Sunday, June 12, 2011

Private Pilot Requirements

Here are the requirements for obtaining your Private Pilot Certificate, the list can seem like a great deal of work, however you will be having so much for learning how to fly - working on the list will seem like fun and just fly by.

  • You must be at least 17 years of age when you finish your training and take your FAA practical (flight) test.

  • You must be able to read, speak, write, and converse fluently in English.

  • You must obtain a student pilot certificate  and at least a third class medical certificate
  • You must be at least 16 years of age to receive a student pilot certificate.

  • You must undergo a routine medical examination that may only be administered by a FAA-designated doctor, which are called aviation medical examiners (AMEs).

    • A third class medical certificate is valid for 3 years if the date of the examination was before your 40th birthday, or 2 years if the date of the examination was on or after your 40th birthday. The medical certificate expires on the last day of the month issued (when another medical examination is required).

  • Even if you have a physical handicap, medical certificates can be issued in many cases. Operating limitations may be imposed depending upon the nature of the disability.

  • You must pass the private pilot knowledge test with a score of 70% or better. All FAA tests are administered at FAA-designated computer testing centers (AvTest, CATS, or LaserGrade).

  • The private pilot knowledge test consists of 60 multiple-choice questions selected from the 738 airplane-related questions in the FAA's test bank. Each question and complete explanation is reproduced in Gleim's Private Pilot FAA Written Exam book and FAA Test Prep software. The questions test the following topics:

    • Airplanes and Aerodynamics
    • Airplane Instruments, Engines, and Systems
    • Airports, Air Traffic Control, and Airspace
    • Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs)
    • Airplane Performance and Weight and Balance
    • Aeromedical Factors
    • Aviation Weather
    • Aviation Weather Service
    • Navigation: Charts, Publications, and Flight Computer
    • Navigation System
    • Cross-Country Flight Planning

  • The topics listed above are the chapters in the Private Pilot FAA Written Exam book and FAA Test Prep software. The FAA pilot knowledge test is a learning opportunity. Rather than memorizing the answers to 738 questions, studying our book or software assures you of a high passing score on the test and the acquisition of useful knowledge to make you a better, safer pilot.

  • You must undertake flight training as described in lessons 1 through 25 of Gleim's Private Pilot Syllabus and Logbook. Many of the lessons will require more than one flight to make you comfortable and proficient. The lessons/topics are shown below.

  • Lesson


    Stage One Stage Two
    1 Introduction to Flight 13 Second Solo
    2 Four Fundamentals of Flight 14 Short-Field and Soft-Field Takeoffs and Landings
    3 Basic Instrument Maneuvers
    4 Slow Flight and Stalls 15 Solo Maneuvers Review
    5 Emergency Operations 16 Navigation Systems
    6 Steep Turns and Ground Reference Maneuvers 17 Dual Cross-Country
    7 Review 18 Night Flight -- Local
    8 Go-Around and Forward Slip to a Landing 19 Night Cross-Country
    9 Presolo Review 20 Solo Cross-Country
    10 Presolo Review 20A Solo Cross-Country (Part 61)
    11 First Solo 20B Solo Cross-Country (Part 61)
    12 Stage One Check 21 Maneuvers Review
    22 Solo Practice
    23 Maneuvers Review
    24 Solo Practice
    25 Stage Two Check

  • Under Part 61 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs), you must receive a total of 40 hr. of flight time, including a minimum of

    • 20 hr. of flight training from a certificated flight instructor, including at least

      • 3 hr. of cross-country, i.e., to other airports

      • 3 hr. at night, including

        • One night cross-country flight of over 100 nautical miles (NM) total distance

        • 10 night takeoffs and 10 landings to a full stop at an airport

      • 3 hr. of maneuvering an airplane solely by reference to instruments

      • 3 hr. in airplanes in preparation for the private pilot practical test within 60 days prior to that test

    • 10 hr. of solo flight time in an airplane, including at least

      • 5 hr. of solo cross-country time

      • One solo cross-country flight of at least 150 NM total distance, with full-stop landings at a minimum of three points and with one segment of the flight consisting of a straight-line distance of at least 50 NM between the takeoff and landing locations

      • Three solo takeoffs and landings to a full stop at an airport with an operating control tower

  • As an alternative to Part 61 training, you may enroll in an FAA-certificated pilot school that has an approved private pilot certification course (airplane).

