Have Questions?

We have answers!

How long does it take to learn to fly?
It depends how often you take lessons. Here is an estimated time table.

If you train.. Your training will take about…
1 lesson per day 45 days
3 lessons per week 1 summer
2 lessons per week 6 months
1 lesson per week 1 year
1 lesson per month You never will get done.

What if I wear glasses?

Glasses or contacts are fine. As long as your vision is corrected to 20/40 or better, you can fly.


What medical requirements are there to be a pilot?

Very few. Every two or five years (depending on your age) you have a medical checkup to make sure you are healthy enough to fly. Most people have no problems passing the medical exam. Give me a call if you have some special medical situation and I’ll find out more details for you. I know pilots who have had heart attacks, can only see from one eye, or have missing fingers. I’ve even heard of paraplegics who fly airplanes with modified controls. If you want to fly…you probably can.

How much does it cost to learn to fly?

Learning to fly costs about the same as a used car, except in a few years, the car will be junk and you will still be using your pilot’s license. Plan to invest between $8,000 and $9,000 in your training.
Of course this is spread out over time so you don’t need to pay all in advance. Students usually budget $250 per week for their flying lessons. Typical figures are shown below.

Textbook, plotter, calculator etc. = $375
Airplane $109 an hour for 40 hours = $4,360
Instructor flight training $68/hr for 30 hours = $2,040
Ground instruction and checkride fees = $1680
Total = $8,455

These numbers are based on the legal minimum of 40 hours of training required for the private license. Most people need a few more than the minimum so the total could be 50% higher.  This is a once-in-a-lifetime investment. From that point on, for the rest of your life, you will be called “Pilot”.

What do you have to do to keep your license?
Once you get your pilots license, you have it forever. It never expires. Every two years you are required to take a flight review with an instructor to keep you brushed up on new developments. It consists of one hour of book review and one hour of flying.

Can I really rent an airplane anytime I want?

Yes, nearly every airport in the country has airplanes for rent. The owner of the airplane will probably require a one-time checkout in the airplane to make sure you know how it operates. After that, jump in and go anytime you like.

Can I afford to rent an airplane?

Yes. A two-seat trainer rents for about $109 an hour which includes fuel, oil, everything. You only pay when the engine is running of course so once you get to your destination there is no fee. Since airplanes are so fast, you can get where you want pretty cheaply. You can make most trips all in one day which saves time and hotel fees. If you drive, you spend one of your vacation days just driving and you still have to pay for a hotel. A lot of folks take a couple of friends along and share the cost.

How do I get around after I land at the next airport?

Most airports have courtesy cars they let pilots use for free. Since most airports are owned by the city, these cars tend to be older city-owned vehicles. I’ve driven a lot of retired police cars with holes in the roof where the red lights used to be. If you want to travel farther than just a quick trip to town for lunch, rental cars are available for a flat daily rate.

Are the lessons private or are they taken with other people?

You might take a ground school class with other people but all flight lessons are just you and the instructor. If we use a 4 passenger plane, a friend or family member could ride along if you want.

Will I get airsick?

No. At the beginning of training, the motion might bother you some, but we’ll stop right away. The more you fly, the more immune you become. By the time you fly solo, you’ll have an iron stomach.

What can I do with my pilot's license?

More than you can imagine. Here s a list of things people do with their license. There are MANY more.
1) See the beauty of God’s creation from HIS point of view!
2) Fly around town just for fun.
3) Fly to a nearby town for lunch or dinner.
4) Take your friends or family for a ride.
5) Fly over Memorial stadium and take pictures of downtown Lincoln.
6) Cruise around the Sower on top of the Capitol building.
7) Fly to Kansas City for a shopping trip.
8) Go on a ski trip to Aspen.
9) Fly to Denver for a rock concert.
10) Travel to Chicago for a business meeting.
11) Visit parents and relatives on a two-day weekend.
12) Fly over your farmland and check the crops.
13) Fly out to check your cattle after a snow storm.
14) Fly down the river at sunset and watch herds of running deer.
15) Go up after dark to see the lights of the city.
16) Photograph the Black Hills from above.
17) Join the Navy and learn to fly fighter jets off an aircraft carrier.
18) Fly to the Grand Canyon.
19) Call friends 300 miles away and say “I’ll be over to see you in 2 hours”.
20) Take a fishing trip to Canada.
21) Fly to the Super Bowl.
22) Fly out to your job site to check progress.
23) Go up on the fourth of July and watch fireworks.
24) Deliver parts for an expensive machine that is broken down.
25) Become a professional pilot flying corporate jets.
26) Go to Omaha for supper.
27) Get some more training and fly an airliner around the world in the best job ever.
28) Fly for business, fly for pleasure, just FLY!

Will I have to study a lot?

Yes, you will have to study. After all, if it were easy everyone would be doing it. But if you decide you are going to be a pilot, you can do it. I will help you too, that’s what instructors are for. It’s about as much work as taking one college course. Study a little each night and you’ll do great.

Can I practice on the ground first? I'm nervous I won't do it right.

I, as your flight instructor, will show you how all the controls work on the ground, and show you how to taxi the airplane using the rudder pedals. After we take off, you will get to fly the airplane as much as you prefer. Since airplanes have dual controls for pilot and instructor, you will be able to learn in total safety.

