Building 306, Hangar (on the right side of SAC Blvd north of Base Operations, just before the 90 degree left turn at the runway fence)
Offutt AFB, NE 68113
FAX: (402) 294-2836
Hours of Operation:
Flying anytime by arrangement
Mon - Fri: 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Sat, Sun, Holidays: Closed
Q. How does a person get a pilot’s license?
A. Pilot licenses are regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). All FAA licenses require a knowledge test (called the “written,” but done on computer), a question and answer test (called the “oral” examination), and a practical (flight) examination. These examinations are completed after you are first trained and prepared to take them.
Q. What types of licenses are there?
A. At the entry level there are Sport Pilot, Recreational Pilot, and Private Pilot. Sport Pilot training is done in very light aircraft, which we do not have here. The Recreational Pilot certificate requires 30 hours of training and comes with many restrictions. Air Force regulations prohibit holders of Recreational Pilot certificates from acting as pilot-in-command (PIC) of Aero Club aircraft unless enrolled in training for at least a Private Pilot certificate. Aero Club HQ feels the best entry-level license is the Private Pilot license which gives you much greater flexibility for only a few more hours of training (35 hours total under 14 CFR Part 141, 40 hours total under Part 61).
Q. How quickly can I get a license?
A. If you work a full time job but have evenings and weekends open (or the equivalent), you can expect to complete training in about three to six calendar months, weather permitting.
Q. How much will it cost?
A. Flying lessons are like taking any other kind of lessons – piano, golf, tennis – a lot of it depends on you and your ability. We estimate that a license will cost you between $6,000 and $7,000 at today’s rates, if you can complete all the training in the minimum time. If it takes you more time to learn, to be considered safe, it will cost you more.
Q. I already have a Private Pilot Certificate. What other certifications / ratings do you offer?
A. We offer training for Commercial Pilot; Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) (if you have completed the ATP written exam before 31 July 2014); Certified Flight Instructor (CFI), Instrument Instructor (CFII), Multi-engine Instructor (CFIME). We also provide training for Instrument rating; tailwheel endorsement; complex aircraft endorsement; high performance aircraft endorsement.
Q. How do I pay?
A. You pay as you go; a credit or debit card makes it easy to charge each lesson. You can also pay with cash or check. You do NOT have to pay it all up front
Q. Is financial aid available?
A. Not really. Organizations such as Sallie Mae used to offer loans for this purpose, but do not anymore. There are several websites available for locating flight training scholarships, and the procedures for applying for them
Q. Will military “Tuition Assistance” cover any of the costs?
A. No, unfortunately not.
Q. Can I use my G.I. Bill?
A. At the present time, NO. The Montgomery and Post 9/11 G.I. Bills can be used only through a 14 CFR Part 141 school, if you are eligible for benefits, for training beyond your Private Pilot license. The Part 141 school requires appointment of a Chief Flight Instructor who meets criteria established by the FAA. We have been actively looking for such an individual, but the current strong airline hiring boom has severely limited availability of candidates. Once we have hired a Chief Flight Instructor, re-established the Part 141 school, and been re-approved by the VA, there are some other considerations of which you should be aware. The G.I. Bills are supposed to be training you for a vocation or career, and the VA considers the Private Pilot license to be more of a recreational license. Once you complete Private Pilot training, you can then apply to use Montgomery or Post 9/11 G.I. Bill benefits to reimburse all/some of your expenses toward obtaining your Commercial certificate, or advanced ratings.
Q. Do I need an FAA medical examination?
A. Yes. A third class medical is required prior to initial solo, regardless of whether you are enrolled in a Part 61 or Part 141 Private Pilot Course.
Q. I am an active military flight crewmember, do I still need to get an FAA medical?
A. Active military pilots (but NOT other crew positions) can now use a current Class 1 flight physical to meet the FAA requirement. The AF IMT 1042 must specify “PILOT” or “NAVAL AVIATOR” in the rating block.
Q. Where do I get an FAA medical?
A. We have a list of local doctors here, or you can go through the FAA website to search. The cost varies.
Q. I am an AF (or other military branch) pilot; what do I need to do to fly at the aero club?
A. That depends. If you have an FAA pilot’s license and it has single-engine land on it already, it is only a matter of a checkout for you to fly a single-engine airplane. If you do not have that on your license already, we will need to talk to you to determine what aircraft you’ve flown, etc., and what needs to be done. If you have an FAA license with multi-engine land on it, we will have to see if you have a centerline thrust restriction or not.
Q. Do I need to prove my citizenship?
A. Yes, in accordance with TSA rules, we need to see a raised seal birth certificate or current passport before you start any training that adds a “new capability” – which means Private Pilot, Instrument rating, or Multi-engine.
Q. What if I am not a U.S. citizen?
A. There is a process you must go through that is outlined on the TSA website.
Q. How soon can I start training?
A. As soon as you can prove your citizenship and medical fitness for flight.
Q. What days/times can I fly?
A. We operate 24/7/365 and you can fly at any time that you can get an instructor to go with you for a lesson, or at any time if you are already a qualified pilot.
Q. Is it safe?
A. Despite the news media’s slant, light aircraft are very safe, and the aero club system has an even better safety record.
Q. Do the planes have GPS?
A. All of our advanced planes do, but for the Private Pilot course you do not need it and will in fact need to demonstrate that you can navigate using a variety of other means.
Q. What can I do with my license once I get it?
A. You can fly locally or long distance. If you get sent on a TDY you can fly yourself there with an aero club plane and get reimbursed up to your expense or the cost of the airline ticket, whichever is lower. If you carry other people (that are required to go) for the TDY, you can get reimbursed for the cost of their airline tickets also, since you provided their transportation. If you carry friends somewhere you can legally share the expenses with them. We have an active club with over 240 members and we go to fly-in breakfasts, airshows, and day trips to interesting destinations. We also go on “poker runs”, which land at a number of airports to draw cards for a poker hand at the end. Another fun activity is fly-in camping where we fly out to an airport and camp on the airfield overnight in tents. If you are into pro sports you can go to a larger city to see pro games. You could fly your friends to show them your hometown for a long weekend.
Q. How do I rent airplanes after I get my license?
A. Just keep yourself current in accordance with AF regulations and if you are qualified on a certain airplane you can reserve it using our easy online reservation system. It is first-come, first-served. If you are taking it on a long trip you submit a request form outlining where you will take it, when you will refuel, etc.
Q. If I rent an airplane for a long trip am I paying for every hour it is gone?
A. No! Each airplane has a minimum hours estimated per day of normal use here. If you flew out three hours on a Friday and flew back three hours on Sunday, you’d only pay for 6 hours on the airplane. That rate is called the “wet rate”, which means it includes the fuel you’d burn. If you add fuel while away, you get reimbursed. If you flew out three hours on Friday and kept the plane for two weeks and then flew back on a Sunday, we would figure how many hours per day were expected, subtract what you actually flew (the 6 hours), and charge the remaining hours at the dry rate (no fuel) which is about half the wet rate. For more details see the “Standard Operating Procedures”.