Get Your Pilot License While at CMA
1. Cadets can pursue a Sport Pilot or Private Pilot License beginning at age 16 at the FBO (fixed base operator). Camden Jet Center has one Cessna 172 for the Private Pilot Rating. It is owned and operated by Greenville Jet Center. See greenvillejetcenter.com/. Cirrus Flight Training has two tail-wheel aircraft for the Sport Pilot Rating. See http://www.cftflightschool.com/
Costs vary with the price of aviation fuel ($5.64 per gallon as of April 2014), but essentially the Sport Pilot Rating costs $5,000 and the Private Pilot Rating about $10,000. For information about these two ratings visit Gleim at http://www.gleim.com/aviation/ and click on the free online brochure “Learn to Fly.” It contains extensive information about FAA requirements for these two pilot ratings.
The C-172 costs $109 per hour (anytime the engine is running); the instructor cost is $37 per hour during pre-flight (30 minutes), in-flight (one hour initially, then 1.5 hours until Cross-Country (1.5 to 3.0 hours) and post-flight 9about 15 minutes). With this information and the Gleim on-line booklet you can calculate APPROXIMATE costs. Keep in mind that although the FAA requires 40 hours for the Private Pilot Rating, the national average is around 75 hours. The Sport Pilot Rating averages 50 hours to complete. Students who fly 3X per week might finish in 40 hours if they are well-adapted to flying. Camden students usually fly one or two times per week, so many do not complete the rating during the course of a school year. Another limiting factor is the written test for either rating. The ground school is conducted at the FBO on Mondays from 6:30 to 8:30 or 9:00pm. Junior cadets and cadets in their first year have difficulty getting out of study hall (7:30 to 9:30) and will miss the evening meal. They must be funded to have food delivered to the airport. Cadets whose academics grades are problematic are not permitted to attend the ground school. However, self-contained Ground School Courses are available at Kingschools.com, SportysPilot Shop.com, Jeppesen.com (these are DVD based) and Gleim (see above) which is paper-based, and less expensive. Other materials must be purchased such as Flight Computers (circular slide rule), charts, plotters, and FAA publications, a Flight Maneuvers Manual, Pilots Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge, Aviation Weather Theory, and Aviation Weather Reports.
The Private Pilot Ground School is often taught at a local community college. It involves 3 hours per week for 15 weeks, and is taught by an FAA Certified Ground or Flight Instructor.
It is strongly advised that CMA students complete Ground School AND PASS the WRITTEN (2.5 hours and 60 questions) BEFORE the start of the Academic Year.