Private Pilot License – PPL

Pliot Licences & Ratings

Private Pilot License

The private pilot certificate is the certificate held by the majority of active pilots. It allows command of any aircraft (subject to appropriate ratings) for any non-commercial purpose, and gives almost unlimited authority to fly under visual flight rules (VFR). Passengers may be carried and flight in furtherance of a business is permitted; however, a private pilot may not be compensated in any way for services as a pilot, although passengers can pay a pro rata share of flight expenses, such as fuel or rental costs. Private pilots may also operate charity flights, subject to certain restrictions, and may participate in similar activities, such as Angel Flight, Civil Air Patrol and many others.


The requirements to obtain a private pilot certificate for “airplane, single-engine, land”, or ASEL, (which is the most common certificate) are:[10]


Be at least 17 years old

Be able to read, speak, write and understand the English language

Obtain at least a third class medical certificate from an Aviation Medical Examiner (except for glider or balloon)

Pass a computerized aeronautical knowledge test

Accumulate and log a specified amount of training and experience, including the following:

If training under Part 61, Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) section 61.109, requires at least 40 hours of flight time, including 20 hours of flight with an instructor and 10 hours of solo flight (i.e., by yourself), and other requirements including cross-country flight, which include

Solo requirements:

5 hours of solo cross-country time

One solo cross-country flight of at least 150 nmi (280 km) total distance, with full-stop landings at a minimum of three points and with one segment of the flight consisting of a straight-line distance of at least 50 nmi (93 km) between the takeoff and landing locations

Three solo takeoffs and landings to a full stop at an airport with an operating control tower.

Night requirements:

3 hours of night flight training

One cross-country flight of over 100 nautical miles (190 km) total distance

10 takeoffs and 10 landings to a full stop (with each landing involving a flight in the traffic pattern) at an airport

3 hours of flight training on the control and maneuvering solely by reference to instruments

3 hours of flight training for cross country flights

If training under Part 141, at least 35 hours of piloting time including 20 hours with an instructor and 5 hours of solo flight, and other requirements including cross-country and night flights

    Pass an oral test and flight test administered by an FAA inspector, FAA-designated examiner, or authorized check instructor (Part 141 only)