prepare for your

Every aviation adventure presents new challenges.

We’ve compiled a guide to help you prepare for your adventure flying course and help you understand what to expect.


Deciding where you want to go can be difficult, simply because you have so many options. If you’re having trouble choosing a destination, check out our preplanned adventures—even if only for inspiration.

You should consider these factors while planning your adventure:

  • Time of Year: Flying in each season presents unique challenges, but consider the specific factors that may affect flying in or through certain regions. Icy northern winters can keep you on the ground longer, while hot summers at high elevation may mean you can’t safely leave the ground.
  • Type of Training: If you want to learn mountain flying, you’ll want to choose destinations in or near the mountains. Cross-country instrument training, on the other wing, is much more fun if you choose stops with interesting activities along the way.
  • Aircraft: Any plane in our fleet can take you there, but each aircraft is best suited to specific missions. Determine which is best for the type of flying you’d like to do, or the type of hours and experience you’d like to build.
  • Lodging Preferences: Airplane camping can be fun in the backcountry in the summertime, but you may prefer hotels if you’re flying in the winter or through populated areas. Our team books the lodging—just let us know what you’d like to do!
  • Diversions & Distractions: You may spend most of your time training and flying, but you’ll have plenty of opportunity along the way to visit aviation museums, go to the beach or otherwise relax and enjoy your trip. What do you want to see along the way or once you arrive in your destination?


After you send us your proposed adventure and complete the required paperwork, we’ll get in touch to begin scheduling and arranging additional details with you.

“When you have time to spare, go by air.” We advise not scheduling important events too close to the end of an aviation training adventure—your adventure may take longer than planned.

Scheduling the beginning of an adventure is easy, but the best thing you can do now is plan for delays. You’ll rarely see any cross-country aviation adventure go exactly as planned, so plan to be as flexible as possible. Weather, maintenance and other issues can all throw your plan off track, so be prepared to make changes on the fly.

INSURANCE & Paperwork


Our new student paperwork is a required checklist item on our pre-adventure checklist.


Flight Training Adventures only requires students to carry additional insurance when flying solo. If your adventure requires no solo flying, you won’t need to carry insurance. If you do require insurance, we recommend paying only for the coverage you need with SkyWatch Aviation Insurance. Coverage requirements vary by aircraft:

  • Mooney M20C: $60,000 hull coverage
  • Cessna C182: $60,000 hull coverage
  • Cessna C172: $50,000 hull coverage


We can’t emphasize this enough: complete ground school first.

We provide accelerated remote ground school and one-on-one ground school tutoring services you can sign up for before you adventure.

Though it may seem obnoxious and boring, we know how exhausting accelerated, all-day flight training can be. You’ll want to unwind and relax at every stop, so ensuring you’ve completed ground school, knocked out any written tests required and know your stuff on the ground before you depart can save you time, headache and money.

Enjoy your flight training adventure and train on the ground before you leave it.


Packing can be a challenge when flying in a small plane, especially when you’re weight-restricted. If you’re flying into high-elevation airports, it’s especially important to pack as light as possible. If your trip is long, we can help arrange laundry services along the way or, in extreme cases, help ship additional supplies to stops along the way.

We recommend you always plan to be cold, hot, dry, wet and in need of fresh socks and underwear. Remember too that in addition to flight supplies like a headlamp and headset (things= we can provide upon request,) you’ll be focused and working hard in a cockpit much of the day—be kind to your CFI and don’t forget your deodorant.

Frequently Asked Questions


Early on an IFR training adventure, your training will cover the basics under the hood: straight and level flight, turns, climbs and descents. We’ll review tracking and intercepting navigational aids, programming courses, calculating holds and start shooting approaches. Depending on your route, by the time you reach your destination, you should be able to file and fly a full instrument flight plan. On the way back, you’ll practice and prepare for the practical test so upon your return you’re ready to checkride.


Your flight training adventure is yours. This means you decide what you want to learn.

If you’re pursuing a certificate (Private, Commercial, etc.) or an instrument rating, we’ll design the curriculum to meet and exceed the requirements for your rating.

If you’re more interested in time-building or simply gaining experience, a more relaxed curriculum can be built to suit your specific needs. In any case, our goal is to improve your skills significantly during any flight training adventure.  Ask us about discounts we offer on time-building adventures.

Typically, the most cost-effective solution is to start near one of our bases in Colorado Springs, CO. (Meadow Lake Airport – KFLY) or Gadsden, AL. (Northeast Alabama Regional – KGAD). We can help you make arrangements for travel and lodging nearby if you’re not from either area.

We can, however, start anywhere you like. We charge a reduced rate for “positioning flights” where we fly to your location and back to our base before and after training.

We don’t always spend eight plus hours a day in the air (as much as we may want to).

Ground instruction is provided virtually before we begin, along the way in FBOs, over lunch at your choice of airport cafes and in the evenings in campgrounds, hotel conference rooms or any other appropriate space we come across.

We expect students to complete an online ground school and pass any relevant written test before beginning training for a certificate or rating. This is meant to save you on unnecessary delays and expenses and better prepare you for the task-saturated environment of cross-country flying.

Flight training is expensive—trust us, we’ve learned this the hard way. We do everything we can to keep our pricing competitive. 

Our model varies somewhat from a traditional flight school that charges for aircraft and instructor time by the hour. While we do charge by the hour for use of the aircraft, we bundle hours in discount packages.

For each block of 10 hours you fly, you receive a 10% discount on the overall aircraft cost. If you fly more than 50 hours on your adventure, we’ll provide you a 15% discount on the overall aircraft cost for your trip.

Flight instruction is billed by the day instead of by the hour. The cost per day varies with the sort of training you do and the expected workload of the instructor, but is typically much more affordable than the hourly cost of a CFI at your local flight school.

Yes. But remember the age-old mantra, “when you have time to spare, go by air.” Trips in small aircraft rarely remain on schedule—especially while training. Ensure whatever you’d like to do along the way does not involve a strict schedule.

Yes! We often fly students’ planes wherever they’d like to go. Contact us to discuss specifics.

Before we leave, you’ll need to get the oil changed and ensure the plane isn’t due for inspections or maintenance—maintenance away from home is often far more expensive.

Follow up: can we rent a different plane or use a club plane?

Only if the owner/club is okay with it and the plane’s insurance covers the trip. Generally, most owners won’t be too happy to see their planes wander off to some faraway destination.

Routine maintenance is often required en-route and as with all training aircraft, squawks may ground an aircraft before it returns home. We thoroughly train our CFIs to perform approved maintenance procedures, keep a list of regional A&P mechanics across the country to call in a pinch and even maintain a flying mechanic unit to meet our aircraft in the field. What mechanic doesn’t want to zip out to Miami for a weekend mission?

Depending on the issue, you’ll be faced with waiting for a repair or replacement aircraft or rescheduling the remainder of your trip (your CFI won’t abandon you in case you wait—you’ll just keep up with ground studies and get to know wherever you are!)

Delays are common in general aviation and part of the risk we all take when traveling by small aircraft. With the right attitude, it’s all just one big, well, adventure!