Private piloting may seem like an unattainable career for most people. It requires extensive training, certification, and a lot of money. However, as it turns out, you can actually pilot a plane as a hobby!
As long as you meet certain qualifications, you can apply to become an auxiliary pilot and practice flying planes in your spare time. Essentially, the auxiliary pilot program is not so much an official job as it is a license that allows certain individuals to fly small planes under specific conditions.
Becoming a private pilot isn’t as hard as it may seem; with the right preparation and knowledge, you can achieve your goal in no time. This guide will provide you with all the information you need to know to become a private pilot, from the necessary requirements to the actual flight training.
So get ready to take to the skies, because you’re about to embark on an amazing journey.
Prerequisites for Becoming a Private Pilot
The first thing you need to know about becoming a private pilot is that there are different levels of certification. The level you choose will depend on your experience and skill level. Although each country has its own regulations, here are the prerequisites for becoming a private pilot:
- Student Pilot:
If this is your first time flying, then you’re considered a student pilot. This level requires no experience and only a few hours of training. You’ll usually start with ground school lessons before moving on to actual flight lessons.
- Recreational Pilot:
Once you’ve earned your student pilot certification, you can move up to the next level, which is a recreational pilot. This level is perfect for people who want to fly recreationally but don’t want to get a full pilot’s license. The recreational pilot level is also used for transitioning to a commercial pilot’s license. The recreational pilot must complete approximately 10 hours of flight training and pass a written exam.
- Private Pilot:
If you want to earn a full pilot’s license, then you’ll need to complete the Private Pilot certification. This level requires around 40 hours of flight training and a written exam. The next step from here is a commercial pilot’s license, followed by a multi-engine pilot’s license.
Choosing the Right Flight School
As you start to research flight schools, you’ll quickly discover that there are many different schools, each with its own teaching methods. This can make it difficult to choose a flight school, as it’s hard to know which one is best for you.
There are a few things you can do to narrow down your choices and find the perfect flight school.
- Start by consulting your local pilots
They can let you know which schools they used and what they liked or disliked about them. This will give you a good place to start your search, and you can ask them any additional questions that you have.
- Another thing you can do is reach out to the schools directly
Let them know that you’re interested in becoming a pilot and ask them about their program. Let them know what you’re looking for in a program, and they can let you know if they’re the right school for you.
- The last thing you can do to find the right flight school is research online.
Look for reviews from other students and see if there are any complaints from past graduates. This will give you a good idea of what to expect from each school.
Ground School and Written Exams
Once you’ve found a flight school, the ground school portion of flight training will begin. This will be a combination of reading textbooks, attending lectures, and taking online exams.
The written exam will be sent to you, and the average time it takes to complete the exam is around one to two hours per exam. There are a few different subjects that you’ll need to learn for your written exams.
Here are some of the most common:
- Aeronautical knowledge:
You’ll learn about rules and regulations, aircraft weight and balance, aeronautical weather, airspace, and more.
- Airplane systems:
You’ll learn about the different systems of an airplane, such as the fuel system and electrical system.
You’ll learn about weather patterns and how they affect your flight.
- General flight theory:
You’ll learn about flight, flight instruments, and more. Human factors: This will discuss how pilot error happens and how to avoid it.
- Aviation law:
This will discuss the difference between criminal law and aviation law.
This will discuss how pilots navigate and the different navigational charts.
Flight Training and Flight Tests
There are several different types of flight training available. You can choose whichever method works best for you, but the most common types of flight training are solo flight training, dual flight training, and instrument flight training.
You’ll need to pass the flight tests in order to earn your pilot’s license. The flight test is the last hurdle you have to jump before you earn your pilot’s license.
You’ll need to complete a certain number of hours of flight time before you can take the flight test, so make sure you do this towards the end of your training.
Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie, an aspiring pilot, or just want to learn more about aviation as a whole, learning how to fly a plane can be exhilarating and rewarding. As a hobbyist pilot, you’ll be able to explore your interests by following a few simple steps.
Flying is a beautiful thing, and there’s nothing more rewarding than earning your pilot’s license. It’s a huge milestone, and the hard work definitely pays off.