Private Pilot License (PPL)

Earn your wings with Northern Air’s Private Pilot Course.
It’s the best option for folks who want to fly for fun and travel. The PPL does not allow you to fly for compensation or hire, but it is the first step toward a career in aviation.

“Flying is more than a sport and more than a job; flying is pure passion and desire, which fill a lifetime.”

– General Adolf Galland

Schedule an Introductory Flight

Talk to one of our Certified Flight Instructors (CFIs) and schedule an Intro Flight with them. This includes a half hour preflight session, followed by a half hour flight in a Cessna 172 aircraft where YOU get to take the controls and take off. You’ll perform some basic flight maneuvers to get a feel for the aircraft, and your instructor will help you land safely and you will get to log that flight time towards your pilot license! Click here to learn more about Intro Flights.

Aviation Medical Exam / Flight Physical

A medical exam is required to fly, and you will need your medical exam before you solo. Depending on your age, the medical exam will expire in 2 or 5 years, after which you can participate in the new FAA BasicMed program.

Aviation Medical Examiners (AME) near Bonners Ferry:
Warren Keene –208-640-6802 & Mark Manteuffel–208-772-6647

Take a Ground School Course

Option 1: In-person Ground School at Northern Air; this takes place once a year, usually January through April on Tuesday nights. Occasionally we may hold a ground school in the fall based on the number of interested students. You can see the current status of Ground School on our website.
Option 2: Complete an online ground school course. Examples include, but are not limited to: King Schools, Sheppard Air, and Gleim.
Option 3: Individual time for ground instruction with your instructor, supplemented by studying on your own and flying as often as practical.

We can help you figure out what will work best for you; one or a mixture of these options will help you prepare to take your written knowledge exam.

Enroll in IACRA

Your CFI will help you out with this: visit and enroll by filling out the online form. Be sure to record the FAA Tracking Number (FTN) so that we can enroll you in our training program.

“You haven’t seen a tree until you’ve seen its shadow from the sky.”

– Amelia Earhart

Aeronautical Knowledge Test

After ground school, and when you are ready, you will take the written knowledge exam at our testing center. Northern Air Ground School will thoroughly prepare you for this test.

Train with a CFI

Plan to fly at least twice a week for the best success, or fly as often as possible. You will practice maneuvers and complete lessons according to the syllabus for the course. Your flight time will include dual time with your instructor, various takeoffs, landings, maneuvers, your first solo, day and night cross-country flights, etc.

This should be done concurrently with whichever Ground School you choose. To help solidify and apply what you learn each week in Ground School, try to take at least a few flights while completing ground school.

Take the Check-Ride

When you’re ready, your CFI will take help you schedule the final Check-Ride. This consists of a comprehensive oral exam with an examiner followed by a practical exam. If you perform to the standards in the Airman Certification Standards book, you will pass and receive your Private Pilot Certificate!

“To most people, the sky is the limit. To those who love aviation, the sky is home.”