Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between the Sport and Private certificate?

The Sport Pilot certificate is a fairly new one offered by the FAA to allow people to become pilots at a lower cost than that of the Private Pilot. The Sport pilot license is becoming increasingly popular. The differences are that the Sport Pilot can only fly LSA category aircraft, they can only carry one passenger at a time, and they cannot fly at night or over 10,000’ MSL.

For more details please ask an instructor to decide which path is best for you. Generally speaking the Sport Pilot training will cost on average $2,000 less than the Private Pilot training.

What airplanes are available for training?

CHI Aerospace has several options for training aircraft; our very popular and brand new Vans RV12’s, CTLS LSA, we also have an Ercoupe for those with physical disabilities of the legs. See our website for current rental pricing and fleet availability.

How long will it take?

The pilot, the weather, the type of training airplane, and availability will all affect the time it takes to become a pilot. On average we see Sport Pilot completion at around 20-30 hours of training and Private Pilot completion at around 40-70 hours of training.

Is flight training expensive?

There are many factors that affect the cost of flight training. The pilot, the weather, the type of training airplane, and availability will all affect the cost it takes to become a pilot. On average we see the cost for a Sport Pilot to be between $6,000-$8,000 while it's around $10,000 for a Private Pilot. But, when you compare Flight Training to other activities such as buying a motorcycle, snowmobiles, or even taking a vacation, Flight Training is a bargain!

You get so much more with flight training that will last you your entire life. What you can learn on the journey to becoming a Sport or Private Pilot can be the equivalent of a 2-year college degree if you are committed to learning. A Pilot’s Certificate is a big achievement! In general, a Pilot Certificate entered on your job resume shows that you are committed and willing to work hard to achieve success.

I can't afford to buy a plane once I get my Pilot Certificate... is it still worth it?

Yes! The new trend in General Aviation is renting airplanes and joining Flying Clubs. This is a very affordable way to utilize your Pilot Certificate without having to worry about major expenses of owning your own airplane. There are also many opportunities to have a partnership in owning an airplane, it’s a great way to share the cost of ownership.

What can I do with my pilot certificate?

You can discover places you never thought you ever would! We’ve trained pilots who have gone onto fly the F-22 Raptor, become a World Champion aerobatic pilot, several have gone on to fly for various airlines, several have entered the Navy Flight School, flown to the islands, got higher ratings, flown seaplanes, the possibilities are endless! What will your story be?

How do I start?

An introductory lesson is the first step! Then you are assigned an instructor based on your goals, schedule, and weight. Call to schedule an intro flight!

When will I solo?

There is no pre-set solo time… It’s all based on student progress. Time, availability, weather, and even the type of training airplane are all factors. You also must be at least 16 years of age to solo.

Do I need insurance?

No extra insurance is required at CHI as it's included in the price, however some customers do choose to purchase a general non-owned renter's policy for an added bit of protection. We work very closely with David Hampson for CHI insurance, please call him for details on our policy or to purchase extra hull insurance if you choose to do so! David Hampson
Phone: (781) 274-0303
Fax: (781) 274-0307
Cell: (603) 502-6730

What are the medical requirements?

If you choose to become a Private Pilot student, you will need to obtain a 3rd Class Medical certificate prior to soloing an aircraft. We can guide you to a local Aeromedical Examiner (AME) when you are preparing to solo. But, if you have received a 3rd Class Medical in that last 10 years you might be able to partake in the new Basic Medical program for Private Pilots. For Sport Pilot students, you need only have a current US Driver’s License as proof of your medical.

Am I too young / too old to start flight training?

In general, no. We see people of all ages in flight training. If you are 14 years of age or less we may limit the frequency of your training initially. You must be at least 16 years of age in order to solo.

I have a disability - can I still get my pilot certificate?

In a lot of cases, yes! We provide Sport Pilot training for those with disabilities of the legs in our Ercoupe trainer as part of our Enabled Pilot program. The Sport Pilot medical requires a valid US Driver’s License, however. The Ercoupe is designed without Rudder Pedals and ours has a hand-brake installed so that all aircraft control is done with your hands. After you obtain your Sport Pilot Certificate you will be able to rent our Ercoupe or you can purchase your own Ercoupe! Google “Jessica Cox” to prove to yourself, that it can be done!

Who are your instructors?

We have several Certified Flight Instructors available for training, please see our website Team page for a current bio on each!

Do you offer a ground school program?

Yes, we hold Ground School for the Sport and Private pilot students, as well as refresher for the current pilots. Our Ground School will give you the preparation you need to pass the required FAA Written Knowledge Test. We go above and beyond prepping you for the test however, imparting much more practical knowledge to make a well-rounded, safer pilot!

Why train at CHI Aerospace?

Our location makes for breath-taking scenic lessons along Rye Beach and the seacoast. We have programs for the new beginner pilots as well as the current airline pilots with full motion simulators.

We have a wealth of knowledge with over 100 years of combined flight training experience. We offer a challenging flight training experience with a fabulous community of supportive pilots and students. Come join us!


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CHI Aerospace 58 Durham Street, Portsmouth, NH 03801   |  (603) 380-9951   |