Private Pilot License

Private Pilot Certification

Private Pilot LicenseA Private Pilot Certificate, also known as a Private Pilot License, is the starting point for most new pilots. Whether you want to continue building ratings and certifications until you’re flying for the airlines or you just want to have fun it’s the beginning point. It allows you to fly almost anywhere in the United States and even outside the United States when you comply with regulations of the foreign country where the aircraft is operated. You can carry any number of passengers, and you can share certain operating expenses with your passengers. A private pilot has fewer limitations than a recreational or sport pilot. Although there are currency and medical requirements to make sure you stay proficient and healthy, only a few other factors affect when and where you can fly. Once you earn your license, you are free to wander around in the skies below 18,000 feet to your heart's content. You might take the family on a trip to see relatives in a distant state or use an airplane to shorten the time it takes to make business trips to another city.

One restriction to a private pilot's freedom of flight comes from Mother Nature—the weather. You can fly in some weather conditions but not others, at least without additional training. As a private pilot, you can’t fly in the clouds unless you earn an instrument rating: If it's raining outside and you can't see the neighbor's house through the fog, you shouldn't be wandering around in the sky unless you've been trained in the fine art of flight in instrument meteorological conditions.

With a private pilot certificate, you can fly at night as long as you have received the required night training. Training for night flying is almost always included as part of a private pilot training curriculum. Without a doubt, a crystal-clear, moonlit night is one of the most spectacular and beautiful times to fly. Most pilots start out with their private pilot certificate.

Frequently Asked Questions