Cupertino Aviation Clubs will be particularly dedicated to providing cost effective flying and flight training. Flying is regulated by the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA), and so all of our pilots must be either licensed or under the supervision of an FAA certified flight instructor. The federal standards are very rigorous and the personal commitment to become a licensed pilot requires a significant amount of training time and acquisition of aviation related knowledge. Students will be able to obtain a Private Pilot Glider, Private Pilot Motor Glider, or Spot Pilot rating, depending on the type of aircraft the club operates. Training is central to each CAC and the vast majority of its human and tangible resources will be devoted to it.
Each CAC with aircraft will strive to maintain a contingent of 2-4 instructors at any given time. These instructors are strictly volunteers and will devote countless hours to teaching ground school, preparing students for FAA mandated knowledge tests, and conducting flight training. They must fulfill strict federal requirements to maintain proficiency and currency, which often involves a re-certification process. This re-certification can mean travel to another city, either for a flight re-examination or three days of classroom training. If funding permits, some or all of the costs related to re-certification may be reimbursed.
Ground School training will be scheduled at times convenient to the students. Instruction will be overseen by Certified Ground or Flight Instructors. Experienced club members will assist in teaching various parts of the course, using study guides that have been created, or purchased, to help explain the concepts. Flight instruction will be scheduled primarily on weekends; however, instructional flights are given at various times during the week, depending on instructor availability. Additionally, there is at least one “student week” each summer to accelerate the training process.
Before and after each training flight, the instructor will spend about ten minutes with each student to prepare for or review the flight. Each student flight must be logged and signed by an instructor to comply with FAA regulations.
To obtain a private pilot’s license, a student must pass an FAA written test and also a practical flight examination. Once a student is prepared for the FAA flight exam, the instructor will arrange for the exam and oversee it.
The FAA requires that every licensed pilot have a periodic Flight Review conducted by an instructor. The Club instructors will perform these reviews and certify the event in the pilot’s logbook. The reviews will be performed at no cost to club members.
Specially selected club members will be designated “crew chiefs”. They will be responsible for training new members in the skills necessary to handle aircraft on the ground and to conduct the flight line operations. This will usually takes at least two full days of training at the airport during operations.