Northwood to Offer Aviation Science Course Leading to Pilot License

Northwood School will offer an Aviation Science program beginning the second trimester. Students enrolled will learn to fly single-engine airplanes. The course will prepare students for the Ground School Certification and Private Pilot’s License Exam.


Students will learn to fly single-engine planes like this one (Photo: Adirondack Flying Service)

This program was announced at school meeting and in a letter to families from Mr. Martin, IEE Department Chair and Technology Coordinator for Northwood School.

Students will be billed $200 per lesson for the plane rental, flight instruction and more. The estimated total program cost is $10,000 over the entire course, which is approximately 50 lessons and will take three or four trimesters of work to be ready for the licensing test.

The course will count as one science credit per trimester. Students can learn to fly at any age, but need to be 17 years old in order to pass the federal government exam to earn their pilot’s license. It takes about 60 hours of flying time and 30 hours of aviation ground school to prepare for the exam.

A local flight instructor came to Northwood School on Tuesday, November 5th to speak with students interested in the program. There are a limited number of spots and they seem to be filling quickly.

Dear Parents:

Northwood School is excited to announce a new program offering – Aviation Science.  Students enrolled in this program will learn to fly single-engine airplanes. This includes a comprehensive course in aviation that will prepare them for the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Ground School Certification Exam.  At the completion of the program, students will be fully prepared for their Private Pilot’s License Exam and CheckFlight.

Northwood has partnered with Adirondack Flying Service and the Lake Placid Airport to provide aircraft and flight instruction for the Aviation Science program.  Adirondack Flying Service is a family run business that has been serving the Lake Placid area for 50 years. Their lead instructor, Steve Short, has a lifetime of experience flying and teaching flying in the Adirondacks.  Northwood students will receive one on one instruction from Steve while they log flight hours as part of this program.

Students in Aviation Science will also be enrolled in an independent study program mentored by Northwood faculty which will support and coordinate their training.  Students will work through a structured online training program that will teach them the Ground School skills needed to prepare for their Pilot’s Exam. This curriculum will be reinforced in their individual Flight School lessons.  Together, these two components of the course will give students a complete background in aviation skills. Completion of this program will take a long-term commitment from the students: 30 hours of Ground School and 60 hours of Flight School are needed to meet the requirements for a pilot’s license.  Realistically students will need to complete three or four trimesters (9 to 15 months) of work to be ready for the licensing test. Students will receive course credit for each trimester of course work and time spent in flight lessons will accumulate towards their total flight hours.

There are several components of the licensing process which require a fee:  medical exams, online courses, testing and flight instruction. Flight instruction is the most significant component of the cost of this program.  Students will be billed at the time of each lesson for the cost of the plane rental and flight instruction – approximately $200 per session. Average total cost of obtaining a pilot’s license is $10,000 over the course of the entire program.  Students must also have a U.S. passport or birth certificate. International students need approval from the U.S. federal government before they can begin flight training.

Northwood will launch this course at the start the 2nd Trimester (Nov. 27th), with flight lessons beginning immediately for enrolled students.  This program was revealed to the student body earlier this week and drew a great deal of student interest. We are confident we can offer a quality experience to those students willing to make the commitment.  Please contact me if you have any questions or would like to enroll your child in this program. I will also be available during Family Weekend for questions or additional information.


Jeff Martin
Department Head, IEE Department
Technology Coordinator Northwood School


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