Your Subtitle text
 1. Where are you located?
2. What kind of services do you provide?
3. What's your instructing style?
4. How long have you been instructing?
5. What should I expect during training?
6. I have a medical problem.  Can I still fly?
7. Do I have to be a U.S. citizen?
8. Is it difficult to fly an airplane?
9. When do you normally like to start training?
10. Do I have to take classes or go through ground school?
11. Do I need to have the FAA knowledge test (written) passed?
12. I failed the checkride once already.  Will you still train me?
13. What syllabus do you use?
14. Do you guarantee a pilots license?
15. What should I do to prepare for training?
16. How much do you charge?
17. How much will it cost to get a Private Pilot Certificate?
18. Are there any other fees or costs?
19. Will you fly to me?
20. I am very serious about learning to fly.  What should I do now?
21. How do I contact you to schedule training?
22. How do I become an airline pilot or begin a career in aviation?

 1. Where are you located? 
I am located at the Charles B Wheeler, Downtown Kansas City Airport. I fly out of ATD Flight Systems located on the west side of the airport under the control tower at hanger 6B. Click the Google Map.

601 Lou Holland Dr. Kansas City, MO 64116
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 2. What kind of services do you provide?
My main focus is contract pilot service.  Please contact me if your corporation needs a pilot or if you are looking for on demand charter service.  Secondly, I  enjoy teaching people how to fly. I have been teaching post secondary adult education since 2005.  If you own your own aircraft I am available to you for flight reviews, instrument proficiency checks and systems training.  I am also available for aerial photography and sight seeing flights.
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 3. What's your Instructing style?
All training will be done in an informal atmosphere. My demeanor and teaching style are ‘relaxed', but very professional using positive reinforcement combined with constructive guidance. I love to fly and it will show throughout your training. I really try to focus on being more of a mentor rather than an instructor. Read about my Teaching Philosophy also.
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4. How long have you been Flying and Instructing? 
I started flying airplanes in 1991.  My first solo flight was July 20th, 1992.  I initially received my CFI certification in April of 2005. Please refer to the testimonial section.
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5. What should I expect during training? 
Flying is a challenge and an adventure! You will achieve a skill that few others ever will.

At first you may be overwhelmed with the information that is presented to you. My training program simplifies this process with modules that are broken into ‘building blocks’. Each module is designed to draw knowledge based on the previous lessons. Each module will contain a ‘ground lesson’ followed by a ‘flight lesson’. We start with the basics and finish each lesson upon reaching a level of correlation and understanding.

Knowledge is power! You will be required to study at home. The more you understand and have studied, the more I will be able to teach in detail. My job is not to confuse you! Asking questions is always encouraged. Keep in mind that the cockpit of an airplane is a horrible learning environment. Even with headphones it can be loud and overwhelming on the senses. Preparing for each lesson is mandatory and mastering each module will be the reward.

Again, asking questions is always important so that you fully understand the material.
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 6. I have a medical problem can I still fly?
Prior to flying solo (by yourself), all student pilots must obtain a 3rd Class Medical Certificate from an Aviation Medical Examiner. However it is recommended that you receive this prior to the start of your training. This certificate will last for 36 months unless you are over the age of 40, in which the certificate will last for 24 months. Click here to find an Aviation Medical Examiner
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 7. Do I have to be a U.S. Citizen?
You must prove that you are a citizen of the United States providing a birth certificate or US Passport BEFORE you begin any flight instruction towards a private pilot license, instrument or multi-engine rating. Foreign nationals must have approval of the US Transportation Security Administration.
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 8. Is it difficult to fly an airplane?
I don't believe so. NASA actually taught monkeys to be astronauts. I believe that with a little training that almost anybody can fly an airplane. It takes some finesse but with practice this becomes natural. In fact, you will actually fly the airplane on your first lesson.
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 9. When do you normally like to start training?
We can train anytime during daylight hours with a few exceptions. You will also be required to log a minimum of 3 hours of night experience per FAR 61.109. We will custom tailor the schedule to meet your needs.

