Frequently Asked Questions

Question:Q: Is food included in the total package?

A: We do not include food in the cost of our program. We have students arriving from around the world with different food preferences. There are many restaurants and food markets for every culture and every budget. It is recommended that you plan on $300 per month for food expenses.

Question:Q: What else is needed for me to bring to Epic Flight Academy?

A: We do require that students wear a flight uniform, consisting of a white shirt, black pants, black belt, black tie, and black shoes (five flight shirts are included in the fixed price program).

We also require each student to have a laptop computer. This can be bought prior to arrival or you can purchase one, once you arrive. Most students are purchasing theirs from Best Buy. Prices range from $600 to $1200.

Also students may wish to purchase a prepaid cellular phone once they arrive in the United States. These range from $20 $100 for the phone, with a monthly fee of $30 – $50. When you bring electrical items please keep in mind the US configuration is 110 volt 60 Hz….we do not use the pin outlet, so you may wish to by an outlet converter.

Question:Q: What is the temperature in Florida?

A: Summers in Florida range between 30 and 35 degrees Celsius. In the winter months (December – February) the temperature averages around 12 to 20 degrees Celsius.

Question:Q: Are the apartments fully furnished?

A: Your living accommodations are fully furnished with bedding, microwave, stove, refrigerator, television, cable TV, wireless internet, and furniture. You will need to purchase personal items, such as toothpaste, soap, etc. We offer a two bedroom apartment to two students, with two students sharing a bedroom and bathroom. The two students will share the common areas, which includes the kitchen, dining room and living room.

Question:Q: How is Epic Flight Academy’s safety record?

A: Our safety record is second to none. We are a Cessna Service Center, with our own certified technicians who pride themselves on top notch service. Our safety standards award is attached for you to view. Our service means we do not cut corners, we always put safety first. Because of this, if you walk through our maintenance hanger, you will see Epic planes in for scheduled maintenance, as well as those of many other private pilots, and other flight schools who use our service.

Question:Q: What is the advantage to flight training at Epic Flight Academy?

A: Epic Aviation has created the “Commercial Pilot Training Program 136 or 250 Hour Course”

This program is start to finish …from zero time to graduation of your commercial single and multi-engine instrument pilot’s license. We make available: Housing, Transportation, Books, FAA Medical, Charts, FAA Written Exams, FAA Check rides, Knee boards, Aviation Headsets, and more. We have taken the guess work out of flight training; this program is designed for the aspiring professional pilot in mind.

Epic Aviation will never have more than four (4) students assigned to one instructor. We want you to excel and graduate, and get on with your career. With 40 aircraft on our ramp, 30 flight instructors and a great Epic support team, our goal is to make your dream a reality.

Question:Q: Is there an age limit for obtaining a private pilot rating? (What about max age?)

A: The Federal Aviation Regulations require an individual to be at least 16 years of age to operate an aircraft solo and 17 years of age to obtain a private pilot certificate. There is not an age limitation on beginning flight lessons with a certified flight instructor. There is no maximum age for acquiring a private pilot certificate. Once someone gets this certificate, they may exercise the privileges of that certificate as long as they continue to get a medical certificate and a biannual flight review.

Question:Q: What written tests and flight tests are required to obtain my private pilot rating?

A: Student pilots have to pass a pre-solo written exam before solo, a private pilot written exam (FAA), and a practical exam (flight test).

Question:Q: What exams are required to get my private pilot rating (and where do I take them)?

A: To obtain a private pilot rating, you must obtain at least a 3rd class medical, and these are available from FAA medical examiners (1st class medical is included in the fixed price program).

Question:Q: What is a medical certificate?

A: Every pilot must obtain a medical certificate in order to exercise the privileges of their pilot’s license – there are three classes; 1st (most stringent, and good for six months), 2nd (good for one year and required for use with a commercial rating), and 3rd (good for three years if you are under 40, two years if 40 or older).

