Discover How to Be a Pilot - Your Career in Aviation and Pilot Certification

If you have got to the point, where you really want to become a pilot then no doubt flying is a passion of yours. Once the decision to become a pilot has been made you then need to put some serious consideration into what type of pilot you want to be and start your research into the requirements.. Now in order to make the right choice you have to determine your ultimate goal. The nine categories of classifications starting from the most advanced are…
- Designated pilot examiner
- Airline transport
- Certified flight instructor
- Commercial
- Instrument rated
- Private
- Recreational
- Sport
- Student
Naturally, to begin your quest you have to start at the bottom, and then you can decide what level you will carry onto.

To reach any of these levels they all have one thing in common which is a completion of a specific amount of hours, in theory, written tests, oral examinations and ultimately the flight test. It seems like a lot of work and it most definitely is. The rewards you reap from your diligence are a permanent ownership of your certificate unless you allow it to expire or it becomes suspended or revoked. You must keep in current by flying a specified number of hours per year and maintain a valid medical certificate.
Everything you are taught in your flight training must adhere to the FAA rules and regulations. Now let us start at the bottom of the ladder and work our way through the various pilot levels. You may then have a better understanding as to what your goals will be.

Prior to age of 16 you can learn the basics and fly under the guidance of a certified instructor. Once you have become 16 and have the required medical certificate you can move onto your first fly alone, or solo as it is called. That of course is depended on your having mastered the basic skills and knowledge of the flight topics. You will be required to remain close to your home base but you may be allowed to practice your cross country to various local airports. Weather restrictions will be in place as well. You are still not qualified to carry passengers or receive remuneration as a pilot.

Sport Pilot:
In most cases you are not required to be medically certified as you are only allowed to fly low speed aircraft which is categorized as less than 100mph.They are required to have a valid drivers license be 17 years of age or older and a completion of 20 hours flight time which is made up of 15 hours training combined with 5 hours solo flight training. You will have limitations imposed upon you such as..
- Restricted from operating at airports that require ATC communication
- No flying after dark
- Maximum of one passenger
In addition to this, you must renew your certificate every two years by way of a flight review with a certified flight instructor.

Recreational Pilots:
Just as the title implies are individuals who fly for entertainment purpose. To qualify for this category you must be a minimum of 17 years of age, possess about 40 logged flight hours which includes no less than 15 hour flight instruction. These pilots must possess a Class III medical certificate that has to be renewed anywhere between 24 to 36 months. The pilot’s age dictates the renewal regulation… A CFI flight review is mandatory every two years in order to maintain the license in good standing.
There are also restrictions applicable to this pilot category such as…
The authority to fly a max distance of 58 miles from the airport they have received their instruction at. This restriction can be waived if the pilot has had the acceptable cross-country training.
- One passenger restriction
- Non-enumeration
- Daytime flying only
- No charity flights
- No flying duties connected with business or employment
- Acceptable airplanes are only single engine with fixed landing gear. The engine cannot accept 180hp and there must be no more than four seating availability.
- Flying where ATC is a requirement is not allowed, unless they have received the acquired training in this area.
Once you have reached this point you now need to consider if you want to continue moving up the ladder.


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