How To Become a Pilot


by Brian Williamson

The idea comes in waves. Little triggers occur over a period of time that lead some of us to
conclude, I should become a pilot. But how? Where do I go? Who should I talk to? Can I afford it? Will acquiring the skills required to be a pilot help me in the future?

Fortunately, there are answers to all those questions and more. Even better, the answers can
be tailored specifically to any one of us and our own specific circumstances. If you are thinking
you want to fly, recreationally or professionally, you can take comfort in knowing your goal is
almost certainly achievable.

First, it is important to know that the process of learning to fly, of becoming a pilot, is an
incremental one. It is a skill we learn in steps. Each new piece of information we absorb and
each new skill we master leads us to new opportunities to reach a higher level of learning and
even greater skill.

Most aspects of pilot certification involve three levels of testing. There is a written test, which
the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) refers to as a Knowledge Test. The training for your pilot certificate or rating wraps up with what is known as a Practical Test, which has two parts. An oral exam and a flight check.

This is essentially a conversation about flying that allows the designated examiner to get a
sense of how well you understand the material. Next comes a flight where you will be asked to
perform a series of task that your flight instructor has taught and repeated with you until you
are thoroughly competent and confident in your abilities to control the aircraft in flight.

Thankfully, each student has the latitude to work with their flight training partner to plot out a
course that allows them to complete the training regardless of how they choose to begin the
process. Some begin by enrolling in a ground school course. Some study at home on their own.
More than a few make use of online resources and one or more of the wide variety of books
and video programs developed specifically to help virtually anyone learn the material they will need to know to succeed as a flight student.

You may choose to start flying with a CFI (certificated flight instructor) right away and start
working with the ground study material later. Or you may prefer to knock out the ground
portion of your studies and pass the Knowledge Test before your flight training begins. Either
way is acceptable. It is all about what works best for you and the work/life obligations you
might have to work around.

The most successful students start by contacting a flight school or a CFI to meet in person and
talk. That conversation should focus on the requirements of training and the most effective and efficient way for you to work through the process. Because in the end, this is not a one-size-fits-all situation. Your training program should be tailored to you, your desires, and your financial circumstances, specifically.

When you call or visit Rexair in the idyllic setting of Naples Airport on the Gulf Coast of Florida, we will take the time to treat you as an individual, not generically as the next customer who walks through our doors. We encourage you to talk with our staff, ask the questions you want
answers to. We will also encourage you to tour the facilities to get a feel for exactly what is available to you and how you can make the best use of those facilities and our staff to achieve your dream in a way that works for you.

How can you become a pilot? It all starts with a phone call or an email to Rexair. It really is that