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Fixed Wing

About Our Fixed-Wing Program

Our FAA Part 61 training program offers the following ratings: Private Pilot, Instrument, Commercial, Mulit-engine (add-on), CFI, CFII, MEI.

Most of our primary training is done in the Cessna 172, a reliable time-tested workhorse for any flight school.  For instrument and commercial ratings, we recommend one of our all glass G1000 aircraft, either the C172 or the Diamond DA40.  And our multi-engine trainer is the renowned turbo-diesel Diamond DA42, equipped with G1000 and electronic flight controls – she’s truly a delight to fly!

Our instructors follow a Jeppesen based syllabus, including a combination of ground and in-flight lessons, with periodic stage checks to ensure you are on track.

Our Aircraft

2002 Cessna 172R, N51827

Wet Rate $170 / hobbs hr.

KLN 94 GPS IFR Approved

2004 Cessna 172R, N28811

Wet Rate $170 / hobbs hr.

Garmin GNC355 GPS

2002 Cessna 172R, N329ME

Wet Rate $170 / hobbs hr.

KLN 94 GPS IFR Approved

2014 Cessna 172S, N5520N

Wet Rate $195 / hobbs hr.

Garmin G1000 GPS IFR Approved

2006 Diamond DA40, N222AD

Wet Rate $195 / hobbs hr.

Garmin G1000 GPS IFR Approved

2005 Diamond DA-42, N42LA

Wet Rate $390 / hobbs hr.

Garmin G1000 GPS IFR Approved

2008 Cirrus SR - 22, N777AJ

Call to Join our Cirrus Share Plan

Garmin G1000 GPS IFR Approved

Redbird TD Simulator

Rate $45 / hour

Garmin G1000 GPS IFR Approved

Instruction Rates

Primary

$60/hour

Advanced

$60/hour

Multi-Engine

$65/hour

Our Fixed Wing CFIs

Matt Cabrera

Flight Instructor

Matthew is from the Washington, D.C. area. He graduated from Parks College in 2019. He is a CFI and CFII with over 400 flight hours. Matthew has been instructing with Ideal Aviation since October 2019.

Joseph Cherry

Flight Instructor

Joseph is a recent graduate of Saint Louis University with a major in Flight Science and a concentration in Air Traffic Control. He currently holds a CFI, CFII, and MEI certificate. Joseph has been instructing with Ideal Aviation since September 2019.

Christina Connell

Flight Instructor

Christina is originally from San Jose, CA. She is a recent graduate of Saint Louis University. At SLU, she was very involved with various organizations: Women in Aviation, Alpha Eta Rho, and the Safety Committee. She is currently a CFI with 360 flight hours. Christina has been instructing with Ideal Aviation since January 2020.

Joseph Fiandaca

Flight Instructor

Joseph Fiandaca is originally from the Chicagoland area. He graduated from Saint Louis University in 2020 with a Bachelor’s in Aeronautics Flight Science. He is a CFI with approximately 300 hours of flight instruction. Joseph has been instructing with Ideal Aviation since January 2020.

Jim Moseley

Flight Insutrctor

Jim graduated Magna-Cum-Laude from Saint Louis University with a B.S. in Flight Science. He is a CFI and CFII and was awarded the 2018 Flight Instructor of the year In the St. Louis area. He also instructs in Southwestern Illinois College’s Aviation program. Jim has been instructing with Ideal since January 2018.

Bruno Stopka

Flight Instructor

Bruno is a BSEE graduate from the Missouri University of Science and Technology and earned his MBA at Saint Louis University. He is CFI, CFII, and MEI with several decades of experience. He has been instructing with Ideal Aviation since July of 2017.

Brian VanHorn

Flight Instructor

Brian is a 20+ year Air Force veteran and a graduate of Saint Louis University. He is a CFI, Advanced Ground Instructor, and Dispatcher with over 5,000 flight hours. Brian has been instructing with Ideal Aviation since June 2019.

