On average, more than 17,000 people are issued a private pilot license each year in the United States. If you’re looking to join their ranks, it’s important to have a full understanding of what it takes to become licensed.
Simply put, there’s a lot of hard work involved to get certified. But, the extensive training is for your safety.
And remember, the effort will be worth the exhilarating feeling you get when you take off for your first solo flight.
Keep reading for a step-by-step guide to getting a pilot license so you can be ready to set sail in the open skies.
Determine If You Meet the Qualifications
Unfortunately, not everyone is eligible for a private pilot license. Some of the basic requirements include:
- Able to speak, read, write, and understand the English language
- Be at least 17 years old
- Pass the FAA 3rd Class Medical exam
- Log required flight hours with an instructor
- Pass required aeronautical knowledge tests
If you’ve determined that you can meet all the requirements, then you can move forward in your plan to become a pilot.
Obtain a Student Pilot Certificate
The next step is to apply for a student pilot certificate. You can do so by either filling out the paper application or applying online via the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) website.
Once your application is reviewed and approved, you’ll receive your certificate in the mail.
Find a Flight Instructor
Once you have your student pilot certificate, you can begin your training. You’ll need to work with a certified flight instructor to complete your private pilot license training.
The training will contain two main components: ground school and flight school.
During ground school, you’ll learn the main concepts of aviation and radio communication. This helps you build a strong knowledgable foundation, which will ultimately help you once you get in the aircraft.
During your flight school training, you’ll learn how to fly a plane. This includes learning about navigation, preflight and postflight procedures, and what to do in case of an emergency.
Pass the FAA Written Exam
You must pass the FAA written exam before you can obtain your private pilot license. However, there is some leeway in terms of when you take the test. Procedures vary based on the flight school you attend, but it’s generally best to take the test early in your training.
This will help give you important background knowledge once you start flying.
Log Your Flight Hours
Now, you get to start flying! Your instructor will walk you through hangars for aircraft, helping you get familiar with the planes, and then it’s time to take flight.
Your instructor will log the number of hours you fly and teach you all the basic maneuvers to flying. This will help prepare you for solo flights.
Pass the FAA Practical Exam
The final step to getting your private pilot license is to pass the FAA Practical Exam. The test includes a verbal portion as well as an in-flight portion, administered by an FAA examiner.
If you successfully pass the Practical Exam, you’ll officially be certified as a private pilot.
Go and Get Your Private Pilot License Today
Once you’ve completed all of those steps, you’ll receive your private pilot license and be ready to start flying!
Now that you know what it takes to get licensed, why not expand your knowledge on other topics as well? Read through our blog for a variety of career and entrepreneur advice. Being an entrepreneur is a lot like being a pilot after, both require practice and a willingness to take risks!