Private Pilot


  • Be at least 17 years of age by the time you finish you Private Pilot License. You may begin training at a younger age, however you must be 16 to perform a solo and 17 to gain the certificate.
  • Obtain an FAA Third Class Medical Certificate
  • Obtain a Student Pilot Certificate
  • Be able to speak, read, write and understand the English Language.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or apply through AFSP for foreign pilots.
  • Pass the required knowledge test with a minimum score of 70%
  • Pass the required practical test with an FAA Designated Examiner

Private Pilot License:

  • Requires 40 hours of flight training. This includes 35 hours of Dual Flight Time and 20 hours of Solo Flight Time.
  • You will work one on one with an instructor throughout your training. This includes any ground work.
  • There is no required ground training though you will need it. You are encouraged to read and study with recommended material at home.
  • There is no application process to fly with our flight school. We will set you up with an instructor that fits your schedule, and you can begin training right away.
  • Each flight will go over a specific lesson based off of our training course outline.

Overview & Privileges:

A Private Pilot Certificate is where your Aviation career begins. It is the foundation of your entire piloting experience, whether you are flying for fun or moving on to become a professional pilot.

As a Private Pilot, you are able to take to the skies with friends and family. You can fly any single-engine, piston driven aircraft anywhere in the US. You can fly day or night in any conditions acceptable to Visual Flight Rules (VFR, Minimum of 3 miles of visibility). Although you can share the joy of Flight, you are restricted from flying for hire or compensation. As a Private Pilot, you are allowed to fly for personal business but cannot be paid or compensated directly just to fly.

For anyone interested in flying for hire, or to open more doors for your aviation experience, the Instrument Rating, and/or Commercial Certificate is the next step beyond the Private Pilot Certificate.

Before you can take the FAA Oral Exam and Check-ride, students must prepare for and pass the FAA Private Pilot Written Exam. VFA is also an approved PSI testing center, and we offer all FAA written exams on site. Students can prepare for the Written on their own or by taking one of our offered ground schools.

One of the most important aspects of being a pilot is operating the aircraft. The majority of flight training is not only learning to fly an aircraft, but to fly while under certain weather conditions and scenarios. Which is why Vermont is a great location for flight training with its variances in weather conditions and terrain.



You need to be at least 17 years old in order to take the Private Pilot practical exam. You must be at least 16 years old to solo an airplane.
As a private pilot, you may not receive any form of compensation for flying. You can, however, fly with friends and share the expenses of the flight. You must fly within the legal weather limitations as prescribed by the FAA. You may require specific training and special endorsements to fly into Class B airports, which are typically high traffic volume international airports.
There are many variables that affect how quickly one earns their Private Pilot certificate. For example, bad weather on a day you are scheduled to fly. Generally, if a student studies the material and flies frequently, he or she will complete training in the shortest amount of time. If you fly a couple times a week it can be done in as little as 3 months. Some people take upwards of a year to complete training.
With a private pilot’s license, you can fly alone or with friends and family and share in the aircraft rental expense.  Certain weather minimums must be met if you do not have an instrument rating.
You can keep your license current in one of two ways. You can add another certificate or rating or, alternatively, you can take a biennial flight review (once every 24 calendar months) with an authorized flight instructor.
Your training will involve a certain amount of dual instruction (with an instructor) and solo flight. You will also need some ground instruction. You can lesson the hours you spend going over ground training with your instructor, if you study the material at home. (Remember, ground is not required, but you will need it.) VFA uses ASA’s Private Pilot Syllabus.
Not necessarily. We try to keep you with the same instructor throughout your training for your own benefit, since it allows the instructor to better gauge your progress, and it will prevent you from becoming confused by the slightly different techniques of different pilots. However, choosing the instructor that is right for you is a very important decision, and there is nothing wrong with trying a flight with each of our instructors in the beginning. This way, you may choose the one with whom you feel most comfortable.


Part 61 Costs:

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