SunValleyPlanes-0086 image25Aviation unlocks are entirely new world of adventures and community. Your first step into this world is with attaining your Private Pilot license. This license will allow you to fly by yourself or with passengers anywhere you would like to go.


Here are the basic requirements for the Private Pilot License:

  • You must be able to read, speak, write, and understand the English Language
  • You must be able to obtain at least a 3rd class FAA medical certificate
  • You must be 16 years old to get your student pilot license
  • You must to be 17 years old to get your private pilot license
  • You have to acquire 40 hours total flying time (minimum)
  • 10 hours of the 40 hours must be solo (alone) flight time
  • 5 hours of the 10 solo must be cross-country (flying from one airport to another)
  • You must pass the FAA Private Pilot “written” exam
  • You must pass the Private Pilot Oral and Practical Exam from a Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE)

The Student Pilot License & Medical Certificates

You get your student pilot license at the same time you apply for a medical certificate. They are combined into one certificate for student pilots and they share a common application. We can give you a list of an FAA certified medical examiner, and he will take care of all the necessary paper work after the exam. At the end of the exam the doctor prints a portion of the form you filed out and this serves as both your student pilot license and medical certificate.

You need to be 16 years of age to get your student pilot license. This is because you have to be 16 years of age to solo, and you instructor must sign off or verify that you are safe to fly solo on your student pilot license. You can start flying at any age but it’s a good idea not to start much earlier than 16 because you can’t solo until that age and you can’t get your private license until your 17. Starting earlier makes your training process longer and more expensive. However don’t let it stop you from taking an introductory flight. That way you can decide if flying is something you really want to do.


The first few lessons of your flight training are primarily familiarization to the aircraft, which you will fly while training. During this stage, you learn the basics of maneuvering the aircraft under Visual Flight Rules or VFR. VFR encompasses flying the aircraft by looking outside and using visual cues for aircraft control and navigation.

After the first few flights your training focuses on getting you ready for your first solo flight. You learn about the airport traffic pattern and radio communication with air traffic control or ATC. Once you can fly the traffic pattern and talk on the radio unassisted, it’s time for your instructor to turn you lose for your first solo. This usually consists of a few takeoff and landings in the airport traffic pattern. After your initial solo you will be let loose to practice aerial maneuvers on your own within close proximity to the airport you are learning to fly.

After your solo you move on to cross country navigation. You learn various elements of flight planning, navigation via reference to checkpoints on the ground, and fuel management. You usually go on several cross countries with your instructor to put everything you’ve learned to practice. Once you can find your way without assistance from the instructor, you will then be signed off for solo cross-country flight. Then you do a few solo cross-country flights to build your solo and cross country time in addition to your confidence.

After cross-countries there isn’t much left until your practical test or check ride as it’s more commonly known. Your instructor brushes you up on your aerial maneuvers such as stalls, steep turns, and slow flight. There is also a requirement for flight at night; night cross-country and a few hours practice at flying by sole reference to your flight instruments. Also important are your emergency procedures like dealing with engine failures, loss of radio communications and inadvertent flight into poor weather or clouds.

After you meet all the hour requirements and your instructor is confident in your abilities you receive another sign off in your logbook saying you meet the requirements for the private pilot and your instructor feels you are ready to take the private pilot check ride. You are then sent to a FAA examiner for the oral and practical test.