We know you must have some questions, check out our FAQ below or skip directly to the section you are most wondering about! if you still have more questions that we have not answered here. please feel free to email us at info@flyrogue.com!

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How long will it take for me to get my license?

That depends on you! People have done it in as little as 3-4 months (very rare) and have taken as long as two years or more! The amount of time you’re willing and able to put into your training and your studying will directly impact the length of the process. The average person gets it done in 6-12 months.

I heard that I only had to have 40 hours of flight time to get my license. Is that true?

The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) requires a minimum of 40 hours of flight time. However, they also require that your CFI (Certified Flight Instructor) endorses you to be able to take the Written and Practical Standards Test to get your license. The job of the CFI is to make sure that you are ready with the knowledge and abilities to safely and competently fly the aircraft before you take your test. In other words, the FAA won’t let your CFI sign off on you before 40 hours, but they won’t sign off on you until you’re ready! The average student has 55-85 hours before they go for their Private Pilot’s License (PPL) checkride.

How much will it cost to get my private license?

We’re not going to lie to you… it’s not cheap! (Don’t believe anyone who says otherwise!) However, you’re getting the equivalent of a Bachelor’s Degree in piloting! When you compare it to the costs of a degree, it’s actually quite reasonable. Depending on how quickly you’re able to get through the program, you should plan on spending anywhere from $20k to $40k. (Some spend a little less, some spend a little more.)

Is getting my pilot’s license comparable to getting my driver’s license?

Not really. It’s a much more involved process as the level of skills and knowledge required to be a safe and successful pilot are much greater. For instance, you know how you went to the DMV to take your driver’s test and just had to show that you knew how to drive the car? For your PPL (Private Pilot’s License) checkride, you’ll need to show that you not only know how to fly the aircraft, but that you understand how each part of it works and the physics allowing the machine to fly! Plus, you’ll need to be well-versed in FAA regulations, flight planning, communications, airport operations, weather and much, much more! (It sounds overwhelming! It’s a lot of work, but we make it as easy as possible with our intentional approach to educating our students!)

What’s the process for getting my Private Pilot’s License (PPL)?

It all starts with your Rogue Orientation! This is where we get you signed up and walk you through all the requirements. Once you’ve done that, you can start training right away! You’ll start with ground lessons and flight lessons your first week! Over the coming months in your ground sessions, you’ll learn about the physics of flight, flight systems, airport operations, weather, communications and a whole lot more! Simultaneously, you’ll be learning flight skills like straight and level flight, hovering, pick-ups and set-downs, approaches and departures, flying the pattern, emergency procedures and much more! When you’re ready, you’ll take the FAA Written Exam. (60 multiple choice questions.) After you’ve mastered basic flight skills, you’ll begin to fly some solo flights. (Don’t worry… your first solo flight is simply picking up and setting down while your CFI watches! From there, we’ll build to longer solo flights.) You’ll do “cross-country flights,” night flights and flights to experience other airspace. After that, it’s fine-tuning your skills and getting your ready for your FAA Practical Standards Exam (or “checkride” as it’s more commonly known). This consists of two parts. The first is meeting with an FAA examiner where they will quiz you on everything you’ve learned. The second is flying with the same examiner where they will evaluate your flight skills. When all goes well and you pass, you’ll be flying home with your Private Pilot’s License! (Don’t worry… we won’t send you to your check ride until we’re confident you’ll pass with flying colors!) 

What’s the hardest part of flying a helicopter?

It depends on who you ask! Most people will say that hovering is the most difficult skill to master. (It generally takes anywhere from 4-6 hours to get down!) However, once you get it, you have the foundation for most other flight skills. Perhaps the most difficult ongoing skill is the multitasking that a helicopter pilot must do. At any given time, you’re using both hands and both feet; scanning your field of view for other aircraft, birds, balloons, etc…; listening to calls on the radio; making calls on the radio; being aware of the readings on your gauges; being aware of your altitude; and being aware of your position in relation to other aircraft and airspace. And that’s all before you add passengers into the mix!

Will I have the same CFI throughout my training?

Your primary CFI will remain the same throughout your training. (Unless there is a need to switch.) However, because we know that it’s valuable to get an outside perspective occasionally, you will have flights with other CFIs on a semi-regular basis.

