How Do You Become A Student Pilot?

Before becoming a student pilot you should know what a student pilot is. We will discuss exactly what a student pilot is and what some of the requirements is to become one. A student pilot is someone who is learning to fly under the supervision of an FAA approved flight instructor and who is permitted to fly alone under limited and specific circumstances.

You are issued a student pilot certificate at the time of your first medical examination by an approved aviation medical examiner. This certificate is not required for flight unless the student is flying solo and is valid until the last day of the month two years from the month it was issued. You must acquire a signature from your Certified Flight Instructor or CFI before you are allowed to fly solo in a specific type of aircraft. You cannot carry passengers or operate any aircraft outside the endorsements of the flight instructor.

You do not need any prior knowledge or experience to be issued a student pilot’s certificate other than the medical examination. There are requirements needed to obtain the signature of your flight instructor to fly solo:

1. Hold your medical certificate

2. Be sixteen years or older

3. You primary language is English

4. Pass an aeronautical knowledge test including:

a) Rules and procedures for airport where you will be flying solo

b) Characteristics and limitations for the aircraft you will be piloting

5. Have recorded flight training for any and all maneuvers and procedures that are appropriate for the aircraft you will be piloting including:

a) Preflight check and operations

b) Ground training

c) Takeoff and landing including normal and cross-wind

d) Level flight and turns

e) Traffic patterns of the airport you will be piloting from

f) Precautions for avoiding collision, wind shear and wake turbulence

g) Descent using high and low drag configurations and turns

h) Flight with various airspeeds

i) Flight procedures for a stall

j) Equipment malfunctions

k) Ground reference maneuvers

l) Landing problems including engine malfunctions

Each of these must be mastered before receiving your CFI endorsement. Failure to pass these points when taking the written test will delay CFI endorsement and solo training until all areas are corrected and the student passes the test.

Your flight school can take care of all of these needs and see to it that you are ready to fly solo. Your flight school may take a more round about method of teaching these skills but it is required by the FAA for you to pass the test and acquire the CFI endorsement for each type of aircraft you intend to fly. There are three aircrafts that do not require a pilot’s license to pilot; airship, balloon and glider. It is advised to be instructed in their operation with both ground training and flight training as with any