Aviation Instruction

Culver first offered flight instruction in 1920 with the use of surplus World War I floatplanes that operated on Lake Maxinkuckee.  In 1972 Culver became the first High School in the United States to own and operate its own airport.  Having outgrown the small campus airfield, Culver now operates from its new facility located at the Plymouth Municipal Airport in Plymouth, Indiana, approximately 18 miles northeast of the Culver campus.
To ensure the highest quality instruction, Culver has contracted with a full-service Flight School, AlphaFlight, to provide aircraft and instructors.The Certified Flight Instructors will provide classroom ground school lectures, flight training, and flight simulator instruction.
Aviation Ground School Class (3 Trimesters--Double Period)
Aviation coursework is required for all Aviation unit students and is an available elective for any female student, or male students in Naval units or Troop. Students who sign up for the aviation course will select a training package of simulator and flight instruction offered by Culver’s affiliate flight school, AlphaFlight. Parents must purchase flight instruction directly from Culver's affiliate flight school. Any student who purchases 12 or more flights will be required to take two double-period classes of Aviation Ground School per day.

Program Costs 

Ground School 
All Upper School students who are enrolled in the Aviation course are required to pay the minimum Ground School fee of $250.
All First-Year students are also required to purchase a student pilot kit for $250, (a total of $500 for mandatory aviation fees).

This kit includes a logbook, essential tools for flight planning, study guides, required reference publications, and test preparation tools to help prepare the students to pass the FAA written exam.

All 2022 Returning Students are required to pay $60 for supplementary study materials, (a total of $310 mandatory aviation fees).
Flight & Simulator 
AlphaFlight, Culver’s affiliate flight school, offers a package or a la carte pricing for flight instruction.  All instruction is provided by Certificated Flight Instructors and all flight instruction can be logged and used towards earning a Private Pilot's License. 

As Culver's aviation program is all about learning how to fly, it is anticipated that students enrolled in the aviation course will sign up for some combination of simulator and flight instruction.  The amount of instruction your student takes is based on his or her age, enthusiasm for flying, the aviation goals or milestones he or she is interested in achieving and, of course, your budget. 

Learning to fly is not inexpensive under any circumstances, but we believe the combination of a proven syllabus, the training efficiency realized by state-of-the-art flight simulators, and a professional corps of Certified Flight Instructors provides a very cost-effective means for learning to fly.


Paying for Training
As our affiliate flight school, AlphaFlight will collect all fees associated with aviation instruction, including the required Ground School fee explained above. Once your student has been accepted to Culver Upper School, you will be contacted by the Director of Aviation to start this process.

Culver will NOT accept aviation-related payments. For this reason, parents MUST contact AlphaFlight directly as soon as possible to coordinate payment and to provide the necessary documentation that will allow your camper to be enrolled in an FAA-certified flight training program.  

For Woodcraft Campers taking the Basic Aviation Course: Optional Discovery Flight
Available to any Woodcraft camper who enrolls in the Basic Aviation course and wishes to take the controls of an airplane.  The camper will take a Culver bus to Culver's aviation facility at Plymouth Municipal Airport where he or she will receive a short brief on the basics of flight, then take controls of the aircraft - under the direct supervision of a Certificated Flight Instructor, of course. This is a perfect opportunity to see if your camper would like to pursue the thrill of learning to fly. For international students, there is no TSA clearance required to take advantage of this opportunity. Campers may sign up for the Discovery Flight one time only.

To sign up for a Discovery Flight or for any other questions, please contact the Aviation Program Director, at flyculver@culver.org