How soon can I start flying?

How about today? Book a $99 Discovery Flight and you’ll get 30 minutes of flight time with one of our CFIs. They’ll even let you take the controls! (For a bit!)

What are the eligibility requirements for getting my license?

You’ll need to pass a medical examination by an FAA approved doctor who will examine you to make sure you are physically and mentally fit to become a pilot. You’ll need to obtain a minimum of a 3rd Class Medical Certificate. You also must be 17 years old and be able to read, speak and understand English.

What if I’m not 17 yet? Can I start training?

Absolutely! You can start training at any age. You simply can’t get your license until you turn 17.

What are the different types of licenses and what do they mean?

  • In the simplest terms, a Private Pilot’s License (PPL) means that you can fly without an instructor! You are free to fly with passengers, but cannot be compensated for that flight. There are a lot of nuances to this found in the FAA regulations, but we’ll make sure you’re fully versed in them before you get your license!
  • A Commercial Pilot’s License (CPL) is for people who want to use their skills as a pilot for monetary gain. (In other words, this is where you can start to make your money back!) There are limitations and nuances to this as well, but we’ll make sure you’re up to speed and know how to use this license properly!
  • A Certified Flight Instructor’s License (CFI) allows you to train others to become pilots! Aside from granting you the privileges associated with this license, it’s also a fantastic way to really become an expert pilot. (If getting your PPL is a Bachelor’s Degree, this is the Doctorate!)
  • An Instrument Rating is an add-on that you can get for any license. With this rating, you can fly without visual reference by relying only on your instruments. This allows you to fly through clouds and be safe in situations where visual reference isn’t available. This is a highly recommended rating for those looking to be career pilots!

Is a pilot’s license for helicopters (rotorcraft) different than one for airplanes (fixed-wing)?

Technically, it’s not. Just like technically, if you get a driver’s license for driving a car, it’s the same license you’d have for driving a motorcycle or bus. The license is the same, but the rating is different. Your Private Pilot’s License (PPL) will have a rotorcraft rating which means its only good for flying helicopters. You can always get an add-on rating for fixed-wing as well.



Can I fly with passengers after I get my Private Pilot’s License (PPL)?

Absolutely! (You just can’t charge them for it!)

Can I fly to Catalina Island with my Private Pilot’s License (PPL)?

Yup! There are some special requirements for flying over the water (things like life-vests and flares), but we’ll get you all set up for that.

Once I have my Private Pilot’s License (PPL), can I rent helicopters from Rogue Aviation?

Absolutely! Your annual enrollment fee covers your Hull Damage Waiver both as a student AND as a renter! (We’ve got you covered!) As long as you meet our renter requirements, you’re free to rent as often as you’d like!

What are the requirements for a renter?

Renters must take an initial Rental Checkout Flight with one of our CFIs. Additionally, renters must have had a currency flight with one of our CFIs within the past 75 days. Our currency flights make sure that your skills and knowledge are still fresh so that you’ll be as safe as possible when flying!

Are there limitations on my rental?

Rogue CFIs are free to add limitations to specific renters based on their level of experience and their currency flight trainings. However, any limitations added will be fully discussed with the renter as well as steps needed to remove the limitations. (For instance, a new pilot who has never flown into Class B airspace may be limited from doing so until they experience it with a Rogue CFI.) Any limitations are strictly for your own safety!

Which ships are available for rental?

We rent the R22 and R44. The R66 is currently unavailable for rent without a CFI. This is due to insurance limitations.



What types of careers are available for helicopter pilots?

There are a wide variety of careers available for helicopter pilots! Some of them include: Flight Instruction, Fire Fighting, Emergency Medical Services, Highway Patrol, Coast Guard, FBI, CIA, Sheriff’s Department, Agricultural Work (including Crop Dusting, Seeding, Spraying and Bird Chasing), Banner Towing, Aerial Photography and Cinematography, Surveying, Power Line and Pipeline Patrol, External Load Operations, Scenic Tours, Passenger Transportation, Parachute Operations and much, much more!

How much do helicopter pilots make?

Salaries can range from $200 per day to $200,000 per year or more! (Usually, the higher numbers come with more experience.) We can help you look into the specific areas you’re interested in so that you can set your expectations realistically.



