How do I Start the Process of Becoming
Whether you have made up your
mind to become a pilot, or if you are just starting your research,
the summary below will give you a good idea of the general
After you have logged the required Aeronautical Experience,
Aeronautical Knowledge (and have passed the computer based
knowledge test), received both a Student Pilot Certificate
and an FAA Medical Certificate, and you are safe and competent
flying the airplane, you will be eligible to take the FAA
Practical Exam for your Private Pilot Certificate (see more
detail on each of these steps below).
You can then upgrade your certificate to a Commercial Pilot
Certificate (this will allow you to work as a pilot). Also,
you can add various ratings to your pilot certificate, such
as an instrument rating (so you can fly in the clouds), or
various type ratings to fly larger aircraft and jets.
Where to start...
Take an introductory flying lesson! We offer a range of introductory
options to help get you started (learn
more), all of which will give you the opportunity to actually
fly the plane. More importantly, you will get to see our operation
first hand, and ask important questions about cost, scheduling
flexibility, experience of our flight instructors, and our
perfect safety record since we started more than ten years
Before taking the Private
Pilot Practical Exam,
you must satisfy ALL of the following criteria:
Experience - (Flight Training in the airplane)
The FAA requires at least 40 hours of logged flight time.
This required flight time includes both time with an instructor
(dual time), and time flying the plane by yourself (solo time).
The total number of flight hours you will need varies from
person to person - the national average is 60-70 hours. The
number of actual flight hours is not the determining factor...
you must be safe and proficient in the airplane.
Aeronautical Knowledge -
(often called Ground Training or Ground School)
Controlling the airplane is only a part of the process. You
must also have a strong understanding of all of the topics
listed below in order to be a safe pilot. All of our ground
training is done on a one-on-one basis with your instructor.
If you are motivated, you will be able to cover most of the
following topics on your own. After, your ground school is
complete, you will have to pass a Computer Based Knowledge
Test at an FAA testing center. A passing grade of 70%
or better is required, before you are eligible to schedule
your practical exam with the FAA.
- Airplane Systems
- Airports and Airspace
- Aviation Regulations
- Airplane Performance
- Aeromedical Factors
- Flight Planning
You are not required to have a Student Pilot Certificate
prior to starting your Flying Lessons, but you must have this
step completed before you will be able to start the solo portion
of your flight training. Aviation Medical Examiners no longer
issue Student Pilot Certificates.
The application process in now completed online on the FAA's
IACRA website. It is a multi-step process that is best
completed while you and your instructor are together at a
computer. Both of you will need to login and digitally sign
the application. After you finish the online application,
if takes about 2-3 weeks for you to receive your Certificate
in the mail.
You are not required to have an FAA Medical Exam prior to
starting your Flying Lessons, but you must have this step
completed before you will be able to start the solo portion
of your flight training. If you have any "hiccups"
in your medical history, it is a good idea to complete this
process as soon as you have decided to commit yourself to
becoming a pilot.
The first step is to fill out an online application on the
FAA's website, where you will submit information on your medical
The site can be found here: FAA
After you have completed the online process, you will receive
an ID number. You can then call an Aviation Medical Examiner
to schedule your medical exam.
Find an Aviation Medical Examiner (AME) - on
the FAA's website
Find an Aviation Medical Examiner (AME) - www.flightphysical.com
All medical questions should be referred an Aviation Medical
Examiner, but generally only more serious conditions, such
as heart trouble, diabetes, epilepsy, or psychological problems
would disqualify you. You can learn more at www.flightphysical.com.