Frequently Asked Questions

1. About Our Flight School

What is the best way to pay for the training?

We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, cash in US Dollars, Travelers Checks, US personal checks, or wire transfer. Bank transfer or credit card is the easiest way.

Do I have to pay all my money “up front”?

No, all that we ask is that you remain sufficiently in credit with us. Just maintain a pre-agreed upon account balance so that there are no delays or lapses in your flight training. If you are taking one of our "Career Path" courses, we require that you pay at least 25% up-front with the remaining balance to be paid as you train.

Will I be required to wear a student-pilot uniform at AAA?

We require that all career-path cadets wear their uniforms at least Monday thru Friday. Weekends are your choice to be casual if you prefer. We provide these uniforms when you begin your training. You are intending to become an airline pilot, and should take on such a responsibility as soon as you start!

Are the aircraft and pilots insured?

Both the aircraft and its occupants are insured. However, we strongly recommend obtaining health insurance which covers you for non-flying medical needs before travelling to the U.S. International students can also purchase insurance after they arrive in the United States while they are here training. (links)

Will I have numerous flight instructors?

We try to make every effort to keep you with the same instructor. However, there are occasions when you will fly with senior instructors for periodic stage checks during your progress. Ideally, we prefer to keep you with your chosen instructor.

Do I need to have a degree or language certificate to join AAA?

To start training for your pilot’s licenses in the U.S., there are no requirements other than to be able to read, write, and speak English sufficiently. However, your own Aviation authority or industry’s requirements may want such degrees or certificates. Simply check your country's requirements to be sure. Your English language proficiency will be evaluated by one of our staff before we issue the I-20.

2. About Our Courses

How long will it take to complete some of the courses you offer?

The following times estimates are based on industry averages, and can vary among students. • FAA 141 PPL course 4 to 8 weeks • FAA 141 Instrument course    8 to 12 weeks • FAA 141 CPL course (including PPL and Instrument) 8 to 14 months • EASA PPL course 4 to 8 weeks • EASA CPL SE or ME course (excluding ATPL theory) 8 to 14 months.

What are the course start dates?

Most of our courses have a beginning ground-school phase; therefore, most of our ground schools have a start-date on the first Monday of every month.

Is the license guaranteed in that period? 

We do not offer unconditional guarantees because some students may take a little longer than the required minimum. The objective is that you leave AAA a safe and competent pilot.

How often will I fly during the PPL course? 

After your initial ground school time, the first 10 days will be around two hours per day. After this, it is one hour per day solo and dual practice before increasing to three hours per day once you are in the cross-country phase. You are expected to attend the school 5 days a week with 2 rest day off. Keep in mind; it would be an added benefit if you could spend up to six days since this will shorten your course duration and Accommodations expense.

Are pilot examiners independent or do they work for the school?

All examiners for FAA ratings are independent so that we can ensure continuous monitoring of our training standards. We do have an on-staff EASA examiner.

How many times can I take the final exams or check rides?

The EASA PPL theory exams can be taken a maximum of 3 attempts. Any further attempts require UK CAA approval. The EASA flight test allows 2 attempts (assuming a complete failure and not a partial pass) and after the second attempt, approval for a subsequent attempt is required from the UK CAA. The FAA written examinations can be attempted as many times as required, but each attempt requires an instructor authorization. The FAA flight test can be attempted as often as required.

3. International Flight Students

I have a foreign license, how can I fly in the U.S. with this license?

To fly solo in the U.S. it is necessary to have your foreign license verified by the FAA first before coming to the U.S., so plan ahead! To start the foreign license verification process, follow this link:

Can I work for you or in US after CPL?

The M-1 visa regulations include the priviledge of being able to work in the U.S. after completion of training for a maximum of 6 months in a job related to your flight training either at AAA or elsewhere. We would be happy to explain this further upon request. There are also internships whether paid or unpaid which can be discussed further should you choose.

As a foreign student, what type of medical exam do I need?

