Private Pilot Certificate
Private Pilot Requirements
AGE TO FLY
AGE TO SOLO
AGE FOR CERTIFICATE
MINIMUM FLIGHT HOURS
FAA MEDICAL CERTIFICATE
READ, SPEAK, WRITE, & UNDERSTAND
What Will I Learn?
Principles of Flight
Federal Aviation Regulations
Aeronautical Decision Making
Basic Aircraft Handling
Stall Prevention and Recovery
Air Traffic Control Communication
Basic Instrument Flying
Begin your adventure in aviation with a Discovery Flight, an introductory lesson where you will get your first hands on flight experience in an airplane.
Ground training covers the information required to safely act as the pilot in command of an aircraft. The training will be completed through a combination of one-on-one sessions with your instructor and through a home study course.
Pre-Solo Flight Training
Training begins with learning the fundamentals of flight through ground briefings and flight lessons. Your instructor will introduce the maneuvers and procedures required to safely operate an aircraft, while helping you build good aeronautical decision making skills. Before moving onto the next stage of training, your instructor will assist you in obtaining an FAA Medical Certificate and Student Pilot Certificate.
Solo Flight Training
With approval from your instructor, you’ll complete the required 10 hours of solo flight time. Solo training will include both local flights, and cross country flights to other airports.
Cross Country Training
The next phase of training involves cross country flight, or flying to another airport at least 50 nautical miles away from KBTV. Cross country training teaches the skills of detailed planning, and accurate navigation skills. After completing cross country training with an instructor, you will embark on a solo cross country flight.
FAA Knowledge Exam
The FAA Knowledge Exam is a multiple choice test with 60 questions that covers the fundamental knowledge required to become a pilot. Once you and your instructor have determined you’re ready for the test, it can be completed at VFA’s onsite FAA certified testing center.
Oral & Practical Test
After meeting all of the FAA Private Pilot requirements and your instructor has determined you’re ready, you will complete the oral and practical exam with an FAA Designated Pilot Examiner. The oral exam focuses on aeronautical decision making, scenario based training, and general knowledge. The practical test will evaluate your ability to safely operate the aircraft, and complete several maneuvers and simulated emergency procedures.
How old do I have to be to get my Private Pilot Certificate?
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 in an airplane.
Do I have to fly with the same instructor who did my Discovery Flight?
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 instructors. 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 you are most comfortable with.
How long will it take to earn my Private Pilot Certificate?
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 multiple times a week it can be done in as little as three months. Some people fly less frequently and take upwards of a year to complete training.
What will my training involve?
Your training will involve a certain amount of dual instruction (with an instructor) and solo flight time. You will also need ground instruction. You can lessen the hours spent doing ground training with your instructor by studying the material at home. Remember, ground training is not required, but you will need it to pass your written and oral exams.
What are the limitations of flying with a Private Pilot Certificate?
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 typically are high traffic volume international airports.
What can I do once I have my Private Pilot Certificate?
With a Private Pilot Certificate, 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.
Once I get my Private Pilot Certificate, what do I have to do to keep it current?
You can keep your Private Pilot Certificate current in one of two ways. You can add another certificate or rating, or alternatively, you can complete a flight review (required every 24 calendar months) with an authorized flight instructor.
Monday - Friday | 8AM - 5PM
Saturday | 9AM - 4PM
Sunday | 9AM - 3PM
* Hours are subject change.
355 Valley Road
South Burlington, VT 05403