A Private pilot’s license is the first license every pilot will train for regardless of their ultimate objective.  This license allows the pilot to fly with only a few limitations such as not flying for hire and meeting currency requirements before flying with passengers. As an analogy think of the private license as the foundation, if you were building a house. The student pilot will have to meet certain requirements before taking a final checkride examination with the FAA to earn the license. See requirements listed.

For those not familiar with a checkride examination, there is an ground portion(sometimes called the oral exam) and a practical portion(referred to as a checkride). In the ground portion the student will have an oral examination with the FAA examiner. The examiner will ask the student questions pertaining to the training and the knowledge they have gained.  It is also common to have a flight plan prepared that the examiner assigns beforehand. The practical portion will consist of the examiner flying with the student in the aircraft they fly during their training. Once the student has demonstrated their abilities satisfactorily, based off guidelines set forth by the FAA, the examiner will issue the student their license. In short, to complete a private pilot’s license a student must pass an FAA Private Pilot Knowledge Test (computer based, multiple choice), complete the minimum flight requirements with a certified instructor, and pass an FAA check ride with an examiner.

Prices vary from flight school to flight school and a student’s abilities but typically a private pilot’s license will cost anywhere from $8,000-$12,000.  Keep in mind that the hour requirements listed are the FAA minimums and it typically takes long to become proficient.

Student Pilot Certificate

  • At least 16 years old
  • Read, Write, Speak, and Understand English

Private Pilot Licence Requirements

  • At least 17 years old
  • Pass knowledge test (70% or better)
  • 40 hours flight experience
    • 20 Hours Flight Instruction (CFI)
    • 3 Hours Cross-Country
    • 3 Hours Instrument
    • 10 Hours Solo
      • 5 Hours Solo Cross-Country
      • 1 Solo Cross-Country Flight Over 150 NM to 3 Points with 1 Straight-Line Segment over 50 NM
      • 3 Solo Takeoffs and Landings at an Airport with a Control Tower
    • 3 Hours Night Flight
      • 1 Night Cross-Country Flight over 100 NM
      • 10 Night Takeoffs and Landings to a full stop
    • 3 Hours with Instructor in Preparation for checkride