March 22, 2023
You’ve made the bold leap and are chasing your dream of becoming a pilot. Congratulations – we know how it feels to count down the days to earning your wings.
Today we’re talking about the timeline from starting training to earning your certification, plus ways to shave time off that journey while maximizing learning. So, how hard is it to become a pilot? Read on to find out.
Are you ready? Let’s get you up in the air!
You may be asking yourself what exactly you need to do to become a pilot. Let’s start with a high-level overview of what it takes:
You can apply for a student pilot certificate if you:
Apply online using the Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application (IACRA) for the fastest timeline to becoming a pilot by getting your student pilot certificate in the mail. You can also fill out a paper version (FAA form 8710-1) and turn it in to your certified flight instructor (CFI). Your certificate should arrive in the mail in approximately three weeks.
The great news is you can start your flying lessons before you get your student pilot certificate. You will need to have both your student pilot certificate and your 3rd class medical certificate before you can fly solo, though.
Pro Tip: If you’re trying to earn your wings as fast as possible, apply for both your student pilot and medical certificates early in your training. That way, you’ll have them by the time you’re cleared for solo flight.
Your total required flight hours for certification depend on what type of certificate you want to earn. If you’re just starting out, your first certificate will be as a sport pilot, recreational pilot, or private pilot.
The hours needed for each are:
If you start young, part of your timeline for becoming a pilot includes knowing at what age you qualify to hold each type of certificate.
Teens can begin training for gliders and balloons when they are as young as fourteen years old. By age twenty-three, you are old enough to hold the most advanced certifications.
Here’s the age breakdown:
Looking to fast-track your journey to the left seat? If you’re training and studying part-time, it usually takes 6-12 months to earn your pilot’s certificate. But you may not have to wait that long.
If you’re on a mission and want to know how fast you can get your pilot’s license, the good news is a lot of it depends on you.
Here are some ideas for how to speed up the process:
September 22, 2023
You aren’t the first, and you won’t be the last, but knowing that you’re not alone probably does little to help you feel any less nauseous as you reach for the infamous “barf bag” mid-flight.
We’re sorry you’re suffering from airsickness, but it is not hopeless - far from it. Let’s talk about airsickness & motion sickness in pilot training.
June 21, 2023
When you close your eyes and imagine the career of your dreams, what does that life look like?
For many pilots, the perfect job is sliding behind the controls as a pilot in command of a scheduled airline flight or charter.
March 22, 2023
Nevermind thunderstorms, gusty crosswinds, and the ever-present potential of an inflight emergency. What really puts many student and low-hour pilots on edge is radio communication, especially when they have to interact with ATC in busy airspace.
PlaneEnglish created this blog to provide aspiring and current pilots a resource for all things related to aviation radio communication.
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