Question:Q: Are there any medical restrictions to prevent me from becoming a pilot?

A: Some medical conditions may require a waiver for a pilot to get a medical certificate, and these are best described by the FAA medical examiner.

Question:Q: What is the difference between a Part 141 school and Part 61?

A: The “Parts” refer to different sections of the Federal Aviation Regulations, and the different Parts dictate different requirements for flight schools. Generally, Part 61 flight schools have less stringent requirements – no chief flight instructor required – and they have the flexibility to progress through their training syllabi as needed. Part 141 schools must have a chief flight instructor, have their syllabus or training course outline (TCO) approved by the local Flight Standards District Office (FSDO), and progress through that syllabus exactly as outlined – no flexibility.

Question:Q: What is the difference between a Cessna Pilot Center (CPC) and a flight school?

A: Cessna Pilot Centers must meet higher standards than the typical flight school in order to be eligible to operate under the Cessna logo. They must be clean, neat, and provide superior customer service and flight training. They must make available for flight training fully insured, new Cessna 172 aircraft that are currently under factory warranty. Most importantly, Cessna Pilot Centers are the only schools that utilize Cessna’s integrated computer-based instruction – a revolutionary method of teaching ground school that is easy, thorough and fun.

Question:Q: What is a Discovery Flight?

A: A Discovery Flight is a flight of approximately 30 minutes intended to familiarize a student with the airplane, the airport, and with the flying environment. During most Discovery Flights, the student sits in the left seat, and the instructor allows the student to fly for a majority of the flight.

Question:Q: How do I learn to fly an aircraft that has a glass cockpit?

A: Almost every manufacturer of aircraft with glass cockpits can provide references for training, or the avionics provider may provide training.

Question:How and where can I get a student pilot certificate?

An aviation medical examiner (AME) typically gives you a student pilot certificate to fill out as part of the third class medical exam. Your flight instructor will likely refer you to a local AME, or you can find an examiner online using AOPA’s database of AME’s searchable by city and state. A student pilot certificate is valid for 24 calendar months and a third class medical could be valid for up to 36 months, depending on your age at the time of your AME visit. If your student pilot certificate expires first, you can get a new one from a designated pilot examiner (DPE) or your local Flight Standards District Office (FSDO).

Question:For how long is a student pilot certificate valid?

A student pilot certificate is valid for 24 calendar months.

Question:What are the vision, hearing, and general medical health requirements that must be met in order to be a pilot?

Your vision must be at least 20/40 for near and distant vision with or without corrective lenses, and you must be able to perceive those colors necessary for the safe pilot performance. For general health and medical related questions, refer to AOPA’s medical subject reports Web page prior to visiting your AME.

Question:How much does it cost to learn to fly and get a pilot certificate?

There are a lot of variables that affect the cost of learning to fly, including the frequency of flight lessons, weather conditions, the kind of aircraft in which you are training and its availability for scheduling, and individual aptitude. A rough estimate to obtain your Private certificate would range between $10,000 and $15,000.

Question:How long does it take to learn to fly and get a pilot certificate?

The same variables that affect the cost of learning to fly will affect the time it takes to earn your certificate. The FAA has established the minimum number of flight hours needed to obtain a certificate. Under Part 61 of the Federal Aviation Regulations, you need a minimum of 40 hours for a private pilot certificate. Some schools operate under an alternate regulation, Part 141, which provides more FAA oversight, more rigid schedules, and more paperwork. The added requirements allow them to reduce the minimum hours of private pilot training to 35 hours. However, many schools believe that a true average flight training time for a private pilot is between 50 hours and 60 hours, whether the school operates under Part 61 or Part 141 schools. Others believe that 68 to 70 hours is the more likely average. Cessna published the national average as 75 flight hours. These flight hours can be spread over a time span of several months to a year or more.

Question:What are the differences between a Part 61 and a Part 141 flight school?

