Your FAA Private Pilot certificate allows you to take friends and family around the local area or out for scenic cross-country flights. Go for lunch at local airports, take a shortcut over traffic on the ground, or become a member of the Virginia Aviation Ambassadors program and collect stamps from around the state; lots of freedom and pleasure. You can even conduct your training while taking flights for business. Go to that next meeting location with an instructor and learn on the way!
To achieve your Private Pilot Certificate, the FAA requires you to complete:
40 hours of flight time, consisting of at least:
- 20 hours dual instruction including:
- 3 hours X/C in a single-engine airplane
- 3 hours night flight in a single-engine airplane including:
- 1 X/C over 100 NM total distance
- 10 takeoffs and 10 landings to a full stop in the traffic pattern
- 3 hours basic attitude instrument training in an airplane
- 3 hours practical test preparation within 60 days of the check ride [61.39(a)(6)]
- 10 hours solo flight in a single-engine airplane including:
- 5 hours solo X/C
- 1 X/C at least 150 NM with one leg at least 50 NM straight-line distance, and full stop landings at a minimum of three points
- 3 takeoffs and 3 landings to a full stop in the traffic pattern at an airport with an operating control tower
After completing the flight hour requirements, you can earn your certificate by passing three required tests: the Knowledge, the Oral, and the Practical. The written knowledge exam is a 60-question computerized test based on the various fields of learning with which the well-trained pilot should be familiar. The oral and practical exams are usually done back to back and include a Q&A session with an FAA Designated Examiner, followed by the flight check of your abilities in the air. After completing this Checkride, you will have officially become a Private Pilot!
Estimated Minimum Completion Cost:
|40 hours in a C172R:
|45 hours Instruction:
|Private Pilot Kit:
Many people ask how long it will take to complete the private pilot course. The answer is dependent on you! If you are willing to fly twice a day for five days a week, you can finish in a month. If you would like to space your training out to one flight every two weeks it will most likely take a year or more to complete. Also note that the more frequently you fly you will be more proficient and therefore lower your total cost of obtaining the certificate.
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