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Start Flying Today: What You Need to Know to Become a Pilot

If you’ve ever dreamed about flying but haven’t seriously considered or started flying yet, then today is your day to change all that. At Sterling Flight Training, our rolling enrollment, one-on-one instruction and flexible scheduling provides a program anyone can take advantage of. If you have a passion for flying and dedication to your training, you can become a private pilot in as little as two months.

Age Doesn’t Matter
There is no minimum or maximum age when it comes to flight training. While a student must be at least 16 to solo, kids can begin following their passion at an early age. For students beginning later in life, that’s okay too. As long as you can pass a FAA medical exam to obtain at least a third-class medical certificate, you can become a pilot.

Getting Your Medical Exam
Before your first solo you must pass a medical exam conducted by a FAA Aviation Medical Examiner (AME). You can begin flight training before then, but we encourage all students to get one earlier rather than later in case any unknown medical issues could keep you from becoming licensed. A Third-Class Medical is the least invasive and is best suited for student pilots or private pilots. A First-Class Medical Certificate has the highest standards and is generally best suited for Commercial and Airline Pilots. Ready to schedule an exam? Visit our local guide to AMEs here.

Documents Needed
When you are ready to enroll, you will need to provide certain documents.

  • Medical Certificate (if completed)
  • Passport OR
  • Driver’s License and Birth Certificate
  • International Students: M1 visa

Student Pilot Certificate
A Student Pilot Certificate is similar to a learner’s permit and is required before your first solo flight. To obtain this certificate you will apply through the Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application (IACRA) website or by paper using FAA Form 8710-1. This is not required to enroll as Sterling will help you with this process. and your assigned CFI can review and submit the application for its final approval.

Paying for Flight Training
At Sterling we offer flexible payment options so everyone can follow their dream. You can either pay-as-you-fly, deposit money into a prepay account from which training will be deducted or work with one of our financing partners to secure a private loan upfront to cover the cost of training.

Once you are enrolled, we will pair you with an instructor for one-on-one training. Ground school is a hybrid of online courses and in-person instruction with your CFI. We do not hold group ground school, and flying is available seven days a week, making us one of the most flexible flight schools out there.

If you’ve always wanted to become a pilot, contact us today to get started!

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