We Know: How to Get a Pilot's License

About Pilot's Licenses

Many people desire to get a pilot's license for the challenge or for recreational use. Some pilots further their training and ratings to acquire a commercial license.

Types of Pilot Licenses

Pilot licenses vary by country, and you should verify the rules and regulations of your country's aviation authority. The following is a general guideline:

  • Recreational Pilot: This type of pilot's license requires less training but has more restrictions associated with it.
  • Private Pilot: This allows you to carry passengers, but not for hire or profit. Unless you obtain an IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) rating and have an IFR equipped plane, you will only be able to fly in good weather, or VFR (Visual Flight Rules).
  • Commercial Pilot: This license is obtained in addition to a private license and allows you (under certain rules and restrictions) to fly for hire.
  • Additional ratings: Depending on the country you're in, these can include a floatplane rating, a night rating, over the top (of clouds) rating, instrument, multi-engine rating, glider rating.

What's involved with getting a private pilot's license?

Again, this varies by country, but the following is a good general guideline:

  1. A set number of hours of ground instruction to learn the theory of flight, navigation, aviation weather, aviation law, and several other subjects.
  2. Instruction in and licensing for radio communication.
  3. A set number of hours with an instructor to learn aircraft maneuverability, including climbing, turning, landing, and taking off.
  4. After approval by your instructor for solo flight, a set number of hours as pilot-in-command.
  5. The ability to safely land the plane without a runway after a cockpit emergency.
  6. The ability to recover the plane from unusual attitudes and stalls. In some countries you must recover the plane from a spin as well as from a spiral dive.
  7. You must pass a written, oral, and practical flight test on all of the above.

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