How Do I Become A Pilot?
Get your medical certificate. In order to get your Private Pilot certificate you need what is called a 3rd Class Medical Certificate. Basically it’s a physical exam, but it needs to be performed by a recognized Aviation Medical Examiner.
Your 3rd Class Medical is valid for 36 months if you’re under age 40, or 24 months if you are over 40. Here is a link to find one near you.
Aeronautical Knowledge/Ground School. There is a lot of information that you need in order to fly safely—things like weight and balance knowledge, aerodynamic principles, interpreting weather accurately, and being able to communicate with the tower.
And it’s not only important for getting you back home, it’s required to get an endorsement to take the FAA Private Pilot written exam. You can’t get your license without passing that test! This is where SpectaculAir comes in...your ground school component can be as much fun as Step 5.
Flight training. Yup—this is just what it sounds like, the part where you actually fly. Some of this you will do with an instructor in the plane, and some of it you do on your own—called solo. While the bare minimums are less, it takes most people around 60-70 hours to be ready for a check ride.
20 hours of flight instruction including:
- 3 hours of simulated instrument 3 hours of cross-country
- 3 hours at night including a 100 nautical mile round trip and 10 night takeoffs and landings
- 3 hours of instruction within 60 days of the practical test
- 10 hours of solo flight including:
- 5 hours of cross-country including a one of at least 150 nautical miles including three stops
- 3 takeoffs and landings at an airport with an operating control tower
Take your check ride. This is a combined oral and practical exam administered by an FAA-designated pilot examiner. If all goes well on this check ride, you will leave with a temporary pilot certificate to use until your permanent one arrives in the mail.
But don’t worry, if you don’t pass the first time, they tell you exactly what to work on and you can take it again.