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Private Pilot Certificate

LEARNING TO FLY

You probably have a driver's license issued by your state government which permits driving privileges. Similarly, the federal government governs pilot privileges and requires specific experience, written tests, and flight tests to earn a pilot's license (called a certificate). The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is an agency within the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Flying an airplane is somewhat more complex than driving a car because you are controlling altitude (up and down) in addition to left-right movement. It is also more exhilarating because you have the freedom of three-dimensional movement, greater speed, and unbelievable panoramas. Flight training is a pursuable goal that will provide lifelong satisfaction and pride.

Learning to fly and earning a pilot certificate is fun. Begin today! The purpose of the next few pages is to acquaint you with the requirements and procedures to obtain a Private Pilot Certificate to fly an airplane.

WHAT IS A PRIVATE PILOT CERTIFICATE?

A private pilot certificate is much like an ordinary driver's license. It allows you to fly an airplane and carry passengers and baggage, although not for compensation or hire. However, operating expenses may be shared with other travelers in the airplane.

REQUIREMENTS TO OBTAIN A PRIVATE PILOT CERTIFICATE

HOURLY REQUIREMENTS

Federal aviation regulations require a minimum of 40 hours of flight time to be eligible for the private pilot certificate. This consists of 30 hours of dual flight time and 10 hours of solo flight time. "Dual" implies that an instructor is on board the aircraft with the student, while "solo" implies that the student be the sole occupant of the plane.

The instructor teaches the student all necessary fundamentals and maneuvers prior to solo. During solo flight, the student practices what has been taught up to that point in training. After soloing in the local area for several flights, the instructor teaches cross-country flying techniques. The student then performs solo cross-country flights for a minimum of 5 hours. (Usually 3 different trips on 3 different days)
 

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WRITTEN TEST REQUIREMENTS AND TRAINING

The FAA written test consists of 60 multiple-choice questions selected from the FAA Private Pilot Question Database. You must obtain a score of 70% or better on the written test.

The Written Test Prep Course, offered by GLEIM Aviation Books, Jeppesen, King Schools and various other aviation publication sources, provides the basic aeronautical knowledge essential to private pilots. The course is designed to complement flight training and to assist the student in preparing for the FAA written exam. 

FLIGHT TEST REQUIREMENTS

At the completion of training, the student is required to pass a flight test given by an FAA designated flight examiner. This test consists of a ground oral examination and a flight of approximately 1 to 1 ½ hours. There is an examiner’s fee of approximately $225.00 for the flight test that is paid directly to the examiner.

TIME TO OBTAIN YOUR PILOT CERTIFICATE

Although the FAA minimum requirement is 40 hours of flight instruction, the national average flight time for the Private Pilot course is approximately 60 to 65 hours. The final cost to obtain for your Private Pilot Certificate will vary according to the student's individual skill and the aircraft used in training. It is in the student's best interest to study diligently and to schedule lessons as frequently as possible to minimize costs.

The total process usually takes several months and hundreds of total hours of your time due to commuting, ground instruction, aircraft preflight, bad weather, airplane maintenance, etc.

To express your interest in Private Pilot training

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