How to become a pilot

Thinking of becoming a pilot?

It’s a great career full of opportunities and excitement. What will have to do to achieve this goal? Well, first of all, you’ll have to locate a reputable flight school to enroll in, which is going to be expensive. And, if you live in a small town, there might not be a flight school anywhere nearby. If that’s the case, you’ll have to do some traveling to and from flight school each week. If the flight school has a huge reputation, it could be that they’re not accepting any new applicants, so check your options and don’t wait until the last minute to sign up.

Most airports offer some type of pilot training, either there at the airport, or at a nearby school. Some offer individual training whereby the airport’s employed or retired pilots teach the classes. If you can, hang around the place for some time before signing up, so that you can meet the pilots and learn about the aircrafts. Some things to know are how many students would be in each class, whether or not you’ll need an insurance policy before signing up, whether or not you will need to purchase any books or manuals and how many hours are required in air and on ground.

A lot of students in each class could mean that you won’t get to fly much since everyone will take turns. A class with a smaller group is a better choice usually. Feel free to do a little research about the person responsible for teaching you. Knowing a little about the pilot might make you a little less nervous.

Some flight schools are FAA approved, some are not. The FAA standards are extremely high and the instructors are greatly qualified. In order to become FAA approved, the facility must pass strict guidelines concerning curricula, equipment, personnel, and much more. Other schools that aren’t FAA-approved also have high standards but failed to make the FAA cut somewhere along the line.

The FAA rules state that 35 hours are required before becoming certified at an FAA-approved school, whereas 40 are needed at the non-approved facilities. Be that as it may, most schools require even more hours than what has been set down by the FAA, so the difference in the hours for approved or non-approved schools may not be all that important.

Decide what you want to fly. The FAA rules vary for receiving a pilot’s certificate, depending upon which craft you choose to fly. The courses required for flying a helicopter are different than that of a plane or gyro-plane. Some crafts require no license whatsoever, such as an ultra-light rig.

There’s more than one type of license, so decide which you’re shooting for Student, Recreational or Private. As a student private, you’ll be allowed to fly solo, but restricted from carrying passengers. A recreational pilot must stay within 50 nautical miles of the school where he has trained. A private pilot has none of these restrictions but requires more hours than the student or recreational pilot. For a recreational private pilot’s license, you must be 17 years old – 16 for glider pilots. Before receiving your certificate, you’ll be required to pass both a written test, covering the cockpit, runway and procedures, and a flight test.

Before taking the test, you’ll be required to show a photo ID with signature, and proof of your home address. You’ll also need either:

1) A certificate of graduation from a pilot’s training school

2) A statement from a certified ground or flight instructor

3) Logbook entries by a flight instructor showing the amount of hours you have

4) Certificate of completion from another agency, such as ROTC

5) A certificate of completion from a home study course

After passing the written and air tests, you will be given your certificate, instructions per any limitations, your license, which simply says you’re allowed to drive this type of vehicle, and before you know it, you’re in the wild blue yonder.

After passing

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