I took a Discovery Flight and I loved it. How do I start my training?

If you haven't already been extended an invitation to set up an account on Holdshort, ask the instructor you flew with to do that and provide us with an email account. Each member of Cape Fear Aviation Flight Training is free to book appointments on Holdshort in whichever airplane and with whichever flight instructor they prefer.


What can I expect from my first lesson after my discovery flight?

A typical first lesson after your discovery flight will include an instruction, the fundamentals of flight, climbing and descents, turns, straight and level flight. Plus you will take off and land the plane, with some help from the instructor.


Is there a training syllabus?

No. At Cape Fear Aviation, we know that since each person is different, each pilot is different as well. To make your training as successful as possible, we tailor each lesson to fit your specific needs on every flight. Together, you and your flight instructor will determine the best progression for your training.


How long is a typical lesson?

Most flights range from 1-2 hours of flight time. The overall length of the lesson could include another 30 minutes to de-brief your flight and discuss any areas that you can read-up on at home. At Cape Fear Aviation Flight Training, you will only be charged for flight time. We do NOT charge for ground training following a flight.


What is solo flight?

A solo flight is a major achievement during a pilot's training where you're endorsed to fly by yourself. Of course, before soloing, you and your instructor will work together to ensure you can safely, consistently, and correctly control and land the airplane you're training in. But after your first solo, you are free to take that airplane and fly at our airfield whenever you'd like!*


How many hours does it take to solo?

Most students are ready to solo around 10-15 hours of flight instruction, but each student is different. Some can solo in as little at 6, while others might take as long as 20. If your training is broken up across many weeks, or lessons are plagued by cancellations due to weather, it may take a longer amount of time to solo.


What happens after I solo?

When you complete your first solo, you'll start cross-country flight training with your flight instructor. When this training is complete, you'll perform some solo cross-country flying.


What is cross-country flying?

A cross-country flight is any flight that includes a landing at an airport more than fifty (50) nautical miles straight-line distance from the original point of departure. Many of our cross-country flights include short trips to Wilmington, NC (KILM) and Florence, SC (KFLO).


What happens after my cross-country solo?

After you complete the your solo cross-country flights, you and your flight instructor will practice flying at night. You will continue flying solo in daytime conditions in the local area, and soon afterward you'll wrap up your training with "checkride prep" flights with your flight instructor. Checkride prep flights are where you'll polish all of your skills prior to the Practical Test (aka. "the checkride").


What is a Practical Test?

The Practical Test (aka. "the checkride") is the exam you will take with a Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE) from the FAA. It is comprised of two parts: first you'll receive an oral exam, then you'll fly with the DPE who will evaluate your flying skills. When you successfully complete the exam, the DPE will mark you off as having satisfactorily completed the checkride and you'll receive your Private Pilot License!

* Student Pilots are able to fly solo provided they have valid endorsements, including a current 90-day endorsement.

Interested in flying with us?

Speak with any of our Certificated Flight Instructors today and ask about an Introductory Flight!