Additional Private Pilot Information Links

  1. FAA Handbooks

  2. AOPA Learn to Fly

  3. AOPA Flight Training Magazine

A private pilot can fly a large number of aircraft from small single engine airplanes to larger multi-engine aircraft if they have obtained the required training, ratings and endorsements for the aircraft they wish to fly.  They may also carry passengers, fly during the day or night, and are not subject to altitude or additional airspace restrictions.   Private pilots may not fly for compensation or hire but can share the cost of a flight with passengers.

To become a private pilot you must first become a student pilot.  Your student pilot certificate is issued by the FAA; we will help you fill out the application using IACRA. You will also have to obtain a Third Class Medical certificate. You can start flying without a student pilot certificate or your medical certificate, but you must have both to fly solo.  Student pilots receive flight and ground training from a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) preparing the student for the private pilot written and practical exams.

When you have completed your training you will take the private pilot practical exam with an FAA Designated Examiner.  You are now a private pilot!

Private Pilot Certificate

Minimum Requirements*

Student Pilot Age**16
Private Pilot Age17
Minimum Total Flight Time40
Solo Flight Time10
Night Flight Time3
Written ExamYes
FAA CheckrideYes

*You may require additional training to meet ACS standards.

** You can begin flight training before the age of 16.