61.103  Eligibility requirements: General.

To be eligible for a private pilot certificate, a person must:

(a) Be at least 17 years of age for a rating in other than a glider or balloon.

 

Note: You are not required to be 17 to start training. However, you may not solo an aircraft.

 

(b) Be at least 16 years of age for a rating in a glider or balloon.

(c) Be able to read, speak, write, and understand the English language. If the applicant is unable to meet one of these requirements due to medical reasons, then the Administrator may place such operating limitations on that applicant's pilot certificate as are necessary for the safe operation of the aircraft.

 

Note: For those of you who do not speak English proficiently it is highly recommended that you learn to do so before you begin your training.

 

(d) Receive a logbook endorsement from an authorized instructor who:

(1) Conducted the training or reviewed the person's home study on the aeronautical knowledge areas listed in § 61.105(b) of this part that apply to the aircraft rating sought; and

(2) Certified that the person is prepared for the required knowledge test.

(e) Pass the required knowledge test on the aeronautical knowledge areas listed in § 61.105(b) of this part.

 

Note: The “knowledge test” is a separate test from the practical test and can be studied for using home study courses which are inexpensive and highly effective.

 

(f) Receive flight training and a logbook endorsement from an authorized instructor who:

(1) Conducted the training in the areas of operation listed in § 61.107(b) of this part that apply to the aircraft rating sought; and

(2) Certified that the person is prepared for the required practical test.

 

Note: The practical test, (which is your final step prior to issuance of a pilot certificate) consists of an oral exam and a check ride administered by a FAA designated pilot examiner.

 

 

(g) Meet the aeronautical experience requirements of this part that apply to the aircraft rating sought before applying for the practical test.

(h) Pass a practical test on the areas of operation listed in § 61.107(b) of this part that apply to the aircraft rating sought.

(i) Comply with the appropriate sections of this part that apply to the aircraft category and class rating sought.

 

61.105  Aeronautical knowledge.

(a) General. A person who is applying for a private pilot certificate must receive and log ground training from an authorized instructor or complete a home‑study course on the aeronautical knowledge areas of paragraph (b) of this section that apply to the aircraft category and class rating sought.

(b) Aeronautical knowledge areas.

(1) Applicable Federal Aviation Regulations of this chapter that relate to private pilot privileges, limitations, and flight operations;

(2) Accident reporting requirements of the National Transportation Safety Board;

(3) Use of the applicable portions of the "Aeronautical Information Manual" and FAA advisory circulars;

(4) Use of aeronautical charts for VFR navigation using pilotage, dead reckoning, and navigation systems;

(5) Radio communication procedures;

(6) Recognition of critical weather situations from the ground and in flight, windshear avoidance, and the procurement and use of aeronautical weather reports and forecasts;

(7) Safe and efficient operation of aircraft, including collision avoidance, and recognition and avoidance of wake turbulence;

(8) Effects of density altitude on takeoff and climb performance;

(9) Weight and balance computations;

(10) Principles of aerodynamics, powerplants, and aircraft systems;

(11) Stall awareness, spin entry, spins, and spin recovery techniques for the airplane and glider category ratings;

(12) Aeronautical decision making and judgment; and

(13) Preflight action that includes ‑

(i) How to obtain information on runway lengths at airports of intended use, data on takeoff and landing distances, weather reports and forecasts, and fuel requirements; and

(ii) How to plan for alternatives if the planned flight cannot be completed or delays are encountered.

 

 PHASE ONE

PRE ~ SOLO  PILOT TRAINING

 

61.87  Solo requirements for student pilots.

(a) General. A student pilot may not operate an aircraft in solo flight unless that student has met the requirements of this section. The term "solo flight" as used in this subpart means that flight time during which a student pilot is the sole occupant of the aircraft or that flight time during which the student performs the duties of a pilot in command of a gas balloon or an airship requiring more than one pilot flight crew member.

(b) Aeronautical knowledge. A student pilot must demonstrate satisfactory aeronautical knowledge on a knowledge test that meets the requirements of this paragraph:

(1) The test must address the student pilot's knowledge of ‑

(i) Applicable sections of parts 61 and 91 of this chapter;

(ii) Airspace rules and procedures for the airport where the solo flight will be performed; and

(iii) Flight characteristics and operational limitations for the make and model of aircraft to be flown.

(2) The student's authorized instructor must ‑

(i) Administer the test; and

(ii) At the conclusion of the test, review all incorrect answers with the student before authorizing that student to conduct a solo flight.

(c) Pre‑solo flight training. Prior to conducting a solo flight, a student pilot must have:

(1) Received and logged flight training for the maneuvers and procedures of this section that are appropriate to the make and model of aircraft to be flown; and

(2) Demonstrated satisfactory proficiency and safety, as judged by an authorized instructor, on the maneuvers and procedures required by this section in the make and model of aircraft or similar make and model of aircraft to be flown.

