Frequently Asked Questions


This page is a work in progress so please feel free to call or e-mail us with any questions you may have. 951-652-6900



What is a discovery flight?
How old do I need to be to start flight training?
Do I need to have 20/20 vision?
What do I need to start flight training?
What is the difference between a sport pilot and a private pilot?
Do I need to complete ground school before I start flight training?
What are my ground school options?
What is the knowledge test?
What is the practical test?
What is a student pilot certificate?
Do I need a student pilot certificate before I start flight training?
Where do I get a student pilot certificate?
Do I need a medical certificate before I start flight training?
Where can I get a medical certificate?
What class of medical certificate do I need?
How much does a medical certificate cost?




What is a discovery flight?

A Discovery Flight, also commonly known as an intro flight, is your opportunity to try flying first hand! You will sit in the pilot's seat and take the flight controls as your instructor guides you through various flight maneuvers. It is the perfect first step to learning more about becoming a pilot. We also answer all the questions you might have about becoming a pilot. Discovery Flights also make a great gift! - Don't forget your camera!



How old do I need to be to start flight training?

There is no minimum age to start flight training, but you cannot fly an airplane by yourself until you are 16 years old and you must be at least 17 before you can take the final test to get your pilot's license.



Do I need to have 20/20 vision?

No, you do not need to have 20/20 vision for general aviation flying. However, in general for 3rd class medical certificate they must be correctable (with glasses or contact lenses) to 20/40 or better for near vision and your distant visual acuity must be correctable to 20/40 or better in each eye separately.



What do I need to start flight training?

To start flight training with M Flight School is simple. You will need to complete the renters agreement, pilot information sheet, and bring in either a passport or birth certificate to prove you are a US citizen. Those seeking a sport pilot license will also need a valid US drivers license (or have one before they can fly solo). We also suggest purchasing a logbook as it is a concise way of keeping track of your flight training. Other supplies will be needed as you progress, but this is all you need to get your flight training started!



What is the difference between a sport pilot and a private pilot?

A sport pilot has limitations placed upon their pilot's certificate that limits the type of aircraft and flight operations they may conduct. They are also required to have a valid US drivers license. Furthermore, sport pilot's do not need a medical certificate with some exceptions, and the minimum required flight training hours are less than a private pilot. A private pilot has no such limitations on their pilot's certificate, but also has a higher minimum flight training requirement, and requires at least a 3rd class medical certificate. However, core flight training concepts are identical for both sport and private pilot certificates.



Do I need to complete ground school before I start training?

No, you can start flight training right away! But you must have completed the required ground training and taken the knowledge test before you can take the final flight test to get a pilot's license.



What are my ground school options?

What is the knowledge test?

The knowledge test, also known as the written test, is a multiple choice test covering various aeronautical and piloting subjects. The goal of ground school is to help you learn the important aeronautical knowledge you will need to be a pilot and to pass the knowledge test. Furthermore, you must have passed the knowledge test before you can take your final flight test, the practical test, also known as the checkride.



What is the practical test?

The practical test, also known as the checkride, is your final flight test before you can earn a pilot's license (or additional pilot certificates and ratings). It is taken with an FAA Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE) and consists of two main parts: a dedicated one-on-one questioning period by the DPE known commonly as the oral and the flight portion covering flight maneuvers. Both the oral and flight portions must be successfully passed to earn a pilot's license. Fortunately M Flight School has a DPE in-house making the testing process much smoother for our students.



What is a student pilot certificate?

A student pilot certificate formally designates you as a student pilot and is required before either a sport pilot student or private pilot student can fly an airplane by themselves (solo). You must be at least 16 years of age to be eligible for a student pilot certificates who is seeking flight training in an airplane.



Do I need a student pilot certificate before I start flight training?

No, you do not need a student pilot certificate before you start flight training. However, you do need a student pilot certificate before you can fly solo.



Where do I get a student pilot certificate?

The easiest way to start the application process is to register online through the FAA's Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application (IACRA). Once registered a M Flight School flight instructor can review the application and submit it to the FAA. You do not need a student pilot certificate to start flight training.



Do I need a medical certificate before I start training?

No, you can start flight training right away! But students seeking a private pilot license will need a medical certificate before they can fly solo and students seeking a sport pilot license will need a valid US drivers license before they can fly solo.



Where can I get a medical certificate?

A medical certificate can be obtained only from doctors who are designated as Aviation Medical Examiners (AME). In Hemet there are two AMEs, Dr. Hughes (951-925-9565) and Dr. Yeh (951-658-3227).



What class of medical certificate do I need?

Student pilots need at least 3rd class medical certificate. There are three types of medical certificates 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. In general 1st class is mainly for airline pilots, 2nd class is mainly for commercial pilots, and 3rd class is mainly for private pilots.



How much does a medical certificate cost?

A 3rd class medical certificate will cost about $120.00.