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David H. Hersman

Certified Flight Instructor
Home: (304) 392-2035
Cell and Text: (304) 661-2534
Email: David@EaglesWings.net

Serving the beautiful Greenbrier Valley since 1984

Updated: April 16, 2019

Requirements for A Private Pilot's License

Eagles' Wings Flight Training

The applicant for a private pilot's license (in powered aircraft) must:

     1. Be at least 17 years of age
       2. Be able to read, speak, write and understand the English language.
       3. Hold at least a third class medical certificate, or BasicMed certification in some cases.
       4. Pass a computerized knowledge test
       5. Pass a practical test, of oral quizzing, and actual flying.

Pass a computerized Knowledge Test which includes:

 1. Aircraft systems and operation
      2. Basic Aerodynamics
Stall and spin awareness
      4. Weather
      5. Flight Planning and Navigation
      6. Federal Aviation Regulations
      7. Accident reporting requirements and procedures

He must have experience and training:

    1. At least 20 hours of instruction from an authorized instructor, and
    2. At least 10 hours of solo flight time.
    3. At least 40 hours total flight time. *
   4. The instructional time, as well as the solo time, must include specified elements of training and experience.

 For more details see FAR 61.102 through 117
*   This 40-hour minimum was established many decades ago. Although the minimum number of flight hours required for a Private Pilot certificate has not changed, the addition of other requirements has pushed the average up to 60 to 70 hours, depending on where you get your statistics.

    When the forty-hour minimum was established, there was no requirement to learn radio navigation, or communication, night flying, instrument flight, or flying in a radar environment. Here at Eagles' Wings, most students average about 60 hours. One thing is for sure: you will have 50% more useful learning experiences in 60 hours than in 40.

Flying is partly knowledge, partly skill, and partly judgment,
plus a good measure of self discipline!

 "Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people"

 Proverbs 14: 34


Joel Thomas flying 

Joel Thomas, of Eagle Rock, Virginia, earned his Private Pilot's License while in his teens. Here he is pictured on his way home from passing his "flight test" in November 2014. Old timers used talk talk about people being "industrious" which means working to achieve your goals. Joel is from a large family, home schooled, has a strong work ethic, and paid for his own flying lessons. He now is a part-owner of a Piper Cherokee Aircraft based at Roanoke.


   Thanks, Joel, for the diligent application to your goals, and the inspiration you are to others!


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