Private Pilot

FAA Requirements to obtain a Private Pilot Certificate

1) Be at least 17 years of age.

2) Be able to read, write, and converse fluently in English.

3) Hold a current FAA medical certificate.

4) Receive and log ground training from an authorized instructor or complete a home-study course. Subjects include:


NTSB Part 830

Use of AIM and ACs

Use of VFR charts

Radio communication

Aviation weather

Operation of aircraft

Airplane performance

Weight and balance

Aerodynamics and systems

Stall/spin awareness

Aeronautical decision making (ADM)

Required preflight actions

5) Pass the FAA private pilot knowledge test with a score of 70% or better.  Aerowood offers ground school courses to complete this knowledge test with classes at our facilities. 

6) Accumulate flight experience (FAR 61.109).  Receive a total of 40 hours of flight training and solo flight time, including:

20 hours of flight training from a certified flight instructor (CFI), including at least:

3 hours of cross-country, i.e., to other airports

3 hours at night including one cross-country flight of over 100 NM total distance,

10 takeoffs and landings to a full stop at an airport

3 hours of training to control and maneuver an airplane solely by reference to instruments

3 hours in a single-engine airplane in preparation for the private pilot practical test within 60 days prior to that test

10 hours of solo flight time in an airplane, including at least:

5 hours of cross-country time

One solo cross-country flight of at least 150 NM total distance, with full-stop landings at a minimum of three points and with one segment of the flight consisting of a straight-line distance of at least 50 NM between the takeoff and landing locations.

Three solo takeoffs and landings to a full stop at an airport with an operating control tower.

7) Receive flight instruction and demonstrate skill (FAR 61.107). Obtain a logbook sign-off by your CFI on the following areas of operation:

Preflight preparation

Preflight procedures

Airport operations

Takeoffs, landing and go-arounds

Performance maneuvers

Ground reference maneuvers


Slow flight and stalls

Basic instrument maneuvers

Emergency operations

Night operations

Post-flight procedures

8) Successfully complete a practical test.

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