Updated: Feb 2, 2021
If you have found yourself here, you are looking for some flight training or have been interested in learning to fly. So in this first blog post, I wanted to explain the process and how to get started in becoming a Private pilot.
Most people think that learning to fly is too difficult, very expensive, must be really smart or have great eyesight. Well, that is furthest from the truth. Learning to fly is not that difficult, not to say its super easy, but almost anyone can learn. Plus, you are never too young or too old to start. Flying is not cheap, however, it’s not beyond most people’s budgets. I am not going to tell you that the knowledge is so easy that a first grader can pick it up. But it is not that difficult as long as you study, prepare for your lessons and put the time aside to read the material.
One of the most often questions I get asked is, “Do I have to have 20/20 vision to fly?”
The answer is not at all. As long as you can pass the eye exam with your corrective lenses, you should be good to go. Now I am not a doctor, so when you begin training visit your local FAA doctor and take the flight physical.
Which leads me to how to get started. It is really very easy. Visit your local airport. It can be a small county airport, a larger regional airport or maybe even a private airport. If there are no airports around, well do what you did to find this website, search online. Or you can hire me and I will be happy to help.
Seriously, there is not much to getting started. Most people start with a discovery flight. This flight is a short introduction to flying. If you fly with me, I will let you do most of the flying. This includes the take and the landing.
Once you decide this is for you, then continue to make appointments and start training. You will need some ground instruction but most of the time that can be done online at your leisure.
Most new students will fly at least once a week. I tell my students, the more you can fly per week the better. Even more importantly, fly as close to each lesson as possible. The longer you take between lessons, the less you retain. Flight training is performance based, so longer you go between a lesson, more the instructor will need to re-train you on.
You will need a flight physical from a certified FAA flight doctor. The doctors can be found on the FAA website. You will need this physical completed prior to your first solo flight. During this time you will be given a pre-solo written quiz that goes over the basic knowledge for the aircraft, airport that you fly at as well as some basic FAA regulation’s.
Once you solo, you will begin conducting cross country flights with your instructor.
You will also need to go on a night cross country and night landings. After you meet the required training for cross country flights, you will then go on the same flights but all by yourself.
Once you meet all the FAA minimum requirement for the private pilot certificate, which is 40 hours, you will go to the final exam. We call this the check ride. You will meet with a FAA Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE). The DPE will sit down with you and go over the knowledge required for the private pilot. Then you will take the DPE on a flight where you are evaluated on flight maneuvers and overall safety of flying.
Once the flight portion is completed and you conducted all the maneuvers to the FAA standards, you will receive your pilot’s certificate. You are now a licensed pilot and able to take your family and friends up for a flight that very same day.
Earning your pilot certificate is very rewarding and will open many new opportunities or adventures. It is not that hard and can be done in as little as 2 weeks. It really does depend on you.
If you have any questions about the private pilot training or more advanced training, reach out to me. I would be happy to help you.