Learning to Fly: Your Guide to Getting a Pilot License

Dreaming of becoming a pilot?

The first thing that you need to do is get a Private Pilot License (PPL). This will allow you to fly a single-engine aircraft and passengers for private flights. After you’ve got your PPL, you can train to get more advanced licenses.

If you want to learn to fly, keep reading to find out how to get your pilot license.

Organize an Orientation Flight

The first thing you need to do is experience flying in an airplane. The easiest way to do this is to find your nearest flight school.

You’ll be in a smaller aircraft, able to watch the pilot as they fly. An orientation flight will allow you to test how you think and feel in a smaller aircraft, while you’re able to watch the pilot as they fly.

Get a Student Pilot License

The next step is to get a student pilot license.

To do this, you must comply with the guidelines. You have to be at least 16 years old, and you must be able to read, speak, write and understand the English language.

Get a Third Class Medical Exam

This is an examination of your physical state, to ensure that you’re in a fit state to operate an airplane.

This will be carried out by an Aviation Medical Examiner. You can find a list of examiners here.

Get an Aircraft and a Certified Flight Instructor

One option to begin training is to enroll in an accredited flight training program. These schools will provide you with an aircraft and a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI). However, this can be quite expensive.

A local Fixed-Based Operator with planes and instructors may be a more financially viable option.

The cost of training can also be lowered if you choose to purchase your own aircraft. Student pilots usually start in small single-engine, used airplanes. Make sure to look into what to know about buying a used aircraft before you make any decisions.

You can then find an independent CFI to provide training.

Training Before Your First Solo Flight

Your CFI will give you training before your solo flight.

This will include a written Aeronautical Knowledge test, focused on whether you’re able to operate an aircraft by yourself. This could include questions about physics, procedure, landing techniques, and weather.

Training After Your Solo Flight

You now have to meet the minimum Aeronautical Experience needed for a pilot license.

You must have at least 40 hours of flight time, including 20 hours with an authorized instructor and 10 hours of solo flight training.

Ground School

As long as you have an endorsement from your instructor, you can then take a written exam.

This is a written exam of 60 multiple-choice questions that you can take at a Federal Aviation Administration testing center or with a licensed test provider.

As long as you score 80% or more, the test will remain valid for two years. If you haven’t got your license by then, you’ll have to retake the test.

Check Ride

Once you’re ready, you’ll complete a check ride; this is your final exam.

A Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE) will ask you questions and assess your ability. They will then observe as you operate the aircraft.

You’ve Got Your Pilot License

Once you successfully complete all of these steps, you’ll get your pilot license and be able to fly a single-engine aircraft.

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