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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • Is Aviation Explorer Post 8 a flight School?
    No, we are not a flight school since flight training is earned. We are a youth organization that exposes youth from age 14 and completed 8th grade through 20 to the world of aviation. Flight training is a privilege earned by our registered Explorers through participation, for a minimum of a year, and after completing ground school and passing the FAA Private Pilot Knowledge Test.
  • What is Aviation Explorer Post 8?
    We are a youth organization associated with Boy Scouts of America (BSA) on their vocational side called Learning for Life in their Exploring program. We strive to expose Explorers to all things Aviation; not just piloting, engineering, or maintenance of aircraft. We are sponsored by Heinen Aviation Services at Billard Airport and are supported by two other associated organizations. This model allows our Explorers to meet in a fantastic facility and exclusive access to two planes.
  • When does Aviation Explorer Post 8 meet?
    We meet on Saturdays year-round at 9:30 AM, except for holiday weekends and a few other select days. See the Events calendar on our website to see if we are meeting.
  • What is the cost to join Aviation Explorer Post 8?
    The current first year fee is $200, which pays for your BSA Registration, a Post Polo shirt, a textbook used in Ground School, some basic pilot tools, backpack, and some other bits and pieces. Sign-up costs can change without prior notice.
  • Is participation in Explorers meetings and other activities required?
    Yes. We teach life lessons and skills that may become a career path; it is not something to be undertaken as a hobby or time filler. Explorers are expected to prioritize their time and attend meetings, as well as volunteer, and participate in fundraising opportunities in order to participate in the fun stuff.
  • What level of parent participation is required?
    While not every parent can commit a lot of time to Aviation Explorer Post 8, we do require your assistance at times. For some this means a leadership role. For others, it is helping organize or chaperone a trip, participating in the Open House, or just donating food items for events. In rare cases, we will require familial assistance with maintenance of the building, etc. In most instances your Explorer will enjoy and get more out of Aviation Explorers if you are involved and understand the program.
  • What is Ground School vs. Intensive Ground School?
    Ground School is the weekly one-hour class for registered Explorers that runs from Labor Day to Memorial Day and takes one to two years to complete. It is the instruction of all textbook materials you will need to know in order to take and pass the FAA Private Pilot Knowledge Test. Intensive Ground School is a review class held for registered Explorers during the summer to help answer questions and prepare Explorers for the FAA Private Pilot Knowledge Test. Intensive Ground School is not a substitute for Ground School.
  • Do Explorers have to pass the FAA Private Pilot Knowledge Test before starting flight instruction?
    Yes. For the safety of both our program and Explorers, we require them to pass the FAA Private Pilot Knowledge Test prior to beginning flight instruction.
  • Is getting your private pilot’s certificate like getting a driver’s license?
    No. Getting a private pilot’s license requires a larger time and financial commitment than a driver's license.
  • If an Explorer joins, do they have to learn to fly?
    No. Not all Explorers want or are able to learn to fly. If you are interested in aviation, we are an excellent opportunity for you to see many different aspects of the aviation industry.

Note:  For more detailed Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) information on piloting requirements such as age, instruction flight times/requirements, medical, etc. please visit:

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