What are the requirements to get your pilot license?
Well, first you have to decide what kind of pilot you want to be. You can choose among airplanes, gyroplanes, helicopters, gliders, balloons, or airships. Below I will explain the most popular license that people attain first, and that is the Private Pilot Airplane Single Engine.
To summarize you will need:
- An FAA Medical Examination (not really a big deal).
- Minimum of 40hours of flying with an instruct.
- Pass a written examination.
- Pass an oral examination (that's when you go 1-on-1 with an FAA examiner and they ask you questions).
- Pass the flight test, just like your drivers test you will need to show someone that you can fly an airplane.
- Money. I think I said that already - Read How Much Does it Cost for a Pilot License?
We will skip how much money you need because there is a link posted right above this on how much it generally costs.
The FAA medical is a basic physical examination done by an authorized FAA doctor. The reason I say it's not a big deal is because it's not like a military medical examination, you don't need super 20/20 eagle vision and all that super man stuff. Things that will disqualify you are things like heart problems, seizures and major things like that.
40 hours minimum logged with an FAA Certified Instructor (CFI) here is a really detailed syllabus braking that down. Private Pilot Training Syllabus
The written examination is a 60 question multiple choice test (A,B or C type of thing) test done on the computer and if I remember correctly you get something like 2 hours to complete it. In addition, there is a test guide book that gives you all the answers, so there should really be no reason not to pass. I mean you really have everything you need to pass this test, it's easy with a little studying.
The oral examination and the flight test are usually done at the same time. What I mean by that is, the FAA Certified Examiner will first quiz you for about 1 hour than if you pass that you will go flying to demonstrate to that examiner that you are capable to fly. The flight test is really where you have to demonstrate that you are a safe and capable pilot. Keep in mind that all the training you have done up to this point is in preparation for your test.