How to Become a Pilot

Becoming a pilot takes a great deal of time and dedication. In order to be a pilot in the United States, one must obtain a license by the Federal Aviation Administration, FAA. Various levels of pilot’s licenses are available, so it depends on the ultimate goal of the pilot license, whether it is for recreational use or for a career as a commercial pilot. The various types of pilot licenses available are:

-Student Pilot License
-Private Pilot License
-Sport Pilot License
-Recreations Pilot License
-Commercial Pilot License
-Airline Transport Pilot License

The most basic pilot license that enables a person to fly alone and carry passengers is the private pilot license. Anyone holding this license cannot be paid for transportation of people or cargo via their flying.

Steps to Obtain a Pilot License

Multiple steps must be past to obtain a private pilot license. A prospective pilot must pass a physical examination, obtain Certified Flight Instruction, CFI, for the specified duration of time, pass a written multiple choice examination of 100 questions, and pass a check ride, which is the equivalent of a driving test, except with an airplane that is conducted by an FAA accredited examiner.

Cost Associated with Becoming a Pilot

The cost to obtain a pilot’s license varies and is dependent on a variety of factors. The cost will depend on the location where the instruction is given (rural versus urban), the amount of time needed to master the flying skills, the type of aircraft used for the training, and even the weather. Flight schools generally operate in a pay-as-you-go system, thus not requiring all monies to be paid up front. Items that will need to be purchased while studying to become a pilot include aircraft rental, charts, flight instruction, books, and examiner fees.

Duration to Become a Pilot

A private pilot’s license requires a total of 40 hours of flight time per the FAA regulations. Half of these hours must be conducted with a flight instructor. This is a minimum requirement, but additional hours are recommended. The current national flight training average is between 60 and 70 flight hours. In addition to flying, for every hour logged in the air, approximately 3 hours of reading, flight planning and ground review with an instructor will be required. Recommended training sessions are two to three sessions per week for duration of 2 to 3 hours. This pace enables a license to be earned in approximately 6 to 8 months.

Topics Covered During Pilot Training

A few main topics will be explored in studying to become a pilot. The topics include:

-aircraft systems
-aircraft operations

Aircraft systems will cover the components of the plane as well as how they operate. Aerodynamics will focus on how the airplane is able to fly and be controlled. Navigation explains how to navigate the plan using various controls on the plane. Weather is a look at how weather forms and the effects it has upon flying. Aircraft operations are the rules and guidelines for operating the airplane. Regulations are a look at the laws governing pilots in the U.S.

This is a brief overview of how to become a pilot in the United States. It explains what to expect during training, the various types of licenses available, and the cost to study to become a pilot.

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