Pilot Training

images_figures_02fig12To qualify and fly as a Private Pilot a student must meet the following requirements:

  • Must be 17 years of age
  • Must be able to read, speak and understand English
  • Pass a written examination (called the Knowledge Test)
  • Pass an oral exam and flight test (called the Checkride)
  • Passed a physical exam and hold a Third Class Medical Certificate

In addition, the student pilot must have the following training:

  • A minimum of 40 hours flight time:
    • 20 hours flight instruction including
      • 3 hours of cross-country
      • 3 hours of night flying
      • 3 hours of instrument flying
      • 3 hours of preparation within 60 days of the flight test
    •  10 hours solo (by yourself) flying including:
      • 3 solo takeoffs and landings at a tower-controlled airport
      • 5 hours of solo cross-country flying

Actually, the requirements are even more specific (length and number of stops for the cross-country, etc.), but your flight instructor will go over the specifics with you as you start training.

To qualify and fly as a Sport Pilot a student must meet the following requirements:

  • A minimum of 20 hours flight time including 15 hours with a certified instructor and 5 hours solo (by yourself)
  • Two hours of cross-country flying (more than 75 nautical miles)
  • Pass the FAA knowledge test (30 questions requiring a 70 percent or better score)
  • Three hours of training in preparation for the FAA practical test (called the checkride)
  • Pass the FAA practical test
  • Present a valid automobile driver’s license or a third-class FAA medical certificate as proof of medical health

As you can see, a Private Pilot requires more training and a third-class medical certificate over a Sport Pilot. However, Sport Pilots have more flying restrictions.