Flight training can occur during any season. Of course you should dress for the weather accordingly. A bit of advice would be to schedule early during the summer months. It is cooler during the morning and in some cases offers a less turbulent ride. During winter airplanes actually perform better in the cooler air. Weather will be one of the topics you will study in depth. It is my philosophy that learning to fly in all the seasons make for a well rounded and experienced pilot.
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 10. Do I have to take classes or go through a ground school?
No! Ground school is an option that is offered but please note that this is OPTIONAL. Many students learn in different ways, so there are several ways to achieve your ground training. If you prefer a class room environment and listening to lectures I can sign you up for this. Classes are usually held 3 days a week and last for 6 weeks. Some people like taking classes, mostly because they can ask questions and stay on a schedule.

For Private Pilot ground training many students prefer self study courses that are on DVD sets or books. This allows you to study at your own pace. You can purchase these over the internet. There are several to choose from. The nice thing about books and DVD's is that they are yours to keep. So you can constantly refer to them even when you complete your training.

I find it's best to discuss these options in person so we can find out what suits your learning style and habits.
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 11. Do I need to have the FAA Knowledge Test (written) passed?
Before you become a private pilot you must pass a knowledge exam. Part of my job is to present that knowledge to you. However, it is required that you set a timeline to meet that goal. The written test can be a stumbling stone if you don’t anticipate it. I encourage you to study for the knowledge test while you are accomplishing the flight training. The information is easier to absorb this way because of coorelation between rote knowledge and practical application.
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 12. I failed the checkride once already. Will you still train me?
Yes, I will review all the areas required for the rating and train you as needed to pass the checkride. Call me and we'll discuss your situation.
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 13. What syllabus do you use?
I have designed my own syllabus that is grouped into modules. Each module is split into a ground lesson followed by a flight lesson. We will meet for at least 2 hours for each module. The syllabus is adaptable and suited to the busy pace of most professional lifestyles.
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 14. Do you guarantee a Pilots License?
No. Achieving a Private Pilots License requires discipline and motivation. Self-study is required and is based on the effect of good study habits. You must also maintain proficiency by following the structured syllabus.
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 15. What should I do to prepare for training?
Get your life in order. You must be prepared to dedicate the time and effort torward flight training without distractions. Learning to fly is like going to the gym. Don't expect results if you can't dedicate yourself.

Have your budget planned out. One of the most frustrating things is running out of finances before finishing your training. Flying is not cheap and will not become any less expensive as you continue.

Read everything! Start with the FAA Student Pilot Guide.

Call or e-mail me to set up an introduction and discovery flight. I will happily discuss with you the knowledge areas to review, and provide you with learning materials after you schedule the training.

Prepare for having fun!
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 16. How much do you charge?
My fee is $40.00 per hour for instruction. Ask about daily rates.
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 17. How much will it cost to get a Private Pilot Certificate?
The cost of flight training is divided into two basic areas, the cost of instruction delivered by the flight instructor, on the ground and in the air, and usually billed by the clock hour. The second component is the cost of renting the aircraft, and is usually billed by the Hobbs Hour. (A Hobbs meter measures the time the engine of the aircraft is running.)

So “How much?” depends upon the rates for each of these two ingredients. Training aircraft rental rates vary according to the particular aircraft you wish to use, and vary from $86 to $130 per Hobbs hour.

National studies confirm that the average person requires about 60 hours of airplane time and about 50 hours of instruction to pass their examinations and obtain their Private Pilot License. So lets use all of this to figure an approximate range.

@$86/hr to @$130/hr depending on the aircraft you choose to train in.
-60 Hours of airplane time = $5160 to $7800
-50 hours of instruction @$45/hr = $2250
-Approximate Cost Range = $7,200 to $10,000

The good news is it could be less if you study between lessons and you fly relatively frequently (twice a week or more). In any case, you can pay as you go, lesson by lesson, or you can obtain a student loan, make regular monthly payments, and fly as often as you wish. We can also arrange lower rates for purchasing “blocks” of time. In the final analysis, you have the most impact on how much it costs based on your study habits, time to devote to frequent lessons, and preparation before flights.

