What Are Private Pilot Requirements?

A Private Pilot License, or PPL, is one of the most popular pilot certifications that there is. If you have a private pilot certificate, then you will be able to legally fly an aircraft and be trained to navigate a small aircraft on your own.

If you want to get yourself a private pilot license, you might be wondering what you need to be able to do so. 

What Are Private Pilot Requirements?

While it might sound easy enough, getting a private pilot license is not as simple and straightforward as it sounds. There are many rules and requirements in place, and you will have to fit the right criteria in order to be eligible. 

You will need to take courses during the training process to prepare yourself for the reality of flying a small plane, and you will also need flying experience.

If you are wondering how to get yourself a private pilot license, just keep reading. We are going to tell you everything that you need to know to help you get one.

What Can I Do With a Private Pilot License? 

When you have a private pilot license, you will be able to fly in and out of civil airports, and you will also be able to take part in a variety of activities.

You will also be able to fly yourself across the country or even around the world, without having to get on a commercial flight.

A private pilot will also be able to take friends and family along for the ride, practice different maneuvers, or become involved in different programs that introduce people to the world of flying.

What Are Private Pilot Requirements?

There are many different requirements when it comes to getting a private pilot license, and we are going to explain what they are in this section to help you learn if this is something that you could do. 

Private Pilot License Requirements

Every single candidate will be evaluated by an FAA examiner during a practical test that has both an oral and flight portion.

The instructor will also need to provide training to the candidate and make sure that they meet all of the necessary requirements before they apply for the practical test.

Before the practical test, students will also need to complete a written exam. You cannot get a private pilot license unless you are at least 17 years old on the date of the practical test.

Every candidate must be able to read, speak, write, and understand English, and they will also need to hold a US student pilot certificate, sport pilot certificate, or recreational pilot certificate in order to get started.

They must also have had flight training and have a logbook endorsement from an authorized instructor.

As well as this, all candidates must meet the aeronautical experience requirements for the aircraft rating sought, and pass a practical test for the aircraft rating sought.

Aeronautical Experience

In addition to all of these rules and requirements, according to federal regulations, you must meet the following aeronautical flight experience requirements to earn a private pilot license.

Private pilot candidates that are qualified for the practical test will have logged at least 40 hours of flight time. This includes 20 hours of flight training from an authorized instructor and 10 hours of solo flight. The training must include:

  • 3 hours of cross-country flight training
  • 3 hours of night flight training
  • One cross-country flight over 100 nautical miles total distance
  • 10 takeoffs and 10 landings to a full stop with each landing involving a flight in the traffic pattern at an airport
  • 3 hours of flight training on control and maneuvering solely by reference to instruments
  • 3 hours of flight training with an authorized instructor in preparation for the practical test within the preceding 2 calendar months from the month of the test
  • 10 hours of solo flight time
  • 5 hours of solo cross-country time
  • One solo cross-country flight of 150 nautical miles total distance with full stop landings at three points and one segment of the flight consisting of a straight line distance of more than 50 nautical miles between takeoff and landing locations
  • Three takeoffs and three landings to a full stop (with each landing involving a flight in the traffic pattern) at an airport with an operating control tower

Taking the Private Pilot Test

Once you have completed all the required training and flight hours, you will be allowed to take the FAA Practical Exam.

This includes an oral and flight exam, and will be administered by a FAA examiner. You can get a temporary certificate until your official one arrives.

Private Pilot License Medical Requirements

To use your private pilot license, you will also need to hold a third class medical certificate. You can get this through an aeromedical examiner, and you cannot fly a plane without it.