Flight Training Options

Flight-School-Options-MinneapolisOver the past five decades, Thunderbird Aviation has helped thousands of people become pilots. Whether it’s flying for fun or making it a career we can help you reach your flying goals. Thunderbird Aviation is the leading provider of flight training in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Area.

Select from the list of training programs below to learn more.

Introductory Flight Lesson
Private Pilot
Instrument Pilot
Commercial Pilot
Multi-Engine Pilot
Certified Flight Instructor
Instrument Flight Instructor
Multi-Engine Flight Instructor
Complex Training
Flight Review


Introductory Flight Lesson

Imagine the adventure of piloting an aircraft. This experience is for one person and we let them take the controls. Head into the air with a certified flight instructor as they talk you through controlling the aircraft.

An experience you will never forget!


Private Pilot Training Program

Thunderbird Aviation, an FAA-approved flight training school, offers students the option of taking their practical test with one of our employees, not a FAA inspector or Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE). You can choose your training aircraft type from the largest fleet of aircraft in the area.

Private Pilot Course Description

Prerequisite: Course Content*:
None 35 hours of Dual Instruction
Requirements: 10 hours of Solo Flight Time
Student, Sport or Recreational certificate 19 hours of Pre and Post Brief
Third-Class medical or higher 35 hours of Ground Instruction or optional online course

*Course contents are the minimum times for the approved course syllabus.


Instrument Pilot Training Program

Instrument ratings are one of the most demanding and rewarding ratings a pilot can obtain. With an instrument rating, you’ll be able to fly in weather that would have stopped you with only a private certificate. Our FAA-approved course can get you your instrument rating in as little as 45 hours and offers students the option of taking their practical test with one of our employees, not a FAA inspector or Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE).

Instrument Rating Course Description

Prerequisite: Course Content*:
Private Pilot Certificate 45 hours of Dual Instrument Flight Instruction
Requirements: 22 hours of Pre and Post Brief
Current FAA medical certificate 30 hours of Ground Instruction or optional Online course

*Course contents are the minimum times for the approved course syllabus.


Commercial Pilot Training Program

A Commercial license is the basic requirement for a professional flying career. Commercial pilots fly air taxi and charter flights for corporations, commuter airlines, major airlines, crop dusting, fire patrol, banner towing, and aerial photography. Our FAA-approved course can get you your Commercial Pilot certificate in as little as 190 hours total flight.

Prerequisite: Course Content*:
Private Pilot certificate 55 hours of Dual Flight Time including 15 hours in complex aircraft
Instrument Rating preferred 65 hours of Solo Flight Time
Requirements: 22 hours of Pre and Post Brief
Second Class medical certificate 35 hours of Ground Instruction

*Course contents are the minimum times for the approved course syllabus.


Multi-Engine Pilot Training Program

If you have a dream of flying larger, faster, higher-performance aircraft, then Thunderbird Aviation’s Multi-Engine Pilot course is for you. In as little as two weeks, you can be flying multi-engine aircraft. And if you currently have an instrument rating, you will have multi-engine privileges, as well.

Prerequisite: Course Content*:
Private Pilot Certificate or higher 15 hours of Dual Instruction**
Requirements: 10 hours of Ground Instruction
Current FAA medical certificate

*Course contents are the minimum times for the approved course syllabus.

**20 hours for Instrument Multi-Engine.


Certified Flight Instructor Training Program

Thunderbird Aviation has designed the following course for you to become a confident and proficient Certified Flight Instructor. Any individual who fully completes this program is eligible for hire as a Thunderbird Aviation instructor.

Prerequisite: Course Content*:
Commercial Pilot Certificate 10 hours of Dual Instruction
Requirements: 40 hours of Ground Instruction
Current FAA medical certificate

*Course content can vary depending on student’s proficiency, currency and ability


Instrument Flight Instructor Training Program

Thunderbird Aviation has designed the following course for you to obtain a Instrument Flight Instructor certificate. We use our flight simulator and aircraft to get your training done in the least amount of time, at the highest quality.

Prerequisite: Course Content*:
Initial Flight Instructor Certificate 5 hours of Dual Instruction
Requirements:
Current FAA medical certificate 5 hours of Ground Instruction

*Course content can vary depending on student’s proficiency, currency and ability.


Multi-Engine Flight Instructor Training Program

Our multi-engine flight instructor course is designed to make you a safe and proficient MEI in as little time as possible. Our FAA-approved syllabus covers both the flight and ground training you need.

Prerequisite: Course Content*:
Commercial Multi-Engine Rating 6 hours of Dual Instruction
Requirements: 10 hours of Ground Instruction
Current FAA medical certificate

*Course content can vary depending on student’s proficiency, currency and ability.

** If MEI is initial instructor certificate, flight and ground times will be different.


Complex Training Program

If you are interested in flying faster, more advanced aircraft, then a complex endorsement is what you want. A complex endorsement is required when an aircraft has retractable landing gear, a variable pitch propeller, and flaps. The best part, the endorsement lasts forever! Come fly our Piper Arrow for your endorsement and for only slightly more time, you can be checked out in our aircraft, too!

Prerequisite: Course Content*:
Private Pilot Certificate 2 hours of Dual Flight Instruction
Requirements: 1 hour of Ground Instruction
Current FAA medical certificate

*Course content can vary depending on student’s proficiency, currency and ability.


Flight Review

While your pilot’s certificate doesn’t expire, a flight review is required every 24 months. Thunderbird Aviation instructors will get you current and proficient in the aircraft of your choice. We also can do FAA “wings” training for your flight review. Link it with your IPC to get completely current for VFR or IFR.

Give us a call or click the contact link below to set up your flight review today.