4 explains the entire flight training process.
/ Introductory Flight
a Student Pilot/Medical Certificate
Flight Training Process
(Medical Exam, Knowledge, and Practical Tests)
to Pay for Flight Training
Discovery / Introductory Flight
A Discovery Flight is an introductory "mini flight lesson"
that gives you the opportunity to see what’s involved
in learning how to fly an airplane. This "mini flight
lesson" generally involves spending a few minutes on
the ground learning about the airplane (i.e. preflight, radio
operations, etc.), and a 30-minute flight with a certified
flight instructor that will allow you to actually take the
controls and fly the airplane, with the guidance of the instructor.
Your Discovery Flight will help you determine whether or not
you would like to become a pilot and/or train at that particular
Discovery Flights cost approximately $50
(costs vary at each school), which includes both the airplane
and instructor. If you are thinking about learning how to
fly, contact a local flight school and schedule a Discovery
Flight. A Discovery Flight makes a great gift for anyone
interested in becoming a pilot. You can also use Discovery
Flights to compare different flight schools.
Obtain a Student Pilot/Medical Certificate
A Student Pilot/Medical Certificate is equivalent to a driver’s
learning permit when flying. This certificate is not required
to start flight training. However, it is highly recommended
that you obtain your Student Pilot/Medical Certificate prior
to starting any flight training to ensure that you meet
the FAA medical standards. Finding out immediately whether
or not you meet the medical standards could save you time
It is a requirement at some flight schools
for students to obtain their Student Pilot/Medical Certificates
before starting their flight training program. As a student
pilot, you are restricted from carrying passengers, and
can only fly in the area or to the airports that your flight
instructor has authorized.
be eligible for a Student Pilot Certificate, you must:
at least 16 years of age
able to read, speak, and understand the English language
at least a current Third-Class Medical Certificate or
in the case of a glider or balloon, certify that he
or she has no known medical defect that would make him
or her unable to pilot a glider or balloon.
The cost for a FAA medical certificate range from $80 -
$120 depending on your location. When the Student Pilot
Certificate is issued by a Flight
Standards District Office (FSDO), there is no charge.
to obtain a Student Pilot/Medical Certificate
There are approximately 6,000 Aviation
Medical Examiners (AMEs)
throughout the U.S. (and the world) authorized
by the FAA to issue airmen medical certificates. To obtain
your Student Pilot/Medical Certificate, contact an AME for
an appointment. You can locate an AME near you by searching
Online AME Directory. You should also seek the advice
of fellow pilots when selecting an AME.
your visit, you will be required to complete FAA
Form 8500-8 (Download PDF - Adobe
Acrobat Reader required).After completing this form,
the AME will conduct a 3rd Class medical examination and
determine whether or not you meet the medical standards
to ensure that you can safely perform the duties of a pilot
certificate. Normally, the medical examination can be completed
within one day. It may take longer if specialized tests
must be performed outside the physician's facility. If you
pass the medical examination, the AME will issue you a 3rd
Class medical certificate and it will also serve as a Student
Pilot Certificate on the reverse side. This combined certificate
is valid for 24 calendar months.
by: Sedgwick Hines Copyright 2004 AvScholars Publishing, LLC.
All Rights Reserved.