Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have a question concerning our flight instruction? Perhaps we can answer it for you on-line.
Be sure to read all the questions and responses below. If your question remains outstanding please contact us via phone, e-mail, or in person.
Flight training is a big commitment for a life long reward. We understand that you will contact other flight schools, which we recommend, however, it is important to make sure that you are comparing the same programs. Asking questions is important to make sure you have all the information required to make the proper choice.
And remember, the only dumb question is the one you did not ask.
How much does it cost?
Flight training costs vary. Fuel prices, maintenance, and insurance costs are but a few of the variables. You can expect to pay a minimum of $6000 for a good private pilot flight training program. Our school allows you to pay as you go, either with cash, check, or credit card. We also offer prepayment plans.
If you wish to prepay and save, you may deposit a minimum of $2000 in either cash or check and we will open an account for you with a 5 % prepayment discount. Your payment is $2000, and your account is credited for $2100. It is the equivalent of a free flight lesson. When you replenish the account with an additional $2000 deposit, you will receive the prepayment discount.
Compared to the costs of training in other skills, becoming a licensed private pilot is a good value. Prorated over a lifetime, it's probably one of the best bargains you'll ever find. The cost of becoming a pilot is a solid investment in your future.
We recently did a cost comparison for lessons/services and here is what we found:
Horseback Riding.................. $65-$70 per hour
Golf..................................... $55 per 45 min with assistant pro, $65 for 45 min with pro
Tennis................................. $110-130 per hour
Ice Skating.......................... $30 for 30 minutes
Massage.............................. $65-125 per hour
Music Lessons...................... $65 per hour
Personal Fitness Trainer........ $70.00/hr
Private Ski Instruction........... $75/90minutes
Private Karate Lessons.......... $100/hr
So, we hope you'll agree that $50 per hour for flight instruction with an FAA Certified Flight Instructor,
is a great deal.
Monthly training expenses can be very afforable with Flight Training loan.
How do I know that I can learn to fly?
Somewhere there is someone just like you who recently became a pilot. Although the average student pilot is 32 years old, anyone 16 years old or older can learn to fly an airplane (14 if you fly gliders). Men and women from every occupation and every geographic location in the nation are pilots. Mid Island offers Free Pilot Evaluation (simulator) Flights. Call our Brookhaven office at 631 281-5400 to see if you have what it takes to become a pilot… we know you do, its easier than you think!
What are the requirements?
There are three basic requirements for learning to fly powered airplanes in the United States.
You have to be at least 16 years old to solo an aircraft.**
You have to be in good health.
You have to be able to read, speak, and understand English.
You can apply for a student pilot certificate if you are at least 16 years old. When you're 17, you can apply for a private pilot certificate. There is no maximum age limit because its health and not age that determines a person's ability to fly well.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires everyone who wants to be a Private Pilot to pass a routine medical exam every two years, five if you are under 40 on the day of the examination. This requirement ensures that pilots do not have medical problems which could interfere with their ability to fly safely. Allowances are made for many physical limitations. For example, glasses and contact lenses are perfectly acceptable. The physical exam can be obtained from one of many FAA-designated physicians. If you're planning to learn to fly, it's advisable to complete the physical exam early in your flight training to assure you qualify.
There is one exception. If you are training for the Sport Pilot Certificate, a medical is not required.
**All US born and naturalized citizens must show proof of citizenship prior to beginning training towards a rating, ie: Sport, Recreational, Private, Instrument, etc. This may be a valid US passport, original birth certificate or original US Naturalization certificate and government issued photo ID.
Are there any TSA requirements for flight training for US citizens?
Yes. Before you begin flight training, you must show proof of US citizenship.
Introductory Flight Lessons are exempt from this requirement, however, you will be asked to show photo ID prior to an Introductory flight.
How do I obtain permission for flight training in the US if I am not a US citizen?
You must apply for an M1 visa in order enter the US for the purpose of vocational training in the US if not a citizen. In addition to the proper visa, you must first receive TSA authorization prior to any flight training in the US for certain ratings.
