Tuesday, March 22, 2005


Becoming a Pilot

Some of my readers may be interested in knowing what is required to become a Private Pilot, so that they'll know where I am in the process. The FAA has the following requirements:

There are other requirements for age, health, etc., and a lot of specifics I've left out, but the above summarizes the hurdles I have in front of me.

Flight training can be roughly broken down into these stages:

So, with the 11 hours of training I currently have logged, I've got a way to go. I have several firsts to look forward to: first unassisted landing, first solo, first solo cross-country, first night flight, and eventually, first pilot certificate. There will probably be some less celebratory firsts, like first time getting lost, first time being chewed out by air traffic control or an instructor for doing something wrong, first time an important flight is cancelled due to weather or maintenance, first time getting ramp-checked by an FAA inspector, and so on, but that's all part of the experience.

As long as the money doesn't run out, I have a lot of learning ahead of me. With luck, I'll be soloing in a month or so, and will pass the checkride in five or six months.

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