Flight Training

solo studentWhether you learn to fly in our Cessna 172 or an airplane of your own, whether you use our flight instructor or someone else, Knoxville Aviation is the perfect place to learn to fly. In fact, it’s not unusual for people to drive from Des Moines or further to train with us.

Private Pilot Beginner's ManualWe have a number of flight instructors on field, with several more available. But our main flight instructor, Paul Berge, is a CFII (Certificated Flight Instructor - Instrument) who has trained many pilots. From those who grew up in aviation to many more who had never even been in an airplane until their first discovery flight. Because of his love for flying, remarkable patience, and cheery disposition, (let alone the added insights he provides having worked Air Traffic Control out of Des Moines for more than a decade) many consider him to be the perfect flight instructor for more challenging students. But he doesn’t see it that way. His only expectation is that you have fun, don’t push, but fly as much as you can, and the rest takes care of itself.

There are three steps in the flight-training process to get your Private Pilot Certificate:

I -- Working Toward Solo

II -- Cross-Country & Night Flight

III -- Preparing For The Check-Ride.

No student taught by Paul has ever failed their check ride. You can talk to Paul directly at 515–360–5235
or by email at ailerona@aol.com. (Or visit www.PaulBerge.com to buy one of his many novels. Or his Private Pilot Beginner’s Manual — highly recommended and also available at Knoxville Aviation.)

How much does it cost and how long does it take? Well, if you do the math to meet the basic requirements it comes to about half what we encourage people to estimate.


  • You must be 16 to solo, 17 to receive a Private Pilot’s License.
  • You must pass a simple third class flight FAA flight physical before you solo.
  • You must pass an FAA Written Exam.
  • You must take a check ride that includes an oral exam (both easy by the time to take them).
  • You must have a minimum 40-hours of flight time. (Most have at least 60, or even more.)

Biennial Flight Reviews (BFR)

Every licensed pilot is required to have a flight review at least every 24 months to continue operating as pilot in command. These are very helpful sessions that include both ground school and flying time designed for each pilot to improve confidence and safety. Which means they don’t have to be scary. They can be fun. If you are looking for a BFR like that or need to rent an airplane to do it in, give us a call and we will get you lined up with our primary flight instructor, Paul Berge.

We also have other CFI’s at Knoxville Aviation who conduct BFRs all the time. Including Paul Beck. Or Kyle Shawver, who can also do training or your BFR in a float plane.