Frequently Asked Questions

 

GENERAL QUESTIONS

What is a Cessna Pilot Center (CPC)?

The CPC network is the longest standing, largest group of flight schools in the history of aviation. Since 1970, collaboration between schools and Cessna has resulted in shared best practices paralleled by no other. With Cessna's support, training at a CPC means you are training with the best. 

How is the training structured?

The Cessna Flight Training System involves scenario-based interactive instruction that works cooperatively with your actual flight experience, allowing you to prepare for your next training flight before you even take off. We'll get you where you want to go faster than any other flight instruction program out there. 

Who can learn to fly?

Anyone! People of all shapes and sizes, ages and abilities have learned to fly. While learning the skills to fly isn't necessarily difficult, it takes determination to stick with it until you meet all the requirements.

What does it cost to fly?

Our Welcome Packet has current training & rental cost estimates for a variety of courses and aircraft that we offer.

 

Is there financing available?

 

Yes! Financing is available through Pilot Finance, Inc.

When can I start taking flight lessons and how often do I come in?

You can start right away! Our flight operations are 24 hours, 7 days per week. Scheduling is flexible, but consistency is key in being successful with your training. We recommend coming in once or twice each week if possible.   

How long is each flight lesson?

A typical lesson will last a minimum of 2 hours. One hour of ground instruction (pre and post-flight) and one hour of flight instruction. However, sometimes lessons will be longer to allow for more flight time. 

Do I need to take a medical exam?

The FAA requires all pilots to take basic physical exams with the exception of Sport Pilot's. To schedule an appointment with an FAA Medical Examiner, you first have to fill out a general questionnaire and application using the FAA's MedXPress website. You will be given a confirmation number which you will need to take to your exam. A list of local examiners can be found using the FAA's AME Locator website.

I am a U.S. citizen, what are the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) requirements?

The TSA does not require U.S. citizens to go through screening prior to taking lessons. However, you do need to prove your U.S. citizenship status prior to undertaking flight training. You must present either a valid U.S. passport or an original U.S. birth certificate with a government-issued photo ID. You will need to bring these documents with you when enrolling and a copy will be kept with your student records.

I am NOT a U.S. citizen, what are the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) requirements?

A non U.S. citizen must obtain approval from the TSA, which is a process that can take as long as a week or sometimes two.

 

The following steps must be followed to request TSA’s approval for flight training:

(1) Contact Corsair Aviation prior to submitting the TSA request. You will need to initiate enrollment at the school. This process will involve completing some forms and providing documentation to be kept with your student records.

(2) Go to the TSA Alien Flight Student Program website to create an account: Look for the “Create New Candidate Account” tab near the right top corner. Fill in all of your contact information here.

(3) Read through the TSA Application Guide

(4) Read through the TSA FAQ's

(5) You will receive a confirmation email from the TSA with your USER ID and PASSWORD. Please make sure to make a note of these for future reference.

(6) Go to: https://www.flightschoolcandidates.gov and login again with your USER ID and PASSWORD.

(7) Complete all of the requested information.

(8) You will need to list Corsair Aviation as your affiliated flight school, using the drop down list of approved schools.

(9) Then submit the following information:

(a) Full name, gender, current address and five-year address history, date and country of birth, and citizenship information.

(b) Passport and visa information — All applicants are required to have a passport.

(c) Training details as follows:

(i) Student ID: Use your full name

(ii) Course Number: one of the following

(1) "PPL" for Private Pilot’s License,

(2) IR for Instrument Rating

(3) ME for Multi-Engine Rating

(4) CPL for Commercial Pilot’s License

(5) CFI for Certified Flight Instructor 

(6) CFII for Certified Flight Instructor Instrument

(iii). Aircraft Type: Cessna 162 & Cessna 172 or Schweizer 300

(iv). Name of Course: one of the following

(1) Private Pilot Course

(2) Instrument Rating Course

(3) Multi-Engine Rating Course

(4) Commercial Pilot Course

(5) Certified Flight Instructor Course

(6) Certified Flight Instructor Instrument Course

(d) IMPORTANT: Where the School Student Identification # is requested, leave it "blank".