Part 141 schools have more FAA oversight, more rigid schedules, and more paperwork. For the added requirements, they are allowed to reduce the minimum required hours of private pilot training to 35 hours, rather than the 40-hour minimum required when training at a Part 61 flight school. A Part 61 school, on the other hand, is able to be more flexible with training schedules, and has the ability to tailor the curriculum to meet individual students’ training needs. Either school must train you to pass the very same practical test.

Question:Is there a source of loans, scholarships, or other financial resources that can help support my flight training?

AOPA offers Flight Training Funds which can be used for initial or recurrent flight training at either a Part 61 or a Part 141 School, or for training with an independent CFI. You can use the account to pay for aircraft rental, instructor fees, books and supplies, or anything else that would make your flight training successful.

Question:As a student pilot, what is the best aircraft to rent or purchase for completing my flight training and building flight time?

It depends: for most student pilots, an aircraft such as a Piper Cherokee or Cessna 172 is probably the most suitable, although there are a number of other aircraft that can provide an excellent introduction to flight while offering reasonable operating costs (for example, the Cessna 152 or Piper Tomahawk).

Question:Some flight schools have aircraft with “glass cockpits” and others do not. Are there any advantages of training in either aircraft?

A controversial subject at times, there is no doubt that modern technology has inundated the general aviation cockpit, including training aircraft. The choice is ultimately yours, but some things to consider will be the cost of training in the “glass cockpit” versus conventionally equipped aircraft. Additionally, your future ambitions might involve or require extensive use of glass-cockpit aircraft. In either case, train in an aircraft that best suits your present and future needs and interests.

Question:How old do I have to be before I can start taking flying lessons?

You don’t have to be a particular age before you can begin to take flying lessons. That said, however, you do have to be at least 16 years old before you can solo an airplane (14 years old for operation of a balloon or glider), and 17 before you can be issued a pilot certificate. Therefore, it may not be particularly efficient from the standpoint of cost and flight hours to begin lessons too early.

Question:How old is too old to begin flying lessons?

Say “student pilot,” and most people think of a youngster chasing a dream. In reality, today’s fledgling is likely a middle-aged adult who’s not only chasing, but actually fulfilling a lifelong ambition to be a pilot. The average student pilot today is in his 30s, and the typical average active pilot is a decade older. In addition, more than 25 percent of all U.S. pilots with current medical certificates are in their 50s. And some pilots learn to fly after they retire.

Question:I heard that some Transportation Security Administration (TSA) requirements must be fulfilled before I can receive flight training. How will these requirements affect me?

You’re referring to the TSA’s alien flight training and citizenship validation rule. The effects of this rule depend on whether you are a U.S. citizen or an alien.

Question:Q: What is M-1 visa?

A: The M-1 student visa is a non-immigrant visa which allows foreign students wishing to pursue vocational or non-academic studies, other than language training, to enter into the U.S.

Question:Q: How do I qualify for M-1 visa?

A: To qualify for an M-1 visa, you must::

  • Prove your intention to enter into the U.S. temporarily
  • Attend an approved vocational study program
  • Engage in a full course of study

Question:Q:What privileges do I enjoy on M-1 visa?

A: On M-1 visa, you may:

  • Enter the U.S. as a full time vocational or non-academic student
  • Transfer from one school to another
  • Travel in and out of the U.S. for short periods of time
  • Apply for M-2 visas for dependents accompanying you to the U.S.

Question:Q: What are the limitations of M-1 student visa?

A: On M-1 student visa, you may:

  • Transfer from one school to another only with the permission of the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
  • Never be permitted to change your course of study
  • Take dependents to stay with you in the U.S. but they may not work

Note: Once you are six months into the program of studies, you are prohibited from changing your course of study except under truly exceptional circumstances.

Question:Q: Can I work on M-1 visa?

A: No, you may not work on M-1 visa. However, you may apply for practical training after you complete your studies. If approved, you will be allowed to have one month of practical training for every four months of study you have completed. You will be limited to six months total practical training time.

