REQUIREMENTS FOR PRIVATE PILOT CERTIFICATE
Instruction and Flight Time
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) standards require a minimum of 40 hours of flight time that includes training in aircraft operations and flight, communication, weather and aircraft systems knowledge, cross country flight training, and emergency procedures. However, experience shows that 60-70 hours are typically needed to perform to the FAA practical test standards. Approximately two-thirds of this time will be flight with an instructor and the remainder will be solo flight. If not a U.S. citizen, prior approval must be obtained from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), which usually requires 3-4 weeks. We can provide information to assist in the approval process.
A computerized knowledge test covering all aspects of flight operations must be successfully completed. Some of the information contained in the knowledge test is provided by the student’s flight instructor during the course of the flight instruction. However, complete preparation can be achieved through weekend commercial ground schools or home-study courses using a combination of printed materials and DVD, videos, or computer-based training.
Practical Flight Test
The culmination of the training is a flight test, sometimes referred to as a “check ride,” with a FAA designated examiner. The check ride is a two-part examination. The first part is an oral discussion testing the candidate’s aeronautical knowledge and flight planning skills. The second part is a flight test in the aircraft during which the candidate demonstrates the ability to use the flying skills and knowledge learned during the flight training course.