(e) IMPORTANT: Where the Course Identification # is requested, designate "101".

(f) IMPORTANT: Where the type of training is requested, designate “Category 3”- not Category 1.

(g) The application fee is $130.00, payable on-line to the TSA, by credit card.

(h) IMPORTANT: Print out a copy of your TSA application. Bring this with you to your first lesson as it is a TSA requirement to have this in your student file.

(10). When your application is complete, Corsair Aviation will get an email from the TSA requesting confirmation that you will be taking lessons here. Once confirmed, they will send you authorization to get fingerprints, along with detailed instructions. 

(11) Follow these instructions and select a location to give your fingerprints.

(12) Once TSA receives and screens the prints, they will send you and Corsair Aviation an email authorizing us to begin training. This usually occurs within one week of sending the fingerprints.

(13) When you come in to begin training, we will take a digital photo of you, which we will email to TSA. This is the final step in the process, but will not delay the start of your training. Remember to bring with you a copy of your TSA registration.

 

If you have any additional questions about this process, please do not hesitate to give us a call.

SPORT PILOT

What is a Sport Pilot Certificate?

In 2004, the FAA introduced this new and unique pilot license. As a Sport Pilot, you can operate as Pilot in Command (PIC) of a Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) during Day VFR conditions while carrying up to one additional passenger. 

What is a light-sport aircraft?

Light-Sport Aircraft (LSA) are simple-to-operate and easy-to-fly aircraft. They meet specific definition requirements set by the FAA and are equipped with no more than two-seats. 

What are the Sport Pilot eligibility requirements?

For the Sport Pilot Certificate, you must:

  • Be at least 17 years old (or 16 years old if you are applying to operate a glider or balloon).

  • Be able to read, speak, write, and understand English.

  • Hold at least a third class medical, or hold a current and valid U.S. driver's license for operations in light-sport aircraft other than a glider or balloon.

What are the training requirements to become a Sport Pilot?

Training requirements for a Sport Pilot Certificate with airplane category —

  • A minimum of 20 hours flight time including:

    • 15 hours of flight training from an authorized instructor.

    • 5 hours solo flight.

  • Flight training must include at least:

    • 2 hours cross-country flight training.

    • 10 takeoffs and landings to a full stop.

    • One solo cross-country flight of at least 75 nautical miles total distance with a full-stop landing at a minimum of two points and one segment of the flight consisting of a straight-line distance of at least 25 nautical miles between takeoff and landing locations.

    • 2 hours flight training in preparation for the practical test.

    • Ground training from an instructor or home-study course.

  • FAA knowledge test on applicable aeronautical knowledge areas.

  • FAA practical test for the applicable light-sport aircraft privilege.

  • Sport pilot certificates will be issued without category/class designation — logbook endorsement will be provided for category and class per FAR 61.317.

What are the privileges and limitations of Sport Pilots?

A Sport Pilot may:

  • Share the operating expenses of a flight with a passenger, provided the expenses involve only fuel, oil, airport expenses, or aircraft rental fees. A sport pilot must pay at least half the operating expenses of the flight.

A Sport Pilot may not act as Pilot In Command of a light-sport aircraft:

  • That is carrying a passenger or property for compensation or hire.

  • For compensation or hire.

  • In furtherance of a business.

  • While carrying more than one passenger.

  • At night.

  • In Class A airspace.

  • In Class B, C, or D airspace, at an airport located in Class B, C, or D airspace, and to, from, through, or at an airport having an operational control tower unless you have met the requirements specified in §61.325.

  • Outside the United States, unless you have prior authorization from the country in which you seek to operate. A sport pilot certificate carries the limitation "Holder does not meet ICAO requirements."

  • In a passenger-carrying airlift sponsored by a charitable organization.

