Flight Training Certificates

Several certificate levels exist for people who want to fly. Your private pilot certificate will allow you to fly recreationally, take trips, or take interested family members or friends for their first flights. Adding an instrument rating will allow you to fly with reference solely to the aircraft instruments. This will let you to make that business trip or family vacation happen if the clouds are on the low side.

If you are left wanting more, you can take a few lessons in our complex and high-performance Cessna 182 or work toward your commercial pilot certificate. Adding complex and high-performance endorsements to your certificate will let you cut some time off that long flight with the higher speeds realized with retractable gear aircraft. The commercial certificate will let you reach your fantasy of flying for a living. There is no more rewarding career path than climbing into the cockpit of an aircraft every day and defying gravity.

Private Pilot Minimum Requirements

There are a few minimum requirements to obtain your private pilot certificate. A student must be at least 16 years of age to solo in the aircraft and 17 years old to take the ride and obtain their certificate. In addition to the age requirements, the FAA has mandated a minimum number of flight hours that must be met by a prospective pilot. The minimum number of hours is just that, a minimum number. While it has been set at 40 hours, some students will take longer to complete their certificate. This is due to a number of factors that include inclement weather, individual learning pace, etc. The minimum requirements to obtain a private pilot certificate are:

  • 40 hours total flight time
  • 20 hours dual instruction with an FAA certified flight instructor
  • 10 hours solo time as the sole occupant of the aircraft.
  • 3 hours of instruction with a flight instructor in “cross country” flight (flying to an airport 50 miles or more from your departure airport).
  • 5 hours of solo cross country flight.
  • 3 hours of flight instruction at night.
  • 3 hours of simulated instrument flying while accompanied by an instructor.
  • 3 hours of preparation for the private pilot check ride.

Each certificate or rating requires a written examination and a check ride consisting of a portion of oral testing followed by a flight test. The written exam will take place at one of many designated testing centers in the region and the check ride can be completed by a designated pilot examiner (DPE) or by the FAA in Charleston, WV.

Each student with RSA Flight Training will receive the materials necessary to complete the written examination. This portion of training will be completed by students at their home. However, instructors are on hand to assist with any questions or difficulties faced by any student.

Specialty and Advanced Training

For our students looking to gain the maximum utility from their flying, RSA Flight Training offers Complex/High-Performance training, an Instrument Airplane course, and the opportunity to get a Commercial pilot certificate.

Complex and High Performance

RSA Flight Training offers advanced training in a Cessna 182RG. A complex aircraft is defined as an aircraft that features a constant speed propeller and retractable landing gear. A high performance aircraft features an engine with 200 horsepower or more. Our Cessna 182 offers both with its retractable gear, constant speed propeller, and 235 horsepower Lycoming engine.

Obtaining your high performance and complex endorsement is an easy and rewarding way to make your flying more fun. Arrive at your destinations faster and more relaxed after cruising along at 150 miles per hour. Because the complex and high performance endorsements are not added certificates like the instrument or commercial ratings are, there is no practical or written test involved. You will train with one of our instructors until you reach proficiency with the airplane systems and procedures to receive a one-time logbook endorsement.

Instrument Rating

An instrument rating will allow pilots who wish to travel for recreation or business the opportunity to make trips when the weather will not permit normal operations. An instrument rating entails learning advanced weather, avionics systems, and precise aircraft control techniques to permit a pilot to fly without visual outside references. The instrument rating requires:

  • Must have logged 50 hours of cross country time as pilot in command
  • 40 hours of actual or simulated instrument time
    • 15 hours with an authorized instrument instructor
    • 3 hours of instrument training within 2 months of the practical test
  • Instrument training for cross country flight procedures that involves:
    • A flight of 250 nautical miles along airways or by directed routing from air traffic control.
    • An instrument approach at each airport.
    • Three different kinds of approaches with the use of navigation systems.

Commercial Rating

The commercial pilot certificate is your ticket to making a career in aviation. The commercial certificate allows you to get paid to fly! While the time requirements for the commercial certificate are fairly high, it is by far the most fun certificate to work on. Fly to new and different destinations to build your cross-country flying time. Learn the limits of the aircraft as you practice difficult maneuvers out in the practice area. On top of that, you will be expanding your capabilities as a pilot. You will become a better, more proficient airman as you build time toward your ultimate career goal.

As with the private and instrument ratings, the commercial certificate involves a written test and a practical test that includes oral and flight portions. The minimum flight experience for a commercial certificate are as follows:

  • A total of 250 hours of flight time that includes:
    • 100 hours in a powered aircraft.
    • 100 hours of pilot in command time including
      • 50 hours in airplanes
      • 50 hours of cross country time
    • 20 hours of training including
      • 10 hours of instrument training
      • 10 hours of training in a complex aircraft
      • A 2-hour cross country of more than 100 miles straight line distance
      • A 2 hour, 100+ mile cross-country flight at night
      • 3 hours training prior to the practical test
    • 10 hours of solo flight time that includes
      • A cross country of no less than 300 miles total distance with three landings at different airports. One leg must be at least 250 miles.
      • 5 hours in night VFR conditions with 10 takeoffs and landings at a towered airport.