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USA Private Pilot Eligibility Requirements

61.103 Eligibility requirements: General.

To be eligible for a private pilot certificate, a person must:

(a) Be at least 17 years of age for a rating in other than a glider or balloon.

(b) Be at least 16 years of age for a rating in a glider or balloon.

(c) Be able to read, speak, write, and understand the English language. If the applicant is unable to meet one of these requirements due to medical reasons, then the Administrator may place such operating limitations on that applicant's pilot certificate as are necessary for the safe operation of the aircraft.

(d) Receive a logbook endorsement from an authorized instructor who:

(1) Conducted the training or reviewed the person's home study on the aeronautical knowledge areas listed in Sec. 61.105(b) of this part that apply to the aircraft rating sought; and

(2) Certified that the person is prepared for the required knowledge test.

(e) Pass the required knowledge test on the aeronautical knowledge areas listed in Sec. 61.105(b) of this part.

(f) Receive flight training and a logbook endorsement from an authorized instructor who:

(1) Conducted the training in the areas of operation listed in Sec. 61.107(b) of this part that apply to the aircraft rating sought; and

(2) Certified that the person is prepared for the required practical test.

(g) Meet the aeronautical experience requirements of this part that apply to the aircraft rating sought before applying for the practical test.

(h) Pass a practical test on the areas of operation listed in Sec. 61.107(b) of this part that apply to the aircraft rating sought.

(i) Comply with the appropriate sections of this part that apply to the aircraft category and class rating sought.

Sec. 61.105 Aeronautical knowledge.

(a) General. A person who is applying for a private pilot certificate must receive and log ground training from an authorized instructor or complete a home-study course on the aeronautical knowledge areas of paragraph (b) of this section that apply to the aircraft category and class rating sought.

(b) Aeronautical knowledge areas.

(1) Applicable Federal Aviation Regulations of this chapter that relate to private pilot privileges, limitations, and flight operations;

(2) Accident reporting requirements of the National Transportation Safety Board;

(3) Use of the applicable portions of the "Aeronautical Information Manual" and FAA advisory circulars;

(4) Use of aeronautical charts for VFR navigation using pilotage, dead reckoning, and navigation systems;

(5) Radio communication procedures;

(6) Recognition of critical weather situations from the ground and in flight, wind shear avoidance, and the procurement and use of aeronautical weather reports and forecasts;

(7) Safe and efficient operation of aircraft, including collision avoidance, and recognition and avoidance of wake turbulence;

(8) Effects of density altitude on takeoff and climb performance;

(9) Weight and balance computations;

(10) Principles of aerodynamics, power plants, and aircraft systems;

(11) Stall awareness, spin entry, spins, and spin recovery techniques for the airplane and glider category ratings;

(12) Aeronautical decision making and judgment; and

(13) Preflight action that includes--

(i) How to obtain information on runway lengths at airports of intended use, data on takeoff and landing distances, weather reports and forecasts, and fuel requirements; and

(ii) How to plan for alternatives if the planned flight cannot be completed or delays are encountered.

Private Pilot Flight Proficiency

Sec. 61.107 Flight proficiency.

(a) General. A person who applies for a private pilot certificate must receive and log ground and flight training from an authorized instructor on the areas of operation of this section that apply to the aircraft category and class rating sought.

(b) Areas of operation. (1) For an airplane category rating with a single-engine class rating: (i) Preflight preparation;

(ii) Preflight procedures;

(iii) Airport and seaplane base operations;

(iv) Takeoffs, landings, and go-arounds;

(v) Performance manoeuvres;

(vi) Ground reference manoeuvres;

(vii) Navigation;

(viii) Slow flight and stalls;

(ix) Basic instrument manoeuvres;

(x) Emergency operations;

(xi) Night operations, except as provided in Sec. 61.110 of this part; and

(xii) Post flight procedures.

(2) For an airplane category rating with a multi engine class rating:

(i) Preflight preparation;

(ii) Preflight procedures;

(iii) Airport and seaplane base operations;

(iv) Takeoffs, landings, and go-arounds;

(v) Performance manoeuvres;

(vi) Ground reference manoeuvres;

(vii) Navigation;

(viii) Slow flight and stalls;

(ix) Basic instrument manoeuvres;

(x) Emergency operations;

(xi) Multi engine operations;

(xii) Night operations, except as provided in Sec. 61.110 of this part; and

(xiii) Post flight procedures.

(3) For a rotor craft category rating with a helicopter class rating:

(i) Preflight preparation;

(ii) Preflight procedures;

(iii) Airport and heliport operations;

(iv) Hovering manoeuvres;

(v) Takeoffs, landings, and go-arounds;

(vi) Performance maneuvers;

(vii) Navigation;

(viii) Emergency operations;

(ix) Night operations, except as provided in Sec. 61.110 of this part; and

(x) Postflight procedures.

