Private Pilot

Becoming a pilot seems like a complex task, but the steps are actually very simple. There are a few things you’ll need to consider before starting, such as what kind of pilot you’d like to be, how much time and money can you dedicate to training, and do you meet the physical requirements to be a pilot.

Speaking of physical requirements, one of the first steps people take on their path to becoming a pilot is to get an FAA medical and Student Pilot’s License. A medical isn’t required to take an introduction flight, but will be required soon after beginning training.

Obtaining a medical certificate requires completing an application on the FAA’s MedXPress site, and getting a physical exam from an Aviation Medical Examiner (AME).

Click Here to register for MedXPress.

Click Here to find an AME in your area. (Select AME under Designee Type and follow instructions.)

Next, depending on how quickly you want to become a pilot, choose a flight school to do your training. There are two types of schools, those that train under Part 61 of the Federal Aviation Regulations, and those that train under Part 141. You can earn your pilot’s license at either type of school, but generally the difference is 141 schools train at an accelerated rate. 

Click Here to find a flight school near you.

Becoming a pilot requires 

  • 40 hours of flight time. (Most student’s don’t take their test at 40 hours. 50-70 hours is normal.)
  • Passing a knowledge test with a score of 80% or higher.
  • Passing an examination with either an FAA check pilot or FAA Designated Pilot Examiner that consists of:
    • A knowledge portion administered as an oral exam.
    • A flying test in which a candidate must perform maneuvers to a satisfactory level of proficiency.