Be advised that when you ask “How much?” answers will be quantified. Sometimes schools will quote total costs based on FAA minimum time requirements for instruction and airplane time. These minimums are minimums, not typical, average, or usual and will therefore seem lower. But whatever numbers you care to use, the rate times those numbers will help you approximate the cost and compare accordingly.

I recognize you are driven by an urge to fly, and you are exploring how to temper that desire with reason. I would be glad to arrange a meeting with you, free of charge, so you can get the facts, then decide. My promise to you is that I will tailor a program that, consistent with your learning style and schedule, gets you the best value for your training dollars. We can put it on paper, knowing the costs based on the rating you seek, the aircraft you want to use, and the hours of instruction you require or think you will need. For $59 we can begin your training with a Discovery Flight.
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 18. Are there any other fees or cost?
Yes there is. There are a number of items including a medical exam, books, training aids, and fight planning tools that you will need. Headphones are another big purchase and range in cost from $100 to $1000 depending on the quality you want. I encourage you to try out the different brands of headphones to see which one you like the best. Undoubtedly, some other “stuff” you will want but not need. There are literally catalogues full of "stuff" that come in handy but are not a necessity. You'll want to look at Sporty's Pilot Shop to know what I'm talking about. Many pilots shop here.
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 19. Will you fly to me?
Yes, for additional travel expenses.
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 20. I am very serious about learning to fly? What should I do now?
 If you're serious...

Get your medical certificate. Click here to find an Aviation Medical Examiner

Schedule a discovery flight. I'll help you get hooked.

Make a commitment: The most important commitment is the time & money. You must not allow money to become a detriment to your commitment. Flying is not cheap and will not become any less expensive as you continue.

Start studying! If you can't or won't establish the priority, don't start. You must keep ahead of the flight program with your reading and preparation.

 21. How do I contact you and schedule training?
Call or e-mail me. See the Contact page.
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 22. How do I become an airline pilot or begin a career in aviation?
Most airlines are looking for qualified individuals with a college education and an extensive flying background. Specific qualifications vary among airlines and are influenced by the supply of pilots and the positions available.

Things to Consider First

Before deciding to pursue a career as an airline pilot, there are several things you should consider first. You must decide if this is the lifestyle you want. Airline pilots are typically away from home more than other careers. You may do three, four, or even up to 12 day trips. Expect to work holidays, fly at all hours of the day and night and through multiple time zones. This type of lifestyle can be fun and exciting, but may be hard on family life and children. Also, you have to look objectively at your physical health. Airlines want individuals in good physical condition with good eyesight.

You must be able to keep a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) First Class Aviation Medical throughout your airline career. You may want to check with an FAA designated Aviation Medical Examiner (AME) if you want to make sure you are medically qualified to fly as an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP). Some medical conditions could make you ineligible. You can locate an AME from the Yellow Pages under Physicians, Aviation, or contact a local flight school. Also, although several airlines will hire you with less than 20/20 eyesight, if yours is less than 20/70, it may be more difficult.

Airline pilots are usually based (domiciled) in major cities and you may not be able to choose which city initially. If you prefer to live where there is no domicile, you will need to commute several times a month. Most airlines offer the cockpit jumpseat to airline pilots, which helps in the commute.

Military vs. Civilian - Which way to go?
Now, you must decide how you want to obtain the necessary training and experience. Some things to consider are your finances. Can you afford a specialized four year college or would you rather train at a local aviation flight school? Or are you thinking of getting your training through the military, where all your training is paid for?

If you are considering a military career, talk to a recruiter. Or better still, talk to an active military pilot to get the most current and correct information. Most flying jobs in the military require 20/20 vision and a college degree, although there are a few exceptions. All branches of the military offer some type of flying. There is usually a minimum commitment period, many as long as seven years. You may want to investigate an ROTC program at your school, or consider joining a military reserve group or the Air National Guard.


If you are thinking of choosing a civilian career, first go out to your local airport and take an introductory flight with a flight school. Check the Yellow Pages for a flight (or aviation) school nearest you. If you decide to train at this school, be sure to ask about costs and talk with other students about the quality of instruction before deciding.

