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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, Multi-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.  And 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.

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 $225 / hobbs hr.

Garmin G1000 GPS IFR Approved

2004 Piper Seminole PA-44-180, N30608

Wet Rate $365 / hobbs hr.

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

Rate $45 / hour

Garmin G1000 GPS IFR Approved

Instruction Rates







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 800 flight hours. Matthew has been instructing with Ideal Aviation since October 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 800 flight hours. Christina 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.

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 750 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 graduated from 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 with 500 flight hours. Becca has been training at Ideal Aviation since 2016 and has held the position of Office Manager since May 2019.

Steven Solloway

Steve is a senior aerospace engineering student at Saint Louis University. He was first introduced to flying at the age of 8 by his dad and later completed his training at J.A. Air Center (KARR) and SLU. He’s had a lifelong passion for aviation and hopes to become an airline pilot. Steve is a CFI and CFII with 700 hours. He has been instructing with Ideal Aviation since February 2021.


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 our G1000 Cessna 172.  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 $175.00.

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 Alien Flight Student 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 $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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