(4) For a rotor craft category rating with a gyroplane class rating:

(i) Preflight preparation;

(ii) Preflight procedures;

(iii) Airport operations;

(iv) Takeoffs, landings, and go-arounds;

(v) Performance manoeuvres;

(vi) Ground reference manoeuvres;

(vii) Navigation;

(viii) Flight at slow airspeeds;

(ix) Emergency operations;

(x) Night operations, except as provided in Sec. 61.110 of this part; and

(xi) Postflight procedures.

(5) For a powered-lift category rating: (i) Preflight preparation;

(ii) Preflight procedures;

(iii) Airport and heliport operations;

(iv) Hovering manoeuvres;

(v) Takeoffs, landings, and go-arounds;

(vi) Performance manoeuvres;

(vii) Ground reference manoeuvres;

(viii) Navigation;

(ix) Slow flight and stalls;

(x) Basic instrument manoeuvres;

(xi) Emergency operations;

(xii) Night operations, except as provided in Sec. 61.110 of this part; and

(xiii) Postflight procedures.

(6) For a glider category rating: (i) Preflight preparation;

(ii) Preflight procedures;

(iii) Airport and gliderport operations;

(iv) Launches and landings;

(v) Performance speeds;

(vi) Soaring techniques;

(vii) Performance manoeuvres;

(viii) Navigation;

(ix) Slow flight and stalls;

(x) Emergency operations; and

(xi) Postflight procedures.

(7) For a lighter-than-air category rating with an airship class rating:

(i) Preflight preparation;

(ii) Preflight procedures;

(iii) Airport operations;

(iv) Takeoffs, landings, and go-arounds;

(v) Performance manoeuvres;

(vi) Ground reference manoeuvres;

(vii) Navigation;

(viii) Emergency operations; and

(ix) Postflight procedures.

(8) For a lighter-than-air category rating with a balloon class rating:

(i) Preflight preparation;

(ii) Preflight procedures;

(iii) Airport operations;

(iv) Launches and landings;

(v) Performance manoeuvres;

(vi) Navigation;

(vii) Emergency operations; and

(viii) Postflight procedures.

Private Pilot Aeronautical Experience

Sec. 61.109 Aeronautical experience.

(a) For an airplane single-engine rating. Except as provided in paragraph (i) of this section, a person who applies for a private pilot certificate with an airplane category and single-engine class rating must log at least 40 hours of flight time that includes at least 20 hours of flight training from an authorized instructor and 10 hours of solo flight training in the areas of operation listed in Sec. 61.107(b)(1) of this part, and the training must include at least--

(1) 3 hours of cross-country flight training in a single-engine airplane;

(2) Except as provided in Sec. 61.110 of this part, 3 hours of night flight training in a single-engine airplane that includes--

(i) One cross-country flight of over 100 nautical miles total distance; and

(ii) 10 takeoffs and 10 landings to a full stop (with each landing involving a flight in the traffic pattern) at an airport.

(3) 3 hours of flight training in a single-engine airplane on the control and manoeuvring of an airplane solely by reference to instruments, including straight and level flight, constant airspeed climbs and descents, turns to a heading, recovery from unusual flight attitudes, radio communications, and the use of navigation systems/facilities and radar services appropriate to instrument flight;

(4) 3 hours of flight training in preparation for the practical test in a single-engine airplane, which must have been performed within 60 days preceding the date of the test; and

(5) 10 hours of solo flight time in a single-engine airplane, consisting of at least--

(i) 5 hours of solo cross-country time;

(ii) One solo cross-country flight of at least 150 nautical miles total distance, with full-stop landings at a minimum of three points, and one segment of the flight consisting of a straight-line distance of at least 50 nautical miles between the takeoff and landing locations; and

(iii) Three takeoffs and three landings to a full stop (with each landing involving a flight in the traffic pattern) at an airport with an operating

control tower.

(b) For an airplane multiengine rating. Except as provided in paragraph (i) of this section, a person who applies for a private pilot certificate with an airplane category and multiengine class rating must log at least 40 hours of flight time that includes at least 20 hours of flight training from an authorized instructor and 10 hours of solo flight training in the areas of operation listed in Sec. 61.107(b)(2) of this part, and the training must

include at least--

(1) 3 hours of cross-country flight training in a multiengine airplane;

(2) Except as provided in Sec. 61.110 of this part, 3 hours of night flight training in a multiengine airplane that includes--

(i) One cross-country flight of over 100 nautical miles total distance; and

(ii) 10 takeoffs and 10 landings to a full stop (with each landing involving a flight in the traffic pattern) at an airport.