Question:Q: How long can I stay in the U.S. on a M-1 visa?

A: You may stay in the U.S. on M1 visa for one year, or for as long as you are enrolled as a full-time student in a vocational program plus thirty days to prepare to leave the country, whichever is shorter.

Question:Q: Can I apply for extension of stay on M-1 visa?

A: Yes, you may apply for extension of stay on M-1 visa.

Question:Q: How do I extend my stay on M-1 visa?

A: To extend your stay you must:

  • Complete Form I-539, Application to Extend or Change Non-immigrant Status, and send it to USCIS at least 15 (but not more than 60) days before your authorized stay in the U.S. expires
  • Submit your Form I-20I-D to the USCIS at the same time

Question:Q: Are there any travel restrictions on M-1 visa?

A: No, there are no travel restrictions on M-1 visa. M-1 students may leave the U.S. and be readmitted after temporary absences. When making your travel plans, please remember that you must be a full-time student to keep your M-1 student status. Upon your return to the U.S. you should provide the immigration inspectors with:

  • Valid passport • Valid M-1 entry visa stamped in the passport (if necessary)
  • Current Form I-20I-D signed by your designated school official. You should have the Designated School Official sign your Form I-20I-D each time you wish to temporarily travel outside the U.S.
  • New Form I-20M-N, Certificate of Eligibility for Non-immigrant M-1 Student Status, if there have been substantive changes in your course of study or place of study
  • Proof of your financial support

Question:Q: How do I apply for M-1 visa?

A: While applying, the M-1 visa documents required are:

  • A valid passport and any previous passports you have held which are still in your possession
  • Fully completed and signed application Form DS-156 and Form DS-158
  • Recent passport-size photographs of you taken on a plain white background. Face must be thumb size, full face, without glasses or head covering
  • A police certificate issued within the last year if you are 14 years or older
  • Original Form I-20M-N issued by the school you will attend, 901 form and acceptance letters
  • Electronic verification received at the Embassy from your school that you have been accepted for enrolment
  • Evidence of sufficient funds

Note: All male students between 16-45 years must also complete Form DS-157 Supplemental Non-immigrant Visa Application.

Question:Q: Can I enter the U.S. on my M-1 visa before school begins?

A: Yes, you may enter the U.S. up to 30 days before the commencement of your study program.

Question:Q: What is the eligibility to transfer schools on M-1 visa?

A: To be eligible to transfer to another school on M-1 visas, you must:

  • Currently be a full-time student • Intend to be a full-time student at the new school
  • Prove that you have the financial resources required for your education and stay in the U.S.
  • Maintain the same educational objective in the new school

Note: You may only transfer to another school within the first six months from the date you were admitted to the U.S. to begin your studies or from the date you changed your non-immigrant status to become an M-1 student.

Question:Q: How do I apply for USCIS permission to transfer schools?

A: To transfer schools on M-1 visa, you must:

  • File Form I-539, Application to Extend or Change Non-immigrant Status, with the USCIS
  • Submit your current Form I-20I-D, Certificate of Eligibility for Non-immigrant M-1 Student Status
  • Submit a complete Form I-20M-N from your new school
  • Submit Form I-94, Arrival-Departure documents, of your spouse and children (if applicable)

Note: You may transfer to another school sixty days after filing this application. However, if your application is denied after you transfer, you will be considered to be out of status. This means you may be required to leave the country.

Question:Q: What duties must I fulfill to remain in good M-1 status?

A: To remain in good M-1 status, you must:

  • Pass your course work every semester
  • Pay tuition fees on time
  • Maintain an international address to which you intend to depart upon completion of studies
  • Always maintain the same educational objectives

Question:Q: Can I bring my dependents on M-1 visa?

A: Yes, your spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age may come with you to the U.S. on M-2 non-immigrant visa.

Question:Q: What is the procedure to bring my dependents on M-2 visa?

