Becoming a Pilot
A private pilot certificate, also known as a pilot’s license, is the basic certification a pilot requires. With this you can fly a single-engine plane on a non-commercial basis. That means you can take your friends up with you, but you can’t charge them for the plane ride. It is only after you have the private pilot license that you can work towards earning other certifications like the commercial certificate, the multi-engine airplane certificate, the airline transport certificate, the navigation instruments certificate, the flying instructor certificate, etc. These certifications are authorized by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the United States, by the Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA) in Europe, and by their respective aviation governing bodies in other countries.
Getting the certification involves flight training and ground training. You can get an online pilot certificate by doing the ground training online. The exam may also be conducted online with multiple choice questions. You still have to give and pass the oral and practical exam to get the certificate.
To Obtain a Private Pilot Certificate, You Need:
- To be at least 16 years of age.
- To have a high school diploma or greater, with courses in Math and Physics.
- To be able to read and write using the English language.
- To be medically fit, with an attesting medical certificate from a FAA/JAA/Other aviation authority approved medical practitioner. People with disabilities and health conditions can get a certificate, but are usually required to only fly in the company of another trained pilot.
- To have sufficient funds to train at a flying club or a flying school. Costs vary by school and region, but flight training may be expensive.
- To have completed at least 40 flying hours. This can take anywhere from two weeks to six months depending on the number of lessons you take in a week.
- To have completed ground training.
- To have taken and passed a computer tested FAA airman exam.
- To have passed the flying exam conducted by the aviation authority.
Selecting a Flight School or Flight Club
- If you join a flight school, they will usually have their own ground training program that you can take either on-site or online. Check the schools listed in the websites of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) and other aviation organizations. Find out which ones offer online pilot certificate training.
- There are also independent ground training schools offering online study. It will be a good idea to inquire at local universities and community colleges too. They may offer comparatively less expensive ground training programs that can be taken online.
- Visit aviation forums and talk to pilots, aviation enthusiasts and aviation students, and ask them for tips and recommendations.
- Find out about tuition fees and loans for flight school.
- Find out how the online course is going to be conducted, the software and study materials required, and how experienced and qualified the online training instructors are. FAA does not accredit ground training programs, but does issue FAA Flight or Ground Instructor certificates.
- Talk to people who have taken the online pilot training program you are considering.
Aviation Training and Exam
You can take online pilot certificate training at your own pace. Course topics generally cover the following:
- Airport operations
- Aviation regulations
- Aircraft systems
- Radio communications
- Weather theory
- Weather reports
- Air traffic control information
- Cross-country flight planning
- Pre-flight and post-flight procedures
- Takeoffs and Landings
- Basic instrument maneuvers
- Night operations
- Emergency operations
It’s a good idea to complete the ground training before your flight training as this will equip you with the necessary background knowledge for flying an airplane.
Here’s an online training program to check out
Aviation Online Training LLC
Private Pilot Ground School Online
This is an 11 week course that will prepare students to pass the FAA private pilot written exam. The flight instructors taking the program have FAA certification. You can pay $25 per hour for live instruction. The tuition fees for the entire course, including study materials and 22 hours of virtual class credits, is $538.
Students will study the following -
- Airplanes and Aerodynamics
- Aerodynamic Principals
- Airplane Instruments, Engines, and Systems
- Aircraft Systems
- Airports, Air Traffic Control, and Airspace
- The Flight Environment
- Communication and Flight Information
- Federal Aviation Regulations
- Gleim FAR/AIM
- Airplane Performance and Weight and Balance
- Airplane Performance
- Aeromedical Factors and Aeronautical
- Decision Making (ADM)
- Applying Human Factors Principals
- Aviation Weather
- Meteorology for Pilots
- Aviation Weather Services
- Interpreting Weather Data
- Navigation: Charts and Publications
- Aeronautical Charts
- Navigation Systems
- Cross Country Flight Planning
- Flying Cross Country
An exam will be conducted after course completion and if a score of 80% or more is obtained, your instructor will sign an authorization permitting you to take the FAA Private Pilot exam at a designated computer testing center. This online pilot certificate exam must be taken within the next 30 days.
You can appear for the flight exam next after you have logged 40 flight hours and your instructor thinks you are competent enough. On passing both the ground training and flight training exams, you get a temporary private pilot license first and then the permanent one a couple of months later.
Aviation Online Training LLC