Is flight training difficult?
As with any other skill you master, flying is learned step by step by step. It's a fascinating experience. But it's not particularly difficult. It can be learned by practically anyone who is willing to invest some time and effort.
Pilot training has two aspects: ground training and flight training. Ground training covers flight rules and regulations, flight planning, navigation, radio procedures, and weather. During the flight training, you learn how to fly by actually controlling the airplane yourself. Under the supervision of a certified flight instructor, you learn how to take off, land, and fly cross country from your home airport and then back again. The more you prepare yourself by reading and completing your computerized ground lessons prior to your flight lesson, the more you will be able to absorb during your flight lesson. Millions of people have learned to fly. By the time you're ready for your private pilot certificate, you'll be secure in the knowledge that you're a safe and competent pilot
Do I need special skills to fly?No. Perhaps the most important element in successfully learning to fly is desire. Once you're ready to invest your time and effort in learning to fly, the rest is up to you.
Where is the best place to learn to fly?
There are several types of flight-training schools across the country. Choosing the right one for you depends on your specific needs and reasons for learning to fly. Most flight training programs use a mixture of audiovisuals, textbooks, and workbooks designed for ground training. You may receive your ground instruction from your certified flight instructor (CFI) individually or as part of a ground training class. Certified flight instructors have been specially trained and examined by the FAA to ensure that all of your training is the safest and most effective possible.
Mid Island uses the Cessna Computer Based Integrated (CBI) Training Program. Our school enrollment fee includes the Cessna kit which contains a library of CD's which you may use at home on your PC or here at the school. This "work at your own pace" program works well for college students as well as those of us who have been out of school for a while. The structured syllabus is followed by our instructors so you will always know how to prepare for your next lesson.
The flight training is conducted one-on-one with your personal certified flight instructor. Each time you come to the airport, you will fly with the same instructor who will be familiar with your progress. You'll have a choice of planes to learn in at Mid Island. You may fly the economical, two seat, Cessna 152, or you may choose to fly the larger, IFR equipped Cessna 172, either carbureted or the new, fuel injected, Cessna 172R. Introductory Flights are available in all aircraft to help you make your decision. We now offer training in the Light Sport Aircraft (LSA’s) whether you wish to train for the Sport Pilot Certificate or the Private Pilot Certificate.
Many people learn to fly through a local Fixed-Base Operator (FBO). FBO's are general aviation air terminals-they work like gas stations for small aircraft. Mid Island is a family owned FBO that has been serving the Long Island aviation community since 1946 at Deer Park Airport. We have trained over 5000 pilots. We rent aircraft as well as train, so after you obtain your pilot certificate you can take your friends and family for a ride in planes in which you have many hours of flight training experience
What is the first step?
Deciding to learn to fly is obviously the first step and often the most difficult one. Before you make the big decision to take flying lessons, you may want to experience flying in a small plane. Once you've viewed your community from the perspective of a general aviation aircraft and felt the sensation of flight, you'll be HOOKED ON FLYING.
To schedule an Introductory Flight Lesson , contact Mid Island at Long Island MacArthur Airport at 631-588-5400 or at our Brookhaven Airport, Shirley location at 631 281-5400. We offer a variety of Introductory and Adventure Flights.
How long will it take?
Most people receive their private pilot certificate in about 60-75 hours of flight time. This includes time spent with an instructor aboard (dual time) and time spent flying alone (solo time). Training will include night flying, instrument flying (flying solely by reference to the airplane's instruments), and some cross-country flying.
You can fly in the early morning, during the day, or on weekends. Scheduling your flying is up to you and your instructor.
The amount of time it takes to accumulate flight time is largely up to you and your instructor. Usually two or three hours flying per week is a good learning rate, with more hours during weeks when cross-country flights are made. Statistics indicate that the average student pilot completes the requirements for a private pilot certificate in four to six months. Depending on the schedule and number of hours spent flying, some people will complete it sooner and others will take longer
What will my first flight be like? You instructor will introduce you to the general aviation airplane you will learn to fly. You'll be briefed on the instruments, controls, and equipment in the plane and on what to watch for when you're flying.
