8 Steps to Obtain Your Private Pilots Certificate
Here are the 8 steps to obtain your Private Pilots Certificate
, also commonly referred to as a Private Pilots License.
Flying an aircraft or becoming a pilot is probably one of the most prestigious jobs that only the best make it through. Though it is a lucrative and enviable job, it is also a high-risk career as safety and security of the passengers and of oneself lies in the hands of the trained pilot. Moreover, to become a pilot one needs patience, courage, diligence, humility, and of course a Private Pilot Certificate or private pilot license (PPL).
In fact, a PPL (also known as a Private Pilot Certificate) is the foundation of your life in the sky with which you can explore the country from the sky, fly with your family and friends, use aircraft as the primary mode of transportation to business meetings or events and enjoy the utmost convenience of aircraft travel. The process of obtaining a Private Pilot Certificate is full of new discoveries and exciting challenges from start to finish. The people who aspire to obtain their Private Pilot Certificate are professionally trained so that they can navigate aircraft through the country’s airspace alone and complete every aspect of a flight mission in a dedicated and methodical manner.
For this reason, private pilots are made to learn aircraft maneuvers, emergency procedures, cross-country flight planning, and navigation techniques. Private pilot training is said to be more intense than training for a Sports Pilot Certificate or a Recreational Pilot Certificate, however, not as extensive as commercial pilot training. However, if all these sounds like a steep climb to you, then simply end all your worries! Here’s a path to obtaining a set of wings. Here are the 8 steps to obtain your Private Pilots Certificate:
Step 1: Check Your Eligibility
One can start his/her lesson at any age. There is no upper age limit but to apply to the Federal Aviation Administration
to become a Private Pilot an applicant should be at least 17 years old, meet all the medical requirements, able to read, speak, and understand English. Plus, one needs to successfully complete all the flight training requirements and pass a written knowledge exam as well as a practical exam that consists of a verbal exam and a flight test.
Step Two: Get a Student Pilot Certificate
If You are at least 16 years old you are eligible to apply for your Student Pilots Certificate. To do that you must complete an application through the Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application (IACRA) website or by paper using FAA form 8710-1 and submit it to a Flight Standards District Office (FSDO), an FAA-designated pilot examiner, an airman certification representative associated with a part 141 flight school, or a certificated flight instructor. The authorized individual will process your application and submit the required documents to the Airmen Certification Branch. Once, reviewed by Airman Certification Branch, the student pilot certificate will be mailed to the address provided by you on the application.
Step Three: Obtain an Aviation Medical.
Once you have applied for your Student Pilot Certificate you need to obtain your aviation medical certificate. You need to schedule an appointment with the aviation medical examiner (AME) and obtain your aviation medical certificate directly from there. The document which you will receive from the medical examiner's office after completion of your medical exam will serve as your medical certificate. A medical certificate is required before the student pilot can solo an aircraft. If you haven’t yet passed your aviation medical exam, then first get it done. Solo flight can take place anytime it is quicker than you actually think, so it is advisable that don’t put off your medical exam. Pass at least 3rd
class FAA-issued medical certificate so that you can enjoy the privileges of a private pilot.
Step Four: Look for an Instructor
If you don’t have a flight instructor or have not looked for a flight school the first source for information should be the internet. Put in "Certified Flight Instructor" into any browser and you will find information on CFI's in your area. You will find websites like this one CFI GUY ARIZONA
, featuring Patrick Williams, a local Phoenix, Arizona flight instructor. You can also inquire about an instructor at your local airport. If the airport near you has a flight school or Fixed Base Operation (FBO), take it as your first preference, however, if not, look around at the terminal or inquire at other business on the field. Here are some tips for finding the right flight instructor
Step Five: Study for and Pass the FAA Written Exam
Before you step into an airplane, some flight schools and instructors would ask you to complete the FAA Private Pilot Written Exam whereas there will be few others which will allow you to fly as per your preference while you are studying at home for the test. This means that in either way the test must be completed before your final pilot check ride for your certificate. Hence, it makes sense to say that take it early on because flying is easier when you have the background knowledge. Don’t put it off.
Step Six: Start to Fly
To be a confident and successful pilot, you are required to gain the flight experience and for this, you can start by learning basic maneuvers, such as landing, turns, takeoff, climbs, and descents. There is no specific amount of time needed to solo an aircraft, however, there are certain requirements. Per 14 CFR 61.97
, your flight instructor will need to have instructed you in certain Aeronautical knowledge areas. You will have to have conducted Pre-solo flight training and certain maneuvers and procedures must have been taught to you. With some Private Pilot Students 10 hours are enough to solo the aircraft, however, many students might take more time to start flying the airplane- while the primary focus stays at how to land an aircraft. Besides this, private pilot license aspirant would also need to know emergency procedures, how to communicate on the radios, etc. And after your first solo ride, you’ll be working on solo cross-country flights, learning navigation techniques and more difficult maneuvers.
Step Seven: Take the FAA Practical Exam
Now considering that you have fine-tuned your piloting skill, you are also required to have a certain amount of experience to be eligible for the final check ride. A private pilot applicant needs to have at least 40 hours of flight time, out of this 20 are from an instructor and 10 are solo flights. And on the top of it, you are required to have 10 hours of solo flying that includes 5 hours of a solo cross-country flight and one cross-country which is approximately 150 nautical miles that too with landings at three different airports.
The check ride, which comprises a verbal exam and flight exam is given by a designated FAA examiner. It can last from about 2 hours to 6 hours depending on the knowledge and the examiner’s methods. The ground portion is the first thing to be done and can last from 30 minutes to even a few hours. And if the applicant passes the oral portion, the flight portion of the exam is conducted by the same examiner and it typically lasts 1-2 hours.
This is the most important step of the 8 steps to obtain your Private Pilots Certificate because this is where it all comes together.
Step Eight: Receive Your License
After successful completion of your FAA practical test, you will have to fill out FAA paperwork online with the assistance of the examiner. This is not free! You will have to pay an amount to your instructors. Since rates may vary so do check it with your instructor. At this moment, you will be provided a temporary private pilot certificate to use while you wait for the official FAA certificate to arrive in the mail.
Those are the 8 Steps to Obtain Your Private Pilots Certificate. Earning your Private Pilot Certificate is not easy, but it is not especially difficult either. The rule of thumb is you need three things to earn your Private Pilot Privileges. You first and foremost need the desire to fly and become a pilot. This will serve as motivation through your training. You need to be able to allocate the time to not only take your flight lessons but your aviation ground studies as well. Finally, you need the financial resources to pay for your lessons. Don’t let this third factor discourage your dreams. There are aviation grants, loans, and financing available.
If you are interested in learning how to fly and need help with these 8 Steps to Obtain Your Private Pilots Certificate please contact me, Patrick Keith Williams
. I am a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI, AGI, IGI) teaching in the Phoenix Valley of the Sun. I have over 1000 hours of flight/teaching time, and I am qualified to teach in many different aircraft. The number to call to reach me is 928-291-4FLY, That’s 928-291-4359. I am available by appointment. I look forward to hearing from you and I look forward to being a part of your taking the 8 steps to obtain your Private Pilots Certificate.