Is Flight Training Right For You?


Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)


Non-US Citizens wishing to train in the United States must go through the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). This program allows international students with a valid M-1 Visa to apply for and train at schools approved by SEVP. Students must register with the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) and attend an approved Part 141 program. Tampa Bay Aviation is a SEVIS approved Part 141 flight school.

  1. Contact us and let us know you are interested in flight training! We will send you a questionnaire to fill out and return to us.
  2. With the questionnaire, you will also need to provide the following:
    1. Proof of English proficiency
    2. Proof of financial ability. This needs to be an official bank document showing that you have the required funds necessary for training and living expenses. Living expenses are based at $700 per month for an individual in Pinellas County.
      1. If another individual is providing living or flight training expenses, that individual must sign an affidavit of financial support stating that they are financially responsible for you while in the United States.
    3. Once all documents are received, you will receive an acceptance letter and be mailed a Form I-20 to the address provided in the questionnaire.
    4. When you receive your Form I-20, you will need to pay the I-901 fee through SEVIS. Keep the payment receipt with you, as you will need it at the US Embassy as well as at Tampa Bay Aviation.
    5. You will need to make an appointment at your local US Embassy to receive your M-1 Visa. Bring your Passport, Form I-20, I-901 Payment Receipt, and Financial Documents.
    6. Once you have received your M-1 Visa, you may begin the TSA background check at here. Follow the instructions below for the Alien Flight Student Program.
      1. Note: If there is no fingerprinting agency in your home country, you must be fingerprinted after arriving in the United States.
    7. You may report to the school no earlier than 30 days before your “Program Start Date” listed on your Form I-20.
      1. You will need your Passport, Visa, Form I-20, I-901 Payment Receipt, and any updated financial documents.
    8. Once you report to the school, we will check you in with SEVIS and wait for the TSA Final Approval. Once the Final Approval is received, you may begin flight training!
“I absolutely CANNOT say enough good things about this operation! Just got my CFI from them, and had fun doing it (which I’m told is not a common phenomenon). It took minimal time, and the cost was about what you’d expect to pay at American Flyers, or ATP for CFI. However, the quality of training you will receive here will far exceed the standard of the “pilot mills”. Larry was my primary instructor but I also flew with Josh, Durant and Mike, all of whom were very knowledgeable and professional (in addition being “down to earth”, and cool). Look no further than these guys for all of your flight training needs! They’re awesome!!!” - Damian W.
“Known to be one of the best Part 61 Flight Schools for a reason! Tampa Bay Aviation, headquartered at Clearwater Airpark boasts an amazing fleet of fixed wing and rotor craft aircraft, that are always kept in excellent condition and ready to fly at a moments notice. This flight school has the best team of Certified Flight Instructor’s I have ever trained with. Taking into account the excellent rental rates for quality aircraft, with highly experienced staff, it is truly safe to say Tampa Bay Aviation is one of the top Flight Schools in the nation!” ~ Jose A.
“Tampa Bay Aviation is an excellent operation. My son did his flight training here last summer and earned his Private Pilot License, and it inspired me to learn to fly as well. The instructors are excellent, the aircraft are up to date and the staff is friendly and helpful. We have recommended them to several friends and they have had excellent experiences as well. Overall, it is a great place to fly. i HIGHLY recommend it!” - Eric M.
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  • Be at least 17 years old.
  • Be able to read, speak, write and understand the English language.
  • Pass a required knowledge test.
  • Pass a required oral and practical flight test administered by a FAA designated examiner.
  • Hold either a student or sport pilot certificate.
  • Get a Third Class Medical Certificate.

IN THE AIR – The FAA  requires a minimum of 35 Hours Total Flight Time with 20 Hours Flight Instruction. However, many students require more time. There’s no rush and we won’t push you to complete your training until you’re ready. Our students average around 60 total hours of training.

ON THE GROUND – 35 Hours Ground Instruction

TIMELINE- The more frequently you fly, the faster you will complete your training. Our schedule is flexible and is one on one with an instructor. This means that you are able to build your own schedule and go at your own pace. We suggest flying 2-3 times per week which averages about 4-6 months of training. 

Questions About Flight Training?

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