Why do I have to get a medical exam?

Well, for one thing, the FAA requires it! The reason they require it is because we want to make sure that you are in good health before giving you control of an aircraft. Safety is the number one priority in aviation and the best way to be safe is to mitigate as many risks as possible. This exam helps to do exactly that!

Can I wear glasses and still get my license?

Yes! However, depending on your vision, the medical examiner may dictate some restrictions on your flying.

Can I be colorblind anD still get my license?

This one’s a little more tricky! It is possible, however it may be more difficult. Check out this article from AOPA that should answer your questions. 



Helicopters are called “ships?”

Yup! It takes some getting used to at first, but that’s the lingo!

Why do you train in Robinson Helicopters?

Robinson Helicopters are the most cost effective and reliable helicopter options available. The Robinson R22 is the standard for helicopter training in most places around the world. We use the R22 because it is the most economical and also it is, in many ways, the most difficult ship to fly. We believe that if you can learn to fly an R22, you’ll be prepared to fly most anything!

What are the main differences between an R22, R44 and R66?

The R22 is a small, piston engine aircraft that seats two people. The R44 is essentially a larger version of the R22 as it has a much larger piston engine and seats four people. The R66 is a turbine aircraft. It uses a different type of fuel (Jet A instead of 100LL), has a smaller, lighter and more powerful engine and seats five people. The R44 is approximately twice the cost of the R22 and the R66 is approximately twice the cost of the R44. You can learn more about these helicopters at www.robinsonheli.com (You’ll also learn everything about them in your flight training!)

Do I have to train in the R22?

No you don’t! You can do your Private Pilot’s License (PPL) training in the R44 as well. Commercial Pilot’s License (PPL) training and beyond can be done in the R22, R44 or R66.



What makes Rogue’s program unique?

We created Rogue Aviation out of a desire to see a few very specific things in flight training.

  • The first is a unwavering commitment to safety. We will always put safety above all else including financial gain. If we feel a pilot “doesn’t have what it takes,” we will let them know so as not to waste anyone’s time or finances. We are also committed to ensuring that our pilots are the safest in the air and that our CFIs receive continual, advanced training and peer-review. We’re also dedicated to making sure that we have the safest ships possible through a thorough and exhaustive maintenance program.
  • The second thing we wanted to create was a consistent educational experience for our Pilots-In-Training. This means creating a unified curriculum for our CFIs to use based not only on the most current aviation knowledge, but also the most current educational approaches. That’s why we have a Director of Education with a Masters in Education and a background in curriculum development on staff.
  • The third commitment we’ve made as we’ve begun this venture is to demonstrating integrity by being honest and transparent in everything we do. We’re not perfect, but we are striving to be the best we can be. If something’s not right, we’ll make it right. There shouldn’t be any surprises (at least, not bad ones!) in your experience with Rogue! 

Finally, we are committed to building and actively contributing to the John Wayne Airport community! From day one, we’ve worked to ensure that we not only have the support of the airport, the FBOs and the tenants we share this airport with, but that they know that they have our support!

What does my yearly enrollment fee cover?

This fee covers your Hull Damage Waiver for the R22 (you can add the R44 for $199 or the R44 AND R66 for $299), your enrollment in our Frequent Flyer Rewards Program and gets you some Rogue Aviation swag including a t-shirt, a lanyard and some stickers. It also covers administrative costs.

Why are you called “Rogue Aviation?”

There are a number of reasons. First, we are committed to “going rogue” against the status quo in flight training. This means a higher commitment to safety, integrity and community. Second, Rogue Aviation has a sister company named Rogue Creative Development (a creative marketing agency and production company) and we wanted to keep it in the family! Finally, Rogue is the name of owner, Matt Barnes’ dog. (He loves his dog a lot!)

Why is there a French Bulldog in the logo?

That’s our mascot, Rogue! She’s Matt Barnes’ dog. We’re sure you’ll see her around the hangar sometime!

What if my question isn’t answered here?

Email us and ask any questions you have! (info@flyrogue.com) We’ll also answer your questions after your Discovery Flight and during your Orientation!

How do I get started?

Book a Discovery Flight + Consultation by clicking on the button below!!!