Private Pilot

What is a private pilot certificate?
The private pilot certificate is usually the first rating that you will get as a new pilot. This certificate permits you to fly anywhere you like during the day or night in visual flight conditions (not in the clouds), and carry passengers.  Private pilots are not permitted to charge for the service of flying, but you can fly for personal reasons or if the flight is incidental to your business.

What is required to get a private pilot certificate?
Because everyone is a unique individual, this answer is not always the same for everyone. The industry average for completion of a private pilot certificate is around 55 hours. Our staff of skilled instructors will provide you with the knowledge and skills necessary skills According to Federal Aviation Regulation 61.109.

The minimum time prescribed by the FAA for a private pilot certificate is 40 hours of logged flight time that of which at least 20 hours is flight training from an authorized instructor and 10 hours is solo flight experience. This flight instruction and solo time will include basic flight maneuvers, cross-country operations and experience and also night operations and experience.

The FAA mandates tests prior to solo, a formal knowledge test taken at an authorized facility (Cactus Aviation!) and a practical test taken with the FAA or a FAA designated pilot examiner. You will also need to pass a medical test (not too demanding) prior to solo. You should also expect to purchase items such as books, charts and equipment appropriate to a private pilot.

The Basic Requirements for obtaining a Private Pilot Certificate are as follows:

  • Be at least 17 years of age.
  • Be able to read, speak, and understand the English language.
  • Obtain at least a current third-class medical certificate.
  • Receive a minimum of 40 hours of flight time including training and solo flight.
  • Pass a knowledge test as well as the practical test.

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Or for more information, call or email us at Cactus Aviation to contact one of our Certified Flight Instructors and we will be happy to discuss your concerns and questions.