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Private Pilot License Curriculum

Understand what makes ϲФ’s Private Pilot License Curriculum unique.

ϲФ is a career-ڴdzܲflight school providing students with the skills and knowledge they need for asuccessful career as a Commercial Airline Pilot.As such,ϲФ’s Pilot Pathway Program focuses on safety, high-quality training and long-term career success.

While ϲФ does not offer PPL-only training,the Private Pilot stageis a criticalbuilding blockfor allprofessionalpilots. This pagewill explain the ϲФPrivate Pilot License curriculumin greaterdetail andexplain what makes ϲФ unique.

Step 1: The Private Pilot License

In the Private Pilot License course, students gain the aeronautical knowledge, skill and experience necessary to safely operate an airplane as a Private Pilot with a Single-Engine Land class rating.Itis the first step in your Pilot Pathwayjourney,and some would argue, the most important. Not only is this your first certification and rating,but this sets the groundworkfor the rest of your training.

At ϲФ, we use this stage to build a solid foundation of knowledgethat will serve students for the entirety of their training,throughto their Commercial and Instructor licenses.

Private Pilot License Structure

In the PrivatePilot Licensecourse, our students are assignedto a highlytrained and standardized flight instructor who will be with them every step of the way for their PPL training. Whilestudents will fly with multipleinstructors later in the Program, helping them to gaintrainingspeed and learn different perspectives, in the PPL stage,we aim to keep a single flight instructorwith each studentto best understand their training progress and knowledge.

Beyond this, theϲФ PPLcourse is separated out into3 main Flight Blocks, each with its own objective and completion standard.While we complete our Pilot Pathway training usingPart 61 for speed andtrainingflexibility,weutilize components of our Part 141 programs, such as stagechecks,to ensurehighquality of training for our students.Internal stagechecks are placed at the end of eachFlight Blockfor a total of3PPLstagechecks,where students are placed with aspecially trainedCheck Airman to validate their progress through the course with their primary flight instructor, and act as preparation for the allimportantcheckrideat theend.

Throughout theCourse, students will logapproximately75total flight hoursprior to their Private Pilot Licensecheckride,brokenout into54instructor givendual flight hours,11 simulator hoursand10 solo hours– the minimum amountofsolo timerequired by FAA regulations prior to the PPLcheckride.While we recognize the importance of solo flight time, theϲФPPL curriculum is built usingonlythe minimum amountofsolotimeensuringhigher safety and quality of training for our students sincemostof their flight time will be with their instructor.

ThePPLCoursepreparesyou for the restof your training and iscrucial to your overall success as a pilot.Our goalisn’tjusttoset you upfor a successfulcheckride,butfora successful career.For that reason,ϲФ adds an additional 35.5 hours of flight timein this part of the course beyond FAA Part 61 minimumsto ensure greater safety and landing skillfrom our student pilots.While this may extend the timeline to get your Private Pilot License, these hours are put toward your commercial pilot requirements, and therefore, it does not extendyour overall training timelineand,with ϲФ’s all-inclusive tuition model, doesn’t increase your cost.Rather, the curriculum structuremakes you a better pilot and sets you up for better successto earnyour future certifications and ratings.

Private Pilot License: Flight Block 1

Flight Block 1is the first section ofa students’Private Pilot License flight trainingandbegins immediatelyfollowingthefirst week of ground school. The objective of this Flight Block is tointroducestudentstothe basic flying procedures andfundamentalskills they’ll need for their first solo flightatthe beginning of Flight Block 2.Students willcomplete approximately 35 hourswithin this first block, including9 hours ofsimulator timeto improve their skills in an environmentthat can be paused and resetfor maximum effect.

Introduction to Flight

After a week of ground school,students are eager to fly – andweare too!Thissecond week of training focuses on getting students familiar with the aircraft, its operating characteristics and cabin controls. First, they’ll learn how to fly the plane visually and aurally with a strong focus on visual attitude control. Students will be taught to recognize “sight pictures” or attitudes of an airplane such as climb, straight flight, descending turn, climbing turn,roundoutandmore. By the end of this week, students will get an introduction to precision flying and control/performance method of flying. They’ll use pitch and power, undergo aerodynamics demonstrations and will begin practicing landings as time allows.

