Becoming A Pilot

Piloting an aircraft can be an exciting career or hobby. This specialized skill could render those who possess it employable in industries ranging from transportation to law enforcement and the military.


How Does Someone Become A Pilot?

Determine The Most Appropriate Form Of Training


The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the government agency that regulates flight in the United States, has established different sets of rules that mandates how prospective pilots obtain licenses to fly various aircrafts. Each specific craft including airplanes, balloons, gliders and helicopters are all subject to their own licensing regulations.


Receive Medical Clearance


Anyone seeking to become a pilot must receive basic medical certification from the FAA. This will require receiving a thorough physical examination from a licensed physician and meeting the specific health mandates necessary to be given medical clearance.


Obtain A Student Pilot Certificate


An FAA-approved student pilot certificate is required before one can begin the in-flight portion of their flight training.


Begin Receiving Instruction


Flight training will comprise receiving instruction from a trained pilot in regards to fundamental flight concepts like taking off, landing, maintaining level flight, executing turns and reading the instrument panels. Once a prospective pilot masters an understanding of these basic skills, he or she is ready to receive actual flight instruction. During this phase of flight training, trainees, under the tutelage of their instructors, gain actual experience flying an aircraft.


It is important to note that countless hours of flight training will be necessary for a student pilot to be eligible to gain certification as a pilot deemed capable of flying solo. Additionally, special licenses or certifications might be necessary to pilot certain aircrafts and fly under specific conditions.


Pass A Knowledge Test


The penultimate step in becoming a pilot is to pass the FAA-mandated private pilot knowledge test. One may only be administered this test on the recommendation of his or her flight instructor.


Pass A Final Exam

The final hurdle one must leap to earn their FAA-endorsed private pilot certificate. This exam is administered by a Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE). The DPE will grade the examinee after asking a series of pertinent oral questions and observing their skill during the exam’s in-flight portion. Should the DPE opine that the examinee displayed the necessary level of proficiency in each section of the test, the individual under scrutiny will be bestowed private pilot certification.