FAA requirements for Private Pilot License (PPL):
Age - 17+ years old
Education requirements - Able to read, write, and speak English fluently.
Flying time requirement - Minimum of 40 hours of flight training. This must include: Conversely, if you fly twice a week, it will probably take fewer total hours to get your license. This training must include a minimum of:
- 20 hours of dual instruction including:
- 3 hours of cross-country to airports more than 50 miles away
- 3 hours of instruments
- 3 hours of night including a 100 nautical mile round trip and 10 night takeoffs and landings
- 3 hours of instruction within 60 days prior to your practical test
- 10 hours of solo flight including:
- 5 hours of cross-country including a 150 nautical mile round trip
- 3 takeoffs and landing at an airfield with a control tower
United States pilot certificates do not expire. Once granted, they are given for life unless otherwise revoked. This does not mean however that the pilot is legally able to exercise the privileges of their certificate. To exercise the privileges of a pilot certificate
, the pilot must be "current". This requires a flight review to "renew" the privileges. These reviews can be conducted by FAA Certificated Flight Instructors, FAA Designated Pilot Examiners, or FAA staff Aviation Safety Inspectors. A flight review is required every 24 calendar months.
Steps to Renew PPL
- Find an instructor or an examiner who will be able to conduct a flight review. All United States certificated flight instructors and FAA Designated Pilot Examiners can conduct a flight review. These individuals can be found by contacting aviation training companies at a local airport or by reviewing a national database listing of instructor members with organizations such a the National Association of Flight Instructors to find a local instructor.
- Conduct a flight review. A flight review will consist of at a minimum one hour of ground instruction and questioning and one hour of flight proficiency operations in an aircraft on which the pilot is certificated to act as pilot in command. The flight portion of this review will typically include multiple takeoffs and landings, review of aircraft stalling procedures and aircraft maneuvering. Ground portions of the review will typically cover regulatory requirements, aircraft systems reviews and airspace requirements along with a variety of other pilot knowledge areas.
- Receive an endorsement. After completing the flight review, an endorsement is required in the pilot's logbook from the instructor or examiner who conducted the review. Without this endorsement the pilot's certificate is not considered current.
Tips & Warnings
An alternate means of FAA pilot certificate renewal is the addition of a new qualification. Single engine pilots may choose to add on multi-engine privileges, pilots may choose to add on sea-plane or instrument qualifications, or a variety of other possible add on certifications. Adding on certificates or ratings can increase a pilot's training, operational condition abilities, and at the same time renew their certificate in place of a flight review.
Currency for flight does not necessarily include currency for all flight conditions. For carriage of passengers, flight in different aircraft types, or flight in instrument or night conditions additional currency of flight requirements may be necessary.
Flight Training for PPL
If you are interested in flight training and want to acquire a coveted private pilot license Aviator Flight Training Academy
offers professional pilot training programs with a minimum of 200 hours of multi-engine time. The flight school
has a state of the art 37,000 square foot facility, featuring a CRJ Level 5 Flight Training Device (Simulator), large classrooms and individual briefing rooms.