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The Ann Arbor Aviation Center is one of the area's most comprehensive flying schools. We provide both the rental aircraft, as well as high quality instructors. We are committed to producing safe, skilled pilots whether their intentions are for career or leisure. As a testimony to our program, many of our former students are today flying for large commercial airlines. If you are dreaming about flying, or wish to further your skills and flight ratings, then allow us to provide you with a quality flight training experience. We offer both ground school and flight training for all ratings from a private pilot rating to your airline transport pilot (ATP) rating.


The Ann Arbor Aviation Center is located at the Ann Arbor Airport (ARB) in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The airport is a small tower-controlled (CLASS D) airport, with both an asphalt and grass runway. The airport is located on the south side of Ann Arbor at the corner of State Street and Elsworth, only about 1 mile south of the I-94 State St. exit.


You may begin taking lessons at any time, at any age, but must hold a student pilot certificate to solo (fly by yourself) in the airplane. According to the FAA's federal aviation regulations (FARs), to be eligable for a student pilot certificate you must be at least 16 years old, be able to read, write, and speak english, and maintain a third-class medical certificate. In order to obtain your private pilot's license, you must be 17 years old, complete the flight training and time requirements, pass a knowledge test, and finally complete the practical test which includes both an oral examination, and an actual flight test where you demonstrate your flight manuevers and pilot skills.


To obtain a third-class medical certificate, you must pass a physical examination given by an FAA-authorized aviation medical examiner (AME). If you are working toward your private pilate license, normally you will receive a combo medical certificate / student pilot certificate at the time of your examination. Your instructor will then sign your student pilot certificate when you are qualified to fly an airplane solo.

A medical examination consists of a distance/color vision test, hearing test, blood pressure test, and the doctor will listen to your heart, lungs and palpate the major organs in your abdomen. The cost of an exam varies, but is normally somewhere around $75. You can consult the FAA regulations for more specific info regarding the medical exam.

Follow this link to locate an authorized aviation medical examiner (AME) in your area.


In general, the following is required by the FARs in order to obtain your private pilot license:

  • 3rd class medical
  • Recieve instruction in specific flight operations and manuevers
  • Ground instruction in certain knowledge areas
  • 40 hours total flight time (absolute minimum)
    • 20 hours of dual instruction
    • 10 hours of solo flight
    • 5 hours solo cross-country (50 miles from base airport)
    • 1 solo cross-country of at least 150 nautical miles total distance
    • 3 hours instrument training
    • 3 hours night-flight training
  • Pass the written knowledge test with at least a 70%
  • Pass the oral examination and flight test

NOTE: Remember that these are minimum requirements. The average student pilot with no prior flying experience requires approximately 65 to 75 flight hours to meet the proficiency standards necessary to pass the practical test and operate safely as a private pilot.


We offer a formal ground school for those that are interested in perparing for the written examination. The ground school is not required, but highly reccomended. Ground school is a 12 week course that meets one night a week for 12 weeks. Each class session lasts about 3 hours. Contact the Aviation Center for more information about the next ground school schedule.

Ground School costs N/A

The private pilot written exam is a multiple-choice exam that covers the following topics:

  • Airplanes and Aerodynamics
  • Airplane instruments, engines, and systems
  • Airports, air traffic control, and airspace
  • Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs)
  • Airplane performance and weight & balance
  • Aeromedical Factors
  • Aviation weather
  • Aviation weather services
  • Navigation: charts, publications, flight computers
  • Navigation systems
  • Cross-country flight planning

The written examination can be taken at the Ann Arbor Aviation Center. We are an authorized LaserGrade computer testing facility.


Don't limit yourself to a private pilot license. We offer flight training for all ratings and licenses including:

  • Recreational and Private Pilot
  • Instrument Rating
  • Commercial Pilot & Military Competence
  • Aircraft Dispatcher and Airline Transport Pilot
  • Flight and Ground Instructor

Click here for more details about the FAA examinations

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