For this stage, and the entirety of the PPL course, our students use our Piper Archer planes equipped with6-pack gauges.We find that byusing thesegauges students can build astrong foundation of aircraft skills. Later in the program, students will progressto ourG-1000, or ‘glass’ cockpits,that use moreadvanced technology.

Building on the Basics

Intheir3rdweek of training, studentsbeginto recognize and recover from stalls, practice slow flight and develop their awareness of spins.Students willalsobe introduced to steep turns and power-off glides as well as elements associated with ground reference maneuvers. Students will continue to practice the maneuvers they’ve learned as well aslandings.

Safe Introduction to Emergency Procedures

Week4of training isconcentrated on emergency proceduresand abnormal scenarios for potential in-flight malfunctions such as engine failures. Students will spendmuch oftheir time in the simulatorspracticing things such as collision avoidance, emergency approach and landingsas well asgoarounds. Students willthenhave a couple of flights where theyputthese emergency learning intoactual flight practice.

Getting Ready for the Stage Check

On or about week 5 of training, students are focusingtorevieweverything they’ve learned up to this point in preparation for their first stagecheck. Theywillcontinue to develop stabilized approaches, recognize when go-arounds are required and gain proficiency with landings. Following thisreview, students receive theirStage 1MockOral in preparation fortheir first stagecheckandto ensure theyare keeping pace with their ground studies.

Once the Oral is complete, students willcomplete a StageCheck1 preparation mission in the simulator as well as a Stage 1 preparationflightwith their instructor, prior to their actual stage check. Thestage checkCheckAirmanwillevaluatethe student’s ability to safely manage a local solo flight while acting asPilot in Command(PIC).Upon successful completion, students areready tomove on to Stage 2 andcompletetheir first solo flight!

Private Pilot License: Flight Block 2

With Flight Block 1 complete, thekeyobjective of Flight Block 2 istobuild on this knowledge and experience for students tobeready toconducttheir firstcross-country flights.Theseflights requirelanding at an airportother than the point of departure,50nauticalmiles away or greater,and the pilot must usepilotage, dead reckoning and radio navigation.

The student will also be instructed in operations within the air traffic control environment under visual flight rule(VFR)conditions, as well asbeingintroduced to night VFR operations, performance takeoff and landings as well as basic attitude instrument flying.Students will gainapproximately21flight hourswithin this second block– the vastmajority of which is dual instructor given time, with 1 hour of Solo experiencegained from the momentous first solo flight.

First Solo Flight

A student’sfirst mission in Flight Block 2 is to apply their knowledge from all their previous lessons and practice landings without any instructor inputin preparation for their first solo.On the nextmission, students will completetwo one-hour flight blocks back to back. The first of which is a dual flight with your instructor where your instructor is ensuring you’re ready to conduct a safe solo flight within the traffic pattern.Once complete and signed off,you‘ll drop off yourinstructor andtake your second hour flight.Welcome to your first hour of Pilot in Command timeyour instructor doesn’t need to hold your shirt tail anymore! Be prepared to cut it up andsee ithung proudly on theϲФsolo wall!

For the students’ safety in the air,ϲФdeploys strict restrictions for soloflightsregardinglocalweather andairtraffic, as well asutilizing aDuty CFIto observe and monitor all solo flight operations. The Duty CFI is a highly qualified CFI on the ground, continually monitoring soloing students. They track the flights on a radar system and analyze situations relevant to weather, navigational aids, airport restrictions, airspace and environmental circumstances relevant to the student’s flight mission. In this role, Duty CFIs have direct communication with Air Traffic Control to get messages to their pilots and can modify or cancel flights as needed if any safety concerns arise.

Introducing Instrument and Cross-Country Flying

Following the first solo flight, students will begin their introduction to controlling their aircraft solely by instrumentin preparation forcross-country flying.This introduction to instrumentsallows for increased situational awareness and decision making in the event of inadvertent flight intoIFRconditions. Students will also gain an introduction to short-field and soft-field takeoffs and landings,preparingfor airports theymaysoon be flying to.

