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Learn To Fly - Private Pilot

Basic Qualifications

The requirements to obtain a private pilot certificate for "airplane, single-engine, land", or ASEL, (which is the most common certificate) are:

  • Be at least 17 years old
  • Be able to read, speak, and write the English language
  • Obtain at least a third class medical certificate from an Aviation Medical Examiner
  • Pass a computerized aeronautical knowledge test
  • Accumulate and log a specified amount of training and experience, including the following:
    • If training under Part 61, experience requirements are specified in Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations section 61.109 including at least 40 hours of piloting time including 20 hours of flight with an instructor and 10 hours of solo flight, and other requirements including "cross-country", 10 hours of solo (i.e., by yourself) flight time in an airplane, including at least
      • Solo requirements:
        1. 5 hours of solo cross-country time
        2. One solo cross-country flight of at least 150 NM 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 50 NM between the takeoff and landing locations
        3. Three solo takeoffs and landings to a full stop at an airport with an operating control tower.
      • Night requirements:
        1. 3 hours of night flight training
        2. One cross-country flight of over 100 nautical miles total distance
        3. 10 takeoffs and 10 landings to a full stop (with each landing involving a flight in the traffic pattern) at an airport
      • 3 hours of flight training on the control and maneuvering solely by reference to instruments
    • If training under Part 141, at least 35 hours of piloting time including 20 hours with an instructor and 5 hours of solo flight, and other requirements including cross-country and night flights
  • Pass an oral test and flight test administered by an FAA inspector, FAA-designated examiner, or authorized check instructor (Part 141 only)
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