After this preflight briefing, the two of you will take off. When aloft, and under close supervision of your instructor, you'll take control of the airplane. It will be unlike anything you've experienced before. Soon you'll feel the exhilaration of flying and be impatient for your next flight.
What kind of tests will I take?
No test is required for a student pilot certificate. Before a private certificate is issued, however, you must pass two tests. First is a computerized FAA knowledge examination, which is largely a practical exam on flying rules and regulations. This test can be taken at our Islip facility. It requires a written authorization from your flight instructor, a photo ID and the Lasergrade Testing Fee of $150.00.
Upon the completion of your training, you will be scheduled for your flight test. This is a two part test consisting of an oral and practical examination. The FAA authorized flight examiner, our own chief pilot, Robert Osinski, will review your cross-country navigation and test your knowledge of FAR's, weather, and general flight rules.
Following the oral exam, you will proceed to take a practical examination of your flying ability. During the flight portion of the exam, you will demonstrate your ability to maneuver the airplane safely and confidently. You'll have practiced the maneuvers many times before, and your flight instructor will have prepared you thoroughly for both the oral and practical exams.
Is flying safe?
General aviation airplanes are built to rigid federal specifications, and they are constantly checked and rechecked to make sure they are mechanically and structurally safe. People who fly are safety conscious. As the pilot-in-command of an airplane, you're also in command of most variables that affect flying safely. Safety is the most important word in the general aviation vocabulary.
Your flight instructor will emphasize safety aspects throughout your flight training. Flying as pilot-in-command of an airplane puts you in charge. A well built and well maintained airplane in the hands of a competent, prudent, and well trained pilot makes flying safer than many other forms of transportation. We maintain our aircraft to higher standards than those required by the FAA.
Most pilots agree, the car ride to and from the airport is the most dangerous!
What about insurance?
Life insurance - Insurance companies have come to learn how extremely safe flying really is. Most new policies don't even mention general aviation flying. If you have an older policy, restrictive clauses for private flying can often be removed at little or no cost.
Liability insurance- Mid Island Air Service, Inc. offers $500,000 ($100,000 on some aircraft) combined single limit liability insurance for all our student and renter pilots. We also offer zero deductible on the hull portion of the aircraft. For this liability and hull protection, we include a small charge of $2.50 per flight hour. A typical lesson will be approximately and hour and a half so this insurance charge is about $3.50 per flight lesson. If you do not feel that this insurance is adequate for your needs, we recommend that you purchase additional insurance. Please feel free to contact our insurance broker, Northeast Aviation at 631 281-1209 for any questions you may have regarding our insurance or the purchase of additional insurance.
Do I have to own an airplane?
Not at all! Of course, owning your own general aviation airplane will give you complete freedom to set your own schedule. You'll have a pride of ownership like nothing you've known before. If you would like to see what your options are, please feel free to contact, Vince Basile, our aircraft salesman. He will be happy to show you how easily you can purchase a plane to learn to fly in.
If you would like to own a plane and generate some income, why not consider a leaseback arrangement.
Most pilots don't own their own planes; they rent. Local rental fees are normally based on an hourly rate for actual flying time. Extended rentals may have a minimum charge based on how many days you plan to have the aircraft away from its home base. With Mid Island, you will have the flexibility of renting various planes to suit the needs of your particular flight and you can rent them by the hour, the day, or even the week.
What happens after I get my pilot certificate?
You'll never be quite the same person you were before. You'll have access to a whole new world of personal freedom. You'll think of travel in terms of hours, not miles. You'll know what it means to make your own schedule and go your own way, far above the crowds, the congestion, the hassle, and the annoyances of ordinary transportation.
You'll find a new sense of personal fulfillment in your ever growing flying skills. You'll push the old boundaries of your life forward and you'll have the opportunity to plan, seek, and find new experiences which will enrich your life in countless ways. You'll gain greater self- reliance and confidence.
Through you own initiative and effort, you'll be a master of the past century's most distinctive
and rewarding art - flying.