FLIGHT TRAINING

St. Pete Air offers flight training under F.A.R. Part 61 criteria for all ratings.

If you’re interested in becoming an aviator, our friendly staff is dedicated to making it happen.

Our flight school is staffed with instructors who have both trained and conducted training in the Tampa Bay area, having logged many hours training student pilots locally. Our instructors can customize your learning experience to suit your personal needs, whether your goal is to begin a career in aviation and take an accelerated path towards the commercial level, or to fulfill your dream of becoming a private pilot at your own pace.

St. Pete Air offers flight training under F.A.R. Part 61 criteria for all ratings. Our primary training fleet consists of a Diamond DA40, Cessna 172M&P, and Piper Archer/Arrow models equipped with Garmin GNS-430 GPS systems. All aircraft are equipped with state-of-the-art Traffic Awareness Systems to provide you with the highest level of safety.

Certificates & Ratings Offered

Commercial Pilot
Certified Flight Instructor
Certified Instrument Instructor
Private Pilot
Instrument Pilot
Multi Engine
High Performance Rating
Complex Rating
Tail Wheel Endorsement

FAA Private Pilot Requirements

The FAA requires a minimum of 40 hours with each criteria met below. Most students finish their requirements in 50-60 hours. Our instructors will work with you to meet your timeline and goals.

General

  • Be at least 17 years of age. Students may begin training prior to this as young as 14.
  • Be able to read, write and converse fluently in English.
  • Obtain at least a third class medical certificate from an Aviation Medical Examiner
  • Pass a computerized aeronautical knowledge test at an FAA-designated computer testing center with a score of 70 or higher
  • Accumulate and log flight experience (FAR 61.109). Receive a minimum of 40 hours of flight instruction and solo flight time including:

Solo Requirements

  • 10 total hours of which 5 must be solo cross-county time
  • One solo cross-country flight of at least 150 nmi (280km) total distance, with full-stop landings at a minimum of 3 points and with at least one segment of the flight consisting of a straight-line distance of at least 50nmi (93km) between the takeoff and landing locations
  • Three solo takeoffs and landings to a full stop at an airport with an operating control tower

Night Requirements

  • 3 hours of night flight training
  • One cross-country flight over 100nmi (190km)
  • 10 takeoffs and 10 landings to a full stop (w/ each landing involving a flight in the traffic pattern) at an airport

Other

  • 3 hours of flight training on the control and maneuvering solely by reference to instruments
  • 3 hours of flight training for cross-country flights
  • 3 hours of flight training with an authorized instructor in preparation for the practical test.

FAA Instrument Pilot Requirements

The FAA requires a minimum of 40 hours with each criteria met below. Most students finish their requirements in 50-60 hours. Our instructors will work with you to meet your timeline and goals.

General

  • Hold at least a Private Pilot certificate
  • Be able to read, write, and converse fluently in English
  • Obtain at least a third-class medical certificate from an Aviation Medical Examiner or a BasicMed certificate
  • Pass a computerized aeronautical knowledge test at an FAA-designated computer testing center with a score of 70 or higher

Aeronautical Experience Requirement

  • 50 hours of cross-country flight time as pilot-in-command, 10 hours of which must be in airplanes
  • 40 hours of actual or simulated instrument time, of which 15 hours must have been received from a CFII
  • One cross-country flight of at least 250 nmi (463km) total distance along airways or directed by ATC with a CFII that is performed on a filed IFR flight plan
  • an instrument approach at each airport
  • 3 different kinds of approaches with the use of navigation systems

Other

  • 3 hours of flight training with an authorized instructor in preparation for the practical test.

FAA Initial CFI Requirements

A typical CFI candidate comes to us with about 260-270 hours and less than 2 years flight experience. Consequently, flight proficiency is sometimes marginal, so the typical CFI candidate needs about 10-15 hrs of dual training in the right seat. This training is to show proficiency to the requirements of the FAA Commercial and Private Airman Certification Standards (ACS). We will require 25+ hrs of ground instruction to learn how to teach aviation and prepare lesson plans. As to cost for a CFI Initial program, we estimate $5500-$6500 to achieve your goal with us. This estimate does not include the designated examiner’s fee which ranges $1000-$1500 or the two Knowledge Tests; Flight Instructor-Airplane (FIA) and Flight Instructor Fundamentals of Instruction (FOI).

