Flying Lessons: Flight Instruction in   Concord, Ca (Buchanan Field)
Frequently Asked Questions

Here is a list of frequently asked questions:

  1. Is it hard to learn to fly?
    No. People of all shapes and sizes, ages and abilities have learned to fly. It's fun, and from the beginning of your training, you get to do most of the actual flying! On the practical side While flying isn't a difficult skill to learn, you'll have to be willing to stick with it until you meet all the requirements. Also, you should consider the cost of becoming a pilot you'll have to pay for your physical exam and your lessons.

  2. When can I start?
    Right away. All you have to do is come in and sign up for an introductory lesson. Sterling Flight, the training school that I'm affiliated with, even has an offer which includes reduced rates for introductory flights. You don't have to have a student pilot's certificate or a medical certificate to take flying lessons. Of course, you won't be able to fly solo right away. That takes time and the paperwork described in this guide.

  3. How do I get started?
    Contact me.

  4. How many lessons do I have to take before I solo?
    It depends on you. There is no set number of lessons or hours of flight training. Your instructor must make sure you have learned to perform certain maneuvers before allowing you to solo. These maneuvers include safe takeoffs and landings. You must use good judgment when flying and be able to keep control of the aircraft. Also, you will have to get a medical certificate and a student pilot's certificate to fly solo.

  5. Is flying safe?
    Yes. A well-built and well-maintained aircraft flown by a competent and prudent pilot is as safe as or safer than many other forms of transportation.

  6. If engine failure occurs, what will happen?
    If engine failure occurs, you will start a controlled descent from altitude. You (or the pilot you are flying with) will work their way through a checklist which includes identifying a safe landing area (first) and troubleshooting the engine failure (second). Modern aircraft engines are reliable and failure rarely occurs. (In fact, the vast majority of safety incidents do not involve engine failure.) However, your lessons will cover what to do in this situation.

  7. When do I need a student pilot's certificate?
    Before you can fly solo. You don't need a student pilot's certificate to take flying lessons.

  8. Am I eligible for a student pilot's certificate?
    You are eligible if you are at least 16 years old, you can read, speak, and understand English and you hold at least a current third-class medical certificate.

  9. How do I get a student pilot's certificate?
    Upon your request, an FAA-authorized aviation medical examiner will issue you a combined medical certificate and Student Pilot Certificate after you complete your physical examination. Student Pilot Certificates may be issued by an FAA inspector or an FAA-designated pilot examiner. Applicants who fail to meet certain requirements or who have physical disabilities which might limit, but not prevent, their acting as pilots, should contact the nearest FAA office.

  10. How long are my student pilot's certificate and my medical certificate valid?
    They expire 2 years from the date they were issued.

  11. If my original Student Pilot Certificate has been endorsed for solo flying, do I lose this endorsement on my new certificate?
    No, the endorsements are still valid. However, they are not transferred to the new certificate. Keep the old certificate as a record of these endorsements.

  12. Should my flight instructor endorse my student pilot's certificate before or after my first solo flight?
    Before the solo flight. The endorsement certifies that you are competent to solo.

  13. How are lessons scheduled?
    Lessons are scheduled around the student’s need through Sterling Flight's online schedule or your instructor.

  14. If I solo in more than one make or model of aircraft, must I have an endorsement for each on my student pilot's certificate? If so, who should endorse the certificate?
    Yes. Your flight instructor must make this endorsement before you solo in each make or model of aircraft.

  15. Does the endorsement to solo allow me to make solo cross-country flights?
    No. You also have to get a cross-country flight endorsement from you flight instructor.

  16. Must I carry my student pilot's certificate with me when I am piloting an aircraft in solo flight?

  17. Is there a charge for the student pilot's certificate?
    Not when it's issued by an FAA Flight Standards District Office. However, an FAA-designated pilot examiner can charge for issuing student pilot's certificates. Also, an FAA-authorized aviation medical examiner can charge for your physical examination in connection with issuing the combination medical certificate and student pilot's certificate.

  18. Does my pilot training include a written test?
    Yes. Before flying solo, you must be familiar with some of the FAA's rules and with the flight characteristics and operational limitations of the make and model of the aircraft you will fly. Your flight instructor will give you some materials to study, and then test your knowledge. If you pass, your instructor will endorse your student pilot's certificate for solo flight. The endorsement means that your instructor thinks you are competent to make solo flights.

  19. When do I have to get the endorsement?
    Within 90 days of your first solo flight.

  20. After I've soloed, can I fly cross-country alone?
    Not right away. Your instructor must review your pre-flight planning and preparation for solo cross-country flight and determine that the flight can be made safely under known circumstances and conditions. The instructor must also endorse your logbook before cross-country flight stating you are considered competent to make the flight. Under certain conditions, an instructor may authorize repeated solo flights over a given route.

  21. As a student pilot, can I carry passengers with me before getting my private pilot's certificate?

  22. What is the difference between a recreational pilot's certificate and a private pilot's certificate?
    As a recreational pilot, you have to fly within 50 nautical miles of the airport where you learned to fly, you have to fly during the day, and you can't fly in airspace where communications with air traffic control are required. A private pilot doesn't have these limitations. It usually takes fewer lessons to get a recreational pilot's certificate than a private pilot's certificate.

  23. What do I need to rent an aircraft?
    To rent an aircraft you would need to have a current medical certificate, a current flight review a Government Issued photo identification and proof of US citizenship or if here from another country a background check before you receive training or rent aircraft.

  24. I need to talk to an instructor, I want to see the airplanes.
    Call, email or just stop by.