(3) 3 hours of flight training in a multiengine airplane on the control and manoeuvring of an airplane solely by reference to instruments, including straight and level flight, constant airspeed climbs and descents, turns to a heading, recovery from unusual flight attitudes, radio communications, and the use of navigation systems/facilities and radar services appropriate to instrument flight;

(4) 3 hours of flight training in preparation for the practical test in a multiengine airplane, which must have been performed within the 60-day period preceding the date of the test; and

(5) 10 hours of solo flight time in an airplane consisting of at least--

(i) 5 hours of solo cross-country time;

(ii) One solo cross-country flight of at least 150 nautical miles total distance, with full-stop landings at a minimum of three points, and one segment of the flight consisting of a straight-line distance of at least 50 nautical miles between the takeoff and landing locations; and

(iii) Three takeoffs and three landings to a full stop (with each landing involving a flight in the traffic pattern) at an airport with an operating control tower.

(c) For a helicopter rating. Except as provided in paragraph (i) of this section, a person who applies for a private pilot certificate with rotor craft category and helicopter class rating must log at least 40 hours of flight time that includes at least 20 hours of flight training from an authorized instructor and 10 hours of solo flight training in the areas of operation listed in Sec. 61.107(b)(3) of this part, and the training must include at least--

(1) 3 hours of cross-country flight training in a helicopter;

(2) Except as provided in Sec. 61.110 of this part, 3 hours of night flight training in a helicopter that includes--

(i) One cross-country flight of over 50 nautical miles total distance; and

(ii) 10 takeoffs and 10 landings to a full stop (with each landing involving a flight in the traffic pattern) at an airport.

(3) 3 hours of flight training in preparation for the practical test in a helicopter, which must have been performed within 60 days preceding the date of the test; and

(4) 10 hours of solo flight time in a helicopter, consisting of at least--

(i) 3 hours cross-country time;

(ii) One solo cross-country flight of at least 75 nautical miles total distance, with landings at a minimum of three points, and one segment of the flight being a straight-line distance of at least 25 nautical miles between the takeoff and landing locations; and

(iii) Three takeoffs and three landings to a full stop (with each landing involving a flight in the traffic pattern) at an airport with an operating control tower.

(d) For a gyroplane rating. Except as provided in paragraph (i) of this section, a person who applies for a private pilot certificate with rotor craft category and gyroplane class rating must log at least 40 hours of flight time that includes at least 20 hours of flight training from an authorized instructor and 10 hours of solo flight training in the areas of operation listed in Sec. 61.107(b)(4) of this part, and the training must include at least--

(1) 3 hours of cross-country flight training in a gyroplane;

(2) Except as provided in Sec. 61.110 of this part, 3 hours of night flight training in a gyroplane that includes--

(i) One cross-country flight of over 50 nautical miles total distance; and

(ii) 10 takeoffs and 10 landings to a full stop (with each landing involving a flight in the traffic pattern) at an airport.

(3) 3 hours of flight training in preparation for the practical test in a gyroplane, which must have been performed within the 60-day period preceding the date of the test; and

(4) 10 hours of solo flight time in a gyroplane, consisting of at least--

(i) 3 hours of cross-country time;

(ii) One solo cross-country flight of over 75 nautical miles total distance, with landings at a minimum of three points, and one segment of the flight being a straight-line distance of at least 25 nautical miles between the takeoff and landing locations; and

(iii) Three takeoffs and three landings to a full stop (with each landing involving a flight in the traffic pattern) at an airport with an operating

control tower.

(e) For a powered-lift rating. Except as provided in paragraph (i) of this section, a person who applies for a private pilot certificate with a powered-lift category rating must log at least 40 hours of flight time that includes at least 20 hours of flight training from an authorized instructor and 10 hours of solo flight training in the areas of operation listed in Sec. 61.107(b)(5) of this part, and the training must include at least--

(1) 3 hours of cross-country flight training in a powered-lift;

(2) Except as provided in Sec. 61.110 of this part, 3 hours of night flight training in a powered-lift that includes--

(i) One cross-country flight of over 100 nautical miles total distance; and

(ii) 10 takeoffs and 10 landings to a full stop (with each landing involving a flight in the traffic pattern) at an airport.

(3) 3 hours of flight training in a powered-lift on the control and manoeuvring of a powered-lift solely by reference to instruments, including straight and level flight, constant airspeed climbs and descents, turns to a heading, recovery from unusual flight attitudes, radio communications, and the use of navigation systems/facilities and radar services appropriate to instrument flight;

(4) 3 hours of flight training in preparation for the practical test in a powered-lift, which must have been performed within the 60-day period

preceding the date of the test; and

(5) 10 hours of solo flight time in an airplane or powered-lift consisting of at least--

(i) 5 hours cross-country time;

(ii) One cross-country flight of at least 150 nautical miles total distance, with landings at a minimum of three points, and one segment of the flight being a straight-line distance of at least 50 nautical miles between the takeoff and landing locations; and

(iii) Three takeoffs and three landings to a full stop (with each landing involving a flight in the traffic pattern) at an airport with an operating

control tower.

