Zionsville-based flight training program reaches new heights


Learning to fly a plane – literally from the ground up – is no easy challenge. It takes many hours of training to become a licensed pilot.

Jet Access, a flight training company with locations in Zionsville and Greenfield, offers such training for aspiring pilots. It has approximately 300 students across six Indiana locations. Chief Flight Instructor Kevin Legault oversees flight training operations at the Zionsville and Greenfield locations.

“Everyone always starts out on a single-engine plane,” Legault said. “The person can only start flying multi-engine once they have 250 or more hours logged.”

From there, students are allowed long-distance trips to help them become more comfortable inside certain aircraft.

Legault said there are two different types of programs. The first is pay-as-you-go, where students pay for flight time and instructors. The other is a privately financed accelerated course that allows students to complete training in 12 months and build up to 1,500 hours of flight time.

“The accelerated will get someone their private pilot (certificate), their instrument rating (allowing them to fly in clouds), then their commercial certificate,” Legault said, adding that once pilots get their commercial certificates, they can be paid to fly.

After attaining both certificates and the instrument rating, pilots can either stop training and build flight time or continue training to obtain a certified flight instructor certificate. Legault said most take the second option. Doing so allows them to teach while building up to 1,500 hours to eventually fly commercial aircraft.

Legault said being adaptable is key for flight instructors, who learn flying skills, traffic patterns, planning cross country trips and how to track weather.

“You can have one student who comes in and just is very easy, and anything you say they understand,” he said. “But then there are students who find different ways of conveying that same information for them to understand it.”

Samantha Comar is a flight training operations specialist with Jet Access. She said flying is a different kind of independence.

“There’s nothing like it,” she said. “It’s freeing. You have the ability to go wherever you want, whenever you want to.”

Although a college degree is not required for pilot training, it is preferred. Legault said prospective pilots who apply for a program with Jet Access can start flying within a few days.

Students enrolled in higher education can integrate the accelerated program with their college program. Accelerated commercial students can enroll in Purdue University Global with a 20 percent tuition discount. Upon earning their Private Pilot Certificate, they can continue flight training, take online classes with Purdue, earn an instructor position with Jet Access and build their 1,500 hours in two to three years, according to the company’s website.

For more, visit flyjetaccess.com/flighttraining.