7300 Brataas Drive SW, Rochester, MN 55902

Program Overview

You can earn a two-year college degree at Rochester Community & Technical College (RCTC) while completing your flight training with Great Planes Aviation. We’ve partnered with RCTC and the Rochester International Airport to line you up for the professional pilot career path you have dreamed about.

The RCTC Aviation Pilot Program powered by Great Planes Aviation is a FAA approved part 141 flight training program that uses a strategically designed syllabus along with seasoned flight instructors to take you from your first flight to a professional pilot in just two years.

Aviation Pilot Associate’s Degree

Learn the basic and advanced skills required to pursue a commercial pilot license in this immersive program. Gain industry knowledge with ground school classes taught by RCTC instructors. Then, take to the skies with Great Planes Aviation in our modern aircraft fleet. Our certified flight instructors will help get you off the ground with one-on-one flight lessons at our innovative facility located at the Rochester International Airport.

During one-on-one flight labs, aviation students fly during daylight hours, two hours per day, three days per week for 16 weeks. Classes include World of Aviation, Aviation Weather, Instrument Ground, Aviation Safety, Commercial Pilot Flight Lab and more. Upon completion, students receive an Associate of Applied Science degree from Rochester Community & Technical College and will have a private pilot’s license, instrument rating, commercial pilot’s license and be a certified flight instructor .

You’ll fly in modern, safe, reliable aircraft maintained by our FAA-approved mechanics and get high quality instruction and personal attention from instructors who truly care about your success.

Flight Training Prerequisites

Federal regulations require students to be 16 years of age for solo flight, 17 years old for FAA licensure, fluent in the English language and be able to obtain a FAA 3rd class medical, however a 1st class medical is recommended.

Our flight courses are conducted at a TSA secured airport. You will need to present a valid driver’s license or government photo ID, as well as Passport or a valid Birth Certificate with the raised seal [a copy will not work], before you will be able to participate.  This clearance can occur at our flight center or at the orientation that we hold prior to the start of the semester.

Start your career as an airplane pilot with the aviation pilot program powered by Great Planes Aviation—if your dream is to attain a career as a pilot, we will help you get there.

Aviation Pilot Program

Flight Plan

The Aviation Pilot Program flight plan takes you from Private Pilot to Certified Flight Instructor
Private Pilot

Fly day or night and carry passengers under visual flight rules (VFR).

Instrument Rating

Soar through the clouds and learn to fly solely by reference to instruments.

Commercial Rating

The next step in your aviation career and gain the ability to get paid to fly airplanes!

Flight Instructor

Pass that flight knowledge on to others by becoming a flight instructor.

Modern Aircraft

Great Planes Aviation is committed to providing clean, modern, well maintained aircraft serviced by our in-house FAA certified  mechanics. Our aircraft are maintained by strict standards required by the FAA, which include oil changes every 50 hours and a full inspection of every inch of the aircraft every 100 hours.

Safety is not something we take lightly, so when you fly in our aircraft you will have peace of mind knowing that you are flying an aircraft that meets and exceeds FAA safety standards.

State of the art flight simulator

Great Planes Aviation uses the Redbird MCX  flight simulator to provide our students with enhanced training from student pilot to professional crew.  The MCX features dual controls, just like a real airplane which allows an instructor, instructor-in-training, or co-pilot to perform maneuvers from the right seat. During initial pilot training, our instructors can demonstrate maneuvers from the right seat before the student tries their hand, just like you would do in the real airplane.

The MCX becomes a truly powerful training tool which allows the student to be immersed in 200° visuals, while being able to log valuable instruction time with this simulator being an FAA approved  Advanced Aviation Training Device.


Great Planes Aviation

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