Flight Instruction Services

Discovery Flight

A Discovery Flight, often called an introductory flight, is approximately 30 minutes, intended to familiarize a prospective student with the airplane, the airport, and with the flying environment. During your Discovery Flight, you’ll sit in the pilot seat, and the FAA Certified Flight Instructor at your side will allow you to fly for the majority of the flight. A Discovery Flight is a great option if you’re considering a private Pilot Certificate, or makes a unique gift for anyone from 8 to 80. You can even bring a friend to ride along. If you decide to begin flight training, the Discovery Flight may be logged as your first flight lesson. Click our Discovery Flight Page for more details.

Private Pilot Certificate

We at Black Hound Aviation specialize in helping new students (or pilots transitioning from other flight schools) achieve their goal of earning their Private Pilot Certificate. Our seasoned Certified Flight Instructors (CFIs) have thousands of hours experience giving instruction on the ground, in the air and in simulators. Many CFIs are young pilots with just a few hundred hours who are building time in order to compete for airline jobs. While many of these CFIs are dedicated to their craft, many see flight instruction as a steppingstone, and are more concerned with building flight hours than with providing the best training possible. Our typical CFI is here because he or she loves to teach – in most cases he or she has already completed a military or civilian flying career, and wants to give back. This CFI will spend the time and effort to ensure their students become safe and proficient pilots. Unlike many flight schools, you will likely have the same primary instructor throughout your training. This is important because if your CFI leaves go to the airlines, you’ll often spend extra time and money transitioning to a new CFI.  You can read about our individual CFIs on our Instructors page.  

For more details on what it takes and might cost to obtain your Private Pilot Certificate, click our Private Pilot License Course Requirements page. Financing is available for those who qualify.

 

Complex Airplane Endorsement

A complex airplane is defined by 14 CFR 61.31(e) as an airplane that has the following:

  • Retractable landing gear

  • Flaps

  • Controllable pitch propeller

 

There are no minimum number of flight hours required to obtain a complex endorsement, although you will be required to receive and log ground and flight training from an authorized instructor in a complex airplane, or in a flight simulator or flight training device that is representative of a complex airplane and demonstrate proficiency in the operation and systems of the airplane. Our Piper PA-32R-300 Lance is available for your Complex Airplane Endorsement.

 

High-Performance Airplane Endorsement

A High-Performance Airplane is defined by 14 CFR 61.31(f) as an airplane with AN ENGINE of MORE THAN 200 horsepower. You will need to receive and log ground and flight training from an authorized instructor in a high-performance airplane, or in a flight simulator or flight training device that is representative of a high-performance airplane, and demonstrate proficiency in the operation and systems of the airplane. Our Piper PA-32R-300 Lance is available for your High-Performance Airplane Endorsement.

 

Instrument Rating

Why Should I Get My Instrument Rating?

There are several reasons why you might want to earn an instrument rating on your pilot certificate, including;

 

  1. Safety. Even if you never intend to fly in the clouds or conditions outside of visual flight rules (VFR), the instrument rating provides an extra layer of safety just in case things do not go as planned during a flight. Not only will you understand more about the weather and what to expect, if your best option was to fly through the clouds, you could safely do so in an aircraft with Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) capabilities.

  2. Greater opportunity to fly. With an instrument rating, a pilot may safely climb through a low cloud layer on a day when he or she would otherwise be stuck on the ground.

  3. Career. An instrument rating is required for most flying jobs, including Flight Instructor. This rating is a vital step on the way to a flying career.

 

To be eligible to pursue an Instrument Rating, the applicant must:

  • Hold at least a Private Pilot Certificate

  • Be able to read, write, and converse fluently in English.

  • Hold a current FAA Medical Certificate.

  • Receive and log ground training from an authorized instructor (i.e. ground school course) or complete a home-study course using an instrument textbook and/or videos.

 

Prior to your Instrument Practical Test, you must accumulate flight experience per FAR 61.65:

  • The candidate must have at least 50 hours of cross-country flight time as pilot in command, which can include solo cross-country time as a student pilot. Each cross-country must have a landing at an airport that is at least a straight-line distance of more than 50 NM from the original departure point.

  • The candidate must make at least one cross-country flight that is performed under IFR and transits a distance of at least 250 NM along airways or ATC-directed routing and includes an instrument approach at each airport so that a total of three different kinds of instrument approaches are performed.

  • The candidate also needs a total of 40 hours of actual or simulated instrument time, including a minimum of 15 hours of instrument flight training from a Flight Instructor certified to teach the instrument rating (CFII)

  • Up to 20 hours of the instrument training may be accomplished in an approved flight simulator or flight training device if the training was provided by an authorized instructor (CFII).

  • In the 2 calendar months prior to the practical test, the candidate needs to log 3 hours of instrument training in an airplane that is appropriate to the instrument-airplane rating from a CFII in preparation for the test.

  • Receive and log training, as well as obtain a logbook endorsement from your CFII on the following areas of operation: preflight preparation, preflight procedures, air traffic control clearances and procedures, flight by reference to instruments, navigation systems, instrument approach procedures, emergency operations, and postflight procedures.

Finally, you must successfully complete the instrument rating practical test (an oral and flight test), as specified in Practical Test Standards (PTS) for the instrument rating, which will be conducted by an FAA designated examiner.

IMPORTANT NOTE

Up to 10 hours of your flight experience may be conducted in an approved flight simulator. Our Redbird TD2 Basic Aviation Training Device can save you a significant amount of money toward your instrument rating.

 
 

Commercial Pilot Certificate

As a commercial pilot, you may act as pilot in command of an aircraft that is carrying passengers or property for compensation or hire and you may be paid to act as pilot in command. A person who applies for a commercial pilot certificate with an airplane category and does not hold an instrument rating will be endorsed with a prohibition against carrying passengers for hire on day VFR flights beyond 50 Nautical Miles (NM) or at night.

 

Requirements to Obtain a Commercial Pilot Certificate

  • Be able to read, write, and converse fluently in English.

  • Be at least 18 years of age.

  • Hold at least a current third-class FAA medical certificate. Later, if your flying requires a commercial pilot certificate, you must hold a second-class medical certificate.

  • Hold an instrument rating. A commercial pilot is presumed to have an instrument rating. If not, his/her commercial pilot certificate will be endorsed with a prohibition against carrying passengers for hire on day VFR flights beyond 50 NM or at night.

  • Receive and log ground training from an authorized instructor or complete a home-study course.

  • Pass a knowledge test with a score of 70% or better.

  • Accumulate appropriate flight experience and instruction (see 14 CFR 61.129). A total of 250 hours of flight time is required.

  • Successfully complete a practical (flight) test, which will be given as a final exam by an FAA inspector or designated pilot examiner; it will be conducted as specified in the FAA’s Commercial Pilot Practical Test Standards.

Train in my own plane

Our CFIs have a broad range of experience and can provide training in many GA aircraft, ranging from Piper Cub through Mooney, Beechcraft, Columbia, Cirrus and more. Owner aircraft CFI rate is $70/hr single engine, $80/hr multiengine. We have experience in many twins including Cessna 310, Piper Seminole and Seneca, Grumman Cougar and more. Call to discuss training in your aircraft.