(f) For a glider category rating.

(1) If the applicant for a private pilot certificate with a glider category rating has not logged at least 40 hours of flight time as a pilot in a heavier-than-air aircraft, the applicant must log at least 10 hours of flight time in a glider in the areas of operation listed in Sec. 61.107(b)(6) of this part, and that flight time must include at least--

(i) 20 flights in a glider in the areas of operations listed in Sec. 61.107(b)(6) of this part, including at least 3 training flights in a glider with an authorized instructor in preparation for the practical test that must have been performed within the 60-day period preceding the date of the test; and

(ii) 2 hours of solo flight time in a glider in the areas of operation listed in Sec. 61.107(b)(6) of this part, with not less than 10 launches and landings being performed.

(2) If the applicant has logged at least 40 hours of flight time in a heavier-than-air aircraft, the applicant must log at least 3 hours of flight time in a glider in the areas of operation listed in Sec. 61.107(b)(6) of this part, and that flight time must include at least--

(i) 10 solo flights in a glider in the areas of operation listed in Sec. 61.107(b)(6) of this part; and

(ii) 3 training flights in a glider with an authorized instructor in preparation for the practical test that must have been performed within the 60-day period preceding the date of the test.

(g) For an airship rating. A person who applies for a private pilot certificate with a lighter-than-air category and airship class rating must log at least:

(1) 25 hours of flight training in airships on the areas of operation listed in Sec. 61.107(b)(7) of this part, which consists of at least:

(i) 3 hours of cross-country flight training in an airship;

(ii) Except as provided in Sec. 61.110 of this part, 3 hours of night flight training in an airship that includes:

(A) A cross-country flight of over 25 nautical miles total distance; and

(B) Five takeoffs and five landings to a full stop (with each landing involving a flight in the traffic pattern) at an airport.

(2) 3 hours of flight training in an airship on the control and manoeuvring of an airship solely by reference to instruments, including straight and level flight, constant airspeed climbs and descents, turns to a heading, recovery from unusual flight attitudes, radio communications, and the use of navigation systems/facilities and radar services appropriate to instrument flight;

(3) 3 hours of flight training in an airship in preparation for the practical test within the 60 days preceding the date of the test; and

(4) 5 hours performing the duties of pilot in command in an airship with an authorized instructor.

(h) For a balloon rating. A person who applies for a private pilot certificate with a lighter-than-air category and balloon class rating must log at least 10 hours of flight training that includes at least six training flights with an authorized instructor in the areas of operation listed in Sec. 61.107(b)(8) of this part, that includes--

(1) Gas balloon. If the training is being performed in a gas balloon, at least two flights of 2 hours each that consists of--

(i) At least one training flight with an authorized instructor within 60 days prior to application for the rating on the areas of operation for a gas

balloon;

(ii) At least one flight performing the duties of pilot in command in a gas balloon with an authorized instructor; and

(iii) At least one flight involving a controlled ascent to 3,000 feet above the launch site.

(2) Balloon with an airborne heater. If the training is being performed in a balloon with an airborne heater, at least--

(i) Two flights of 1 hour each within 60 days prior to application for the rating on the areas of operation appropriate to a balloon with an airborne

heater;

(ii) One solo flight in a balloon with an airborne heater; and

(iii) At least one flight involving a controlled ascent to 2,000 feet above the launch site.

(i) Permitted credit for use of a flight simulator or flight training device.

(1) Except as provided in paragraphs (i)(2) of this section, a maximum of 2.5 hours of training in a flight simulator or flight training device representing the category, class, and type, if applicable, of aircraft appropriate to the rating sought, may be credited toward the flight training time required by this section, if received from an authorized instructor.

(2) A maximum of 5 hours of training in a flight simulator or flight training device representing the category, class, and type, if applicable, of aircraft appropriate to the rating sought, may be credited toward the flight training time required by this section if the training is accomplished in a

course conducted by a training centre certificated under part 142 of this chapter.

(3) Except when fewer hours are approved by the Administrator, an applicant for a private pilot certificate with an airplane, rotor craft, or powered-lift rating, who has satisfactorily completed an approved private pilot course conducted by a training centre certificated under part 142 of this chapter, need only have a total of 35 hours of aeronautical experience to meet the requirements of this section.

 

 
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