Archive for July, 2012

Learn to Fly In LA: Pacific Skies Aviation

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012
Pacific Skies Aviation Cessna 172

LANG Staff Photo by Scott Varley

By Dave Lopez, Daily Breeze writer. Reprinted with permission.

Reza Birjandi has a passion for flying.

And so, after piloting cargo planes and giving lessons on the side, he decided to teach others full time.

During the five years he’s operated his own flight school out of Torrance Municipal Airport — Pacific Skies Aviation — he’s shared his love with some surprising people: kids barely old enough to drive.

Though most of his students are 30 and older, Birjandi has taught some as young as 10. Among his young students is 16-year-old Sean O’Brien, who has already flown on his own to destinations such as San Diego and Santa Maria.

“It’s not as hard as it seems,” Sean said. “Once you learn what everything means, it’s fun. You feel free. No one is holding you back.”

Even though the minimum age to obtain a pilot’s license is 17, Birjandi believes the younger generation has an advantage that others did not — video games — which he said help kids develop hand-eye coordination and the ability to multitask.

Sean agrees, recalling games he played on his iPod and his computer before enrolling in the flight school.

“It gave me a basic understanding of how everything works,” he said.

Because Sean is not old enough to earn his license yet, his instructor, Chris Garland, must sign off for him before he flies, verifying that all preflight preparations have been accomplished.

“We’re pretty detailed,” Garland said. “We know Sean’s going to be safe.”

Classes are rigorous. In addition to the 70 hours most students spend flying before they can get their license, they put in another 30 to 35 hours in a class environment…

Read the complete article

Learn more about Pacific Skies Aviation here.

Cirrus Aircraft Joins Think Global Flight Team, Rutan In

Sunday, July 29th, 2012 logoCaptain Judy Rice met with Cirrus Aircraft’s Co-Founder and CEO, Dale Klapmeier for a photo op and hand shake as Cirrus Aircraft joins the Think Global Flight team which will be flying a Cirrus SR20 G3 around the world. “We have much to plan and discuss with Cirrus. Right now, we are just ecstatic to have Cirrus on board to help promote education and aviation around the world,” states Rice.

Additionally, Captain Rice met with Dick Rutan, who is now a spokesperson for both Think Global Flight and Fly To Learn. Fly to Learn, the software powered by X-Plane, will be delivering the curriculum found within Think Global Flight’s Student Command Centers. “Today is a great day as we are seeing it all come together,” exclaims Rice.

Later this week at AIRVENTURE 2012, Captain Rice will be meeting with Maule, Hartzell, Aerox and Jeppesen to name a few.

Think Global Flight is an around-the-world flight of adventure to spark interest in S.T.E.M. education worldwide. Captain Judy Rice and Navigator Nauer will be taking off from Honolulu, Hawaii in the Fall of 2013 in a Cirrus SR20 G3, donated by Guidance Aviation.

Current supporters of Think Global Flight include Fly To Learn – Powered by X-Plane, Cirrus Aircraft, Guidance Aviation, Sennheiser, Live Your Dream, Aerox, Spidertracks, Turtlepac, Janet’s Planet, Brightline Bags, Gulf Coast Avionics and numerous individual donors.

For more info, go to

Press Release link on Facebook:


For more info on Think Global Flight’s schedule and availability for press interviews, contact:
Direct: 310-745-4711

How Flight School Works

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

Hillsboro Aviation logoEver Wondered How Flight School Works? — Expert Insight from Hillsboro Aviation.

Post written by  Hannah Edwards — a writer for  Hillsboro Aviation.

There probably isn’t a little boy or girl on the planet who doesn’t dream of one day becoming a pilot. Few of us ever actually do it, though. Most people really don’t know what to expect from flight school, but you really can start learning to fly in a short amount of time. And whether you want to simply earn your private certification, or actually pursue a career in aviation, it can help motivate you just to know what you’ll actually be learning on your way to becoming a bona fide, certified pilot.

Learning Paths for Prospective Pilots

There are actually several levels of certification that you can reach as either a helicopter or airplane pilot, ranging from a private certification all the way up to an airline transport pilot certification. Either way, everyone starts out as a beginner.

Private Pilot Certification

A private pilot basically has a recreation certificate. You can take family and friends on individual flights. You can use this certificate as an introduction to flying and gain more serious certifications later on.

