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DA40 and MountainsChallenge Flight Requirements

Utah State University Flight Program Students are required to have a letter indicating you took the challenge flight at USU.  This is required for both the FAA transfer and acceptance of hours and by our insurance.  Below are the sections of our handbook that state the challenge flight is required.

Flying Prerequisites

Before any students start flying, they must have these prerequisites completed by the first week of class. Addtional Directions are found later on this page. Please reference those for more detail

  • Current FAA Class Medical
  • Student Pilot license (Or applicable to rating sought)
  • TSA Clearance
  • Any previous flying course must be completed, which includes passing the checkride
  • Funds secure in Talon
  • Challenge flight for any ratings greater than a Student Pilot

Challenge Flights

USU will allow students to enter the program who have training/ratings other than a student pilot certificate.  The maximum credit allowed to be granted will be the private pilot ground school and certificate.  This aligns with the Restricted ATP guidelines and is for the safety of the program and the benefit of the student.  Any courses that are started after the Private rating will need to be repeated or an exemption given from flight operations (Chief or Assistant Chief Flight instructor).  The challenge flight will consist of a flight paid for by the student to prove skill level of a private pilot to the ACS.  This will include a one-hour flight and ground lessons to prove the requisite skills and knowledge of the pilot equal to that necessary to continue with the next stage of flight. 

If a pilot is found deficient in the airframe, maneuvers, decision making process, or safety, they will not be progressed forward until such skills are demonstrated, which could include taking a USU flight course.  This is to meet our insurance guidelines.

Transfer Students

Any student that is transferring into the USU flight program must declare their major as Aviation.  They will be required to learn the necessary items such as checklists, this handbook, aircraft specifics, etc. 

  • The FAA will only allow 50% credit to USU courses of any 141 training- this includes ground. If you are not a rated pilot but took the ground elsewhere you are still required to do 50% of the training (including both flight and ground) here at USU. 
  • The FAA will only allow 25% credit for any part 61 courses.
  • Transfer students MUST COMPLETE A CHALLENGE FLIGHT PRIOR TO FLYING USU AIRCRAFT in any rating other than Private Pilot. 

We encourage students to transfer after completing a rating or certificate. We anticipate all who do the challenge flight to pass on the first time.  Please study and come prepared for the requisite ground and flight. Failure to pass this will require you to take our time building class with a 141 USU CFI.  They will train you in the weak areas.  Upon successful completion of the time building you will be allowed to continue at USU with our training courses as outlined.



Aaron Dyches Airport Operations Chief and Chief Flight Instructor