A: To bring your dependents on M-2 visa, your dependents must:

  • Visit the U.S. embassy or consulate with you when you apply for your M-1 student visa
  • Be prepared to prove their relationship with you
  • Provide the U.S. embassy staff with a copy of your Form I-20I-D and proof of their relationship with you if they plan to follow you at a later date

Question:Q: Can my dependents work on M-2 visa?

A: No, your spouse and children may not accept employment on derivative M-2 status.

Question:Q: Can my dependents study on M-2 visa?

A: Your M-2 spouse may not engage in full-time study and your M-2 child may only engage in full-time study if the study is in an elementary or secondary school (kindergarten through twelfth grade).

Note: Your M-2 spouse and child may engage in study that is vocational or recreational in nature.

Question:Q: Can I take a holiday in the U.S. on M-1 visa after I have completed my study program?

A: While on M-1 visa you may remain in the U.S. for up to 30 days after the completion of your study program, or in total one year from your date of admission, whichever is shorter. If you wish to remain longer, you will be required to apply for Change of Status from M-1 to B-2 with the USCIS.

Question:Q: What should I do with the I-94/I-94W, Arrival-Departure document, from my last visit to the U.S.?

A: You should complete the back of the I-94/I-94W, Arrival-Departure document, and return it to the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Question:Q: Do I need any vaccinations to be eligible for M-1 visa?

A: Vaccinations are no longer required for temporary travel to the U.S. However, if you are intending to study or work, you should contact the school or prospective employer as they may have specific requirements.

Question:Q: What is the difference between F-1 and M-1 Visa program?

A: The F-1 visa gives you the option to transfer to a university after you have completed your community college studies. On M-1 visa, you study a vocational program for one year and then you must return to your home country. M-1 students are not allowed to continue on to the university level.

Question:Q: How can I obtain a copy of the I-94/I-94W Arrival-Departure Document?

A: The airline or shipping company will give you the I-94/I-94W, Arrival-Departure document, when you check in for your flight or in the case of a cruise, aboard the ship.

Question:Q: What can I do to expedite my application for M-1 visa?

A: Your patience is highly appreciated. According to the latest U.S. Department of State regulations, applications for studies and research in certain academic fields need advisory opinions from Washington. It takes a minimum of four weeks. Once the review is complete, the Consular Section will notify you of the outcome. You may call the Consular Section to check on the status of your case or leave your best phone number of contact. However, it is not possible to adjudicate your case before the review is complete.

Question:Q: Are services performed by foreign students and exchange visitors covered by Social Security?

A: No, if you are performing work connected to your studies on M-1 status, you are not subject to Social Security coverage.

Question:Q: What is the Alien Flight Student Program (AFSP)?

The mission of the Alien Flight Student Program (AFSP) is to ensure that foreign students seeking training at flight schools regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) do not pose a threat to aviation or national security. Section 612 of the Vision 100 – Century of Aviation Reauthorization Act (Public Law 108-176, December 12, 2003) prohibits flight schools regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) from providing flight training to a foreign student unless the Secretary of Homeland Security first determines that the student does not pose a threat to aviation or national security. Vision 100 transferred responsibility for conducting security threat assessments for foreign students seeking flight training from the Department of Justice to the Department of Homeland Security. On September 20, 2004, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) issued an interim final rule establishing the Alien Flight Student Program (AFSP).

Question:Q: Who must participate in the Alien Flight Student Program?

Persons seeking flight training must submit a request if they are not citizens or nationals of the U.S. and:

  • They wish to receive flight training in the U.S. or its territories, regardless of whether training will lead to an FAA certificate or type rating; and/or
  • They wish to receive flight training from an FAA-certificated facility, provider, or instructor that could lead to an FAA rating whether in the U.S. or abroad.

Question:Q: What is the Alien Flight Student Program (AFSP) Process?

