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Learn to Fly Checklist

1. Find a flight school.

Use the Find a Flight School search to find a school near you. If there's more than one near you, shop around and use the comparison chart linked below this checklist to take notes at each visit.

2. Visit the school.

You may choose to call each flight school to discuss your interest in flight training, but it's also a good idea to visit in person. Call ahead to ensure a flight instructor will be available to speak with you, give you a tour of the facilities, and show you the airplanes the school uses for training. You can either schedule your introductory flight while you’re there, or first visit other schools and then schedule your flight once you’ve decided on a school. Your intro flight will include discussion with a flight instructor before the flight and then 30 to 60 minutes of flying. You can expect to pay between $79 and $129.

3. Go flying!

During your introductory flight, your flight instructor will be sitting beside you with another set of flight controls, but you’ll be in the pilot’s seat! This is your first flight lesson, and you’ll see what it’s like to visually inspect the aircraft before flight, take off, fly, land, park, and shutdown! You’ll probably fly a popular training airplane like a Cessna 172, Piper Warrior, or Diamond Katana. Your flight will last about 30 minutes and you can even log that time in your logbook so it counts toward the required flight time for your private pilot certificate!

4. Schedule flight lessons.

When you make the decision to learn to fly, your training is done when it’s convenient for you. Fly before or after work, on weekends, whenever you want so you can still maintain work and family commitments. Discuss this with a flight instructor to be sure that your schedules are compatible.


There may be more than one flight school near you. In that case, it’s a good idea to visit a few and then compare them to decide which is the best fit for you. Download and use the Flight School Comparison Chart to take notes as you visit each school.

Flight School Comparison Chart


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