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What does it take to learn to fly?

People 16 to 60 have learned to fly here at Skypark. Men or women, your or old, it does not matter. If you want to learn to fly, Skypark is the place for you. Your training will be divided into flying the aircraft and ground training to learn the basics behind how airplanes fly. Over the years our instructors have found that starting with the flying and then adding in the ground training when appropriate is the quickest and easiest way to learn to fly. Let’s take a quick look at how your training will proceed starting with the ground training.

There are certain fundamentals that you will learn in your ground training such as how an airplane flies and the basics of flying. As your ground training progresses you will study the “rules of the road” that define the safe operating procedures of all aircraft, weather basics and navigation. Don’t worry if its been a while since you’ve been in school, your instructor will be there to assist you every step of the way.

During your flight training you’ll learn the basic skills such as flight at various airspeeds, climbs, turns, descents, and of course takeoffs and landings. At first it’s all new to your, but you will find that you will quickly become proficient at the basics. Then comes the big day; your first solo flight! your family and friends can come out to the airport and watch as you fly alone for the first time. It’s a big step, one the you will remember for the rest of your life.

Remember to wear an old shirt. Here at Skypark we have a tradition of cutting the back of your shirt off, inscribing it with the your name and date of solo and then hanging it on our wall. The same wall that has been adorned with the shirt tails of future astronauts, military pilots, airline pilots and pilotsof all types.

At this point, you are well on your way to becoming a private pilot. Now that you have mastered the basics, you move on to more advanced lessons such as cross country navigation, flying at night and perfecting your flying technique. You will continue to work with your instructor, but you will also fly solo to fine tune your skills. The very last step you will take is an exam to obtain your license. Don’t worry though; your instructor will prepare you well for the test. Once you receive your license, you are a pilot who is able to take your friends and family aloft to share the adventure of flight with you.

How much time does it take?

The minimum time required for a private pilot license is 40 hours. Most students will need a little bit more time to hone their flying skills. Here at Skypark we find that 40-60 hours is a more realistic time frame in which to complete the training for a private pilot’ license. Our instructors don’t just train you to the minimum levels of ability. It’s the goal of our flight school to train you to a higher level of ability make ensuring that you are a safe, capable, and confident pilot.

How often should I fly?

As a student you’ll find that the more times per week you can fly the quicker you’ll receive your license. We find that flying 2-3 times per week is optimal. This allows you to rapidly build your piloting skills and let’s you complete your license is around 6 months.

“But, what if I can only fly on weekends”, don’t worry, our flight instructors will work around your schedule. We have an instructor to fit your particular schedule and learning needs.

What does the flight training consist of?

Your flight training is divided into a number of phases. Each phase builds on the skills developed in the prior phase and quickly builds you flying skills.

Pre-Solo This is the intial phase of your training. During this phase you will learn how to maneuver the aircraft both on the ground and in the air. These manuevers make up the core skills you’ll need as a pilot.
  • Preparing the aircraft for flight
  • Maneuvering the aircraft on the ground
  • Take offs
  • Turning the aircraft
  • Climbs and descents
  • Landing the aircraft
Solo The first time you take to the air by yourself is an experience you’ll remember for the rest of your life. Throughout the solo phase of your training you’ll be flying the aircraft by yourself. Initially you will practice solo take off and landings at our airport under the watchful eyes of your instructor. Later you’ll solo to nearby airports and practice on your own. The goal of to build your confidence and continue to hone your flying skills.
  • Supervised solo flights at Skypark
  • Flying solo in our practice area
  • Flying to nearby airports and returning to Skypark
Cross Country The third phase of your training is the cross country phase. During this phase you’ll learn how to navigate the aircraft to distant airports and return to Skypark. This phase consist of both dual cross countries with your instructor and solo cross countries. Don’t worry if you have trouble telling north from south. By the time you complete you’re dual cross countries you have the skills to confidently navigate the solo trips.
  • Dual cross countries that develop you navigational skills
  • Solo cross countries that hone this skills and build your confidence
Night Flying Night flying is one of the most magical experiences of flying. It’s so amazing to see how beautiful the world is at night. Your instructor will fly with you at night as you practice landing at night and going on a cross country.
  • Night take offs and landings
  • Night cross country
Checkride Preparation The final phase of your training brings all your skills together as you prepare for the checkride. Think of a checkride as a drivers test for pilots. As you fly with your instructor during this phase you’ll buff up your flying skills in preparation for your checkride. It is the goal of our instructors to go beyond “being just good enough” to being great the day you take your flight.
  • Reviewing and polishing all of the skills that you’ve learned

About Our Instructors:

Skypark is quite proud of it’s instructors. We have one of the most experienced group of instructors you’ll find anywhere in the state of Ohio. Our current instructors have:

  • more than 100 years of flying experience;
  • over 60 years of experience teaching people how to fly;
  • and have given over 15,000 hours of flight instruction.

What does this mean to you? It means that you are are going to learn from some of the most experienced instructors you’ll find in northeast Ohio. It means learning how to fly in the shortest possible time. And, it means learning how to become the best pilot you can be.

How do you get started?

Give us a call at or come on out to the airport. To get directions to our airport click here. We’ll be happy to show you around our school, let you meet with our instructors and you can even take an introductory lesson where you’ll get to take the controls under the watchful eyes of an instructor and see how easy and fun it is piloting an aircraft.