  • At an altitude of more than 10,000 feet MSL or 2,000 feet AFL.

  • When the flight or surface visibility is less than 3 statute miles.

  • Without visual reference to the surface.

  • If the aircraft has a maximum forward speed in level flight that exceeds 87 knots CAS, unless having met the requirements of §61.327.

  • If the aircraft has a maximum forward speed less than or equal to 87 knots CAS, unless you have met the requirements of §61.327(a) or have logged flight time as pilot in command of an airplane with a maximum forward speed less than or equal to 87 knots CAS before April 2, 2010.

  • Contrary to any limitation or endorsement on your pilot certificate, airman medical certificate, U.S. driver's license, or any other limitation or logbook endorsement from an authorized instructor.

  • Contrary to any restriction or limitation on the sport pilot's U.S. driver's license or any restriction or limitation imposed by judicial or administrative order when using a driver's license to satisfy the requirements of Part 61.

  • While towing any object.

  • As a pilot flight crewmember on any aircraft for which more than one pilot is required by the type certificate of the aircraft or the regulations under which the flight is conducted.

Should I become a Sport Pilot or Private Pilot?

This depends...the training requirements for Sport Pilot is half that of Private Pilot and also half the cost. However, there are greater privileges and less limitations as a Private Pilot. As a Private Pilot you will need to pass a physical exam and receive an FAA Medical Certificate; where Sport Pilot's only need a valid Driver License. One of the advantages with starting the Sport Pilot course is you can always change your mind and continue for the Private Pilot, as the training will carry over.

 

If you have any questions reach out to our office (818) 906-4024.

Why should I learn how to fly at the Van Nuys Airport?

The LA Basin has some of the busiest and most complex airspace in the world. When you combine that with the dense traffic flow of Van Nuys Airport, it makes for a challenging environment. Our CFI's are very experienced with these challenges and more importantly have the skills to teach you how to master it! Your training will include airspace operations and regulations allowing you to receive a FAR 61.325 endorsement, most other schools couldn't offer. This experience will make you a better pilot!

What airplane do I learn in?

We utilize the Cessna 162 Skycatcher equipped with state-of-the-art Garmin G300 Glass Cockpit Avionics. This aircraft was specifically designed as an LSA and has great handling characteristics, making it an ideal flight training platform. You will become very proficient with the avionics and have the added safety of situational awareness when flying! Do to its capabilities you will also receive additional training allowing you to be issued a FAR 61.327(b) endorsement. 

Where do I take the checkride?

Right here at Van Nuys Airport! Our school utilizes a special Sport Pilot DPE who knows the in's and out's of sport pilot regulations! This makes him an ideal fit for our pilot applicants.

PRIVATE PILOT

What is a Private Pilot Certificate?

The Private Pilot Certificate is the entry level pilot license from the FAA. This license is for individuals who plan to fly for their personal business and/or pleasure, but not engage in work for compensation or hire. With your Private Pilot Certificate you are permitted to take family, friends, and co-workers on board your own aircraft or the aircraft you are renting while acting as Pilot in Command under visual flight rules.

What are the Private Pilot eligibility requirements?

For the Private Pilot Certificate, you must:

  • Be at least 17 years old (or 16 years old if you are applying to operate a glider or balloon).

  • Be able to read, speak, write, and understand English.

  • Hold at least a Third Class Medical certificate (except for glider or balloon).

  • Hold a U.S. Student, Sport, or Recreational pilot certificate.

  • Pass a required knowledge & practical test.

  • Meet specific aeronautical experience requirements as applicable.

What are the training requirements to become a Private Pilot?

Training requirements for a Private Pilot Certificate with airplane category —

  • A minimum of 40 hours flight time including:

    • 20 hours of flight training from an authorized instructor.

    • 10 hours solo flight.

  • Flight training must include at least:

    • 3 hours cross-country flight training.

    • 3 hours night flight training to include:

      • One cross-country over 100 nautical miles total distance.

