Pilot Certification LabsArcher in flight

"We really value our partnership with Rocky Mountain College. It's very important for us to recruit quality pilots from quality programs like RMC. They teach the skills and professionalism we need."

Gene Hahn
Senior Vice President Operations, Horizon Airlines

Flight instruction is conducted under Federal Aviation Regulation part 141 certification. Ground course instruction is conducted at the Rocky Mountain College campus, and flight instruction is conducted at Flight Operations at nearby Billings Logan International Airport. The airport provides Class C airspace with full radar service and enhances flight training. Training aircraft consist of Piper Archers, Beechcraft Bonanza, Cessna 172, and Beechcraft Baron aircraft. All aircraft and simulators are equipped with the Garmin 430 Global Positioning System. We have both aircraft and simulators with glass cockpits, meaning computer screens for the pilot instrument displays, rather than traditional round dials.

Flight lab syllabi are approved by the FAA and are designed to maximize efficiency and minimize cost. A student should be able to obtain his or her commercial rating in 190 total flight hours, compared to a minimum of 250 hours at some flight schools. This results in significant savings to the student.


Flight training periods are scheduled much like any other academic class. Students will sign up for a flight training period each semester and be scheduled to fly three times a week, either Monday-Wednesday-Friday or Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday. The student must consider the schedule of the flight training periods when signing up for other classes or extra-curricular activities. Consistent flying is important for student progression, and it is important to ensure a smooth schedule for all airplanes, instructors, and students. 

All aircraft and simulator scheduling is done via an internet-based scheduling program, so students have access to up-to-the-minute information from any computer.

Summer and Holiday Flying

While flying over Christmas, spring, or summer break is not required, it is highly recommended. All students are strongly encouraged to plan to spend at least part of one summer flying. Typically summer flying can save the student money because he or she flies very consistently and thus performs better, resulting in less flying time. During the summer, the long hours of the daylight, nearly perfect weather, and opportunities to take aircraft on long cross-country flights make for a great flight environment. Students can also take advantage of a more open schedule during school breaks, such as Christmas and spring break.

Residence halls are available during breaks for students who are actively flying. The director of aviation will have information about a particular break.

Lab Fees

Lab fees are payable at the time of registration for each flight lab course. The cost of the flight instruction is considered part of the student's academic program of study and is eligible for financial aid and Veteran's Administration (GI Bill) benefits.

Lab fees cover all flight instruction and aircraft rental, simulator instruction, FAA knowledge exams, and designated examiner fees for the FAA practical exams. The private pilot and instrument rating lab fees include additional hours above the syllabus minimum requirements based on hours required for the average student to complete his or her flight training. Because of our unique FAA-approved syllabus, these hours count toward the commercial rating, resulting in significant savings.

The labs required for an aeronautical science major to graduate are: AVS 153, AVS 253, AVS 272, AVS 273, AVS 274, AVS 376, and AVS 404.

Lab Name and Number



AVS 170: Flight Orientation (aviation management majors)



AVS 153: Private Pilot Flight Lab



AVS 253: Instrument Flight Lab



AVS 272: Commercial Lab I



AVS 273: Commercial Lab II



AVS 274: Commercial Lab III



AVS 371: Cert. Flight Instructor



AVS 372: CFI Instrument



AVS 373: Multi-Engine Instructor



AVS 376: Multi-Engine



AVS 404: Crew Resource Management
(conducted in simulator)



Lab fees are an estimate of costs for an average student. Actual costs may be higher or lower, depending on the actual number of hours flown in a lab. Each syllabus has been approved by the FAA under Part 141. Flight lab estimated fees cover all aircraft fees, flight and ground instruction, simulator training, flight publications, FAA knowledge exams, and designated flight examiner fees. Headsets must be purchased separately. 

If you are comparing costs of our aircraft with other schools, be sure you look at the per hour cost. Our private pilot syllabus, for example, is based on 50 flight hours. Students will fly more or less depending on their proficiency. Also, be sure to compare quality of the aircraft and whether or not a commercial rating can be achieved in 190 total flight hours.

Rocky Mountain College is approved by the FAA for Examining Authority, meaning check rides to complete a particular certificate (Private, Instrument, etc.) can be done by an employee at RMC Flight Operation. Students will not have to pay an FAA examiner for check rides, resulting in significant savings.

Per Hour Rates
Piper Archer III (Basic aircraft, including glass) $155
Beechcraft Bonanza (complex aircraft) $210
Beechcraft Baron (multi-engine aircraft) $330
Flight Training Devices (Redbird, motion simulator; Frasca Raptor, round dial; Frasca Mentor, glass cockpit) $60
Flight / ground instruction $43
End-of-course fee $200
Lasergrade knowledge exams $150