This article on How to Become a Pilot and it's intended for people seeking to start their piloting dreams. I am going to give you some general information on how to get started on this journey. Now, this article is not a detailed outline on how the pilot training is conducted, here is a great article I have written on that subject it is titled Private Pilot training Syllabus.
I have been a Commercial Pilot and a CFI ( Certified Flight Instructor ) for many years, and I have operated a prominent flight school in Chicago Illinois for over a decade, and I am writing this article because I have had countless people walk into the flight school asking "I saw the Learn to Fly sign hmmm what do you do here" and then are completely blown away by the idea that they can be flying an airplane on their first lesson.
Have you ever looked up at the sky and seen a small single engine propeller airplane flying? Have you ever wondered who is flying that plane and why? Well - chances are its probably an privately owned or rented airplane that is being flown by someone who has a Pilot License who is flying just because they feel like flying. I know you are saying to yourself "owning an airplane is for the rich," but did you know that you can rent an airplane just as you rent a car? YES you can and it's affordable.
Itís easy to become a pilot, especially in the United States. Now, some people might already know how to become a pilot, or think it's common sense as far as what is needed to get your pilot license, or how you get a flying job. But trust me when I say, there are a lot of aviation enthusiasts who donít even know what about the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) or that a open to the public flight school exists in their back yard.
For the aviation enthusiasts who didn't know
The reality is that, becoming a pilot and getting your pilot license is just like getting you drivers license. If you think that the people flying the big jet airliners have to go to the military first or have to go thought some big government program in order to become a pilot, let me tell you Ė THAT IS NOT TRUE. In many other countries that may be the exact case but NOT in the United States. Actually, the United States has the best infrastructure and legal system setup to promote General and Commercial Aviation, that is why a lots of student pilots come from other countries to get their pilot license in USA.
Now Ė ill be honest with you, it takes a little more work and dedication to get your pilot license than it is to get your drivers license, but it can be done.
So here is what you need to do.
First, you need to find a flight school. There are lots of schools out there, not just big universities that provide flight training, and don't think that a small school can't provide good training as opposed to the big university. You see flight training is a personal one on one thing with your instructor so the quality of your training is directly linked to the quality of your instructor. I will write a whole article on this topic later. These schools have everything you need to get started, things like the airplane, the teacher (aka pilot instructor), the books and all the other stuff.
Here is how it works:
The FAA is the government agency that deals with pilot licensing, and they have issued laws that say you must meet certain requirements before you can request to take the pilot test and become a licensed pilot.
The first license you will have to earn is a Private Pilot License, whether you want to become a commercial pilot or not you still have to earn a Privates License first.
This is a Summary of what the laws are in 14 CFR Part 61 on the first step (Private Pilot License)
- You must have 40 hours total time of flying.
- 20 hours must be with and instructor.
- 10 hours can be solo.
- Have passed a written test.
- Be at least 17 years old.
So what you do is go to one of these schools, hook up with an FAA Certified Instructor, rent their airplane and fly with that instructor to meet the FAA requirements.
You can find schools on this directory, FAA Flight Schools or AOPA directory.
Here is a link to my YouTube video on How to Become a Pilot