      • 10 takeoffs and landings to a full stop.

    • 3 hours instrument flight training.

    • 3 hours flight training in preparation for the practical test.

    • 5 hours solo cross-country time.

    • One solo cross-country flight of at least 150 nautical miles total distance with a full-stop landing at a minimum of three points and one segment of the flight consisting of a straight-line distance of at least 50 nautical miles between takeoff and landing locations.

    • 3 solo takeoffs and landings to a full stop in a traffic pattern.

    • Ground training from an instructor or home-study course.

  • FAA knowledge test on applicable aeronautical knowledge areas.

  • FAA practical test for the applicable private-pilot category and class privilege.

What are the privileges and limitations of Private Pilots?

A Private Pilot may:

  • For compensation or hire, act as pilot in command of an aircraft in connection with any business or employment if the flight is only incidental to that business or employment; and the aircraft does not carry passengers or property for compensation or hire. 

  • Share the operating expenses of a flight with a passenger, provided the expenses involve only fuel, oil, airport expenses, or aircraft rental fees. A private pilot must pay at least half the operating expenses of the flight.

  • Act as pilot in command of a charitable, nonprofit, or community event flight described in § 91.146, if the sponsor and pilot comply with the requirements of § 91.146.

  • Be reimbursed for aircraft operating expenses that are directly related to search and location operations, provided the expenses involve only fuel, oil, airport expenditures, or rental fees, and the operation is sanctioned and under the direction and control of: A local, State, or Federal agency; or an organization that conducts search and location operations.

  • As an aircraft salesman with at least 200 hours flight time demonstrate an aircraft to a prospective buyer.

  • Act as pilot in command of an aircraft towing a glider or unpowered ultralight vehicle provided they meet the requirements of § 61.96.

  • Act as pilot in command for the purpose of conducting a production flight test in a light-sport aircraft intended for certification in the light-sport category under § 21.190 of this chapter, provided that - The aircraft is a powered parachute or a weight-shift-control aircraft; The person has at least 100 hours of pilot-in-command time in the category and class of aircraft flown; and The person is familiar with the processes and procedures applicable to the conduct of production flight testing, to include operations conducted under a special flight permit and any associated operating limitations.

  • Act as pilot in command of an aircraft without holding a medical certificate issued under part 67 of this chapter provided the pilot holds a valid U.S. driver's license, meets the requirements of § 61.23(c)(3), and complies with § 61.113 and all limitations and conditions listed.

A Private Pilot may not act as Pilot In Command of an aircraft:

  • That is carrying passengers or property for compensation or hire; nor may that person, for compensation or hire, act as pilot in command of an aircraft, except as provided in § 61.113.

Why should I learn how to fly at the Van Nuys Airport?

The LA Basin has some of the busiest and most complex airspace in the world. When you combine that with the dense traffic flow of Van Nuys Airport, it makes for a challenging environment. Our CFI's are very experienced with these challenges and more importantly have the skills to teach you how to master it! This experience will make you a better pilot!

What airplane do I learn in?

We have two primary training aircraft both from Cessna Aircraft Corp. 

 

The Cessna 162 Skycatcher is equipped with state-of-the-art Garmin G300 Glass Cockpit Avionics. This aircraft was specifically designed as a trainer and has great handling characteristics, making it an ideal flight training platform. You will become very proficient with the avionics and have the added safety of situational awareness when flying!

 

The Cessna 172 Skyhawk is equipped with state-of-the-art Garmin G1000 Glass Cockpit Avionics. The Skyhawk is the staple flight training airplane around the world. Updated with modern technology its a timeless classic.

 

You can also choose from a variety of other aircraft in our fleet. Learn More 

Which is better Glass Cockpit or Analog?

This question has two schools of opinion. There are major advantages to learning on glass cockpit aircraft and many reasons why these aircraft are preferred at our school. The situational awareness they afford and excellent reliability make them a safe choice in the complex airspace around the LA Basin. Most aircraft being produced today are equipped with this technology. However, some people prefer the older equipment which is why we offer both. Feel free to contact us to learn more about these types of equipment (818) 906-4024.