What airplane will we fly during training?
If you rent a car to take driving lessons, you could rent a new BMW or a used Chevy Impala. The same is true for airplanes. Most people just rent the older less expensive machine to learn in, and then use the nicer airplane to take on trips with family. We use a cute little Cessna 152 like the one in the photo.


What airplanes can I fly after I get my license?

You will be legal to fly any airplane with one engine that lands on wheels. (some extra powerful models require special training) The most common Single Engine Land (SEL) airplanes have 2 or 4 seats, but larger faster airplanes are available. You could even fly models with fuel injected, turbo-charged engines with retractable landing gear. One of the coolest experiences in aviation is right after takeoff when you reach down and flip the gear switch, and the hydraulic cylinders pull the landing gear up. Now you’re REALLY flying!


Do you ever have to fly by yourself? Is that scary?

When you take lessons to drive a car, there is a point where the teacher gets out and lets you take it around the block. The same is true for flying. It’s fun, it’s exciting, it’s the most memorable flight of your life, the first solo!

Can I put the airplane on auto-pilot if I have to go to the bathroom?

Small planes don’t have bathrooms on board. It’s just like driving on a long trip. Travel for an hour or two, then stop somewhere for a break. Some nicer airplanes do have autopilots so you can look at maps and tend to other things. Most trainer planes do not have autopilots. Just like with driving, keep one hand on the wheel to do other things.

Can I listen to music or make a phone call while flying?

Flying an airplane is serious business. You will need to be talking to Air Traffic Control on the radio and following radar directions. Music would interfere with that. Maybe if you were flying out over the Sandhills. Cell phones do not work while in flight unless you are really low.

Is it overwhelming to see all the buttons and controls?

Small planes don’t have nearly as many buttons as the pictures you see of big airliners. There is a switch for the landing light, a switch for the fuel pump, and a few other things. Everything is labeled so you don’t need to memorize them. We’ll skip a lot of the switches at first and just do turns and climbs, and then add more things as you get more comfortable.

Can we do aerobatic stunts?

You bet…if you want. Check out our aerobatic airplane! Most people stick with the trainer plane though since it’s cheaper. During your training for the Private Pilots License we will only do gentle maneuvers.

How common is it to take flying lessons?

There are over 624,000 pilots in the United States. Almost 85,000 people started training to be a pilot last year. All of these pilots fly 223,000 general aviation airplanes using 20,000 airports in our country alone. By learning to fly, you will be joining an elite team of men and women. But remember… “pilots are just plane people with a special air about them”.

Who are you and are you Qualified?

My name is John Cox and I teach 11th grade Physics at Pius X High School in Lincoln. I soloed on my 16th birthday and then progressed through the Private, Instrument, and Commercial ratings. I now have a Flight Instructor with an Advanced Ground Instructor rating. I also have a Bachelor’s degree from UNL in Mechanized Agriculture, a Bachelors degree from UNO in Electronics Engineering Technology and a Nebraska Teaching Certificate in Secondary Math and Physics.

Many instructors give lessons in order to build time on their way to an airline job. I am not giving lessons just to build time. I am a professional flight instructor with the goal of being the best flight instructor possible. My dream is to share the beauty of God’s creation with people who appreciate the amazing capability of these machines to lift off the ground and fly with the birds and clouds.

Why are you the best instructor to hire?

The best combination is a simple inexpensive airplane, a patient experienced instructor, and a quiet relaxing airport close to Lincoln. That’s what I offer. I also record each lesson with a digital video camera and send the memory chip home with you each time. There is just too much to learn and absorb during the flight to catch it all. Watching the video at home is like getting a second lesson for free.

Why should I take lessons now?

Now is the perfect time to take flying lessons. Young people have the advantage of time and money while older students have the advantage of patience and experience.

Learning while in high school builds confidence and responsibility in students, boosting their maturity level quickly. Job interviews and college applications both benefit from such an impressive accomplishment as flight training. You will have an advantage over other applicants to University flight schools and the Air Force Academy if you already have flight training and a civilian license. The math and science components of aviation ground school reinforce lessons in math and science in school, with many of the same concepts. A student bored with school often comes to life in the excitement of a flight training environment.

Adult learners are excellent students. They typically immerse themselves fully in the learning process, reading every aviation book and article they can find. Experience gives these pilots-in-training the cautious attention to detail that make for a great pilot. After conquering the Private Pilot training, most adults say “I wish I’d done this years ago!”

Questions I will probably ask you?

How do you plan to use your license?
Where would you go?
Why do you want to be a pilot?
When would you want to start your training?
How often would you want to take lessons?
When would you want to be done?
Do you have a good, quiet place to study your textbook?
What flight experiences have you had so far?

OK, I'd like to become a pilot. What's the next step?

Call me and we’ll make an appointment for an Introductory Flight. We will meet at the airport go for a tour, show you the books we will be studying and go for a ride. This will count as your first flight lesson. After that, we’ll make another appointment and you will be well on your way to learning to fly.
John Cox
Certified Flight Instructor
Lincoln, Beatrice, Crete, Seward
(402) 239-3953


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