Private Pilot Exam

The Private Pilot certificate is the most commonly issued certificate throughout the United States.  The training needed to obtain the private certificate is comprehensive covering many areas of knowledge and skill.  This certificate, therefore, provides the holder to fewer restrictions and a great deal of freedom to fly throughout the national airspace system.

Basic Requirements:

  • Must be 17 years old
  • Hold a Student Pilot Certificate and at least a Third Class medical
  • Be able to read, write, speak and understand English
  • Obtain 40 hours minimum which consists of at least:
    • Dual: 20 hours minimum of flight training with an instructor on the Private Pilot areas of operation including:
      • 3 hours of cross country flight training in a single engine airplane;
      • 3 hours of night flight training in a single engine airplane, that includes at least:
        a) 1 cross country flight of over 100 nm total distance; and
        b) 10 T/O's and 10 landings to a full stop with each involving a flight in the traffic pattern at an airport.
      • 3 hours of flight training by reference to instruments in a single engine airplane; and
      • 3 hours of flight training in a single engine airplane within the 60 days prior to the practical test.
    • Solo: 10 hours minimum of solo flying in a single engine airplane on the Private Pilot areas of operation including:
      • 5 hours of solo cross country flying;
      • 1 solo cross country flight of at least 150nm total distance with full stop landings at 3 points and one segment of at least 50nm between T/O and landings; and
      • 3 T/O's and landings to a full stop at an airport with an operating control tower. 

The Private Pilot checkride involves an oral exam followed by the flight portion.  The oral or ground portion will take about an hour and half, and the flight about one hour.  The total time to schedule for this checkride is approximately 4 hours.  You will work with your flight instructor to gain all the proficiency needed to pass the checkride. 

To see specifically what will be covered during the checkride, you may go review the Private Pilot ACS or Airman Certification Standards...

Click Here for Private ACS