Where do I take the checkride?

Right here at Van Nuys Airport! Our school utilizes a local DPE (Designated Pilot Examiner) who we work very close with. This makes him an ideal fit for our pilot applicants.

INSTRUMENT RATING

What is an Instrument Rating?

The Instrument Rating is designed to meet the challenges of flying in inclement weather.  It is required by the FAA for flying under Instrument Flight Rules (IFR).  Generally this is the next step for individuals looking to pursue advanced training after obtaining a Private Pilot Certificate.  Students will train to Airman Certification Standards while obtaining real-world experience flying in adverse weather (when conditions permit).  Our rental aircraft are equipped with GPS equipment approved for IFR operations, so students will be able to practice utilizing state-of-the-art navigation and procedures.

What are the Instrument Rating eligibility requirements?

For the Instrument Rating - Airplane, you must:

  • Hold at least a current Private Pilot certificate (appropriate category).

  • Be able to read, speak, write, and understand English.

  • Pass a required knowledge & practical test.

  • Meet specific aeronautical experience requirements as applicable.

What are the training requirements for the Instrument Rating?

Training requirements for a Instrument Rating with airplane category —

  • A minimum of 50 hours cross-country PIC, 15 hours in airplanes

  • A minimum of 40 hours (actual / simulated instrument) flight time including:

    • 15 hours of flight training from an authorized instructor.

  • Flight training must include at least:

    • 3 hours flight training in preparation for the practical test.

    • One cross-country flight of at least 250 nautical miles along airways or by directed routing from ATC, an instrument approach at each airport, and three different kinds of approaches with the use of navigation systems.

  • FAA knowledge test on applicable aeronautical knowledge areas.

  • FAA practical test for the applicable instrument rating category privilege.

Which is better Glass Cockpit or Analog?

This question has two schools of opinion. There are major advantages to learning on glass cockpit aircraft and many reasons why these aircraft are preferred at our school. The situational awareness they afford and excellent reliability make them a safe choice in the complex airspace around the LA Basin. Most aircraft being produced today are equipped with this technology. However, some people prefer the older equipment which is why we offer both. Feel free to contact us to learn more about these types of equipment (818) 906-4024.

COMMERCIAL PILOT

What is a Commercial Pilot Certificate?

The Commercial Pilot Certificate is required for individuals who want to fly for compensation or hire.  It is the first step to becoming a professional pilot.

What are the Commercial Pilot eligibility requirements?

For the Commercial Pilot Certificate, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old.

  • Be able to read, speak, write, and understand English.

  • Hold at least a current Private Pilot certificate.

  • Obtain at least a Second Class Medical certificate.

  • Pass a required knowledge & practical test.

  • Meet specific aeronautical experience requirements as applicable.

What are the training requirements for the Commercial Pilot Certificate?

Training requirements for a Commercial Pilot Certificate with airplane category —

  • A minimum of 250 hours flight time including:

    • 100 hours in powered aircraft, 50 in airplanes.

    • 100 hours PIC in powered aircraft, which include:

      • 50 hours in airplanes; and

      • 50 hours in cross-country flight, 10 in airplanes.

  • 20 Hours flight training must include at least:

    • 10 hours instrument flight training.

    • 10 hours in complex aircraft.

    • One 2-hour cross-country more than 100 nautical miles daytime

    • One 2-hour cross-country more than 100 nautical miles nighttime

    • 3 hours flight training in preparation for the practical test.

    • 10 hours solo time.

    • One solo cross-country flight of at least 300 nautical miles total distance with a full-stop landing at a minimum of three points, one of which is a straight-line distance of at least 250 nautical miles from the original departure point.

    • 5 hours night VFR conditions with 10 takeoffs and 10 landings to a full stop.

  • Ground training from an instructor or home-study course.