You need to decide if you want to go to an FAA approved school or go the home study route. There are several two and four year colleges offering degrees in aviation related fields that will also train you for a pilot career. One advantage to this route is you may be eligible for student loans. Another route is to go to a flight school that doesnt offer a college degree, but will train you for the necessary certificates.

There currently are two governing FAA regulations for flight schools. FAR Part 141 is what most colleges and more structured schools are governed under. FAR Part 61 usually is a less structured curriculum and allows the flight instructor more discretion in his or her training. This is also referred to as the home study route, since you will be doing most of your studying on your own. However, in both schools the same information must be covered. Most people are unaware there are various levels of pilot certificates and training required to become an airline pilot. They are:

1. Private Pilot Certificate: Must be 17 years old, have an FAA third class medical, a minimum of either 40 flight hours, of which 20 hours must be solo (FAR Part 61) or 35 hours ground school plus 35 hours flight training with 20 dual and 15 solo hours (FAR Part 141). You must successfully complete a written test before you can take a flight test with an FAA examiner. Now you can carry passengers, but may not be compensated.

2. Commercial Pilot Certificate: Must be 18 years old, have a second class medical, a minimum of either 190 hours (FAR Part 141) or 250 hours (FAR Part 61) of flight time, of which you must have 10 hours in a high performance aircraft, 100 hours solo, and 40 hours cross country. You must successfully complete a written exam and an FAA flight test. Now you may fly for hire. However, you will have restricted privileges if you do not have an instrument rating.

3. Airline Transport Pilot Certificate (ATP): Must be 23 years old, a high school graduate or equivalent, possess a commercial certificate, first class medical (if your eyesight is worse than 20/200, you must obtain a waiver), 1500 PIC hours, pass a written exam and an FAA flight test. Now you may perform Pilot-in-Command (PIC) duties in airline and other transport operations.

4. Certified Flight Instructor Certificate: Must hold a Commercial Certificate and an instrument rating, pass two written exams, and an FAA flight test. Now you may instruct private or commercial students.

Instrument Rating - 125 total hours required, including 40 hours instrument training of which 15 hours must be with an instrument instructor in an airplane, 50 hours Pilot-In-Command cross country time, written test and an FAA flight test. Now you can fly in the clouds (IFR).

Multiengine Rating - Usually around 10 hours multiengine training and an FAA flight test. Now you can fly smaller aircraft with more than one engine.

Type Ratings - Usually specialized training in one specific aircraft. Required for all jets and large propeller aircraft.

Instrument Instructor
Multiengine Instructor

The only certificate necessary to fly for the airlines is the Commercial Certificate with instrument rating. However, most airlines will not hire you until you have at least 2000 flight hours, consisting of at least 500 hours instrument (flying in instrument weather conditions), 1000 hours cross-country, 500 hours Pilot-in-Command, 500 hours multiengine experience, and an ATP certificate.

Now that I have my Certificates, where do I go from here?
As previously stated, most airlines will not hire you straight out of flight school. Many military pilots also find they need more experience before they can get hired, especially those who chose to fly helicopters while in the service. So your next step is to gain that necessary experience.

1. Instructing : This will probably be your next step in the process to achieve that elusive airline position. Instructing is an excellent way to built up time, but the pay is usually low. At first you will probably teach private pilots and build up only single engine time. However, as your career progresses, you can train instrument students and multiengine students if you have the necessary instructing certificates.

2. Building time on your own : You may choose to build up your flying hours by owning or renting an airplane and flying it on your own. Several people can go in together to purchase a single engine aircraft to build up flight time or an advanced aircraft to build up multiengine and/or instrument time.

The Next Step
Once you have achieved the desired minimum flight hours, you are ready for the next phase. Here is where you build up the necessary flight hours in order to apply to the airlines. It is impossible to state what hours are the desired amount for these positions, because the minimum required hours varies greatly from one position to the next. Expect to have at least a minimum of 500-1500 flight hours with some multiengine and Pilot-in-Command experience. There are several avenues open to you. You have to choose which one will work for you. It may take more than one route to get to the airlines.