{New‑2004‑17 (d) revised July 27, 2004, effective September 1, 2004. "or privileges" added after "rating".}

(d) Maneuvers and procedures for pre‑solo flight training in a single‑engine airplane. A student pilot who is receiving training for a single‑engine airplane rating or privileges must receive and log flight training for the following maneuvers and procedures:

(1) Proper flight preparation procedures, including preflight planning and preparation, powerplant operation, and aircraft systems;

(2) Taxiing or surface operations, including runups;

(3) Takeoffs and landings, including normal and crosswind;

(4) Straight and level flight, and turns in both directions;

(5) Climbs and climbing turns;

(6) Airport traffic patterns, including entry and departure procedures;

(7) Collision avoidance, windshear avoidance, and wake turbulence avoidance;

(8) Descents, with and without turns, using high and low drag configurations;

(9) Flight at various airspeeds from cruise to slow flight;

(10) Stall entries from various flight attitudes and power combinations with recovery initiated at the first indication of a stall, and recovery from a full stall;

(11) Emergency procedures and equipment malfunctions;

(12) Ground reference maneuvers;

(13) Approaches to a landing area with simulated engine malfunctions;

(14) Slips to a landing; and

(15) Go‑arounds.

 

Note: The aforementioned areas of operation (1-15) are the focus of the first phase of your flight  training

 

PHASE TWO

 SOLO & CROSS COUNTRY FLIGHT TRAINING

 

61.93  Solo cross‑country flight requirements.

(a) General.

(1) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, a student pilot must meet the requirements of this section before ‑

(i) Conducting a solo cross‑country flight, or any flight greater than 25 nautical miles from the airport from where the flight originated.

(ii) Making a solo flight and landing at any location other than the airport of origination.

(2) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, a student pilot who seeks solo cross‑country flight privileges must:

(i) Have received flight training from an instructor authorized to provide flight training on the maneuvers and procedures of this section that are appropriate to the make and model of aircraft for which solo cross‑country privileges are sought;

(ii) Have demonstrated cross‑country proficiency on the appropriate maneuvers and procedures of this section to an authorized instructor;

(iii) Have satisfactorily accomplished the pre‑solo flight maneuvers and procedures required by § 61.87 of this part in the make and model of aircraft or similar make and model of aircraft for which solo cross‑country privileges are sought; and

(iv) Comply with any limitations included in the authorized instructor's endorsement that are required by paragraph (c) of this section.

(3) A student pilot who seeks solo cross‑country flight privileges must have received ground and flight training from an authorized instructor on the cross‑country maneuvers and procedures listed in this section that are appropriate to the aircraft to be flown.

(b) Authorization to perform certain solo flights and cross‑country flights. A student pilot must obtain an endorsement from an authorized instructor to make solo flights from the airport where the student pilot normally receives training to another location. A student pilot who receives this endorsement must comply with the requirements of this paragraph.

(1) Solo flights may be made to another airport that is within 25 nautical miles from the airport where the student pilot normally receives training, provided ‑

(i) An authorized instructor has given the student pilot flight training at the other airport, and that training includes flight in both directions over the route, entering and exiting the traffic pattern, and takeoffs and landings at the other airport;

(ii) The authorized instructor who gave the training endorses the student pilot's logbook authorizing the flight;

(iii) The student pilot has current solo flight endorsements in accordance with § 61.87 of this part;

(iv) The authorized instructor has determined that the student pilot is proficient to make the flight; and

(v) The purpose of the flight is to practice takeoffs and landings at that other airport.

(2) Repeated specific solo cross‑country flights may be made to another airport that is within 50 nautical miles of the airport from which the flight originated, provided ‑

(i) The authorized instructor has given the student flight training in both directions over the route, including entering and exiting the traffic patterns, takeoffs, and landings at the airports to be used;

(ii) The authorized instructor who gave the training has endorsed the student's logbook certifying that the student is proficient to make such flights;

(iii) The student has current solo flight endorsements in accordance with § 61.87 of this part; and

(iv) The student has current solo cross‑country flight endorsements in accordance with paragraph (c) of this section; however, for repeated solo cross‑country flights to another airport within 50 nautical miles from which the flight originated, separate endorsements are not required to be made for each flight.

(c) Endorsements for solo cross‑country flights. Except as specified in paragraph (b)(2) of this section, a student pilot must have the endorsements prescribed in this paragraph for each cross‑country flight:

(1) Student pilot certificate endorsement. A student pilot must have a solo cross‑country endorsement from the authorized instructor who conducted the training, and that endorsement must be placed on that person's student pilot certificate for the specific category of aircraft to be flown.

(2) Logbook endorsement.

(i) A student pilot must have a solo cross‑country endorsement from an authorized instructor that is placed in the student pilot's logbook for the specific make and model of aircraft to be flown.

(ii) For each cross‑country flight, the authorized instructor who reviews the cross‑country planning must make an endorsement in the person's logbook after reviewing that person's cross‑country planning, as specified in paragraph (d) of this section. The endorsement must ‑

(A) Specify the make and model of aircraft to be flown;

(B) State that the student's preflight planning and preparation is correct and that the student is prepared to make the flight safely under the known conditions; and

(C) State that any limitations required by the student's authorized instructor are met.

