What does it take to become a private pilot?
The FAA requires the following.
Airplane Single Engine Rating
Eligibility requirements: General.
To be eligible for a private pilot certificate, a person must:
(a) Be at least 17 years of age
(c) Be able to read, speak, write, and understand the English
language. If the applicant is unable to meet one of these
requirements due to medical reasons, then the Administrator may
place such operating limitations on that applicant’s pilot certificate
as are necessary for the safe operation of the aircraft.
Total Time: 40 hours minimum which consists of at least:
Dual: 20 hours minimum of flight training with an instructor on the Private Pilot areas of operation including:
3 hours of cross country flight training in a single engine airplane;
3 hours of night flight training in a single engine airplane, that includes at least:
a) 1 cross country flight of over 100 nm total distance; and
b) 10 T/O’s and 10 landings to a full stop with each involving a flight in the traffic pattern at an airport.
3 hours of flight training by reference to instruments in a single engine airplane; and
3 hours of flight training in a single engine airplane within the 60 days prior to the practical test.
Solo: 10 hours minimum of solo flying in a single engine airplane on the Private Pilot areas of operation including:
5 hours of solo cross country flying;
1 solo cross country flight of at least 150nm total distance with full stop landings at 3 points and one segment of at least 50nm between T/O and landings; and
3 T/O’s and landings to a full stop at an airport with an operating control tower.