Private Pilot FAQ

Frequently Asked Private Pilot Questions

How Long Will It Take?

Most people train 2 to 3 times a week.  Given this frequency you can expect to complete your private pilot certification in approximately 4 months.  However, you can complete it in an accelerated manner if you have the time to devote to it.

What Kinds of Tests Will I Have To Take?

  • You will be quizzed by your CFI every time you see him. But aside from that you’ll have to take a written in house test before solo flight.
  • Pass a written 60 question Test from the FAA. This is taken at many different testing facilities by 3rd party administrators.
  • Pass a FAA medical exam by an Aviation Medical Examiner. Most people that are in good general health can pass this.  If you have specific concerns it I recommended that you discuss it with your CFI prior to starting as it is a considerable investment.
  • Pass an oral and practical test with a FAA Designated Pilot Examiner.

What are the flight requirements?

  • Minimum of 40 Hours or flight training. This includes solo time as well.  While 40 hours is the minimum you should know that the national average is somewhere between 50 and 60 hours at the time of certification.
  • Minimum of 10 hours of solo time of which at least 5 hours must be solo cross country. One of these flights must have been at least 150 NM and 3 full stop landings.
  • 3 hours of night flight to include a cross country flight and 10 take offs and landings
  • 3 hours of instrument training

What is the minimum age?

You can begin your training at any age.  Many youth start logging time in their very early teens.  However, you cannot solo until you are 16 and must be 17 to take the practical test for the certification.

Can you train in your own aircraft?

Yes.  Occasionally, a person chooses to purchase their own aircraft.  We recommend you consult with us first though as there are many aircraft that are considered to be “too much” for the new pilot.