What is required to obtain a private pilot certificate?
To obtain a private pilot certificate:
- Must be 16 years old to solo and 17 years old to obtain your certificate
- Apply for a student pilot certificate (prior to solo)
- Obtain at least a Third Class Medical Certificate from an FAA Aviation Medical Examiner (prior to solo)
- Pass the Private Pilot Aeronautical Knowledge exam with a minimum of 70% (prior to checkride)
- Pass a checkride with an FAA Examiner (at the end of training)
You will need at minimum 40 hours of flight time:
- 30 hours of Dual Flight Instruction (flying with an certified flight instructor)
- 10 hours of Solo Flight (which is just you and the aircraft)
You'll also need the following:
- Ground Instruction and Endorsement authorizing you to take the Private Pilot Airplane Aeronautical Knowledge written exam (Average ground school is between 20 to 25 hours)
- An instructor endorsement authorizing you to take your checkride with the FAA Examiner;
- Successfully complete the checkride with the FAA Examiner
I'm not eligible for an FAA Airman Medical. Can I still obtain a private pilot certification?
Unfortunately, you are required to hold at least a Third Class Airman Medical Certificate to obtain a Private Pilot Certificate. However, you may want to consider obtaining a Sport Pilot Certificate that does not require an Airman Medical Certificate, as long as you have not been previously denied a medical certificate by an FAA Aviation Medical Examiner.
I have previous flight time from another flight instructor or school. Does that time expire?
No. Any previous logged flight time you had with another certified flight instructor (CFI) still applies toward the FAA minimum requirements. However, if a long period of time has elapsed you may want to consider a proficiency check on the areas completed.
What’s the best way to get started?
Start by taking our
Discovery Flight. During this event your flight instructor will demonstrate how to prepare for a flight and operate the airplane systems. You will actually fly the aircraft and be at the controls for takeoff and during cruise flight. A Discovery Flight lesson will give you a taste of the fun and excitement of learning to fly. Once you start, your instructor will ensure that your training is efficient, thorough and fun. You don't have to have a student pilot certificate or a medical certificate to start take flying lessons. However, you will need both before you can fly an aircraft solo.
Contact us today to get started.
As a student pilot, am I permitted to carry passengers prior to receipt of my private pilot certificate?
No, you are not permitted to carry passengers as a student pilot.
I have a busy schedule. How often am I required to train?
Our training schedules are very flexible. We team students with instructors to best accommodate your schedule. We understand that many flight training students have busy work, school, or personal schedules and we strive to accommodate every student's unique situation.
What is a typical flight lesson like?
With the exception of a few 2-3 hour cross country flights, your flight lessons are generally 1-2 hours in length. At your request, we can make them longer or shorter, but 1-2 hours is a good training period. When you arrive, you will spend 5-10 minutes doing a preflight briefing with your instructor, followed by a preflight inspection of the airplane. During this process, your instructor will review your last lesson and introduce you to the day's lesson. The flight itself will usually last between 1-1.5 hours. The flight will be followed by a post-flight briefing of the day's flight and what you can look forward to during the next lesson.
What is the difference between Part 61 and Part 141 training?
This is a great question! The FAA has structured pilot training in such a way to be flexible for the learning pilot. There's a great article at Flying Magazine that explains the difference. View the article here.