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Fixed Wing Fleet

Fixed Wing

About Our Fixed-Wing Program

Our FAA Part 61 training program offers the following ratings: Private Pilot, Instrument, Commercial, Multi-engine (add-on), CFI, CFII, MEI.  Our FAA Part 141 offers the following ratings: Private and Instrument.

Most of our primary training is done in the Cessna 172 and the Piper Pilot100i, reliable time-tested workhorses for any flight school.  For instrument and commercial ratings, we recommend one of our Technically Advanced Aircraft.  Our multi-engine trainer is the renowned Piper Seminole!

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.

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Our Aircraft

2002 Cessna 172R, N51827

KLN 94 GPS IFR Approved

2004 Cessna 172R, N28811

Garmin GNC355 GPS

2021 Piper Pilot 100I, N151DL

Garmin G3X Touch IFR Approved

2021 Piper Pilot 100I, N892DL

Garmin G3X Touch IFR Approved

2004 Piper Seminole PA-44-180, N30608

Garmin 430 GPS IFR Approved

2008 Cirrus SR - 22, N777AJ

Call to Join our Cirrus Share Plan

Garmin G1000 GPS IFR Approved

Redbird TD Simulator

Garmin G1000 GPS IFR Approved

Our Fixed Wing CFIs

Jim Moseley

Chief Flight Instructor

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 and became Chief CFI of the Fixed-Wing program in the fall of 2021.


James Braithwaite

Assistant Chief Flight Instructor

James served for 10 years in the British Royal Air Force and met his wife, Auburn, while working with the USAF in Germany. They now live in O’Fallon, IL, with their daughter Julia and two dogs Ollie and Kevin.
He is a fixed wing CFI, CFII and MEI and trained at a Part 141 flight school near San Antonio, Texas.

Jake Ervin

Jake got his passion for aviation from his father. He received his private pilot license after his freshman year in college. While working at Boeing, he continued his flight training on the evenings and weekends earning his instrument rating. When nearing his commercial check ride, he decided to resign from Boeing to focus full time on flight training. he began with Ideal Aviation in 2022 and loves witnessing students transform from no flight time to PIC!

Don Drake

Don began his flight experience working on his PPL in 2016 at C77. He finished the next year at KDKB. In 2021 he started training with ATP and received his instrument and commercial ratings. He went on to become a customer of Ideal Aviation where he received his CFI!

Dan Backer

Dan graduated from St Louis University with a B.S. in Aeronautics in 2008. After working for the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department for over 12 years, the call of the sky was too loud to ignore. He decided to become a Flight Instructor so he could share with others the wonders of flight.

Dan has been with Ideal Aviation since 2022.

Brian VanHorn

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.


Operations FAQ's about how we run our flight training

Our fixed-wing training is Part 61 and Part 141 Certificated.

Our primary fixed-wing flight training is accomplished in Cessna 172’s and Piper Pilot100i’s.  For instrument and Technically Advanced Aircraft time, training is done in our G1000 Cessna 172 and Piper Pilot100i’s.  For multi-engine ratings, training is done in a Piper Seminole.

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 $195.00.

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.

If you are not a US citizen, you can still learn to fly with us.  You will have to go through TSA background checks via the Flight Training Security Program.  This process can take anywhere from two weeks to two months.

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 $16,000 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 $270-$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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