Glossary of Common Terms

Air Traffic Control (ATC): These are the controllers with whom you communicate over the radio when you fly. They can point out other airplanes that may be in conflict with your flight path, they control airplane traffic at certain airports, both on the ground and in the air, and they can guide you to the airport in bad weather. You will learn how to communicate with ATC and actually fly into Eugene airport at some point by yourself.

Aircraft rental: To rent our aircraft you need to be checked out in the aircraft by one of our instructors. This checkout can be combined with completing a flight review. You will need to provide us with your renters insurance before you can fly our aircraft solo.

Aviation medical examiner (AME): An FAA approved doctor with the authority to perform flight physical examinations and issue aviation medical certificates.

Background check: Since 9/11 the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) requires all instructors to verify the student pilot is an American citizen. A passport or a notarized birth certificate with a government-issued picture ID (e.g. driver's license) must be presented to the instructor within the first few lessons. The instructor will make an entry into your log book and also into the instructor's log book documenting this action was completed. The TSA does come to our location and checks this every year.

Best Rate Plan: This plan reduces the rental rate on EVERY aircraft in our fleet by $10 per hour. It costs $300 to join this plan. The money is non-refundable and the plan is in effect for one (1) year. At the end of the year, should you choose to renew your participation in the Best Rate Plan without interruption, the cost is $250 per year for the next year and every year thereafter without interruption.

Block Time: This plan reduces the rental rate on EVERY aircraft in our fleet by $5 per hour. A deposit of $1500 is required for this plan. This money pays only for the aircraft rental. When the $1500 runs out another $1500 deposit is required to keep this plan active. There is a penalty if you decide to leave this plan before the $1500 runs out. The penalty consists of a $100 fee for early withdrawal plus all flight hours are recalculated at the full rate, not at the reduced rate. However, if you chose to go into the Best Rate Plan from this plan, there is no penalty.

Cessna 152 and Cessna 172: These are the training aircraft that we use at About Time Aviation. Aircraft are certified up to a specific weight. The Cessna 152 is a two (2) seat trainer. If you weigh more than 200 pounds you will need to train in the next bigger aircraft, the Cessna 172, which is our four (4) seat trainer.

Cessna 172RG: This is a complex aircraft that you would be required to fly to obtain your commercial license. The 'RG' part of the title means that the landing gear is retractable.

Check ride: When you have demonstrated to your instructor that you understand the required pilot knowledge and can navigate, fly and land the aircraft safely, you will be signed off to take the Practical exam with the FAA examiner or the FAA designated pilot examiner.

CFI & CFII: These initials stand for certified flight instructor and certified flight instructor instrument. A CFI can teach primary (private pilot) students and commercial students. A CFII is also authorized to teach instrument flight. All instructors at About Time Aviation are CFII's.

Commercial pilot license: This license allows you to get paid to fly. Pilots flying for a commercial air carrier, flying for a freight carrier (called a box hauler) or flying for a corporation must have a commercial license. To get this license you must have held a private pilot license and have accumulated an additional 250 hours of flight time along with the required FAA training. You will have to pass a written exam and complete a practical exam for the FAA. There are additional rules and regulations that you must know, plus additional flight maneuvers that you must be able to perform to set standards.

Complex aircraft: Three (3) pieces of equipment are required to allow an aircraft to be considered complex: flaps, landing gear and a constant speed propeller. A constant speed propeller is like cruise control for your car--you can adjust the propeller RPM and that speed will be maintained should you adjust the engine's power setting to a higher or lower setting.

Cross country flight: This is a flight with a landing at an airport that is at least 50 nautical miles from your original point of departure.

Discovery Flight: This is an introductory flight that you can take to see if you want to learn to fly. In addition to receiving your first ground school lesson and an overview of the plane's instruments and their functions, you will actually get to fly the airplane and do climbs, descents and turns. This flight time qualifies to get recorded in your log book.

Endorsement: This is simply a written approval by your instructor to solo, fly solo to additional locations or to take your practical pilots test (practical exam).

