What You Need to Know About Becoming a Private Pilot

private pilot

Did you know that it takes an average of 60-75 hours of flight training to earn a private pilot license?

Flying a plane can be an exhilarating experience that many people dream of pursuing. Becoming a private pilot is a significant achievement that requires dedication, time, and substantial financial investment. However, it can also be an immensely rewarding and fulfilling endeavor that opens up new horizons and possibilities.

Wondering what it takes to become a private pilot so you can jet around the skies? Well, before you dig into learning about what the training is like, it helps to understand what a private pilot is.

Want to learn more? Keep reading to learn the basics of becoming a private pilot.

Ground School

Ground school is an essential part of private pilot training, as it provides the foundation for safe and competent flying. Ground school can be completed in a traditional classroom setting, online, or a combination of both.

In some cases, the ground school may be included as part of a larger flight training program, while in other cases, it may be taken separately. The duration of ground school can vary depending on the school, but it usually takes around three to six months to complete.

During ground school, you will learn about the following topics:


A pilot career requires a thorough understanding of aerodynamics. Pilots must understand the forces at play when flying – the forces of lift, drag, thrust, and weight – and how to read and correctly apply components like airspeed and attitude indicators and other instruments.

Aircraft Systems

To be a private pilot, one must understand the aircraft systems inside and out. Knowing the various components and systems of an aircraft, such as the engine, fuel, electrical, and hydraulic systems, and how they work together is essential for a safe and successful flight. 


Navigation is a key component to becoming a successful pilot. A private pilot should be able to understand basic navigational concepts such as celestial navigation, chart reading, and making informed decisions with aviation weather and airspace regulations. 

Reading the Weather 

Knowing how to read the local conditions and interpret what is happening in the atmosphere is an important skill. Understanding how weather affects flying conditions, including interpreting weather reports and forecasts, is crucial for every successful flight.

Air Traffic Control Procedures

For an aviation career, one must be knowledgeable of all applicable airspace regulations, have a thorough understanding of the National Airspace System, and know how to speak and read Air Traffic Control (ATC) talk.

Aviation Regulations

Aviation regulations are an important thing to be aware of when becoming a private pilot. This includes compliance with the Federal Aviation Regulations, or FARs, which contain essential policies and procedures integral to safe flight.

Safety Protocols

The procedures and guidelines for ensuring safe flying practices, including emergency procedures and risk management.

Regardless of the delivery method, the goal of the ground school is to provide students with the knowledge they need to pass the written exam required to obtain a private pilot’s license.

Flight Training

Flight training is the practical aspect of becoming a private pilot. It involves flying a plane with a certified flight instructor. Flight training usually consists of a minimum of 40 hours of flight time. This includes at least 20 hours of solo flight time and ten hours of instrument training.

During flight training, you will learn the following skills:

  • Flight hours
  • Flight maneuvers
  • Cross-country flight
  • Emergency procedures
  • Night flying
  • Instrument flying

Flight training can be challenging, but it is also incredibly rewarding. By completing your flight training and meeting the other requirements, you will be well on your way to obtaining your private pilot’s license and embarking on a thrilling new adventure in the sky.

Requirements for Obtaining a Private Pilot’s License

Obtaining a private pilot’s license is an exciting achievement. It requires dedication and effort to meet the requirements set by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Here are the basic requirements for obtaining a private pilot’s license:


Those wishing to gain a Private Pilot’s License should be at least 17 years old and have earned a Student Pilot Certificate.

Language Proficiency

An often overlooked and important part of the prerequisite to qualify for a Private Pilot’s license is a demonstrated proficiency in the English language.  The FAA requires that a person take an FAA-certified English language proficiency test. This is one skill that all Lakeland FBO crew has achieved with flying colors.

Medical Certificate

Getting a private pilot license requires a certain level of physical and mental fitness. You must have a valid medical certificate from an Aviation Medical Examiner (AME) certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Flight Training

You must complete a minimum of 40 hours of flight training, including at least 20 hours of flight with an instructor and 10 hours of solo flight.

Ground Training

You must complete ground school training and pass a written exam covering topics such as aerodynamics, navigation, weather, and regulations.

Flight Test

You must pass a practical flight test with an FAA examiner to demonstrate your flying skills and knowledge.

Obtaining a private pilot’s license is a significant accomplishment that opens up a world of possibilities for personal and professional travel. By meeting these requirements, you will be well on your way to becoming a safe and skilled pilot.

Costs of Private Pilot Training

Private pilot training can be an expensive endeavor. The costs can vary significantly depending on several factors. These include the location of the flight school, the type of aircraft used for training, and the experience level of the instructor. Some of the costs associated with private pilot training include:

  • Flight Training and Ground School Fees
  • FAA Medical Exam
  • Written Exam and Checkride Fees
  • Pilot Supplies
  • Transportation and Lodging

Overall, the cost of private pilot training can range from $15,000 to $20,000 or more, depending on the location and the type of aircraft used. It’s important to research flight schools carefully and factor in all of the associated costs before committing to training.

Start Your Journey to Becoming a Private Pilot Today

Being a private pilot requires substantial effort and dedication to knowledge and skill. With the right instruction, guidance, and dedication, anyone can reach their flying goals and embark on an incredible journey of exploration and adventure.

Don’t let the process intimidate you. Start preparing today. Enroll in ground school and book your first lesson!

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