Private Pilot Licence

Thanks to Fred Seiler for this image of his Supercub.

Welcome to the exciting world of aviation!  Your pilot’s licence is your ticket to personal and business travel, as well as many exciting recreational opportunities.  The Private Pilot Licence is also the first licence obtained on the road to the Commercial Pilot Licence.  The Private Pilot Licence allows you to fly single engine aircraft on wheels by day in accordance with Visual Flight Rules, and to carry passengers, although not for profit.  With further training, you licence may obtain ratings so that you may fly on floats, at night, in multi-engine aircraft, or by Instrument Flight Rules.  While you may not fly for hire with a Private Pilot Licence, you may split some of the costs of aircraft operation with your passengers, thereby lowering your own expenses considerably.

You may hold a Student Pilot Permit at age 14, and a Private Pilot Licence at age 17.  You must obtain either a Category 3 or 1 Medical Certificate before you may hold the licence.  It is best to have the medical exam done prior to the start of training.

40 hours of groundschool are required on the Private Pilot Licence course, as well as two written exams.  Prior to obtaining your Student Pilot Permit (required before solo), you must obtain a minimum of 90% on the pre-solo (PSTAR) exam.  Before the issue of your licence, you must obtain a minimum of 60% on the final written exam.

A minimum flight time of 45 hours is required for the Private Pilot Licence, including a minimum of 17 hours of dual instruction, and a minimum of 12 hours of solo practice.  Also included in the 45 hour total are 5 hours of instrument flight, and 8 hours of cross-country training, of which not less than 3 must be dual and not less than 5 must be solo.  Before the issue of your licence, you must demonstrate your skill by passing a flight test.

Very few people receive their licence after only 45 hours of training; the national average for the Private Pilot Licence is approximately 80 hours. Students working with me average 57 hours for the Private Pilot Licence, so I recommend budgeting for that.

You may fly as little or as often as you like, but it is to your advantage to fly as often as possible.  Also, flight training is best done concurrently with groundschool.  Completion times range from eight weeks and up.  For a person flying four hours per week, expect to complete the Private Pilot Licence in about three months.

If you already have obtained your Recreational Pilot Permit and are upgrading, please contact me for details and cost estimates.