Darren Smith, Flight Instructor
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General Info:  Private Pilot Certificate

"Science, freedom, beauty, adventure... aviation offers it all."
 --Charles A. Lindbergh

The first step is to have your questions answered.  The more information you have about aviation and flight training, the easier it will be for you to make good decisions about pilot training, and the more positive your flying experience will be.  
Private Pilot Navigation:  General Info Private Pilot | Why its a good time to become a pilot | Why become a pilot? | What it means to be a pilot | Why Pilots are Amazing People | Getting Started & Training Sequence | Frequently asked questions about getting started | How to select a flight instructor | FAQS:  Becoming a private pilot | FAA's Student Pilot Guide Advice to new student pilots | Information for Foreign Students | How to save money on your flight training | How to Solo As Quickly As Possible | Thinking of an Airline Career? | Pilots are very special people by John KingAbout Checkrides | Private Pilot Ground School | Private Pilot Ground School Syllabus | How to Get the Most From Your Ground School | Private Pilot Rating Requirements | What to do after the Private Pilot Certificate Flight Training for Veterans | You Get What You Pay For
Beechcraft Landing

How do I get a pilots license? 

To become a pilot, you'll establish a relationship at the local airport FBO to rent an airplane and fly with a flight instructor.  You will do some flight training, and some ground training.  Flight training consists of actual flying, such as practicing takeoffs, landings, steep turns, and ground reference maneuvers.  Ground training consists of learning things while on the ground, like aerodynamics, airplane performance, weather, and aviation physiology.  After training some with an instructor, you will be able to 'solo' which is flying by yourself.  You can't carry passengers when you solo, but you can go up and practice without an instructor in the airplane with you.   For further information, read on...

Are you interested in getting started? If so, then do three things:
1.  Read more about flying.  Scan this website, subscribe to pilot magazines, and search the internet.
2.  Contact your local college to get started with your ground training.  If there is not a ground school at your local college or university, perhaps one of the local airports offers one.  If you're in Tampa Bay, get started with your training with the Private Pilot Ground School.  
3.  Contact your local airport for a discovery flight.  This is usually a 30-60 minute flight introducing you to flying as well as giving you a chance to meet and interview a flight instructor.  Discovery flights also make great gifts, your local airport will be able to assist you. 

tudents seeking a rating are required to prove US Citizenship and Flight Instructors must examine and keep a copy of a US Birth Certificate, US Passport, or Naturalization papers.   Citizens of other countries are required to register with the Transportation Security Administration prior to beginning training.  See
Information for Foreign Students

New Students:

     How to Save Money on your Flight Training
     FAA Aviation Safety Program - additional aviation education opportunities
     Aircraft Datasheet (download) - Know thy aircraft
     Pre-Solo Exam - Required for all students to solo an aircraft

Checkride Resources (download):

     About Checkrides - basic info about checkrides (practical exam)
     Private Pilot Airplane Quick Reference Card
     Flight Plan Form (download)
     Private Pilot Certificate Rating Worksheet (download)
     Airman Certificate/Rating Application, Form 8710 (download)

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All content is Copyright 2002-2010 by Darren Smith. All rights reserved. Subject to change without notice. This website is not a substitute for competent flight instruction. There are no representations or warranties of any kind made pertaining to this service/information and any warranty, express or implied, is excluded and disclaimed including but not limited to the implied warranties of merchantability and/or fitness for a particular purpose. Under no circumstances or theories of liability, including without limitation the negligence of any party, contract, warranty or strict liability in tort, shall the website creator/author or any of its affiliated or related organizations be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, special, consequential or punitive damages as a result of the use of, or the inability to use, any information provided through this service even if advised of the possibility of such damages. For more information about this website, including the privacy policy, see about this website.