A Private pilot certificate is like a driver’s license, allowing you to join a select group of individuals who can fly anywhere in the United States. You can carry any number of passengers, and you can share certain operating expenses with your passengers. Although, there are currency and medical requirements to make sure you stay proficient and healthy, only a few other factors affect when and where you can fly. You might take the family on a trip to see relatives in a distant state or use an airplane to shorten the time it takes to make business trips to another city. Airplanes are readily available for rental once you obtain a pilot certificate or you may even consider owning your own airplane.
To become a Private pilot you must:
- Be 16 years old to solo.
- Be 17 years old to receive your pilot certificate.
- Read, speak, and understand English.
- Hold at least a third-class medical certificate
Training toward a pilot certificate is done in two steps. Step 1 is obtaining the training in the aeronautical knowledge areas required of a Private pilot. This knowledge is tested through an exam taken on a computer (similar to the driver’s license examination). Step 2 is receiving the hands-on flight training to gain proficiency in the piloting skills required of a Private pilot. These skills are then tested by an examiner in the airplane (the practical test) and your pilot certificate is issued.
Private Pilot Ground School will complete Step 1 of this process and cover all aeronautical knowledge items required of a Private pilot. Ground School is delivered in a convenient online, “distance learning” format utilizing Sporty’s online Learn to Fly Course ($199). Aeronautical knowledge includes diverse and interesting subjects like aerodynamics, how the systems of the airplane you are flying work, what weather to avoid, FAA regulations, principles of navigation, aeromedical factors, stall/spin awareness, and incident/accident reporting requirements.
The Private Pilot Ground School will culminate in an endorsement to take the knowledge test for the Private pilot at an approved testing center if you wish to continue to Step 2 of the training process.
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