Wanting to be a pilot seems like more or less every child’s dream. The fact that you can fly and feel a sense of elation and freedom makes aviation a highly desired profession. But this is no child’s play. The profession may sound charming and come with a hefty pay package, but it is difficult to actually go through the stringent process of training to be an airline pilot. You need to have the determination, will power and commitment towards what you want and stick by it. Since the main reason for getting into a good flight school is passing your FAA's check ride, you need to be really dedicated and focused while studying for them. So if you are wondering how to get a pilot license and then first ask yourself how bad you really want it.
How to obtain private pilot’s license?
The requirements of obtaining a PPL or a private pilot license lie entirely with the FAA. They are the ones who determine how you can get a license to fly and what are the qualifications you need. Let’s take a deeper look at how do you get your pilot license:
1. FAA Medical
You must be at least 17 years old and should get yourself a 3rd Class medical from an FAA certified medical examiner. This is the first step to knowing how to get a pilot license.
2. Enroll in a licensed flight training school
Ensure that you have enrolled you self in a licensed aviation school. But before that make sure you have anywhere from $7,000 - $10,000 to spare so you can pay for the training.
3. Don’t skip the ground school
Make sure you get good ground training from ground school. Your options are limited by your location if you want to attend a traditional school. Other options include self-study kits but they seldom work due to lack of discipline and guidance. You can look for aviation seminars if they are offered in your city. With the recent advancements in technology, more creative ways are introduced. Look for an instructor led online ground school aka live webinar.
4. Complete the FAA Written exam
Take the written exam only after your ground instructor gives you the go ahead. This can be taken at any FAA center and you need at least 70% to make the cut. There are a total of 60 MCQs in 150 minutes. This is not all you need to know about how you get your pilot license.
5. Do flight-time
You need a collective of at least 40 hours of flight time including 20 hours of flight-time with an instructor. Then you need to fly at least 10 hours solo without your instructor next to you. The decision lies with the instructor to finally let you know when you are ready. That is not all. You even need to do a cross country flight of about 100 nautical miles. Once you’re done with that you need to fly by yourself again for at least 150 nautical miles. You then need to fly at night for about 3 hours with the help of your instructor. Once your instructor feels like you are up to the mark then you can complete your exam also called check ride which will be with a certified examiner from the FAA. Once you have done all of this then you can earn your flying license.
6. You get your license to fly
Finally you receive your license and then you can fly a single engine aircraft keeping in mind the rules laid down by the FAR. You can go to your local FBO and check if they have a pilot training program and you can finally get your Private Pilots License there.
Like I mention just understanding how to get pilots license is only the tip of the iceberg, you have to be committed to it.
Al Naqui (AGI-I)