Welcome to SouthWestern Aviation

Serving the aviation community in Arizona.

Stunning limestone caves boasting world-class features. Discovered in 1974, these “living” caves extend about 2.4 miles. Water percolating from the surface over 200,000 years has built extraordinary calcium carbonate features.

Find more things to do in Benson and the rest of Cochise County.

SouthWestern Aviation hopes to see you soon at Benson Municipal Airport (E95).

Recreational Certification and Private Pilot License

Have you always wanted to fly as a hobby, or fly yourself and your loved ones to far-off locales for vacation or recreation? Well, obtaining a private pilot’s license is not nearly as hard or as time-consuming as many people might think. In fact, the minimum requirements for earning your license are very simple, and with as few as 30 hours (in certain cases, when obtaining a recreational license) you can have your license to fly in the friendly Arizona skies.

The best part is, our experienced and friendly instructors at SouthWestern Aviation have helped countless individuals earn their pilot’s certifications, and we are ready to help you right now. We know that your free time is valuable between work, school, and social/family obligations, so we’ve provided flexible scheduling and close-to-home locations for you to earn your certifications with ease. Our aviation schools in Arizona are convenient and open for you to learn how to handle an aircraft and earn your hours.

Contact us today to learn more about private licenses, or to schedule your first class today!

Recreational Vs. Private Certifications

It is important to note that there are two types of certifications for non-commercial pilots, and both come with very specific requirements and privileges. The two types of certification to consider are:

Recreational Pilot Certificate – Allows the individual to earn a pilot’s certificate in fewer hours (typically as low as 30  training hours). Recreational pilots will not have to learn how to communicate with airport towers and will fly only during the day during favorable weather conditions. Because of the limited training, recreational pilots are only allowed to carry one passenger at a time, and cannot fly outside of a 50 nautical mile from their home base. In addition, recreational pilots cannot fly at night or during inclement weather.

Private Pilot Certificate – The “driver’s license” of the skies. Private pilots will spend more hours training than the recreational pilot, but will be able to fly any distance from their home base, can fly with more than one passenger, and can generally operate any single-engine aircraft within normal FAA requirements as long as they follow the general rules of the sky, although inclement weather and night flying may require additional training or certification.

Depending on your personal goals and needs, you will want to decide which type of certification you would like to pursue. There are benefits and privileges to both, so it is essential to discuss your goals with one of our friendly trainers today.

Minimum Pilot’s License Requirements

One of the most common questions we get from prospective pilot trainees is “What requirements do I have to meet to qualify for a pilot’s license?” Well aside from the training that we will provide, all you need is:

  1. The trainee needs to be at least 17 years old to obtain a pilot certificate
  2. The trainee must read, speak, and understand English
  3. The trainee must hold a third class medical certificate

That’s it! If you meet the requirements above (see: medical certificate for more details), you are eligible to earn your private or recreational pilot’s license.

Contact Us

Want to earn your recreational pilot certificate? Want to have your own private pilot’s license? Contact the instructors of Southwestern Aviation to schedule your first class and get in the cockpit!

Roy Jones

Phone: (520) 586-3262

Email: royfjones@southwesternaviation.com


SouthWestern Aviation
2200 W. Aviation Drive
P.O. Box 1057
Benson, AZ 85602