Owner and Primary Flight Instructor: Darren Mesibov
Office Assistant: Niki-Lee Strader
Mechanic: Dave Staudt
Age: you must be at least 16 years of age to solo a powered aircraft, and at least 17 to take the private pilot practical test
Medical and Student Pilot Certificate: You must have a medical certificate from a physician who is an Aviation Medical Examiner (AME). Potsdam Aviation has a list of AME's in this area/ on the reverse side of the first medical certificated is the student pilot certificate. You may start training without a student pilot certificate, but you must obtain the combination medical and student pilot certificate before you can fly solo.
Ground Training/Knowledge Test: In order to pass the FAA's knowledge test, ground school is highly recommended. Potsdam Aviation's top-notch ground training course provides instruction on aerodynamics, aircraft systems, airspace, meterology, navigation, regulations, flight physiology, and many other subjects. This instruction prepares you to pass the FAA's computer-based knowledge test, which is another requirement for getting a private pilot certificate. Potsdam Aviation provides ground instruction through a combination of one on one student/instructor sessions and a ground school/interative DVD kit.
Flight Training: The FAA requires a minimum of 40 hours of flight training, at least 20 hours of dual time (i.e. with a flight instructor) and at least 10 hours of solo time. The required hours are subdivided into various flight operations. in practice, most people need 50-70 hours to achieve proficiency in all the required maneuvers.
Practical Test: Flight training culminates with a checkride given by an FAA designated examiner. The examiner looks to determine whether you meet the standards set forth in the practical test standards (PTS) for each area of operation.
What is involved in flight training? Potsdam Aviation flight training course is divided into three major parts or stages. The first stage focuses on developing proficiency in the 15 maneuvers the FAA requires prior to solo. In addition to takeoffs and landings and the four fundamental skills (straight-and-level flight, turns, climbs, and descents), these maneuvers include ground references exercises, flight and different speeds and configurations, and emergency procedures. The second stage begins with high performance takeoffs and landings, and maneuvers into navigation, night operations, and other skills. During this part of the course, students practice solo flight both locally and through trips to other airports. The third stage reviews and polishes maneuvers in preparation for the practical test (checkride). At the end of each stage, you will have a stage check session with one of the school's assistant chief flight instructors. The stage check gives you a chance to fly with a different instructor, and it serves as one of the school's quality control mechanisms.
How much does it cost to fly? The total cost of flight training varies according to the type of airplane used and the total amount of time it takes for training. Many people use the pay-as-you-go method. Potsdam Aviation also offers a prepay account, in which there is a 5% rebate on cash or check payments of at least $2,000 once they initial deposit is spent. A breakdown of some of the costs you can anticipate:
Ground training kit/Sportys Private Pilot DVD set* $399.00
Knowledge test fee: $ 90.00
*Includes flight bag, books, enrollment fee
The flight bag contains almost all books needed for the private pilot ground school. If you purchase the flight bag for ground school, you will only need to purchase one or two additional items for flight school.