Frequently Asked Questions
Have a question about flight training at Thrust Flight? Find answers to all of our frequently asked questions below. And if your question isn't answered, send us a message on our contact us page and a member of our team will get back to you shortly.
1. How often should I train?
We recommend most students train at least a few times each week. The more regularly you train the better you’ll retain everything you’ve learned.
If you’re interested in participating in our Zero Time to Airline program it’s important to note that it is a full-time program. In this program, you’ll be training every day with one to two days off per week in order to do personal study.
2. Do airlines still require 4-year degrees?
It varies from airline to airline. All of the regional airlines we partner with do not require a college degree. However, a few of the majors do. Additionally, many international airlines do not require a degree.
If there is a specific airline you want to work for you may want to research their hiring requirements.
3. Is it better to obtain a college degree in an aviation field or focus completely on training?
The answer to this really depends on your goals and personal preference. If your goal is to become an airline pilot we lean towards a focus on flight training because of pilot seniority.
The sooner you get 1,500 hours the sooner you get to the airlines. And the sooner you get to the airlines the higher your seniority. This can have a significant impact on your career as you advance from First Officer to Captain and as you move from a regional airline to a major one.
Once you begin working for a regional airline you may want to obtain a 4-year degree if the major airline you want to work for requires it. This way you are building seniority and hours at the regional airlines while earning the degree.
4. Do I have to buy my own renter's insurance even if I’m just doing recurrent training?
Yes, all pilots who fly our planes are required to have renters insurance to cover any potential damage to the aircraft.
5. Can I use my own aircraft?
In order to keep consistent training, we prefer to do all instruction in our own fleet of planes. However, under special circumstances, we may permit training in your own aircraft.
6. I’m coming down for accelerated training, where can I stay?
We have some company housing available for accelerated students that you may be able to stay in. If these facilities are all booked during your training, there are a number of hotels in the area we have worked with to help you receive a competitive rate during your stay.
7. Am I too old to be an airline pilot?
While the decision is up to you, it’s important to know that airlines have a mandatory retirement age of 65. Since they have to invest a great deal of money in each pilot in order for them to receive their type rating they are incentivized to hire younger pilots so they get a better return on that investment.
Don’t let that discourage you, however, from making a career change in order to become a pilot. We’ve trained many middle-aged pilots who were hired by the airlines.
You should also factor in the minimum hours required to reach the airlines. You’ll need 1,500 hours of flight time. For most pilots going from zero hours, this will take about 2 years.
8. What licenses do I need, to get paid to fly?
To be paid to fly you’ll need a commercial pilot certificate. To reach that point you’ll need a private pilot certificate and over 200 hours of flight time.
Most pilots will also have an instrument rating so they can fly in the clouds as well.
However, most paid pilot jobs will require more hours and/or additional ratings. This is why most pilots become a CFI on their path to becoming an airline pilot, to build hours to become eligible for a future job.
9. What is the difference between Part 141 and Part 61?
The primary difference between the two is the minimum number of hours you have to fly to become a pilot and the standardized curriculum you’ll be taught.
Under Part 61 someone pursuing their private pilot needs to fly a minimum of 40 hours. Under Part 141 you only need to fly a minimum of 35.
For full details on the difference between Part 61 and Part 141 check out our blog.
10. How many instructors will I have?
Generally speaking, we try to keep you with one instructor during each rating. However, it isn’t always possible due to scheduling constraints.
Additionally, if the teaching style of one instructor just isn’t working for you, we will work with you to find an instructor who will better connect with you.
11. Do you have your own maintenance facilities?
Yes, all of our aircraft maintenance is performed by our own team of airplane mechanics.
With our own team of mechanics, we are able to get any needed repairs done quickly and on-site. This minimizes our aircraft downtime giving you more time in the air.
Ready to start your flight training program? Give us a call or fill out our contact form and we'll help you find the perfect program for you.