1. Charter : This may be the next logical step up from instructing. Several flight schools also have charter departments that rent out various aircraft to individuals or companies and usually supply the pilots as well. You can gain valuable experience in several different types of aircraft. Charter departments vary greatly in the types of aircraft flown, compensation and working conditions for their pilots, so do your homework. Ask pilots who work for them currently about the department. At several flight schools, once you have instructed for a set period, you may become eligible to move over to the charter department.

2. Commuter and Regional Airlines : Hopefully, during your instructing, you built up enough time to be able to fly for a commuter or regional airline. They usually require a minimum of 1000 hours, but are not as restrictive as the major airlines on the type of hours you have, e.g., instrument, PIC, cross country, or multiengine flying. Most commuters fly larger and more complex aircraft, and this will help you build up your overall flying time as well as experience in larger aircraft. You can also build up your PIC time if you are able to become a captain and fly from the left seat.

3. Corporate : Several corporations and businesses own aircraft to fly their personnel around. They fly anything from a small single engine aircraft to large jets. This is another way to build up your time. However, you should research each businesss flight department before choosing this route. Many departments are large with several jets and scheduled flying. But just as many own only one small airplane and may not fly it often. If your goal is to build up your time to get that job with the airlines, some corporate departments may not be the way to go.

4. Other Flying : There are several smaller avenues to building up your flying hours. They can be crop dusting, air ambulances, helicopter flying, or aircraft delivery and ferrying for aircraft manufacturers. However, there is not as much of a demand for these services. Therefore, there arent as many jobs available.

Whatever route you choose, you must realize that there are many other very qualified individuals who also want that airline job. You are attempting to get into a highly competitive field, so you need to make yourself as desirable a candidate as possible to the airlines.

1. Get your college degree : It may look better if it is in an aviation related field. However, many individuals get hired with other degrees. Having any four year college degree puts you ahead of other candidates without one.

2. Build up good flight hours : By this we mean get as much experience as possible in more than single engine aircraft. Work on multiengine, cross country, instrument, and night flying. Build up time in high performance aircraft, such as turbo props and jets. Build up your Pilot-in-Command time, especially in larger and more complex aircraft. Get a type rating in a complex aircraft or jet. This will all go a long way in making you stand out from the other candidates.

3. Be a good citizen : Volunteer your time to worthy organizations such as Flying Samaritans, EAA Young Eagles Program, and non-aviation related organizations, such as helping Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts with their Aviation badges.

4. Become and stay informed : Join organizations that can help you stay abreast of the aviation community, such as the Ninety Nines, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), Women in Aviation, Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), and the Civil Air Patrol. Read up on topics of interest. Subscribe to related magazines and periodicals such as Flying Careers Magazine. If you are computer literate, there is a wealth of information on aviation at your fingertips. You can go Aviation or go AVSIG on CompuServe, go to Aviation Forum on America On Line, or search the internet for websites related to aviation.

5. Continue your education : Attend FAA or other seminars on aviation related topics or take courses to enhance your aviation knowledge. Attend conventions, such as Women in Aviation, EAA Fly-ins such as Oshkosh, and local fly-ins. Talk to others in the aviation field, especially those individuals who have the positions to which you aspire.

6. Keep an accurate, neat logbook : Your logbook will be reviewed by many individuals including prospective employers and the FAA before all checkrides. It is your record of all your flying experience. You will make a much better impression if it is well organized.

7. Wear hearing protection when flying : Airplanes can be very noisy and prolonged exposure could permanently damage your hearing. You may be rejected by the airlines if your hearing doesnt meet certain requirements.

A Final Word
In this explanation, I have tried to help you get started on your career in aviation. As you can see, there is much work involved in becoming an airline pilot. I can not give you that magical formula to guarantee you achieve your goals. You have to make your own decisions on where you want to go from here. No matter which road you choose, expect to put in years of hard work and dedication to your goal. But ask anyone sitting in that seat now if it was worth it and you will most likely get a resounding Yes!

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