Obtaining your private pilot license (certificate) allows you to fly an airplane and carry passengers and baggage. Although operating expenses may be equally shared with your passengers, you may not fly for compensation or hire as a private pilot. However, you can fly any airplane you are appropriately rated for to thousands of public airports, day or night.
If you wish to fly for fun or are taking the first step toward a career as a pilot, there is much for you to learn both on the ground and in the air, but it is not too difficult! If you can ride a bicycle or drive a car, you can probably fly an airplane.
Steps to Success
It’s fun to learn to fly and earn a pilot's license. Many people might consider learning to fly beyond their capability or budget, but it is not as difficult, time consuming, or expensive as generally believed. Gleim Aviation goes beyond preparing you to pass the required tests. Coordinated training makes you a safer, more competent pilot, in less time while reducing frustration.
Individuals desiring a private pilot certificate must obtain at least a third-class medical certificate. The FAA medical examination is a routine exam administered by FAA designated doctors called aviation medical examiners (AMEs), who will issue your medical certificate after the exam.
Even if you have a physical handicap, medical certificates can be issued in many cases. Operating limitations may be imposed depending upon the nature of the disability.
Visit the FAA's find an Aviation Medical Examiner (AME) for a listing of AMEs by state and city. Call (800) 874-5346 if you have questions.
Getting a student pilot certificate is one of the first steps toward becoming a private pilot. This certificate must be obtained before you are allowed to fly solo.
You must be at least 16 years of age and be able to read, speak, and understand English to receive a student pilot certificate. To apply, you will meet in person with a Flight Instructor, FAA inspector at a local Flight Standards District Office, designated pilot examiner, or airman certificate representative from an approved Part 141 flight school. An application will be processed and sent to the FAA and TSA for review. Upon approval, your student pilot certificate will be mailed.
The Gleim Online Ground School guarantees you will pass the written exam.
Purchase the Gleim Private Pilot Kit. This kit includes everything you need to study and reference in order to prepare for the FAA Knowledge Test, also known as the written exam. This computerized test has 60 multiple choice questions.
Visit several flight schools, if more than one is available, to talk to flight instructors about flight lessons. Visit our CFI Directory to locate a CFI near you. Alternatively, look for aircraft schools, airplane instruction, aircraft sales, airports, etc., online, or in the Yellow Pages. Indicate that you are interested in taking flight lessons to become a sport pilot.
It is important to choose a flight instructor with whom you will feel comfortable. This may be difficult to determine after only a short meeting or introductory flight; however, you will certainly learn more when you are ready to learn and comfortable with the learning environment. Speak with several instructors. While there are no perfect answers, the following questions should be asked. The objective of these questions is to gain insight into the flight instructor's personality.
Questions to ask a flight school or flight instructor
Do you instruct part time or full time?
This information concerns availability only. Part time does not imply less proficiency or less availability.
Ask to see the instructor's syllabus.
Compare it to your Gleim Private Pilot Syllabus.
How long does your average student take to solo?
Note that the flight instructor who solos his/her students in the least or most amount of time may not necessarily be the best instructor.
How many total hours of solo and dual flight do your typical students require?
Ask about a typical lesson.
Ask about their time commitment.
Where do you recommend that I take my pilot knowledge and practical tests?
Ask about the estimated costs as well.
What are the solo and dual rental costs for your training aircraft?
What are the flight instructors' schedules and the schedule of available aircraft?
What are your instruction costs?
Do you have an introductory flight for a nominal fee? May I take it with no further obligation?
Once you begin your pilot training, purchase a local sectional chart, a chart supplement, and a copy of your airplane's Pilot Operating Handbook (POH).
Make sure that the CFI is familiar with Gleim pilot training materials (the books with the red covers) and is enthusiastic about using them.
If you encounter hesitation, call (800) 874-5346.
Now go fly!
Deluxe Private Pilot Kit with Audio Review$274.95 Add to cart
Deluxe Private Pilot Kit$224.95 Add to cart
Private Pilot Kit$174.95 Add to cart
X-Plane Flight Training Course – Private Pilot (Set with X-Plane 11)$149.95 Add to cart
X-Plane Flight Training Course – Private Pilot$99.95 Add to cart
X-Plane Flight Training Course – Private Pilot (Set with X-Plane 10)$149.95 Add to cart
Private Pilot Online Ground School & Test Prep Set$139.95 Add to cart
Private Pilot Knowledge Test Prep Online & Book$68.95 Add to cart
Online Ground School: Private Pilot$109.95 Add to cart
Online Ground School: Private Pilot (Part 141)$129.95 Add to cart
FAA Test Prep Online: Private Pilot$59.95 Add to cart
Private Pilot Audio Review$59.95 Add to cart