Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions:

Fun for the whole family
Fun for the whole family!



Filling up
Complete A to Z training
Q.    Is there an age limit for learning to fly? (What about max age?)

A.    There is no age limit to begin training with a certified flight instructor, however Federal Aviation Regulations require an individual to be at least 16 years of age to operate an aircraft solo and 17 years of age to obtain a private pilot certificate. There is no maximum age for obtaining a private pilot certificate. Once a person earns their private pilot certificate they may exercise the privileges of that certificate as long as they continue to get a medical certificate and a biannual flight review.

Q.    What written tests and flight tests are required to obtain my private pilot rating?

A.    Student pilots have to pass a pre-solo written exam before solo, a Private Pilot written exam (FAA) and a practical exam (flight test).

Q.    Is a medical examination required to get my Private Pilot Rating? (And where do I take it?)

A.    You must take and pass at least a third class medical examination from an FAA medical examiner before you can obtain a Private Pilot Rating, (Refer to a phone book or contact your flight school).

Q.    How many hours do I have to fly before I fly solo?

A.    There is no requirement for hours before solo. This is based on the judgment of your flight instructor.

Q.    What is the average length of time needed to obtain a Private Pilot License?

A.    On average it takes about five months. You must complete a minimum of 40 hours of flight instruction (the national average is 75) and study to pass the written and oral exams.

Q.    What is the average cost of obtaining a Private Pilot License?

A.    The cost varies by location and the type of aircraft used in training, but the average cost is between $6000 and $8000. Our program offers easy pay-as-you-go lessons which enable you to learn at your own pace.

Q.    Am I required to have special insurance to be a pilot?

A.    No, but some insurance companies do specialize in insurance for pilots.

Q.    Can I learn to fly in my own plane?

A.    Yes.

Q.    Do I have to be a pilot to purchase a plane?

A.    No, anyone can purchase an airplane.

Q.    What are the benefits of flying?

A.    Many people are thrilled by flight and get their license as a hobby, but the benefits of flying go MUCH further than that. As a pilot, you can fly to one of the thousands of airports in the United States on your own schedule. You don’t have to wait in long lines or go through extensive security searches. You don’t have to arrive at the airport 2 hours before your flight or worry that you may not make your connecting flight.  In recent years, airline operations have become exasperating. When you fly yourself you are in charge of the schedule!

Q.    How safe is flying?

A.    Many people consider flying dangerous, mostly because they do not understand it. In reality, flying is safer than driving! Modern aircraft engines very rarely suffer a mechanical failure.  A large part of the Private Pilot training curriculum focuses on dealing with emergencies and mechanical failure, in the event one should occur. One advantage to flying is, unlike being on the road, you do not have to worry about being hit by a sleeping or intoxicated driver. With innovative technologies like GPS (global positioning system), weather tracking radar, communications and the world’s most sophisticated airspace, today’s general aviation is one of the safest methods of transportation. 



Meet Our Instructors


Barbara George, CFI / CFII / MEI
Barbara George

Barbara George, Chief Flight Instructor, brings over 20 years, 8,000 hours flying time and a great amount of enthusiasm to Cumberland Valley Aviation.   She is a proven flight instructor, holding the following ratings:

– Certified Flight Instructor (CFI)
– Certified Flight Instructor Instrument (CFII)
– Multi-Engine Instructor (MEI)
– Basic and Advanced Ground School Instructor (BGI & AGI)

The Federal Aviation Administration has recognized her with a Flight Instructor’s Gold Seal designation and appointed her to the FAA Safety Team (FAAST).  She has held positions as Director of Flight Operations and Chief Flight Instructor in Central Pennsylvania, and owned and operated aviation businesses in Atlanta, Georgia and Charlottesville, Virginia.  She also flies for several corporations in the Central Pennsylvania area.

A graduate of the University of New Hampshire, Barbara also studied Meteorology at the University of Virginia and has completed advanced flight training programs with SIMCOM, CAE Simulate and Flight Safety International.



Terry Godar, CFI / CFII
Terry Godar


Terry Godar, a Cumberland Valley Aviation flight instructor. He earned his CFI rating in 1983 and has maintained it since then. He was an active, part time instructor, for many years.   Unfortunately, his engineering career got in the way and limited his instructional activity.  He recently took an early retirement to allow more time for aviation, his first love.  The first thing he did after retiring was to earn his CFII rating.  Terry is rated in both single engine land and single engine sea planes. He is also rated in tailwheel aircraft.


Terry is an effective, highly motivated instructor who has seen several of his students move on to careers in aviation.  Terry was a Mission Pilot, Instructor and Check Pilot for Civil Air Patrol Squadron 302, located at the Capital City Airport.  He ferried aircraft throughout the United States for Piper Aircraft and once flew from St. Maartens Island to Philadelphia.


He has owned and flown his Cessna 172 for almost 30 years, traveling over the eastern two-thirds of the United States with it.  Terry is a volunteer pilot with Angel Flight, an organization of pilots who donate their time and aircraft to help financially needy patients with free medical air transportation.


Welcome To CVA!

Cumberland Valley Aviation is based at the Business Airport of Carlisle (N94) just minutes from downtown as well as the airport in Historic Gettysburg (W05) close to the battlefield.

Both locations offer the ideal setting for flight training.

 In addition to flight training, Cumberland Valley Aviation offers a variety of aircraft for rental, scenic flights and aerial photography.

Please feel free to explore our website. If you would like to talk to someone in person, see our Contact Us page for details. Check out our FAQ page for common questions and answers: FAQ.

 Thanks for visiting and we hope to see you up in the air with us!

Fly It, You’ll Like It!

gift certificates


Fly It… You’ll Like It!

Flight Training Course

Cumberland Valley Aviation is offering a new way to get you started flying. The “Fly It, You’ll Like It” course. This course is designed to let you ‘try-on’ your flight training and see if you like it with a small commitment. It allows you to master the basics of flying and learn what is involved in earning your Private Pilot’s License. You receive the same training as a person enrolled in the complete Private Pilot Course. If you decide to continue, Nothing is lost….you will continue to work towards your first solo flight!! Why put it off any longer??

The course includes:

 3 hours of flight training with a Certified Flight Instructor in a Cessna 172 or Piper Archer II.

 2 hours of Ground Instruction

 1 Pilot Log Book

 Cost: $585.00

 The sky’s the limit!

 Contact us for more details or visit our Learn to Fly page.

Flight Simulator

Flight Simulator:

Flight Simulator
Flight Simulator



Take Off
Take off

PI-135 Elite Flight Simulator

12 aircraft…..simple,complex, and twins

Physical switches for full start-up and shut down operations

Bendex/King Silver Crown-style avionics Virtual GNS 430 WAAS

Fully programmable and accurately modeled system failures
In depth static and dynamic weather modeling with downloadable real time weather data

High resolution,accurately detailed instrument panels

Advanced instructor/operator station functionality

FAA approved Basic ATD approved for 10 hours toward Instrument Rating,2.5 hours toward Private Rating and Recent Flight Experience.

Learn to Fly!