Becoming a Pilot Through American Winds College of Aeronautics Program

Apr 9, 2024

If you’ve dreamed of becoming a pilot, now is the time to make that dream a reality! The aviation industry is booming and pilots have never been in higher demand. Launch a new aviation career today by enrolling in the American Winds Flight Academy. Join us below as we discuss your options to become a pilot in Ohio!

Wondering how to become a pilot in Ohio? Thanks to Americans Winds College of Aeronautics, earning a pilot’s license in Ohio has never been easier. Located at the Akron Fulton Airport, American Winds can help you become a Private Pilot, Commercial Pilot, Airline Transport Pilot, and more.

American Winds is an Ohio flight school created by aviators, for aviators. Earn your Associate Degree of Applied Science to save both time and money, getting you to your aviation goals faster! Do you have a need for speed? Then inquire about our Fast Track Program, where you can finish your associate’s in as little as one year!

You can also prepare for your Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Knowledge Tests by studying at the online American Winds Ground School. Our programming helps students become safe and competent pilots, ensuring they have all the knowledge needed to pass their exams. Ground school provides a structured learning environment as well as personal interaction with qualified flight instructors.

How to Become a Private Pilot

The first step to your exciting career in aviation is earning your Private Pilot License (PPL). As a private pilot, you will be able to operate an airplane during the day or night in good weather conditions. With your PPL, you can operate an airplane with friends, family, or co-workers on board, but you may not receive compensation yet.

While the minimum flight training requirement for your PPL is 40 hours, it takes most pilots about 55 hours to complete the certification. American Winds is an Ohio flight school that can help meet the requirements for a private pilot certificate.

The FAA minimum requirements for a private pilot include:

  • Obtain at least a 3rd Class Medical Certificate.
  • Be able to read, speak, write, and understand the English language.
  • Citizen of the United States (or obtain TSA approval before training).
  • Be at least 17 years old (you may begin your training at any age).
  • Pass the FAA Knowledge Test.
  • Pass an oral test and a check ride.

How to Become a Commercial Pilot

Once you’ve received your private pilot license, you can take your career to the next level with American Winds Flight Academy by becoming a commercial pilot. Commercial pilots earn compensation by transporting cargo and passengers, performing aerial surveying, search and rescue, and more. This is where you can finally earn money for all of your hard work!

You will need to obtain the academic knowledge, flight skills and aeronautical experience necessary to meet the requirements for a commercial Pilot for the airplane category (initial), add on category, and add on class. Students will reach 250 hours of total flight time and then take the single engine commercial flight test.

The FAA minimum requirements for a commercial pilot include:

  • Must be at least 18 years old.
  • Hold a Private Pilot certificate.
  • Pass a 100-question aeronautical knowledge written test.
  • Pass an oral test and check ride.

How to Become an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP)

Continue moving up in the aviation industry by becoming an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP). With your ATP certificate, you can fly for an airline and most regional airline pilot jobs. By obtaining the necessary knowledge, skills and experience, you will be ready to test for the highest level of piloting ability!

The FAA requirements for an Airline Transport Pilot include:

  • Must be at least 23 years old.
  • Must hold Commercial Pilots license.
  • Must hold an Instrument Rating.
  • Complete 1,500 Hours for fixed wing or 1,200 for helicopters.
  • Complete 500 hours of cross-country flight time.
  • Complete 100 hours of night flight time.
  • Complete 75 hours of instrument flight time (simulated or actual).
  • Be able to read, speak, write, and understand the English language.
  • Pass written exam.

Airline Transport Pilot – Restricted Rating (R-ATP)

You also have the option of working as an Airline Transport Pilot with a restricted rating. The R-ATP reduces the required minimum flight hours for certain individuals. With this certificate, you can act as a co-pilot on major airlines or fly for airlines with less than the standard 1500 required hours. American Winds College of Aeronautics is one of the few Ohio flight schools where you can receive a Restricted ATP Associate Degree!

The reduced minimums include:

  • Cross-country flight time reduced to 200 hours.
  • Total flight time is reduced to:
    • 750 Hours for former Military pilots.
    • 1,000 hours for graduates of university bachelor’s degree programs.
    • 1,250 for graduates of university associate’s degree programs.

