getting started

I am interested in learning to fly, and some of my friends recommended I do a Discovery Flight. What is a Discovery Flight?

A Discovery Flight is a flight of approximately 40 minutes, intended to familiarize you with the airplane, the airport, and with the flying environment. During a Discovery Flight, the prospective student sits in the left seat, and the instructor allows the student to fly for a majority of the flight. Click here to book your Discovery Flight!

I want to become a pilot. What are the basic requirements?

The requirements to become a pilot are as follows:

  • The prospective pilot must be able to read, speak, write, and understand the English Language.
  • The prospective pilot must submit to a physical and hold at least a Third class FAA medical certificate. To find an Aviation Medical Examiner (AME) near you, click here.
  • The prospective pilot must be 16 years old to obtain the student pilot license and to solo.
  • The prospective pilot must to be 17 years old to obtain the private pilot license
  • The prospective pilot’s total flying time must be at least 40 hours.
    – Of 40 hours, at least 10 hours must be solo flight time
    – Of the 10 hours solo, at least 5 hours must be cross-country (flying from your home-base airport to another, at least 50 nautical miles away)
  • The prospective pilot must pass the FAA Private Pilot Knowledge Exam. To schedule your FAA Private Pilot Knowledge Exam at Texas Flight, click here.
  • The prospective pilot must pass the Private Pilot Oral and Practical (Flying) Exam.
What is the minimum age for obtaining a Private Pilot certificate?

The Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR) require an individual to be at least 16 years of age to operate an aircraft solo, and 17 years of age to obtain a Private Pilot certificate. There is no age limitation on beginning flight lessons with a certified flight instructor. There is no maximum age for acquiring a private pilot certificate. Once someone gets this certificate, they may exercise the privileges of that certificate as long as they continue to get a medical certificate and a biennual flight review (BFR).

When do I need a student pilot certificate?

That is good question. The answer is before you can fly solo. You do not need a student pilot certificate to take flying lessons.

Is there a charge for the student pilot certificate?

There is no charge for application made directly to the Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application (IACRA) website. 


What is a medical certificate?

Every pilot must obtain a medical certificate in order to exercise the privileges of their pilot’s license. There are three classes of medical certificates:
a) 1st class medical, valid for six months, and required for use with an Airline Transport rating;
b) 2nd class medical, valid for one year and required for use with a Commercial rating;
c) 3rd class medical, valid for five years if you are under 40, and for two years if 40 or older. 
Click here to find an Aviation Medical Examiner (AME) near you, and obtain your medical certificate.

How do I obtain my Student Pilot Certificate?

You must complete an application through the Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application (IACRA) website. Once, reviewed by Airman Certification Branch, the student pilot certificate will be mailed to the address provided by you on the application. 

How soon until I actually fly the plane?

According to our sportys syllabus that is used, the students first lesson will be on the ground. The instructor will introduce the student to the training of the aircraft and the associated preflight procedures. The student will also be introduced to the basic flight and engine controls.

During your second lesson, the student will become familiar with the engine start procedures, aircraft taxi, the before takeoff checklist, normal takeoffs, normal landings, and proper postflight securing of the aircraft. The student will also be introduced to the functioning of the basic aircraft controls. 

How many hours do I have to fly before I fly solo?

There is no requirement for hours before you fly solo, and will be determined by your certified flight instructor. However; the time is dependent upon you. If you fly on a daily basis, you will become proficient quicker. Some students solo between eight and fifteen hours. If you fly two to three times a week you can conceivably solo in that range. Other students may take more time to solo.

How long will it take to earn my pilots certificate?

Training time is dependent upon you. Your time, budget and desire to learn are the key determinants of the length of time and your success. You will need a minimum of 40 hours flying time, so one can earn a pilots license in a month if they fly every day. Most students become licensed pilots in the matter of a few months or more.  Others take more time, even a year or more if they desire.

Can I bring a friend or significant other on some lessons?

You can never fly Solo with a passenger until you earn your private pilot certificate. Texas Flight will allow the student to bring a friend on their training flight on a case-by-case basis. 

Can I learn to fly in my own plane?

Absolutely! Our goal is to help you be comfortable, no matter what airplane you’re in.

What are the costs involved to become a pilot?

Flight time and professional instruction are more affordable than you think. At Texas Flight, we try to make it affordable for most people. Our variety of aircraft and very competitive prices are tailored to earning pilot certificates. We can help you work out a budget and training schedule to fit your needs. 

What financing options are available for students?

 More information on this option coming soon.


Do you provide Ground School Lessons?

Texas Flight offers training for Sport, Recreational, Private, Commercial, and CFI certifications. In addition, we offer courses for instrument and multi-engine ratings. We have ground schools in progress monthly, and they are typically held on Monday and Wednesday evenings for the private pilot ground school. The cost is $495 for the course, and can be taken again and again at no additional fee for up to one year. This is a great option for those who have not flown in a while and want to get fresh again. Call us to obtain the ground school schedule or visit our calendar on the website.

Do you provide flight training to Aliens or Non-U.S. Citizens? I live outside the U.S., what is required for me to train in the U.S.?

You can count on that! All Aliens or non-US Citizens must follow a step by step guidance to complying with TSA’s Alien Flight Student Program (AFSP). For more information, or to apply for TSA approval to start taking flying lessons at Texas Flight, click here. Once in the U.S., the training requirements for a citizen of another country are the same as for a U.S. citizen.

Do I need to be a pilot to purchase a plane?

No, anyone can purchase an aircraft. If you do plan on purchasing a plane, ask us! We will happily help make sure that the plane is in good condition.

What are the requirements for renting an aircraft at Texas Flight?

To rent an aircraft from Texas Flight, the renter must provide the following information:

•  FAA Issued Current Pilot Certificate (Sometimes based on a foreign license)
•  Current Picture ID (Passport or US Drivers License)
•  FAA Issued Current Medical
•  Signed Rental Agreement (Completed at time of rental)
•  10 hours in desired type with Texas Flight CFI

Where can I find information on career opportunities for pilots?

There are several aviation-related websites. Aviation related magazines are also a good source.