For teens with a passion for aviation, learning to fly is a transformative experience. Earning a pilot’s license requires a great deal of determination, courage, knowledge and skill, plus a significant commitment of time and money.
Successfully completing flight school often solidifies a student’s desire to pursue a career in aerospace. The sense of “mastery” that results from realizing a difficult and worthwhile achievement is another fantastic outcome. Our young pilots develop a greater sense of control and self-esteem as they move into adulthood. They take pride in their competence, and there’s a willingness to undertake new challenges with confidence – in aviation and in life.
For the typical NIHSAP student, the expenses associated with flight instruction, aircraft rental and exams for a Sport Pilot License are approximately $3,700. NIHSAP’s costs are lesser than a traditional flight school’s, but flight training is still quite an expense – approximately $130 per hour for airplane rental and flight instruction. All students and their families are expected to make financial contributions toward training. NIHSAP actively seeks employment and internship opportunities to help them earn the ability to contribute. Flight training scholarships are available in limited supply to worthy students with demonstrated financial need.
NIHSAP’s flight training program has greatly benefitted from the generosity of Sandpoint’s Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Chapter 1441. EAA members have helped fund “Adopt-a-Pilot” scholarships for several students, taken students flying in their personal aircraft, mentored NIHSAP’s Aviation Workshop teens, and helped in other meaningful ways.
Note, prior to flight training, students must successfully complete Sport Pilot Ground School coursework and exams. NIHSAP offers a Ground School course at Sandpoint High School, but courses are also available online.