  • FAA knowledge test on applicable aeronautical knowledge areas.

  • FAA practical test for the applicable private-pilot category and class privilege.

What is a complex aircraft?

The FAA defines complex aircraft as one which has a retractable landing gear, flaps, and a controllable pitch propeller. Recently the requirement to furnish a complex aircraft for a checkride has been lifted. This means that you can bring an aircraft such as a Cessna 162 or 172 to the commercial pilot and certified flight instructor checkride's.

Will I be able to get a job as a pilot once I receive my certificate?

This depends. There are many entry level jobs such as: traffic watch, banner towing, aerial photography and sightseeing, that have low hour requirements. However, if you wish to fly for the airlines you will need to build up to 1,500 hours flight time first. This can be done by obtaining one of the entry level jobs mentioned above, or by becoming a flight instructor. Most pilots pursue their Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) certificate as a means to build their hours quickly, while honing their skills as a pilot. 

MULTI-ENGINE RATING

What is a Multi-Engine Rating?

The Multi-Engine Rating allows individuals to add an extra class to their pilot certificate.  Training for the multi-engine rating is completed utilizing a light twin.  During this course students will learn about asymmetric thrust as well as general performance and handling characteristics of light twins.

What are the Multi-Engine Rating eligibility requirements?

For the Multi-Engine rating, you must:

  • Hold at least a current Private Pilot or Commercial Pilot certificate.

  • Pass a required practical test.

What are the training requirements for the Multi-Engine Rating?

Obtain proficiency and receive an endorsement from an authorized instructor.

CERTIFIED FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR - AIRPLANE (CFI-A)

What is a Certified Flight Instructor Certificate?

The Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) Certificate is required in order to teach others to fly.  Once you become a CFI, you will be able to train individuals from student level to instructor as well as give flight reviews and checkouts.  As a CFI applicant you will learn from scenarios based on real world experiences; receiving specialized training in spin recovery procedures and stalls in various configurations and situations.  During your course of training you will also become proficient teaching flight and ground lessons while developing your own training syllabus.

What are the Certified Flight Instructor Certificate eligibility requirements?

For the Certified Flight Instructor Certificate, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old.

  • Be able to read, speak, write, and understand English.

  • Hold at least a current Commercial Pilot or ATP certificate.

  • Hold an Instrument Rating if seeking CFI-Airplane or Instruments.

  • Obtain at least a Third Class Medical certificate.

  • Pass two required knowledge tests & a practical test.

What are the training requirements for the Certified Flight Instructor Certificate?

Training requirements for a Certified Flight Instructor Certificate with airplane category —

  • Minimum 15 hours PIC in category and class sought.

CERTIFIED FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR - INSTRUMENT (CFI-I)

What is a Certified Flight Instructor - Instrument Certificate?

The Certified Flight Instructor-Instrument (CFII) Certificate is required in order to teach others to fly under IFR rules.  Once you become a CFII you will be able to train individuals towards obtaining an instrument rating as well as provide Instrument Proficiency Checks (IPCs).  As a CFII applicant you will learn from scenarios based on real world experiences while enhancing your own instrument skills flying from the right seat.  During your course of training you will also become proficient teaching flight and ground lessons while developing your own training syllabus.

What are the Certified Flight Instructor - Instrument Certificate eligibility requirements?

For the Certified Flight Instructor - Instrument Certificate, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old.

  • Be able to read, speak, write, and understand English.

  • Hold at least a current Commercial Pilot or ATP certificate.

  • Hold an Instrument Rating if seeking CFI-Airplane or Instruments.

  • Obtain at least a Third Class Medical certificate.

  • Pass two required knowledge tests & a practical test.

What are the training requirements for the Certified Flight Instructor - Instrument Certificate?

Training requirements for a Certified Flight Instructor Certificate with airplane category —

  • Minimum 15 hours PIC in category and class sought.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Learn more about our pilot training!     Call +1 (818) 906-4024