Student Private Pilot Training


The Tom Wathen Pilot Training Program has been created by flight training professionals to provide sponsors with pre-qualified candidates who are deemed to be dedicated, knowledgeable and competent to successfully complete the requirements of a FAA Private Pilot Certificate.  During the Program, sponsors and The Tom Wathen Center will receive updates on the candidate’s progress.  Achievement Requirements are set to make certain candidates are on schedule to complete the training in a reasonable time frame.  Candidates who do not achieve good results from the Program will be counseled and may be dropped with funding terminated.




Private Pilot Training Program Components

The successful candidate will receive a maximum of $10,000 to be used to successfully complete their Private Pilot Certification.  A tailwheel endorsement is available based on funding and desire of the candidate.  The student will be responsible for paying $15 per flight hour to the flight instructor who will credit the invoice submitted to the Tom Wathen Center.  Supplemental scholarships for the co-pay may be available to candidates with financial need.


All ground and flight instruction will be given by a certified ground or flight instructor.  The instructor must conform to TSA and FAA recordkeeping requirements.


The training will take place in an appropriate tricycle or tailwheel gear trainer.


The Jeppesen FAR Part 61 GFD training syllabus will be used to ensure training occurs in a logical sequence.


Costs to be covered include ground school, supplies, headset, flight training, aircraft rental (with fuel), FAA Knowledge Test fee (written – first time only) and the FAA Practical Test (check ride – first time only).  The candidate will be responsible for paying the physician’s charge for the FAA Third Class Medical.


Each “Achievement Requirement” (listed below) will be documented by the flight instructor.  Failure to reach the Achievement Requirement within the time limit could result in the candidate being dropped from the Program.  Additionally, each billing by the flight or ground instructor will be supplemented by a written status report on the candidate’s progress.  At any time, the instructor may recommend cancellation of the Program if the instructor believes the candidate is not physically or mentally capable of meeting the goal.


Prior to each flight, the candidate will produce a log documenting the time spent and aviation subject matter studied in preparation for the flight and/or the FAA Knowledge Test (written).


At the conclusion of each flight lesson, the candidate will write a brief statement documenting what was learned and submit it to the flight instructor.


Starting with the first hour of flight training, the candidate will have up to one year to complete the instruction.


The Practical Test will be accomplished with an FAA Designated Pilot Examiner after the flight instructor certifies that the candidate has completed the required training.


 Candidate Pre-Qualification Selection Criteria 

  1. High School GPA of 3.2 or above
  2. Aged 16 or older
  3. Complete an Air Academy Program and receive a Young Eagles Certificate
  4. Join the Aviators Program (volunteer based)
  5. Participate in an Aircraft Restoration Project, have a history of cleaning or maintaining aircraft, or comparable activities (with logbook entries).
  6. Have a minimum of 100 hours of logged volunteer time in activities related to Flabob Airport and/or the Wathen Center.
  7. Pass the Wathen Center screening test based on aviation concepts such as aerodynamics, flight instrumentation, flight systems, navigation, FAA regulations, and weather or pass the FAA written exam.
  8. Possess a Third Class Medical certificate (FAA required certificate for flight as a Private Pilot)
  9. Able to receive clearance for flight training based on TSA requirements (49 CFR Part 1552).
  10. Provide a comprehensive resume (assistance will be available from the Center)
  11. Complete a minimum of two interviews with interviewers selected by the Tom Wathen Center.  A written appraisal will be supplied by each interviewer.


Achievement Requirements

  1. Solo before the 20th hour of flight training.
  2. Pass the FAA Pilot Knowledge Test (written) before the 30th hour of flight training.
  3. Solo cross country before the 50th hour of flight training.
  4. Private Pilot Certificate within one year of the first flight lesson.



For more information, please contact:
(951) 683-2309


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