Private Pilot Certificate Requirements

Not all airplane pilots are the same, as there are several kinds of specialized roles a person can take. Each one has a variety of expectations and limits on actions. At the same time, there are different certifications for each type of pilot. The one that most pilots aim for first is the private pilot certificate. People work towards this one first because the private pilot certificate requirements the easiest to meet in comparison to the prerequisites of other licenses. Being a private pilot with this credential can also be a good career in itself, as long as you understand what a private pilot certification is.

Age and Language

The first requirement for getting this certificate deals with your age. You must be at least 17 years old to receive this certificate, which is one year older than the requirement for a learning permit. You must also understand, read, and speak the English language.

Prior Certificate

You can’t just get the private pilot certification from the beginning. There are a few other certificates you must hold to begin working toward this certificate. A student pilot certificate is the bare minimum credential you need, though a sports pilot or commercial pilot certificate will work as well.

Training and Endorsement

To qualify for the private pilot certificate, you must receive training and an endorsement from a certified flight instructor. It will take at least 20 hours of practicing different kinds of flights with an instructor, along with 10 hours of solo flights. After you’ve completed this, your instructor needs to authorize you to proceed.

Specific Aircraft

Now, a basic pilot certificate isn’t enough to fly every kind of aircraft. If you’re looking to operate a specific type of aircraft, you may need special training and lessons where you practice flying that specific plane or helicopter. This varies greatly depending on the aircraft you want to fly.


After you complete all the other steps in the process and qualify for the certificate, you’ll need to take a written test. Once you complete this, you’ll undergo a practical test as well. Successfully finishing these two examinations successfully will grant you the certification.

This is everything you need to know about private pilot certification requirements.

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Written by Logan Voss

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