Chachalaca Aero LLC
Phone 956-778-5520
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Flight School

Chachalaca Aero LLC provides flight training, pilot supplies, and aircraft rental in South Texas. We are based in Harlingen, Texas at Valley International Airport, but we also provide flight instruction at airports in McAllen, Weslaco, and Edinburg Texas.

How do I become an airplane pilot?

The first license pilots get is the Student Pilot's License. This license is required before you can fly "solo"(flying by yourself, without the instructor on board). You must be at least 16 years old to solo but you can start training before that. This license allows you to complete your flight training to get your Private Pilot's License. The basic requirements for the Private Pilot License, Instrument Rating, and Commercial Pilot's License are on the page link marked Flight Training above. 

When you have completed all the requirements to become a Private Pilot, then you will get you license by passing your FAA Practical Test, which is better known in pilot jargon as the "Check Ride". Mike Baker, owner of Chachalaca Aero, is a  FAA Designated Examiner. Designated Examiners are people the FAA has approved to administer the FAA Practical Test. 

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Student Pilots 

What will it cost to learn to fly?

The cost of learning to fly will vary from one student to another. The reason for this is that every individual will learn at a different pace. The minimum hours required by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are just that, a minimum. The minimum flight time for Private Pilot Applicants is 40; most students require more flight time than this to master the required training. We recently finished four students, all of which obtained their Private Licenses with less than 60 hours. Two of them with less than 50 hours.

If you are using the Cessna 150 to train in, a reasonable expectation for total cost would be in the $7,000 to $9,000 range. It could be less or more. This number includes the aircraft rental, flight and ground instruction cost, and other materials required such as books, plotters, and flight computers. You can "pay as you go" each time you fly. Work at a pace your schedule and budget will allow. Plan on spending $100 to $170 per lesson in the beginning of your training.