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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Racine Sports Flyers all about?

We are a group of people interested in promoting aviation.

Is Racine Sport Flyers a club?

No, but we do operate very similar to one. We do not have dues or a buy in fee. 

What is a Discovery Flight?

A discovery Flight, also commonly known as an intro flight, is your opportunity  to try flying first hand. You will sit in the pilot's seat and take the flight controls as your instructor guides you through various flight maneuvers. It is the perfect first step to learning more about becoming a pilot. We also answer all the questions you might have about becoming a pilot. Discovery Flights also make great gifts. Don't forget your camera.

How old do I need to be to start flight training?

There is no minimum age to start flight training, but you cannot fly an airplane by yourself until you are 16 years old and must be at least 17 before you can take the final test to get your pilot's license.

Do I need to have 20/20 vision for general aviation flying?

No, you do not have to have 20/20  vision for general aviation flying. In general, for a third class medical certificate they must be correctable (with glasses or contact lenses) to 20/40 or better in each eye separately. Sport pilots follow the same requirements as for a driver's license.

What do I need to start flight training?

Starting flight training is quite simple. You will need to complete a renters agreement and a pilot information sheet. When coming for your first lesson, you will bring both of these documents and a U.S. drivers license along with proof of citizenship. A passport or birth certificate will work for that.

We use Gleim Pilot Training kits for the ground school portion and supplement with personal instruction from our instructors.  Other supplies will be needed as you progress, but this is all you need to get your flight training started.

What is the difference between a Sport Pilot and a Private Pilot?

A sport pilot has limitations placed upon their pilot's certificate that limits the type of aircraft and flight operations they may conduct. They are also required to have a valid U.S. driver's license. Furthermore, Sport Pilots do not need a medical certificate with some exceptions, and the minimum required flight training hours are less than a Private Pilot. A Private Pilot has no such limitations on their Pilot's Certificate, but also has a higher minimum flight training requirement.  Core flight training concepts are identical for both Sport and Private Pilot certificates. All training for Sport Pilot transfers to Private Pilot if you  continue to a Private Pilot certificate.

Do I need to complete ground school before I start training?

No, you can start flight training right away! But, you must have completed the required ground training and taken the Knowledge test before you can take the final flight test to get a pilot's license. We use the Gleim Study course.

What are my ground school options?

One‐on‐one with your flight instructor, normal class at a college, home study course


What is the knowledge test?

The knowledge test, also known as the written test, is a multiple choice test covering various aeronautical and piloting subjects. The goal of ground school is to help you learn the important aeronautical knowledge you will need to be a pilot and to pass the knowledge test. You must have passed the Knowledge test before you can take your final flight test, also known as the Checkride.

What is the practical test?      

The practical test, also known as the Checkride, is your final flight test before you can earn a pilot's license (or additional pilot certificates and ratings). It is taken with a FAA Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE) and consists of two main parts: a dedicated one‐on‐one questioning period by the DPE known commonly as the oral and the flight portion covering flight maneuvers. Both the oral and flight portions must be successfully passed to earn a pilot's certificate.

What is a Student Pilot certificate?

A Student Pilot certificate formally designates you as a student pilot and is required before either a sport pilot student or private pilot student can fly an airplane by themselves. You must be at least 16 years old to be eligible for a student pilot certificate and it is valid for 24 calendar months from the month it was issued.

Do I need a student pilot certificate before I start flight training?

No, you don't need a Student Pilot certificate before starting training but you will need it before you will be able to fly solo.

Do I need a medical certificate before I can start flight training?

No, you can start flight training right away! Students seeking a Private Pilot's certificate you will need a medical certificate before you can fly solo and students seeking Sport Pilot's certificate will need a U.S. drivers license before you can fly solo.

How do I  pay for flight lessons?

There are a couple of ways to pay for your flight lessons. Many people pay for their lessons as they go . Take a lesson, pay for the lesson. This works well for many people. The disadvantage is that no matter your personal situation, we recommend flying 2-3 times a week and that can be difficult on any budget. The more you fly the better the results. Infrequent flying means you will need to review more, hence the cost and time increases. If this works for you, great.

There is another way that works well. The Aircraft Owners and Pilot Association is now making flight training financing available at competitive rates. Doing it this way you don't have to stress your monthly budget. The money can be used for everything  from starting and finishing primary training to advanced training, such as instrument training or obtaining a commercial certificate. It can also be used for fun flying like a tailwheel endorsement or seaplane ratings. They will provide funding up to $100,000 over a 24-84 month period with no money down, no loan minimum and minimal paperwork. Your Credit Union is another great option.

The loans are not just for new students, but also for those already in flight training. Financing flight training can mean completing sooner, and without the interruptions that can degrade flying skills.

The loans feature a simple online application and a loan decision within one business day, with approved loans funded within two business days. Financing can be the quickest and least expensive way to realize your dream of flight. Call us for more information.      

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Our program offers "Pay As You Go" so you can achieve your flying goals, your way.

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