The applicant for a private
pilot's license (in powered aircraft) must:
Be at least 17 years of age
2. Be able to read, speak, write and understand the
3. Hold at least a third class medical certificate.
4. Pass a computerized knowledge test
5. Pass a practical test, of oral quizzing, and
Pass a computerized
Knowledge Test which includes: 1. Aircraft
systems and operation
2. Basic Aerodynamics
3. 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
1. At least 20 hours of instruction from an authorized
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.
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
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"
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!