There are few freedoms as liberating as being able to fly, which is why humans spent millennia inventing the airplane and why penguins are so very, very bitter. Exceed evolutionary shortcomings with today’s Groupon: for $4,799, you get a 50-hour private-pilot's-license training at A.T.C. Flight Training Center in Fort Washington (a $6,900 value). Fuel costs (currently $18/month) and textbooks for self-study are not included; additional fees may apply to obtain a pilot's license.
The A.T.C. Flight Training Center has guided fledgling pilots through the skies with FAA-certified instruction since 1991. Students learn the ins and outs of piloting during up to 50 hours of flight time—up to 40 hours of which are accompanied by a certified flight instructor—supplementing self-study of the Jeppesen Part 141 textbook system and supplanting the traditional system of trial and error.
Over the course of six–nine months, a Cessna 172 ferries students through the skies as they master the concepts of flight and a secret massage technique that calms feisty planes before moving on to jaunts to other airports, night flying, and more advanced skills. Although many students are able to achieve their FAA certification within 50 hours, those who need additional time can purchase more hours at a discounted price. Those who feel confident in their in-air abilities after fewer than 40 hours of guided flight can use the remaining hours for ground instruction to prepare for the written test.
A.T.C. Flight Training Center
A.T.C. Flight Training Center has guided fledgling pilots through the skies with FAA-certified instruction since 1991, emphasizing good judgment, quick decision making, and practical skill. With approval from the Secret Service and FBI, and permission slips signed by their mothers, the seasoned instructors teach their flight courses in an airborne classroom high above the Potomac River. They lay out a clear path for students to earn FAA private-pilot certification through classroom lectures, hands-on flight instruction, and the Jeppesen ground and flight syllabus. Flight lessons aboard the center's two Cessna 172 planes cover basic flight techniques, such as fending off territorial weather balloons, before moving on to jaunts to other airports, night flying, and more advanced skills.
Already experienced pilots can instead embark on leisurely trips in a Cessna 182, outfitted with GPS navigation and autopilot. At the center's shop, staffers further outfit pilots with headsets, charts, and approach plates, as well as ASA training materials, aviation books, and films about flight.