Candidates log onto the AFSP Candidate website to submit their background information and flight training request(s). Candidates must create an AFSP account and submit a training request and the required documentation. The Candidate will then receive an email with detailed instructions on how to complete the application process. Each step must be completed before a Candidate advances to the next step. Once these items are completed, the AFSP performs a security threat assessment to determine whether the Candidate poses a threat to aviation or national security.

Flight Training Providers log onto the AFSP website to enter flight training requests for Candidates who qualify for Category 4 processing. In addition, Providers may log onto the AFSP website to validate category 1-3 flight training requests, upload a photograph of a Candidate taken on the first day of flight training, and indicate whether a Candidate’s training has been completed or not completed. Students in categories 1-3 must create their own AFSP accounts, through which they submit a training request. Each Candidate may only create one account and may not share the account with other Candidates. Providers and employers may not submit a training request for Candidates in categories 1-3. Failure to follow these account procedures will result in delay of the training request.

Question:Q: How does the Alien Flight Student Program (AFSP) communicate with Candidates and Flight Training Providers?

The AFSP primarily communicates with Candidates and Flight Training Providers via e-mail. Please ensure that your e-mail address is valid and accurate. Candidates may change their e-mail address by logging onto the AFSP website, and selecting “Assistance” > “Change your Email Address” from the folders presented on the left task bar. Candidates may view all e-mails sent to their e-mail address by logging onto the AFSP website, and selecting “Assistance” > “View Your AFSP Emails” from the folders presented on the left task bar. Candidates should include their training request ID number when corresponding with the AFSP.

Question:Q: How do Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations relate to the Alien Flight Student Program (AFSP)?

For questions related to FAA regulations and how they fit into the AFSP, please contact your Flight Training Provider or the FAA through your local Flight Standards District Office (FSDO).

Question:Q: What is the best way to find assistance with the AFSP process?

Business Hours: The AFSP Help Desk is available to assist you between the hours of 8AM and 5PM (0800-1700) EST Monday-Friday (except U.S. federal holidays or weather closures).

EASA & FAA Frozen ATPL

Since JAA is now EASA, we’ll be using the initials EASA from now on.

Question:Q: After completing Phase I training in the United States do I need to obtain a visa to flight train in England?

A: The following countries are members of the European Economic Area (EEA) and do not require a visa to flight train at our Phase II location in England.

Austria Greece Netherlands
Belgium Hungary Norway
Bulgaria Iceland Poland
Cyprus Ireland Portugal
Czech Rep Italy Romania
Denmark Latvia Slovakia
Estonia Liechtenstein Slovenia
Finland Lithuania Spain
France Luxembourg Sweden
Germany Malta United Kingdom

Question:Q: Do I need a Multi Crew Coordination (MCC) Course to complete my EASA CPL or be eligible for an airline job?

A: No, a MCC Course is not a requirement but is offered as an additional course students can take advantage of during their Phase II training in Coventry, England.

Question:Q: Can I make the Phase II total cost in payments or do I have to pay all at once?

A: The total coast of Phase II can be split into two equal installments. First installment is due on arrival and the second installment is due 2 weeks after that date.

Question:Q: How much will I need for housing and living expenses during Phase II or is it included in the price?

A: The Phase II price does not include housing or living expenses. Please ask your Epic Admission Specialist for a list of housing options and approximate living costs.

Question:Q: Do I need to get my EASA medical exam prior to my arrival in the United States?

A: It is recommended that students complete their EASA and FAA medical exams by approved doctors in their country prior to their arrival to the United States. For those unable to do so, Epic staff can schedule a student to take both their FAA exam and EASA exam here in Florida.

Question:Q: Do I have to complete all 14 ATPL Modules before I’m allowed to take my EASA Skill Test (checkride)?

A: Students must have passed all 14 ATPL Module exams before taking the EASA CPL and IR Skill Tests. Before starting ATPL ground school they must have PPL. However, students can time build and complete their FAA CPL before completing all 14 of the modules.

Question:Q: How much space does my Ipad need to have to download the Pro Pilot ATPL online program?

A: 16 GB