How To Get A Private Pilot License In 2021: Quick Guide

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This will provide you with a starting place to get the ball rolling if you decide to pursue it! This guide will not get too deep into details, it is meant to show the highlights of what you will have to accomplish to get your very own private pilot license.

Let’s get into it!

What are the requirements for a private pilot license?

The Federal Aviation Administration (the governmental agency overseeing aviation in the United States) has minimum requirements to receive a PPL. These include;

  • Must speak, read, and be able to write in English
  • 17 Years of age (16 for gliders or balloons)
  • Hold student, sport, or recreational pilot certificate (faa.gov)
  • Hold at least a third-class medical certificate (MedXPress.faa.gov)
  • Receive proper training and endorsement
  • Pass aeronautical knowledge and practical tests

What steps must I take for a private pilot license?

  1. Complete certificates (student and medical for example)
  2. Find Instructor Pilot and Pilot Training school/program
  3. Complete ground school or home study course
  4. Take and pass a written test
  5. Finish training and earn endorsements
  6. Take and pass check ride

What training must I complete for a private pilot license?

To receive your license you must complete ground and flight training. You may complete them together or separately. For ground, you have the option of doing it at a flight school or an at-home study course.

It is important to do some research on the instructors and flight schools that you may use for training. Consider costs, location, and availability of the instructors to figure out what would be best for you.

During training, you will learn the basics of every facet of flight to set you up to be able to handle normal situations that pilots face every time they fly. These include mission planning, navigation, communication, checklist discipline, and post flight procedures to name a few.

What tests must I take to earn a private pilot license?

Written Test

At some point, you will have to take a written test to demonstrate your general knowledge. You may take this at any point as long as you have authorization. It is not uncommon for students to take it prior to beginning flight training. There are a ton of resources out there to help you ace this test.

Checkride

This is the scarier one for a lot of people. A checkride is a flight where you are demonstrating your ability to safely and effectively handle the aircraft with an evaluator performing the evaluation. The checkride is the last hoorah. You must have an endorsement and have finished the remainder of the requirements to be eligible to perform the checkride.

What are the costs of pursuing a private pilot license?

Pursuing a PPL on average will cost roughly $10,000.

Considerations include instructor time, rental rate, fees, supplies, and gear. This does not mean that you cannot achieve it for a cheaper price. There are ways of lowering the costs, for example, some students may need extra practice with an instructor before they feel comfortable which will increase costs. 

In Conclusion

This is a quick guide on how to pursue a private pilot license. It was made to avoid the overwhelming details and meant to provide a starting point for any prospective pilot. This will allow them to start asking better and more informed questions on their own. If you are wondering if it is worth it…….just ask any pilot.

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