Frequently Asked Questions

General

Yes. VFA currently offers introductory flights, which we call Discovery Flights. Our basic Discovery Flight costs $159 and includes a brief ground lesson in addition to an hour of flight time. We also offer longer flights as requested. Our instructors are available every day of the week for Discovery Flights – call any time to check schedule options.

That depends on how often you can fly each week. Typically, if a student schedules 2 lessons each week, training can be completed in 5-6 months. However, we can tailor the program to fit your needs. Many of our students take several lessons a week, depending on their schedules. A typical lesson lasts 2 hours and includes both ground and flight instruction. Most students will obtain the Private Pilot Certificate after obtaining between 35 and 65 hours of flight training.

You will be assigned a primary CFI (Certified Flight Instructor), who will be responsible for your training program. Occasionally your instructor will schedule a lesson with another instructor to obtain another objective perspective of your progress. These are called “stage checks” and can be helpful during the training process. To learn more about our current flight instructors, click here.

Yes. A student pilot, to be eligible to solo, must obtain at least a “third class medical certificate” by undergoing a physical exam administered by an FAA-designated physician. These physicians are called Aviation Medical Examiners (AMEs), and they are typically family or occupational health doctors who practice at area clinics and hospitals. If you are in good health, obtaining a medical is not difficult, and it’s fine if you wear glasses or contacts. Feel free to discuss any significant health history or current medical conditions with your instructor to determine if there will be an issue obtaining a medical.

A student’s medical certificate will also serve as his or her student pilot certificate, which a student needs in order to fly solo. 3rd class medical certificates must be renewed every 60 calendar months if the pilot is under age 40 and every 24 calendar months thereafter. You flight instructor can provide a list of local AMEs upon request.

Yes. While you can take flying lessons at any age, a student pilot must be no younger than 16 to solo and at least 17 to be eligible for the Private Pilot certificate.  There is no upper limit for age, provided a pilot routinely renews his or her medical certificate.

VFA currently provides flight training under both of the two sets of Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR). The advantages of Federal Aviation Regulations part 141 training include:

  • a detailed course syllabus providing key benchmarks for both students and instructors
  • a highly efficient path to attaining flight proficiency in a short time span
  • reduced flight training hour requirements for both Private and Commercial Pilot Certificates
  • comprehensive ground training in preparation for written and oral exams

Combined with our staff of highly experienced Certified Flight Instructors, our 141 training program is an excellent way to start your aviation career.

We are also happy to instruct based on FAR 61 as dictated by the needs of our students.

Part 61 of the FARs has slightly higher training hour requirements, but allows more flexibility in terms of the order material is presented to a student. It also does not require any specific number of hours of ground training, though you will still need to study the same material and do some ground training in order to pass your written and practical exams.

Regardless of the training curriculum, we will train to the same high standards with your benefit in mind.

Click here for a more detailed break down of FAR 141 versus FAR 61.

VFA is a unique group of very highly skilled and experienced aviation professionals. We know how to maintain a fun and rewarding atmosphere while attaining the highest standards of excellence in flight training. Our number one goal is helping you achieve success. Check out our About Us page to learn more about our organization!

Yes. VFA accepts students who fulfill the visa and TSA requirements for flight training students in the United States. If you are a non-US citizen, you can find out more about your specific requirements for flight training here.

Yes! If you are properly rated, you simply need to receive brief instruction in the type of plane you wish to rent and take a “rental checkout quiz”. Typically the necessary instruction will consist of a brief ground session and a short flight with an instructor to verify that you are able to safely operate the new airplane.

Vermont Flight Academy’s normal operating hours are 7 days a week, 9am to 5pm. However, each student works with his or her flight instructor on an individual basis, so you can choose to fly with them as your two schedules permit (earlier than 9am or later than 5pm). The important thing is to schedule flights in advance to make sure there is an aircraft available for you.

Payment

When you enroll in our flight school, you will start an account with us. You may pay by cash, check, or credit card after each lesson or make deposits on your account. We offer a 2.5% discount on amounts over $3000 (cash or check only) placed on account before training begins and anytime thereafter provided the account remains positive. For example, if you deposit $3,000, you’ll have $3,075 on your account.

The cost of flight training is highly variable and dependent on a number of factors. As Vermont Flight Academy is an FAR 141 Flight School, the minimum flight training time for a Private Pilot license is reduced from 40 hours to 35 hours. We currently offer dual flight training in Cessnas for $169-209/hour, which includes the instructor rate, aircraft rental and fuel.