.
What can I do with a PPL?
A person with a PPL may fly for recreational purposes, meaning they may not receive compensation with a few uncommon exceptions. However, with this certificate, you can fly any aircraft you are rated for to your heart and wallet's desire. Most flight schools, including Axiom Aviation, train pilots using Single Engine Land based airplanes, which means that upon completing Axiom's PPL course, you will only be qualified to fly that type of aircraft unless you receive additional training.
Pilots operating with only a PPL are restricted to following Visual Flight Rules (VFR). In short, this means they must be able to see where they are going and remain clear of clouds. If they wish to fly below these visual requirements, they must obtain an Instrument rating.
Note: VFR requirements are complicated, with many regulations and exceptions. The definition listed above is intentionally spelled out in broad layman's terms.
Are there any age limits?
A person must be at least 17 years old to obtain a PPL. However, there is no cap on age.
What does Axiom offer for PPL students?
Axiom Aviation offers PPL training at both locations. Whether training in Ogden or St. George, PPL students will receive the same high-quality training. PPL students attending the Ogden location will train in a Cessna 172 XP, a high-performance aircraft. Students will train in a Vulcanair V1 at the St. George location, which features a glass cockpit.
Aside from the types of planes we fly, Axiom's purpose and training methods are what truly makes it unique. As of the time of this writing, the airlines are in a pilot shortage, making becoming an airline pilot incredibly lucrative. Because of this, many flight schools have shifted their focus from training good safe pilots to training pilots who can meet the minimum requirements and get out of their hair as quickly as possible while paying top dollar.
While Axiom is also in the business of making money, our primary focus has always been and will always be flying. Everyone at Axiom, from the owner to the Chief Financial Officer, are pilots. Here you will find no bureaucrats or pencil pushers—just people who love to fly.
At Axiom, we train all our students to be safe pilots with good piloting abilities and judgment skills. This reigns true for all of our students, regardless of their end goals.
How long will it take me to obtain my PPL?
Flight and ground training at Axiom are done one-on-one between the student and instructor, so scheduling is flexible. Those who attend school part-time may attend as few as 2 to 3 times per week. However, they may attend up to 5+ days per week if they wish to finish faster.
A day of flight training typically involves a 2-hour flight block, 1-2 hours doing ground instruction with an instructor, and 2 to 3 hours of studying. Or 6 to 8 hours per day of flight training. Meaning that the more you fly, the more you have to work.
Those that attend school around five times per week can expect to earn their PPL in roughly 3 months. In contrast, those who only attend twice weekly can expect to earn their certificate in approximately 6 months.
What does it cost?
The total cost of obtaining a PPL varies based on how many hours a student needs to become proficient. The average price is around $20,000. Contact us for a specific cost breakdown and quote to learn more.
Excited to get started on your journey to become a pilot? Give us a call or shoot us a text at 262-297-4568. Or email us at email@example.com.