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA): The FAA is the governing body that writes the rules and regulations for aviation - from the general aviation aircraft we fly at About Time Aviation to all the minor and major commercial carriers: Horizon, Alaska, United, Delta, American, UPS, FedEx, etc. The FAA determines what maintenance needs to be done and how often on aircraft, they maintain radio navigation stations, train air traffic controllers, and so on. In a sentence, if it has anything to do with being up in the air, the FAA is involved in it. The FAA has local offices in the states, regional offices covering various areas, and headquarters located in Oklahoma City and Washington D.C.

FAA Examiner or Designated Pilot Examiner: This is an FAA employee or a designated pilot examiner (DPE) who has been approved by the FAA to conduct pilot testing.

Flight currency: You must be current on your flight skills. If you have not flown our aircraft for a period of six (6) months / 180 days, you will need to fly with one of our instructors to demonstrate proficiency in handling the aircraft.

Flight hours / flight time: Time spent in the plane while the engine is running. This includes preflight checks, takeoff, landing, and post flight checks.

Flight lesson: This is the part of the training where you actually get to control the aircraft and learn to fly the maneuvers. This can also be referred to as dual flight instruction because the instructor is there with you in the aircraft.

Flight review: Every two (2) years the FAA requires pilots to sit down with an instructor and review rules and regulations. You are also required to fly with an instructor and demonstrate you can safely fly the aircraft to the standards set by the license you hold. This process can require as little as two (2) hours or as many hours as it takes to meet the intent of this regulation. If you practice the flight maneuvers regularly the flight review goes quickly; if you don't, it takes longer.

Ground school / training: Every flight lesson requires some school work before and after the flight. This can be called preflight, post flight or ground school. At About Time Aviation we do not conduct formal classes covering the required pilot knowledge. We believe that you are capable of reading and understanding the material, and what better location to do this than one of your own choosing. We guide you in your 'home study' course -- allowing you to progress at your own pace. If you have any questions on the material or need clarification on any study areas, we are always ready to assist you in understanding the material.

Headset: A headset plugs into the aircraft's intercom, and allows you to talk in a normal tone and to clearly hear your instructor and air traffic control (ATC). All About Time Aviation aircraft have an intercom. A headset consists of a microphone that is positioned by your mouth and earphones which fit over your ears. The cost for a headset varies from around $100 to $1000. They can be purchased at aviation supply shops and on e-bay. One thing to remember, a headset is going to be sitting on your head for hours during a cross country flight, so you may want something that is of good quality and comfortable when you wear it. When you initially fly with our instructors, we will provide you with a headset. When you get ready to solo you will need to purchase your own headset. Our instructors will be happy to help you in choosing a headset that fits your head and your budget.

Hidden fees: There are no hidden fees at About Time Aviation. All costs are up front.

Instructor rating: An instructor rating allows you to teach people to fly. To use this rating you will also be required to have an instrument rating and a commercial pilot license. Besides the initial training to get an instructor's rating, an instructor must complete 16 hours of FAA approved refresher training every two (2) years along with a written test to maintain this rating.

Instrument rating: Many pilots believe that this is the most difficult rating to obtain. This rating allows you to fly the aircraft only referencing the flight instruments. For this rating you need to hold a private pilot license, accumulated 50 hours of cross country flight time and receive additional training in both flight and knowledge of rules and regulations. Like all other licenses you will need to take a written exam and demonstrate your skills to the FAA or their designated examiner.  

Log book: A book where you hand-record flight time, landings, type of aircraft, tail number, destinations, what kind of flight (cross country, instrument, etc.), endorsements, notes from instructor, etc.

Medical: In order to get a pilot license you must have a Student / 3rd class medical. This medical is issued by an aviation medical examiner (AME). This medical exam checks your basic health, vision and hearing. Your 3rd class medical will be good for two (2) or five (5) years depending on your age, and costs about $100. A 2nd class or 1st class medical is required with a commercial license to get paid for flying. Those medical exams require more medical tests and are more expensive.

Membership dues: There are no membership dues at About Time Aviation. The only fees you pay are for the aircraft and instructor.

Nautical mile: Flights are measured in nautical miles. 1 nautical mile = 1.15 statute miles.

Night flight: This is any flight that takes place one (1) hour after sundown to one (1) hour before sunrise. For your private pilot license you need a minimum of three (3) hours of night flight that includes ten (10) landings and a cross country flight.

Pilot in Command: The pilot in command is the licensed pilot flying the plane, who is responsible for the operation and safety of the flight.