You will require an FAA medical certificate to fly US aircraft in US airspace. You will also require an EASA medical certificate if you wish to undertake a flight test for an EASA license. The EASA medical is primarily for European pilot/cadets.

How can I enroll and receive my Visa forms?

You can enroll by sending your enrollment request to:

Where can I take my TSA screenings?

Once you have your visa, you can apply for the TSA clearance even before you arrive in the U.S. We will guide you through this process in order to allow you to begin training as quickly as possible when you arrive.

Can my I-20be extended if I need more time to train?

Yes, you can submit an application to extend your I-20 in order to complete your training, or you can leave the U.S. with a new I-20 and return.

Do I need a student visa to fly in the US?

If you are training towards the issuance of a license, then you will require an M-1 student visa. If you simply wish to hour-build or fly for recreational purposes, then you can enter theU.S. with a tourist visa or, if you come from a visa waiver country, without a visa for up to 90 days.

4. Accommodations and San Diego Life

Will I need to rent a vehicle?

This is a personal choice and can be easily arranged, but keep in mind that we are ideally located in relations to our convenient trolley system. We also provide a shuttle from and to the accommodations every 2 hours during our normal business hours. For career-path students, having your own bicycle might be a wise choice.

Are the utilities paid for in the accommodation?

Gas, electricity, Wi-Fi, Cable TV, and Kitchen supplies are included with our accommodations. If you wish to install a telephone this is independent of American Aviation Academy.

How are the accommodations, and are they shared?

Currently, we have private or shared accommodations that comprise of two- bedrooms, two bed shared apartment. A possibility of up to 4 students can share one apartment. You can have your own private bedroom for an added expense. The accommodations include a complete kitchen with plates and utensils, bathroom, bedding needs, Cable TV, and a Wi-Fi source. The apartment complex also has a pool and laundry facilities. * For pricing and availability, please send your request to:

Do you offer student accommodations?

We offer furnished housing for our students, but we currently are limited to 50 cadets at any given time. The number of available beds has grown each and every year, and we intend to continue to expand as we see fit. Currently, about 50% of the student body occupies our housing, and the remaining have found outside housing.

5. Enrollment-Process

What if I am refused a Visa, what is the next step?

Visa approvals are not guaranteed and are out of our control. If you want, you can ask for a new I-20 and apply for the visa again. It is essential that you show strong ties to your home country so that the consular officials will not think you want to stay in the U.S.  Be more prepared for the second time. Please keep in mind that refusals are not common and a vast number of student pilots enter the U.S. unhindered each year.

How long does the Visa process take?

It depends on where you live, how busy the U.S. embassy or consulate is, and if you have all your documents in order. It can take between 1-2 months, so plan ahead!

What should I submit in order to enroll at AAA?

You will need to fill out our school enrollment form. You also will need to submit a current copy of your passport, name page and financial documents to show that you have the funding to start and finish your flight training. The financial documents can be your own or a sponsor such as family members, or a company you work for. After you show that you are proficient in English, we will send you your I-20. You will take your I-20 to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate nearest your residence abroad to apply for the M-1 visa. Detailed visa application instructions will be sent ot you when we send you your I-20.

6. Flying in San Diego

Will I be able to tour in an aircraft after obtaining my license?

For the FAA courses you receive your license as soon as you pass and you will be able to visit places such as the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas etc. With EASA courses, you will have to wait until the UK CAA ratifies your application. Though you can still take dual flights as often as possible.

What are the flying conditions and climate around your school?

In San Diego, you are able to fly over 300 days per year! On average, we have 28 inches less rainfall than in Florida every year! No snow or cold weather to speak of! Sunny and clear about 75% of the year! No tornadoes or hurricanes! Scheduling flights and actually flying in San Diego will be the easiest part of your learning experience! * SD climate link:

Will I be able to tour in an aircraft after obtaining my license?

For the FAA courses you receive your license as soon as you pass and you will be able to visit places such as the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas etc. With EASA courses, you will have to wait until the UK CAA ratifies your application. Though you can still take dual flights as often as possible.