(d) Limitations on authorized instructors to permit solo cross‑country flights. An authorized instructor may not permit a student pilot to conduct a solo cross‑country flight unless that instructor has:

(1) Determined that the student's cross‑country planning is correct for the flight;

(2) Reviewed the current and forecast weather conditions and has determined that the flight can be completed under VFR;

(3) Determined that the student is proficient to conduct the flight safely;

(4) Determined that the student has the appropriate solo cross‑country endorsement for the make and model of aircraft to be flown; and

(5) Determined that the student's solo flight endorsement is current for the make and model aircraft to be flown.

(e) Maneuvers and procedures for cross‑country flight training in a single‑engine airplane. A student pilot who is receiving training for cross‑country flight in a single‑engine airplane must receive and log flight training in the following maneuvers and procedures:

(1) Use of aeronautical charts for VFR navigation using pilotage and dead reckoning with the aid of a magnetic compass;

(2) Use of aircraft performance charts pertaining to cross‑country flight;

(3) Procurement and analysis of aeronautical weather reports and forecasts, including recognition of critical weather situations and estimating visibility while in flight;

(4) Emergency procedures;

(5) Traffic pattern procedures that include area departure, area arrival, entry into the traffic pattern, and approach;

(6) Procedures and operating practices for collision avoidance, wake turbulence precautions, and windshear avoidance;

(7) Recognition, avoidance, and operational restrictions of hazardous terrain features in the geographical area where the cross‑country flight will be flown;

(8) Procedures for operating the instruments and equipment installed in the aircraft to be flown, including recognition and use of the proper operational procedures and indications;

(9) Use of radios for VFR navigation and two‑way communications;

(10) Takeoff, approach, and landing procedures, including short‑field, soft‑field, and crosswind takeoffs, approaches, and landings;

(11) Climbs at best angle and best rate; and

(12) Control and maneuvering solely by reference to flight instruments, including straight and level flight, turns, descents, climbs, use of radio aids, and ATC directives. 

 

61.109  Aeronautical experience.

{New‑2004‑17 (a) revised July 27, 2004, effective September 1, 2004. "paragraph (k)" was "paragraph (i)"}

(a) For an airplane single‑engine rating. Except as provided in paragraph (k) of this section, a person who applies for a private pilot certificate with an airplane category and single‑engine class rating must log at least 40 hours of flight time that includes at least 20 hours of flight training from an authorized instructor and 10 hours of solo flight training in the areas of operation listed in § 61.107(b)(1) of this part, and the training must include at least ‑

(1) 3 hours of cross‑country flight training in a single‑engine airplane;

(2) Except as provided in § 61.110 of this part, 3 hours of night flight training in a single‑engine airplane that includes ‑

(i) One cross‑country flight of over 100 nautical miles total distance; and

(ii) 10 takeoffs and 10 landings to a full stop (with each landing involving a flight in the traffic pattern) at an airport.

(3) 3 hours of flight training in a single‑engine airplane on the control and maneuvering of an airplane solely by reference to instruments, including straight and level flight, constant airspeed climbs and descents, turns to a heading, recovery from unusual flight attitudes, radio communications, and the use of navigation systems/facilities and radar services appropriate to instrument flight;

(4) 3 hours of flight training in preparation for the practical test in a single‑engine airplane, which must have been performed within 60 days preceding the date of the test; and

(5) 10 hours of solo flight time in a single‑engine airplane, consisting of at least ‑

(i) 5 hours of solo cross‑country time;

(ii) One solo cross‑country flight of at least 150 nautical miles total distance, with full‑stop landings at a minimum of three points, and one segment of the flight consisting of a straight‑line distance of at least 50 nautical miles between the takeoff and landing locations; and

(iii) Three takeoffs and three landings to a full stop (with each landing involving a flight in the traffic pattern) at an airport with an operating control tower.

 

PHASE THREE

PRACTICAL TEST  / CHECK RIDE PREPARATION

 

61.107  Flight proficiency.

(a) General. A person who applies for a private pilot certificate must receive and log ground and flight training from an authorized instructor on the areas of operation of this section that apply to the aircraft category and class rating sought.

(b) Areas of operation.

(1) For an airplane category rating with a single‑engine class rating:

(i) Preflight preparation;

(ii) Preflight procedures;

(iii) Airport and seaplane base operations;

(iv) Takeoffs, landings, and go‑arounds;

(v) Performance maneuvers;

(vi) Ground reference maneuvers;

(vii) Navigation;

(viii) Slow flight and stalls;

(ix) Basic instrument maneuvers;

(x) Emergency operations;

(xi) Night operations, except as provided in § 61.110 of this part; and

(xii) Postflight procedures.

 

The aforementioned areas of operation are the basis for the oral and practical exam.