Darren Smith, Flight Instructor
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Learn to Fly!

"When once you have tasted flight,
you will forever walk the earth with
your eyes turned skyward, for there
you have been, and there you will always
long to return."  -- Leonardo da Vinci

Get started with these resources to help you discover the amazing experience of flying...

Private Pilot Navigation:  General Info Private Pilot | Why its a good time to become a pilot | Why become a pilot? | What it means to be a pilot | Why Pilots are Amazing People | Getting Started & Training Sequence | FAQs about getting started | How to select a flight instructor | FAQs: Becoming a private pilot | FAA's Student Pilot Guide Advice to new student pilots | Information for Foreign Students | How to save money on your flight training | How to Solo As Quickly As PossibleThinking of an Airline Career? | Pilots are very special people by John King | About Checkrides | Private Pilot Ground School | Private Pilot Ground School Syllabus | How to Get the Most From Your Ground SchoolPrivate Pilot Rating Requirements | What to do after the Private Pilot Certificate  | Flight Training for Veterans

Thinking about learning how to fly?  See this NBC video http://www.aopa.org/projectpilot/nbcvideo.html

Information on the Private Pilot Ground School.

I'm 14, Can I get my Private Pilot Certificate?

Why its a good time to become a pilot  Aviation is perhaps the most dynamic and resilient industry in the world.  Industry experts agree that there's never been a better time to become a pilot.  more

Why become a pilot?    Maybe you've been dreaming about it since you were little.  Maybe it's the ultimate challenge.  Maybe it's the confidence booster that can define your life… more

What it means to be a pilot   As a pilot, you'll join the ranks of those less bound by conventional limits on time, distance and personal freedom.   more

Why Pilots are Amazing People  After training hundreds of students, I discovered a key in life.  A background in Counseling Psychology makes an interesting combination with being a flight instructor.  The result is a different approach to flight training.  more

Frequently asked questions about getting started    If you're like millions of Americans, at some point in your life, perhaps when you were stuck in traffic and saw an airplane buzz overhead, you've thought, "I wonder what it takes to BE A PILOT?"  more

FAQS:  Becoming a private pilot   How much will it cost to get my Private Pilot Certificate?  How long will it take to get my certificate? Is it safe? Do I have to be in excellent physical condition?  What about my eye sight? What can I do with a pilot certificate? What can't I do with a private pilot certificate? Does my private pilot certificate expire? Will I have the same instructor all the way through?  more


Getting Started & Training Sequence  Getting Started as a Private Pilot:  If you're serious... Make a commitment.  more

Researching Flight Schools - When you call flight schools these days, its hard to get the information you're looking for.  They don't have the time or motivation to spend hours with prospective students talking about their 10 hours of accumulated flight time.  That's because there is too much work and not enough folks to do it with.  That all makes life rough for the prospective pilot to get good information before making one of the biggest investments of his life.  Here's a few tips that will help you get the most information.  before you call... read this... more

How to select a flight instructor    How you choose your instructor is a very personal decision.  While no instructor can meet your every criterion, here are some general tips to help you choose. more

Advice to new student pilots    If you've made the decision to learn how to fly, your next consideration should be how/where to get training.  The following is a set of tips derived from my research into flight training... more

How to save money on your flight training    If you're like me, I spent too much on flight training.  I wish I knew some tips to reduce my overall cost.  Here's what I learned...  more

Thinking of an Airline Career?  A lot of people think that you can apply for a pilot job at JetBlue, and they will train you to be a pilot.  Unfortunately that's not true. more

Pilots are very special people by John King  Pilots are very special people. Here's why.  First, pilots aren't quitters.  In spite of what the ads used to say  in the 1950's, it is difficult to learn to fly.  more

About Checkrides - When the topic of "the checkride" comes up with my students, it is usually met with some fear.  This is one of those topics that .... more

Information for Foreign Students  Students seeking a rating are required to prove US Citizenship and Flight Instructors must examine and keep a copy of a US Birth Certificate, US Passport, or Naturalization papers.   Citizens of other countries are required to register with the Transportation Security Administration prior to beginning training.  more

How to fly a traffic pattern.  Ask your flight instructor for help understanding this graphic.

Flight Training for Veterans - A common question I receive is, "Does VA pay for flight training." The most common answer I give is, "Yes and No."  more...

How to Solo As Quickly As Possible - One of my biggest pet peeves is how much flying costs.  You already know this because you're dumping amazing amounts of money into your flight training aren't you.   more...

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All content is Copyright 2002-2010 by Darren Smith. All rights reserved. Subject to change without notice. This website is not a substitute for competent flight instruction. There are no representations or warranties of any kind made pertaining to this service/information and any warranty, express or implied, is excluded and disclaimed including but not limited to the implied warranties of merchantability and/or fitness for a particular purpose. Under no circumstances or theories of liability, including without limitation the negligence of any party, contract, warranty or strict liability in tort, shall the website creator/author or any of its affiliated or related organizations be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, special, consequential or punitive damages as a result of the use of, or the inability to use, any information provided through this service even if advised of the possibility of such damages. For more information about this website, including the privacy policy, see about this website.