Brett Whitcomb

Flight Instructor

Brett, a native of Rockford, Illinois, was bitten by the aviation bug when his dad took him for a ride in a Piper Cub for his third birthday. Brett graduated from the University of Missouri – Columbia’s business school in 2009. Now, he is a CFI and CFII. Brett has been instructing with Ideal Aviation since April 2020.

Adam Lange

Flight Instructor

Adam began flying in 2003 at the University of North Dakota, and picked it back up at Saint Louis University in 2016. There he got his Instrument, Commercial and Multi-engine ratings. After Graduating SLU in 2019 with a degree in aviation he went on to get his CFI and CFI-I and has taught at Ideal since July of 2019.

James Lovinggood

Flight Instructor

James Lovinggood is from Saint Louis, with a B.A. in Political Science from Miami of the University of Ohio. He served 4 years with the Army National Guard, and currently has his CFI and CFII with 370 hours. He has been instructing with Ideal Aviation since October of 2020.

Becca Sewell

Office Manager

Becca Sewell has lived in the Saint Louis area her entire life. She studied at Southwestern Illinois College’s Pilot Training Program and Southern Illinois University’s Off-Campus Aviation Management program. Currently, she holds her Commercial ASEL rating and CFI. Becca has been training at Ideal Aviation since 2016 and has held the position of Office Manager since May 2019.

Alec Albright

Alec is a native of New Haven, Connecticut, and moved to St. Louis in 2015. He graduated from Parks College in 2019 with a degree in Aviation and is now pursuing his Juris Doctor at Saint Louis University School of Law. He teaches aviation courses as an adjunct professor at SLU, flies as a ferry pilot, and is a CFI, CFII, and MEI with over 1,200 hours. Alec has been instructing with Ideal since September 2018.

FAQ's

Operations FAQ's about how we run our flight training

Our fixed-wing training is Part-61 Certificated.

Our primary fixed-wing flight training is accomplished in Cessna 172’s.  For instrument and Technically Advanced Aircraft time, training is done in a Diamond  DA-40.  For multi-engine ratings, training is done in a Diamond DA-42.

Our training follows the Jeppesen syllabus and uses Jeppesen textbooks.  Other flight training study materials can be found for free at the FAA website here.

We are open 7 days a week.  Flight lessons can be scheduled at any time of day.

No, you are covered by our insurance policy.  More information regarding the coverage can be provided upon request. 

All of our rental rates include fuel, oil, and insurance.

Student Pilot Training FAQ's for new pilots

While the FAA requires a minimum of 40 flight hours, studies show an average of 60-75 flight hours to get your Private Pilot rating.

The speed at which you get your rating depends on many factors but mainly on how often you fly.  Pilots who fly several times a week usually can get their rating in a couple of months to a year. 

If you have never flown in a small aircraft before and are considering becoming a pilot, we recommend booking a Discovery Flight to determine if flying is something you want to do.

Our current Discovery Flight promotion is 1 hour, all-inclusive flight in an airplane for $150.00.

We match instructors to students based on the rating sought, availability, and schedule compatibility. 

We recommend working with one instructor for the duration of your training to avoid overlap of training.

Once we have your information set up in our system, you are placed with an instructor and can immediately begin training.

Ground school courses are a great way to expedite your ground training and familiarize yourself with the subjects in your flight training. However, you will still need some ground training so that your instructor can ensure that there are no gaps in your training.  

No, you do not need either of these documents until your first solo flight.

Flight Training Costs FAQ's about the price of training

Because there are so many variables (weather, maintenance, unexpected life events), it is impossible to predict how much flight training will cost.  

We estimate that it will cost around $15,000 to get your fixed-wing PPL.

Flight lessons usually range from 1 -1.5 hour flights.  The average cost for a fixed-wing lesson is $213-$320.

For financial help with fixed-wing training, there are multitudes of flight training scholarship opportunities through organizations such as AOPA or Women in Aviation. 

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