Recreational Pilot Exam

Recreational Pilot certificate was brought about to provide an easier way to gain a pilot certificate for those that just wanted to do some fun, local flying outside of busy controlled airspace. But because of some of the limitations placed on the recreational pilot certificate, it has not been that popular. As with all certificates or ratings, please consult the FARs to see the details of what are the basic requirements and restrictions. Here is just a broad overview:

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 30 hours of flight time to include:
    • 15 hours instruction
    • 3 hours of solo time
    • 2 hours of instruction to airport 25nm from the home airport
  • Pass an FAA written exam for the recreational pilot certificate
  • Pass an FAA practical test or checkride

Some restrictions for Recreational Pilots include:

  • Limited to one passenger
  • Flights limited to no more than 50nm from home airport
  • Day time flight only
  • Non-towered airports

Addition requirements and restrictions are found in CFR 61.96.

The 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 3 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 review the Recreational Pilot PTS or practical test standards by clicking below...

Click Here for Recreational Pilot PTS