  • These schools are known as Part 141 schools because they are authorized by Part 141 of the Federal Aviation Regulations.

    1. All other regulations concerning certification of pilots are found in Part 61.

  • The Part 141 course must consist of at least 35 hr. of ground training and 35 hr. of flight training.

    1. The syllabus used by a Part 141 school must be approved by the FAA.

  • If you are only interested in obtaining a private pilot certificate, there is little difference, except that a Part 61 course has more flexibility to adjust to your individual needs.

  • You must successfully complete a practical (flight) test, which will be given as a final exam by an FAA-designated pilot examiner.

  • FAA-designated pilot examiners are proficient, experienced flight instructors/pilots who are authorized by the FAA to conduct practical tests. They charge a fee.

  • The FAA has issued private pilot practical test standards (PTS). Each of the 50 tasks/maneuvers is required to be covered/tested on each practical test.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Learn to Fly - It Might Be Easier Than You Think

Believe it or not, almost anyone can learn to fly. Flying seems mysterious to many people, but it's really not that hard to master. Learning to fly can be a fun and exciting experience that results in a lifelong hobby, a rewarding career, adventurous vacations, or an asset to your business.

The basic steps to learning to fly are choosing a flight school, passing a medical examination, going to ground school, pre-solo flight training, cross country flight training, and preparing for the check ride.

Choosing a Flight School

The type of flight school you choose depends on your personal preferences. Many colleges and universities offer aviation programs that culminate in a degree. If you plan to pursue a career in aviation and do not have a degree, this is a great option. If flying is purely a pleasure pursuit or you already have a college education, a fixed-base operation (FBO) or Federal Aviation Regulation (FAR) Part 141 flight school might be a more logical choice. All flight schools provide training under either FAR Part 61 or Part 141. Part 141 makes for a more rigid and structured environment, while Part 61 allows more freedom and flexibility on the part of both instructor and student.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

First Look on Airplane Avionics

Avionics derives from "aviation" and "electronics". It comprises electronic systems for use on aircraft, artificial satellites and spacecraft, comprising communications, navigation and the display and management of multiple systems. 

It also includes the hundreds of systems that are fitted to aircraft to meet individual roles, these can be as simple as a search light for a police helicopter or as complicated as the tactical system for an Airborne Early Warning platform.


The term avionics is believed to have been coined by journalist Philip J. Klass. Avionics was pioneered in the 1970s, driven by military need rather than civil airliner development. Military aircraft had become flying sensor platforms, and making large amounts of electronic equipment work together had become the new challenge. 

Today, avionics as used in military aircraft almost always forms the biggest part of any development budget. Aircraft like the F-15E and the now retired F-14 have roughly 80 percent of their budget spent on avionics. Most modern helicopters now have budget splits of 60/40 in favour of avionics.

The civilian market has also seen a growth in cost of avionics. Flight control systems (fly-by-wire) and new navigation needs brought on by tighter airspaces, have pushed up development costs. The major change has been the recent boom in consumer flying. As more people begin to use planes as their primary method of transportation, more elaborate methods of controlling aircraft safely in these high restrictive airspaces have been invented.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

ATP Flight School: Airline Pilot Training & Pilot Career Development

ATP provides professional, accelerated flight training at 25 flight schools nationwide. ATP’s Airline Training Programs™ prepare students for airline pilot careers with an emphasis on nationwide flying experience in multi-engine aircraft. Additional flight training courses include ATP Certificate, Multi-Engine Rating, ATP Written& FEX Written Prep & Exams, and CFIs.

Thousands of U.S. military and civilian pilots have come to ATP for over 27 years by word-of-mouth referrals from satisfied professional pilots. ATP’s commitment to low prices; efficient, standardized, and effective flight training programs; and—most importantly—the highest level of safety continues to exceed customers’ expectations. In the professional pilot community, ATP’s reputation for excellence has become common knowledge.

Access FREE resources to learn about a professional pilot career and your training options. Sign up for a career coach and discover the airline pilot lifestyle. Learn about different pilot career paths, evaluate flight training options, set goals and plan your future.
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