The Practical test takes about 6-8 hours, mostly an oral, but a flight will be required to demonstrate teaching techniques and conformance to the applicable ACS. The airplane model is up to you for the Practical. While we have two Diamonds in our fleet, we would encourage you to build your operating experience in Cessnas and Pipers because no matter where your CFI employment is Cessnas and Pipers are the predominant airplanes in training fleets. Likewise, a CFII will cost you about the same expense range as the Initial-CFI. You will be required to demonstrate proficiency doing instrument approaches from right seat during the Practical flight. You will need to have the CFI-Instrument Knowledge Test completed. All of our airplanes are IFR qualified. Your CFII practical will have an oral that is about 4 hours discussing all things an instrument pilot needs to know.

Unless you have already obtained a CFI spin training training endorsement, you will need to complete that using our Piper Cub. Presently, our fleet is composed of Cessnas (M&P models) and Piper Warrior/Archer models available for flight training.

Experienced CFIs qualified to teach a new CFI are limited, so availability of those CFIs could impact your schedule. We schedule first come, first served for CFIs and airplanes. Once you complete our paperwork, we will give you access to FlightschedulePro so you can see the availability of our resources. We are not able to tell which CFI is available for your training until you speak with our Front Desk scheduler(s) at 727-755-1359.

The FAA has released an ACS for CFIs. It replaces a CFI PTS that has been around for years. In addition, the FAA has issued revisions to the Private, Instrument, Commercial, and ATP ACSs. All ACS requirements are effective for checkrides on or after May 31, 2024. We encourage you to download them at https://www.faa.gov/training_testing/testing/acs because they will be applicable to all your training going forward.

FAA Commercial Pilot Single Engine Airplane Requirements

General

  • Hold at least a Private Pilot certificate
  • Be able to read, write and converse fluently in English
  • Obtain at least a third class medical certificate from an Aviation Medical Examiner or a BasicMed certificate
  • Pass a computerized aeronautical knowledge test at an FAA-designated computer testing center with a score of 70 or higher

Aeronautical Experience Requirement

(1) 100 hours in powered aircraft, of which 50 hours must be in airplanes.

(2) 100 hours of pilot-in-command flight time, which includes at least—

(i) 50 hours in airplanes; and

(ii) 50 hours in cross-country flight of which at least 10 hours must be in airplanes.

(3) 20 hours of dual training on the areas of operation listed in FAR 61.127(b)(1) that includes at least—

(i) Ten hours of instrument training using a view-limiting device including attitude instrument flying, partial panel skills, recovery from unusual flight attitudes, and intercepting and tracking navigational systems. Five hours of the 10 hours required for instrument training must be in a single engine airplane;

(ii) 10 hours of training in a complex airplane, a turbine-powered airplane, or a technically advanced airplane (TAA) that meets the requirements of FAR 61.129 (j), or any combination thereof. The airplane must be appropriate to land or sea for the rating sought;

(iii) One 2-hour cross country flight in a single engine airplane in daytime conditions that consists of a total straight-line distance of more than 100 nautical miles from the original point of departure;

(iv) One 2-hour cross country flight in a single engine airplane in nighttime conditions that consists of a total straight-line distance of more than 100 nautical miles from the original point of departure; and

(4) Ten hours of solo flight time in a single engine;

(i) One cross-country flight of not less than 300 nautical miles total distance, with landings at a minimum of three points, one of which is a straight-line distance of at least 250 nautical miles from the original departure point.; and

(ii) 5 hours in night VFR conditions with 10 takeoffs and 10 landings (with each landing involving a flight in the traffic pattern) at an airport with an operating control tower.

3 hours of flight training with an authorized instructor in preparation for the practical test.

Private Pilot Syllabus

Check back soon for an update!

St Pete Air Flight School
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