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It's only natural to have some questions...

How do I start?

Before you invest your time and money in learning how to fly, you need to decide if flying is for you. The only way to truly tell if you want to learn to fly is to get up there and fly an airplane. Book an intro flight with Meriden Aviation Center today to get started.

How do I pursue my Private Pilot Certificate?

Sign up for ground school or study on your own for the FAA written exam.  Start taking flight lessons with a Meriden Aviation Center CFI.  FAA min 40hrs dual flight training to prepare for the FAA Checkride.

What tools do I need for my training?

  • Headset - You will need a headset to communicate with your flight instructor and any passengers in the airplane. This is one of the more expensive investments you will make but one of the most important too.
  • VFR Sectional Chart - This is a map used to navigate.
  • E6B - An aviation calculator. There are paper ones and electronic ones. Talk to your instructor to see which one best suites your needs.
  • Protractor - We use a protractor to plot courses and figure out distances.
  • A Knee board - You'll want an easy way to take notes while flying. A knee board helps you organize your cockpit and keeps a piece of paper and a pen handy to jot down notes.
  • Flight Bag - Finally you'll need a place to put all of this stuff. A sturdy flight bag is useful for organizing your flight gear.

How much does the training cost?

Based on national averages of 50-70 hrs of dual training, aircraft rental the average range for training for Private Pilot License is between $10,000-14,000.   Cost varies based on students’ ability to take lessons consistently and overall ability.

What are some of the terms I will hear during my training at Meriden Aviation Center?

(FAA) Federal Aviation Administration

This is the government agency that oversees and regulates all things related to air travel and safety in the USA.

(PPL) Private Pilot License

This is the most common and usually the first certificate that student pilot will obtain. It allows you to fly just about anywhere as long as the weather is nice.

Sport Pilot License

This is a newer certificate that allows a person to become a pilot. It requires less training hours and the cost is less than a PPL but it has many restrictions. Meriden Aviation Center does not have training programs for the Sport License at this time.

(CFI) Certified Flight Instructor

This is the person that will be teaching you to fly, a teacher for pilots. All of our Instructors have been trained at the University level or trained by a FAA approved professional flight school.

(ATC) Air Traffic Controller

ATC is in charge of all air and ground traffic for a given area around an airport. Not all airfields are ATC controlled.

(VFR) Visual Flight Rules

The FAA has designated rules to determine when a person can fly and still be safe. The basic license you will complete only allows you to fly in good weather with very good visibility. Basically, you fly by looking out the windows.

(IFR) Instrument Flight Rules

This term refers to FAA rules that allow advanced pilots with a specific license to fly in poor weather or through cloud layers. To sum it up, you fly strictly with the aircraft’s instruments to guide you.


This is an inspection of the plane a pilot must complete before every use. The preflight has a checklist that includes all critical parts and systems to ensure the plane is safe for flight.

(SEL) Single Engine Land

This is the official name of the type of aircraft you will be learning to fly in. The plane has one engine and is designed for land-based take-off and landing.

Glass Cockpit

This is a term that is used to describe the most advanced aircraft instruments available. Glass cockpits have become more available on newer aircraft and replace the old round dial gauges because they provide greater visibility, pilot accuracy and improved ease of use.

(PTS) Practical Test Standards

These are the set of rules determined by the FAA to assess a pilot’s ability to control an aircraft. The pilot must be able to consistently complete flight maneuvers to at least PTS in order to pass the exam.

Flight Training

Introductory Flight - Meriden Aviation Center

Introductory Flight

The first step in the process of learning to fly is the introductory flight, your first time at the controls learning the basics.

Private Pilot License

Private Pilot License

We love aviation and have extensive experience. Our environment is casual and friendly, and we tailor your training to meet your needs, we even offer Complex Training.

Redbird LD

Redbird Training

We now offer Redbird Simulator Training. Come try our FAA approved the Redbird LD Advanced Aviation Training Device!

About Us - Meriden Aviation Center

About Us

Take a look at our video

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Meriden Aviation Center