Additional Ratings and Certificates

Most pilots earn additional ratings and certificates to open more opportunities for their career in aviation. The team at American Winds is ready to help you become a pilot, ensuring you have every certificate you need to be successful. Check out the certificates you can earn at our flight school!

Instrument Rating

Many students study for their Instrument Rating (IR) before obtaining their Commercial Pilots license. This rating allows a pilot to fly under instrument meteorological conditions (IMC), meaning weather with reduced visibility, or near/in clouds. Your Instrument Rating will allow you to fly an aircraft solely with instruments, adding confidence and ability to your growing experience.

While an Instrument Rating is not technically needed to become a Commercial Pilot, most students seek this training to further their career. Without an Instrument Rating, Commercial Pilots cannot fly for hire at night or fly further than 50 nautical miles from the home base airport. Flying with instruments is an excellent skill to have, as it decreases your limitations in the sky!

In your ground training, you will learn about flying in poor conditions and prepare for your aviation written test. Flight training is where you will practice all you have learned, getting used to safely operating an airplane under instrument meteorological conditions.

The FAA minimum requirements for the Instrument Rating include:

  • Hold at least a current Private Pilot license or be currently applying for one.
  • Be able to read, write, speak, and understand the English language.
  • Log at least 40 hours of flying in simulated or actual instrument conditions.

Instructor Rating

Earning an instructor rating is a great way to grow your flight experience and help train up-and-coming pilots. Begin a rewarding career in teaching while also logging necessary flight hours by becoming a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI), Certified Flight Instructor – Instrument (CFII), or Multi-Engine Instructor (MEI).

Certified Flight Instructor (CFI)

The Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) rating allows you to instruct pilots for single-engine certificates and ratings. Applicants for this certificate must hold at least a Commercial Pilot Certificate or an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) Certificate.

The FAA requirements include:

  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Must hold a valid 3rd class medical.
  • Be able to read, speak, write, and understand the English language.
  • Hold a Commercial Pilot Certificate or ATP.
  • Pass the FAA knowledge test.
  • Pass FAA practical flight test and oral exam.

Certified Flight Instructor – Instrument (CFII)

The Certified Flight Instructor – Instrument (CFII) rating allows you to teach instrument flying in preparation for a pilot’s Instrument Rating. Applicants must hold at least a Commercial Pilot Certificate or an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) Certificate.

The FAA requirements include:

  • Must possess a commercial certificate.
  • Must possess an instrument rating on his/her pilot certificate.
  • Pass the Flight Instructor Instrument written examination.

Multi-Engine Instructor (MEI)

The Multi-Engine Instructor (MEI) rating allows you to instruct pilots on how to fly an aircraft with more than one engine in preparation for their Multi-Engine Rating. Applicants must hold at least a Commercial Pilot Certificate, Instrument and Multi-Engine Ratings.

The FAA requirements include:

  • Be at least 18 years of age.
  • Hold at least a certified flight instructor certificate (airplane).
  • Hold at least a commercial certificate for multi-engine airplanes.
  • Be able to read, speak, and understand the English language.
  • Obtain at least a second-class FAA medical certificate.
  • Pass the FAA practical flight test.

Launch Your Career With American Winds College of Aeronautics

If you’re looking for an Ohio flight school, then American Winds College of Aeronautics is your answer. Apply today to American Winds College of Aeronautics to launch a rewarding career in aviation. Our team can’t wait to walk you through the process of earning a pilot’s license in Ohio.

About American Winds

Since 2002, American Winds has been helping Future Captains find their wings in Ohio’s skies. As an FAA-certified Flight School and fully accredited College of Aeronautics, we offer programs and training for a variety of career paths – including flying for the major airlines and freight carriers – as well as certification for flight instructors and private pilots. Founder and Chief Flight Instructor Denise Hobart and her team take great pride in providing the best individualized training and instruction in a safe, professional environment. How can we help your pilot dreams take flight today?

Find your wings at American Winds

Want to get your career cleared for takeoff? Gain altitude and groundspeed at American Winds – and feel your future take flight!

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