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Untitled Document

Private Pilot Certificate

In the 1950s, the FAA determined the minimum requirements for a Private Pilot Certification to be 40 hours of total flight time. Since then, the nation's airspace, navigation/communication systems, weather reporting services and aircraft systems have increased dramatically in complexity. Today, the national average of flight time before Private Pilot certification is around 75 hours. However, the more time you can commit to your training, the sooner you will get done and the cheaper it will be. In the training I have given, I have seen students finish anywhere between 60-80 hours all depending on their availability and course guidance.

What it takes to earn a Private Pilot Certification:

FAR 61.103 Eligibility Requirements

  1. 17 years of age
  2. Be able to read, speak, write, and understand the English language
  3. Receive a logbook endorsement from an authorized instructor for the knowledge test
  4. Pass the required knowledge test
  5. Receive flight training and a logbook endorsement from an authorized instructor
  6. Meet the aeronautical experience requirements
  7. Pass a practical test

FAR 61.105 Aeronautical Knowledge

  1. Receive and log ground training from an authorized instructor or complete a home study course on the following aeronautical knowledge:
    1. Federal Aviation Regulations that relate to private pilot privileges, limitations, and flight operations
    2. National Transportation Safety Board
    3. Aeronautical Information Manual and FAA advisory circular
    4. Aeronautical charts for VFR navigation using pilotage, dead reckoning, and navigation systems
    5. Radio communication procedures
    6. Weather, weather reports and forecasts
    7. Safe and efficient operation of aircraft
    8. Effects of density altitude
    9. Weight and balance computations
    10. Principles of aerodynamics, powerplants, and aircraft systems
    11. Aeronautical decision making and judgment
    12. Preflight action

FAR 61.107 Flight Proficiency  

  1. Preflight preparation
  2. Preflight procedures
  3. Airport base operations
  4. Takeoffs, landings, and go-arounds
  5. Performance maneuvers
  6. Ground reference maneuvers
  7. Navigation
  8. Slow flight and stalls
  9. Basic instrument maneuvers
  10. Emergency operations
  11. Night operations
  12. Postflight procedures

FAR 61.109 Aeronautical Experience

  1. At least 40 hours of flight time
  2. At least 20 hours of flight with an authorized instructor, including:
    1. 3 hours of flight training solely by reference to instruments
    2. 3 hours of night flight, including:
      1. One cross-country flight of over 100 nautical miles total distance
      2. 10 takeoffs and landings to a full stop
  3. 10 hours of solo flight, including:
    1. 5 hours of solo cross-country
    2. One solo cross-country flight of at least 150 nautical miles total distance with full-stop landings at a minimum of three points, and one segment of the flight consisting of a straight-line distance of at least 50 nautical miles between the takeoff and landing locations.
  4. 3 takeoffs and landings to a full stop at an airport with an operating control tower
  5. 3 hours of flight training in preparation for the practical test within 60 days preceding the date of the test.

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