Requirements to become a pilot

Private

You can begin flying lessons at any age! However, you do have to be at least 16 years old before you can solo an airplane and 17 before you can be issued a private pilot certificate.

Requirements listed by the FAA are the minimums and to do not always necessarily reflect a realistic number to base your training numbers on.

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 certificate

4. Receive and log ground training from an authorized instructor or complete a home-study course

5. Pass a knowledge test with a score of 70% or better.

6. log at least 40 hours of flight time that includes at least 20 hours of flight training from an authorized instructor and 10 hours of solo flight training

7. Receive a total of 40 hr. of flight instruction and solo flight time and demonstrate skill

8. Successfully complete a practical (flight) test given as a final exam by an FAA inspector or
designated pilot examiner and conducted as specified in the FAA’s Private Pilot Practical Test
Standards.

 

Instrument

1. Hold at least a Private Pilot Certificate

2. Be able to read, write, and converse fluently in English

3. Hold a current FAA medical certificate

4. Receive and log ground training from an authorized instructor or complete a home-study course

5. Pass a knowledge test with a score of 70% or better. The instrument rating knowledge test
consists of 60 multiple-choice questions selected from the airplane-related questions in the
FAA’s instrument rating test bank.

6. At least 50 hours of cross-country flight time as pilot in command. At least 10 of these hours must be in airplanes for an instrument-airplane rating. A total of 40 hours of actual or simulated instrument time. At least 15 hours of instrument flight training from an authorized instructor in the aircraft category for the instrument rating sought.

7. Receive flight instruction and demonstrate skill

8. Successfully complete a practical (flight) test given as a final exam by an FAA inspector or
designated pilot examiner and conducted as specified in the FAA’s Instrument Rating Practical
Test Standards.

 

Commercial

1. Be able to read, write, and converse fluently in English

2. Be at least 18 years of age

3. Hold at least a current third-class FAA medical certificate. Later, if your flying requires a
commercial pilot certificate, you must hold a second-class medical certificate.

4. Hold an instrument rating. A commercial pilot is presumed to have an instrument rating. If not,
his/her commercial pilot certificate will be endorsed with a prohibition against carrying
passengers for hire on day VFR flights beyond 50 NM or at night.

5. Receive and log ground training from an authorized instructor or complete a home-study course

6. Pass a knowledge test with a score of 70% or better. The instrument rating knowledge test
consists of 100 multiple-choice questions selected from the airplane-related questions in the
FAA’s commercial pilot test bank.

7. Accumulate appropriate flight experience and instruction a total of 250 hours
of flight time is required.

8. Successfully complete a practical (flight) test given as a final exam by an FAA inspector or
designated pilot examiner and conducted as specified in the FAA’s Commercial Pilot Practical
Test Standards.

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