Private Pilot LicenseFAA Requirements to Obtain a Private Pilot Certificate – In detail:The Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs) identify the following requirements to obtain a Private Pilot Certificate:
1. Be at least 17 years of age
2. Be able to read, write, and converse fluently in English
3. Obtain at least a third-class FAA medical certificatea. You must undergo a routine medical examination which may be administered only by an FAA-designated doctor called an Aviation Medical Examiner (AME)b. Even if you have a physical handicap, medical certificates can be issued in many cases.Operating limitation may be imposed depending on the nature of the disability.c. Your FAA-Certificated Flight Instructor (CFI) will be able to recommend an AME.d. As a student pilot, your medical certificate also functions as your student pilot certificate once it is signed by you and your AME.
4. Receive and log ground training from an authorized instructor or complete either an online study course or home-study course to learn the following:a. Applicable Federal Aviation Regulations that relate to private pilot privileges, limitations, and flight operationsb. Accident reporting requirement of the National Transportation Safety Boardc. Use of applicable portions of the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM) and FAA Advisory Circulars (ACs)d. Use of aeronautical charts for navigation under Visual Flight Rules (VFR) using pilotage, dead reckoning, and navigation systemse. Radio communication proceduresf. Recognition of critical weather situations from the ground and in flight and the procurement and use of aeronautical weather reports and forecastsg. Safe and efficient operation of the aircrafth. Effects of density altitude on aircraft takeoff and climb performancei. Weight and balance computationsj. Principles of aerodynamics, aircraft engines and systemsk. Stall awareness and recovery techniquesl. Aeronautical decision making and judgmentm. Preflight actions including:i. How to obtain information on runway lengths at airports of intended use, data on takeoff and landing distances, weather reports and forecasts, and fuel requirementsii. How to plan for alternatives if the flight cannot be completed or delays are encountered
5. Pass a 60 multiple-choice question knowledge test, at an FAA-designated computer testing center, with a score of 70% or higher
6. Accumulate flight experience (FAR 61.109). Receive a minimum of 40 hours of flight instruction and solo flight time including:a. 20 hours of flight training from an authorized flight instructor, including at least:i. 3 hours of cross-country (i.e. to other airports)ii. 3 hours of night, including1. One cross-country flight of over 100nm total distance2. 10 takeoffs and 10 landings to a full stop at an airportiii. 3 hours of instrument flight training in an airplaneiv. 3 hours in airplanes in preparation for the private pilot practical test within 60 days prior to that testb. 10 hours of solo time in an airplane, including:i. 5 hours of cross-country flightsii. One solo cross-country flight of at least 150nm total distance, with full-stop landings at a minimum of three points and with one segment of the flight consisting of a straight-line distance of at least 50nm between takeoff and landing locationsiii. Three solo takeoffs and landings to a full stop at an airport with an operating control tower
7. Receive flight instruction and demonstrate skill (FAR 61.107)a. Obtain a logbook sign-off by your CFI on the following areas of operation:i. Pre-Flight preparationii. Pre-Flight proceduresiii. Airport operationsiv. Takeoffs, landings, and go-aroundsv. Performance maneuversvi. Ground reference maneuversvii. Navigationviii. Slow flight and (aerodynamic) stallsix. Basic instrument maneuversx. Emergency operationsxi. Night operationsxii. Post-flight procedures
8. Successful complete a practical (flight) test given as a final exam by an FAA inspector or Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE); conducted as specified in the most current version of the FAA’s Private Pilot Practical Test Standards (PTS).