Aroundtheir8thweekof training, students are learning the necessary information and processesrequired to plan and execute a cross-country flight out of the local training area. Theywillbecome familiar with integrating the skills of pilotage, dead reckoning and the use of navigational systems. During this phase of the Private Pilot License curriculum, students will conduct two different cross-country flights with their instructor during the day.

Introducing Night Operations

Abouthalfwaythrough Flight Block 2, students will be introduced tothe academic fundamentals of night operations. Students will learn to plan and conductNight VFR cross-country flights andwillconduct two differentnight flights with their instructor. Duringthese flights,theywill gain proficiency in night operations with a focus on airport operationsas well astakeoffs and landings. Students will complete a minimum of 1 cross-country night flight, 3 total hours of night flight and atotal of10 nighttakeoffs and landingsto a full stopfulfillingthisPPLcheckridecriteria.

After these missions, students will begin additional preparations for their second stage checkcompletinga Stage 2 Mock Oralthat reviewsinformation on performance and limitations, NOTAMs, cross-country flight planning, chart supplement andmore. Students will then perform their Stage 2 mock flight in preparation for theirstagecheckand lastly theStage 2 stagecheckitself. This stagecheck will evaluate the student’s ability to safely and legally act asPilot inCommand during a day solo cross-country flight, andupon successful completion, students will begin Flight Block 3 where they’llconductsolo cross-country flights to earnthe remaining 9 hours of solo flight needed to take the Private Pilotcheckride.

Private Pilot License: Flight Block 3

By this time, students should have a strong foundationof trainingto be able to complete flight missionsallon their ownand students are about a month away from completing their Private Pilot Licensecheckridewith an FAA Designated Pilot Examiner. The objective of this Flight Block is to gain solo experience while executing solo local and cross-country flightstomeet the remainder of their FAAPPLminimumrequirements, and students will gain afurther 20 flight hours with 9 of that being solo PIC timewithin this Flight Block.

Gaining Solo Experience

Initially, Flight Block 3 will start with a review flight practicing maneuvers in preparation for the local solo flight students will take into thenearbypractice area, which they will then perform on their own a day or two later.Thenext missionisanother daytime dual cross-country flight with their instructorthe last cross-country flight with their instructor.Now,it’s time to go off alone! Students willthenconduct two different daytime solo cross-country flights of 3.5 hours each.

Preparing for the Checkride

This is it. The time has almost come to take thecheckrideand earn your Private Pilot License. Following the student’s last solo cross-country, they will complete two more flights focusing on honing their skills and proficiency for the Private Pilot Practical Test. Students will take their Stage 3 mock oral focusing on pilot qualifications, airworthiness requirements, human factors, night operations and more. From there,students will complete their Stage 3 mock flight in preparation for theirstagecheck. Lastly, students will conduct their last PPL stage checkwith a Check Airman. The Airman will evaluate the student to determine they possess the required skill and level of proficiency to meet FAA standards of the Private Pilot Certificate for Airplane Single Engine Land. Upon successful completion, theircheckrideis scheduledwith the FAA!

Ensuring Your Own Success

ϲФ’sPrivate Pilot License curriculum is built for student success, with the goal that by the time students reach their PPLcheckride, they have already had3 Stage checks, including 3 additional mockcheckrides, plus a wide range of flying andexperience.

However, it’schallenging, and students will be required tostudy diligently ensuringallassignmentsare completed on timein the ground school – not just inflight.ϲФputs a strong focus on theory and ground school education that is intended to support our students through this accelerated program.

AtϲФ, we provide students with many resources to be used for student proficiency and success. Students have access to unlimited flight simulator time, the option to backseat flights and attend ground schools fromour on-goingPart 141 classes. Studentscanalso attend academic advisor workshopsregularly held onspecific areas of the courses where others have struggled. It’s essential to use these resources wisely in order to succeed in not only the Private Pilot License course, but throughout the program in its entirety.

If you’d like tolearn more about the Pilot Pathway Program,fill out the form belowtoget connected withan Enrollment Advisor.

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