Becoming a pilot is an awesome and excitement-filled journey. To start the journey though you need to make sure you are armed with the knowledge that will set you up for success. Remember, preparation is half the battle. Here is our guide on student pilot certificates!
If you are trying to become a pilot, then you need to check out our article here on our quick guide to becoming one!
Are you looking for the right ground school? Let us help you with our guide here on finding the right one for you!
What Is A Student Pilot Certificate?
A student pilot certificate is one of the prerequisites you must obtain before soloing an aircraft.
If you are thinking about pursuing or actively pursuing becoming a pilot, then you will need a student pilot certificate. This certificate is one of the items you will need to perform one of your most memorable flights, your initial solo. If you are starting training or coming up on your solo ride, you’ll want to start on the application process as early as possible.
Check out our article on some free resources for student pilots here
What Can I Do With A Student Pilot Certificate?
Once you have obtained your student pilot certificate, FAA Medical Certificate, the proper training, and your endorsement from the proper authority, you may take an aircraft up into the air solo or all by yourself!
Do I Need A Student Pilot Certificate For Flying Lessons?
You will not need a certificate to take lessons. You only need it to fly solo without an instructor.
How Do I Get A Student Pilot Certificate?
This information is straight from the FAA and is accessible for everyone. These are the steps you must take in order to get your own certificate.
- Complete an application through the Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application (IACRA) website or by paper using FAA form 8710-1.
- IACRA is the easiest option
- Once completed, submit it to a Flight Standards District Office (FSDO), an FAA-designated pilot examiner, an airman certification representative associated with a part 141 flight school, or a certificated flight instructor.
- In most cases a certified flight instructor (CFI) will be the easiest option. If you are currently in a flight school or joining one, ask your CFI for some help!
- The authorized individual will process your application and submit the required documents to the Airmen Certification Branch. Once, reviewed by Airman Certification Branch, the student pilot certificate will be mailed to the address provided by you on the application.
Curious what the differences are between part 61 and 141 schools are? Check out our article here!
How Long Does It Take To Recieve A Student Pilot Certificate?
The time will vary but on average it will take roughly 3 weeks. Filling out the application on IACRA and being proactive will minimize the time.
In any case, it is best to apply as early as possible so you aren’t crunched for time when it comes time to actually needing it.
When Can I Apply For A Student Pilot Certificate?
You are able to start an application for a student pilot certificate when you turn 13 years of age, but you are not able to complete it until within 90 days of turning 14.
To solo a fixed wing aircraft powered aircraft you must be 16 years of age, but to pilot a glider or a balloon you must be at least 14.
You must also be able to read, speak, and understand English.
How Long Is A Student Pilot Certificate Valid For?
Student Pilot Certificates will not expire if obtained after April 1, 2016. The only time it will become invalid is if you receive a higher certification such as a PPL.
If you received your student pilot certification prior to April 1, 2016 then will most likely need to start the process of reobtaining a new one if you have not yet received a higher certification. These certifications expired after 24-60 months from the date of issuance.
Regardless of when you got it, you will not be able to renew a certificate. You will need to submit another application to get a new one.
How Much Does A Student Pilot Certificate Cost?
If you get your application through a flight standards district office there will be no charge.
If you process the application through any other option such as a pilot examiner, an airmen certification representative, or a flight instructor, there may be a fee for processing the application. If you have the option it may be worth asking the fee before hand to see what would be the cheapest.
Getting your very own student pilot certificate is not a very long or difficult process, following the steps in this guide will get one in your hands in no time!
Soloing is one of those moments you will remember for the rest of your life, make sure you are set up with everything that you need beforehand to make it as smooth as possible!