Your actual training lays the groundwork for understanding the principles of navigation, radio procedures, as well as airport and heliport operations. Hands-on training usually involves learning the most basic maneuvers, then moving on to actual flights, including night flights and cross-country flying. You’ll need to build up to the FAA’s required 35 hours of flight training in a helicopter (plus 35 hours of ground training), though it usually takes longer than that to complete actual flight time requirements, depending on your pace. For airplane training, only 30 hours of ground training are required.

Eventually, you’ll go through the FAA’s practical exam with an approved examiner. Once you pass the test, you’ll receive your Private Pilot Certificate. Initially, you’ll be limited to flying in fair weather conditions. If you want to fly under more adverse weather conditions, you’ll need to achieve what’s known as an “instrument rating,” which means you’ve been trained to be able to fly the helicopter or airplane using only your instruments. This is a natural next step if you plan on moving on to get your flight instructor rating or commercial pilot certification.

Commercial Pilot Certification

If you plan on a career as a commercial pilot, you must achieve your commercial certification, which takes you beyond the mere private pilot training. You’ll learn about advanced aerodynamics, how to accommodate passengers, and the laws and regulations related to commercial aviation. Commercial pilots also need to be able to fly more advanced aircraft, fly them more precisely, and at higher altitudes.

The minimum flight-hours requirement for a commercial pilot certificate is 35 hours of ground training (30 for helicopter certifications) and 120 hours of flight training. Commercial helicopter pilots need to complete 115 hours of flight training (at least 20 hours with an instructor).

Additional Ratings and Certifications Helicopters

On your way to commercial certification, you may opt for special training to learn about flying while carrying external loads, how to fly turbine helicopters, navigating mountainous terrain or extended cross country flying. The highest level of helicopter pilot certification is the Airline Transport Pilot Certification, and it requires a lot of hours of flight time to achieve (over 1,200 hours). This certification authorizes you to pilot an aircraft that weighs over 12,500 pounds, and carry more than nine passengers.


In preparation for commercial pilot certification, you will want to achieve additional ratings in multi-engine aircraft flight and flight instructor training, which are, in turn, good training in preparation for Airline Transport Pilot certification. No matter what your pilot training path, you can plan on spending a lot of time in the cockpit. And if you find that you really love to fly, it’s not unlikely that you’ll keep coming back for more training and more hours in the air. Hannah Edwards

Community College Adds Pilots Training Programs

Saturday, July 14th, 2012

Students in New Jersey now have another option for starting an aviation career thanks to new programs at Atlantic Cape Community College.

On June 26, the Atlantic Cape Community College Board of Trustees voted to add two new aviation programs to the college’s tuition and fees schedule for the next school year. The programs include an instrument pilot course, which costs $12,000 and a commercial pilot course, which costs $21,000.

At the completion of the programs students will receive an associate in science degree in Aviation Studies. The goal of the program, which also offers a professional pilot option, is to prepare students to transfer to a four-year aviation degree program. To that end, Atlantic Cape Community College has signed articulation agreements with several colleges to ensure a smooth transfer for their students.

With the professional pilot option, students will graduate with a Commercial Pilot Certificate and instrument rating. To take advantage of this option, students must apply for the program, meet all FAA requirements for commercial pilot training, and have a second-class medical certificate.

The degrees require 66 credit hours, which cost $300 in addition to the flight training fees. These fees cover the colleges program costs, while the flight training fees cover flight training costs at Big Sky Aviation of Millville, which is the college’s training provider for these programs.

These two programs are a great addition to the large number of aviation programs available throughout the country and are very competitively priced. They will be a huge benefit to the students of Atlantic Cape Community College and those in the surrounding area who may have been considering a career in aviation.

Furthermore, they are a great template for other community colleges to consider when adding degree programs. They allow the school to do what they know best, while contracting with a flight school to perform the flight training. This benefits the college, which can offer in-demand aviation degree programs, the flight school, which has a new source of regular students, and the students, who can get a great head start on a career as a professional pilot.

For more information on flight training and choosing the right school, check out our Flight Training Resource Center or find flight training near you.

Source: Future Pilots Can Learn at Atlantic Cape Community College
This article was written by Matthew Everett, a private pilot, aviation writer, and frequent contributor to You can follow him on twitter @leaving_tf or find his blog at