"If you have always dreamed of Learning to Fly, you have come to the right place. You will learn everything you need to pass your FAA exams and become a Private Pilot."
What to Expect From Private Pilot Training
Everyone starts out as a student, so don't be afraid to ask lots of questions. As your flight instructor, I am here to guide you through the process to achieve your goals and dreams of flying and becoming a Private Pilot.
Student Pilot Requirements
You can start taking flying lessons at any time, as long as you can reach the rudder pedals and see out of the airplane.
After you have trained for a while with your flight instructor, you will be ready to fly the airplane by yourself, or "solo". To do this you will need to be at least 16 years old and pass a 3rd Class medical exam given by an FAA designated doctor or an Aviation Medical Examiner, or AME. You will also have to pass a pre-solo knowledge exam and get an endorsement from your flight instructor. Then you can fly in the local area by yourself.
What's required to get a Private Pilot's license?
You must be 17 years of age, and be able to read, write, and speak English fluently. The FAA requirements are 40 hours of actual flight training, but the national average is around 65-75 hours, or more.
FAA Flight Training Requirements:
20 hours of dual flight instruction to include:
• 3 hours of cross-country flight to airports more than 50
• 3 hours of instrument training
• 3 hours of night flight including a 100 nautical mile round
trip and 10 night takeoffs and landings
• 3 hours of flight instruction within 60 days prior to your
10 hours of solo flight including:
• 5 hours of cross-country flight including a 150 mile trip
• 3 takeoffs and landings at an airport with a control tower
You must also pass the private pilot knowledge test with a score
of 70% or better. Laser Grade or CATS Testing is available at Palo Alto Airport.
Then comes the practical test with an FAA-Designated Examiner. This will include both an oral exam and a flight test. The Practical Test Standards (PTS) gives all of the requirements.
Now you are a pilot...Let's go Flying!
The process of learning to fly and becoming a Private Pilot is divided into three phases;
In the first phase of lessons you will learn about:
• Aerodynamics - how the airplane flys
• Flight controls - how the flight controls work and how
they move the airplane around on the ground and in
• Maneuvers - you will learn specific flight maneuvers
• Instruments, checklist, communication, airspace, weather,
weight and balance, performance, and safety.
During each 3 hour flying lesson we will first discuss that day's lesson
as it directly applies to flying the airplane. Then we take to the sky
where you take the controls and apply what you've learned.
We will practice turns, climbing and descending, and take-offs and
landings. After we fly for an hour or so, we'll land and debrief.
When you have learned how to safely fly the airplane and feel comfortable, you'll be ready to solo - fly the airplane completely by yourself.
The second phase of lessons is all about leaving your local airport and flying to other airports. Together we will take several short flights to nearby airports to prepare you for your first solo cross country flight - a solo flight to an airport more than 50 miles away.
You will also learn advanced takeoff and landing techniques such as landing or taking off from a short runway or a grass strip.
In this phase of lessons you will perfect your skills and fly several solo cross country flights to various airports:
• Cross country airports such as Modesto, Salinas, Hollister, and Santa Rosa, etc.
• We will also do some night and instrument flight.
• We will then review everything you have learned to prepare you for your final checkride.
Private Pilot CHECKRIDE
Your training is complete and you are now ready to take your checkride with an FAA Designated Examiner to earn your Private Pilots Certificate. The checkride is typically 5-6 hours and consists of discussion about regulations and everything you have learned. You will then go out and fly to demonstrate your skills.
You pass...and you are now a Private Pilot...Congratulations!!! A whole new world of opportunity will open up to you.
Imagine flying to Tahoe for the weekend and being there in 90 minutes from the Bay Area. How about San Luis Obispo or Santa Barbara for lunch? Even Oregon or the LA basin are within 2-3 hours by small airplane. Whether you are 15 or 90 years young, it might be just the right time to take Flying Lessons.
If all this sounds great, the next step is to take an Introductory Flight. "Contact" me today to find out how you can start Flight Training.
President & CEO HP Inc.
“I recently completed my PPL training with Sue. I struggled to find an instructor with the skills I wanted and the flexibility to meet my schedule, but eventually I found Sue and couldn't be happier.
Sue's knowledge and experience were immediately obvious from the first lesson. I knew I was learning from someone who wanted to be teaching, not just looking to build hours for the airlines. Her focus on safety and proper planning combined with structured lessons gave me the all the confidence I needed for my checkride (but not too much confidence!)
I highly recommend Sue as a CFI and look forward to working with her for my future endorsements and ratings.”
"I have always operated by the principal that if you are going to do something, do it well, do it obsessively, be the best you can be and lay strong foundations. When I committed myself to become a pilot, I signed up for a lifelong journey of learning and growing. As the CEO of a Fortune 100 company, I have a lot of people that depend on me, so it was of paramount importance to me that I find an instructor that would work with me to make me the safest, most diligent and capable pilot I could be.
I spent a long time researching flight schools and instructors in the Bay area and refused to compromise on finding the very best experienced coach that would guide my journey. After significant due diligence, I signed up with Sue and she not only lived up to her tremendous reputation, but she went above and beyond to ensure that she solidified strong foundations that would stand me in good stead for the remainder of my aviation journey. She was relentless in her pursuit of perfection in the foundational skills associated with stick and rudder coordination, landings, situational awareness, process and procedure, radio work and more. In her pursuit of this perfection,
Sue would always work to find new and creative ways to adapt her teaching style to make her point and provide the patience to ensure that we spent the right amount of time until the skill was nailed. She then stitched it all together into a tight package to form a cohesive and well rounded set of basics that will stand me in good stead for years to come. Since my private pilot certificate, I have gone on to my instrument rating, multi-engine rating, sea plane rating and am working on my Gulfstream type certificate. All this would not have been possible without the strong skills and foundations that Sue instilled in me during my Private Pilot training.
Sue was able to work with me in advance to knock out a schedule that made sense for both of us, not an easy task given how busy we both were.
I could not recommend her highly enough."
“Sue is a fantastic flight instructor. I was specifically looking for a female flight instructor with deep experience as both a pilot and instructor. She definitely fit the bill. She helps to make complex issues clear, welcomes questions, helped to find answers to some of my questions that took me deeper into understanding the "why" of some topics.
I had experience with another flight instructor who was not nearly as effective. My club also does phase checks (with other CFI's) that gave me additional exposure. All of this reinforced that Sue was the right choice for me.”
See Below to purchase additional hours of Flight Instruction.
Please contact me for scheduling prior to purchasing if this is your first purchase.
(All purchases are non refundable after 3 days. Applicable transaction fees + 25% apply for any refund. Rescheduled flights due to weather may be redeemed for an equal value for another date and time. Purchase price VALID FOR ONE YEAR from date of purchase and must be redeemed within one year. 48 hour cancellation notice applies for rescheduling or full amount will be charged/forfeited, excluding weather cancellations. Waiver must be signed. Minimum age - 16 yrs. Weight restriction applies).