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Frequently Asked Questions


Our Airplane Professional Pilot Program, which includes Private Pilot Certificate, Instrument Rating, Commercial Pilot Certificate, and Certified Flight Instructor Rating, is designed to take less than 18 months on the standard track if you are a full-time student meaning you are on the flight schedule five times per week. If you selected our accelerated track, you can complete the program in 10-12 months.

Our Helicopter Professional Pilot Program, which includes Private Pilot Certificate, Instrument Rating, Commercial Pilot Certificate, and Certified Flight Instructor Rating, is structured to take less than 15 months to complete if you are a full-time student on the flight schedule five times per week.

Please note, that these estimates can vary depending on how often you fly, resource availability, and weather at the campus where you are based.

This is challenging to estimate because it is very dependent on the student. Flying more frequently improves learning. Some people are able to understand and retain the material more quickly than others. These factors can all affect the total cost of the program. We estimate our program costs based on averages to complete  our Professional Pilot Program.

The Airplane Professional Pilot Program includes the private pilot, instrument, commercial, and flight instructor courses. We also recommend students get the two additional instructor ratings to improve their knowledge and experience and enable them to build additional flight hours more quickly. Our current program pricing based on averages for our students, can be found here.

The Helicopter Professional Pilot Program includes private, instrument, commercial, and flight instructor courses. And we recommend obtaining the additional instructor rating as well. The current pricing for this program based on averages, can be found here.

These estimates are based on average program pricing for flight instruction, ground instruction, aircraft rentals, simulator rentals, and written tests. The only item not included in this estimate is the fee you pay to the Designated Pilot Examiner when you take your check ride because those fees are paid directly to the DPE.

If you are interested in the Ascend Pilot Academy, our partnership with Alaska Airlines, you should first apply for the program via Alaska’s website at: Once accepted, you can begin your application with HAA. You are also welcome to contact us with any questions you have.

Our helicopter training takes place at the Hillsboro Heli Academy Campus in Troutdale, OR. For airplane training, we have two campuses. The Hillsboro campus in Hillsboro, OR accommodates our students who are doing standard pace training in addition to those doing accelerated training during March through June. Our Redmond campus in Redmond, OR also has some very limited space for those doing the accelerated pace. Ascend students will be assigned to one of these campuses based on availability with the majority of students going to Redmond. You can contact our admissions team for more information.

Our apply page lists the available starts dates by program and campus. Please refer to this page to see our current openings. If you have questions about the programs or our campuses, please contact our admissions team, and one of our representatives will follow up with you to answer your questions.

Ideally, we recommend having yourself scheduled for five flight activities per week. This puts you on a good track to completing the program in a timely manner even if you have to cancel some flights for maintenance issues or weather. If you want to fly more, there are often openings in off-peak blocks in the early morning or evening. These are great opportunities to take advantage of so you can log some additional flight time.

HAA does not currently offer any scholarships, but there are a number of aviation organizations that offer scholarships for portions of the training. When we are made aware of these opportunities, we share them on social media. Also, Tuition Funding Sources is a free scholarship search engine with over 7 million scholarships totaling more than $41 billion to help pay for college.

Visit to learn more.

This really depends on you. Our airplane students have ground class 5 times per week while our helicopter students have one-on-one ground with their instructor 2-3 times per week. As for your flights, if you are a standard full-time student, you will be scheduled for 4-5 flights per week so you can make efficient progress through the course and still stay on track even when a flight is canceled for weather or maintenance. If you are an accelerated students, you will be scheduled for 6 flights per week.

The simplest answer is that the M-1 visa allows you to participate in our flight training courses in the US, but you are not allowed to work. The F-1 visa allows students to participate in flight training and be eligible to work as a pilot after the completion of your training. There are different requirements for the M-1 and F-1 visas, and there is more information on our website regarding the specific requirements.

Financial verification is proof of funds available to cover the flight training and living expenses of the program for 12 months. Please note that these funds only cover the average cost for 12 months of program and housing, you will need more funds to complete the entire program. These funds must be a liquid asset in a checking or savings account shown on a notarized bank statement or an approved loan application. A signed letter of support is needed if the funds are not in the student’s name. All documents must be accompanied by a notarized English translation denoting monies in U.S. dollars. The funds that must be shown for each program are:

Airplane Professional Pilot Program – $60,000 USD (standard track) or $76,000 (accelerated track)
Helicopter Professional Pilot Program – $84,000 USD

We do offer student housing located near each of our campuses. Housing is only available to enrolled students. We are not able to accommodate families or pets in our housing, and you must be 18 years of age to stay in housing. Each student who requests housing is asked to pay prior to their arrival to secure their housing spot. The rates vary between our campuses so contact our admissions team to get the current rates. The apartments all have shared living space, even if you have a private room. You will have at least one roommate. The apartments come fully furnished and include all towels, bedding, and kitchen items.

The first job for the majority of our students is to work as a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) which allows you to build the hours necessary to progress in your career. We hire a large number of our graduate to work as CFIs, and as you get closer to completing your training you can visit our employment page (link) to see available job openings. While we do hire many graduates, we cannot guarantee employment. We also have connections with numerous other operators and can make recommendations and sometimes introductions if you choose to begin your career somewhere besides HAA.

Other questions?

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