7 Steps to becoming a Private Pilot

Research flight schools

This is a big step! Find the flight school that best fits you and suits your needs. Reading the reviews from previous students is a good start. 

Get your medical certificate

All private pilot students must pass an FAA third-class medical exam with an Aeromedical Examiner (AME). If you plan to become a commercial pilot, you’ll need a class 1 medical certificate.

Get your FAA Student Pilot certificate

This makes it official! Apply for this through IACRA.  You need it to fly with your instructor.

Begin Ground School classes

Private pilot ground school provides the practical knowledge you’ll need to know for flight planning and flying.

Begin flight lessons

While in ground school, you’ll begin training in simulators and airplanes alongside a certified flight instructor (CFI). This lets you turn your knowledge into skills as you continue your pilot training.

Pass the “written”

The FAA Private Pilot Knowledge Test, known as the “written” to student pilots, assesses your knowledge of aviation in areas such aerodynamics, weather, flight instruments, weather, etc.

Pass the check ride

The FAA Private Pilot Practical Exam, also known as the check ride, assesses your flying skills and knowledge of practical applications in the cockpit. Passing this is the final step. Congratulations, you’re a private pilot! This entire process takes approximately 3 months.

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