Practice areas: These are local areas and airports that we go to for practicing flight maneuvers and landings. Your instructor will make an endorsement in your log book on areas that you are authorized to fly solo to.

Practical exam: This is where you get to show the FAA or their designated pilot examiner that you understand the rules, regulations, basic pilot knowledge and that you can safely fly the airplane. The exam consists of an oral exam where the examiner can ask you about rules, regulations and basic pilot knowledge, followed up by the flight exam. The flight exam consists of all the maneuvers that you have repeated flown and demonstrated to your instructor. The examiner is your first ‘passenger'. When you pass this exam you will be handed your temporary private pilot license. Your new permanent license will arrive about six (6) weeks later in the mail.

Preflight and Post flight: Before you start your flight lesson your instructor will discuss with you what flight maneuvers will be covered during the upcoming flight, along with an explanation on how to perform these maneuvers. These maneuvers will be demonstrated to you by the instructor in the air before you attempt them. After the flight you will debrief the lesson and discuss what areas went well and what areas need to be worked on. Before you leave, your instructor will tell you what you can expect to accomplish on the next flight and what areas you need to read and understand to prepare you for your next lesson.  

Private Pilot License: To obtain this license you will need to pass a written exam and pass the practical exam. Once you have received your private pilot license you can take friends up with you when you fly. An additional benefit is that you can split the cost of the entire flight equally with your passenger. With a few exceptions you can fly just about anywhere you want in the country. Note: Technically, it's not a "private pilot license," but rather a "private pilot certificate." Nevertheless, referring to it as a "pilot license" in common usage is acceptable.

Renter's insurance: Our aircraft are not insured. Your flight instructor carries flight insurance. When you fly with a flight instructor he is the pilot in command and is responsible for the safety of the flight. When you get ready to solo then you will be required to get your own ‘renter's insurance.' How much insurance you need and where to purchase it will be explained to you by your instructor when that time arrives. Typically the insurance cost runs between $400 to $500. This is YOUR INSURANCE, no matter what happens, it covers you.

Scenic flights: If you simply want to see the Willamette Valley and some of the surrounding area, we can fly scenic flights within a 25 mile radius of Creswell.

Solo: Flying the aircraft alone. This privilege is granted when you, as a student pilot, have demonstrated to your instructor that you understand the FAA flight rules and can consistently fly basic flight maneuvers and land the aircraft safely. See Supervised Solo.

Student Pilot: As a student pilot you will learn the FAA rules, regulations, basic aerodynamics, airspace, communications, aircraft performance calculations, weather, navigation and how to fly the aircraft safely. You will solo when your instructor has determined that you understand the basic flight regulations and can fly the airplane safely. At that time you will be allowed to fly ‘solo' [alone] to certain areas designated by your instructor. As a student pilot you cannot have anyone in the aircraft when you fly solo. Should you want to have a friend fly along at some point in your training to see what you do in a flight lesson, you simply need to plan ahead and discuss it with your instructor.

Supervised Solo: Your first two (2) solo flights will take place at Creswell's Hobby airport. These flights will be supervised, in that while you are in the aircraft alone flying the airplane, your instructor will be on the ground monitoring your progress in the air and on the radio. If you have a problem your instructor will be there to help you. Because your instructor is there monitoring your progress, you will be charged for that time.

Unsupervised Solo: While your flight instructor would like to know when you are going out solo, it is more for a quick check on the weather and what maneuvers you are going to perform. When you are signed off for the practice area and local airports, you are pilot in command of the aircraft; you are expected to use good decision making skills to determine if it is safe to conduct a flight in the current and future weather conditions. When you get ready to fly your solo cross country flight your instructor will check your flight planning and sign you off to complete the flight on your own. You will not have to pay for the instructor's time to be on standby for this flight. Other schools may have you pay for an instructor's time by calling this a supervised cross country flight.

Written exam: This is actually a multiple choice exam that you take on a computer. This two (2) hour 60 question exam covers all the basic pilot knowledge areas including: FAA rules, regulations, basic aerodynamics, airspace, communications, aircraft performance calculations, weather and navigation. This information will be covered by your instructor before you take this test. There is a charge for this test and a minimum grade of 70% is needed to pass it. Our students typically score higher than 85% on this test.